Your top 10 ranked overall favorite EF lenses now that the final roster is available?

Fischer

EOS RP
Mar 17, 2020
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I was referring to 35L I vs 35L II btw. The former has a rep for having better bokeh but I've never used it. I believe the 35L I has more of the "classic" Canon bokeh like the 50L 1.2 and 85L II while the 35L II has the newer Canon bokeh which has less artifacts but it also less smooth.
And I was also answering on the bokeh between the two L-lenses - and the samples I refereed to show them both.
 

Ruined

EOS R
Aug 22, 2013
932
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And I was also answering on the bokeh between the two L-lenses - and the samples I refereed to show them both.
Ah I see what you are saying now, it wasn't working on mobile and from the rest of your statement I thought you meant the 35 IS f/2.

So why do some people (like Ken Rockwell for instance) prefer the 35mm f/1.4L I bokeh over 35mm f/1.4L II (curious)? If I ever plan to pick up one of these two lenses, "draw" would be the most important factor.

Speaking of onioning, I was surprised how much I saw in the optical limits review of the RF 85mm f/1.2L
 

stevelee

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Jul 6, 2017
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The portraits that made me most money were all environmental portraits taken with the 35mm f/1.4. Its a perfect focal length for those shots. Distortion is something people on photograhic forums worry about - clients have other priorities. Its like my obsession with bokeh. It matters a lot to me. But I make no illusions about what the general public thinks. Almost all older portrait pictures (pre-1970's) were taken with a wide angle lens. Works great. In fact - apart from extremely wide angle lenses - all lenses can work for portrait imho. My next-most used portrait lens is the 300mm f/2.8. I'm sure you would consider that too "flat". So use something else and be happy with your choice.
Facial distortion is not a matter of focal length, but of subject distance. Focal length just changes the amount of stuff in the picture. Stand 10 or more feet from a subject and take pictures with a 24–105mm zoom lens, for example, taking various shots across the zoom range. The face will be bigger or smaller in the frame, but should look about the same.
 

privatebydesign

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Jan 29, 2011
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Ah I see what you are saying now, it wasn't working on mobile and from the rest of your statement I thought you meant the 35 IS f/2.

So why do some people (like Ken Rockwell for instance) prefer the 35mm f/1.4L I bokeh over 35mm f/1.4L II (curious)? If I ever plan to pick up one of these two lenses, "draw" would be the most important factor.

Speaking of onioning, I was surprised how much I saw in the optical limits review of the RF 85mm f/1.2L
Because bokeh is subjective not objective.

I much prefer the EF 70-200 f2.8 IS MkI over the MkII but most people prefer the increase in sharpness of the MkII over the MkI, I think they are both ‘sharp enough’ and much prefer the bokeh of the MkI.

As for the two versions of the 35 f1.4 L, I like them both and preferred the MkII, but own the f2 IS because I like the size and weight better and the rendering at f2 and 2.2 is, to my subjective eye, extremely good.
 
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privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
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Jan 29, 2011
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Facial distortion is not a matter of focal length, but of subject distance. Focal length just changes the amount of stuff in the picture. Stand 10 or more feet from a subject and take pictures with a 24–105mm zoom lens, for example, taking various shots across the zoom range. The face will be bigger or smaller in the frame, but should look about the same.
Not only should it look the same, if you crop the 24mm shot to the framing of the 105 shot it will be the same, apart from the dof.

The bigger question for portrait shooters is ‘how big is the subject in the frame?’ That will largely determine the ‘optimal’ focal length to use. Having said that there are a lot of portrait shooters that throw guidelines out the window. Joel Grimes does a lot of high end portraits at the wider end of the 24-105.
 

Ruined

EOS R
Aug 22, 2013
932
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Facial distortion is not a matter of focal length, but of subject distance. Focal length just changes the amount of stuff in the picture. Stand 10 or more feet from a subject and take pictures with a 24–105mm zoom lens, for example, taking various shots across the zoom range. The face will be bigger or smaller in the frame, but should look about the same.
The main issue is for me, as I stated earlier, is that you don't really have much of that type distortion at 50mm+ focal length to worry about, so eliminating this variable takes one more potential issue to ruin a photo out of the equation. Yes, you could take a 24mm or even 16mm shot and crop it to 50mm equivalent if the subject is in the center; but on the other hand, shooting a portrait at 24mm means you will have a big "danger zone" where the subject will look distorted (not just face, but limbs, etc) beyond a certain unmarked boundary if you are not very careful, it could be hard to fix, and may not be immediately noticeable if you are taking a lot of shots.

This is what I meant about shot framing looking the same on first page, you having to end up shooting more and more in the middle of the frame and protecting the edges from people to avoid people looking weird the further you go below 50mm. Just seems non-ideal unless you are forced into the wider angle due to space constraints (in which case you will probably be using a zoom lens anyway for flexibility), or unless there is some environment you want to capture - but then you probably won't be at f/1.4 if you want that environment to be in focus (again which makes that f/1.4 > f/2.0 difference for the 35mm FL less useful for me - same reason i am not clamoring for a 24mm f/1.4 for portraits)! And yes, you could use the distortion for some specialty subject-stretching effect but I can't imagine most people would find this flattering in general.
 
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JohnC

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CR Pro
Sep 22, 2019
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Gainesville,GA
1. 24 f1.4L. My first L lens and only wide angle at the time.
2. 70-200 f4L non is - the only EF L I have that I use for landscape work typically. Tremendously sharp and probably sharpest lens I have in some ways.
3. 100-400 L2. - for obvious reasons.
 

PCM-madison

EOS 90D
CR Pro
Dec 9, 2013
138
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As I anticipate a future sell-off of my EF, EF-S, EF-M lenses, these are the ones I will hold onto the longest.
1. EF 400mm F4 DO IS II
2. EF 135mm F2L
3. EF 24-105 F4L IS
4. EF 70-300mm L IS
5. EF 16-35mm F4L IS
6. EF 1.4X extender III
7. EF 2X extender III
8. EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II
9. EF 50mm F1.4
10. EF-S 55-250mm IS STM
 

stevelee

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Jul 6, 2017
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A couple days ago I ran across an 11” x 14” print of a photo of a friend that I shot with a fisheye c. 1970. I must have had the lens about 2” from his nose since his face about filled the image circle. He was a unique character, so the portrait was an appropriate fun representation.

I have never heard anyone say, but I assume that the point of a selfie stick is to get your phone farther from your face than your arm can reach.

Anyway, I find it useful to think of subject distance and focal length as separate artistic decisions. They are not completely unrelated, as evidenced by my fisheye shot where the distortion was the point, and the lens was a matter of choosing the right tool for the job.
 

SteveC

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Sep 3, 2019
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A couple days ago I ran across an 11” x 14” print of a photo of a friend that I shot with a fisheye c. 1970. I must have had the lens about 2” from his nose since his face about filled the image circle. He was a unique character, so the portrait was an appropriate fun representation.

I have never heard anyone say, but I assume that the point of a selfie stick is to get your phone farther from your face than your arm can reach.

Anyway, I find it useful to think of subject distance and focal length as separate artistic decisions. They are not completely unrelated, as evidenced by my fisheye shot where the distortion was the point, and the lens was a matter of choosing the right tool for the job.

The one positive use I've seen for those sticks is to raise the phone over the heads of people in front of you.

One time I was in Europe and was continually pestered by selfie stick salesmen. I eventually just started pointing at my ILC (It was a Rebel T3, not even a T3i) saying, "This won't fit on that stupid thing, go away."
 

neuroanatomist

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Jul 21, 2010
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Anyway, I find it useful to think of subject distance and focal length as separate artistic decisions. They are not completely unrelated, as evidenced by my fisheye shot where the distortion was the point, and the lens was a matter of choosing the right tool for the job.
They are related in terms of artistic choices, true. But in terms of photographic perspective, subject distance is the only thing that matters, focal length is irrelevant.
 
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Czardoom

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2020
320
702
When I had my first digital rebel (the original digital rebel, eventually named the 300D, I believe) I purchased a used Canon EF 28-70 f/3.5-4.5 II. Although old, this was a great lens on a crop camera. Some reviewers consider it as sharp as many Canon L lenses of the time, and not only was it my favorite lens at the time, but it cost me less than $100 if I remember correctly. When I went to FF after my rebel bit the dust after 9 years, alas, I sold the lens as there was no lens correction profile for that lens and the vignetting was pretty bad on FF. In all other respects, I think it had equal IQ to the EF 24-105 that I got to replace it - and of course, the 24-105 has a much more practical zoom range. I still miss that 28-70 sometimes!

Just recently, I bought a nice used Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L. So far, it seems to be a really good lens, and though I haven't has a chance to use it much, I'm intrigued with it's "Macro" mode. Paired with my Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L, I have some nice EF lenses to use on my R6 camera.

I've tried a few others that I liked, but didn't keep for one reason or another. I really liked the IQ of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L, but just couldn't handle the weight.

Hopefully people will keep selling of their EF lenses, although since the release of the R5 an R6, many EF lenses have been harder to find used and the price has gone up a bit, but, in my opinion, they are still a great bargain compared to the RF lenses that are available.
 

Ruined

EOS R
Aug 22, 2013
932
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When I had my first digital rebel (the original digital rebel, eventually named the 300D, I believe) I purchased a used Canon EF 28-70 f/3.5-4.5 II. Although old, this was a great lens on a crop camera. Some reviewers consider it as sharp as many Canon L lenses of the time, and not only was it my favorite lens at the time, but it cost me less than $100 if I remember correctly. When I went to FF after my rebel bit the dust after 9 years, alas, I sold the lens as there was no lens correction profile for that lens and the vignetting was pretty bad on FF. In all other respects, I think it had equal IQ to the EF 24-105 that I got to replace it - and of course, the 24-105 has a much more practical zoom range. I still miss that 28-70 sometimes!

Just recently, I bought a nice used Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L. So far, it seems to be a really good lens, and though I haven't has a chance to use it much, I'm intrigued with it's "Macro" mode. Paired with my Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L, I have some nice EF lenses to use on my R6 camera.

I've tried a few others that I liked, but didn't keep for one reason or another. I really liked the IQ of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L, but just couldn't handle the weight.

Hopefully people will keep selling of their EF lenses, although since the release of the R5 an R6, many EF lenses have been harder to find used and the price has gone up a bit, but, in my opinion, they are still a great bargain compared to the RF lenses that are available.
My first camera was a rebel t4i. I have to say both the ef-s 10-22 & 17-55 f/2.8 lived up to the hype. I love the 70-300L you mentioned, it is a bit hefty but after getting used to the 70-200 f/2.8 it feels light. I will say keep an eye out for the EF 50mm f/1.2L. once you learn how to use that lens it's the most versatile incredible looking lens in the lineup! It draws similar to the 85L II but focuses much faster and its wider (but not too wide) focal length makes it ideal for so many use cases.
 

SteveC

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Sep 3, 2019
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Yes, I’ve seen that, too. I can hold my G5X II over my head to see over crowds and use the tilty screen if need be for composition.

I've played that trick too. In fact since I don't have a selfie stick, I pretty much have no choice!
 

stevelee

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Jul 6, 2017
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I've played that trick too. In fact since I don't have a selfie stick, I pretty much have no choice!
An example was of the changing of the guard in Copenhagen:
IMG_5555.jpg

I got some better pictures, but am sharing this one since you see some of the crowd I was looking over.
 

SteveC

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An example was of the changing of the guard in Copenhagen:
View attachment 197362
I got some better pictures, but am sharing this one since you see some of the crowd I was looking over.
I think I once witnessed that same ceremony.

Since you want to show the crowd, just this once, that makes this a good picture. :)

I just realized on that trip where I was having to fend off selfie-stick sellers (about seven years ago), the camera I had didn't have a flip screen at all (not even a tilt one), so for a shot like this I'd have needed a periscope and arms long enough to hold the camera in front of it, or just fool luck in being able to aim without seeing what I was doing! But I honestly never felt the lack for whatever reason.
 

stevelee

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Jul 6, 2017
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I think I once witnessed that same ceremony.

Since you want to show the crowd, just this once, that makes this a good picture. :)

I just realized on that trip where I was having to fend off selfie-stick sellers (about seven years ago), the camera I had didn't have a flip screen at all (not even a tilt one), so for a shot like this I'd have needed a periscope and arms long enough to hold the camera in front of it, or just fool luck in being able to aim without seeing what I was doing! But I honestly never felt the lack for whatever reason.
I am not sure I bothered with the tilty screen when I shot this out in the sun. But my pictures came off too well composed to depend upon luck. I know when I shot video of an air show at Pensacola that I couldn't see the screen enough to use, so I just pointed the camera in the right general direction. That also meant I could hold the camera above the heads of people around me, and that I could watch the show live rather than looking into a screen. Seeing it was more important than the shoot. Same was true of my helicopter ride to volcanos in Hawaii. I also bought the video the company made of our flight with the pilot's commentary, so I would have been OK if my video had not turned out as well as it did.

The tilty screen on the G cameras I have been using for travel are often handier than the screens that swing out on my DSLRs. Looking down while shooting up into domes and towers works really well. I found that the 24mm equivalent was not wide enough to get the whole pantheon dome in one shot, so I did that as a panorama. I didn't get quite enough pieces, but I didn't fake it by flipping another part to fill in the gaps. But for even Vatican-sized domes it works pretty well.
IMG_0387-Pano.jpg
 
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