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719 of 735 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great general-purpose lens
I've owned the 24-70mm for almost a year now. This lens has been a favorite of many since it replaced its well-regarded predecessor, the 28-70mm. It shoots images that are very sharp and have excellent contrast and saturation. It's sharp wide open and only gets better when stopping down. The USM (Ultrasonic Motor) focuses very fast, and full-time manual focusing is...
Published on December 15, 2005 by erugifog

versus
108 of 131 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good lens, but watch out for bad copies
I finally took the plunge and invested in my first L lens. Out of the box, it's impressive. Very high quality feel. The images, however, left me with mixed emotions.

The 2.8 is great for low light situations - I found myself shooting without a flash in incredibly dark situations, and the background blur was fantastic. The problem was the images were just...
Published on August 16, 2007 by MaxS


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719 of 735 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great general-purpose lens, December 15, 2005
By 
This review is from: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
I've owned the 24-70mm for almost a year now. This lens has been a favorite of many since it replaced its well-regarded predecessor, the 28-70mm. It shoots images that are very sharp and have excellent contrast and saturation. It's sharp wide open and only gets better when stopping down. The USM (Ultrasonic Motor) focuses very fast, and full-time manual focusing is allowed. I've thought about buying a 50mm f/1.4, but the results from this lens are so good, I'm having a hard time justifying the purchase. I've been nothing but pleased with the pictures I get from the 24-70mm. The constant f/2.8 aperture is great for shooting indoors and produces a very nice bokeh (background blur) when shooting portraits. This lens is much heavier than comparable consumer-grade zooms, but I don't object to the weight. I actually like the heft and feel of this lens on my 20D. The only feature I wish it had is IS (image stabilization).

The one thing preventing an unqualified recommendation is the recent release of the Canon 24-105mm f/4.0L IS. The latter lens costs about the same and has some noteworthy advantages. It is .7" shorter, .2mm narrower and .6 lbs. lighter. It has 3rd generation IS that gives you a 3-stop shutter speed advantage when shooting handheld. I know from my 70-200mm f/2.8L IS that image stabilization is a very welcome feature when shooting handheld at slow shutter speeds. And, obviously, the 24-105mm adds an extra 35mm of focal length on the long end.

The 24-70mm bests the 24-105mm in one way: It's a faster lens. That translates into the following advantages: At f/4.0, the 24-105mm cannot stop subject motion blur as well in low-light situations where the 24-70mm's f/2.8 can give you a shutter speed that is twice as fast. Note that IS does not have any impact at all on subject motion blur, only on camera shake on your end. If bokeh (background blur) is important to you, the 24-70mm will have a slight advantage over the 24-105mm given its wider aperture. A wider aperture also helps a camera focus a little better in low light.

The first run of the 24-105mm had a flare problem (see Canon's Web site for more info), and the early production models have been recalled. But the problem has now been fixed. You'll have to consider your photography priorities when deciding which of these two excellent lenses best suits your needs. You would be well served by either.

Update 2-12-12: It's been over six years since I wrote this review, and I continue to use and enjoy my 24-70mm, which is now paired with a Canon 7D. Anyone considering buying this lens today, however, should know that Canon announced on 2-7-12 the successor to this lens: The 24-70mm f/2.8L II. Contrary to rumors that had been circulating for years, the mark II version does not add image stabilization. Canon's USA website lists the MSRP for the new lens at $2,299.00.
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285 of 292 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this if you are debating the 24-70 vs the 24-105, August 17, 2009
By 
Eric Strate Photography (Spokane, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
UPDATE - October 3: Wanted to update my review on this lens after using it for a couple weddings and portrait shoots lately. Normally, these wouldn't warrant an update for a lens that is so obviously well-suited to these roles, but this lens literally saved the day. I was shooting a wedding in one of the most difficult type of circumstances - never seen the location before, had 15 minutes before the ceremony to scope things out, had no chance to get my basic flow figured out by watching a rehearsal and this place was an exposure nightmare - black tuxes, white dresses in a very poorly lit chapel. I was shooting with a backup camera (50D - great camera, read my review, but it doesn't perform well enough at high ISO for me to trust it for a wedding shoot as I don't want any noise introduced into things.) So I knew I was going to be limited to some extent in terms of the freedom I'd have to play with different F-stops - I was going to need to be wide open to shoot at an ISO that I trust on the 50D for weddings (no higher than 200 in my experience) and have a shutter speed that wouldn't give me motion blur during the proceedings. Suffice it to say that I was more than pleased with how sharp things were at F2.8. I don't know that I could have done the same thing - on this camera - with the 24-105. That extra full stop down to 2.8 was absolutely critical. On another note, aspiring wedding photographers would be well advised to make an initial investment in a 5D Mark II or something in the 1D lines if you really want the freedom to work at high ISO and not worry about image degrading noise. I am ultra-picky about noise, so perhaps what I notice wouldn't bother some, but the investment will be worth it in the quality of your work. 40D and 50D are wonderful prosumer cameras (high level consumer/amateur, entry level professional), but the 5D and 1D series truly set themselves apart at higher ISOs. 50D is a perfect backup, or a great second camera if you want to throw a 70-200 or something ultra-wide on it and switch to that on the fly during the wedding. This lens pays for itself again and again.

Perhaps the most common agony-inducing lens choice that Canon L-series fans may run into is the choice between the 24-70 F2.8 and the 24-105 F4 IS. People waiver back and forth between the benefits of the 2.8 aperture vs. the IS and extra reach of the 105. Some say there isn't a wrong choice because both lenses are both so good. I have a slightly different take - both lenses are good, they are both phenomenal, but you CAN make the wrong choice here, depending on the kit you already have and what you need the lens for.

First off - the IS vs. the F2.8. The 24-105 has image stabilization - a definite plus in low light, handheld situations. While IS is great for up to 3 stops of exposure to prevent camera shake, it isn't going to freeze motion. To do that, you need shutter speed. To get shutter speed in lower light situations, you need wide aperture (and you want QUALITY glass so things are sharp wide-open). I am not knocking the 24-105 at all, but the way I see it the F2.8 outweighs the benefit of IS - it lets you go up to a shutter speeds where camera shake shouldn't be an issue (especially in the 24-70mm focal length range) and is pin sharp at that aperture. And these shutter speeds let you freeze action - good if you want to capture a toast in lower light at a wedding or something (unless a bit of motion blur is desired, which can easily be obtained...but if you don't have the 2.8 to begin with, there is no adjustment you can make to compensate save for bumping your ISO up and introducing more noise). So in the debate over the benefit of 2.8 on the 24-70 vs. IS on the 24-105, I think the nod goes to the 24-70.

Next, the extra reach (to 105mm on a full frame or 168mm equivalent on an APS-C like the 40D, 50D, Rebels). In this case, you might think about the lenses you've got or that you plan to purchase. For example, the 70-200mm zooms that Canon makes in its L-series are INCREDIBLY popular lenses, for good reason. Whether you have the 70-200 F2.8 with or without IS or the 70-200 F4 with our without IS, you have yourself an excellent piece of glass with those mid-range zooms. If you have one, or if you are planning on getting one, the 24-70 becomes the perfect compliment to them, giving you L-series performance from 24-200mm - if you have the 70-200 F2.8 you've got the ability to shoot at that wide aperture from 24-200mm - a very, very useful ability to have. Granted, the 24-105 saves you from having to switch lenses if you are in the 70-105mm range, but I don't know if that is too much of an inconvenience. I will say this, if you EVER plan on owning the 70-200 F2.8, you owe it to yourself to get the 24-70 F2.8 now. Remember, F/2.8 is a full stop ahead of F/4 in light gathering capability, so if you are somewhat new to all of this, you will collect double the light at F2.8 than you will at F4 - meaning you could shoot at twice the shutter speed and get the same exposure as you would at F4 with a given shutter speed. I know many pro's that look at aperture as being the #1 priority with any lens purchase, always get as much of it as possible. So, if you have any plans of ever owning one of the very popular 70-200mm mid range zooms from Canon, I think the 24-70 is the better choice.

Now let's discuss image quality. In this case, there is no loser. The F2.8 lets you get shallower DOF. I've read some reports saying the 24-70 is sharper across more focal lengths and apertures and others that say the opposite, but when you are comparing the sharpness of these two lenses you are really splitting hairs. My 24-70 is PIN SHARP at F2.8 - so sharp that I was literally stunned when I took my first test shots of the kids playing in the yard in the early evening. Motion was frozen perfectly and details all the way down to their eyes were extremely sharp - there is no way I could have done this and gotten the results I did with anything but the freedom I had to shoot at 2.8 with a higher shutter speed in the evening light. Sure, I could have shot at F4 with double the ISO and managed to keep the same shutter speed, but as I said before, the noise factor creeps in (to be fair, higher end Canon's do a great job with high ISO and noise). But in cases where the need for the extra aperture isn't an issue, both of these lenses are superb. You can't go wrong with either as far as image quality goes.

Based on all this, it probably sounds like I'd never recommend the 24-105 over the 24-70. But I would. If you are planning on owning only one L-series lens (financially this is a very real issue for most of us) and want the ULTIMATE is high quality walkaround lens - a lens that will let you do professional quality work and has the added benefit of image stabilization, then I'd say go with the 24-105. If, however, you plan on owning the aforementioned mid-range zooms and plan on doing things like event photography in poorly lit indoor settings, I think the 24-70 is the way to go.

One more thing, if you get either of these lenses, don't plan on putting anything less than a high quality filter on them. L-series lenses need very high quality filters or you are going to suffer degradation in image quality. Spend the extra $80-100 (or more) and get a nice B+W UV filter.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this lens or if there is some aspect of the decision between these lenses you didn't see here that you are interested in.

2ND UPDATE - June 29: After borrowing one off and on for several months, I have also added an 85mm F1.8 to my collection (look for my review on it if you want the details). Because I know that some people may be reading this review in the hopes of deciding on a good lens for portrait photography, I wanted to quickly reference this other lens as an option. First, the 24-70 F2.8L continues to prove itself a great investment. It is a true workhorse lens for wedding photography, giving you a very useful combination of zoom and width, nice shallow depth of field with great sharpness at F2.8, and phenomenal build quality (after shooting an outdoor wedding in the pouring rain I really came to appreciate the rubber seal this lens has around the rear element where the lens connects to the camera.) So while I am obviously still a big proponent of the 24-70 as a portrait and general purpose lens, I have to mention that if you are really stressing out about the cost of this lens, you might seriously consider the Canon 85mm F1.8. For around $380, this lens provides you with AMAZING portrait opportunities, incredible shallow depth of field with great sharpness at the focal points and silky smooth bokeh in the background. So, if a portrait lens is what you are looking for and the cost of L-series glass is an issue, consider the 85. Obviously it is not as versatile as the 24-70 and there are some additional optical characteristics that make L series glass a bit better than non-L series glass, but the 85 F1.8 could be used for a professional portrait shoot without any concern at all. Best of both worlds - get the 85 AND the 24-70! :) Email me if you have any questions about this lens or equipment in general and I'll help if I can. My contact info can be found at my website.
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386 of 398 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best available all-around Canon lens, August 27, 2004
By 
M. Kohary (Bothell, WA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
Simply put, this is the best all-around lens that Canon manufactures. It produces razor-sharp images with startling color and saturation, and at f/2.8 across the zoom range is capable of shooting in all but the dimmest of lighting conditions. The "L" glass (Canon's professional line of lenses) is simply the best out there, bar none, from any manufacturer. It's pricey, but well worth it.

I use this lens for portrait and wedding photography, landscapes, sports, and anything else that doesn't require extreme telephoto. In concert with my EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM lens, I find that these two lenses cover just about everything I ever want to shoot. Of the two lenses, if I could pick only one, it would be the 24-70mm, because it's so versatile and can shoot so many situations (the 70-200mm is also a marvelous, invaluable lens, but at 70mm is limited in wide-angle situations).

I can't recommend this lens highly enough. If you can afford the entry fee, you'll have no hint of buyer's remorse once you see the spectacular images this lens produces.
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359 of 370 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will not be sorry you bought this!, February 11, 2006
By 
Larry K (Phoenix, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
In April of 2005 I bought the Canon 20D with the 18-55 kit lens, my first SLR camera. After getting used to properly taking pictures with the camera I bought the 24-70 as a lens upgrade - and what an upgrade it is. All the positive stuff you read about this lens is true ... the color, the contrast, the sharpness, it's unbelievable how well this lens performs compared to a consumer grade lens.

A lot of reviews complain that the 24-70 is too heavy, and it is heavy for a lens, but it's not "too" heavy to carry around all day. I also regularly use my Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS - that's a lens that is maybe too heavy for regular use but it's also A LOT bigger than the 24-70.

A note about debates you'll find everywhere comparing the 24-70 to the new Canon 24-105 f/4 ... These lenses are not built to be an either-or, they are different lenses targeted at different uses. The main complaint I found online about the 24-70 is that it lacks Image Stabilization, a complaint I eventually dismissed as irrelevant. I've taken thousands of photographs with this lens and not once did I miss a shot because the lens didn't have IS. Simply put, this lens isn't long enough to require IS.

If you're new to SLR photography be careful when reading product reviews, especially those in discussion forums. Just like any other hobby (like computers), people who are in to photography have very strong opinions and tend to have to have the latest and greatest thing that just came out. If you're thinking of purchasing a lens this expensive and are unsure if you should get one or the other, try renting one for a few days.

Another reviewer on this page commented on using this lens with the built-in flash on a 10D. If you're buying an $1,100 lens you should know that Canon didn't design it specifically so you could use it with the built-in flash. They probably assumed that if you could spend a grand plus on a lens that you could also step-up and buy a real flash. This reviewer gave the lens a 3/5 rating because his camera body didn't have the right flash, something that has nothing to do with the lens at all.
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129 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Satisfied, December 16, 2005
This review is from: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
If you have read the 22 or so reviews below this one and are still teetering on the fence whether or not to purchase this lens, allow me to try and give you the final push. I can honestly say that this is one of the only peices of equipment I own that I enjoy and appreciate using MORE every time I use it. Holding this lens literally brings a smile to my face.

I've owned this lens for about six months now and have shot ~1500 exposures with it. The first thing you will notice taking it out of the box is the weight and build quality. Holding it in your hand, you will FEEL the value of the lens. Needless to say, this lens excels in the realm of sharpness, contrast, color, and versatility.

The weight seems to be an issue to some, but to me it is perfect. It's just heavy enough to give you stability in slow shutter speeds, yet not too heavy that your arms tire out. I have acheived sharp 1/15th F/2.8 exposures handheld, for which I give credit to the weight.

Something not many people mention in these reviews is the bonus of Macro in this lens. It is capable of a 0.29 magnification, which for someone who is casually interested in macro like me, produces a capability for some very interesting composures. The lens does very well in commercial product photography.

It seems that the AF nails perfect exposure about 40%-60% of the time at longer range shots (95% at ranges within 15 feet). When it misses absolute focus, you still get incredible pictures with no complaints. However, when it does acheive that perfect focus, the shot will rival the 135mm F/2 in terms of sharpness.

Note that the lens utilizes a reverse-zoom extension. i.e., when you zoom out to 24mm, the lens extends another three or so inches. This has never been a problem for me.

The built-in flash of the 300D, 350D, 10D, and 20D simply will not do with this lens (try it and you will se why). You will have to order a speedlite to overscome the inherent length of the lens + hood.

Order this lens with a B+W 77mm UV filter. Get no filters below this quality. I tried to skimp, and suffered a loss of saturation, contrast, and increased flaring.
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90 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality, Heavy, Priced High, November 23, 2006
This review is from: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L is a high quality lens that gives sharp details and saturation of color throughout its various focal lengths -- it is as though you are using several straight lenses all in one lens. Even though this is a fast lens, during a professional shoot in Las Vegas in a dimmly lighted hotel, I still needed to use a flash (580EX w/Stroboframe Pro-RL) to get professional results. Despite being very heavy (2.1 lbs), the lens is a favorite of photojournalists and professionals who shoot weddings and conventions. You will need a grip on your camera to balance the lens and it is too heavy to be considered a true walk-around lens. The autofocus, which has a manual over-ride, is quiet, quick and smooth. The lens is also sealed and gasketed against dust and moisture. Its hood is large (4.25" diameter by 3.25" length) and when attached to the lens it can make any photographer look like a professional. Since the price of this lens is more than $1,000.00, I suggest that you do not buy this lens unless you really are into photography. There are a lot of other non-L Canon lenses that give near equal quality images at much lower prices.

Note: For a lighter weight zoom lens in the (Luxury) L-series, I suggest the 24-105 f/4L (23.6 oz) with (IS) Image Stablization which can be used for portraits (with greater depth of field than the f/2.8), landscapes and as a walk-around lens. If you don't want to spend quite as much, the non-L 28-135mm with IS is also a very good lens that is used by professionals as a general use/walk-around lens and gives L quality-like results. Unlike Canon's EF-S lenses, the 24-70mm, 24-105mm and the 28-135, can be used with both the full-frame and APS 1.6 factor digital camera formats -- which is a Major Plus!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars prime-quality images in a convenient zoom package, October 22, 2006
By 
This review is from: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
My all-around favorite lens in the Canon EOS system is the 50/1.4. I find that most of the time, most of the pictures I want to take can be achieved using hte 50mm focal length, and the fast aperture allows me to take photos in low light.

I bought the 24-70/2.8 in hopes of getting high quality images from a zoom lens, as a lot of my pictures weren't in particularly dark places, and the flexibility to get a little wider or closer sounded appealing.

I was not disappointed.

The image quality produced by the 24-70/2.8 is outstanding. Great color, great sharpness. It might not make images quite as striking as Canon's 135/2 lens, but they are very good indeed.

Does this lens replace the 50/1.4? No way. The 50 is a lot smaller, weighs a lot less, and is still much better for low light shooting. But for photographing events where you don't want to lug around several prime lenses or go to extreme lenghts to frame the shot better, the 24-70 can be a great tool.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equal to prime lenses?, March 10, 2006
By 
Donald D. Farra (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
I normally buy prime lenses for higher performance compared to zooms, but purchased the 24-70 based on recommendations and hands on checkout in the store. I have to admit it surprised me, after 35 years of shooting with both types of lenses this is the first zoom to come close and in some cases equal my prime lenses. Yes, it is heavy, but so are carrying 4 prime lenses to replace it. Bottomline this is the last lens I will let go of, out of all the Canon and Nikon lenses I own. It is that good. I find it useful for travel, portraits and weddings where I cannot always back away or get closer to compose the frame, this is where the 24-70 shines. The AF is fast and quiet, with on demand manual focus override for those times where AF doesn't select the proper subject. Only the newest lens out from Canon with Image stabilization might better this one.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The f2.8 is key, February 6, 2010
By 
Neil Kirby (New Albany, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
The key to this lens is f2.8 maximum aperture.
A close second is the corner-to-corner performance, especially on a full-frame sensor.

This lens competes with the image stabilized 24-105 f4 L. For a lot of us, picking between them is a very hard decision. Hopefully this review will help you decide.

The killer advantage that the 24-70 f2.8 has over the 24-105 is that extra full stop of light gathering power. Last night I took some available light night time shots of the massive snowfall we just had. The f2.8 lens is very bright and easy to see through. Using a 5D Mark II, I could hand hold my night time shots and have enough speed to freeze the image while I turned night into day. The f2.8 gave me enough room that I could use a lower ISO setting and get what I wanted. The f2.8 meant that I could increase the shutter speed to tone down how bright the images were (the first shots were too bright) to get them to look like a night time shot.

In short, f2.8 means not shooting at your limits or the camera's limits. It freed up some ISO and it freed up some shutter speed.

I still could have gotten the shots if I had stopped down to f4. It would have meant a noisier ISO setting and careful attention to technique to avoid camera shake. So I could have used the other lens, right? I shoot a full-frame camera, and the 24-105 at f4 doesn't have the image quality out at the edges that the 24-70 has at f2.8. You can read the details in other reviews, but it's not just a single f-stop advantage when you factor in image quality.

Indoors by available light, this lens lets you frame the shot and fire, knowing that f2.8 will give you enough speed to freeze the motion.

The other reviews also mention bokeh, and f2.8 lets you play. You want that back ground gone? Open up to 2.8 and get close enough that your subject isn't at infinity focus.

It is a fast-focusing lens. On the 5DII, as long as one of the focus points has something to work with, it nails the focus every time.

All that said, this is a heavy, longish lens. You need to use two hands, and you need to support everything with your left hand or your right wrist will tell you about how much torque a two-pound lens that is nearly five inches long generates. My mother has dainty hands and this lens is not for her. You will want a comfortable (perhaps padded) camera strap. And when you look through the viewfinder, it suddenly doesn't weigh a thing.

If you shoot in the dark, this lens is for you.
If you want the background to go away, this lens is for you.
If you want enough light-gathering power to set ants on fire, when it's cloudy, by moonlight, this lens is for you. [I stole that line from somewhere].

If you don't want people to notice you, this lens is not for you. It takes a 77mm filter and it's five inches long. It suggests that maybe they meant to spell it "cannon."

The other thought on this is that if f2.8 really is your thing, check out the 50mm f1.4 prime lens. Two stops more light, a ton less weight, a quarter of the price. It would be a cheap way to get the light gathering power, at the cost of the zoom range. The 50 would let you decide between, "I can live with f2.8, I can't live without some zoom range, especially on the wide angle end," compared to "It's not enough zoom range to matter, I need more light!" The first quote tells you that you want the 24-70 f2.8, the second one says that you want a prime lens that lets you shoot really wide open (and get really razor thin depth of field).

The 24-70 f2.8 does everything it does extremely well. You pay for that in glass, mass, and cash.
I'm so glad I bought it.

------
One and a half months later:
I got to shoot for a week in the real world recently.

At the end of the day, you notice just how heavy the beast is. It's not major, but it is noticeable. You also are aware that it is a big lens; you are always aware of it and have to be careful about sitting down, etc. (Anyone who is not careful with $1,200 lens on a $2,400 camera needs their head examined.)

I once got it to refuse to focus. The room was dim and the subject was strongly backlit. The 5DII kept wanting to focus on things in the background or could not find enough contrast in the foreground. I went to manual focus [easily done with this lens], but it was too dark to really tell if I had the focus right. The first part of the problem was the 5D, the second was my aging vision. I only had time for a single shot (candid of a person) and I wound up with an out of focus frame. That is the only shot I've missed. Just one.

The versatility of the focal length range and f2.8 has powerful real-world benefits. You get the shot, and you get it in available light. It is truly a good lens to have on your camera when you don't know in advance exactly what lens you are going to need.

At 24mm on a full frame sensor, foreground subjects jump out almost in 3d compared to the background. They do at 28mm, too. I was explaining to my son what you could do with a true wide angle lens and it only took one frame to convince him that there is a different world out there at focal lengths wider than the 36mm he used to shoot at. Then you open up to f2.8 to seal the deal.

70mm (again on a full frame sensor) is sweet indoors for people shots. Long enough for portraiture and candids, long enough to get you a few steps back out of their space. And if the room is tight or you need more than one person, a twist of the zoom gets you a usable focal length in a heartbeat or two.

That last bit is the real sweet spot for this lens; a wide open lens that nearly always has a decent focal length to use. In my son's words after using this lens, "After using this lens, I'm going to be spoiled, aren't I?"
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best All Around? Maybe, July 29, 2006
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
I think it very well could be so I'm not going to differ with those who say it is.I bought this to use with a new 5D and itt's simply outstanding in every regard. So far, I've kept it on the 5D and can't bring myself to take it off.

I considered a couple of lenses, including the IS 24-105 f/4 which has a lot of appeal and the price is about the same. But this was the lens I chose in part because I already have a the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS Lens and the overlap seemed a waste while the extra stop helps. I have no regrets about it. sharp as a tack and quick.

I note that this is not compact lens, especially with the hood on and it can stretch out a lot when you widen the field. It is also not light. This lens and the 5D will give your neck and back a pain, assuming you work with more than one camera. But the focal lengths covered are just about ideal and require none of the compromises that a longer zoom range require. For that, I've got an 18-200 on a 20D. The 70-300 DO, while not an L, specs out in that range and has the virtue of real compactness, but it' not a lightweight. These two lenses cover just about everything for me. And I can keep the 10-22mm on the 20D for the extra-wide shots.

Since writing the initial review, I've since traveled for several weeks with this lens and it fully lived up to expectations. Given the difficulties of travel these days, I am concerned about the problem of not being able to carry it with me -- not a problem to date except for Britain. But always possible. And, despite the weight, I might favor the 70-200 F/2.8L IS USM as a second travel lens- I like the brightness of the focus.

One suggestion. There's a temptation to use this lens wide open a lot of the time. It's very good and sometimes that's the best thing. But I've also found this lens makes beautiful images stopped down a good deal for short night time exposures on a tripod and a remote release. The effect with lights, etc. is considerably different along with the extended depth of field.
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