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Your must-have Canon EF lenses
Old 08-20-2019   #1
B-9
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Your must-have Canon EF lenses

I am bored.

Share with me your must have EF lenses and why!

I only have one right now and its the typical 50/1.8 MKI.

Help me satisfy my gas without actually buying anything!

1Cam1Lens1Year at the moment so no extra spending planned!

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Nifty Fifty, is cheap, its fast, its typical, and can I say cheap twice?
That's why it is my must have EF lens and it does a wonderful job.

I think I might have sprung for something more but I could not justify the 1.4 when looking at image comparisons online.
My MKI Nifty is shedding its rubber like no other but so far very solid with some bump and grind-age over the months.

No photos from me. Gonna keep it lite.
Feel free to drop a dope photo you took with your sweet lens tho!
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Old 08-20-2019   #2
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100/2.8 Macro (older non USM version). Why? Bokeh.

Check this out:
https://theonlinephotographer.typepa...hrankings5.pdf

I came across this article accidentally, then looked at my photos with this lens and said - well, yes. Sadly, by that time I already was away from Canon EF system, Contax was my new fad...
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Old 08-20-2019   #3
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One of my favorite finds when I worked at a dealer and got first pick on trade ins before we sent it to KEH was an Elan 7n and 28-105USM II. Loved that camera, and one of the better kit zooms I’ve used. Light but solidly built, had a focus scale window so it looked pro, fast focusing. Great walkabout lens to go with a 50. Optically, it was blandly average, but better than your typical f/5.6 kit.

Wish I hadn’t lent that setup to my ex, but also wonder what I was thinking passing over a Mamiya M645J for it and an A-1 (which is another story entirely)
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Old 08-20-2019   #4
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35L 1.4 v1. I like it’s size and build quality as well as the bokeh over the v2 despite the v2s sharpness increase. Then again I’m not a sharpness guy. My best canon shots are with this lens and I’ve not been tempted to upgrade it. The AF is very good as well

135 f2L. Probably my favorite portrait lens next to my old SMC Takumar 85 1.8. Sharp and bokeh is incredible.

Runner up would be the 50 1.2, but for some reason the 35L has always been my workhorse.
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Old 08-20-2019   #5
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Only three. A 50/1.8, 85/1.8 and the pancake 40/2.8. Hands down favorite is the 40/2.8, though the 85/1.8 is a fine portrait lens.

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Old 08-20-2019   #6
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The 70-300mm f4-5.6 II IS Nano lens.

In order to sell myself on getting back into a DSLR system, I had to swear off buying L glass. For my casual use, I could not justify the expense. And, I wanted a black lens. At some point, I'd had the original 70-300mm IS lens, and found it too soft at the long end.

This latest version is fantastic. Decent and light build -- no, you don't want to abuse it. Sharp wide open. Sharp at the long end. FAST focusing. Good handling. Zoom ring is in the correct location.
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A couple from 35L
Old 08-20-2019   #7
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A couple from 35L

Here are a couple from the 35L. I would bet you could find them for 6-700 nowadays.

First on Film
64-21-Edit.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr
57-19-Edit.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr

Next couple on a 6D v1
20170721-IMG_2204.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr
20170721-IMG_2232-Edit.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr
20170721-IMG_2187.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr
IMG_7289-Edit.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr
IMG_3928-Edit.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr
20160927-IMG_0839-Edit.jpg by Chris Coppola, on Flickr
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Old 08-20-2019   #8
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Sweet! The 35L is a lens worth lusting over.

Maybe someday. 6-700 is approx. 6-7 times what my EOS 1 and 50/1.8 kit cost lol.

I'm hoping to run into a second body cheap sometime down the road.
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Old 08-20-2019   #9
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35 f/1.4L : all around great lens for one-lens trips, not my favorite FL

85 f/1.2L : super lens for portraits, a bit heavy with 72mm filters ; )

100 f/2.8 Macro : this is the one lens I would keep if I could only have one, fast accurate focus, good for walking around and macro (hand held or live view on a tripod).

70-200 f/4L : good compromise tele, light weight, use it with the 1.4x

What's missing is a 50 and a wide... at the price point, nothing rings the bell IMHO
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Old 08-20-2019   #10
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I actually bought 2 EF lenses recently

EF 135mm f2 L - my favourite lens, sold it couple of years ago and missed it. fantastic lens for portrait and love the 135mm focal length

EF 100mm f2.8 Macro (non-IS non-L) - got this for cheap and will be used mostly for DSLR scanning film negatives.

other lenses that I wouldn't mind getting again down the road..
EF 100mm f2 (they call this poor mans 135L)
EF 70-200 f4L non-IS (cheap inexpensive 70-200)
Sigma 50mm 1.4 (not too many people liked this but I found it great for portrait.
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Old 08-20-2019   #11
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When Canon dumped their FD mount to EF mount, I refused to buy any EF lenses. Ever.
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Old 08-20-2019   #12
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40mm f2.8 pancake lens is one of the sweeter normal lenses available cheaply I’ve used. Incredibly neutral, rounded, pleasant rendering in a package that’s the thickness of a matchbox.
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Old 08-20-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taemo View Post
EF 100mm f2 (they call this poor mans 135L)
I love the 100mm f2. Great for portraits:

Laughing by David B, on Flickr

Windy Sunset Portrait by David B, on Flickr
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Old 08-20-2019   #14
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I have the older 35mm f2 non IS with the arc form motor. It is a little noisy and the out of focus areas can be a bit harsh sometimes, but it gives great images with nice sharpness. I also have the 85mm 1.8 and it is a bargain.

The biggest gripe I have with EF lenses is that there are too many filter thread sizes...52, 58, 72, etc... kind of a pain compared to some other systems.
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Old 08-20-2019   #15
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When I was a freelance photojournalist my three-lens kit was:

16-35mm f/2.8 L
135mm f/2 L
300mm f/2.8 L

With a 50mm f/1.4 in the bag for good measure.
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Old 08-20-2019   #16
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50mm 2.5 compact macro.
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Old 08-21-2019   #17
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Another vote for the 40mm f2.8
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Old 08-21-2019   #18
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The EF 40/2.8 STM is wonderful. A bargain, too.
I also like the 100/2.8 macro - it doubles as a portrait lens.
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Old 08-21-2019   #19
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EF lenses I've used in the past: the 1.4/50 and the 2.8/24-70. I've recently unearthed the 35mm Canon EOS 5 and will use it with the 1.4/50.
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Old 08-21-2019   #20
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Big fan of the 24-70 f2.8L second version, and the 35mm f1.4L first version. Both rendered sublimely. Regret selling the 35mm.

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Old 08-21-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Big fan of the 24-70 f2.8L second version, and the 35mm f1.4L first version. Both rendered sublimely. Regret selling the 35mm.

Best,
-Tim
I have to agree that the 35mm f1.4L (1st version) is truly superb. The 50mm f1.2L is too, but is more a of a character lens and less all-purpose. It got mixed reviews for many years because it's not ridiculously sharp at f1.2 (only moderately sharp) but the rendering wide open is sublime.
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Old 08-21-2019   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
'A 50/1.8, 85/1.8 and the pancake 40/2.8.'
I like my EF f1.8 85mm USM for train spotting. I couldn't quite put my finger on why I liked some of the pics I'd seen taken by others on APS-C cameras with a 50mm lens, then it dawned on me that an 85mm on my full-frame is the same as a 50mm on an APS, so I got one and I like it.

I keep a 40mm f2.8 STM 'pancake' lens on my 5D otherwise; I like it too, better than the 50mm f1.4 USM I once had. My only other Canon lens is an 'L'-series 200mm f1.8, but it only gets used on odd occasions.
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Old 08-21-2019   #23
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Quote:
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When Canon dumped their FD mount to EF mount, I refused to buy any EF lenses. Ever.
Even though it is annoying and its such a shame that unlike Nikon you can't use all those great FD lenses on an EF mount Canon realised that without changing the mount they would not be able to make an autofocus system and there would never of been the 1.2 lenses.

As for favourite EF lenses I always liked the 24mm 1.4, 50mm 1.2 if you can get a good copy and as already said the 135mm f2 is amazing.
For a time my lenses for work were the 24,50,135 and 300mm until I got lazy and went back to 16-35, 70-200 and 300mm.
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Old 08-21-2019   #24
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85mm 1.2 II is fantastic for portraits. It just makes everything look good -- when I have the freedom, I'll shoot wide open...even though I find I have to shoot twice as much to make up for the shots where the eyelashes are sharp but the eyes aren't! But wow, when you nail it, it looks terrific.

The other one I find I shoot a lot is the 50/1.2 -- simple lens that also just makes things look terrific. Very versatile too -- oddly, when I shoot film I much prefer a 35mm lens for a 'go everywhere' kit. But on a 5D, it's a 50.

Friend of mine bought the fabled 50mm/1.0 -- I didn't even know that lens existed until he got it. And you know what, he kills it with razor sharp shots too. I'll echo Fraser above, on the 24mm 1.4....it has a really nice look to it, its own character.
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Old 08-21-2019   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
When Canon dumped their FD mount to EF mount, I refused to buy any EF lenses. Ever.
Good for you, thanks for chiming in.
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Old 08-21-2019   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimokita View Post
35 f/1.4L : all around great lens for one-lens trips, not my favorite FL

85 f/1.2L : super lens for portraits, a bit heavy with 72mm filters ; )

100 f/2.8 Macro : this is the one lens I would keep if I could only have one, fast accurate focus, good for walking around and macro (hand held or live view on a tripod).

70-200 f/4L : good compromise tele, light weight, use it with the 1.4x

What's missing is a 50 and a wide... at the price point, nothing rings the bell IMHO
I have the 70-200 f/4 and I don't miss the extra stop at all...an amazingly sharp lens, it really is terrific. Being more compact and lighter doesn't hurt, either.
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Old 08-21-2019   #27
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Quote:
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I have the 70-200 f/4 and I don't miss the extra stop at all...an amazingly sharp lens, it really is terrific. Being more compact and lighter doesn't hurt, either.

I sold my 135L to get a 70-200 f/4 as yes, you sacrifice some bokeh (f2 vs f4) but you get a more versatile zoom lens

if you are shooting lots of events, the 70-200 is a no brainer but personally I find the 135L more fun to shoot.
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Old 08-21-2019   #28
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I sold my 135L to get a 70-200 f/4 as yes, you sacrifice some bokeh (f2 vs f4) but you get a more versatile zoom lens

if you are shooting lots of events, the 70-200 is a no brainer but personally I find the 135L more fun to shoot.
Definitely - it's a great events lens and for travelling, also. Light, small and as I said, so sharp. A winner of a lens.
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Old 08-21-2019   #29
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Plus you get a white barrel!

Ever tried the 80-200L black barrel? (Never came in white, atleast that I know)
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Old 08-21-2019   #30
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- EF 16-35/4L
- EF 35/1.4L v.1
- EF 40/2.8 STM
- EF 100/2 USM
and the 24/1.4L v.2 is also a must have.
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Old 08-21-2019   #31
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I keep seeing the 40mm 2.8. Perhaps I should throw mine on next time I feel like lugging a DSLR around!
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Old 08-21-2019   #32
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Best lenses I have are L series. Even old EF L series are great.
Film or digital. They are better than Leica, but the size...
Even 50 1.2 L EF despite its dirt cheap build with plastic and glue is the lens I still miss.
50 1.8 should be just fine on film. I have MKI with all original, minus box as well.
So-so on digital lens, IMO.
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Old 08-22-2019   #33
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How's the 24 1.4? Always wanted one and they're relatively cheap

The 17 ts-e was well coveted
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Old 08-22-2019   #34
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Plus you get a white barrel!

Ever tried the 80-200L black barrel? (Never came in white, atleast that I know)
About twenty plus years ago when I was a staff photographer I had one as a hire lens while my lens was being repaired after I ran over my camera bag in my car! they were nicknamed the drain pipe.
I seem to remember it being quite good bit heavy compared to the 70-200 and not as sharp or as fast focus I would think, for a time they were quite cheap but they seem quite collectable now and are almost the same price as an original 70-200. Always fancied by one and pairing it with the 20-35mm 2.8.
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Old 08-22-2019   #35
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Fraser,

I always thought the 28-80L was interesting. Seems like the same story these days. They were pretty cheap but I suppose now they are collectible as well as the 20-35L.

I would not mind one of those 28-300L lol talk about only needing one lens.
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Old 08-22-2019   #36
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If you want a 35mm and can't afford the f1.4 version, the original f2 (non IS) is a great lens. I didn't feel the need for the 1.4 or IS back when I shot Canon so I went with the original and I was super happy with it. Plenty sharp wide open and fast (though loud) autofocus. The 40mm f2.8 is an awesome little lens as well.
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Old 08-25-2019   #37
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Anyone have the 70-210/4.0?

Looks like a banger for around 50-75$

I also hear the 28-80 MKI (Metal mount) is a nice one.
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Old 08-25-2019   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Corneau View Post
Good for you, thanks for chiming in.
I still have many excellent FD lenses. 80-200/4L, 85/1.2L, 50/1.2L ... maybe they are similar optically to the matching EF lenses?
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Old 08-25-2019   #39
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Raid,

I would assume they have to be pretty similar!

What do you shoot them on? T90?!
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Old 08-25-2019   #40
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Quote:
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I still have many excellent FD lenses. 80-200/4L, 85/1.2L, 50/1.2L ... maybe they are similar optically to the matching EF lenses?
I believe some of the early EF lenses were optically the same as their FD counterparts. Not sure which ones though.

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