Canon 24 70 f2.8L review


Canon 24 70 f2.8L review

Canon 24 70 f2.8L

Canon 24 70 f2.8L

Canon 24 70 f2.8L review
Official name:

Canon EF 24-70 f2.8L USM this lens is not the newest 24-70 f2.8L II USM, which is not a subject of this review.

Introduction – Canon 24 70 f2.8L review

This lens is the bread and butter of the beginner or advanced Pro photographers. If you want to start a photography business, for example wedding photography, and want to go on the simple route perhaps this is the first lens you need. There is a new improved version of this lens, but for much higher price. This lens is good enough for any possible applications for example portraits, landscapes, wedding photographs. The bright f/2.8 makes this lens very useful in low light, and isolate the background very well, even on the Aps-C cameras. On Full frame cameras the bokeh is even better.

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If I think about one lens solution or general purpose lens, this lens is an obvious candidate, with the Canon 24-105 is usm. The lens’s strong point is consistent results, versatility, build quality, silent focus. The Usm autofocus is silent, but not the quickest compare to lenses such as the Canon 135mm f/2 L or th Canon 200mm f/2.8L. Compare to a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens the lens is huge in both dimensions and weight as well. The lens sharpness and contrast are not mind blowing, but consistent through the focal lengths and has nice colors. The lens has not constant physical length, the lens’s shortest state is the longest focal length, see picture above, when is extended that is the widest focal length, which is not usual. In usage point of view the opposite would be logical – zooming from wide to long focal lengths, but perhaps this helps the optical qualities.

Obviously such a lens is much more versatile as the prime lenses, which means much easier to react to anything. The other very popular lens is the Canon 24-105mm f4 is lens, which is a stop darker, but has a stabilizer and much quicker autofocus. The 24-70 is bigger and heavier, but sharper as well, and blur the background much better for portraits.

Technical datas:
Focal length: 24 – 70mm
Max brightness: f/2.8
Close focus distance: 39 cm
Weight: 950 g
Dimensions: 83×123 mm
Filter size: 77mm
Aperture blades: 8 circular blades

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Canon 24-70 for weddings

I very much interested about this lens as a potential candidate for a wedding photography. The lens is designed for a Full frame camera, with a sensor size of 36x24mm. I intend to use it on an Aps-C camera where the field of view is 39-112 mm. On a native situation on FF camera this lens has quite wide-moderate telephoto focal length. On APS-C the focal length is not very wide-short telephoto. The longer end of the lens is good for portraits. Let’s check: Portrait at f3.2 with the Canon 24 70 f2.8L USM no post processing, just cropping.

I would say I am very much satisfied with the result. The 70mm is the weakest focal length of the lens, end at f3.2 the portrait is perfect to my eyes. I also made a portrait at f2.8 but the picture were softer either because of focus problem or lens sharpness/contrast capability.

Canon 24-70 sweet spot sharpest aperture

The lens’s sweet spot/sharpest aperture is f5.6 at both end of the focal length.

Canon 24-70 bokeh

The lens’s f2.8 constant aperture helps to create a nice background blur. The below picture are made with an Aps-C camera body (Canon 30D) perhaps the blur is not the same on the FF camera because of different focal length/sensor size situation.

Inner city street Budapest




Canon 24-70 f2.8 price/performance

If you can earn money with this lens it has an excellent price/performance ratio, if you cannot the new price of the lens is very high.

Canon 24-70 f2.8 alternatives:

The older 28-70 f2.8, Canon 24-105 f4, the new galactic Canon 24-70 f2.8 II, the Tamron 24-70 Vc. There are many other options. The first two are little worse than the Canon 24-70 Mk I optically, the two at the end much better, but if someone shoot many action perhaps Canon’s af more reliable than Tamron’s.

Canon 24-70 f2.8 Strengths:

F/2.8 bright aperture, decent optical performance at all focal length and apertures, nice bookeh, nice equality, a good lens, but not exceptionally good. Better than the 24-105 though.

Canon 24-70 f2.8 Weeknesses

High price, big and heavy for fun shooting, no stabilizer, zoom ring rotates from tele to wide angle. Autofocus slow compare to it is USM, very slow compare to 24-105.

Canon 24-70 f2.8 detailed specification

Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L Mk I
EF mount
Full frame
Filter size:
77 mm
Lens elements / groups:
16 lens / 13 groups
Exotic Lens elements:
1 UD and two aspherical lens elements
0.95 kg ( 2.09 lbs. )
83 x 123 mm (3.27 x 4.84 ” )
Close focus distance:
0.39 m ( 1.28′)
Yes, Ultrasonic
Front element rotates:
Moving barrel elements during focusing:
Focus preset modes:
Lens Mount:
Reproduction ratio:
Repr. ratio with 12mm:
Repr. ratio with 25mm:
Aperture blades:
8 circular diaphragm blades
Distance scale:
Focal length:
24-70 mm
Max Aperture:
constant f/2.8
Min Aperture:
Angle of view:
34-84° on Full frame
FTM (Manual focus override):
Focus limiter:
Hard infinity focus stop for filmmaking:
Tripod mount ring:
Lens hood:
yes EW-83F
Front Lens ET 77U, back lens cap, sack LP 1219
Tilt / shift:

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