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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
535 906293 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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rk-d
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Registered: Feb 25, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 109
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp. Color, contrast, build, speed, quiet/fast AF, fixed hood
Cons:
No IS

I recently owned a 24-105 and sold it to buy this lens. Since most people vacillate between these two, I wanted to compare..

I've used a number of lenses in this range, and this lens is essentially as sharp as any I've ever used. Using the AF microadjustment on the 5d2 really honed the lens down to excellent sharpness with +1. I suspect many of those who complain about sample variation use this lens on unadjustable bodies. The 24-70 is sharper than the 24-105, but it's definitely not a huge difference. I think this probably speaks to the excellence of the latter.

Color and contrast are excellent. The 24-105 may have a slight edge with contrast.

The lens is heavy, but it's no different than most other 2.8 zooms. That said, the 24-105 balances better on the 5d2 body.

Build is identical to the 24-105, with the exception of the reverse extension of the zoom with fixed hood. I personally like the idea of a fixed hood that doesn't move when you zoom, but the flip side is that the hood becomes necessarily huge. When mounted, this lens becomes fairly imposing.

If this lens had IS, it would be perfect.

Bokeh is truly excellent, IMO. This is a subjective thing, but from what I've seen, it is smooth, calm and creamy. I'm actually fairly impressed with it -- most zoom lenses tend to have nervous, edgy out of focus areas, but this lens has prime lens quality bokeh, IMO.

Vignetting performance is excellent -- there is essentially none to speak of with a FF sensor. The 24-105, in comparison, has massive vignetting at the wide end.

Highly recommended.






Mar 19, 2009
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nycfirefighter
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Registered: Feb 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 88
Review Date: Mar 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,190.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp images, solid build, smooth operation
Cons:
Heavy

I have been after this lens for several years now and finally took the plunge. It is a fantastic lens.

It has fantastic IQ with great constrast. It does weigh a bit more than other lenses I own however it is not bad at all even when shooting most of the day handheld.

This lens is built like a tank -- feels very solid in your hand. Fast focusing and sharp throughout the entire zoom range.

Great for portraits with f/2.8 providing shallow depth of field and good bokeh.

I recommend this lens highly for those with a middle zoom range to fill or anyone looking to upgrade their middle range to L quality.


Mar 8, 2009
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David Murrell
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Registered: Jan 26, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast, great contrast and colours
Cons:
Heavy, attention grabbing lens hood (ie nothing to do with the final photo quality)

I got this on a whim because I saw it going cheap on Ebay and I wondered if it was better than the 24-105mm F4 IS L that I already have......

...Well, it is and it isn't. I prefer it at 24mm because it produces less distortion than the 24-105mm. It is also razor sharp in the middle range and works well with bounced flash at f2.8. And of course it is f2.8 all the way through. I find f2.8 important, not for the shutter speed, but for the bokeh I can get with it.

But sometimes I want a lighter lens that has a slightly longer reach and in that case I go for the 24-105mm. Plus that big old lens hood gives the game away at times. I've found my version to be slightly soft at 24mm (worse than the 24-105mm), but that was tested using newspaper on the wall, and frankly none of my best photos come from this kind of subject. For 'real' photos, 24-70mm at 24mm f2.8 is still great.

There is a lot of debate about which lens to buy, so here is what I have found:

24-70mm: I take this when I use it for indoor people photography (eg parties, weddings); or specifically for arranged portraits; or if I also have the 70-200mm F2.8 with me.

24-105mm: I use this for travel and for snapping (candid photography). Image stabilisation is also useful for interior shots where flash is not appropriate. I find the 24-105mm more comfortable to use with my 5D without the battery grip, and attached to the 5D it fits into my messenger bag more easily than my 5D + 24-70mm. So I tend to take it out more when I'm wondering around.

The bottom line is that I haven't found a way of selling either of these lenses, and they are the ones I use the most.

I'd recommend it in an instance.


Jan 16, 2009
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LennartW
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Registered: Oct 6, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 90
Review Date: Jan 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: SHARP, overall IQ, build like a tank
Cons:
a heavy monster

This lens has fantastic IQ and is rock solid.
It is good for sports (e.g. basketball) and for portraits or for situations where you can not gues wich focallength you might need.

It is sharp wide open - from 24 all the way to 70.
It focusses quite fast and feels right in your hands.

On the down side, it is kind off heavy but it is still ok.

I would highly recommend this lens to everybody, you won`t need it too much but it provides you with good looking images and will never let you alone.


Jan 15, 2009
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lwrnclightner
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Registered: Oct 2, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 616
Review Date: Dec 31, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, solid, sexy.
Cons:
None

After a calibration, then moving to 1d focus I have fallen in love with this lens. When I first aquired it, it was nothing to brag about, in fact I whined about it alot. It could'nt seem to get accurate shots if my subject was more than 10ft away. I was using a 20d and the two just did not get along. Sent it in to be calibrated and still not steller. But then I began shooting with the old 1d mkI and this lens came to life. I mean prime like life. If I stop it down, forget about it.

I planned on either trading it away or selling it, but never did, now I never will. I use it for portraits and close range stuff, 70mm is not long enough for me, in fact that would be my only gripe, but then I would'nt need the 70-200. But if it were longer it would definately get more use.

If you get a good one you have something.


Dec 31, 2008
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Bert 1969
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Registered: May 13, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 30, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: IQ, build, contrast.
Cons:
So many different qualities of this lens out there.

I posted a review in may this year about this lens, is was pretty negative. At that time I had owned 1 lens, sold it and tried 2 lenses later on. They all were (too) soft.

2 months ago I tried another one and the same story again.

But today I was in the store and saw the lens again and tought, lets give it another try. Made some photo's and this was a different story. Put mine 50mm on the cam took a shot and took the same shot with the 24-70 both on f/2.8.
Looked at the computer in the store and there as hardly any difference (and my 50mm is a good one).

So I took the change and bought the 24-70.

At home I took serveral testshots with the 50mm and the 24-70mm and everytime the same result.

Mounted my best lens (the 70-200 f/4.0 L IS) put it on 70mm and took some shots again and took the 24-70mm put it on f/4.0 and 70mm. Boink.....now is was falling of my chair, the results were the same.

Finally after 1.5 year and the 5th lens it tried I have found a good one. I'm really happy now while I'm writting this review but be honest, it is a sad story that only 1 of 5 lenses I had/tried is preforming the way it should.



Dec 30, 2008
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KKFung
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Registered: Dec 19, 2008
Location: China
Posts: 902
Review Date: Dec 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sweet image, awesome outlook
Cons:
no IS but no problem at all

Used this lens over 1 year and it makes me don't consider the 70-200 2.8L IS to build up the system. I believe at least prime lens like 135/2L or 300/4L can match with it.

Dec 21, 2008
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filipmakowski
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Registered: Dec 13, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 13, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Excellent image quality, fast AF, very little CA
Cons:
Edge sharpness when wide open

I upgraded to this lens from a Sigma EX 24-70mm f/2.8. Compared to the Sigma, autofocus is very fast, even on a 20D, and shows very little in the way of cromatic aberrations. While the Sigma had around 3% of images out of focus, this Canon is very accurate with only 0.3% of images (if that) out of focus. Image quality on both lenses is excellent, although the colour and contrast are slightly better on the Canon.

The only downside is slightly soft edges when the lens is open wider that f/4.0, but I expect you'll get that from anything but a prime; saying that the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II has better edge sharpness.

For sample images, see my Morocco photos where the majority were taken by the 24-70mm (the rest by the 16-35mm f/2.8L II or a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX):

www.filipmakowski.com

All in all a great zoom lens, although I have to give it only a 9/10 for the soft edges (compared to even better edge sharpness and a 10/10 for the 16-35mm II).


Dec 13, 2008
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filipmakowski
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Registered: Dec 13, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast AF, very little CA, great image quality
Cons:
Soft edges when wide open

I upgraded to this lens from a Sigma EX 24-70mm f/2.8. Compared to the Sigma, autofocus is very fast, even on a 20D, and shows very little in the way of cromatic aberrations. While the Sigma had around 3% of images out of focus, this Canon is very accurate with only 0.3% of images (if that) out of focus. Image quality on both lenses is excellent, although the colour and contrast are slightly better on the Canon.

The only downside is slightly soft edges when the lens is open wider that f/4.0, but I expect you'll get that from anything but a prime.

For sample images, see my Morocco photos where the majority were taken by the 24-70mm (the rest by a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II or a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX):

www.filipmakowski.com

All in all a great zoom lens, although I have to give it only a 9/10 for the soft edges (compared to even better edge sharpness and a 10/10 for the 16-35mm II)


Dec 13, 2008
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The_Don
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Registered: May 5, 2007
Location: Jamaica
Posts: 23
Review Date: Dec 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp at f/2.8 (mind-boggling sharp)
Cons:
reverse zooming, similar to some sigma and nikon lenses

maybe the guy below me got a decent copy, but i got an exceptional copy. @ f2.8 is crazy sharp esp. with the macro.

As far as the weight, its not terribly heavy, but slightly heavier than my 70-200. The lens hood is big enuff to walk into most events and not get questioned, so thats a plus.

Overall a great lens, IS would've been nice but ppl are constantly bitching about the weight, i think canon thought twice


Dec 2, 2008
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Esquire08
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Registered: Apr 5, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 625
Review Date: Nov 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,089.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at f/2.8 (not mind-boggling sharp), fast focus, effective zoom range, built like a tank.
Cons:
Reputation for copy-to-copy QC issues

I love this lens! Got mine brand new for $1089 and free shipping from an extremely reputable dealer.

I read about weight being a factor, but having the 70-200 f/2.8L IS and a gripped 40D as my walk-around setup, the 24-70 f/2.8L is not nearly as bad as I expected. True, it isn't a light piece of glass, but I definitely like the balance the lens has with the gripped 40D. I don't find it uncomfortably heavy, either.

The lens performs very well even on a higher-demanding 40D. The pictures are crisp and the DOF at f/2.8 produces very nice bokeh.

If the major factor preventing you from purchasing this lens is copy-to-copy quality, just take a deep breath and order the lens. The QC issues are dramatized and people expect way too much from crop-sensor cameras.


Nov 25, 2008
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LZ7J
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Registered: Feb 22, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 165
Review Date: Nov 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent colors, contrast and sharpness. Good build. Very useful focal length on FF and 1.3x
Cons:
This is my 4th copy of this lens.

If you can get a good copy of this lens, go for it! My first copy (bought used - date code UR) was sent to Canon TWICE to get calibrated and checked. Each time it got better but still not to my standard. The second copy, I bought used as well (date code UU) and that lens back-focused by a 2-3mm at mfd, so I got rid of it. The third copy (UW04), I bought brand new after trying 2 other copies at the store and settled for this one. I tested it against my 35L (my bench mark) and ended up returning it 2 days later.

My fourth one (UV) is excellent in all regards. I bought it new. And now I see why this lens gets rave reviews! It's everything that I've expected and more. Finally!


Nov 21, 2008
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avuroski
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Registered: Nov 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 251
Review Date: Nov 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $840.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Unrivaled sharpness, color and contrast, and speed for a zoom. This is why you buy a Canon FF.
Cons:
some people find it weighty. I find it wonderfully solid ;)

People asking for a redesign of this lens are missing something about the fundamental nature of optics. There are trade-offs involved. This lens is INCREDIBLE. I wish I hadn't screwed around trying every other regular zoom lens canon makes and just gone straightaway to this. Well, actually, no I don't, because now I'll never be tempted by a lesser lens. The 17-55 2.8 IS on the 40D was good. But I liked the 24-105 4 IS on the 40D better for some reason - for a crop body, it was nice to be able to get all the way into the portait lengths. Color was better on the 24-105. Yes the 17-55 was very sharp, but sharpness is only one of many attributes to a good lens. When I moved up from the 40D to the 5D, I liked the 24-105 at first, but longed for a take-everywhere low-light lens. This is it. I'm so happy. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to shoot in low light at 2.8 anyway, and so would do better to just go with primes. No. I can even get shots at 1600, but the 5D does so well at 3200, it's fine. And being able to move fast from 24mm to 70mm is gold. I'm not knocking a 35 1.4 for low light - with enough money, I'd love both. But if the sharpness and contrast and color are this amazing with a zoom, I'll just stay here and leave carrying a bag of primes (and switching out lenses constantly) to other people.

The 2.8 makes the camera find focus so much faster, even in low light. The already bright viewfinder is that much brighter. It's a revelation. I was worried with all these horror stories of how heavy it is and how it's never sharp. Well, my new copy was razor sharp, and I don't find it heavy at all. And I LOVE the backwards zoom - the action is super smooth and quick, and the lens hood is the accurate coverage for all focal lengths, rather than most which are only giving you 1/2 the coverage on the long in order to keep from vingnetting on the wide end.

I would give this lens an 11 if I could. Colors, sharpness, build quality, lens hood, everything. If you're serious about your images, get this and stop whining about the weight. It's balanced and fine on a real camera. (though on an XSi, it would probably be ridiculous.)


Nov 13, 2008
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knodl
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Registered: Mar 21, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 85
Review Date: Oct 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality. Lens speed. Versatility. Ergonomics.
Cons:
Price! Fragile plastic lens hood!

My copy of the 24-70mm 2.8 L turned out to be everything it has been praised for. This lens used on a 1Ds MK II at full 2.8 aperture is sharp and sharp at all focal lengths and at 70mm my copy is crazy sharp. I love this lens! If this lens had IS it would be damn near the ultimate lens. Interestingly it's size and weight makes it great for steady hand holding at low shutter speeds. I have had no problem getting sharp images with this lens using f/2.8 at 1/15 sec. The only negative is the lens hood is fragile rinky-dink plastic but this is a drawback on all Canon L lenses.

Oct 30, 2008
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Breitling65
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Registered: May 31, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5233
Review Date: Oct 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Usefull range, F2.8, weathersealed. Great L colors and contrast.
Cons:
Extrimely heavy and large, moving front element. Need Canon calibration to become sharp.

I got this lens almost new on FM traded on another one. Sent it same day to Canon for calibrations since some out of focus tests. After calibration it comeback better. Extremely bulky with no reason!!! This lens need re-design, Canon please make it as light and sharp as new 70-200mm F4 IS.
In general OK all purpose zoom lens, but I will sell it anyway for something better ... Smile)


Oct 15, 2008
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Shane F
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Registered: Oct 8, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 283
Review Date: Oct 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,240.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, hood, color, contrast.
Cons:
No IS.

I recently changed from a XTi / 40D combo using the 17-55 f/2.8 IS to a Mark IIN. Sold the 17-55 and picked up a new 24-70 f/2.8. I can say that my the 24-70 has slightly better colors and contrast compared to my 17-55. It is sharp as tack in all focal lengths and produced some of my favorite f/2.8 pics within a few days of owning it.

The only downfall is that it does not have IS. I miss the IS and being able to hand hold at 1/6th of second, now I usually will not go below 1/60th. So, bump up the ISO and away you go.

Sure its heavy, but when I mount it on the Mark IIN, it balances out the camera. I can honestly say that I would not have a problem carring this around for hours on end - just make sure you have a comfortable neck strap.


Oct 9, 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 906293 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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