Canon 24 70 2.8 Vs 4

By | 01/11/2022

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM

Canon EF 24-70mm f/four.0L IS USM

The new
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USMwas a big disappointment to me when it was showtime announced considering what we all REALLY desire is a 24-70mm f/2.8L IS lens. Still, Canon won’t give us that and even if they did so nobody would probably be able to afford it. With this reality in mind, I was even more disappointed that Canon didn’t just give us a sharper 24-105mm with the improved IS plant in the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.

I know this an important lens and I expected information technology to be both sharper and better performing than its 24-105 predecessor and information technology did not disappoint. This is still a pretty expensive lens though and it’due south not a 2.viii, then the question then becomes – why bother with this when there’s a cheaper f/4 option with a longer maximum focal length (24-105mm) and a faster 2.eight lens (albeit more than expensive and without IS)? I try to answer those questions in my review.

Sample Images

I didn’t get a chance to shoot with this lens as much every bit I would have liked. A nasty common cold with nasty weather prevented me from getting out much with information technology every bit well. With that said, the following are a sample of unedited in-camera JPEG’s taken using this lens. You tin can get the full gallery here.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/4 @77 mm (via Macro way), one/125, ISO 400, Wink

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/iv @lxx mm, 1/50, ISO 1000, No Wink

Canon EOS 5D Marking Iii, f/4 @lxx mm, 1/fifty, ISO 1250, No Flash

Canon EOS 5D Mark 3, f/8 @42 mm, i/60, ISO 3200, No Flash

Canon EOS 5D Mark Three, f/eight @77 mm (via Macro Manner), 1/50, ISO 400, Wink

Catechism EOS 5D Mark Iii, f/eight @47 mm, ane/50, ISO 400, Flash

Canon EOS 5D Marker Iii, f/9 @fifty mm, one/50, ISO 5000, No Flash

Image Quality

As you can see from the images above, the quality of this lens is excellent. information technology’s super precipitous, fast focusing, handles low light well, and the stabilization is excellent. I had a chip also much sake when I took the sushi eating place images so it’s not my best work, simply it however performed very well.

I likewise cruel in love with the macro mode (see discussion below) and so my gallery contains too many of those and no 24mm images. I repent for that, merely I’m certain plenty will be found in fourth dimension on flickr like here and eventually

Compared to the 24-105mm f/4L IS

In my commodity entitled
Comparison: Canon 24-70 f/ii.8L II vs 24-105mm f/4L IS vs 70-200mm f/ii.8L IS II–70mm Test, I concluded that the 24-70mm f/2.8L 2 was much sharper. This still remains truthful and you tin can meet this by going to and comparing the mistiness index of zooms. While the new 24-70mm f/4L IS isn’t as sharp as the two.8 when you pixel peep, in real world applications (i.e, spider web and common print sizes) you aren’t going to run into the deviation. I do think you’ll come across the departure betwixt the new 24-70mm f/4L over the 24-105mm f/4L, so if sharpness and the best IS performance are important so it’s worth the upgrade.

If you aren’t a pixel peeper and you aren’t printing big prints (> 13×19”) then I remember current 24-105mm owners can still become plenty of enjoyment out of their lens and y’all don’t need to upgrade. In fact, I like mine so much that I haven’t sold it. It’s worth the $800 or so I’d probably get for it used to go on information technology and have the extra range when I’m on a family unit vacation shooting for me instead of a client. I’ve made many bully images with that lens and I programme to continue to do that moving forward. Sure the new lenses are sharper, but Sharpener Pro can help you lot overcome that deviation.

Macro Mode

Macro style is activated by the switch on the side and rotating beyond 70mm

I must admit that I as pretty annoyed with Canon for not offering a 24-105mm f/4L IS Ii because I really liked that extra range for my walkabout lens. I figured that this lens would offer very little for me as a f/2.8 2 owner, but Canon replaced that extra telephoto zoom with a macro zoom. When I discovered this feature I brutal in love – information technology works actually well and reminds me of the joys of macro photography again! The best part is that you don’t take to switch lenses!

The macro zoom is activated past rotating the ring to 70mm, engaging the lock, and then rotating beyond that. 1 engaged y’all employ the zoom band to get approximate focus and then the photographic camera will auto focus for you lot up to the minimum focus altitude. You can actually go well beyond the minimum focus distance if you manually focus as shown here:

Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS Minimum Focus Distance (Manual Focus)

Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS Minimum Focus Distance (Manual Focus)
My bookshelf test expanse and LOTR book location indicated in red

While I could get literally a fingertip abroad from my subject and get some caste of focus, I got the sharpest focus when I was roughly i.5 inches (4cm) away. Here’s an example:

Click for original full-size image

1D 10, f/xi @ 80 mm,13s, ISO 800, Handheld





Rogue Softbox

Click to view the original full-size image

If you click the image you tin can view the original, but below you can see but how detailed it is:

Click for original full-size image

Zoomed in to 100% (Screen capture resulted in poor colour)

This is with no post-processing, so I was very, very satisfied with the macro fashion. In fact, I’chiliad so satisfied that I’m in a chip of a quandary.  I don’t want to sell my old 24-105mm considering I love the range, I don’t want to get rid of my new 24-70mm f/2.8L 2 because information technology’s super sharp and can do f/two.8, and I lust for this lens so I tin have this awesome macro style bachelor when doing street and nutrient photography on vacation. I definitely don’t want 3 24-70mm lenses, so the reality is that things just got even more complicated and worse than earlier these 2 new 24-70mm’south came out!

Canon EOS-1D 10, f/iv @ 77 mm (macro mode), 4s,ISO 100, No Flash
My Lord of the Rings & Hobbit books never looked so sharp!

Comparing: 24-70mm f/4L vs 24-70mm f/2.8L II

It’s been written elsewhere, but I’ll restate the obvious – yes, the 24-70mm f/2.8L II is Canon’southward sharpest lens in this range. However, sharpness isn’t the merely reason to purchase one lens over another. Let’due south also non forget price, and then hopefully my bookshelf test results found hither will assist yous determine if you want to spend an actress $800 more for the the 2.8 and lose IS.

The images in the gallery were all converted from RAW to JPEG 100 using Lightroom four.3 with the default settings. I did not crop or heighten whatsoever of these images in any mode. They were shot using ISO 100, mirror lockup, a two second timer and on Gitzo GT1541 tripod using a Canon 1D X. IS was turned off and I manually focused using live view in one case, and then turned off the LCD. The hood was on both lenses and the conditions were otherwise identical. I utilise the camera in the same position for each shoot and only replace the lens. I refocus between each aperture and focal length change.

Mouse in to see retracted, mouse out to see extended

24-70 f/4L (left) vs 24-70 f/2.8 II (right)
Mouse in to see retracted, mouse out to see extended

Now 1 interesting observation was that the different physical zoom lengths caused the f/4 lens to to utilise shorter shutter speeds with it than the ii.8 to get what the meter thought was a right exposure (in evaluate metering mode). Even so, the 24-70mm f/2.viii images seem a tad darker so I call back this was caused by the physical distance of the end of the lens to the bookshelf and how that impacted the size of the overall frame and light.

Here’south what I observed:


This made the “faster” seem not faster after all. If I were shooting for real in Aperture priority (Av) the camera would have chosen the values shown in the tabular array above to get a correct exposure co-ordinate to the meter on my 1D X. What this means is that I should take adjusted the tripod so that the ends of the lenses were at the aforementioned position so that the meter light measurement was identical, only I didn’t do that. This

DOES Not Mean

that the f/4 is faster or optically brighter.

Keep this in listen when viewing the images in the gallery, but everything is close enough to exercise a reasonable sharpness comparison. Hither’due south an example done at 24mm, f/v.6 at ISO 100:

Sharpness is very close in the center at most focal ranges
f/4 on the left, 2.8 on the right – click image to zoom

As you get to the edges that’south where you see the sharpness improve on the f/2.viii over the f/4. Both lenses are shut enough in practical application though that I think the existent question becomes – exercise you need f/2.8 for more than shallow depth of field or do you need IS. For nearly people, I recommend IS over two.8 considering shallow depth of field with soft main subjects (due to camera shake) isn’t as impressive every bit using lower ISO’southward and tack abrupt thanks to a very effective IS arrangement.

Effort before yous buy

Visit my

discount coupon code folio

to save 5% off your LensProToGo orders

I know for some people it volition exist virtually impossible to decide which of these zooms is right for them, and these suckers are expensive so you don’t desire to make the wrong choice. Every bit a issue, I highly recommend renting earlier you buy (assuming yous tin’t infringe from a friend).

I did a lens rental serial where I got to experience how easy it is to rent online (it’s actually easier and cheaper than renting local too). I have discounts for, and – all of whom are corking to rent from.


I really liked the Canon EF 24-70mm f/iv.0L IS USM and

highly recommend it over the 2.8

for most people. I actually have been missing image stabilization (IS) every since I switched to the 24-70 f/2.8L II USM, so I find myself getting more than blurry shots from camera shake (I have shaky hands) equally a effect. With the weight of heavy camera equipment and lenses, it’s really tough not to accept IS in this focal range too. This reality coupled with the excellent operation, the awesome macro mode and much cheaper toll makes it an excellent lens to own. Certain you’ll give up the extra bokeh you become with a f/ii.8 lens, but yous’ll gain ISO performance by being able to shoot at lower ISO’south in low low-cal because you lot tin use slower shutter speeds (assuming your subject is stationary).

Where to order

Click here to order the Catechism EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM on the B&H web site. My friends at Adorama have it available here too.

Visit my

discount coupon lawmaking folio

to save 5% off your lens rental reservations!!!!

Other manufactures you lot may enjoy

If yous enjoyed this article, you may as well savor these:

  • Comparison: Canon 24-70 f/ii.8L II vs 24-105mm f/4L IS vs seventy-200mm f/2.8L IS II–70mm Test
  • Lens Rental Series (with discounts on discount coupon code folio)
  • Which lens should I purchase? commodity
  • onOne Perfect Photo Suite 7 (includes FocalPoint which tin can add groovy bokeh to your f/four images)
  • Things You Need AFTER You Buy Your New Camera – Must Take Photography Accessories
  • Canon 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye Zoom Mini-Review
  • Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS vs 70-300 f/4.v-five.half dozen DO Review


If you lot brand a purchase using links institute in this commodity, I may brand a committee. It doesn’t cost you lot a penny more, but it does help to support future manufactures like this. B&H loaned the 24-70mm f/4L IS lens to me for this review, but I owned the 24-70mm f/2.8L which I purchased from Adorama.

NOTE: This site requires cookies and uses affiliate linking to sites that utilise cookies.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles similar this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

This web log is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reverberate the view of whatever other entity