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Conclusions

The 14/2.8L II produces beautiful images with high color saturation and robust contrast. Sharpness and contrast are excellent for a 14mm lens with some caveats.

Extremely strong field curvature wreaks havoc with sharpness, producing disappointing results in many common shooting situations, and requiring stopping down well beyond what might otherwise be needed. While the field curvature might be an advantage in certain shooting situations (indoors in tight quarters for example), in many cases it destroys image sharpness away from the focus area. Still, it does offer creative (non-literal) possibilities if exploited in an artistic way.

Flare is also a concern with the 14/2.8L II. Direct sunlight grazing any portion of the front element invariably produces strong internal reflections, though in most cases veiling flare is well-controlled, and overall image contrast remains high.

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