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Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM in-depth review (comparison with the first version)

Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM photoCanon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM - a lens that immediately aroused my admiration. For this review, I rented it for a few days to test it properly. I have something to compare with, because I have been using the first version 24-70 for many years and am very pleased with it. For comparison, I will first describe the experience with the previous model.

A little about Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L first version

This is a very versatile and high quality lens in every sense. The first thing that pleases him is color rendering... Somewhere on the Internet, I met the characteristic 24-70, which he gives lamp colors... Apparently by analogy with tube sound amplifiers. Colors feel soft, rich and pleasant. This is what I have not seen with lenses. Sigma... I associate their color rendition with dirt and gray haze.

The first version focuses with lightning speed. I have not held a faster AF lens than the Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L USM. The second version is identical in this sense.

The weak point of the first 24-70mm f / 2.8L appears when shooting at an open aperture of 50-70mm. At 24mm f2.8, its sharpness is satisfactory. The image becomes soft when zoomed in. Not soapy, but the detail is still lost. Therefore, when shooting difficult scenes at 70mm, I'm already used to closing the aperture to f4. At closed apertures, the lens is always sharp.

How does the Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM look different from the first version?

Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM photo with lens hoodIt is smaller and lighter. It's nice. The weight has been reduced by only 150 grams, but it can be felt. I'm used to the weight of the first version. The second is more ergonomic. This applies not only to the weight, but also the zoom ring, which is noticeably wider and at the same time easier to rotate. This moment will be appreciated by videographers. The zoom goes smoothly and does not give jumps in the video, as it was with the first. Although the Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM does not have a stabilizer and is mainly intended for photography, I still appreciated its convenience for video shooting (here these christenings removed on the second 24-70).

Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM filter diameterIn contrast to the first version, zooming here is standard: the lens is assembled by 24mm, the front part is extended by 70mm. It comes with a regular petal hood, which does little to help from the sun in body position. On the other hand, this hood is more compact, which is convenient for transportation.

The body of the second version is made of plastic, not metal, but I don't care. Do not hammer them in nails.

The diameter of the thread for filters has increased from 77mm to 82mm.

Image quality on the Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM

Here we get to the fun part. I was very curious how perfect the second version can be, if there are few complaints about the first.

The first 24-70 is a very high quality zoom lens. The second 24-70 is a zoom lens that shoots like fixes in all respects. The color rendition is juicy, rich and contrasting. Photos with Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM do not want to be twisted in lightroom. They are already ready in fact (if you exactly hit the white balance and exposure :). With the first version, it used to be desirable to tighten the contrast or increase whites for brightness. In the case of this lens, everything is already very good and juicy.

I'll tell you about my experience and feelings. I filmed reportage on Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM и Canon EF 135mm f2L USM... These lenses differ only in focal lengths. Contrast, sharpness and color rendition are identical. You can distinguish frames by the degree of background blur. Foreground sharpness and quality are just perfect. It's worth mentioning that the Canon EF 135mm f2L USM is considered one of the finest and sharpest lenses in Canon's lineup. The second version, 24-70, is in no way lagging behind. It is sharp at all apertures and focal lengths. It's boring to test its sharpness. You cannot see the difference between the images. They are all perfect. Vignetting is noticeable at f2.8 (if vignetting correction is disabled in the camera) and distortion at 24mm (if photographing a brick wall, not in real conditions).

The second version has 24-70 higher t-stop, which naturally affects the colors, brightness and saturation of the pictures.

light transmission canon 24-70 f2.8

Compare Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L USM vs Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM in sharpness.

The purity of the experiment is somewhat violated in terms of perspective and bb, do not blame me.

comparison at 24mm wide open aperture f / 2.8 in the center

comparison at 24mm wide open aperture f / 2.8 in the center

comparison at 24mm wide open aperture f / 2.8 in the center

comparison at 24mm wide open aperture f / 2.8 at the edges

comparison at 24mm wide open aperture f / 5.6 in the center

comparison at 24mm wide open aperture f / 5.6 in the center

comparison at 24mm wide open aperture of f / 5.6 in the corner of the frame

comparison at 24mm wide open aperture of f / 5.6 in the corner of the frame

comparison at 70mm wide open aperture f / 2.8 in the center

comparison at 70mm wide open aperture f / 2.8 in the center

comparison at 70mm at open aperture f / 2.8 at the edges of the frame

comparison at 70mm at open aperture f / 2.8 at the edges of the frame

comparison at 70mm at f / 5.6 center

comparison at 70mm at f / 5.6 centercomparison at 70mm at f / 5.6 in corners

comparison at 70mm at f / 5.6 in corners

About bokeh

I read somewhere that supposedly the first version has more pleasant bokeh than the second. They seem identical to me. I ask you not to pay attention to the color, the lighting was different.

canon 24-70 ii bokeh comparison

canon 24-70 ii bokeh comparison

Examples of bokeh on the Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM:

bokeh on Canon 24-70mm f2.8L II

bokeh example 24-70 ii

conclusions

The main question that gnaws at every photographer is to buy or not to buy? The lens is definitely cool and well worth the money. At the time of release in 2012, it cost $ 2200, now in 2016 in Kiev it can be bought for $ 1650. It is an ideal lens with focal lengths from 24mm to 70mm and a constant f2.8 aperture. The point is different - to what extent are these parameters in demand for you and are you ready to pay so much for them?

70mm f2.8 allows for a strong background blur only in half-length portraits (in my opinion). For a full-length photo with strong bokeh, you will somehow need 85mm f1.8 or 135mm f2... If you photograph interiorsthen 24mm is not wide enough. If you photograph mainly subjectthen you don't need f2.8. And if you often shoot in low light, then f2.8 is not enough. When filming christening I like working with fixes better because of the higher aperture. So for all the ideality of this lens, it still does not replace 14 mm50mm f1.4 or 85mm f1.8... Is it worth investing such an impressive amount in it? It is up to everyone to decide individually, depending on the popular tasks and the nature of the work. What I can say for sure is that this lens is designed for professional use. It is not wise to spend this amount if you are not make money from photography, and the difference in quality compared to simpler lenses will not be so critical for you.

My video comparison of Canon 24-70mm f2.8L II vs 24-70mm f4L IS: