A lens that lends itself to capturing great shots.
The strange thing about the design of this lens is that the barrel extends when zooming the wider the focal length becomes. It's at it's shortest dimension at 70mm and at it's longest at 24mm. With other zooms it's generally the other way round! But who cares? This professional lens - despite being designed and launched by Canon around 8 years ago in 2002 - is a real winner.
It's a fast lens at a constant f2.8 across the focal length range and that's good for situations were there's not too much light and when you don't want to bump up the ISO and where you don't want to (or can't) use flash. For me it's a great lens for weddings, live music and reportage. I probably wouldn't take it on holiday, preferring my Canon 24-105mm L which has three stops worth of image stabilisation and is lighter. In fact that's a real alternative to the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L. But I just love the light grabbing power of the f2.8 and it's chunky feel when it's sitting in my hand mounted on a Canon 5D MkII. It comes into it's own with a full frame sensor and the image it captures just glows with light, sings with colour and is just full of visual pride. The lens works well with 'crop sensors' too (i.e. Canon's non-full frame cameras) but because of the crop the lens becomes the equivalent to around 38mm - 112mm in the case of most of them).
There's the usual things you expect and get with Canon L series lenses: the front element stays still during zooming and focusing; the lens is weather resistant and will withstand a shower readily; the USM automatic focusing is fast and the lens can be manually focused at any time and it has a great close-focusing distance to boot. There's virtually no distortion at the wide end of 24mm and at 70mm makes for a great portrait lens and the resolution is incredible - really sharp. It comes with a hood into which the barrel extends when zooming to wide. Performance is pretty constant across all apertures (f2.8 to f22) with a very slight tailing off when fully open and when fully stopped down - as is usual with all lenses. The 'sweet' aperture for maximum resolution is probably f8 but that said I often - mostly - use it wide open or perhaps stopped down a little and simply love it.
There's little to fault, actually. I still find the 'reverse zoom' where the barrel extends 'the wrong way' to be a little odd but especially with the hood in place you don't notice it after a while. It's an expensive lens compared with non-pro zooms but you really do get what you pay for. And the required 77mm filters can be expensive.
That aside, go ahead and take the plunge. I doubt whether you'll be disappointed. Rather, I bet you'll be delighted!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Expensive, but excellent low light and fast action lens
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
|Size / weight|
|Value for money|
The lens was purchased to cover the wide to short tele settings. I have previously tried several alternatives which I will also briefly cover. Overall, this lens is a clear winner regardless the price. It is sharp and fast, exactly what was needed. The lens has been designed to be used wide open, unless greater depth of field is required.
+ The lens is sharp wide open, and improves slightly when stopped down
+ The colours and bokeh are outstanding
+ The lens resolves really well and doesn't loose detail
+ Full weather-sealing ensures lens stays clean and dry.
+ USM focus system is extremely accurate and lightning fast
+ Comes with lens hood
+ sharpening works really well
+ It looks great and screams that it means 'serious business'
- Weight is on the heavier side, but it is easy to get used to it (it is no more than a large steel frying pan or a food shopping bag!!)
- no IS
- DOF is still quite wide for portraits
- f/2.8 can be still marginal for most indoor applications and may require flash with older dSLRs
So it is very good for most midrange photos including landscapes, people, products and events. It complements longer 70-200mm zooms really well.
The other similar lens from Canon is 24-105mm f/4L IS zoom with more useful range. The IS is really attractive, but 24-70mm has less distortion on full frame at 24mm. 24-70mm is slightly sharper, and IS on 24-105mm is a bit outdated. It may be a close call though depending on applications.
Sigma also makes 24-70mm zoom. All copies I tried including the new HSM were very soft in the corners (APS-C) and heavily front-focused; This may be less of an issue with newer cameras that feature AF microadjustment, but corner softness, haziness and lack of contrast are hard to correct.
Tamron makes 28-75mm f/2.8 and the newer 24-70mm VC USD lenses. Build quality is not as good
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II - well the 2x price is the only limit here
For portraiture and studio work, primes are a much better option, including 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, 135mm and 200mm primes.
Overall, I am very happy with the image quality of this lens with some reservations about the weight and the limited range.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Just brilliant! Pricey, but brilliant!
There is nothing that can be said that others all over the internet have not said before me. This Lens is truly fantastic! So, saying this, I am not going to give out all the pros and cons and repeat a review that most of you have seen a thousand times. Instead I am writing about MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with this lens and a CANON 7D.
When the lens first arrived I was surprised about the weight and size. Not that it is too heavy or too big but quite the opposite. All the reviews raving about it being too sizeable to carry as a walkabout lens. I manage to cope fine carrying it on my 7D (which is considered heavy as well).
When Shooting with this lens is produces nothing but seamless results! Only if my shooting technique is to blame do the pictures come out sub-par.
When shooting in low light, in RAW format and using either Adobe Photoshop CS5 or Lightroom 3.3 this lens produces fantastic results that can be edited incredibly easily and with minimal effort!
If you are indecisive about buying this lens because of the price, save.
If you are indecisive about buying this lens because of the weight, hit the gym.
If you are indecisive about buying this lens because of the other alternatives on the market, I cannot help. I can only advise that you save and sacrifice to buy "L" quality glass.
I hope this helps, if you would like any further information (if you can't find it in the many forums discussing this lens) then please feel free to contact me via eBay.
Weighty, but the quality of this lens and the results are amazing.
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
I wanted to purchase this lens because of the quality of the glass and because of the 2.8 aperture, which creates amazing bokeh and depth of field. The reason I chose this over the Canon EF 24-105 F/4 is because of the aperture.
The lens is quite heavy, weighing in at 950g. The quality of my images have improved with this lens, with greater detail being captured and improved sharpness, there is also not as much chromatic aberration (colour fringing) as in my old lens (Canon 15-85).
This lens is a great lens, but it is quite costly. If you don't require the 2.8 aperture then it is probably worth considering the 24-105 as it's quite a bit cheaper, that being said if you think that in the future you'll require F/2.8 then maybe it's worth getting it now rather than purchasing something which will do the job for now and then making another purchase later.
I use this lens on a Canon 7D, which is not a full frame camera. Although I have found the range usable, I recently photographed a cathedral and had to switch between this and my 15-85 do take more wide angle shots.
This lens is heavy, but I would say it is the perfect choice for professional photographers.
After upgrading to an EOS 5D my existing standard lens EF 24-85mm f4.5-5.6 showed it's faults. While it gave me superb results on my old 400D it was not up to the 5D.
I bit the bullet and payed the price, the lens is amazing, even at f2.8 images are very sharp at the centre albeit with slightly soft edges, at f5.6 it's faultless, it is slightly bulky and I feel it would not suit a 350 or 400D body due to it's quite heavy weight.
The best thing about it is the f2.8 aperture on my 5D it gives small depth of field which is great for portrait work and isolating subjects from the background.
If you own a 30 5 or 1D you should own one of these lenses.
The focusing is so fast it's often focused before I've realised.
Test reports on the lens say it distorts at the wide and tele end well if it does I can't see it in photographs.
One of the best buys I have ever made, after the 5D itself, 99% of all my wedding photography is carried out with the 5D the 24-70 and a 580EX.
23 of 23 people found this review helpful.