Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II tested by Roger Cicala
/forum/topic/1148050/7

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thedigitalbean
Registered: Jun 24, 2005
Total Posts: 6243
Country: United States

Pixel Perfect wrote:
RCicala wrote:
Why does everyone insist on acting like IS is like some lens add-on, rather than an optical element that has to be designed into the optical formula, and which can add some adverse effects or complicate the remainder of the design?

None of us know, including me, but it is certainly a possibility that Canon had the option of putting out an IS lens with good resolution or putting out a non IS with great resolution and chose the latter course.

This is the kind of decision lens design teams have to make every day - everything in optics involves trade-offs. It's just like the distortion at the wide end. It's easy enough to correct the optical formula for distortion, but the simple correction decreases resolution and can increase astigmatism. The designer decides which is most important for the purpose the lens is intended for.

I hate to find myself defending a camera manufacturer. It just doesn't feel natural. But sometimes it's not a plot.


Sounds logical until you ask why then the APS-C versions of the 24-70, all have IS? The Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS is a stellar lens and having IS has not harmed it and the price while many complain is still only $1K. Sigma and Tamron have also done similar. Yet in the FF version on Tamron has pursued VC. Is the 24-70 VC a worse performer than the 28-75 and how could we prove VC was the cause even if it were?


Designing an APS-C circle covering lens is not the same as designing one for full frame.

The 24-70 VC is a reasonably sharp lens in some parts of the frame, but sharpness isn't the only measure of a lens quality.


I refute that IS has a detrimental effect on IQ, and most arguments for such degradation come from the poor old 300 f/4L IS not being as sharp as the non IS version. Maybe back then they didn't get it quite right, but I don't think it's the case now. All the superteles with IS were easily as sharp as their non IS predecessors and we only have to look at the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II to see the IQ vs IS argument evaporate.


Tele-photo lenses are not wide angle or normal lenses. What applies for one doesn't necessarily apply for the other. Tele-photo lenses require a different set of compromises and tradeoffs in their design.


I cannot work out Canon's logic as why would one need a 24/28 f/2.8 with IS, but not a 24-70 zoom. As for it pushing up the price, by that argument the 70-200 II should be $3.5K, yet is the same price give or take a $100 as the 24-70.


A prime is not a zoom and again has a different set of tradeoffs in lens design.

At the end of the day, none of us are lens designers and as far as I know no one on this board has ever designed one so in reality we're just speculating somewhat randomly and its all probably equally useless. I'd be curious to hear what an actual lens designer at Canon, Nikon, Zeiss, Leica, etc... would have to say about any o f these things.



thedigitalbean
Registered: Jun 24, 2005
Total Posts: 6243
Country: United States

skibum5 wrote:
the original 70-200 2.8 IS was sharp but not supremely sharp, it was the least sharp of all the original versions
and the 70-200 designs tend to be easier to design well than 24-70 type designs so it is possible that putting IS in it may have prevent it from reaching truly prime levels, at least perhaps


I suspect it would be unwise to generalize too much from telephoto lenses as I've said above, the types of optical designs for telephoto lenses tend to be very different han wide angle and normal lenses.



skibum5
Registered: Jan 21, 2005
Total Posts: 16216
Country: United States

RCicala wrote:
Why does everyone insist on acting like IS is like some lens add-on, rather than an optical element that has to be designed into the optical formula, and which can add some adverse effects or complicate the remainder of the design?

None of us know, including me, but it is certainly a possibility that Canon had the option of putting out an IS lens with good resolution or putting out a non IS with great resolution and chose the latter course.

This is the kind of decision lens design teams have to make every day - everything in optics involves trade-offs. It's just like the distortion at the wide end. It's easy enough to correct the optical formula for distortion, but the simple correction decreases resolution and can increase astigmatism. The designer decides which is most important for the purpose the lens is intended for.

I hate to find myself defending a camera manufacturer. It just doesn't feel natural. But sometimes it's not a plot.


+1

it's hard to be sure, as you say, but it IS certainly, at least quite possible
getting a standard range zoom for FF to get prime-like edge performance sure isn't easy, nobody has ever done it before in one that goes as wide as 24mm AFAIK (assuming you results are true they have now though)



skibum5
Registered: Jan 21, 2005
Total Posts: 16216
Country: United States

thedigitalbean wrote:
skibum5 wrote:
the original 70-200 2.8 IS was sharp but not supremely sharp, it was the least sharp of all the original versions
and the 70-200 designs tend to be easier to design well than 24-70 type designs so it is possible that putting IS in it may have prevent it from reaching truly prime levels, at least perhaps


I suspect it would be unwise to generalize too much from telephoto lenses as I've said above, the types of optical designs for telephoto lenses tend to be very different han wide angle and normal lenses.


i suspect it is trickier for the wide ones (granted the 18-55 IS was sharper than the non-IS, but it also used a fancy element or two the non-IS did not), less room inside to work with and once you get below 35mm it's easy to find lenses with all sorts of issues at the edges on FF

but who knows



thedigitalbean
Registered: Jun 24, 2005
Total Posts: 6243
Country: United States

skibum5 wrote:

but who knows



Exactly! I think its fun for us to speculate but I wouldn't get all worked up over it (not directed at you, but more generally). Certainly not enough to start throwing accusations of incompetence or greed around. I've worked for a couple of very large, high profile companies on a few high profile products and in all the stuff I've worked on, I can guarantee that the public sees only a sliver of what goes behind the scenes and how stuff gets built. The decisions I've seen have rarely been made because of total incompetence or outright greed.



kaycephoto
Registered: Aug 13, 2011
Total Posts: 924
Country: Canada

picked up my 24-70mkII from my local retailer yesterday (apparently I was the first one to pick one up - but i've wanted this lens for a while, even if i only notified the store last week), played around with it today.. will post back here with thoughts after i've had more of a chance to shoot with it in a live/active events/reportage setting, for which this lens was designed for..

at a first glance, sharpness & micro-contrast has definitely improved over the original 24-70, especially at short/normal distances.. without pixel-peeping, seems it matches my excellent 24LmkII from f/2.8 to f/11.. at infinity, or near infinity, it is still remarkably poorer than my Zeiss 21mm at any of those same apertures - this is likely more a testament to how good/different the Zeiss optics are though..

24-70mkII focuses much, much faster than the orig 24-70.. on the 1Ds3, it glides.. on the CPS-loaned 1DX, it zips to focus like its psychic. the one thing i like about it more than my heavily-relied-upon 24LmkII is that the focus consistency seems to be more reliable.

and for all the people who had "great, sharp" 24-70mkIs - i envy you, i went through 4 diff copies, 2 new, 2 used, got rid of all 4 because they were unusable professionally. (having to go back & dial in artificially high sharpening settings isn't acceptable in my personal view)

(posting this in 2 separate threads in case people might be able to take some value from my brief experiences with the 24-70mkII)



SKumar25
Registered: May 18, 2006
Total Posts: 1904
Country: Australia

kaycephoto wrote:
picked up my 24-70mkII from my local retailer yesterday (apparently I was the first one to pick one up - but i've wanted this lens for a while, even if i only notified the store last week), played around with it today.. will post back here with thoughts after i've had more of a chance to shoot with it in a live/active events/reportage setting, for which this lens was designed for..

at a first glance, sharpness & micro-contrast has definitely improved over the original 24-70, especially at short/normal distances.. without pixel-peeping, seems it matches my excellent 24LmkII from f/2.8 to f/11.. at infinity, or near infinity, it is still remarkably poorer than my Zeiss 21mm at any of those same apertures - this is likely more a testament to how good/different the Zeiss optics are though..

24-70mkII focuses much, much faster than the orig 24-70.. on the 1Ds3, it glides.. on the CPS-loaned 1DX, it zips to focus like its psychic. the one thing i like about it more than my heavily-relied-upon 24LmkII is that the focus consistency seems to be more reliable.

and for all the people who had "great, sharp" 24-70mkIs - i envy you, i went through 4 diff copies, 2 new, 2 used, got rid of all 4 because they were unusable professionally. (having to go back & dial in artificially high sharpening settings isn't acceptable in my personal view)

(posting this in 2 separate threads in case people might be able to take some value from my brief experiences with the 24-70mkII)


Thanks for that kaycephoto!



mikeinctown
Registered: Jul 20, 2012
Total Posts: 168
Country: United States

Quick question, when he shows the numbers against other lenses, higher is better, correct? I just picked up a used 70-200 IS V1 and have been using a new 24-105L for a short time. Anyone know or can link to the numbers these may have in comparison? Before I got the 24-105 I wanted the 24-70 but people wanted more for their used copies than they were selling new for last year so I said F that.



photomaybe
Registered: Sep 19, 2012
Total Posts: 2
Country: United States

I have an opportunity to get the MKI at a good price.Since I am just starting to get back into the feel of photography I am wondering if it is worth the extra 1300.00$$ to me at this point.I am tempted to wait ,but I need at least a wide angle now. I am a sailor that ends up in situations as well as sales person for Teak Decks and need to document the process.I find a great set of pictures impress the people rather than a point and shoot that are not thought out.
So my querry after reading all that I have read , that some of the MKI's were not set up properly and had to be returned this concerns me as I want a tack sharp image for the amount of money I spend.I can not justify Zeiss,Leica ETC.I have seen the images on the new MKII and they are very impressive.I have found the 70-200 USM MKII is a great lens,I shot a barrel horse event the other day and the pictures were great except for my lack of understanding the 5D MKIII enough to make complete use of it actually.
I can ammortize the cost my accountant said today.
So what to do is the question I have on my brain.
In two years I figure the investment will be paid off....

THe other point is how well made the MKII is compared to the MKI.



surf monkey
Registered: May 24, 2005
Total Posts: 2649
Country: United States

photomaybe wrote:
I have an opportunity to get the MKI at a good price.Since I am just starting to get back into the feel of photography I am wondering if it is worth the extra 1300.00$$ to me at this point.I am tempted to wait ,but I need at least a wide angle now. I am a sailor that ends up in situations as well as sales person for Teak Decks and need to document the process.I find a great set of pictures impress the people rather than a point and shoot that are not thought out.
So my querry after reading all that I have read , that some of the MKI's were not set up properly and had to be returned this concerns me as I want a tack sharp image for the amount of money I spend.I can not justify Zeiss,Leica ETC.I have seen the images on the new MKII and they are very impressive.I have found the 70-200 USM MKII is a great lens,I shot a barrel horse event the other day and the pictures were great except for my lack of understanding the 5D MKIII enough to make complete use of it actually.
I can ammortize the cost my accountant said today.
So what to do is the question I have on my brain.
In two years I figure the investment will be paid off....

THe other point is how well made the MKII is compared to the MKI.


It sounds like your ability will determine the quality of your images more than the gear. Work on the skills and I'm sure you'll get plenty of IQ from the original 24-70.

For your use on Teak Decks images, the 24-70 should be more than adequate. You probably will be stopping down the aperture for those shots and there shouldn't be much of a difference between the old and new in this situation.
The other question is: how will you be showing the images. If you're not showing large prints, there will be very little difference as well.
You also might consider an ultra-wide angle lens for your needs. I can imagine that some situations will call for a very wide field of view.



GC5
Registered: Jun 05, 2008
Total Posts: 2269
Country: United States

skibum5 wrote:
GC5 wrote:
RCicala wrote:
Why does everyone insist on acting like IS is like some lens add-on, rather than an optical element that has to be designed into the optical formula, and which can add some adverse effects or complicate the remainder of the design?

None of us know, including me, but it is certainly a possibility that Canon had the option of putting out an IS lens with good resolution or putting out a non IS with great resolution and chose the latter course.

This is the kind of decision lens design teams have to make every day - everything in optics involves trade-offs. It's just like the distortion at the wide end. It's easy enough to correct the optical formula for distortion, but the simple correction decreases resolution and can increase astigmatism. The designer decides which is most important for the purpose the lens is intended for.

I hate to find myself defending a camera manufacturer. It just doesn't feel natural. But sometimes it's not a plot.


They may have had this option. We know that Tamron put out a very fine lens with VC. We know that the 70-200 IS versions are both supremely sharp. Based on that, I think we can all agree that they could have produced a sharp 24-70 with IS, although it may have been harder. I think people are upset not because they didn't do it, but because the want such a huge premium for a lens that doesn't offer what is becoming a standard feature.


the original 70-200 2.8 IS was sharp but not supremely sharp, it was the least sharp of all the original versions
and the 70-200 designs tend to be easier to design well than 24-70 type designs so it is possible that putting IS in it may have prevent it from reaching truly prime levels, at least perhaps


Sorry - I was referring to be 2.8 v2 and the f4 IS. Should have made that clear.

If canon had released a lens with the new tamron's optics, IS, and canon L build quality, I think people would have mostly been pleased.



photomaybe
Registered: Sep 19, 2012
Total Posts: 2
Country: United States

Thank you for the opinion , you make perfect sense.I used to be a professional photographer,but as my friend reminded me if you do not use it you loose it and I have lost it.The camera I have is greatly better than I will be any time soon.I will get the edge back,but for now I totally agree with you.
I drive to Raleigh tomorrow to buy the older lens.
Thank you for your comments.I need all the help I can get at this and all coments....



swingthis1
Registered: Feb 27, 2005
Total Posts: 531
Country: United States

Having used both the 24-70 Mk1 and now the 24-70L mark 2 - the mark 2 is significantly sharper at F2.8 all around. The color rendition is very similar to the 70-200L 2.8 IS Mk2 as well.

I shot a bridal this afternoon on my 5dm3 and the new 24-70L II and will post photos later showing both in action.

Cheers!

Scott



Marco
Registered: Jan 21, 2002
Total Posts: 1415
Country: Italy

Yes please!!



EB-1
Registered: Jan 09, 2003
Total Posts: 22527
Country: United States

I used the lens a bit today, though only indoors. IQ is really good and corner to corner is quite impressive at wide apertures. It is much better than the old version and exemplary overall. The main limitation is the serious distortion. I also do not like the shallow lens hood necessitated by the reverse zoom. Although the lens looks a bit plasticky it feels solid and focus/zoom are smooth and well damped.

EBH



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