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Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS

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15 46986 Oct 9, 2016
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100% of reviewers $984.89
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The EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM Standard Zoom Lens from Canon is optimized for full-frame 35mm sensors, and another entry into Canon's high quality L-series of lenses. It has two Super Ultra-low Dispersion (Super UD) and two standard UD lens elements working together to minimize chromatic aberrations, and reduce color blurring around the edges of your subject. Its two types of aspherical elements combine to help reduce spherical aberration over the entire image area and the full zoom range. Optimized lens coatings help ensure exceptional color rendering while minimizing ghosting.

• Aperture Range: f/4.0-22
• Hybrid Image Stabilization (IS)
• Dual UD & Super UD Lens Elements
• Dual Aspherical Lens Elements
• Ring-Type Ultra Sonic Motor (USM)
• Minimum Focusing Distance: 1.25'
• Macro Mode With 0.7x Magnification
• Weather Resistant to Dust & Moisture
• Fluorine Coatings Reduce Fingerprints
• Zoom Lock Lever


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Registered: Aug 26, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 859
Review Date: Oct 9, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $575.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: image stabilization better than 24-105, way lighter and smaller, 24mm on par with the 24-702.8II.
Miss the extra reach of the 24-105

I had the 24-105f4 which is a fantastic lens for its added zoom and image stabilization, the IS wasn't as good as the little brother 24-70f4, and at 24mm it was soft until you stop it down 5.6 or better, I opted for the 24-70f4 and sold the 24-105, to me the added better IS and the better optics was worth it, and its way lighter which is a sweet bonus.

Oct 9, 2016
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Registered: Apr 18, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 474
Review Date: Sep 28, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very small and light for a stabilized 24-70mm f/4. At 24mm can almost match a good prime at f/4, and easily does so from f/5.6. Very sharp and almost no distortion at any focal length, though not quite up to L prime level. Lock switch very convenient. Macro mode not a substitute for a real macro lens, but excellent for a general purpose zoom.
At full-retail price ($900) not a great value, especially with the updated 24-105mm f/4 mk II on the way at $1100 (IQ on the new one remains to be seen, and much bulkier). Doesn't zoom to 105mm like its older and soon-to-be-released younger f/4 siblings do.

I bought a used copy of this lens here on the forum, sold it on, and then bought another one, only brand-new (at a nice discount). The reason is that I happen to like having reach to 105mm in a walk-around lens, but value small size, light weight and image quality at the wide end more than the extra reach.

I've had a love / hate relationship with the 24-105mm f/4 L for more than three years now, which coincidentally is how long I've been shooting full-frame Canon. My first 24-105 came bundled with my 6D body back in late 2012 and I used that lens quite a bit before getting bitten by the L Prime bug.

Once I bought the 35mm, 50mm and 100mm L primes, I found I was only using the 24-105 as a 24mm prime, and 24mm is, by far, that lens' worst focal length. Abundant distortion was my main complaint, but it also suffered from zoom creep (zooming to longer focal lengths through gravity as I walked), which really bothered me. It was also bigger and heavier than the 24/1.4 L, which I have yet to purchase, but eventually will.

I sold my original 24-105 and bought a used 24-70/4 here on FM forum thinking that it could be my family vacation lens (I previously used the 24-105 in that role), but I soon regretted the lack of 105mm reach as I often like to grab a candid portrait. With buyer's and seller's remorse over my swap, I sold on the 24-70/4 and bought another 24-105, again here on the forum, and took it with me for a weekend getaway in San Francisco.

Well, I had my 105mm reach, but zoom creep and distortion reminded my why I had sold my first copy, and so my second one is on eBay right now, while a brand-new 24-70/4 is on order. I seriously considered the new 24-105 mk II, but then I saw that it is even bigger and heavier than the mk I, and so I'm back to the 24-70.

This lens really is good enough at f/4 to make a moderate-speed prime redundant. I will still buy the 24mm f/1.4, but specifically for the f/1.4 and the creative possibilities that aperture brings. For casual (non photograph-oriented) travel, this one zoom lens really does replace my bag full of primes. When I travel light, this lens really is all that I need, while I can stuff the very light and surprisingly good 50/1.8 STM in a corner of my bag in case I want to go chasing available darkness.

No, this lens doesn't rival the best Canon primes at 28mm or longer, but its close enough, especially stopped down to f/5.8 or f/8 not to matter much, and at 24mm it is even better. That it is the same size, and much lighter than the 24/1.4 L is just icing on the cake, and makes me a lot more patient in saving for that faster prime.

Sep 28, 2016
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Registered: Nov 2, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 6301
Review Date: Jul 13, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Better size and weight than the f2.8. Excellent IS. Convenient filter size.
No internal zoom, barrel extends when zooming. Not the prettiest bokeh in the world.

I noticed there were no recent reviews, so I'll add my thoughts.

I rented this lens for a trip to Europe. I rented it because I have a 17-40 f4 and a 7-200 f2.8 (non IS). When we went to Italy in December, I really found I noticed the gap from 40-70mm. I took my little Nifty Fifty that helped out in a pinch, but wanted something a little more substantial this time around. I thought about renting the 24-70 f2.8, but it is much larger, heavier and more expensive (to rent or purchase). You only gain a stop in actual aperture, while the IS will reportedly give you three extra stops in stability. That will really help in dark cathedrals.

The copy I received was in like new condition, even though it's been in their inventory for two years. I've been testing it in real world situations and have been impressed. It is sharp at all focal lengths, including 50mm.

I did a test in typical large space indoor lighting levels. I set the lens to 50mm, f4.0 and adjusted ISO to give me shutter speeds from 1/15 to 1/25 sec. I turned IS off and got what you would expect. I then turned IS on and was shocked at how sharp the images were, even at 1/15 sec! I then took photos with the Nifty Fifty @ f1.8. It was no contest, the IS photos were WAY sharper.

Outdoor performance was fine at all apertures up to f11. I have not back focusing issues.

The size and weight are a plus compared to the f2.8. Real estate in the bag I take when I travel is at a premium. This lens fits perfectly.

Now for some nits. I guess the Macro function is OK, but the subject to lens distance is miniscule. I'll use other methods for macro when needed. The bokeh is meh, not horrible but doesn't come close to the bokeh provided by primes of similar focal lengths.

Based on test results, I think I'll just buy the rental lens instead of returning it. It will really round out my kit for travel. Hope this helps.

Jul 13, 2016
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Registered: Mar 15, 2016
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 15, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light, compact, sharp and grat IS. Macro modus is surprisingly useful
Quite expensive. "Only" f/4.

I got this as a kit to my 6D and there it performs admirably. I like the sharp and crisp images as well as the good contrast. The zoom range is quite short but the 24mm is the strongsuit of this lens whereas 50mm is a little bit on the weak side.

The macro feature is quite handy although can't compete with a dedicated macro lens. Nevertheless it's a nice add-on.

I did not have any issues with RSA with my copies. Maybe luck or bad eyesight. :-)

Can recommend this lens to anyone as a standard kit for a Canon full-frame body.

Mar 15, 2016
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Registered: Nov 21, 2014
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 21, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Soundness of building, overall good optical quality
None, as long as prime lenses performances are not required

I’ve got this lens to improve some floppiness of my 9 yr. old 24-105, as summarized by its lens dangling down to tele position, and the underexposure I had in my copy besides vignetting.
I did a hundred shots or so to test my new lens, and although I didn’t yet used it all around, I could appreciate some relevant features.
It is very well built and gives a feeling of precision and soundness.
It matches well the 5D body e fits my hand as well.
The 24-105 distortion was something I could live with, but its reduction in the 24-70 is immediately perceivable, both at 24 and 70 mm.
Resolution is not dramatically different at center, but more uniform across the whole image at any focal length.
CA control, on the contrary, is much much better.
Vignetting is very evident at f4, only the center of a white ceiling remains white, but is less than the 24-105 and closing just one stop significantly ameliorates.
Autofocus is fast and accurate: I saw no difference as compared to manual focusing with e-live at 10x magnification.
Incidentally, I observed no focus shift, even shooting at less than 1 meter small written words on a flat surface.
I had the felling IS doesn’t really work down to the declared 4 stops, I would say 2.5, but maybe is just my hand becoming sometimes insecure..
So, overall, I’m very happy so far with this lens. Maybe just because the 24-105 really has had its day and I hadn’t the high expectations as for the top L prime lenses.
Of course, the 24-70 can’t return the image quality given by the 200/f2, nor the uniformity of the 85/f1.8 or 35/f1.4 stopped down a bit.
I must in any case honor my 24-105 , that had been the only possible, and overall faithful, choice to me when walking around for a whole day and I could also sell it for good money . But this 24-70 undoubtedly surpasses it.

Nov 21, 2014
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Ralph Wagner
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Registered: Feb 10, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 539
Review Date: Jun 22, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $990.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Well built, nice size for carry about, image quality, filter size.

All the nice features of an "L" lens, build, image quality, and great focusing. Nice compact size relatively speaking, and convenient filter size. My copy does not show neither of the earlier problems (focus shift and soft images at 50mm)

Jun 22, 2014
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Registered: Aug 13, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Mar 11, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Surprisingly sharp, even at corners. Relatively light and compact. Very good IS. Zoom lock an advantage over 24-105. Better optically than 24-105. Very good feel mechanically.
A bit pricey, but at current discounts not a bad value for good glass. Canon's lens hoods could be sturdier; they seem a bit flimsy.

I must have a very good copy of this lens, as the extreme corner performance on my 5D III is very impressive when stopped down a few clicks. Even wide open the lens does very well. My only qualification here is that so far, most of my tests so far have been within the 24-50 range. The macro feature is quite good considering that this is more of a general purpose "normal" zoom. The locking feature is a big plus compared with my 24-105. A great walk-around lens on a full-frame body. Highly recommend it. If you can get a local dealer to let you have 2-3 copies initially and then test them and keep one that is best, as always.

Mar 11, 2014
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Registered: Sep 19, 2012
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 18, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: small, light, practical, good IS, useful all the range
price price price, makes all but nothing good (like most of the zooms)

I don't like zoom lens but this is really useful if you don't want to change lens and keep it light when you travel. Lens are really similar in IQ than the 24-105mm and the price difference dont' make it worth to go with this lens if you don't mind about the weight and size. For me weight and size are important so this lens are better option than the 24-105mm.

Macro mode is really ugly....

Feb 18, 2014
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Doug Vann
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Registered: Dec 18, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 53
Review Date: Nov 22, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Useable macro in a zoom lens, sharpness, excellent IS, great wedding/family zoom range.
None that I can find after 2 months of use.

Have got some outstanding sharp photos from this lens. Even seems sharper then the 24-105 L that I used to have. Works so nice on my Canon 6D. The zoom range is just perfect on a full frame camera for walk around shots at a wedding or family function. I have also used it on my tripod with ND filter for flowing water shots - so nice. Also nice on landscapes - however when it comes to wildlife I generally use my 70-200f2.8 L IS II lens because of the further zoom reach. I highly recommend this lens and a perfect companion to the 70-200.

Nov 22, 2013
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Kris Reiswig
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Registered: Jan 13, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 719
Review Date: Nov 10, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, weight, color, super IS and semi-macro mode
None so far

A very nice step up for a travel all-in-one lens from the 24-105. Super macro mode!! Very satisfied with the photos.

Nov 10, 2013
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Registered: Dec 7, 2005
Location: Spain
Posts: 36
Review Date: Oct 27, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, macro mode, IS, size, AF.

This is the perfect lens when you need something ligth and you need or want also the best quality as posible. With the Canon 6d is a very good combo capable of delivering great images in a comptact equipment.

With Canon 1d4 results are great in macro and AF and it delivers also great results.

Macro function is very interesting but you need to invest some time in order to get the best results.

Oct 27, 2013
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Registered: Jun 26, 2012
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 21
Review Date: May 8, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Weight & size, IS very good optically, filter sizing & don't forget the lens caps...

Often compared with the 24-105 and I guess purely from the numbers, zoom range and aperture.

My copy of the 24-105 had pretty bad CA which was especially noticeable when shooting into sunsets and the corner quality was really shown up on my full frame.

The the question for me was really to go for the 24-70 2.8, 4 canons or to go for the Tamron.

The Tamron I tested in store had major C.A which left the two canons.

I went for the f4 mainly because I don't need the 2.8 on a standard zoom and because I already have the 50L I thought that the would settle for the zoom rather than switching over.

The f4 is close to the perfect all round lens, weight & size, zoom range, IS and for those who want a part time Macro lens.

Images are sharp the auto focus is quick, though captures these have mainly been landscapes and I have yet to test it out on moving subjects or people.

This is is definitely coming with me on my 6 week trip to India, Nepal and Tibet later this year.

May 8, 2013
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Registered: Apr 11, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 11, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact size, built, macro function, overall image quality
None I have found so far, maybe price.

Got one of the first of these, and have used it on expeditions to Bolivia and Madagascar so far. This is really a compact lens that is easy to carry around in rough terrain, pretty light, and the built is great, weather- sealing works very well. For a me as a botanist the macro function is a plus. I don't do and lab tests w/lenses, so I can comment only on field experience. Image quality is very good, and yes, there is some focus creep, but that has never been an issue in real life for me.

Apr 11, 2013
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Alb. de Wilde
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Registered: Mar 31, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 1, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Average good results, well build, smooth use of rings to focus.
Severe obtical faults.

Most reviews of the Canon Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS lens are not complete and much to positive.
This lens suffers from a severe obtical problem.
When (with manual focus) stopping down, the point of focus shifts backwards, see file below.
So, if you use a tripod and try to make a portrait you need to focus again when stopping up or down.
Also on full frame and wide angle there's very much vigniting from f4 - f8.
I hadn't expected this problem in such a costly lens. Not a lens for canon to be proud of.

Apr 1, 2013
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Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3133
Review Date: Jan 14, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp throughout the range. Compact. Uses 77mm filters. USM and IS.
None within the paremeters of the lens. Priced high but then again this is Canon.

Purhased to replace my 24-70 2.8 MK1. My 2.8 is one of the good ones, very sharp from 2.8 out. Problem is it is so heavy I tend not to have it in the bag. 4.0 is really fine for me. 2.8 is not fast enough to leave the flash at home so the stop I am giving up does not mean that much.
I found the lens to be sharp at 4.0 and only slightly better at f8. The extreme right edge and bottom left corner have only the slightest softness which is much better than the 17-40, and 24-105 I have used. All and all a fine lens which will be nice to have in the bag for travel and paired with a flash a good event lens.

Jan 14, 2013
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Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
15 46986 Oct 9, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $984.89
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating