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Canon Releases the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II | Compared To The Original

The original Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM (review here) was released back in 2002, and a decade later, Canon finally updates the workhorse lens of practically all Canon professionals with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM.

The new Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is lighter, smaller (in length) and sharper across all focal lengths according to the MTF charts and should retail around $2,299. You can pre-order it in our iPhotoCourse Online Shop.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Specs

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

The new Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM follows what the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS USM’s path of reducing weight and bulk by using more modern and lighter materials. The result is a drop in lens weight despite the larger optics on the new version.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Canon added a new Super UD lens element, and 2 standard UD elements to improve image quality, but surprisingly, the new Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lacks IS as most people expected it to have.

Main Difference with the Original 24-70L?

The original Canon 24-70mm was pretty darn good, but it does have several image quality shortcomings when paired with today’s high-resolution sensors as well as the vignetting that a digital sensor tends to make more evident.

Here are some of the more obvious differences that the new Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM shows (bold text shows new lens spec):

Filter size – 82mm vs. 77mm

Size – Wider but shorter (88.5mm x 113mm vs. 83.2mm x 123.5mm)

Lighter – 805g vs. 950g

Minimum focusing distance, field of view remains the same.

Image Quality Differences

Of course, the only thing that really matters is image quality, and the MTF charts are quite impressive for the new Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is pretty impressive.

Original 24-70 MTF

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM MTF Chart

New 24-70 MTF

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM MTF Chart

The charts show it all, it difference in MTF chart readouts shows a huge jump in image quality and it should be quite a performer. The difference in performance seem to match the progression the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro [review] and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Mark II [review] made against their aging counterparts.

Most local photography forums already start showing a deluge of used Canon EF 24-70mm up for sale since the announcement of the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM [pre-order]. The price is a bit steep, especially without image stabilization, but for professional Canon shooters, I’m sure the price is justified for the image quality improvements.

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