The Canon 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM is a completely new design to improve on the clarity, image quality and durability of its legendary predecessor. Both on cameras with a full-size sensor and on cameras with an APS-C sensor, the Canon 24-70 mm lens is used by professional photographers, due to the high image quality that this lens delivers. From our Canon 24-70 mm 2.8 MK2 review on a Canon 5D MK3, it appears that distortion across the entire zoom range is reduced thanks to the new design, in particular at the maximum focal length of 70 mm. Every lens element is treated with Canon Super Spectra coatings to reduce flares and reflections and to achieve a perfect color balance. A fluorine coating on the front and back sides of the lens ensures that no dust, contaminants or fingerprints can attach to the lens and thereby contributes to the superior image quality after long use under extreme conditions.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II review @ Canon 650D
According to Canon, the compact design of the EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM makes this lens ideal for every photo session. Even so, there are photographers (such as on the image on the right) who prefer a mobile phone as a compact camera. They don’t know what they’re missing.
It is not only the number of megapixels that influences resolution: the Canon 650D has an 18 megapixel sensor, which is smaller than the 21 megapixel sensor of the Canon 5D MK3. The pixels of the Canon 650D are smaller and closer together. If you put the pixels of the Canon 650D on a Canon 5D MK3 sensor, it would be a 47 megapixel sensor. In terms of resolution, a test with the 18 megapixel Canon 650 D is more difficult for a lens than a test on a Canon 21 megapixel 5D MK3.
The design of the Canon 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM is more compact than its predecessor, but there are also mechanical improvements. From adjustments to the mechanical construction of the lens, there's a greater resistance to tremors and shocks in the lens. With a new zoom limiter on the lens, you can lock the zoom position at the maximum wide angle to prevent damage of the lens during transport. As with all Canon L-lenses, the Canon 240-70 2.8 II is extra-sealed against dust and water splash, so that you can continue photographing under difficult conditions. This lens, as opposed to the Canon 24-70 mm f/4, has no built-in image stabilization.
A ring-type USM (Ultrasonic motor) works with a powerful CPU and advanced AF-algorithms to precisely, noiselessly and exceptionally quickly perform automatic focusing. For photographers who want to control every detail themselves for every shot, full-time manual focusing makes adjustments possible, even when AF is on. There is no sign of searching in low light.
With a minimal focus distance of 0.38 meters for all focal lengths over the entire zoom range, the EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM offers photographers the ability to capture subjects from up close.
It already appeared from our previous test of this lens on a Canon 5D MK3 that with respect to sharpness, that is an exceptionally good lens. It won't surprise anyone then that the Canon 24-70 mm 2.8 II on a Canon 650D is just as top class. The sharpness in the corners is already from full aperture just as high as the sharpness in the center. After stopping down 2 stops, at f/5.6, the peak sharpness is reached.
Sgharpness is pretty constant over all focal lengths and aperture settings, although you can see differences if you compare images side by side. Below you can see an illustration of the largest difference in sharpness you can encounter with the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 mk2: from the sample image below, a 100% crop from a corner of the image at 70 mm f/2.8. It does get better at 70mm f/8 (move your mouse over the image below).
For this part, we can be brief: with a camera with an APS-C sensor, you have absolutely no trouble with vignetting with the Canon 24-70 2.8 II.
At the introduction of the Canon 24-70, Canon MK2 was indicated that the new version of this lens has less distortion, especially at 70mm. This is confirmed by our measurements. In almost all focal lengths the new version deforms less, but 70mm is the greatest difference. Compared to our previous test of the Canon 24-70mm 2.8 II test on a camera with a full frame sensor is entirely as expected, the distortion on a camera with an APS-C sensor now lower. Lenses often deform more at the edges and a Canon 650D use only the center of the image. Only with a focal length of 24mm, there is visible barrel distortion. That is normal for this type of zoom lenses and is easily corrected in Lightroom or Photoshop.
The Canon 24-70 2.8 II has a camera with a full frame sensor a very nice bokeh. On a camera with an APS-C sensor is the bokeh less quiet, but still beautiful around. Only from aperture 8 you can see that the bokeh is less round, as shown in the figure below.
The Canon 24-70 mm f/2.8 L II USM is completely redesigned, among other things, to maintain superior clarity under the most extreme conditions. Each lens element features Canon Super Spectra coatings to reduce flare and reflection. In practice, it appears that this zoom lens is well resistant to flare. Even if a bright sun shines right in the picture, ghosts and flares remain very well limited (move your mouse over the image to the right). Chances are that any UV filter to protect the front lens will cause more unwanted reflections than the lens. The included lens hood can serve as an alternative to a filter to protect the front lens.
Two aspherical UD (ultra-low Dispersion) lens elements and an aspherical Super UD element provide minimal chromatic aberration and color blur. With this lens, you will not be bothered by chromatic aberration, not even at high magnifications.
Canon 24-70mm 2.8 II test JPG & RAW score: This table normally shows the performances of this lens when saving files in the camera as jpg, with all available in-camera lens corrections enabled. The Jpg score then gives for this lens / test camera combination: "What you see is what you get." However, the Canon 650D test camera did not have correction data for this lens (yet). Therefor the results for a RAW and a jpg file are almost identical, because both files are not corrected.
High image quality; even better than its famous predecessor
Very well built
No built-in image stabilization
We come in this Canon 24-70 mm 2.8 II test on APS-C to the same conclusion as in our previous test on a camera with a full frame sensor: for every professional report or wedding photographer who is satisfied only with the highest image quality, the Canon 24-70 mm II is a very attractive choice and the high purchase price will not be an obstacle. For an amateur photographer with a somewhat lower budget, the Canon 24-70 mm f4 IS, or the old version of the Canon 24-70 mm f/2.8, is an attractive, due to price, alternative.
Author: Ivo Freriks
With Camera Review Stuff I hope to make a modest contribution to the pleasure that you get from photography. By testing cameras and lenses in the same way, evluating the results and weighing up the pros and cons, I hope to help you find the right camera or lens.
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