In lieu of the regular Thursday by La Brisa post, I wanted to share my review of a few lenses that I recently had in my possession on a trial basis. I have been wanting to try out these lenses for a SUPER long time and so I was really excited to put them through some real-life shooting situations. For me, these are legendary and mythical lenses that all photographers (well Canon ones at least) crave to have in their bags. For about 7 days, I used Canon’s 24L, 35L and 85L shown here:
I absolutely loved one of them and definitely want to add it as my next lens. The other two did not wow me except in certain situations when they were brilliant. More on that later though. Can you guess which one I loved? Keep reading to find the answer.
Lastly, when trying new lenses, I always ask myself, which lens would this replace in my bag? I travel and shoot light. For every shoot regardless of subject/content, I take everything which consists of the Canon 16-35L, Canon 50L, Canon 70-200L and the Canon 100 Macro and this is the arduous journey that lead me to my current gear: Oh Lenses! At the end of each lens review, you will read why or why not I would replace one of my existing lenses.
Sharp, contrasty and the bokeh is incredibly dreamy. On my full frame 5DII, this lens felt really wide and it was something that I had a difficult time adjusting to. I’m sure in time, the perspective would be second nature to me, but during the week long trial, I just never felt comfortable with it. I used it in numerous situations (individuals, couples, families, etc), but I was never wow’d by it. Also, due to the length, I felt that it was a specialty lens for very specific shots. I tried to leave it on my camera for awhile during stretches of a session, but found myself constantly wanting to switch. Theoretically, this lens would replace my 16-35, but I feel like the 24L adds something dramatically different than what the 16-35 offers, but at this time, it is not enough to persuade me to add another lens to my bag.
This is part of the holy trinity of legendary lenses: 35L, 85L and 135L. Of which, I use none of them (B has the 135L and I can’t get it away from her). Maybe my expectations exceeded any reasonable offerings because I expected instant magic once I placed this lens on my camera. And I was disappointed because of my lofty expectations. Once I got over that initial hurdle, I loved how fast this lens focuses. Seriously, at any point, in any lighting situation, it focused true and immediate every time. The most incredible feature of this lens, were the colors that it rendered straight out of the camera: vibrant, accurate and gorgeous. I would definitely add it to my bag, but I’d have a really difficult time replacing my 16-35 with it because I still want the ultra wide perspective and the 35mm is not wide enough for what I would be replacing.
Incredible. Incredible at f/1.2. Incredible at f/4.0. Just absolutely incredible. I wanted to do an entire portrait session with it. The only thing that I dislike about this lens is the slow AF; otherwise, using a telephoto lens at f/1.2 is just cheating. The compression of the focal length combined with the wide open aperture yields glowingly awesome images. I was addicted to it for the entire week. I would be extremely happy shooting with my 50L and the 85L all day. Of the three lenses, the 85L is the only one where I would consider adding another lens to my current bag. Ideally, sometime in the future, I would love to shoot with all primes, but my style and budget cannot accommodate that goal, yet.
One of my favorite getting ready images that I have ever created.
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