Canon EF 24-70MM F2.8L II USM – A Standard Zoom Many Canon Users Desire

2/15/2013 6:14:37 PM

The improved version of the well-known wide-aperture lenses

Description: Canon EF 24-70MM F2.8L II USM

Canon EF 24-70MM F2.8L II USM

Regardless the brand name, two f/2.8 zooms have dominated photographer’s pocket for years, covering the ranges of 24-70mm and 70-200mm. In case of Canon, they are lenses designed without any compromise to meet high-demand users. They are, of course, very expensive, but their names come first and the presence of a new version will surely excite people a lot. However, it results in a question: how could these lenses become better?

Canon EF 24-70MM F2.8L II USM is shorter and more lightweight than the ancestor, yet it is costlier. It also has a bigger front part, with an 82mm filter thread (in replacement of a 77mm model). Moreover, inside there’re now 9 blades, instead of 8 ones, to make aperture-geometry rounder for a smoother tilt-shift focusing.

The new 24-70mm lens looks much more modern than the previous, with a slightly progressive widening of the lens barrel from back to front. The zoom ring is still is the back and the manual focus ring is still in the front with a focused-distance window and the AF/MF selector switch which the two. Manual focusing adjustment can be applied in AF mode and the close proximity of the two rings helps you to switch from zoom to focus by moving your thumb. Two rings are quite larger than before: while the lens is naturally held, user’s second finger lies on focus ring and the third finger can be pushed back to zoom ring with a minimal effort.

Description: The new 24-70mm lens looks much more modern than the previous, with a slightly progressive widening of the lens barrel from back to front.

The new 24-70mm lens looks much more modern than the previous, with a slightly progressive widening of the lens barrel from back to front.

Canon’s previous 24-70mm zoom was criticized for “macro” label applied onto closest focusing distances while the maximal reproduction ratio was only 0.29X, clearly lost to the 1:1 ratio for real macro shooting. It’s really good to say that cheeky “macro” label is no longer in existence.

Focusing processes inside and doesn’t cause any rotation of the front part but zooming takes place outside, leading to a 30mm widening of the lens. The structure is described, by Canon, as “a tightly sealed structure” ensuring excellent “water-proof and dust-proof ability” but it has no tightness in movement of rings, both offers rational amount of resistance.

A tight rubber sealing ring fitted into the mounting flange is an only clearly sign of the water-proof ability but the lens is also covered by a fluorite layer on bare surfaces of the head and tail parts to reduce dust-gathering.

A field test with this lens was a completely happiness: image quality was good, and image distortion was inconsiderable in all ranges. Essentially, the last zoom ring functioning as lens cover, when reversed for storage, didn’t prevent zooming was used right when a picture-taking situation occurred. Applying zoom lock would create difficulty in this respect, thus it has never been used throughout the test as never before had there been any problem with a lens extending itself under its own weight.

A technical test showed off a little color-fringing in shortest focal lengths, which was disappointing, but in another hand, the result was very outstanding. The highest resolution that was over 0.4cycle/pixel and MTF curves never fell below 0.25cycl/pixel.

Overall, this lens is excellent. Yes, there was chromatic aberration only in technical test and it couldn’t be found out unless it was carefully looked for. Similarly, there’s no escaping that Canon’s new 24-70mm lens costs twice as much as the model it replaces but it offers a great progress in image quality. In general, this is a standard zoom that many Canon users desire.

Technical specifications

·         Max. aperture: f/2.8

·         Min. aperture: f/22

·         Lens mount: Canon

·         Number of blades: 9

·         Image stabilization: No

·         Optics (elements/groups): 18/13

·         Min. focus: 0.38cm

·         Filter thread: 82mm

·         Lens cover: Yes

·         Width: 88cm

·         Length: 113cm

·         Weight: 805g



·         Excellent sharpness

·         Build quality



·         Slight color-fringing at short focal lengths



·         Test result: 95%

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