Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM review
The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM was announced a year ago, in February 2012, as an update to the venerable EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM of 2002. It features an all-new optical design, designed to provide improved imaging performance right across the frame and reduced distortion compared to its predecessor. The lens also features a smaller, lighter design and weather-sealed construction, and Canon promises improved robustness due to revised internal construction. It's designed primarily for Canon's high-end full frame bodies (with a price tag to match), but can of course also be used on APS-C SLRs such as the EOS 7D, on which it offers a 38-112mm equivalent angle of view.
The 24-70mm f/2.8 II is intended to be a workhorse lens for professional photographers that has to deliver the best possible results in a wide range of conditions. It uses a suitably exotic optical design for this purpose, with 18 elements in 13 groups, including two 2 ultra-low dispersion (UD) glass elements and one Super UD aspheric element to minimize aberrations. Naturally it uses Canon's ring-type ultrasonic motor for fast, silent focus with full-time manual override, along with a circular aperture diaphragm for attractive background blur.
One feature the lens doesn't offer, though, is image stabilization - Canon says this would require too great a compromise in either image quality or size. This makes for an interesting comparison with the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD that was announced at about the same time, and incorporates image stabilization into a lens that's almost exactly the same size (and of course, rather cheaper). Users who need IS and prefer to stick with Canon's own lenses will have to make to with a stop slower aperture, from either the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM or the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. In this review we'll compare how all of these lenses measure up against each other in the lab, and assess the 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM's specific strengths and weaknesses.
- 24-70mm focal length
- Fast F2.8 constant maximum aperture; F22 minimum
- Ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) focusing with full-time manual override
- 0.38m closest focus, offering 0.19x magnification
- For Canon SLRs of all formats (full frame, APS-H and APS-C)
Angle of view
The pictures below illustrate the angle of view, on both full frame and APS-C cameras, shot from our standard position:
|24mm, full frame||70mm, full frame|
|24mm, APS-C (38mm equivalent)||70mm, APS-C (112mm equivalent)|
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM specifications
|Price|| • $2200 (US)
• £1700 (UK)
|Date introduced||February 2012|
|Maximum format size||35mm full frame|
| 35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)
|Diagonal Angle of view||• 84-34º (full frame)|
|Lens Construction|| • 18 elements / 13 groups
• 2 UD glass element
• 1 Super UD aspheric element
|Number of diaphragm blades||9, rounded|
|AF motor type|| • Ring-type Ultrasonic Motor
• Full-time manual focus
|Zoom method||Rotary, extending|
|Image stabilization||• No|
|Filter thread|| • 82mm
• Does not rotate on focus
|Supplied accessories*|| Front and rear caps
Petal-type Hood EW-88C
Soft lens case
|Weight||805 g (28.4 oz)|
|Dimensions|| 88.5 mm diameter x 113 mm length
(3.0 x 3.7 in)
|Lens Mount||Canon EF|
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area
This lens review uses DxOMark data thanks to a partnership between dpreview.com and DxO Labs (read more about DxOMark and our partnership with DxO Labs). DxOMark is the trusted industry standard for independent image quality measurements and ratings. DxOMark has established this reputation with its rigorous hardware testing, industry-grade laboratory tools, and database of thousands of camera, lens and mobile test results. Full test results for this lens can be found at www.dxomark.com.
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