Canon EF 24mm f/2.8
The Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 USM is a compact large prime lens, an alternative to the top-end 24mm f/1.4L II.
Prime lenses (fixed focal length) can be better performers than zooms because they can be optimized for just one focal length. That is, if they are optimized, as opposed to a lackluster design.
Field tests (in DAP and Zeiss Guide) show that the 24/2.8 delivers murky results on par with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II, sometimes a little better, sometimes a little worse, depending on where in the frame one compares, and the focusing distance.
Performance of this lens is marginal compared to the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon, as might be expected, since it costs 1/4 the price.
Most users will instead opt for the 16-35mm f/2.8L II zoom.
The MTF chart shows that sharpness drops off outside the central 50% area, a finding confirmed with field shots.
|List price:||$339 street price|
|Aperture scale:||f/2.8 - f/22|
|Image ratio at close range:||1:6.25|
|Minimum focus distance||10 inches|
|Angle of view||84° diagonally|
|Number of elements/groups:||10 elements in 10 groups|
0.59 pounds = 268g (nominal)
|Dimensions (with caps):||2.6" in diameter, 1.9" in length|
Field comparison with Zeiss 21/2.8 Distagon and Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II
At about $339, the 24/2.8 is worthy of consideration if you need a full-frame wide angle prime lens. Stopped down to f/5.6 - f/8 it offers reasonably good image quality.
On EF-S 1.6X crop cameras, performance should be high, since the weaker edge and corner areas will just not be seen.