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Flare is a serious issue with the 14/2.8L II, more so than with many modern prime lenses. That is almost certainly due in part to the design, which uses fourteen elements in eleven groups, an unusually large number for a prime (fixed focal length) lens. More elements allows more correction for distortion, coma, etc, but flare is one undesirable result.

On less than full-frame cameras, flare is especially problematic because the sun might actually be in the frame (it’s a very wide lens), yet not be seen in the frame. Even if the sun (or other bright point source) is not in the frame, bright light striking any part of the front element is captured and turned into veiling flare or internal reflections. Which begs the question—

Why no lens shade for smaller sensors?

Canon makes sensors that are full-frame, 1.3X crop, and 1.6X crop. The 14/2.8L II ought to be shipped with additional lens shades that would clip onto the built-in shade. At the least, Canon could offer such shades as an option, since users of sub-full-frame cameras will look to the 14/2.8L II as a very interesting true wide-angle option.

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Since 2006, Diglloyd Advanced Photography is the authoritative review and reference for DSLRs and their lenses: Canon and Nikon primarily, but also Pentax and some medium format. Reviews of key DSLRs are included, but the primary focus is on lens performance. Also included is a wealth of technique and workflow approaches.

DAP includes thousands of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution Retina-grade examples detailing Canon and Nikon DSLR bodies and their lenses, with in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare, behavioral and practical usage.

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EOS 1D Mark III handheld, 1/40 @ f/11, ISO 200

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