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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Dec 11, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Though heavy on a 1Ds it handles well and the hood protects against rain as well as against flare. autofocus is good and it balances well with my body
Cons:
But, and it is a big but, I have so far had the use of four new ones, none of which is anywhere near as good as my 24-85mm f3.5-4.5mm. Curvature of field is so bad that it is like a magic lens. You can focus across a wide street at buildings on the other side, shooting down the street, and getting focus confirmation on the central AF point as usual, and where the point is focussed it will be sharp, but whereas my 24-85mm at 24mm will render everything in focus even at f2.8 into the distance, curvature of field with this extremely expensive zoom renders the rest of the street buildings unsharp, but someone a few meters down the pavement on this side of the street and figures in between that should be out of focus sharp, with an obvious bubble type distortion affecting their humanity- they look unreal. Stopping down even to 5.6 maintains this same problem, but crisps up the edge softness at f2.8 (again due to field curvature). I have been trying to buy a good sample here for three years. I know someone who has one, but he works in a store and could cherry-pick from ordered stock until he got a good one. In the UK poor winter light makes brighter lenses mandatory, but frankly, at 70mm its not sharp at the borders anyway, so why bother?

Not as good as a good 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 .