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Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Need help to decide on which camera to buy!!!!!

"... how Canon defines an L-seris lens. They've established three criteria a lens must meet to be considered an L-series: 

 

1. The lens must be leading edge design, high quality materials and premium build ...

2. If must be compatible with all EOS cameras past, present & future (hence no EF-S lens will ever be an L, no matter how good it is).

3. The optical formula must include "exotic" glass (ED, UD, apo, fluorite, etc.).  

 

Where pray tell did ever you find an oficial list of requirements for a "L" lens by Canon?  I will agree to this though, "(... all of which are (is) somewhat (totaly) subjective."

 

You list sounds more like a definition than an absolute code.  You forgot, most are dust-resistant and water-resistant and have rubber seals. The front elements do not rotate for the proper operation of filters. Quite often they are faster and have wider apertures and constant apertures.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Re: Need help to decide on which camera to buy!!!!!


@ebiggs1 wrote:

"... how Canon defines an L-seris lens. They've established three criteria a lens must meet to be considered an L-series: 

 

1. The lens must be leading edge design, high quality materials and premium build ...

2. If must be compatible with all EOS cameras past, present & future (hence no EF-S lens will ever be an L, no matter how good it is).

3. The optical formula must include "exotic" glass (ED, UD, apo, fluorite, etc.).  

 

Where pray tell did ever you find an oficial list of requirements for a "L" lens by Canon?  I will agree to this though, "(... all of which are (is) somewhat (totaly) subjective."

 

You list sounds more like a definition than an absolute code.  You forgot, most are dust-resistant and water-resistant and have rubber seals. The front elements do not rotate for the proper operation of filters. Quite often they are faster and have wider apertures and constant apertures.


No Canon lens that I ever bought ("L" or otherwise) has a front element that rotates. Are there any that do, or is that merely a blast from the past?

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Need help to decide on which camera to buy!!!!!

Bob from Boston said,

"Are there any that do ..."

 

I don't know!   Althought I have 'almost' all the lenses Canon makes, I don't have all of them.  And it is just an observation, more than a requipemnt as are all the other, observations that were made.  I never heard or saw or even knew Canon had a list of specifics that an "L" lens had to meet.  If they do, it is news to me.

 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 766
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Need help to decide on which camera to buy!!!!!

[ Edited ]

@ebiggs1 wrote:

"... how Canon defines an L-series lens. They've established three criteria a lens must meet to be considered an L-series: 

 

1. The lens must be leading edge design, high quality materials and premium build ...

2. If must be compatible with all EOS cameras past, present & future (hence no EF-S lens will ever be an L, no matter how good it is).

3. The optical formula must include "exotic" glass (ED, UD, apo, fluorite, etc.).  

 

Where pray tell did ever you find an oficial list of requirements for a "L" lens by Canon?    

 


I paraphrased that L-series definition  from "Lens Work - The Eyes of EOS" book that Canon publishes every year, among other places. You can find and download "Lens Work" in PDF form from the Canon Europe website, if you wish. It also can be found for sale on various websites, but Canon usually just gives it away to CPS members and at photo shows. The only problem with the hard bound versions is that the lens line-up tends to change every year, so it's constantly being up-dated. It's an excellent technical reference, though, with descriptions and specifications of all the lenses being made at any given time.  

 

I think the L-series definition also might be found at the Canon Museum that's part of the Canon Japan website. That's more comprehensive than the book, all discontinued lens model info can be found there. And there's some interesting info about lens manufacturing technology. 

 


 

You forgot, most are dust-resistant and water-resistant and have rubber seals. The front elements do not rotate for the proper operation of filters. Quite often they are faster and have wider apertures and constant apertures.


Some L-series have better sealing. Others, not so much. The IF (internal focusing) 70-200s are better sealed than lenses that extend when zoomed/focused (24-70, 70-300, 100-400). The "rubber seal" is an o-ring on the bayonet mount, to reduce dust/moisture intrusion into the camera, more than the lens. Some, but not all L-series have that. And with regular use, it wears out. My 14-15 year old 70-200/2.8 IS USM has lost most of it's rubber o-ring, doesnt' effect lens performance in any way so I've never bothered to replace it. The 70-200/4L and the earlier f2.8 non-IS 70-200 models don't have that o-ring seal at all.  

 

I take all the "dust and moisture restance" with a grain of salt anyway. I don't hesitate to use my gear in tough situations, but I try to use some reasonable care when doing so... whether shooting with an L or not!

 

AFAIK, only a few of the most "entry level" Canon lenses still have rotating front elements. I think the EF-S 18-55 IS II is one (the STM version's front element doesn't rotate). The EF 75-300 non-IS, non-USM may be another. Most Canon lenses front elements don't rotate. The original EF-S 55-250's front element might have rotated, too. Pretty sure the STM version's doesn't (it's also a little closer focusing).

 

Yes,on average more of the L-series have larger apertures and/or constant apertures. But not all... 70-300L, 100-400L both have variable apertures.

 

EF-S 17-55/2.8 has large/constant aperture. OTOH, EF-S 15-85mm's is f3.5-5.6. Still, as far as image quality and AF performance is concerned, both those EF-S lenses rival L-series, though they likely aren't built or sealed quite as well. Teh EF-S 60/2.8 and EF 100/2.8 macro are a couple more top performers that rival L-series image quality, such as is found in the 100L and 180L. In fact, the 100/2.8 non-L is almost identical in build quality and probably sealing, to the 180L macro.

 

The 400/4 DO (either version) isn't an L, but it's easily as well made, sealed, cutting edge design and even looks a lot like other super teles that are L's.

 

About half my lens kit is L-series, the other half not. I really don't worry very much either way, whether or not a lens is graced with a red stripe. The EF 24/2.8 IS USM, EF 35/2 IS USM and 16-35/4L IS USM are all on my short list of future lenses... Two non-Ls and one slower aperture L that would meet my particular needs for size, weight, cost, general versatility and perhaps even image quality better than EF 24/1.4L II, EF 35/1.4L or 16-35/2.8L II. I already have and use EF 50/1.4 USM and 85/1.8 USM, instead of their bigger, heavier and much more expensive L counterparts. But, I also fully understand that someone else might want and need the opposite.

 

My point was that, sure, L-series are typically great. But don't just skip over non-L-series Canon lens options, many of which also are excellent. In fact, if shooting with a crop sensor camera, there are a number of EF-S lenses specially optimized for the smaller format that it would be a real shame to dismiss just because they don't have that coveted red stripe! Since all L-series are, by definition, full frame lenses... you can end up spending extra for a lens that isn't fully used on a crop sensor camera.

 

Also, the original poster expressed a particular interest in two things: candid photogprahy and "miniature effect". The latter is done with Tilt Shift lenses, in particular the best for that purpose would likely be the non-L TS-E 45mm and 90mm, instead of the TS-E 17L or 24L. There's not much difference in build quality or sealing among these, either.

 

For candid photography, I would consider a smaller, unintimidating lens that draws as little attention to itself as possible to be preferable. I primarily use 20/2.8, 28/1.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.8 and 135/2 for candid portraiture. All primes and only the 135mm is an L (and I use it more on full frame, than on crop sensor cameras). Other possiblities would be the 24/2.8 IS USM and 35/2 IS USM I mentioned above. Also, there are the smallest of the small: the two "pancakes"... EF-S 24/2.8 STM and EF 40/2.8 STM.

 

***********


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & EXPOSUREMANAGER 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,815
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Need help to decide on which camera to buy!!!!!

Though "L" series lense are generally the best... you sometimes have to ask "best at what?"

 

The image quality and bokeh of the EF 85mm f/1.2L USM is better than the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM (non-L) but the non-L lens focuses faster.

 

The EF 50mm f1/2L has a reputation for being tricky to focus and not good for photographers trying to shoot in a hurry.  The EF 50mm f/1.4 (non L) focuses much faster and consistently.  But the "L" has better bokeh.  If you're in a controlled "studio-like" shooting situation (portraiture, products, food, etc.) where you control the pace of capturing the images but want the best possible overall image quality then you probably want the "L".  But if you're shooting events, candids, or subjects that are moving around a lot... you want the f/1.4 non-L version.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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Posts: 487
Registered: ‎03-17-2015

Re: Need help to decide on which camera to buy!!!!!

[ Edited ]

Funny the topic has turned to Canon L Pro Lens, they've been on my mind lately.   I was just thinking the other day the 2 L lens I have now will probably be the last I purchase unless a real good reason comes along to get more.  I'm not a Pro, so more L's would be overkill and very expensive for a hobby (for me).  I originally was going to get the  EF 24-105 USM non L, but just so happened at that time, the Canon Store put the refubished EF 24-105 L on 25% discount when I got it...only $50.00 more than the non L. new  That was too good to pass up.          I tried the EF-S  55-250 IS, and the EF 75-300 lll that came in a kit with my 1st Rebel T3i.....I did'nt like either, neither had IS, STM, or USM.   So I tried the EF 70-300 IS USM non L and thought it not worth the price.  Thought it was soft at 200-300mm, and really did'nt like the build..... the focus mechanism seemed too loose.  Was'nt any sharper at 200-300mm, than my EF 75-300 lll.   The colors were more accurite, and it was brighter, with good IS.  Maybe I had a bad copy, I dunno, but I just did'nt like it's feel.    So I returned it for the EF 70-300 L IS USM.  I love everything about it except the weight.  Though I really like it for the IQ and build quality, I don't relish lugging it....and my tripod around everyday.   I mostly use it with my Tripod along with my tripod lens ring mount.  But I see no alternative in a less expensive, lighter lens in that range, in the Canon line for everyday shooting.   Maybe I'll consider the EF-S 55-250mm IS STM, or something 3rd party.   I hear and read good things about the IQ in STM lens.   And yeah, I got my  EF 50mm f/1.4 USM because I just could'nt justify the EF 50mm L  price.  That really would be overkill with a lens I don't use regular, and really have no use for a L  lens in 50mm.  I really have learned from you Vets, to get the lens and gear for my needs and not listen to my eyes (lol)   I remember not long ago I dreamed of one day getting the 5D mk lll, and mostly L lens, but that too is off my wish list.   Unless I really, really, have a need that I have to satisfy, I will be downgrading my next body upgrade choice, and get mostly EF non L lens.   Yep, photography is certainly a learning process.  I've learned that some lens work better, with some bodies, more than with some others.   I'm going to try and not let it be more expensive a lesson than need be, or needlessly duplicate lens in same ranges.   Of course there's always exceptions in everything, depending on circumstances.

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Re: Need help to decide on which camera to buy!!!!!

Tim Campbell you learn how to use a 50mm f1.2L. I think that is common knowledge
Its focus is lightyears faster than the 85mm f1.2L.
I wouldnt use it for sports!
Also there is nothing like these two lenses. Each is worth the learning curve. And if you think not dont enen consider buying either.
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Posts: 11,334
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Need help to decide on which camera to buy!!!!!

Thanks Alan. I have not read or even seen that book. You answer is very thoughtout.
I suspose my background sways my view to the more robust build of L lenses and 1 Series cameras. I have seen too many non-L lenses fail in my choosen line of work.
I do have a half dozen non-L lenses but they see no to very little use now. I should probably sell them off. I gave most of that stuff to the grandkids.
All the best.
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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