Catechism sells regular and L-serial lenses (the “Fifty” stands for luxury). While the lenses may accept like specs, you can usually except L-serial lenses to have better optics, build quality, and autofocus control, and a few more features. Let’due south accept a look.
While there are peachy, affordable, Canon lenses available, y’all’ve probably seen lenses that have like specs on paper but wildly unlike prices. For example, the Canon EF seventy-300mm f/four-5.6 IS Two USM lens is $449 while the like-sounding Canon EF 70-300mm f/four-5.6L IS USM UD is $1,349. They have the aforementioned focal range and aperture, then what’due south dissimilar nigh the regular and the L-serial lens that makes 1 worth and then much more?
Canon’s lenses come in two categories: not-50 lenses and L-series lenses. The “L” in L-series doesn’t actually mean very much; information technology just stands for luxury. If the name of the lens has an L in it after the aperture value, it’south an Fifty-series lens. If it doesn’t, it isn’t. You can too tell from the design of the lens. 50-series lenses accept a red ring effectually the top and the telephotos are white; regular lenses are merely black.
Fifty-series lenses are Canon’due south professional lenses; they’re designed to run into the needs of working photographers, although enough of amateurs besides own Fifty lenses. This ways that in that location are a number of factors that—mostly—differentiate them from cheaper non-L lenses even if they have the aforementioned focal length or discontinuity.
Better Optical Quality (Normally)
L-series lenses mostly take better optical quality than non-L lenses. There are i or 2 examples of some not-Fifty prime lenses having similarly good optics, but across the board and in like-for-like comparisons, L lenses win handily.
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This ways there’s less distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting, lens flare, and the like. Photos volition also be sharper right out of the photographic camera. Basically, the images produced by an Fifty lens will be noticeably better—at least to someone who knows what to await for—than images produced by a non-L lens.
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Fifty lenses also tend to have faster apertures than non-Fifty lenses. Catechism’southward fastest 50mm is the f/1.2L; the fastest non-50 50mm they offer is the f/1.4. Y’all won’t find a not-L telephoto lens with an aperture wider than f/4; the seventy-200mm f/2.8L IS Two is i of the most pop Fifty-lenses around.
Better Build Quality
Canon’southward 50-series lenses have better build quality than their non-L counterparts. The higher quality eyes mean they’re bigger and heavier (the 50mm f/1.2L weighs i.28lbs while the 50mm f/1.iv weighs 0.64lbs); they also utilise premium materials. Many non-50 lenses brand heavy use of plastic components, while L lenses tend to use a lot more metal. This means that the majority of them are pretty rugged and, to some caste, weather sealed. Dust, rain, sand, and the like are far less likely to get into the mechanisms or between the glass elements and mess things upwards.
Better Autofocus and Focus Control
50-series lenses have better autofocus and focus control than non-L lenses. Their autofocus tends to be faster and more accurate. They also take full-time manual focus (even in autofocus modes you can twist the focus band to adapt) and focus distance scales on the lens, which a lot of not-L lenses lack.
Total Frame Back up
All Canon’s Fifty-series lens are compatible with their EF mount full frame cameras. A huge number of not-L lenses use Catechism’s EF-S mount, which means they can only be used on crop sensor cameras. In that location are non-Fifty EF mountain lenses, but in that location are no 50-serial EF-Due south mount lenses.
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The Same Filter Size
Where possible, Canon’s L-series lenses all share the aforementioned filter size: 77mm. This ways you can hands share filters—such as neutral density filters or polarizers—between all your lenses. At that place are a few L-series lenses that, due to their optical pattern, have a different filter size simply they’re all far more consistent than not-L lenses.
Should You Purchase Fifty-Series Lenses?
By now information technology should be pretty articulate that L-series lenses take a few marked advantages over non-L lenses: they capture better images, are ameliorate built, and give y’all more control over what’s in focus. This doesn’t hateful you should rush out and replace all your lenses with the most expensive bit of glass yous can find, though.
Your skill as a photographer matters far more than than the lens y’all are using. If your photos aren’t well equanimous , it doesn’t matter if they’re perfectly sharp. No one looks at a ho-hum photo and goes, “Ah, border to border sharpness; keen work!”
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L-series lenses are expensive. The cheapest L lens you tin can purchase is the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM for $749, and the prices simply become upwards from in that location. You can become some groovy glass for a lot less than that. In fact, unless you accept a full frame camera, yous won’t even be able to make the most of the 17-twoscore f/4L. You’d be much improve off with the $279 Canon EF-Southward 10-18mm f/4.5-5.vi, which will actually give you the wide angle images you’re looking for.
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Fifty-series lenses are designed for working photographers who view new gear as an investment in their business organisation. Unless you like to shoot in rough conditions, you don’t demand conditions sealed lenses. If yous’re missing focus because you’re not using your autofocus correctly, a sharper lens isn’t going to help y’all. There are certainly large advantages to L-serial lenses, but the average photographer won’t need them or notice them.
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