Google analytic

Thursday, 24 January 2013

An Honest Review of the New Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8 II USM


The other day I ordered the new Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L II USM lens. After using for only a few days, I can honestly say that this is, without hesitation, my preferred canon lens.
I had completed my investigation into this lens before hand and knew what I was buying. But still, it really didn't stop me from experiencing a few niggling doubts in my mind. Doubts about the $2,300 cost was my primary concern. I understood it would be a fantastic lens, but was it really worth that much cash?
I've been a photographer for a ten years now but that will not stop me from questioning the cost of digital camera supplies. When I bought the lens home I placed it carefully on my desk. I studied at it for a minute almost as if I was letting the purchase sink in. I opened the box and gently pulled out the lens. It's nothing dynamic to look at. It's simply a lens.
Okay, I will come clean, I have the common "Red-Ring" fever. This is an affectionate way of discussing a Canon shooters devotion to using nothing else but L series lenses. It describes me perfectly. Well, you can't blame me really, they are incredibly beautiful and sharp quality.
So what's so extraordinary about this lens that I just must write an honest and personal appraisal about it? Firstly, the glass quality is not anything like Canon have ever done in the past. If you would like sharpness then this is your lens. I discovered that fstops at in the region of F11 give more clarity and sharpness than other lenses at do at F11.
It will be able to detect the finer and detailed information of a subject in quite poor lighting. This is one of the advantages of using a lovely F2.8 lens. Fast lenses work skillfully in low light. They do so because of the open aperture. But open fstops are not as sharp as smaller apertures, right? Precisely.
So what do we do about getting the right focus and sharpness in soft light? Will this lens still maintain the sharpness of the photograph? Yes it does. There is clear detail at F2.8 even if you underexpose a photo.
I took a series of photos around the house. I used F2.8, no flash fill or overhead lighting was used. I selected 6400 ISO to help get as much light as I could. My shutter speed was around a 50th of a second. To my surprise I found my test pictures to be clearer and more sharp than expected. Clear and sharp in really low light? You bet they were!
Not only does the dull light sharpness working impress me, so does the responsiveness of the lens. I discovered that when I worked on getting good focus on an region of a scene it grabbed it and held sharp. I didn't have to keep focusing on a regular basis. Some lenses I have used in the past have had difficulty getting the right focus and sharpness, especially when the subject was deep black or very dark grey.
The lens held the focus quite nicely all the way to the edges. Admittedly I used a medium to small fstop to keep focus the entire picture, but it's the speed and exactness of how the lens mastered this shady subject that impressed me the most.
When I was doing my test shots, I did not use a tripod. It was pretty much hand holding the camera in really low light to see what would happen. (Everything you should not do.) I wanted to see how the lens maintained focus and resolution. In a dimly lit scene you would have positively observed camera movement and seen blurry images.
I have been talking about getting the right focus and sharpness in low light. What about reaction and other performance issues? Well, aside from being fast to hold sharp focus, I am delighted by the lack of lens flare and no warping at the edges. In some lenses you find some annoying warping at the starting point or end of the focal length scale.
For instance some 24mm lenses can make the exact outter areas of the photograph look like they were photographed through a bit of glass. That's because when the lighting goes through the lens, it bends and creates a warping effect. Not with this lens. I have not noticed any distortion whatsoever.
This applies to the 70mm end of the scale too. It seems to pick up colour and tonal range a lot better than any other lens I have used. So far all my colour modifications have been very slight. This is wonderful because it means you do not have to spend a long time retouching your images. It just seems to detect more correct colour than my other lenses.
Responsiveness, sharpness, better colour capture and optimum low light functionality is what I love about this lens. It's a bit heavy in weight, but all the L series lenses are. I am used to bulky equipment now so it does not worry me in the slightest. I have yet to come across why this lens is so first-class. Canon have truly set precedent for the entire industry. I highly recommend this lens.
posted by

No comments:

Post a Comment