Shooting with the predecessors...What older Canon lenses do you still love?


Matched Grip
Dec 17, 2013
I've done a fair amount of selling to buy when it comes to glass over the past 19 years but the one lens that has stayed in my kit is my first 'L' lens, the 70-200 f/4L. There's nothing wrong with it, it is sharp, great contrast, light and dependable. In fact if I don't need too wide, that and the pancake are a great lightweight two lens combo.

How about anyone else? What oldies but goodies do you use?

*EDIT* I guess I should have clarified that when I typed 'predecessors', I meant lenses which have had upgrades such as IS added or versions ll and lll. My thought being that some folks upgrade so quickly when there's a product announcement, it never meant your old gear stopped working....
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Likes: YuengLinger
Dec 13, 2010
The 70-200 f2.8 L non IS, my favorite zoom lens, it’s lighter, better bokeh and cheap. The 135 f2 and the excellent 35 f1.4 (IF I get good copies of the two latter).
Likes: slclick


Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
"I'll give you my EF50 f1.4 when you pry it from my cold, dead hands" :)

I've never understood the hate that lens has gotten, but then most users are comparing it to a completely different generation of lenses, compared to the 50 f1.4's before it it performed well and was reasonably priced and sized. At f8 it is sharper than the 100L Macro and at f1.4 the only thing lacking in any image that doesn't wow you is content.

I bought mine in 2002, and although I have been tempted by the 50 f1.2 on several occasions I have never been committed enough to the upgrade to abandon that widely under appreciated little gem.
Nov 19, 2016
I still like my 24-70 f/2.8 L version 1 very much. Since I have the 6DMII I find it performing better than on my former 5DMII. I appriciate the 77mm filtertrhead on the lens compared to the 82mm filterthread of version 2. All my filters and thread adpator rings are in line with 77mm.


I'm New Here
Mar 14, 2018
This might not count, since they still make this old lens, but I love my 85mm F1.8 (currently $299) . I have six newer L lenses, and I use this lens more than all of the others combined (of course, that's partially because I am mainly a portrait photographer). I don't know if I just got super-lucky, but my copy is an amazing lens, the sharpest lens I own.
Likes: slclick

Mt Spokane Photography

Spends Too Much Time on This Forum
Mar 25, 2011
The Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

The sharpest 50mm EF lens Canon ever made, and a hugely underappreciated lens.

Sounds like a bag of angry bees when focusing, but it works great.

I keep mine on my R. Very slow to focus, but nice images. Until I was looking up old lenses yesterday for a different project, I had not realized how old of a design it was.

Here is one I took immediately after getting the R. The lens was handy, so I poped it on and liked it. No PP, just as shot.
Canon 50mm f 2.5 Macro2.jpg