Now that the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Zoom Lens is about ready to ship, its reviews are starting to come out. One of the reviews that I’ve been anticipating is from Roger Cicala on Lens Rentals.com blog. Roger knows his lenses inside and out, if you recall his extensive piece on the accuracy issue of Phase Detect AF that we posted earlier this year.
So with the 24-70mm mkII, what everybody wants to know is how does it compare to the original Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens? Well the answer is pretty surprising.
According to Roger and his resolution test, the 24-70mm mkII is considerably sharper than the 24-70mm mkI at f/2.8 in the center and corners at 24mm and 70mm. It is also sharper than the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens at 70mm.
On top of that, this new 24-70mm mkII even out resolves the $2,000 Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Tilt-Shift Manual Focus Lens, which Roger says is their sharpest 24mm prime lens ever!
The old 24-70mm mkI I zoom lens was plagued with inconsistent variation in resolution quality. The 5 copies of the mkII lens, thankfully, have “little copy-to-copy variation,” says Roger.
So is $2,229 Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Zoom Lens worth paying the extra premium? In Roger’s opinion, it is because it is better than the mkI zoom lens in every way.
This is short, sweet, and simple. 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.
Here is the spec of the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Zoom Lens from B&H:
This redesigned EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Zoom Lens from Canon ups the ante for optical performance for a professional standard zoom lens. It has one Super UD lens element and two UD lens elements that minimize chromatic aberration in the periphery at wide-angle, as well as reducing color blurring around the edges of the subject. In addition, two 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 help ensure exceptional color balance while minimizing ghosting.
A ring-type USM and high-speed CPU with optimized AF algorithms ensure silent, fast autofocusing. The lens is constructed with improved dust sealing and water resistance, w hile fluorine coatings on the front and rear lens reduce fingerprints and smearing. A circular 9-blade diaphragm gives beautiful, soft backgrounds. 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.