Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L - Full Format Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published June 2010

Special thanks to Johannes Matzke for providing this lens for testing!


The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L is one of the more mainstream professional grade lenses in the Canon line up and very popular among pro (especially press) photographers as well as serious amateur. On full format DSLRs it's a fast standard zoom lens covering everything from moderate ultra-wide angles up to short tele settings.

The build quality of this lens is exceptional thanks to a tightly assembled combination of metal and high quality plastic parts. The lens is also designed to survive in harsh conditions due to sealings against dust and moisture. Regarding its weight of 950g and a size of 83x123mm it's quite a brick but actually comparable to similar lenses made by other genuine brand manufacturers.
The lens has a reverse zooming mechanism so it extends towards the wide end of the range so the shortest physical length reached at the 70mm setting. While this may seem odd at first the system makes sense when attaching the deep flower-shaped hood which remains highly effective at all focal lengths. So with attached hood the size of the package remains constant. The front element does not rotate of course.

The lens has a ring-type USM drive based on a front-focusing system resulting in an extremely fast AF speed. Typical for modern ring-type USM lenses full-time manual focusing remains possible in one-shot AF mode. The AF speed decreases significantly in Live-View mode but it's still faster than e.g. the Sigma AF 24-70mm f/2.8 EX HSM DG here.

Optical construction16 elements in 13 groups incl. 1x UD and 2x aspherical elements
Number of aperture blades8 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.39 m (max. magnification ratio 1:3)
Dimensions83 x 123 mm
Weight950 g
Filter size77 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped, bayonet mount (supplied)
Other features-

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