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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

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534 904157 Mar 26, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $1,192.24
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.69
8.38
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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Dave Randall
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Registered: Jun 4, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 21
Review Date: Jul 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast AF, sharp, extending front element works well with hood.
Cons:
Cost but I'm over that now.

The quality will be appreciated long after the price is forgotten! I work weddings with two 20D cameras. One has this lens and the other an 85 1.8. I can usually use my feet instead of changing to something wider or longer. The 24-70 does most of the work and I cannot fault the results (provided I keep up my end of the work!). In the sometimes low light at receptions, 2.8 or faster is needed for the AF to work well even with focus assist from the 550EX. I have noticed very slight distortion at extreme apertures but rarely do I take on the sort of work where this would be a problem. I find the lens well balanced on the 20D and my only criticism is that to have the focussing ring closer to the camera body would suit me better; I am sure this is a personal thing. If Canon ever brings out this lens with IS I will be at the head of the queue whatever the price!
For pro use this lens is awesome. If you need a walk around lens and can afford this quality, go for it. I may not be quite wide enough for street work (at a 1.6 crop factor). Wider and cheaper is the EFS 17-85 IS which came with one camera and surprised me with its good quality.


Jul 13, 2005
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a9413
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Registered: Jul 10, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Quality Built, great Optics
Cons:
Pricey, heavey, size

Bought it on July 8th and was shooting with it on my Xt an hour later. Great lens and feel. Like everyone else say, its built like a tank. Its little pricey, you get what you paid for. I've been a vivid photographer for over 15years. Started with a P&S minolta and the rest is history. This lens is my first lens ever costing 1000+ and i have no regrets because i love photography.

Jul 10, 2005
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jhom
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Registered: Dec 31, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3423
Review Date: Jul 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,135.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, contrast, color, build
Cons:
None

I had been waiting for several months to buy the Tamron 28-75. However, the online retailers I typically use had been out of stock for some time. I decided to buy the Canon 24-70 instead. I am glad I did. This lens is great on my 1D2. It gives shots that are worthy of the L class. It is clearly a keeper and will probably become my all around lens. I like the build and weight.

Before buying the Canon 24-70, I monitored several forums for sample shots with the Tamron 28-75. I noticed more problems than not. In particular, it was soft wide open. On the other hand, my copy of the Canon is sharp wide open right out of the box. No one wants to go through several copies of a lens or return a new lens to the manufacturer for recalibration. I my case Canon has lived up to its reputation of excellent L lenses.


Jul 10, 2005
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naturist
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Registered: Jul 4, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Super sharp, fast auto focus, solid build quality
Cons:
The lens has to be matched to the camera, see comments

I first used this lens on a 10D and 25% of my frames where unusable, ie out of focus, and maybe another 25% were borderline but, since using it on a 1D mark II the results have been stunning, I cannot fault it in anyway, I now use it 90% of the time.

Jul 5, 2005
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wbluhm
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Registered: Dec 8, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,139.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: built, sharpness, color, contrast, fast autofocus
Cons:
took two tries to get a "good copy", some focus problems at 24mm

I am very pleased with this lens, and it lives on my 20D 80-90% of the time. The build quality is amazing. Color and contrast are great, the images need very little adjustment in Photoshop. This lens doesn't seem quite as sharp as my 70-200mm f/2.8 (non IS), but when I compare it with my 50mm f/1.4, it's not a lot worse.

Autofocus is silent and very fast. I do experience some focus accuracy problems at 24 mm. Given the large DOF at this end, they hardly manifest themselves in OOF pictures, but for critical shots, I either focus manually, or at least check the focus indicator window on the lens to make sure it's in the right ballpark. At the normal and tele focal length, focus accuracy seems good.

Unfortunately, there indeed are bad copies of this lens in circulation. The first one I got was worse than my 18-55mm kit lens, the second one was fine.

I find this lens incredibly versatile. On a 20D, even ISO 3200 is perfectly usable, and at 2.8 this lens gives great low light performance. Also love the macro. I do not mind the weight. To the contrary, I cradle the lens in my left hand, and I think the weight gives me more stability. I have gotten very usable images at 1/10 to 1/20s even at the long end (50-70mm).

I would highly recommend this as a general purpose walkaround lens, but either buy locally, or at a store with a good return policy in case you get a bad copy.

Compared with the competition (Sigma, Tamron) this lens does seem rather expensive.


Jul 3, 2005
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rotlex
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Registered: Jun 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jul 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,149.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything. Built like a tank, fast focusing, beautiful colorcontrast.
Cons:
Nothing except the price.....But then again, you get what you pay for - an extraordinary lens.

While I only own this lens a few days, it has already become my favorite. Well, my 70-200IS is still on top, but eh, I just like the size of it. 8)

Back to the 24-70. I was VERY skeptical about buying this lens due to the number of bad reports I have read. Well, I really needed the 2.8 in this zoom range, and decided to bite the bullet after contemplating it along side the Sigma 24-70 for months. All of my fears are now gone. This is simply an amazing lens. Maybe I got a "good" copy, but this lens is fast to focus, spot on even wide open, and produces some of the best out of camera pictures I have ever seen. Size and weight? Well, let's just say I don't mind walking around an event all day with the 70-200IS, so this isn't an issue at all for me. Frankly, it feels perfect on my 10D. Balances nicely, and makes the camera feel really good in my hands.

My personal final words? If your in the market for a zoom in this focal length, and don't mind putting out a bit of a hefty sum, you WON'T be sorry. This is simply one fantastic lens!


Jul 1, 2005
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piddy
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Registered: Jun 27, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,146.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Capable of very sharp, great color, great contrast shots that need very little, if any post processing to look great.
Cons:
No IS. Adherence to the reciprocal shutter speed rule is must and steady hands is a plus.

This lens is very unforgiving if you try to shoot at speeds slower than the reciprocal of the focal length. Though not impossible if you have rock steady hands, if you break this rule you will most likely end up with a blurry pic (YMMV). Given enough light, fast enough shutter speed, and steady enough hands you will be handsomely rewarded with some awesome looking shots that can go the printer and be magazine quality without little if any post processing. I myself have trouble handholding the camera rock steady so to increase my chances of getting a keeper shot is to shoot like 3 shots or so and throw away the ones that are obviously blurry.
This lens isn't meant for low light photography without flash or a tripod/monopod. If you want that then you'll definitely need to cough up for IS. I can get a usable shot at 1/6 of a second @ 70mm with the 17-85mm IS, the 24-70mm requires at least a 1/60th of a sec exposure. Similary I can get a usable shot at 1/20th sec with the 70-200mm IS at 200mm.
Once you go from IS to non-IS you might realize just how much work the IS system does to get you that stable, usable shot.


Jun 27, 2005
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willardp
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Registered: Apr 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Newly calibrated lens looks sharp wide open at 24mm @ f/2.8. Love the color satuation and contrast.
Cons:
Before calibration...everything soft.

I like probably many of you spent a lot of time in this forum reading the various reviews...both the good and the bad. It was with a LOT of apprehension that I purchased this lens...wondering if I was going to get a "good" copy. Unfortunately I got on the "bad" copies.

After two weeks I sent the lens back to Canon. I just got it back today. I really haven't had time to go out and shoot to see if the adjustments have made a difference. I did some quick test shots here in my office of my contact rewetting solution at 24mm and 70mm at f/2.8, f/4.0, and f/5.6. So far, the results look good on the LCD (which for me usually means they'll look better on full 19" monitor). I'm trying to figure out what adjusted the "best focal point" means. If anyone knows please let me know.

One of the nice things about the local Canon repair shop here is that they are quite open and forth coming with info to help their customers. So I asked if there was anything at all in the Canon world about this lens and the 20D...since a lot of the issues with this lens seem to be associated with the 20D. She revealed that there were no internal memos about the lens, however there is a memo about the back focusing issue with the 20D. Initially they wanted to send both camera and lens to ensure they "were" properly fitted for each other. My argument against that was I'm having zero problems with my 28-135mm w/IS, my 70-200mm f/2.8L, or my 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5...so why should I send the camera?? But now it appears the actual reason was to check to see if there was a back focusing issue with the camera also. Also, the fact that there had to be an adjustment at all on the lens is a disappointment to me. No such issues with the 70-200mm f/2.8L. Matter of fact, if I had bought the 24-70mm f/2.8L first, I would never have bought the 70-200mm f/2.8L.

I would think that if 20Ds are being returned for back focusing issues, Canon should be able to correlate the serial numbers with batches or lots and issue a notification or firmware fix or something. Anyway, tomorrow I'll be out shooting and will post the results to my site.

Thanks to all of you who have posted reviews on various products here...you've made it very easy for me to decide on a lot of major purchases. Hmmmm, maybe I should have listened more closely before buying this lens Smile


Jun 27, 2005
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JustKaz
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Registered: May 30, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 114
Review Date: Jun 25, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,400.00

 
Pros: Well... I think in the right setting, with just the right lighting, this lens produces some great pictures. However...
Cons:
Very High Blurry Picture Ratio

I have never seen so many blurry pictures. I have taken thousands of pictures with my 70-200 IS USM, 98 percent crisp and clear.

Many, Many I take with this lens are ruined because of being blurry. Talk about being deflated. It took me a while to raise the money for this lens, and now I feel like I have been raped by canon.


Jun 25, 2005
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chocy
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Registered: Mar 11, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 408
Review Date: Jun 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,120.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, vivid color contrast. Very sharp even wide open. Great super smooth bokeh.
Cons:
Heavy.

When I first got the lens I was intimidated by its size and weight. mounted on 20D, it makes the camera feel like it is so much more. Despite its weight the picture quality off of this lens is unreal. Sharp vivid color rendition increaes the keeper rate significantly. It has become my official walkaround lens along with 10-22. The combination is hard to beat in terms of range and picture quality. The weight is possible to get used to after a while so it isn't too big a factor for me.

However it is expensive, but it holds its value well so I am not too concerned.


Jun 21, 2005
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20Dshooter
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Registered: May 24, 2005
Location: Israel
Posts: 1035
Review Date: Jun 19, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,200.00

 
Pros: Built like a tank. Very fast AF.
Cons:
Big. Heavy. Expensive. Wide open, this lens is softish. It does get better at f/4, and is sharp at 5.6, but at it's price range, I shouldn't be getting rubbish from Canon.

I do all my work at 2.8, and this lens is a big disapointment. It is merely "okay," but certainly not what I've been led to believe. Some will probably say that I got a bad copy, but at $1200 that is totally unacceptable. More like scandalous!

Why this lens has to be the size and weight it is, is beyond me, considering that Sigma and Tamron produce equivalent versions of this lens practically optically equal to the Canon L, but much smaller and lighter.

Thumbs down for Canon,
A disillusioned L user.


Jun 19, 2005
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20Dshooter
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Registered: May 24, 2005
Location: Israel
Posts: 1035
Review Date: Jun 18, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,200.00

 
Pros: Built like a tank, very fast AF.
Cons:
Wide open is acceptable, getting better at f/4 and smaller. Very large and very heavy and way too expensive.

I do all my work at 2.8, and this lens was a big disapointment. It is merely "okay," but certainly not what I've been led to believe. Some will probably say that I got a bad copy, but at $1200 that is totally unaccaeptable. More like scandalous!

Why this lens has to be the size and weight it is, is beyond me, considering that Sigma and Tamron produce equivalent versions of this lens practically optically equal to the Canon L, but much smaller and lighter.

Thumbs down for Canon,
A disillusioned L user.


Jun 18, 2005
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20Dshooter
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Registered: May 24, 2005
Location: Israel
Posts: 1035
Review Date: Jun 18, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,200.00

 
Pros: Built like a tank, very fast AF.
Cons:
Wide open is acceptable, getting better at f/4 and smaller. Very large and very heavy and way too expensive.

I do all my work at 2.8, and this lens was a big disapointment. It is merely "okay," but certainly not what I've been led to believe. Some will probably say that I got a bad copy, but at $1200 that is totally unaccaeptable. More like scandalous!

Why this lens has to be the size and weight it is, is beyond me, considering that Sigma and Tamron produce equivalent versions of this lens practically optically equal to the Canon L, but much smaller and lighter.

Thumbs down for Canon,
A disillusioned L user.


Jun 18, 2005
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20Dshooter
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Registered: May 24, 2005
Location: Israel
Posts: 1035
Review Date: Jun 18, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Stopped down to f/4 and smaller, it can produce some nice shots. Built like a tank and very fast AF.
Cons:
A huge amount of money to spend on a huge, heavy piece of glass, which is, at best, only mediocre.

A dissapointment. My Sigma 15-30 performs way better than this lens. Okay, I might have gotten a bad copy, but at this price point, one would think you should'nt have to worry about such things. Thumbs down for Canon.

Jun 18, 2005
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milesd
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Registered: Jun 9, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 16, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: excellent lens if you keep in mind some things....
Cons:
none

Just an addendum: There are some not very positive comments about this lens. I performed some tests with my EOS 20D and this lens. To be honest, at first I was very dissapointed by the blurred pictures I got, especially at f=2.8.

Then I repeated the test with a borrowed 1Ds Mk II, shooting exactly under the same conditions. The interresting thing was that the pictures were much better (regarding sharpness).

I do not think that this is only due to the higher resolution of the 1 Ds Mk II but is also related to it's full frame sensor (compared to 35mm). With the APS C sized sensor of the 20D the depth of field (DOF) is about 30% smaller then with a full framed sensor or a 35 mm film.

Take a look at: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html
Try to compare the DOF values vor various distances, focal lenghts and apertures between a 35mm film and your DSLR.

Then I repeated the test again with my 20D but now photographing a relatively flat object. The pictures were sharp also at f=2.8


Jun 16, 2005
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milesd
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Registered: Jun 9, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: razor shrap, excellent colors, solid build
Cons:
none, except maybe the weight




Jun 16, 2005
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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
534 904157 Mar 26, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $1,192.24
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.69
8.38
9.3
ef_24-70_28u_1_


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