Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II Has No Peers in Terms of Sharpness, Says DxOMark


Ever since Canon’s new 24-70mm f/2.8L II arrived late last year, lens reviewers around the web have been saying very nice things about its sharpness. DxOMark is the latest tester to do so. Here’s what it has to say:

[…] the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 MkII is the highest scoring professional fixed-aperture mid-range kit zoom of any brand in the DxO Mark database and comfortably outperforms rivals as well as the firm’s earlier Mark I version, particularly with regard to the sharpness levels across the frame. We’re used to seeing a noticeable deterioration in performance in the outer fields at longer focal lengths even with high-quality optics from the big-name marques but the new Canon bucks that trend.

The company writes that the main issue is the lens’ price of $2,500 — quite steep when compared to rival lenses. Check out the full review for a more detailed breakdown of how the new 24-70mm performs.

Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM: A Peerless Performer [DxOMark via Canon Rumors]

  • Noah Wardrip

    Actually, according to the trend line of the graph, the new Canon lens is priced just right… Not that I don’t think it’s over-priced…

  • HD Cam Team

    It would be GREAT for that price if it had Image Stabilization too, but do *real world stills* benefit so much from the $1,000 more expensive lens (compared to the previous version)?

    We miss I.S. on a fast zoom lens. The f/4 version is very nice, but as expensive as the EF 24-70 2.8L was, with one f-stop less that sometimes makes a difference in some situations.

    It’s a real pity that Canon didn’t release a 24-70 f/2.8L II with I.S.. Yes, we know it would be a bit heavier, but LOT of people are asking for it.

  • Beverly Guhl

    I got a copy of this lens last year when it came out. The first copy was disappointing. Took it back to the store and tried 3 other copies in-store, taking a shot of text on a sign nearby. Picked the sharpest one–and it’s a winner. I’d owned the 24-70 v.1 but was never very happy with it. I wanted a 24-70 that was as fantastic as my 70-200 f/2.8 II; and this one is. As for price– you only cry once when you get a lens that consistently delivers on IQ and sharpness as this one does. Love it!

  • Matthew Wagg

    Its a 24mm to 70mm. At 24mm you can hold it at 1/25th of a second. Why in the name of all that is holy would you want IS? I mean seriously. When you learn proper technique you could probably drop that down to 1/15th or lower and still be sharp…

  • HD Cam Team

    Sure, I’ve shot at 1/8 at 24mm with great results, but what about at 70mm?

    Image Stabilization helps you to get wider range of shooting possibilities.

    Not to mention that it would be a HUGE improvement for shooting VIDEO…

  • dkoder

    why can’t they build the lens with an internal zoom mechanism escapes me… yes they say they redesigned the whole thing including the extending barrel, but when you use a lens everyday on the job…

    extending barrel zoom lenses will always be more likely to wear down faster than an internal zoom lens. and since we’re talking ‘red ring’ pro lenses at 2500$ i was expecting something else.

  • InTheMist

    I thought Canon users didn’t trust DXOMark.

  • Billy Skipper Hughes

    I have this lens, and it’s perfect how it is! I’ve never once thought I needed IS, and I shoot in poorly lit rooms all the time.
    And the price isn’t $2,500, it’s $2,300 at full retail, but you can already find it on sale for closer to $2k if you wait for the right day. This is exactly where the Mark I was when it came out. We’ve just gotten used to seeing it on craigslist for $1500.

  • Mansgame

    Your car can never be too fast, your girlfriend can never be too pretty, you can never make too much money, and your lens can never have enough stabilization.

  • Mansgame

    I’ll just stick with my lowly Nikkor 24-70. I’ll just have to survive with the extra $700 in my pocket.

  • Jordan Cullen

    Tamron 24-70 has IS (or “VC”) :) and it’s only $1200…

  • Chris Stark

    The Mk I is horrible. The Mk II is close to perfection but not exactly with no peers, it scored one point higher than the Nikon and at almost $1k more and five year newer design. Not to mention it’s not a 77mm front ring so now you have to go out and buy all a new UV filter and Polarizer. The Nikon’s only weakness to the Mk II is at 24 mm f/2.8, hardly a place you need sharp corners (or even want). Not to mention the continually bad CA that continues from the Mk I. Price being the same and mounts being interchangeable I’d still pick the Nikon glass for filter size and CA issues.

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Canon fans should rejoice at having IS options. It strengthens their video features. I know, I know, photographers don’t care about video….

  • wickerprints

    Being a Canon user has nothing to do with it. DxOMark results are complete nonsense, pseudoscientific BS for the purpose of confirming their own biases and generating controversy and attention. These scores are meaningless, whether or not Canon comes out ahead.

    I have yet to see them provide a single coherent rebuttal for their blatant abuse of summary statistics. They just mash different measures together and treat the resulting number as if it characterizes the entirety of the performance of a lens or camera. Only gullible photographers who are ignorant of scientific methods and data analysis believe such idiocy. And judging from the way DxO’s findings are so frequently cited and believed among photographers, it appears that most photographers are too stupid to know better.

  • SpaceMan

    So…you’re a Canon user after all :)

  • Joseph A. Sanchez III

    Since we are all having a contest at who is better at holding a camera. I’ve held a camera for a minute long exposure at 70mm. f/2.8L II.
    Stop having a damn pissing contest. No one cares, and I very much agree with what @Mansgame:disqus said.

  • HD Cam Team

    True! Although the Tamron is not as sharp as the 24-70 2,8L Il :(

    But it’s a very good alternative indeed.

  • HD Cam Team

    Not Craiglist, I got mine at B&H for $ 1,300 3 years ago…

  • HD Cam Team

    The 24-70 2,8L version 1 is a GREAT lens.

    You might have tested a bad copy or just read a bad review…

  • HD Cam Team

    No contest at all here. Just mentioning the benefits of having Image Stabilization for both Stills and Video.

  • HD Cam Team

    For this price level Canon SHOULD improve the Quality Control a LOT.

    Not everyone can test and return a “bad” copy.

    There are very different return policies I different Countries around the WorId.

  • Mansgame

    I’ve never owned one so I’m only going by whining from the owners for a need to update the lens.

  • John R

    Seriously, what is the point of IS? It doesn’t stop your subject moving and only one in three of your shots will be steady. These days you can crank up the ISO or shoot with a mighty mega-pixel and scale down. I have several stabilised lenses and its switched off 99.9% of the time. Fast glass is always the answer.

  • Jon

    As a pro wedding photographer I have to say the Mark 2 is ridiculously good. I can only speak from real world testing but I am so happy I got this one. I really did not want to spend the dough on a plain vanilla zoom range but this lens has elevated the quality of my work in this range. The truth (according to LR4) is I use a 24-70 zoom for most of my work. The results feel more like prime lens results. Super sharp and poppy. Much much better than the mark 1. My only complaint is the shade keeps falling off somehow. IS is not needed here although if they included it I would be happy too.

  • Dennis Drenner

    Expensive yes, but worth it if it is sharp. I used to shoot news in Washington DC and half the photogs in the scrum had the v. 1 of this lens. It has the perfect range, but they go out of sharp every few months and have to go back to Canon. Some guys owned two, one of which always seemed on its way to the shop.

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Ya, I think you’re the one thats got it out flapping in the wind (^_^)
    As a Nikon person, I was trying to be nice! IS / VR are great features. Even if you don’t think it’s useful for stills, it’ll always be usefull for video.

  • Goofball Jones

    I can’t believe that it doesn’t have IS!!! How can it even take pictures? I mean, photography didn’t exist before lenses got image stabilization. Sure, there were some fringe people experimenting with photography pre-IS (putting their cameras on something called a “tripod”…I’m not making that up either, go look it up, it’s insane!), but we all know that photography didn’t really become mainstream before IS, and from the looks of the other posts here, many agree.

    There certainly weren’t any “professional” photographers before then. I mean, how could you possibly make any money without IS?

  • kyoshinikon

    Actually it has a peer… Sony’s 24-70mm Sonnar T Equals it on sharpness…. When you say peers you mean the nikon equiv and the other canons b4 it… Additionally the Nikon equiv by your way of analysis had no peers prior to the 24-70mm f/2.8L Usm II and is much closer to the new model than it is to canons previous offerings… Not denying that it is a good lens but it is more hyped than it should be.

  • nikonian

    I could care less what Dxomark says but when a canon user looks down at me for shooting a nikon I make it clear that their tool is no better than mine…

  • nikonian

    Ive used several and they all suck compared to the 70-200mm L usm II. Not sharp up till about f/5.6. The new one is amazing compared to the old one. Most could care less as most dont pixel peep tho…

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  • michonn

    I have this lens actually 2 of them. The big problem is that the bottom corners are very soft even at F8 the first copy had tendency of the right bottom softness and the new copy of this lens have softness tendency on the left corner. This lens is amazing i central image but i think canon should test them before they go for sale.

  • DunnerB4u

    0.o You made my day!