What are the advtanages offered by Canon L series lenses :)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by cgennoe, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. cgennoe

    cgennoe TPF Noob!

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    Hi, thanks for viewing my post!

    - What does Canon 'EOS' stand for?

    And what are advantages of Canon 'L' series lenses? Someone on a pervious thread had mentioned that they offer superior moisture control...

    There certainly is a considerable difference in price between say the
    -EF 50mm f / 1.2L USM & the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, why is this?

    Is there an advantage in picture quality alone or are there are other considerations?

    Thanks for taking the time, here is my previous post: I plan to backpack abroad coming up soon!



    I recently purchased the Canon EOS 30D with the 17-85 IS Kit.

    In the near future I plan to teach English in Asia and backback through some of the many beautiful counties nearby. Something that I am very excited about! The prospect of merging photography with this endeavour is something I am carefully planning as having the right equipment will be critical to making the most of this epic journey.

    My question is, drum roll please...which lens to purchase to supplement the 17-85 IS?

    The prospective exposures/compositions that I will be charmed with will, no doubt, vary widely and will require a versatile lens fully capable of accomodating such diverse beauty. I am interested at two lenses primarily at this point:
    -EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
    -EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

    My concern with the 28-300 is the quality of photographs, especially near the min and max focal lengths. What do you think? I have read everything I can get my hands on to this point in entering the world of Digital SLR, but would certainly appreciate your more experienced perspective. If you were in my shoes, and ready to shoot landscape, people, wildlife, etc on such a journey, and were able to purchase just 1 lens before leaving, which would it be. Feel free to suggest a lens that I have not considered as well!

    Appreciated beyond words,
    -Colin
     
  2. Mike Jordan

    Mike Jordan TPF Noob!

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    Shoot with a "L" Lens and all of your questions will be answered. ;)

    Concerning the two choices you have, I can't speak for the 28-300, but I have the 70-200 2.8L IS and it is a superb lens. One of the pluses of a "L" lens, is that it is sharp from widest zoom to longest zoom and everywhere in between and from smallest to largest fstop. The contrast and crispness is better as well as sharpness. I can say this about the 17-40 4.0L, 70-200 4.0L, 70-200 2.8L IS, 100-400 4.5/5.6L IS and 24-70 2.8L lenses. I have them all and use them under a variaty of conditions and situations.

    Another benifit of the "L" glass is their weather sealing, they hold their value and you will find they stay with you through multiple camera body upgrades. My first "L", the 70-200 4.0L I've had through my EOS 3, D30, 10D and now my 1DMKII, although mostly my wife uses it since I have the 70-200 2.8L IS. But the 4.0L is a good lens when I want to travel light and take up less room.

    Like I said... shoot with one and all of your questions will be answered and your bank account will be empty. :D

    Mike
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    just a clarification.. not all L's are weathersealed.

    main reason for L is the increased image quality over Canon's consumer line.

    With that said... there are examples from third party that can compete with L lenses at a more reasonable price. you'll have to do a specific lens to lens comparison since comparing brand versus brand is a waste of time.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    EOS= Electro-Optic-System
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    50mm f1.8 less pricey than 50mm f1.8 which is less pricey than 50mm f1.2.

    See the trend? Faster aperture is more difficult and complex to design into an optic.. thus the price difference.
     
  6. Mike Jordan

    Mike Jordan TPF Noob!

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    You are right about the weather sealing, since I mainly shoot with my 70-200 2.8L IS and 100-400, which are weather sealed, I forget that sometimes.

    While there are a number of lens that are cheaper that can compete with the "L" lenses, they can only compete within a narrow range. They won't have the same crisp, sharp image across their whole range the way the "L" glass does. Which might not be that big of a deal if someone tends to shoot away from the far and close ends of a zoom and stopped down a stop or two so you only shoot in the sweet middle part of the glass and not at the edges. Price also does come into play. It's hard to justify $1300 to $1600 for a lens if someone is only a casual shooter. A prime might be a better choice or one of the better quality 3rd party lenses. I chose to go with "L" glass because I wanted their capability, speed of focus, reliability and build quality. But I'll be the first to admit that I'm the weakest part of my system. My lenses out shoot me all the time. :D

    Mike
     
  7. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    Canon L glass is a thing of beauty.
    precise, accurate, and built like a panzer.
    I love how great the picture from mine turn out. I can't wait to get more...
    One of the reasons as well, is that they are usually faster than the comparable consumer level lens...and making a larger aperture costs more money, adds weight, materials, and time.

    ED, UD, etc glass is used...to correct for aberrations and other stuff like that...

    The quality has to be experienced to be believed.
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    But that isn't to say consumer grade lenses are significantly worse. L just means the professional grade lenses. Even if the image quality is worse then selected consumer grade gems on the market the build quality is the real difference. That is a constant on any L or Nikon Goldring lens. They are built like a german tank, they are heavy, strong, often weather sealed as has been pointed out, and I'd say more likely than a consumer lens to withstand a fall.
     
  9. 70-200 2.8 L is a VERY heavy lens.If you go hiking with it, ask yourself if you REALLY need that kind of image quality.
     
  10. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    L stands for Low Dispersion. All L lenses include one or two low dispersion glass elements [FONT=Arial, Verdana, helvetica, geneva]which should compensate some chromatic aberration.

    Besides that, they are often buld fairly robust, in particular the tele lenses work nicely in defensive situations when you can use them as a club. They are usually more weather sealed.
    [/FONT]
     
  11. nossie

    nossie TPF Noob!

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    Well that's not necessarily true, the aperature difference is the obvious difference but what is so often overlooked is the blade difference. For example the f1.8 has 6 blades and the f1.4 has 8 blades giving a smoother bokeh. I'm sure there's even more to it on an engineering level. Is the 1.4 made from metal anyone? On the specs it's twice as heavy. So I think there's a lot more that goes into an L lens than just glass and speed.

    Buying any lens is always a trade off. The 28-300 suffers a little bit in quality on the outer reaches when scientifically examined but it's the only lens you'll have to carry, the #1 choice of papparazzi. If quality is the only issue then you buy only primes and spend your life swapping lenses and carrying a tonne in your bag. Everything else is in between. So it's all comprimise.

    My answer to your question... to supplement the 17-85 use the 70-200 L IS AND the 1.4x extender when you need a little extra reach.
    The extender will cost you 1 stop on the lens and a bit of softness BUT that's kinda sorta the same as the 28-300 anyway
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Um ok.. What part is not necessarily true.
    "Complex optic"... or the expensive part?



    Regarding the second part... I think Iron basically said the same thing.. you just reiterated in more words...
     

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