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Canon EF standard zoom lenses and primes

prime lenses

EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

EF 35mm f/2 IS USM

  • announced Nov 2012
  • $849.99

EF 35mm f/2

EF 40mm f/2.8 pancake

  • introduced in 2012
  • fly-by-wire manual focus but not as nice a feel or accuracy as Panasonic or Olympus lenses
  • quiet but not silent AF using Canon's new STM AF
  • AF in video mode is only available with certain cameras such as Canon 650D, and even then it is slow
  • not internal focusing
  • close focus to 0.3m
  • 52mm plastic filter thread
  • soft corners on full frame with some vignetting, CA and average distortion but otherwise a reasonable performing lens being sharp in the centre wide open

TS-E 45mm f/2.8 tilt shift

50mm prime lens comparison tests

  • they all have same close focus of 0.45m
    • edges poor at f/1.8 for both the f/1.4 & f/1.8 lenses but they both almost match the f/1.2 lens at f/2.8 although the edges of the f/1.8 lens really need f/4 to match the other lenses performances.
    • f/1.4 lens has more vignetting than the f/1.2 lens at apertures wider than f/2.8
    • the image quality of the 50 mm f/1.2 at f/1.8 is equivalent to the 50 mm f/1.4 at f/2.8.
    • the three lenses produce identical results from f/4
    • f/1.4 was less sharp wide open than either the f/1.2 or f/1.8 II, and the f/1.4 was “too hazy and dreamy” and too soft to be usable wide open unless you want a dreamy look akin to smearing vaseline on your lens
    • at f/2.0, the bokeh of the f/1.2 lens is a touch nicer than that of the other 2 lenses at that aperture
    • the three lenses produce identical results from f/4 although color and contrast rendition was best with the f/1.2 lens and poorest with the f/1.8 lens
    • “the 1.8’s and the 1.4’s build quality leave a lot to be desired”
    • “the Canon 50mm f/1.4 is just that much more disappointing because although it is 3-4x more expensive than the 50mm f/1.8, its build quality and overall image performance doesn’t come to justifying the additional cost”
    • “the Canon 50mm f/1.4, even though it has a maximum aperture of f/1.4, its overly soft image quality at wide open nullifies that extra half stop advantage. And if you stop down to f/1.8 or f/2.0, then there really not enough aesthetic difference in appearance to the 50mm f/1.8. On top of that, its build quality is barely any better than the 50mm f/1.8”
    • f/1.4 is less sharp overall of the 3 lenses
    • the f/1.4 is about the same as the f/1.8 lens at f/2. Both have a lot of coma in the last few millimeters of the corners
    • at f/2.8, the f/1.4 is a tad softer than the f/1.8, especially on the sides
    • examples of bokeh with aperture stopped down
    • f/1.8 has less barrel distortion than the f/1.4 but more vignetting and more harsh bokeh
    • f/1.8 flare rendering is nicer than the f/1.4 but color becomes washed out and there is lower contrast

EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

  • introduced in 2006
  • lovely but expensive lens
  • the focus ring is held on by two small plastic screws which, when jostled just right or tapped lightly, tend to sheer and pops off. The repair is so expensive and rarely done correctly the first time that many have just replaced at a great cost 1)
  • $A1900

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

  • introduced in 2014
  • 13 elements in 8 groups incl. 3 SLD and an ASPH rear element
  • internal focus,
  • 9 rounded blades but still gives reasonable sunstars stopped down
  • close focus 0.4m
  • fast AF with instant MF over-ride
  • no hard infinity stop
  • no DOF scale
  • no IR index
  • 77mm plastic filter thread
  • no moisture sealing
  • 815g
  • $US950/$A999
    • sharper and with less distortion than any other 50mm lens of any brand, however, you have to look closely in the edges to see the difference compared to the 50mm f/1.8 II
    • bokeh is fair to good wide open
    • some coma in the corners
    • no visible distortion and minimal vignetting wide open
    • too darn big and heavy to actually want to carry it around all day - most would prefer the 50mm f/1.2L instead
    • the ribbed rubber rings grip very well, but have sharp ridges and are much less comfortable than the pro lenses
    • has some focus breathing - image gets larger as focused more closely
    • ghost resistance is great and no flare problems nor apparent lateral CA

Sigma 50mm f1/4 EX DG HSM

  • introduced in 2008
  • far better than the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and better than the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II
  • produces amazing bokeh, colors, contrast sharpness and center sharpness is very impressive although may be a touch soft wide open
  • BUT big, heavier, and slowish AF and the cheap focus ring
  • 9 blades
  • close focus 0.45m
  • 77mm filter
  • 505g
  • $A448

EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

  • introduced in 1993, not worth the price
  • average build quality
  • poor, soft, dreamy look wide open - so most would be better off with the f/1.8 II which is at least adequately sharp wide open although bokeh will be nicer stopped down compared to the f/1.8 which only has 5 blades
  • 8 conventional blades for 8 point sunstars
  • no usable DOF scale
  • 58mm filter
  • Micro USM motor with full time MF
  • 290g
  • $A420
  • metal mount

EF 50mm f/1.8 II

  • introduced 1990
  • the “nifty fifty”, inexpensive, all plastic build, poor manual focus ring BUT good value optics for the money
  • optics match the 50mm f/1.2 and f/1.4 lenses at f/4 onwards and practically as good as the f/1.4 lens at f/2.0
  • the f/1.8 has a better DxOMark score than the f/1.4 lens when both are used at f/2.8
  • 52mm filter
  • only 5 blades gives pentagon bokeh highlights, but may be handy for 10 point sun stars
  • no DOF scale
  • loud, screechy micro motor but no full time MF
  • 123g
  • can buy for around $A120

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

  • a very expensive L lens which gives one of the narrowest depth of fields available for portraiture work
  • a must have for many wedding photographers
  • AF is very slow which limits its utility

EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

  • one of the sharpest non-L Canon lenses but does have considerable CA

pro zoom lenses

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II

  • introduced in 2012
  • all-new optical design, designed to provide improved imaging performance right across the frame and reduced distortion compared to its predecessor
  • smaller, lighter design and weather-sealed construction
  • 23 elements in 18 groups incl. 2x UD and 1x Super UD aspheric element
  • close focus 0.38m (1:4.75)
  • 82mm filter
  • 9 rounded blades
  • 805g, 88.5 mm diameter x 113 mm length

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 hybrid IS USM

  • announced Nov 2012
  • ~25% smaller than the 24-70mm f/2.8L
  • “3-4 stops” IS and “2.5 stops” IS for close up
  • 15 elements in 12 groups incl. 2x aspherical, 2x UD
  • 9 circular blades
  • close focus 0.2m (1:1.4)
  • 83.4x93mm long
  • 600g
  • 77mm filter
  • water/dust protection
  • ~$1500
    • 2.4% barrel distortion at 24mm
    • 0.7% pincushion at 70mm
    • 1.8 EV vignetting at 24mm f/4
    • sharpest at f/5.6, although corners hit sharpest at f/8
    • lat. CA well controlled at 0.7px average
    • minimal longitudinal CA
    • bokeh better than the 24-70mm f/2.8L II but still a bit “nervous” and there is vignetting cat's eyes appearance towards the edges
    • “the most worrisome flaws are, however, focus shifts - thus if you stop down the focus point is pushed towards the background (Residual spherical aberrations / RSA). This can be a game spoiler in some scenes (specifically close focus).”

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 IS L

Canon EF 28-135mm

Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

consumer grade lenses

photo/canonefstdzoom.txt · Last modified: 2019/11/16 11:05 by gary1

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