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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
535 906685 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
88% of reviewers $1,192.02
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.68
8.36
9.3
ef_24-70_28u_1_

Specifications:
This new lens does what many pros thought couldn't be done - replace the previous L-series 28-70 f/2.8 lens with something even better. Extended coverage to an ultra-wide angle 24mm makes it ideal for digital as well as film shooters, and the optics are even better than before with two Aspherical elements and a totally new UD glass element. It's now sealed and gasketed against dust and moisture, and a new processing unit makes the AF faster than ever.


 


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garz63
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Registered: Sep 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Apr 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Wow, what a great lens! The price you pay for a Quality lens!
Cons:
none

with 'alot' of research & discussion on the internet, I've been saving for over a year to take the plunge and invest in a L lens. been shooting with my 17-85 f/4.0 IS lens for almost 3 years. My buddy let me borrow the rep's demo lens and within 2-hours I made my decision. Awsome lens! like i said above 'the price you pay for a Quality lens' My new 24-70 F/2.8L lens will be in next week. better order yours soon, there's a rumor of a Canon price increase.

Apr 4, 2008
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gryphonslair99
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Registered: Aug 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: Mar 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,080.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Overall a very sharp lens with amazing image quality. Built like a tank. A real workhorse of a lens
Cons:
Price

This lens has become a real workhorse for me. I find that it is acceptably soft at f2.8, but a bit more than I expected out of this pricey of L glass. The image quality that this lens produces is one of it's best selling points. Bright, vibrant images that when slightly stopped down are a sharp as any I have ever seen from a zoom lens. This lens lives on one of my camera bodies and my 70-200 f2.8 lives on the other. This is one lens I would hate to have to do with out.

Mar 30, 2008
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R10
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Registered: Jan 4, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 53
Review Date: Mar 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ - IF YOU MANAGE TO FIND A GOOD SAMPLE..., built quality
Cons:
sample variation (hardly acceptable in this price league); weight is not a con that Canon could change but just physics - don't go for fast rigid zoom lenses if you don't want heavy lenses

I went through three samples before I had a good one. The first two were severely decentered (ie, uneven sharpness at/in different edges/corners; one was more or less blurry throughout the frame at 24mm)! This is inacceptable, (not only) in this price league. If you manage to get a good one, however, the results are veeery pleasing. There is probably no better EF-mount-AF-zoom-lens of this focal range and speed.

Resolution declines noticeably towards the edge/corner, especially when wide open, but this seems to be the case with virtually all (faster) non-Leica zooms. So nothing special to complain. Stopped down to f8, IQ is impressive.

It's heavy. Of course. It's fast and built like a tank. Thus, weight is not a con that Canon could change. It's just physics – just don't go for fast rigid zoom lenses if you don't want heavy lenses.

I finally sold it, not only because severe sample variation is more than annoying at +1000,- Euro. I got for less(!) than the EF24-70's sales revenue a Leica-R 4/35-70, AND an OM 3.5/21, AND (in case I need AF) a Sigma EX 2.8/24-60. Btw, if weight is an issue, the first two are together lighter than the Canon. The first outperforms the Canon by far at any focal length and aperture, as well as the some 20-years old OM does compared to the Canon is at its short end, esp at/in the edge/corner, and the Sigma is not far behind the Canon at a fraction of the price.

Anybody who wants a fast rigid EF-mount-AF-standard-zoom, and who gets a good sample, will probably be very happy with this lens!

My rating is for the good sample.


Mar 26, 2008
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Crazy Fool
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Registered: Aug 5, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 19, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

to terminator:
If its VERY sharp at close range, the lens quality is fine, but your camera or lens' focusing is off.


Mar 19, 2008
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Santai
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Registered: Mar 19, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,180.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fantastic image quality, sharpness and contrast - once you got a good lens copy.
Cons:

I was looking for a shorter zoom with IQ comparable to my 70-200 L f/4, which set the benchmark for image quality, sharpness and contrast for me. The 24-70 became my choice, taking the f/2.8 into consideration over the 24-105.

Being suspicious about the individual lens quality based on so many user reports in this and other forums, I did the “newspaper on the wall sharpness test” in the shop. Out of seven copies, five were useless, no center sharpness at all, the edges naturally being worse. So I picked one of the two remaining copies.

When looking at the real life pictures taken with the one I bought, I was less than impressed with the results. Missing the IQ and contrast I was looking for, I went straight to the Canon service center in Jakarta. They let me pick and try a new one and swapped it without any problem.

This one is fantastic, sharp and crisp pictures, nice contrast, true “L” quality. I love it!

My recommendation to fellow photographers is to buy the lens in a shop you trust and where you can be sure that they would replace your lens in case you got a bad copy (and such judgement can only be made by yourself). My recommendation to Canon: Do something about this issue, this is a “L” lens and an unnecessary quality assurance problem.


Mar 19, 2008
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terminator
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Registered: Jan 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 276
Review Date: Mar 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharpness in close range, build quality, f/2.8, USM, color
Cons:
Heavy, heavy, heavy! Softness in long range. bokeh, loose zoom ring, 70mm is a bit short even on APS-C DSLR, no IS

I already own a 24-105L, but f/2.8 is sooooooo attractive that I finally decided to buy it when I found a pretty good deal to get it second hand.

First impression, it is as heavy as a brick - compared to 24-105L. As the seller said, I can feel a lot of glasses in it. I noticed that the zoom ring is pretty loose - perhaps because it is 3 years old? When I hold the lens, I always have a bad feeling that my hand may accidentally move the ring. When the subject is just a little bit far away, I could not get a single sharp image even stop down to f/4 as I expected from my 70-200/4 IS. This is quite disappointing and makes me wonder whether I get a bad copy. And I feel 70mm is a bit short even on my 20D. No IS like 24-105. Bokeh not as good as primes.

Now the good things. Build quality is superb. f/2.8 allows me to take photos indoor without flash. Focus is silent and fast. Color is great. As I get used to this lens, I found that I can produce very very sharp images when I get close enough to the subject - even at f/2.8.

Now I am struggling to keep it, or keep both 24-70L and 24-105L since I really love my 24-105L. Or hope Canon has 24-105/2.8L IS some time. :-)


Mar 18, 2008
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conlun
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Registered: Mar 14, 2008
Location: Sweden
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, good range (on FF), excellent IQ
Cons:
A bit heavy



Mar 14, 2008
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Crazy Fool
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Registered: Aug 5, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, well built, great colours and contrast, fast silent focusing
Cons:
Fairly heavy and large, but what do you expect?!

What can I say that hasn't already been said?

This lens is as sharp as you need. No, it's not quite as sharp as my unusually good Tamron 28-75 or some top-grade primes, but it has much nicer background blur, a wider end, better distortion control, and most importantly of all, faster quieter focus.

I think the reasons why people have trouble with this lens is sometimes because their non-1 series camera's focus is not perfect. For example, when you focus on someone's eyes at f2.8, check that the nose or ears aren't sharper than the eyes. I had this problem with my 10D a couple of years ago.

I sent my Canon 10D to Canon two or three times and it wasn't fixed, just calibrated. Lehmanns in Stoke (UK) managed to fix it using some kind of software calibration eventually.

My point is, perhaps many people complaining of sharpness on wide aperture lenses haven't checked their camera's focus perfectly. Maybe that goes for some professional reviews as well?! Who knows.

Anyway, now the Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 is out, this lens has some real competition. I would imagine that as the Nikon is newer, it has the edge in sharpness, and this is corroborated by some comparisons. But an extra jot of sharpness does not a better picture make.

The Canon has an ingenious lens hood design, good handling, and supreme focusing abilities. It also has good distortion control. And as for Image Stabilisation, I couldn't care less. Don't want it any heavier that's for sure, and the new full frame cameras are noise free at ISO 3200 for goodness sake!

This one is a keeper for me. In fact I've sold all my other lenses, and I'll be getting a compact (the raw-shooting Canon G9) for when a large lens is unsuitable.





Mar 11, 2008
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shadeth
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Registered: Mar 11, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very solid build quality, great colors, good sharpness, useful lens in a wide variety of situations.
Cons:
A bit heavy, and the lens hood is huge. I don't usually use the lens hood because it's so big, but it works fine without it in most situations I never see lens flare.

For overall walk around use, this lens is perfect on my Canon 20D. Not sure how this is on a full frame camera but on my camera the results are outstanding. This is the lens that I use most often, pretty much for everything unless I need extreme macro, more telephoto range, or a wider angle. I've owned this lens for over two years now and never once regretted buying it, and never considered selling it (although it does hold it's value well which is also nice). If you can afford it, get it you will be pleased!

Here are some images I shot with this lens... These are just some casual images I shot with no flash, no tripod, and available light at medieval style events.

http://gap4design.com/photos/20050319/IMG_2184_s.htm
http://gap4design.com/photos/20051112/IMG_3969_f.htm
http://gap4design.com/photos/20061028/IMG_6568_s.jpg


Mar 11, 2008
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lextalionis
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Registered: Jul 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1076
Review Date: Mar 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp and Fast AF. I like to use this lens for environmental portraits (good flexibility). Clever hood design too.
Cons:
Gets heavy after awhile

Another quality "Red Stripe" from Canon. Very useful for environmental portraits where fast AF is necessary.

Only drawback is its weight.

Here are some sample shots taken with a Canon 30D:

Sample Photos

-Roy


Mar 10, 2008
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cmorris
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Registered: May 15, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Versatile. Enables the photographer to work with one body and one lens. Image quality is superb. Almost all my work is at 2.8, Which provides a very smooth, creamy tonal range. But still retains great sharpness
Cons:
Size. Build quality. Lens is quite fragile. Read below.

This is the lens that I do 95% of my photography with. What people have to understand here is that there is some sacrifice when you have a lens that provides you such versatility. I have used this lens since 2003, basically traveling the world with it. What I have discovered, the key to keeping this lens in top notch working order. The day I open one out of the box, I totally tape up the top half of the lens with a strong gaffers tape. This is done to structurally keep the lens taught. This helps eliminate any torquing that takes place with day to day walking around with this on your shoulder. By doing this ad hoc tape job you will have to give up your manual focus option. I know this sounds bizarre, but its true. Also I never and I mean never, do I walk around with the lens extended to 24mm focal length, for this really adds stress to the lens. If you want you lens to maintain critical sharpness for years to come and if you use the lens daily, almost year round like I do. This will keep it sharp. I know many of my colleagues who after 1 or 2 months of heavy use complain that it is no longer sharp. I can actually keep mine going for up to 3 years with out having to have the lens serviced.

To view my work with this lens go to VIIphoto.com and look at my work. Like I said earlier 95% of it is done on this lens. Also my book "My America" was almost shot entirely with the 24-70, 2.8.

We do not live in a perfect world. But for me this lens comes quite close to being perfect. Minus the tape job.

Yours Truly,

Christopher Morris



Mar 9, 2008
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ScottTomlinson
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Registered: Mar 3, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 54
Review Date: Mar 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Build Quality is a 10, Hood Hides Protruding Element and has a reverse zoom mechanism so at wide angle it's fully extended and on full zoom its fully recessed, taking full advantage of the hood. Versatility.
Cons:
None. This is as good or better than my 70-200L 2.8 IS.

Sharp as anything when used correctly. I too agonized over whether or not I would get a "good copy". I ordered one from B&H 2-2008 and have not regretted it at all. I would not have been satisfied with the 24-105 at f4.

Some complain of the size and weight, but I like the heft - it helps keep the camera steady.


Mar 6, 2008
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bluefox9er
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Registered: May 10, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 361
Review Date: Feb 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, build, great hood,
Cons:
Cost..all lenses are way to overpriced if you ask me!

Ok, I have watched the ratings on this lens dip recently on this forum. I remember when it was a 9.5, but as a pre-emptive purchase of a canon eos 5d MKII( if it is ever released), I was torn between the 24-70 F2.8 and the 24-105 mm F4 IS.

I already have the 70-200 mm F4 and felt that the 24-70 might be a better fit for me.

I brought this lens for £600 from an ebayer, it is literally brand new and it had a filter..bargain.

Took some test shots with it this morning, and whilst it can be a teeny bit soft at 2.8, I found the images absloutley stunning at around 5.6.

I'm sure it gives awsome images at 2.8, but I have never used a lens like this before,so maybe i'll learn as I go.

Took some indoor shots in my kitchen, they were fantastic and even with ISO 400 the noise was hardly noticable.

Yes this lens is heavy, and no it hasn't got IS, but what it does provide to me are images that are absloutley fantastic, well in line with my 70-200 mm F4 (non IS).

IS is a great feature, but at the focal lengths of this lens, perhaps it isnt that important,esp with f2.8 available at all focal lengths.

I know from the pianstaking research I did prior to buying this lens that a lot of people cant decide between this and the 24-105 mm F4 IS..I was one of them, but I am so pleased that I have chosen the 24-70 2.8 L. I am using it on a canon 400d, but I am also making my purchases knowing one day i will switch to a Full sensor canon, so the 17-55 mm IS wasn't in my list, even if it does have wonderful reviews.

I was also mindful that on FM reviews a lot of people had managed to get 'bad' copies of this lens, so I am relieved that mine seems ok, esp as it was an ebay purchase, which would have been an absloute nightmare to resolve if i wasn't happy with it.If you are thinking of buying this from ebay, it might be an idea to make sure the seller feedback is not less than 99% on at least 1000 transactions and they are willing to accept returns, but you are going to have to pay for return shipping both ways :-(

If you are really torn , please try this lens out..in the Uk we dont have a culture of try before you buy and renting a lens is more expensive sometimes than actually buying it ( not to mention that when we do buy it we usually pay anywhere from 30 to 50% more than people in other countries), so do protect your purchase if you need to return a 'bad' coppy.

otherwise, put it on your camera and go out and have the most fun you can with this lens...it really is a terriffic piece of kit.!!!


Feb 26, 2008
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TonyMelt
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Registered: Jul 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 19
Review Date: Feb 23, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Fast
Cons:
Poor build/quality control by Canon

I have had a very disappointing experience with this lens. I have been a Canon user since the 1970s beginning with the FTBn and I have several L series lens, all of which work flawless. I ordered it from Dell and as soon as received it I took several test shots with my 40D at various focal lengths using autofocus. I was surprised to find none of them were sharp. I then put the lens on both an XTI and an old Digital Rebel and got the same results. I called Dell and they sent a replacement, taking two weeks as they had none in stock. I was shocked to find the same problem with the replacement lens. I then decided to put the lens on a tripod and take some shots of the fine print on a small bottle at a distance of about five feet. I first to a shot with autfocus on and the switched it off and move the focus ring slightly to the right taking 3 shots and the reset autofocus and then took three shots while turning the focus ring in small increments to the left. When I looked at the shots on the PC I found the autofocus shot very blurry, but the shot I took in manual focus turned just slightly to the left from the autofocus point it was considerably sharper. I have sent the replacement lens to the Canon repair facility in New Jersey and hope they are able to fix it. What I can understand is how two lens, with non-sequential serial numbers, have a common defect. I can only assume that Canon is having a problem with quality control. I hope Canon recognizes they have a problem and takes corrective action. As I said, I am a long time Canon user but this kind of problem makes Nikon look better and better.

Feb 23, 2008
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performant
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Registered: Feb 17, 2008
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: useful zoom-range, decent aperture, build quality
Cons:
none



Feb 20, 2008
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briandaly
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Registered: Feb 23, 2007
Location: Ireland
Posts: 41
Review Date: Feb 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid, weather-sealed, wide 2.8 aperture, fast USM autofocus, substantial hood included, resistant to flare, sharp even wide open all through focal range, works well with extension tubes for macro work
Cons:
Weight, size can be intimidating when hood attached, not wide enough on 1.6 crop

I've only used this lens on a 30D but found all the "Positive aspects" listed above to be true.
Would like to try it on full frame body.
It is my most used lens (ahead of 10-22 EF-S and 70-200 f4 IS).


Feb 14, 2008
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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
535 906685 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
88% of reviewers $1,192.02
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.68
8.36
9.3
ef_24-70_28u_1_


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