The Canon EOS 24-70mm f/4L IS USM is designed for full-frame DSLRs like the Canon EOS 6D. With 2 aspheric and 2 UD elements, the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM is said to deliver high- quality images with excellent detail throughout the entire zoom range. A 9-blade circular diaphragm should produce pleasingly soft backgrounds. It offers a minimum focusing distance of 1.25 ft./0.38m across the entire zoom range and has a macro mode at the telephoto end with up to 0.7x magnification (minimum focusing distance becomes 7.87 in./0.2m) and is easily accessible with a one-touch switch. It features a Hybrid IS system with up to 4 stops of stabilization, compensating for both angular and shift types of camera shake, delivering effective stabilization even in macro. Inner focusing and ring-type USM deliver, fast, quiet AF, and full-time manual focus is available for manual focusing even while in AF mode. The durable EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM is sealed for excellent dust and water resistance plus has fluorine coating on the front and rear elements reducing smears and fingerprints.
When the EF 24-70 f/2.8L Mark II came out earlier this year it started lots of discussions, mainly because of the hefty price tag ($2299). With this price tag, basically same specs and no image stabilization this lens had to be very good. Indeed, this lens has an amazing image quality.
Roger Cicala at Lensrentals com compared the previous iteration of the EF 24-70 f/2.8L to the new one using Imatest to measure the resolution properties of both lens. Well, the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II sharpness figures are excellent, better than it predecessor. But there was more Roger Cicala wanted to learn. There have been concerns by users that some copies of the EF 24-70mm didn't have the sharpness they were expecting. He compared 70 copies of the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II to 125 copies of the EF 24-70mm f/2.8 to see if and how much variation there was in the resolution figures. There is, look at the next picture.
While the Mark II is clearly topping the Mark I, there are huge differences among both batches. Quoting Roger Cicala:
A look at the graph shows a couple of things. Overall, the range of variation of the Mk II lens is about the same as the Mk I version. (And these are recent Mk Is after we learned how to keep the 70mm variation to a minimum. It used to be much greater.)
You can also see that three of the tested Mk II lenses seem to be out-of-sorts. Even with 70 copies, though, it’s hard to be absolutely certain where the ‘acceptable’ cutoff should be by just looking at the graph. [...]
The bottom line is that 3 lenses out of the 70 copies were not up to expectations. That is a bit higher than the 2% unacceptable rate we usually see ‘out of the box’.
One other thing demonstrates the difficulty we have with one of the less-than-expected copies; they’re still better than the best of the 24-70 Mk I versions. They just aren’t as much better as they should be.
Ok, so the worst performing of the Mark II is better than the best performing of the Mark I lens, but variation is pronounced. There is more in Cicala's post, for instance the EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS II is compared to the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II at 70mm. Check it out.
Canon Rumors reports a rumor saying that Canon is testing prototypes of an EF 24-70mm lens, supposedly named EF 24-70 f/2.8L IS. Quoting CR:
[...] received two separate communications in regards to an EF 24-70 f/2.8L IS being in the wild in prototype form. We knew this prototype has existed for quite some time, however we figured the concept was dead with the release of the EF 24-70 f/2.8L II. Canon would bring this lens to market alongside the non-IS version. Canon already does this with the 70-200 f/2.8s & 70-200 f/4s, so it’s possible they bring it to the standard zooms as well.
None of my sources confirmed this rumor to me. However, according to CR an image stabilized version of this lens definitely exists.
The 24-70mm is a wide-angle to medium telephoto range that’s popular with full-frame shooters (e.g. photojournalists), so I thought it would be a good idea to write a 24-70mm lenses reviews round-up. Canon, Sigma and Tamron are the brands of choice. If used on a APS-C sensor, the lenses give you an equivalent of 36-105mm.
Canon recently released the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II lens ($2300) to succeed the now discontinued EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM (still available on eBay for around $1800). Canon’s new EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II has a rather hefty price tag, and no image stabilization. Being an “L” lens it is totally weather sealed, and the overall build quality is on line with Canon’s “L”-philosophy. The video above and the sharpness test below feature the “old” EF 24-70mm, which also comes without image stabilization.
The Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD ($1,299) is cheaper than both Canons and has image stabilization(VC), making it an interesting alternative. The weather sealing of the Tamron is defined as a moisture-resistant construction [that] helps prevent water from penetrating the lens. For a lab test of the Tamron click here. And then there is the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM ($899), no image stabilization, no weather sealing and definitely the less expensive of the three. A review of the Sigma can be read here.
At learningdslrvideo they were particularly interested to compare sharpness. They used a Canon EOS 5D Mark III for the tests. The results are discussed in the video above. That’s what they found out:
f2.8: Tamron beats Sigma (Sigma looks bad in the center and edges), Canon beats Tamron ever so slightly at center and edges
f5.6: Sigma beats Tamron at both center and edges, Canon beats Sigma only at center, edges are a tie
f8.0: Sigma and Tamron tie, Canon wins slightly
f16.0: All three tie
f22.0: Sigma does a nice job beating both Tamron and Canon
f2.8: Sigma beats Tamron in the center, Tamron beats Sigma in the edges, Sigma beats Canon in center, Canon beats Sigma in the edges
f5.6: Sigma and Tamron tie, Sigma beats Canon in the center
f8.0: Tamron beats both Canon and Sigma
f16.0: All three tie
f22.0: All three tie
The Sigma may not have the excellent build quality of the Canon, nor it has any sort of weather sealing like the Tamron. Nevertheless, the Sigma has an excellent build quality), and its sharpness is good. Obviously sharpness is not the only concern for a photographer (though one of the most important). However, the Sigma is much less expensive than the Canon and the Tamron.
The next video shows a 24-70mm Canon vs. Tamron shootout (by youtube user TheCameraStoreTV). This time the new Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II lens comes into the game.
The resolution absolutely, positively kicks butt and takes names. It is way better than the lens it replaces. It’s better at 70mm than the best Canon zoom I know of, the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II. It’s even better at 24mm than the sharpest 24mm prime we have, the Canon 24 TS-E. In the center, in the corners, it doesn’t care. We only had 5 copies to test, but they were all very similar with little copy-to-copy variation.
Another test comes from borrowlenses.com, with comparisons with other lenses and interactive test charts.
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