Monday, February 6, 2012

Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II and other new lenses announced (UPDATED: Review Included)

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM (Order now at Adorama and B&H)

UPDATE: You can find my review of this lens here.

Prepare to go broke this year as Canon is on a roll right now launching some great new products. The first is perhaps one of the longest and most anticipated lens launches of the last three years – the all new 24-70mm f/2.8L II. Here’s what Canon has to say…

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens for Harsh and Rigorous Conditions

Canon continues the tradition of ensuring the Company's highest quality optical performance in its L-series lenses with the launch of the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM zoom lens. This new version of one of Canon's most popular lenses utilizes one Super UD lens element and two UD lens elements to help achieve outstanding image quality throughout the full zoom range. The result is significantly reduced chromatic aberration in the outer area at wide-angle, high resolution and contrast in images and crisp clear edges around the subject. The lens coatings have been optimized to ensure exceptional color balance while minimizing ghosting, and reduced spherical aberration. With a circular nine-blade diaphragm, the lens delivers soft backgrounds and incredible bokeh.

In demand by architectural, corporate, adventure and professional photographers of nearly every discipline, the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens combines amazing image quality with enhanced durability. Highly resistant to dust and water, the new lens has enhanced durability and weather sealing. The lens also features a zoom lock lever to secure the zoom position for safe transport, and fluorine coatings on the front and rear glass surfaces to reduce smears and fingerprints, making it an ideal lens regardless of the conditions.

The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens is expected to be available in April for an approximate retail price of $2,299.00.

Here’s the specs of the new lens (differences in orange):

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture 24-70mm, 1:2.8
Lens Construction 18 elements in 13 groups
Diagonal Angle of View 84° - 34°
Focus Adjustment Inner-focusing with USM
Closest Focusing Distance 0.38m/1.25 ft.
Zoom System Rotating Type
Filter Size 82mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight 3.5 x 4.4 in., 28.4 oz. / 88.5 x 113mm, 805g

versus the specs for the outgoing lens:

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture 24-70mm 1:2.8
Lens Construction 16 elements in 13 groups
Diagonal Angle of View 84° - 34°
Focus Adjustment Front-focusing method
Closest Focusing Distance 0.38m/1.25 ft.
Zoom System Rotating Type
Filter Size 77mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight 3.3" x 4.9", 2.1 lbs. / 83.2mm x 123.5mm, 950g

The new lens has two more elements, inner focusing (which means the length is always constant), it’s bigger around and its about 5 ounces lighter. It’s also about $900 more, so expect great performance like the other new releases but at a steep price.

Here’s more info including sample images on Canon’s web site:

Click here to order now at Adorama.

Click here to order now at B&H.

EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM & EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM

Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS USM
Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS USM (Order at Adorama)

Empowering landscape and wide-angle photographers with improved optical performance, Canon has upgraded both its EF 24mm and EF 28mm lenses with Image Stabilization technology and Ultrasonic Motor-powered auto focus. Both lenses feature Canon's Optical Image Stabilizer technology providing up to four shutter speed stops of correction. With the Optical Image Stabilizer turned on, photographers can capture sharp wide-angle images in low-light settings reducing the need for a flash or a tripod. New aspherical lens elements improve the peripheral image quality and a seven-blade circular diaphragm delivers beautiful, soft backgrounds. The silent and smooth operation of each lens makes them ideal choices for shooting video as well. The EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM lenses each have a minimum focusing distances of 0.20m and 0.23m, respectively.

Canon 28mm f/2.8 IS USM
Canon 28mm f/2.8 IS USM (Order at Adorama)

The EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM lens is expected to be available in June for an approximate retail price of $849.99, while the EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM lens is expected to be available in June for an approximate retail price of $799.99.

Pre-Order Information

Pre-order info from Adorama and B&H will be posted Tuesday morning after it is released, so please keep checking back. I will release it as soon as I’m given clearance to share it with you.

24-70mm f/2.8L IS II order links
Other order links
  • Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS USM (Order at Adorama)
  • Canon 28mm f/2.8 IS USM (Order at Adorama)

You may click


The new primes are interesting, so I’m hoping Canon will send me some to try out. However, the big news here is the long-awaited arrival of the new 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. This is the lens I’ve been waiting for for quite some time, so I can’t wait to get my hands on it. It will definitely be the replacement for my beloved 24-105mm.

UPDATE: You can find my review of this lens here.


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Peter A. Jensen said...

Sounds like you expect the new 24-70 to be a big deal in terms of improvement of image quality. It's hard (for me) to read this from the specs, so do you mind elaborating on what specific improvements you are looking for and how it made change how you would use this classic Canon lens?

Ron Martinsen said...

Hi Peter,

There's several significant changes to this lens versus its predecessor.

The first and foremost is that it is part of Canon's reengineering effort where they have optimized their lens for digital whereas its predcessor was optimized for film. There's a whitepaper on Olympus web site about what this means technically, but the short story is that you'll get brighter results on digital sensors than before.

The other major improvement includes the use of better glass inside and two additoinal elements (Super UD in this case. This has a big impact on sharpeness but also results in part of the price increase.

The delta of improvement of this lens should be similar to the level of improvement we've seen from the old and new 70-200 f/2.8L IS as well as the 300 2.8, 400 2.8, and even the 200 f/2 (vs its 200 f/1.8 predecessor).

What I've observed is that this generally means in those lenses is significantly sharper and brighter at wide open, but there generally tends to be a slightly drop in performance at f/13+ over the predecessors which were optimized for film.

The cost sucks for sure, but I have no doubt that this lens will offer the best sharpeness seen in this range, a pleasant bokeh, inner focusing, better weather resistance, and lighter weight (5 oz). The softness and chromatic abberation issues of its predecessor should be significantly improved as well.

This is going to be my go to lens for general purpose use. It will be my replacement for my 24-105 and will mostly be used for household family shooting and basic travel usage. Given the anticipated improved sharpeness I will likely use it more than I did my 24-105 as I generally would go to 70mm on the 70-200 II when I wanted ultimate sharpness.