After the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L Mark II was announced at the beginning of this year, many photographers were disappointed that it didn’t include Image Stabilization. When October rolled around, there were new rumors that Canon had an IS version of the 24-70mm up its sleeve. The company did, but it wasn’t what people were expecting. When the new IS lens was unveiled in November, it was an f/4 lens rather than an f/2.8.
If you’re one of the many people who wanted both the convenience of having IS and the benefits of having f/2.8, here’s some good news: there is indeed a 24-70mm f/2.8 IS on the way.
Despite its girth, weight, and price, Canon’s original 24-70mm f/2.8L is a highly-regarded general-purposes lens. When the followup Mark II version was announced back in February, the higher-price tag, similar specs, and lack of IS had many photographers scratching their heads. Then the reviews started coming out.
An update to the image-stabilized Canon 24-70mm lens rumor that we shared yesterday: Canon Rumors is reporting with certainty that the lens is in fact on the way. However, the lens won’t be an IS version of the f/2.8, as previously reported, but an entirely new Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS. In other words, the lens will give up a stop in max aperture in exchange for IS.
When Canon unveiled the followup lens to its popular Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L back in February, many photographers found it strange that the lens eschewed Image Stabilization even while two wide-angle prime lenses announced at the same time had IS. After all, a $2,300 lens that extends to 70mm on the telephoto end seems like it would benefit more from stabilization than 24mm and 28mm lenses. If you’ve been yearning for a “Brick” (as the 24-70mm used to be called) with IS, here’s some good news: the lens reportedly exists, and may already be floating around in the wild for initial tests.
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]