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Review Canon 24-70 mm 2.8 L USM (C APS-C)

This lens, very popular among professionals, was introduced in 2002. A few weeks ago, the successor, Canon 24-70 mm MK2, was announced. Anticipating the introduction of the Canon 24-70 mm MK2, we test the old Canon 24-70 mm. With that, we already set the bar for the Canon 24-70 mm MK2, because we assume that this lens will be even better than the 'good old' Canon 24-70 mm, which we address in this test.

Canon-24-70-usm-l-180

Canon 24-70 mm test, test Canon 24-70 mm 2.8 L USM, Canon 24-70 mm MK2
Canon 24-70 mm 2.8 L USM @ 24 mm
Canon 24-70 mm test, test Canon 24-70 mm 2.8 L USM, Canon 24-70 mm MK2
Canon 24-70 mm 2.8 L USM @ 70 mm

On a camera with an APS-C sensor, such as the Canon 7D, the Canon 24-70 mm has a 3 x zoom range that in terms of angle corresponds to the zoom range of a 38-112 mm zoom lens.

Construction and autofocus

 

The Canon 24-70 mm is built like a tank and is additionally sealed against water and dust. This lens is relatively large and weighs almost a kilo. Many amateur photographers will therefore give preference to the Canon 24-105 mm instead of the Canon 24-70 mm. Partly thanks to the high luminosity of this lens, the autofocus also works well in low light in combination with the Canon 7D.

 
Specifications
Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L USM
Price @ Amazon
Image Stabilization:-
lenses/ groups:16/13
length x diameter:124x83mm
filter size:77
Weight:950
Lens hood:+

Image stabilization

 

This lens is carried out without image stabilization. Not everyone will be bothered to the same extent, but it remains a drawback.

Vignetting

 

On a camera with a full-frame sensor, there is vignetting, but in combination with the Canon 7D, the Canon 24-70 mm scores much better in terms of vignetting. Yet in some situations vignetting is still somewhat visible, as you can see in this practice shot.

Move your mouse over the image for the Imatest results for vignetting.

 

praktijkvignet24mm-apsc-Canon-24-70

Distortion

 

The distortion is clearly visible at both 24 and 70 mm. Using software, such as Canon's DPP that comes free with the purchase of a Canon SLR camera or the lens profiles in Photoshop for this, it can be corrected.

vervorming-apsc-Canon-24-70

Bokeh

 
bokeh-Canon-24-70 70mm-apsc-bokeh-Canon-24-70

On a camera with an APS-C sensor, the Canon 24-70 mm has a reasonably nice bokeh. On the right, you see a 100% image cropping of the bokeh at the place of the green dot in the left image. The difference in bokeh of this lens at 70 mm and maximum aperture between a camera with a full-frame sensor (Canon 5D MK2) and a camera with an APS-C sensor (Canon 7D) is surprisingly small.

Move your mouse over the right image for a comparison of the Canon 24-70 mm bokeh at 70 mm, aperture 2.8 on a Canon 7D and Canon 5D MK2.

 

Flare

 

With a design of 16 elements in combination with a 77 mm front lens, you may expect flare or ghosting. Compared with a telephoto lens, the Canon 24-70 mm indeed has more problems with flare, but for a 24 mm lens, it is not too bad.

Here a practical example of a secondary image that emerges at a backlight image, taken with the Canon 24-70 mm on the Canon 7D.

flare-apsc-Canon-24-70

Resolution

 

With the Canon 24-70 mm, you reach the highest possible resolution for a lens on a Canon camera with an APS-C sensor, such as the Canon 7D used in this test. By combining the lens with a full-frame Canon camera like the Canon 5D MK2 – which is what this lens is designed for - you still win considerably in resolution.

At most focal lengths, you win some resolution by stopping down once. At 24 mm, there is a visible difference between the resolution at the edges.

Click your mouse on the image for more Imatest results.

 

Resolutie-apsc-Canon-24-70

Chromatic aberration

 

At 24 mm, there is a chance for visible chromatic aberration when using the Canon 24-70 mm. At the other focal lengths, the chromatic aberration is very well under control. Chromatic aberration is easy to correct by the way, for example with the DPP software supplied for free with the purchase of a Canon SLR.

Click your mouse on the image for more Imatest results.

 

CA-apsc-Canon-24-70

Conclusion Canon 24-70 mm 2.8 L USM review

Canon-24-70-usm-l-produkt

Look in our list of all reviewed lenses or the lenses we have reviewed with a Canon mount in order to compare the performance of this lens with other lenses.
ECWYSIWYG score: This table shows the performance of this lens if you save the files in the camera as jpg, where you have all available in-camera lens corrections applied. This score will give you for this lens/camera combination test: "What you see is what you get".
70
112
7.4
7.2
8.8
8.7
7.9
24
35
6.7
6.9
8.1
8.3
6.0
32
50
7.5
7.7
8.3
8.6
6.3
53
85
7.6
7.3
8.0
8.8
9.2
Overall
Overall
7.2
7.2
8.3
8.6
6.9

Pros

  • Large (2.8) fixed aperture
  • Indestructible
  • Extra sealed against dust and water

Cons

  • high price
  • Heavy and large
  • No image stabilization
  • Visible distortion at 24 mm and 70 mm
  • Resolution at 24 mm lower at the edges
  • Chromatic aberration at 24mm

The Canon 24-70 mm is built like a tank: big and heavy. Owners of a Canon camera with an APS-C sensor get the highest resolution from their camera with this lens. However, many amateur photographers will probably prefer the cheaper, lighter and more compact Canon 24-105 mm, which has a larger zoom range in addition.

 

Ivo Freriks
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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