Canon 24 70mm F4 Is

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Canon 24-70mm f/iv

Full-Frame EF USM (2012-today)

Intro   Compatibility   Specs   Functioning

Compared   Usage   Recommendations

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4
(77mm filter thread, 1.25 feet/0.38m close-focus, eight”/0.2m macro mode at 70mm, 21.2 oz./600g, nearly $899. overstate. I got mine at Adorama. I’d also get it at Amazon or at B&H.

This advertizing-free website’s biggest source of support is when you employ those or any of these links to my personally-approved sources when you get
anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Canon does not seal its boxes in any fashion, so
buy at retail or any other source not on my personally canonical list since you’ll take no way of knowing if you’re missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, non-USA, store demo or used lens. Become yours only from the approved sources I use myself for the all-time prices, service, return policies and pick. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

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April 2018

More Canon Reviews    Canon Lenses    All Reviews

24-70mm f/2.8 L II

24-70mm f/2.8 50

24-105mm f/four IS L

24-85mm USM

Sample Image Files

Library 13 Jan 2013

Interior, wide-open at f/four at at 24mm, hand-held at 1/eight second
5D Marking III at ISO 100. bigger, full-resolution or Camera-original © 22 MP file.

Awning 11 Jan 2013

Awning, wide-open at f/4 at at 24mm, hand-held at one-third of a second.

5D Mark III at ISO 800. bigger.

Awning 11 Jan 2013

Palms at night, broad-open at f/4 at at 31mm, hand-held at
of a second.

5D Marking Iii at ISO 12,800. The dots? Stars. Fuzzy branches? Blowing in the wind while I got rock-solid tree trunks! bigger.

Frogs 11 Jan 2013

Frogs at sunset, wide-open at f/4 at at 31mm, paw-held at
of a second.

5D Mark Three at ISO 400. Camera-original © 22 MP file (spotter depth-of-field.)

If it tin do this wide-open hand-held with long exposures, merely imagine what it tin can do stopped downwardly at reasonable speeds!



Intro   Compatibility   Specs   Operation

Compared   Usage   Recommendations

This Catechism 24-70mm f/iv L IS is a smaller, lighter version of the extraordinary professional 24-70mm f/2.8 L II. This 24-70/4 is equally sharp for any practical purposes, which is extremely sharp at all settings, even wide-open, and has slightly less distortion.

This new lens too adds Epitome Stabilization to make up for its slower speed, which helps for yet-lifes but does nothing for moving subjects. Information technology also adds a fairly useless macro mode that gets down to most life-size, merely requires you get so close that you lot can’t lite your discipline.

Hee hee, macro modes were a pop kludge up through the 1990s and had been banished by almost 2000, and now they’re dorsum again as a sales feature. Macro modes are good when they let united states get actress close, but in practice they were and are a pain considering nosotros had to stop what we were doing and jack with them to become what we want. They went away when lens designers figured out how to become good macro performance at all settings, so we no longer needed the restrictive macro mode switches.

The expert affair about this new 24-lxx/4 IS is that it already gets super-close (1.25’/0.38m, as close every bit the 24-70/2.8 L II) without needing whatever macro mode, and if you lot need to get even closer, you manually may turn the zoom ring by the 70mm mark to focus fifty-fifty closer.

It has instant transmission-focus override: but grab the focus ring at whatever time.



Intro   Compatibility   Specs   Performance

Compared   Usage   Recommendations



lens is optimized for 35mm flick and total-frame digital, and of course works on 1.3x and i.6x Canon cameras.

This Catechism EF EOS 24-70mm f/4


IS works perfectly with
Canon EOS camera ever made, meaning
Canon DSLR and
Canon autofocus moving-picture show photographic camera made since 1987.

This means of grade it works cracking on today’s 5D Marking III, 6D and Canon 7D, but it works just every bit well on my original Canon EOS 650 from 1987!

As a full-frame lens, I am reviewing it as such for full-frame bodies.

Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS

Catechism EF 24-70mm f/four




Intro   Compatibility   Specs   Operation

Compared   Usage   Recommendations


Canon calls this the Catechism ZOOM LENS EF 24-70mm f/iv



means “electronic focus,” meaning that at that place is an autofocus motor in the lens itself. All Canon lenses since 1987 have been EF.


merely means as expensive as L; it means nothing technically.

ways twice equally expensive as the first 24-70mm f/4 L.

ways Ultra-Sonic Motor. This means autofocus is almost silent, and that y’all can take hold of the big focus ring for instant manual focus override at whatever time.


xv elements in 12 groups.

Internal focus: nothing moves externally as autofocused.

Pumper zoom, grows equally zoomed towards 70mm.

Two aspherical elements.

2 UD glass elements.

Multicoated, branded equally “Optimized Super Spectra Coating.”

Fluorine coatings on front and rear elements to help repel fingerprints.

Focal Length



On 1.3x Canon cameras it volition meet angles-of-view like to what a xxx~90mm lens would see on a 35mm camera.

On one.6x Canon cameras it volition see angles-of-view similar to what a 38~115mm lens would see on a 35mm camera, which is actually a very useful zoom range.

Angle of View

(on 35mm and full-frame cameras)

84º – 34º diagonal.

53º – 19.5º vertical.

74º – 29º horizontal.

Shut Focus

1.25 feet (0.38m), specified, from the epitome plane, autofocus.

Separate transmission-focus macro mode at 70mm gets to seven.9″ (0.2m).

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

Macro mode: ane:1.4 (0.7x).


Canon EW-83L Hood.

Forepart, Catechism EF 24-70mm f/iv
IS USM at f/4

(EF diaphragm not visible).

nine rounded blades.

Hard Infinity Focus End?



Yous take to let the AF system focus for you at infinity.

Focus Scale


Depth-of-Field Calibration


Infra-Red Focus Indices

Yes, for 24mm and 35mm. Most likely for 800 nm.

Filter Thread


Does not rotate and doesn’t move with focus, merely does movement in and out with zooming.


Canon specifies iii.3″ (83.4mm) bore by iii.7″ (93mm) long.

It extends equally zoomed to longer focal lengths.


21.160 oz. (600.0g), measured.

Catechism specifies 21.0 oz. (600g).


Plastic bayonet reversible hood, included.

Canon EW-83L Hood.

Canon EW-83L Hood.


$30 LP1219 sack, included.


New 77mm East-77II front cap, included. It’s a copy of Nikon’southward newest caps and much improved from Canon’s previous caps.

Standard EOS cap rear, included.

Catechism Model Number



06 November 2012.



Promised for December 2012.

Aircraft Since


January 2013.

Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS

Box, Canon EF 24-70mm f/four

Price, USA


$899, April 2018.

$999 (only $799 after rebate), Nov 2014.

$1,500, Nov 2012.


Intro   Compatibility   Specs   Functioning

Compared   Usage   Recommendations

Overall    Autofocus    Bokeh   Breathing   Color   Coma

Baloney   Ergonomics   Eyeblow   Falloff    Filters

Flare & Ghosts    Lateral Colour Fringes   Macro   Mechanics

Sharpness    Spherochromatism    Sunstars


performance      meridian

The Canon 24-seventy 4 50 IS is nearly as sharp as the spectacular 24-70mm f/2.8 L II, merely much smaller, about besides fabricated, and adds Prototype Stabilization.

The “Macro” mode isn’t very useful because the subject area has to be then close to the lens that the lens blocks the low-cal.


performance      top

Autofocus is fast and most silent, as we take for granted with Canon. For the still subjects I shoot, it’southward about instantaneous.

Auto/Manual Switching

Just take hold of the focus ring at whatever time for instant transmission-focus override.

Only move the AF-MF switch if y’all want to disable the camera from motorcar focusing.

AF Speed

AF is fast!, every bit Canons always are.

The AF motor hums very slightly if you’re shooting in silence and you lot’ll hear some internal sliding. This is substantially the same as every other modern AF lens.

AF Accuracy and Consistency

I saw no autofocus error on my Canon 5D Mark III.

Especially at f/iv, every shot is dead-on at every focal length.

Yes! Perfection!

Focus with zooming

Focus shifts slightly as zoomed, so focus after zooming.

MACRO fashion

Autofocus works in the MACRO mode, but it only works over a limited range.

Transmission Focus

Manual focus is easy; just grab the ring.

It takes only 100º to go from end-to-end of the focus scale.


performance      meridian

Bokeh, the quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to the caste of defocus, is usually neutral, especially for backgrounds when focused at close distances like i meter (3 feet). Sometimes you will get a bit of a dot in the middle of the blur circle, an artifact of the aspherical blueprint.

Focused at 3 meters (ten feet), background bokeh at infinity starts to get worse, but so what; it’s not far enough out of focus for it to matter.

If you lot want dainty, soft backgrounds, shoot at f/4 at 70mm and get equally close as you can to your bailiwick.

Focus Breathing

functioning      top

Focus breathing (the image changing size as focused) is more often than not of interest to cinematographers who don’t want the image changing size (“animate”) as the lens is focused among different subjects.

The image from the Canon 24-70mm f/4


IS gets smaller as focused more than closely, at all focal length settings.

Colour Rendition

performance      top

The color balance of this 24-70mm f/4 L IS seems the same as my other Canon EF lenses.


performance      top

Coma, or saggital coma flare, is when points of low-cal in the corners turn into batwing-shaped blobs. This is often a problem with fast normal or wide lenses.

I don’t encounter whatever coma in this lens.


functioning      top

The Canon 24-70mm f/4 has mostly pincushion distortion. It has moderate butt baloney at 24mm, and from 35-70mm information technology’southward got moderate pincushion baloney.

Information technology has less distortion than either of the 24-seventy/2.8 L II or 24-70/2.8 L lenses.

Use these values in Photoshop’southward Lens Distortion tool to remove it:

On Full-Frame and 35mm

3m (ten’)


24-seventy/2.8 2 at 3m (10′)



















© 2013 All rights reserved.

* Some waviness remains.


performance      summit

Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4

Ergonomics are marvelous.

Zooming is smooth and never crowds any range together.It tin can be zoomed with one firm finger, and ideally wants two fingers for fast zooming.

The sample I bought certainly has no zoom pitter-patter, so I’m perplexed as to why it has a zoom lock. In that location is
brilliant fluorescent alert when y’all flip-on the zoom lock.

Transmission focus feel is perfect.

Forget the Macro mode, it’s a pain and gets so close y’all block your own light. I had hoped that locked-out macro modes that demanded a slide switch disappeared in the 1980s, but one returns in this lens as a sales feature.

The AF – MF switch falls right under your thumb.

The zoom and focus rings are made of rubber-covered blend, which feels very solid.


performance      pinnacle

As a “pumper” zoom that pumps in and out as zoomed, the air has to come up and go somewhere.

Enough air pumps through the back of this lens that sometimes I tin can experience a petty fleck blowing on my eye as I zoom back to the wide stop.

Yes, like many zooms, this lens pulls air through your camera and viewfinder.


(darkened corners)

performance      pinnacle

With a lens profile on my Canon 5D Mark III or similar camera, falloff is never visible at any setting.

On film or without a lens profiles, falloff is visible at f/iv, and gone by f/5.6.

I’ve profoundly exaggerated this by shooting a flat gray target and presenting information technology against a gray groundwork.

Filters, Utilise with

functioning      tiptop

At 24mm on full-frame, simply i filter works before we start getting vignetting.

On full-frame, a standard Hoya rotating polarizer (7.24mm band thickness, excluding rear threads) works perfectly at every setting; there’s no need for exotic thin filters.

If y’all need to stack filters, you’ll have to zoom-in from 24mm.

On other than full-frame cameras, the ingather factor ensures at that place will never be vignetting, fifty-fifty with stacked filters at 24mm.

Sadly, Catechism cheaped-out and the filter threads are plastic, and so be careful not to cross-thread.

Flare and Ghosts

performance      height

Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS

Full-frame, f/9 at 41mm.


Flare and ghosts are very well controlled, simply if you lot push button information technology, y’all will get a green dot or 2.

What dots y’all see where will vary with focal length setting and the position of the light source in your image.

Lateral Color Fringes

performance      meridian

Shot with a lens profile, in that location are no lateral colour fringes.

Shot without a lens contour, in that location are slight yellow-violet fringes at 24mm, none at 35mm or 50mm, and very slight green-magenta fringes at 70mm.


performance      top

Here’southward how close nosotros get on total-frame in the regular focus way:

Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS Macro

At regular shut-focus altitude at 70mm on full-frame, Canon 24-70 f/4 IS.

Here’s a ingather from this 22MP image at 100%:

Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS Macro

Crop from above image at 100%, shot at f/8 at ISO 100 on a 5D Mark Three.
If this is six” (15cm) broad on your screen, the full paradigm would print at twoscore x sixty” (1 ten 1.5 meters)!

The special


fashion is adequately useless considering your subject tin be closer than an inch to the forepart glass of the lens, making it impossible to light your subject. Hither’s how close it gets:

Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS Macro

At closest MACRO manner altitude on full-frame, Canon 24-lxx f/iv IS.

See how my sentinel is in shadow? This is almost the best I could do with the light streaming in from the side.

Here’due south a crop from this 22MP paradigm at 100%:

Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS Macro

Crop from higher up image at 100%, shot at f/8 at ISO 100 on a 5D Mark Three.
If this is 6″ (15cm) wide on your screen, the full image would print at 40 x 60″ (1 x i.5 meters)!

Autofocus works in the


mode, but call back that it can’t focus over much of a range, so you lot’ll have to put the camera in virtually the right position before trying to autofocus. For macro, manual focus ordinarily works better.

Nota bene:
your EXIF data will read 80mm when the zoom band is in the




functioning      summit

Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS

Rear, Canon EF 24-70mm f/4


The Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS is made very well, just mostly out of plastic on the outside.

The front end section of this new lens is all plastic, and if you try to wiggle it when extended, a very little bit of wiggle is normal.

Filter Threads


Fore Barrel


Hood Mountain


Identity Ring


Focus Ring

Metal, rubber-covered.




Metallic and plastic.

Zoom Band

Metal, safe-covered.

Rear barrel


Wet seal at mount



Chromed metallic.



Serial Number

Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation engraved into the bottom of the plastic lens barrel.

Canon 24-70 4 IS.

Bottom, Canon 24-seventy 4 IS.

Date Lawmaking

None constitute.

Noises When Shaken

Moderate clunking and clattering.

Made in



performance      top

Lens sharpness doesn’t matter much, just it certain distracts amateurs who confuse lens sharpness with picture sharpness.

This said, the Canon 24-70mm f/4 Fifty is excellent. Its sharpness varies very little from heart to edge and stays about the same with aperture. There isn’t much reason to stop downward for more than sharpness; information technology’s already super-precipitous at f/4 all the way to the corners.

So long as y’all’re in focus, sharpness doesn’t vary much from perfection, except by f/xi, where diffraction softens the paradigm.

Hey, sorry to spare you endless slow charts, but with a lens this good, there’s zilch to show other than sharp pictures under all conditions.

The biggest detriment to sharpness will exist a lack of proper vision and technique, never this lens. I bought mine straight from Adorama. I can’t vouch for anything if you purchase from a local shop or chain where yous never actually know who’s opened and played with your lens before yous buy information technology. I
buy retail; too many risks, so why pay more?

Here are Canon’s claimed MTF curves, which concur with what I see:

Canon 24-70mm f/4 IS MTF

Canon 24-70mm f/4 IS MTF

Catechism’s MTF Curves.

Compared to the 24-70/2.8 L II, the MTF curves suggest that this f/4 lens is a little scrap less sharp, and that agrees with what I see. The differences is negligible.


performance      top

I meet no spherochromatism.


performance      top

Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS

Full-frame, f/16 at 45mm.


With its ix-bladed diaphragm, this Catechism 24-70mm f/4 L IS can brand 18-pointed sunstars on brilliant points of calorie-free.

I’m very pleasantly surprised: even though Canon claims “rounded,” which normally kills whatever sunstars, I see sunstars at moderate and smaller apertures under the correct conditions. They tend non to exist that obvious (this is an unusually clear example), and they aren’t that symmetrical.

Sunstars help an image tell the viewer only how bright the points of low-cal are, since a photo tin can’t otherwise reproduce the effect of a light or brilliant reflection shined in your face.

I’m really excited about the sunstars. They normally have sharp points, not the soft muted ones of today’s wimpy “rounded” diaphragms, and they can be seen at normal apertures like f/8 and f/11, not needing to squint at f/22.




Intro   Compatibility   Specs   Performance

Compared   Usage   Recommendations

All 24-70mm Lenses Compared.

This 24-seventy/4 is much smaller and lighter than the 24-70/ii.viii Fifty and 24-70/two.8 L 2, and adds IS. They are all extremely sharp, with the 24-70/two.8 L II having a slight edge if you lot’re splitting pixels.

This 24-70/4 is a trivial bit smaller and lighter than the 24-105/4 L IS, and has greatly improved ability to zoom well at the widest end. My peeves about the 24-105L are its cramped zoom between 24 and 35mm, that the 24-105mm has extremely strong baloney at 24mm, and that the 24-105 has an idiotic eight-bladed diaphragm. This 24-70mm fixes all three of these problems, but you lose the 70mm to 105mm end of the zoom.

Run into my Midrange Zoom Comparing for much more than.



Intro   Compatibility   Specs   Performance

Compared   Usage   Recommendations

Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS

Side, Canon EF 24-70mm f/4


AF – MF switch

Leave this at AF.

The MF setting locks it into manual focus only.

In AF, just grab the ring for manual focus override.


Leave this at ON, even if on a monopod or many tripods.

Turn it OFF only if on a very sturdy tripod, or for long time exposures.

Canon 24-70mm f/4 L IS

Macro Controls, Canon EF 24-70mm f/4

MACRO and LOCK switch

Leave this in the middle.

If yous fix the lens to 24mm and slide it to LOCK, it locks the lens at 24mm. My lens doesn’t creep, and fifty-fifty if it did, I’d rather turn the zoom to get it back to 24mm than accept to fiddle with unlocking this switch to be able to zoom again.

To motility the band into the


way, button and hold the switch toward


while rotating the band to the



To return to the usual zoom range, push and hold the switch toward


while rotating the zoom ring to the usual zoom range.

To focus in the


range, turn the zoom ring and move the camera for coarse adjustments. Employ the Focus ring for fine-tuning. For optimum results, Canon suggests leaving the focus ring at virtually the orange band at the one meter setting.



Intro   Compatibility   Specs   Performance

Compared   Usage   Recommendations

This 24-70mm f/4 L IS is a great lens: super-sharp, reasonable baloney with Image Stabilization and great handling.

The original $1,500 price was excessive in 2012, but has become appropriate at $999 (or $799 with a rebate) in 2014.

Versus the flagship 24-70mm f/2.8 Fifty 2, the divergence is obvious. This f/4 IS lens is more portable and ideal for still lifes, only if the field of study is moving, IS is of no help and the extra stop makes the f/two.8 lens twice as useful in low light or with live subjects.

For most people on total frame, the 24mm end ways you lot don’t need another wide lens similar the 16-35mm II. Since I do need the ultrawide end and carry an ultrawide anyway, I’d rather this lens covered 35-105mm instead.

This 24-lxx is also ideal on smaller-format cameras, offer what I find to be an fifty-fifty handier effective focal length range (30-90mm on 1.3x and 38-115mm on ane.6x).

Ignore the macro way; you accept to get so shut that you’ll block your light. If you lot want real macro, become the superb Catechism 100mm f/2.8 Macro or Tokina 100mm f/2.8 for better performance at one-third the price.

I’d use a 77mm B+W 010 MRC UV filter for protection, or a Catechism 77mm UV, or a 77mm Hoya UV. These filters are all very good; the reason to pay more for the B+W is merely if you feel improve with a $seventy rather than a $43 filter on a $ane,500 lens.

I got mine at Adorama. I’d also get information technology at Amazon or at B&H.

If y’all’ve found the endeavor I’ve spent in sharing this professional review helpful, this free website’southward biggest source of back up is when yous use those or whatsoever of these links when you get
regardless of the country in which you alive.



© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

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eighteen Apr 2018, November 2014, November 2012. Shoot 11, 12 and xiii Jan 2013