canon L series lenses

Posted by: Rick Weldon on 04 November 2003

has any one compared L series zoom lenses with canon prime lenses? ihave 3 or 4 of canons consumer grade (mid price) zoom lenses and compared to the prime lenses they are crap
Posted on: 04 November 2003 by Bob Shedlock
Depending on your criteria, the primes are "better" than the zooms. (some favor sharpness, contrast, etc.) I have Canon L zooms, and I'm thrilled with them, BUT, they are big and heavy compared to primes. Stopped down, particular models are pretty darn close to prime equivalent, not the equal.
As a basis for comparison, I used to have all zuiko primes and nikon primes for my camera bodies - I much prefer my output now with the "L" zooms. (Gee, just wrote almost exactly this in another thread.) Borrow a few (or rent) and try them first. They are expensive.
Posted on: 04 November 2003 by Top Cat
Bob's hit it on the head - the L-lenses are comparable with the non-L primes (I have had 28-70/2.8L, 17-40/4L, 50/1.8mkI/II, 50/1.4USM and 85/1.8USM and I'd say that they're all pretty much in the same ballpark optically, which is to say pretty good, though the 50/1.8 is a little soft wide open, as is the 50/1.4. However that's true of all fast primes outside of Zeiss and Leitz).

All of which are considerably better than the consumer zooms, though at f8-f11 you'll find the differences less pronounced.


TC '..'
"Sun went down in honey. Moon came up in wine. Stars were spinnin' dizzy, Lord, the band kept us so busy we forgot about the time."
Posted on: 05 November 2003 by Ron Toolsie
I now use the 20-70 2.8L and the 70-200 2.8L (sadly NOT the IS version) as well as the 1.4x teleconverter (also an L-series lens). I also have owned the 28-80 3.5/5.6 entry level lens and the 75-300 USM zoom, both of which are softer with peripheral vignetting and distortion. The 28-105 was better but still no match optically for the 20-70L which had far more saturation and crispness to its images, even noticeable on 4x6 machine prints. However, unless you are prepared to use a tripod and mirror lock a large portion of their potential superiority is squandered. Its very easy to take blurry pictures hand holding with the focal length set to 200 and the exposure time any less than 1/500.

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Posted on: 06 November 2003 by Rick Weldon
thanks for your help, has any one tried the new sigma ex range of zooms?
Posted on: 06 November 2003 by Top Cat
I owned an EX 28-70/2.8 for a while but whilst optically a hair's breadth away from the 28-70/2.8L (which I have also owned as reported above) it isn't built as well and mine seized up in Greece and I can't justify keeping kit which isn't 100% reliable, so I took it back (it was fairly new) and bought the L.


TC '..'
"Sun went down in honey. Moon came up in wine. Stars were spinnin' dizzy, Lord, the band kept us so busy we forgot about the time."