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Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
75 306191 Dec 28, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $880.79
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.48
9.41
9.7
ef_28-70_28s_1_

Specifications:
EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USMHigh-performance standard zoom lens whose maximum f/2.8 aperture can be used at all focal lengths. It includes the normal 50mm focal length and a minimum focusing distance of 1.6 ft. (50cm). The large aspherical element helps obtain a high image quality comparable to single and focal length lenses.


 


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CGrindahl
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Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13028
Review Date: Dec 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great color, contrast and sharpness; excellent build quality; nicely balanced on camera
Cons:

I've owned two copies of this lens. The first was sold after comparisons on my 20D demonstrated the Tamron 28-75 performed nearly as well. When I bought a 5D I thought I'd try the lens again after stumbling on one for sale locally at a very good price.

The full-frame camera really takes advantage of the quality of this classic lens. IQ is exceptional, reminiscent of Canon's finest primes. The Tamron is no slouch, but it simply doesn't offer the same corner to corner sharpness when mounted on a full-frame camera. It also loses light at the edges. The 28-70L performs beautifully under every condition. It is solid and well balanced on the 5D. It is heavier than any of my other lenses but not too heavy to use as a walk around. I recently picked up a copy of another classic, the EF 20-35 f/2.8L and am very pleased with this combination.

I know the 24-70L is well regarded but I'm not certain the additional 4mm is worth the extra weight and expense on a full-frame camera. If you find a 28-70L in good condition for a reasonable price it is certainly worth checking out. It is an absolute winner!



Dec 28, 2006
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debrandy
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Registered: Jul 26, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Sep 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $775.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wonderfully sharp and quick.
Cons:

I love this lens. It's so sharp and the picture quality so good that I use it most of the time as my all around lens. Bought it used and absolutely no regrets. I shoot B&W film as well as digital and the film prints have a wonderful contrasty feel. No chromatic aberration at all with digital. If you're thinking of buying a 24-70 and can get one of these buy it and with the money you save get yourself a nice fast prime.

Sep 9, 2006
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MARTHIN
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Registered: Apr 18, 2005
Location: Brazil
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SIMPLY FANTASTIC!!!! MAGIC COLORS, CONTRAST,LIGTH, ALL.
Cons:
NONE

I use um mt canon XT always.

Sep 7, 2006
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Denizen
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Registered: Jul 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 470
Review Date: Jun 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Has that inexplicable, but impossible to miss magic. A real sweet spot in focal length. Solid build.
Cons:
A tad bit short on a 1.6 crop camera and a touch short on Full Frame.

This lens was my most used lens on my 20D and now it's my most used on my 5D.

Now with full frame I don't feel near as much need for a wide angle lens but I do feel myself getting a bit closer to my subjects than I was accustomed to with portraits on the 20D. (close minimum focus distance is a blessing here.)

This lens seems to capture so many shots that have an incredible level of detail while having this incredible, flattering softness. Incredibly sharp, but somehow, very flattering.
I find it to be much like the 135L but with the benefit of being a zoom.

I do consider the 24-70 from time to time but when I realize that would mean parting with this lens, I very quickly come to my senses.


Jun 17, 2006
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Glamshots
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Registered: Jan 11, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 2
Review Date: May 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Price, Quality, sharpness, contrast, speed
Cons:
none

Ive been using the 28-70 2.8l on a %5D for two weeks now. Its absolutely sharp even wide open at all focal lengths - i can recommend it to everybody. Nearly no vignetting, very fast - I just love it.

May 18, 2006
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Stono
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Registered: Dec 4, 2005
Location: Norway
Posts: 1
Review Date: May 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: VERY, VERY sharp!
Cons:
No IS

I first had the 24-70mm L, then got the 28-70mm L second hand - and the latter turned out producing clearly sharper images. Sold the 24-70mm!! No regrets. Sad it is not produced anymore. Highly recommended. At the same level as my 70-200 mm L 2.8, says a lot.

May 6, 2006
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Leeuwen
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Registered: Feb 24, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Color, Bokeh, Sharp, Silent & Quick AF
Cons:
It's BIG. Hood is bit awkward to screw on. With 1.6 crop you are goning to want a wider lens..

Bought second hand from a store (with warranty.)
Good lens, sits most of the time on my camera (eos 350), but that's also because that's almost the only way to fit all my gear in the camera bag :-)

On crop camera's highly recommended if you want/have a 10-20 range lens if not, buy a lense in the, then more usefull, 17-55 range.

Build like a tank, although there is no weather seal.
USM quick & silent AF. Nice colors, bokeh & sharpness.

But remember: it's HUGE & heavy so when you point this lense (with the BIG hood) at someone he/she is going to notice it!









May 3, 2006
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sangredetigre
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Registered: May 1, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, excellent colour reproduction, excellent contrast.
Cons:



May 1, 2006
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Rob Barron
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Registered: May 16, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent contrast and colour depth, beautiful bokeh, ideal main lens
Cons:
a tad heavy but no big deal. Any L owner is used to that

The first review I read on here was by a guy who laughably gave this lens 5 out of ten and said it was no better than his stock 18-55mm lens that came with his camera. That is utter nonsense!

This is the lens you should keep on your Canon DSLR as the walkabout lens as it is never going to let you down. It is quick and accurate, gives beautiful background blurring with the wide aperture and stunning clarity at f5.6/8 that matches most prime lenses.

I bought this to 'fill the gap' so to speak between my 17-40 L series and 100-400mm L series IS. I have three prime lenses as well including my macro lens (100mm f2.8 which is so sharp the pictures make your eyes bleed!). I use the 28-70 as a GP lens, the 17-40mm for larger landscapes and obviously the big one for my natural history shots where I need to get in close to animals that don't want me in close!

This lens is never going to disappoint so if you find one for around the 500/$800 mark, you shouldn't even be considering it.... just do it!


Feb 15, 2006
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opusthecat
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Registered: Jul 27, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: Jan 27, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: 2.8, Sharp but barely a step above non-L lenses I own, well-made and solid
Cons:
Too big and heavy for the quality it provides. For the price, sharpness needs to be improved.

I bought this to replace my 18-55 kit lens. Immediately on receiving this lens, I did some outdoor testshots versus the kit. Using identical aperature, shutter, ISO, etc. I took multiple outdoor and indoor shots. Upon comparison, I could not detect any improvement with the 28-70L over my kit at normal perspectives. It wasn't until viewing the 3456x2304 images at 100% on the screen could I see a minute difference in the L lens. To me, that would be silly to spend that much $$$ for that kind of outcome. Not too mention the huge size/weight increase of the L. Focus was not as quick as I would have liked. For those reasons, I would not recommend this lens.

I don't like to play the game of "copy-swapping". When I buy an $800 lens, I expect to have the best product and not have to try out multiple copies of it.

Where this lens came in handy is shooting indoor hockey and basketball games at 2.8. However, the short reach of 70mm made 75% of the shots I wanted "out of reach". All in all, the money I paid for this lens did not justify keeping it. I sold it and bought a 50mm 1.8 prime (WHAT A LENS! SHARPER THAN MY 200mm L PRIME!), and a 17-85 IS to replace the kit. I plan on trying the Sigma 70-200 2.8 when the springtime sports seasons arrive.


Jan 27, 2006
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marxzed
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Registered: Dec 8, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 74
Review Date: Jan 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp from wide open
Cons:
ummm none 'cept for a minor grumble about the hood.

This lens is a keeper. and I'm still stunned that the previous owner parted with it for as little as she did.

This was my first L series zoom and the first zoom that I have ever used that can go one on one with high end primes I've used.

Razor sharp from open at all ranges and just gets sharper up to f:11 then slight drop on the way down to 22.

Really, really nice OoF bluring with 5.6 seeming to be its sweetspot for boke certainly the nicest I've seen on any Canon zoom apart from the 70-2002.8 L.

Some distortion is there but extremely difficult to see in real life use, same with the very nominal amount of vingnetting at wide and fully open.

Looks tough enough to last. Not weather sealed but it's gone through days worth of shooting in extremely heavy tropical monsoon rain without anything more than wearing a plastic bag as a "rain coat" and getting a wipe down between downpours. Survived weeks in the Australian outback without sucking in any noticable amount of that "lovely" red dust.

The lens hood (like most canon lens hoods) is a royal pain in the butt - hard to tell by feel or quick glance when it's lined up then you go to spin it on and it drops off... that said the lens hood is very effective and with the lens's reverse zoom mechanics it's a cleaver way to get the maximum effect of the hood all the way through the range rather than being a comprimise for anything other than wide angle.


Jan 17, 2006
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niray
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Registered: Oct 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Nov 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $790.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good AF, great contrast, sharpness, very good build
Cons:
Heavy, no weather sealing

Weather sealing would have been nice and also the extra 4 mm on the wide angle, however that would mean shelling out at least 1000$ for a used lens or 1100+ for a new one. My copy is tack sharp and only 3 years old, so its relatively new, and being an L hoping it will last long enough. Plus this lens has a reputation of having very good Quality control , unlike its successor.

Nov 19, 2005
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incdigital
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Registered: Aug 2, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 226
Review Date: Nov 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.99 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent optics makes great combo w/ 70-200L 2.8, Workhorse Lens, Color , Contrast , Bokeh, Build ,77mm filters
Cons:
Not weather sealed, AF not quite as good as 24-70L

Boh-Yah! this lens is an outstanding buy now that the 24-70L has brought down the price a bit. Bought mine used a year ago and have had it on my camera 75% of the time since. I love its near prime sharpness quality. Contrast has a nice *pop* to it.



Nov 16, 2005
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eeprete
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Registered: Jun 4, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3733
Review Date: Oct 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $725.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Canon L optics, 77mm filter ring, fast auto-focus
Cons:
not weather-sealed.

The 28-70, which is the predecessor to the 24-70L is an excellent piece of glass that will give you outstanding images consistently. Since it is one generation older than the current 24-70L lens, it can usually be had for about 25% less than a comparable 24-70.

Many will say this is sharper than the 24-70, however I have found my 24-70 was consistently sharper at all apertures and focal lengths. I think the "bad copy"(24-70) excuse may get used a bit too frequently when these "optically superior"(28-70) lenses come up for sale. I am a firm believer that you need to learn your equipment and see where it's best and also remember technique is also important.

I think you can't go wrong with either one, or even for that matter the older 28-80/2.8-4L that still floats around the market every now and again.

About the only thing I didn't like was the lack of weather sealing, but was addressed in the 24-70 edition of glass. It's a few ounces lighter, but you'll barely be able to tell the difference in weight once it's on a body. Had I not gotten an irresistable deal on the 24-70, I'd probably still be happily owning this lens.


Oct 21, 2005
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coffeecan
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Registered: Sep 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Fast aperture lens. FTM. One of Canons flagship zooms. Great value on the used market
Cons:
Build quality is not as good as newer L's (plastic casing). No weather sealing. AF more prone to hunting than newer L's.

Bought mine with a used EOS 3 and a 380ex off Ebay. The best thing about this lens is its quality optics, which are comparable to the new 24-70mm L. It is a very good value if you can find one in good shape used. My only complaint is that the AF processor is not as fast as the one in my 17-40L, and a firmware update would probably solve the problem. build quality is a generation behind and so it lacks the weather sealing of the newer L's.

All in all if you can find one for a good price you can't beat the value you get from this lens.


Sep 28, 2005
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BlueFish
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Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Contrast, Detail, CA control, Sharpness, 2.8L, Build quality, 77mm filters.
Cons:
Lens hood is huge - difficult to mount properly.

This lens ROCKS. Somehow managed to get myself a mint condition lens... at a v good price. Came with everything including box!

The build quality is great. It really feels like a lens and not something else. Picture quality is great... and the 2.8 is handy.

2.8 the pictures are pretty good... but the lens starts to show exceptional detail stopped down to f8.

I love the fixed hood design. The only thing I have to have a rant is how hard it is to mount the hood. It's not a snap and the threads don't link up easily. In fact, it's pretty tight but to get the threads aligned so you don't end up with a cross thread takes a little getting use to.


Sep 26, 2005
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Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
75 306191 Dec 28, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $880.79
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.48
9.41
9.7
ef_28-70_28s_1_


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