Canon TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L II review
(From left to right and top to bottom; top of lens barrel, bottom of lens barrel; left hand side, right hand side; front and rear.)
As we'd expect from a Canon L series lens, build quality is exemplary, with top quality materials and finish. This is precision mechanical engineering in a form rarely seen in photographic equipment today, and a far cry from the all-electronic buttons and dials found on modern DSLRs. All controls and movements are beautifully smooth and precise, and for a lens offering such flexibility of movements, it's remarkably straightforward to use.
The controls for the various movements are arranged around the faces of the barrel in a fashion that simply begs use of the word 'festooned'. In the default configuration as shown above (with no rotations applied) the tilt controls are at the top and bottom of the lens, and the shift controls on the two sides. Two small lever tabs on the right hand side (i.e. beside the camera's handgrip) unlock the independent rotation movements for the tilt and shift axes. These levers are rather small, and may not endear themselves to landscape photographers who need to wear gloves. Overall though, it's an incredibly well thought out design, intuitive and with few operational quirks.
On the camera
The TS-E 24mm F3.5 L II is a fairly big, chunky lens, and is notably larger than its predecessor. The new barrel design results in an 11mm (0.5") increase in diameter and a 19mm (0.75") increase in length, with weight going up substantially too. This makes the new optic similar in size and weight to many of Canon's familiar L series lenses (similar in diameter to the 24-70mm F2.8 and 24mm F1.4 L II, and about halfway between the two in length). Like Canon's other TS-E lenses (and the reason why they don't qualify for the usual 'EF' designation), the 24mm F3.5 L II is manual focus only.
Lens body elements
Reported aperture vs focal length
This lens allows an aperture range from F3.5 to F22 to be selected.