Now that you’ve gotten a chance to shoot with a Canon L-series lens and see the amazing quality that it produces in your images, you find yourself daydreaming about other L lenses. You will start wanting other L lenses for your collection. It’s like a drug, once you start you can’t stop. “In fact, this amazement is said to cause a disease know as “L-Disease”. Once caught, it is incurable. You will have to buy Canon L lenses in all of the focal lengths you use.” You will become a gear head whether you like it or not.
In this post I will rank my lenses, hopefully that will help you decide on what lens to get next for your own collection. The first lens that you should get is of course the 24-70 f2.8L that I recommended in yesterday’s post. Here is the list in order of my favorites:
85mm f/1.2L II — This lens is butter. The bokeh is amazing! This lens is razor sharp too! The focus is always on point. I use this lens often in my portraits and fashion work. This lens is a must have!
100mm f/2.8 macro — This is my next favorite lens. I used this for portraits, products, and marco shots. Even though this lens is not an L series, it still produces good quality images. Canon recently came out with an L series macro lens, it’s double the price of this lens. I am tempted to buy it, but there are other lenses on my wish list that I want first. One of the reasons why I love this macro lens is because it’s the only lens that will keep you entertained for hours. Take it on your next hike and you’ll discover all kinds of fun things to photograph. If you get this lens, be sure to get the flash for it! Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX Flash.
35mm f/1.4L — This lens is super sharp! If you’re a photo journalist, this lens is for you! It’s small and light weight, and it’s super fast. You can open it up to 1.4 and make everything melt in the background. I use this lens for when I want to include more of the environment and create a “street” feel to my images.
70-200mm f/2.8L IS — The bokeh for this one is great. This lens comes in handy when you’re shooting people who aren’t comfortable in front of the camera. The focal length allows you to stand 15-20 feet back from your subject so they don’t feel like you’re shoving a camera in their face. This lens works great for sports photography too! I use this lens for portraits, fashion and sports.
50mm f/1.2L — This lens is similar to the 85mm. If you have the 85mm there’s no need to get this one. It’s pretty much a duplicate. I finally got this a few months ago because I have the L disease. I use this for when I can’t use my 85mm due to confinement of space.
24mm f/3.5L tilt shift — This lens rocks. I prefer to get the 17mm tilt shift that recently got released, but it’s over $2k. If I did full time architecture work, then I would jump on this in a heartbeat. The thing about these tilt shifts is that they’re all manual focus, so shooting on a tripod is a must when you use the tilt or else your focus will be off. Also when you tilt and shift, you have to compensate for the exposure, so using a light meter won’t work. I use this lens for when I do landscapes, architecture and fashion.
16-35mm f/2.8L II — This is the widest angle that I have. It’s relatively sharp, sometimes it gives me soft images and it’s frustrating. When shooting at wide angle, you have to beware of distortion. Watch the edges when you have people in your frames. If you’re just shooting landscapes, you don’t have to worry. I use this lens for landscapes, fashion and events.
50mm f/2.8 macro (Sigma) — This lens is actually comparable to my 100mm. The reason why I rate the other one higher is because I have a mount on flash for the 100mm. The focus on this lens is really fast and the images are sharp!
90mm f/2.8 tilt shift — I hardly use this lens. I’ve probably shot no more than 50 frames on this lens. Initially when I bought it, I was thinking that I was going to do a series of portraits using this tilt shift. I haven’t gotten around to doing it yet.
100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS — This lens was given to me as a gift. I haven’t used it yet. But I’m excited to whip it out for some wildlife and sports photography…when I have time.
Lensbaby — I bought this when they were having a special. Heard that it was a fun lens, but I haven’t really used it. I’ve probably shot less than 25 frames off this lens. It takes too much thinking when the swapping of aperture rings.
Here are some lens that I would definitely love to have and you might want to consider as well.
8-15mm f4L fisheye — OMG I want this one. A fisheye L lens? Are you kidding me? A little pricey for a fisheye lens, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. I don’t really have a need for fisheye lenses, but it will be fun nonetheless to have this lens!
Canon MP-E 65mm macro — YES!!!! Please!!!! Man I wish I had more time for macro photography! Seeing little critters creeps me out though. They’re so ugly and nasty looking, but a part of me want to snap their pics just so I can see up close how nasty they are. My old assistant had this lens and one day we just shot everything from boogers, to dandruff, to earwax, to bugs, to spiders, to hair follicles, to skin, to mold, DAMN it was SO much fun! This macro lens will blow the others out of the water. One thing I will say is, getting the focus spot on is really really tough! There’s a learning curve with this lens.
135mm f2.0L — I’ve always wanted this lens. I got to use it once. It was pretty like my first girlfriend. Everything in the background just melts when you shoot wide open. It makes me drool just thinking about this lens. I probably won’t use it much because of the focal length, but if I had extra money to waste, this would be one of the lenses that I buy.
200mm f1.8L — HOLY CRAP!!! THIS IS the magic lens. I want this. I want this. I want this. Please! It’s discontinued. You can find it on eBay but you’ll be paying top dollar for it. It’s like a collector’s item now. Come on Canon! Can you make a replacement for this?
Ahhh I’m going to go daydream now.