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Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II

The Canon 24-mm f/2.8L II USM zoom (about $2299) has arrived for testing, which I plan to do on the Canon 5D Mark III.

Curiously, no one has inquired or expressed interest in this lens (perhaps the price has some influence there), but I’m going to cover it anyway sometime in the next few weeks or so, as this is a bread and butter lens for some types of shooting.

...

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II

The 24-70/2.8L II debuts at a very high price, which presumably promises a modern optical design with significantly higher performance than its predecessor. I’m not generally a fan of bulky mid-range zooms for my own shooting, but if it delivers optically, it could be a real workhorse for some photographers, noting that it does not have image stabilization.

  • Large f/2.8 Aperture Through Zoom Range
  • UD Lenses Minimize Chromatic Aberrations
  • Reduced Spherical Aberrations
  • Highly Resistant to Dust and Water
  • 9-Blade Diaphragm For Beautiful Bokeh
  • Lens Coatings Minimizes Ghosting
  • Fluorine Coating Reduces Fingerprints
  • Zoom Lock Lever For Safe Transporting

I never cared for the original Canon 24-70/2.8L; it was a clumsy design with very good but not great optical quality. Given the $1000 price jump of the new lens, perhaps we can expect not only superior ergonomics but significantly higher image quality. It will be interesting to see if Canon has somehow avoided the excessive distortion found at 24mm with the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G.

What might also be interesting is how it compares to the prime lenses in its range, such as the Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS, 28mm f/2.8 IS, 35/1.4L and 50/1.4. Especially the image stabilized 24mm and 28mm f/2.8 primes which are very good performers. Could the zoom outperform them, though perhaps with higher distortion? Unfortunately, the 24mm and 28mm loaners have gone back (already reviewed), so I might have to rent them if I want to compare.

MTF

MTF for the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II looks promising. The dropoff to the edges and corners might be field curvature, or might not be. Either way, it looks outstanding at the wide end, not quite as strong but still good at the long end. Central contrast looks to be exceptional.

MTF for Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II

Canon’s description.

Meeting the ever-increasing demands on image quality that digital photography brings, the redesigned EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is the latest update to the acclaimed L-Series of EF optics, re-establishing a new standard for superb optics, high-end durable construction and performance in professional zoom lenses.

A standard focal length zoom lens, it features a large aperture throughout its focal length. Featuring the latest advances in optical lens design, it utilizes 1 Super UD lens element and 2 UD lens elements that help minimize chromatic aberration in the periphery at wide-angle as well as reduced color blurring around the edges of the subject.

In addition, 2 types of aspherical lenses are combined to help reduce spherical aberration over the entire image area as well as through the full zoom range.

Optimized lens coatings also help ensure exceptional color balance while minimizing ghosting.

The lens is also equipped with a circular 9-blade diaphragm for beautiful, soft backgrounds.

A ring-type USM and high-speed CPU with optimized AF algorithms enable silent and fast autofocusing.

Built for the rigors of professional use as well as to meet the increased number of shots available with digital photography, it's constructed with improved dust sealing and water resistance while fluorine coatings on the front and rear lens surfaces help reduce soiling, smears and fingerprints.

A zoom lock lever locks the zoom position at the wide end for safe transporting while attached to an EOS DSLR camera over the shoulder.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture 24-70mm, 1:2.8
Lens Construction 18 elements in 13 groups
Diagonal Angle of View 84° - 34°
Focus Adjustment Inner-focusing with USM
Closest Focusing Distance 0.38m/1.25 ft.
Zoom System Rotating Type
Filter Size 82mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight 3.5 x 4.4 in., 28.4 oz. / 88.5 x 113mm, 805g

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