This Lens replaces the discontinued Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8l since this (2013) year.
Price-wise this lens is almost double the cost of the old 24-70mm 2.8 Canon, is it worth the extra cash? No, not really if you stick to DSLR cameras up to 20 mega pixels, but for future, above 20 Mpx it is highly recommendable.
What is major difference between this two lenses? Answer is, sharpness, edge to edge. Nothing you can’t repair with software usage for lower resolution display or prints but worth mentioning.
If you plan to use Canon 24 70 f2.8 lens on APS-C camera it would look like 38-112mm on the FF camera.
The constant f/2.8 aperture is great for shooting indoors and produces a very nice bokeh when shooting portraits. Note that the new Canon EF 24-70mm ii comes without IS as well.
You can use this lens for portrait and wedding photography, landscapes, sports, and anything else that doesn’t require extreme telephoto capabilities. Even macro looks decent with this lens, with adding macro extender you could get amazing macro photos. For landscape shots, on APS-C (crop body) cameras, it may be too ‘narrow’, and you could pair it with Canons EF-S 10-22 USM lens to round up your Landscape kit.
Prime lenses are in most cases better in all domains than zoom lenses. Some of these lenses are faster than Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 II, some of them are even sharper across frame.
It really depends on intended use, cause by it’s purpose, there is no logic to compare Zoom lenses with Primes.
You should know what you need before buying such expensive gear.
While some prime lenses have advantage over the Zoom lenses, they tend to cost more.
Please check disadvantage of each lens separately, some doesn’t have sealing, some are slower, some are worse build quality, some are not as sharp as Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 II, some doesn’t have auto focus (it is not negative, if you plan to use it as video lens) etc.
Zeiss lenses are usually sharper than Canon lenses, across whole frame, all with manual focus (MF) and great build quality, amazing especially for video.
Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE
Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm f/3.5 ZE
Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM
Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF RF
Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
Bower 24mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle
Zeiss Distagon T* 25mm f/2.0 ZE
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM
Sigma 28mm f/1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF Macro AF
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
Zeiss Distagon 35mm T* f/2 ZE
Zeiss 35mm F/1.4 Distagon T
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM
Canon EF 35mm f/2.0
Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 US UMC Aspherical
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM
Carl Zeiss Planar T* f1.4 50mm
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM
Carl Zeiss Planar T* f1.4 85mm
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
* Listed lenses are the APS-C (1.6x crop) body alternatives to a field of view equal or close to one that Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 USM II produces when mounted on FF (full frame) sensor body ** Listed lenses are the FF (full frame) body alternatives to a field of view equal or close to one that Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 USM II produces when mounted on APS-C (1.6x crop) sensor body
For pixel peepers here are MTF charts:
Above are shown official MTF Charts for Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens from Canon site
Looking at MTF charts we can see how great this lens is. If you compare MTF charts with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II lens you can see why this lens got on our top list. With all respect to 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, we believe that this will become one of the favorite lenses for Canon users.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM attached on Canon 5D Mark II
At F2.8, central sharpness is extremely high at all focal lengths. The corners may not quite reach the same amazing heights, but they are still very good indeed.
Lateral chromatic aberration is very low. You will see a little fringing towards the edges and corners if you are really going to look for it.
Vignetting is, as usual, stronger on FF compared to APS-C. It goes away on telephoto end at f4.
As well as Vignetting it is more pronuounced on FF compared to APS-C. By dpreview graphs you can see that on wide end it has not small distortion of 1.7%, while on telephoto end it goes to pincushion distortion of -1.6%. You should not have any problems with this unless you shoot some geometric compositions. We believe software can correct this issue pretty well.
Bottom line for the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 Lens
Great all-around lens with amazing sharpness and colors, IQ close to the one we can see with the primes and yes, primes could cover this range with little better image quality and less distortions, but then you would have a risk of not catching a moment cause of lens lens exchange and we believe price would be even higher to cover 24-70mm range. This is must have lens if you plan in advance, although some may choose Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD with image stabilization, great image quality and similar price range as discontinued 24-70mm f/2.8 L MK I, while some might pick Canon EF 24-105 f/4 L over it. It all comes down to you and what you want and need. We strongly suggest to rent this lens to see if it fits your desires. For ones that will or own Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, we believe it will be one of their favorite Canon L lenses.
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