Classic SLR Series : Canon EOS-1N
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Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 AFD ultra-wideangle lens
Marketed: 12.1987; Status:- Current Model (as at 2006).
This was Canon's first 24mm in EF lens group which was introduced a year after the EOS system officially announced (although in marketing leaflet with the EOS-650/620, it was stated its availability). It has been remained as the only prime ultra wideangle lens offered at this specific foal length until Canon announced the TILT/SHIFT function TS-E 24mm f/3.5L in late 1991. The Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L discussed earlier was only being introduced 10 YEARS after its original debut. Thus, for many years the EF 24mm f/2.8 AFD has been made popular by its creator because it simply has no other choices if a photographer specifically required a prime wideangle lens at the specific 24mm focal length. Well, I don't want to speculate it was an commercial decision to promote the few high performance EF zoom lenses such as the Canon EF 20-35mm f/2.8L AFD or a compromised zoom range alternative like the Canon EF 28-80mm f/2.8~4L. Well, take an example of the 20/35 f/2.8L which has a retail price of approx. USD1,700-00 while the single focal length 24mmf/2.8 AFD was priced at about USD400-00 a piece - obviously you will push sales of the better margin L-zoom, hehe...
In many ways, the EF24mm f/2.8 AFD lens today can be used to reflect the original form and appearance of how an original EF prime lens looks like during the early days when the EOS system was introduced because physically (and probably internally) Canon has not been given too much attention in considering any form of update in its lens configuration or data sheet either. The autofocus EF 24mm has an all new optical design from the previous FDN era - basically, it has a more simplified rear groups (shown below); both new/old versions incorporated a rear and inner focus design with the rear group works in tandem or individually to compensate any possible aberrations when the lens focuses to its minimum focusing/working distances.
FDN 24/2.8 has a 10 Elements in 9 Groups optical construction while the current EF uses 10 Elements in 10 Groups.
Comparing the difference in optical arrangement of both the immensely popular Canon FDN 24mm f/2.8 with the current Autofocus EF 24mm f/2.8 AFD wideangle. Please note that FD mount versions have two different optical designs; the New FD (FDN) was very well received by Canon photographers during the Manual Focus Canon bodies era.
Credit: Image courtesy of "eBay Member: rmamyway" where I found this image of this lens from his Ebay Auction Sale . Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
A 24mm lens is not exactly as wide to present a powerful sense of presence to subjects photographed up close as the Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 or at the widest angles on other three generations of popular Canon EF ultrawide L-Zooms lenses such as Canon EF 20-35mm f/2.8L AFD; EF 17-35mm f/2.8L USM; EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM (the alternate EF 17-40mm f/4L USM has a slower lens speed than comparing f/2.8 maximum aperture, so I didn't use it as a reference mark). It is more moderate in its visual effect. However, the midrange presentation adds an impressive range of photographic expression broadened by the availability of relatively good, large aperture at f/2.8. Needless to say, if you wish to have more control features in AF (such as Full time MF control) with added advantage in creative depth of field control via its wider range of low light handling ability, the earlier discussed Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM should be a more ideal choice.
Streets of Sydney ...
Credit: Image courtesy of ARRAN Salermo from Australia, you can access more of Arran works via his PORTFOLIO. Image copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
While offering less dynamic effects than its super-wide-angle counterparts, the wide-angle 24mm lens delivers a broad angle of view, so proper use of its strong perspective and clear imaging performance allows a real sense of separation to be achieved between the subject and its background - an effect typical of wide-angle lenses but it is not over exaggerating Many news and photo journalists use this lens creatively for handling human figures in any event closely while keeping the background intact to relay a story line behind the picture; of course, these lenses are at their best when photographing expansive landscapes or architecture without losing the vastness of the image. A good tip for successful landscape photography with this lens is, always arranged some elements in the foreground that would leads to the openness of the background. The EF 24mm f/2.8 may be not having the advantage of its more fancy and features-rich counterpart of f/1.4L version (but I do hope the aperture range on the depth of field scales be added a few more f-stop as with the f/1.4); minus this little drawback, the lens does has a few things that shine on its own to make it a very high quality wideangle lens. Optically, incorporation of rear and inner focusing system superbly compensates for all aberrations at any shooting distance, including extreme close-up, achieving very clear images. Since the length of the lens is always maintained at the same and the hood and filter mounts are designed not to rotate, operability with circular polarizing filters is sublime. Compact and easy to use and with an all-metal rear lens mount that possibly could service your lens-changing to another thousand times without out of alignment on wear; however, the AF drive uses an AFD (Arc Form Drive) but possibly due to its nature of a prime lens, AF is still considered to be a fast, accurate in autofocusing.
I would not like to overstating it as lens with unrivaled maneuverability but other than compactness and lightweight that adds a layer of advantage to mobility for you ( measuring 2.7" x 1.9" and 270g, it weighs almost halved as compared to 550g and 3.3" x 3.1" to the 24mm f/1.4L) - the MAIN attraction for the 24mm f/2.8 AFD could be its modest price as a top class ultra-wideagle lens (I always encouraged users to look at an option of a possible "used" rather than NEW). Even then, with an indicative prices ranging from USD279-00 to USD399-00 (Epinion and Dealtime prices as at 05.2006) for a NEW unit; it is a fair entry but you can always try on to get an Ebay used EF 24mm search; the returned results for a used 24mmf/2.8 can fetch as low as USD130-00 to USD200-00 - at these prices, it is a good buy as a supplementary ultrawide to any of your slower EF zoom lens.
While I am not trying to influence any buying decision (I don't need to because if you are seasoned or rich enough, you could have been a proud owner for one of those exotic EF ultrawide L-Zoom); the message that I intend to relay is aimed at photographer who may not have exposed to ultrawideangle photography before - this could be your cheapest entry ultrawideangle lens with a Canon label. Besides, I would rather lead someone from using a prime rather than a zoom simply because it takes more to absorb and digest how to handle ultrawideangle photography yet the "moderate" ultrawide effect is not as prominent as those L-zoom that I highlighted earlier. At worst, you can still treat it as a 28mm wideangle with a broader angle of view, that is all. Okay, next thing that may be required you to think about a layer deeper is how often you use flash in your general photography, many flash may not be able to cover the extensive, broaden view of a 24mm. So please check your flash manual on the flash coverage or does it has a provision to add an flash adapter to extend its coverage (naturally, the flash output will be weaken proportionally if used).
Technical Specification for Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 AFD moderate ultra-wideangle lense: -
Type: - Autofocus lens type with built-in manual focusing mechanism
Focal Length: Fixed focal length 24mm
Focus Adjustment:- Inner and rear focus system (floating elements); Autofocus or manual focusing with a simple, straight forward extension type
Manual Focusing:- possible via AF/M switch
Zoom Adjustment:- Nil. Fixed Focal Length Lens
Closest Focusing Distance:- 0.25 (0.8ft)
Maximum Magnification:- 0.18X
Drive System:- AFD Actuator
Distance Scales: Provided via window on metres/feet.
Lens construction:- 10 Elements in 10 Groups
Angle of View:- 74° 53° 84° (horizontal, vertical and diagonal)
Credit: Image courtesy of "eBay Member: rmamyway" where I found these few good images of this lens from their Ebay Auction Sale . Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Clevedon marine lake
Credit: Image courtesy of TIM bateman from England.. where you can access his PORTFOLIO via Pbase.Com. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Aperture range:- f/2.8- f/22; Minimum Aperture: - f/22
Number of Diaphragm Blades: -6 blades;
Depth of Filed Scale:f/11 and f/22 only
Filter Attachment Size:- 58mm front mounting, non-rotational
Extenders: Usable but not advisable.
Others: - Extension Tube EF 12II:- 0.64X~0.50X; Extension Tube EF25 (II) 1.22X~1.11X
Diameter:- 67.5mm x 48.5mm (2.7" x 1.9"); Weight:-270g (9.5 oz)
Accessories:- Lens Cap E-58 (supplied ); lens hard case: LP-811 or LHP-B9; lens Hood:- EW-60(II); Soft Case:- ES-C9. Gelatin Filter Holder (Hood) III - not compatible; Gelatin Filter Holder 58 (Hood) IV:- 0; 58mm UV Haze; 58mm Close-up Lens 250D, 500D; Dust Cap E Rear; 58mm Circular Polarizer; Macrolite Adapter 58C; EF Adapter
Status: Current model (as at 03.2006).
Relative: Manual Focus Canon FD mount Series Lenses. Suggestive External Web Resources: A) illustration photos with Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 at i) DPchallenge; ii) PBase.com; iii) TrekEarth.com B) Photozone Review with some fabulous pictures of accessories; C) Digital Picture.com Review; D) FredMiranda.com review; E) Some online debate over two versions of EF 24mm ultrawide at Dpreview; F) Canon EF lenses calculator at Sweetthing.org
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