Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 USM L - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2005

Special thanks to Markus Stamm for providing the lens for testing purposes!


Released back in 1997 the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 USM L is one of many ultra fast fix focals in the Canon lens line-up - seems as if Canon is really enjoying to go to the max in this niche. Regarding its release date it is obviously a full frame lens. On APS-C DSLRs it has a field-of-view equivalent to a classic ~38mm lens so it can be considered as a moderate wide-angle lens here.

The optical construction is made of 11 elements in 9 groups with one ground aspherical element and one UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) element. Its minimum focus distance is 0.25m resulting in a max. object magnification of ~1:6. Typical for many high performance wide angles the lens features a floating system to achieve a constantly high image quality throughout the focusing range. The aperture mechanism has 7 aperture blades. The filter size is 77mm. In order to achieve a max. aperture of f/1.4 Canon had to use big glass elements so the lens is rather fat at 84x77mm and comparatively heavy (550g). A petal-type hood is included.

As to be expected from a member of the professional grade Canon L league the lens is beautifully crafted with a metal body and high quality plastics. The very broad, rubberized focus ring has a smooth and well damped action. The front element does not rotate so using a polarizer is no problem. The focusing speed is very fast and thanks to USM the AF noise level is near silent. Typical for ring-type USM AF drives full-time manual focusing is possible in one-shot AF mode.

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