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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 II - as sharp as the 70-200 f/2.8?

StevefStevef Member
edited September 2014 in Canon
If I'm going to spend 2k I want that kind of sharpness. I have the non-IS version of the 70-200 and I couldn't ask for a sharper lens. If the 24-70 can't get me there I'd rather spend the money elsewhere. Nothing I've read or seen so far has convinced me I'm going to be happy with this lens. What say you?


  • "Stunning" is what I was looking for, Neil. That's a good description of how I feel about my 70-200.
  • I hate to dampen the party on the Canon 24-70 2.8 II, but my results have not been so stunning.  First, I sent the lens back to Canon because the focus was way way off.  

    I would not at all compare the 24-70mm II 2.8 to the 70-200 II 2.8.  The 70-200 II 2.8 is simply a fantastic and one of the sharpest lens.  It simply works.  I have not had the same experience with my 24-70 II 2.8.

    I honestly find its not a lens I use very often...
  • TrevTrev Moderator

    Cannot speak personally, but friend also went for the 24-70 II and I've seen some of the files, when it's "on" it's really on, but around 5-10% of the shots are damn just plain "off", and that's not acceptable, especially when shooting 'once only' things like a wedding.

    He returned it and sticks to his 24-105 f4 which is damn sharp like I found when I had Canon gear, which back then was a major deciding factor I went to Nikon and it's simply stellar 24-70 lens. The Canon's 70-200 II is also fantastic as Michael said.
  • I love my non-IS version of the 70-200. Can not find any fault with that lens. Tempted to get the II.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited September 2014
    Steve, the 70-200 II is streets ahead of the ver I lens, especially with the IS, if tempted and you want it I reckon you won't regret the purchase for sure.

    When I had Canon, I had both the 70-200 f4 Non-IS, and the f2.8 IS version 1, but then I got the 70-200 II f2.8, it was chalk and cheese, I immediately within a week had sold the other 2 lenses.

    The same applied to Nikon's 70-200 versions, the II was a lot better than the 1st version.
  • MichaelVMichaelV Member
    edited September 2014
    Anytime I have used the 70-200 II 2.8 it simply works for the occasion.  Only complaint is that Ive needed a bit more of the mm at times.  200mm can be a little bit short of the target in some instances.  Its one of Canon's sharpest lenses and perfect for portraits if you dont have to go under 2.8.  You should most certainly get the 70-200 II 2.8 as one of your standard lenses.  

    Ive had long discussions about the 24-70 2.8 II on other boards.  Let me say you should rent that lens first and come to your own decision before buying it.  I think you can make do without the 24-70 II 2.8.  For 24mm landscape shots, I would get the 24mm 2.8 IS prime lens.  That 24mm is awesomely sharp with IS and easy to carry around.  Think when you have used a lens like the 24-70.  You usually either use the lens at 24mm or 70mm, but not so much in between.  Wedding and event photographers might know where to fit the 24-70 2.8 II into their work.  They need the in-between focal lengths and to stop the action at lower light levels.  

    I prefer the Sigma 24-105 4.0 IS.  You do have to find a little bit more light with that lens, but its a lens which works and that extra mm is indeed needed at times.  Another technique is to carry multiple bodies without the battery grip for a lighter and smaller footprint.  Two bodies with prime lenses.  One body has the 24mm or 35mm and the other body has the  50mm or 85mm.  

    The White House photographer Pete Souza is a big fan of the multiple body, prime lens approach.  Although, in videos and pictures of him doing it he does look like he is breaking a sweat and struggling with it somewhat.  No pain, no gain;), but it works for him.

    Keep in mind when I mention the 85mm prime, I mean the Sigma version as its faster at the focus.  The Canon 85mm II is best for portraits and where you have that time to focus.  The Canon 85mm II is a dinosaur at the focusing in my experience so you might miss that shot as you wait for the thing to find its mark.  

    At the end of the day, I know most photographers throw up their hands and ask for their Canon 24-105 F4 IS because its the one solution which seems to work.  Everyone I know around here seems to use the 24-105 as their go-to lens.  
  • I have rented several copies of the 24-70 MK II and if I had the cash to buy it, I would. All lenses and camera bodies miss focus and the larger the aperture, the more likely it is to happen. While all copies of the MKII missed some shots, I have to say that is true of every lens and body I have ever used, even the 70-200 MK II.

    As far as the WH photos, all of the photos I looked at were taken with zooms with the 24-70 MK II being used most often. A place like that needs a fast sharp zoom since you never know what FL you will need so it makes sense to use the 24-70.

    I have also rented the Tamron 24-70 and found it to be horrible with too many photos being soft and oof. The left edge/corner was very soft at around 40-55 mm and I expected more from this lens since I have a Tamron 17-50 for my crop body and it is amazing. 


  • I ilke mine. Had a 24-105 for many years. A good lens but never liked it at 24mm so when this one come out I sold it and purchased the the 24-70.

    new.jpg 333.5K
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Beautiful shot, BW conversion, and detail Zenon
  • Thanks Trev. I had been looking for a FF landscape lens around 24mm for years. Rented the Canon 24mm Tilt Shift and the Zeiss 21mm. Both very good lenses but I'm not a tinkering person inn the field so the Tilt Shift novelty would have worn off. The Zeiss and no AF which really does not matter at 24 but still for that price.    

    The 24 -70 really filled in that gap. I miss the 70 -105 range but this lens has become a workhorse for general and landscape applications. Not perfect but I'm glad I waited. I'm still a little ticked at Canon for no including IS at that price but I was surprised that at that range I do not miss it as much as I thought I would. In fact hardly ever. 

    Some say the improvements were not enough for that price but there are others who say it was well worth it. I have found there is no grey area with this lens regarding pricing and quality gain. It comes down to how deep or shallow each individuals pockets are.                         
  • Forgot to say. I do not regret the purchase at all. 
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