- Tamron 28-75mm 1:2.8
- Canon EF 50mm 1:2.5 Compact-Macro
- Canon EF 28mm 1:2.8
- Tamron 17-50mm 1:2.8
- Canon EF 24mm 1:2.8
- Konica Hexar AF
- Sigma 12-24mm 4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM
- Minolta MC W.Rokkor - NL 21mm 1:2.8
- Canon BG-ED3 Battery Grip
- Canon 10D
- Sigma EF-500 DG Super EO ETTL
- Minolta Dimage Scan Elite II
- Sears 55mm 1:1.4
- Minolta X-370
- Canon EF 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 III
- Canon 400D (Rebel XTi)
Canon EF 24mm 1:2.8
Before handling this lens I expected it to be a close cousin of the Canon EF 28mm 1:2.8 that has worked so well for me in the past. After purchasing this 24mm 2.8, however, I was surpised by its comparative size and weight. It also seems to be a substantial step up in quality in Canon's line of EOS lenses.
My initial plan was to use this lens similarly to how I used the 28mm. It would be a slightly wider version of the lightweight, eminantly portable 28mm 2.8 I had recently discovered. But the slight increase in weight was noticable on the Canon 400D (Rebel XTi) body and I found more joy when traveling with the lighter 28mm.
Next I popped it onto my 10D body at a time I would normally have chosen a mid range zoom. The balance on the heavier body was similar to the 28mm balance on the light Rebel body. And not having a zoom option forces my feet to move more often and my eyes to recompose when my feet cannot 'zoom' adequately. The process changes slightly as does my result. Not worse or better, just different. And sometimes that change keeps me from falling into a photographic rut.
During the time I was reviewing this lens my daughter was scheduled to have a 'teacher-in-service' day off. That day off happily coincided with a sunny October Friday. I was more than happy to play all day and her request was for a ferry ride. Fortunately, ferries are quite common here in the Pacific Northwest. We made a lunch that included some sweets, I grabbed my camera, and we were soon on our adventure.
We observed a freshly extinguished marina fire and the smoke it continued to send towards town. We ate lunch on the ferry. We walked the beach of Anderson Island. And even found some blackberries to eat along the way. The goal of the day was to play and it was a complete success.
Along the way I snapped images here and there and found the 24mm to be a good match for the days journey. On the crop sensor 10D the 24mm provides a field of view quite close to what a 35mm lens would give on 35mm film. And that field of view proved to be quite versatile. From the cramped deck of the ferry to the expanses of sandy beach I never missed having my usual mid-range zoom.
As I have mentioned before I don't do the lab style lens testing. This lens was more than capable of producing great images and I found no mechanical or optical weakneses to complain about. It feels like a well built lens. Definately a step above the [node:9] and two steps above the 50mm 1.8 II. The focus is the old style micro motor. It isn't as fast or quiet as the modern USM driven focus but is still acceptable. When focusing manually I liked that this lens, unlike some other non USM lenses, feels like it has some dampening in the focus mechanism.
Also appreciated is the internal focus on this lens. The front element is fixed and does not move during focus. That means any accidental impact is taken by the protective filter, which is threaded into the lens body, and not the focus mechanism. I believe this type of construction to be more durable than lenses with rotating front elements to which the filters are attached.
What don't I like? The list is short, but it is a deal breaker for me. I wish it was just one stop faster. Using this 24mm as a normal worked really well. But I think an ideal normal prime lens should be, at minimum, f:2.0.
I've enjoyed this lens and I'll continue to use it. At least until something faster comes along.