L series lenses are easily the best Canon lenses, and over the years I have built up (at great expense I may add) a useful collection. L series lenses are made out of the best quality materials, they are weather sealed and they are bullet proof. L series lenses use the best optics, which means awesome image quality throughout all apertures. L series lenses are built to withstand a lot of abuse, and the kind of use full time professional photographers give them.
My collection of L series lenses comprises zoom lenses and in my lens bag I have:-
I do have one L series prime lens, however it is the 100mm f2.8L IS macro lens (read the pros and cons here), and whilst this is superb for extreme close ups and situations where I want to show each and every detail, it is not great for portraits and the like. The Canon 100mm f2.8L IS macro lens is a specialist type of lens, as opposed to a general lens.
I would like to add some more L series prime lenses to my lens bag, namely the Canon 50mm f1.2L, Canon 35mm f1.4L and Canon 85mm f1.2L lenses, but I don’t see this happening any time soon because they are so damn expensive. Canon L series zoom lenses are expensive, but Canon L series prime lenses are stupidly expensive and I don’t understand why. I mean, the L series zoom lenses are just as well built as the L series prime lenses and the image quality is similar. L series zoom lenses have image stabilization, which is something the prime lenses don’t have, so you actually get more for you money with the L series zoom lenses.
I appreciate the L series prime lenses have wider maximum apertures, which is obviously useful for controlling the depth of field and throwing the background in to soft focus whilst keeping the subject nice and sharp, but does this really demand so much more money? Hmmm……….
The prime lenses I own comprise the Canon 40mm f2.8 STM, Canon 50mm f1.8 (read the pros and cons here) and Canon 35mm f2 IS (for the full frame 6d and crop sensor 7d) and the Canon 24mm f2.8 (for the 7d). Even though the build quality of these lenses is a little suspect (the 50mm f.18 in particular) the image quality is simply superb. The maximum wide apertures of these lenses is sufficient most of the time (I have learned to increase the subject to background distance where possible to deal with this) there are times when I do wish I could go a little wider – and this is where I need the L series primes.
I am very happy with the image quality of the prime lenses I own and I have sold many photos taken with these lenses. That said, I am acutely aware the image quality of the L series prime lenses is exceptionally good. Whilst I make money with my photos I am not a professional photographer, and I make my living through a mundane nine to five job - I use photography to earn a bit of pin money. Because of this I can’t justify the thousands (yes, you read that right – thousands) of bucks each of the L series prime lenses will cost me. If I ever become a full time professional photographer my attitude will change and I will pay the extra money for the slight increase in image quality (and also build quality) of the L series prime lenses. Until that day I am going to make do with the Canon prime lenses I own, do the best I can possibly do with them, and lust after the prime lenses with the red ring.
These are exceptionally good and capable lenses, and ideal for those on a budget but they don't have the red ring I lust after. Oh well........
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.