Canon 24-70mm II “Way Better” Than the Original, Kicks Butt and Takes Names

After being announced back in 2002 as a replacement to the 28-70mm, Canon’s 24-70mm f/2.8 (above right) quickly became an extremely popular and highly regarded lens due to its friendly all-around focal range and sharpness. When the Mark II version was unveiled back in February to succeed “The Brick”, as the Mark I version is called, photographers grumbled at its hefty $2,300 price tag, the fact that it uses an 82mm filter instead of 77mm, and the lack of Image Stabilization. Roger Cicala over at LensRentals tested out the new lens, and has extremely positive things to say about it:

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.

Resolution is not everything, of course. But it’s certainly an important thing. Unless the real lens reviewers find some dramatic problems with this lens, I’d have to lean towards worth-the-money on this one. I can’t believe I’m saying that a $2,300 standard zoom is worth the money. But then again, I can’t believe I’m seeing a zoom lens out resolve a $2,000 world-class prime, either.

Okay, okay. Time to sell a kidney.

Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II Resolution Tests [LensRentals]

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    along with the price, no IS (not that I need it) and thread diameter – I would complain about how the hood attaches to the lens – the mark I was great as it concealed the lens extending but the mark II just looks terrible – I know, I know fashion over function is a pointless argument.

    Anyway, I won’t be forking out for this lens, 70-200mm lenses are cheaper and much better for portrait work and are still really, really sharp

  • Jeremy Madore

    Not sure if you noticed, but the II doesn’t have the odd “reverse zoom” barrel effect – this is a normally operating zoom. The sample above shows it at its longest length, fully zoomed to 70mm.

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    I never found the zoom to be odd, the fact that the 24-70 extended out to 24mm never bothered me – like I said, the way the hood attaches hides everything anyway – which is what I liked.

  • Nathan Blaney

    I TOTALLY agree about the lens hood – but not from a perspective of how it looks, but its function. The fact that the hood conceals the extending lens barrel protects it. If you work in any sort of outdoor situation, particularly as a journalist – then rain, sand, etc all become an issue. I’d never buy a lens that was as exposed as the version II is.

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    I recently covered a PETA protest in London and I had the 24-70 for it and it was raining the whole time – the hood is excellent, shame they couldn’t keep it the same for the mark II

  • Zak Henry

    Yup, I have the 24-70 Nikon which has the same hood system as the Canon Mark I, and I’m comfortable letting the hood take the weight of the camera, because it is directly connected to the lens body. With this new Mark II lens resting any weight on the hood will push the inner element back possibly damaging zoom gears.

  • furabucho

    the new hood gives the lens that “prosumer” look to it.

  • John Kantor

    Gee, another ludicrously overpriced lens that only amateurs with more money than sense will buy.