Canon RF 28-70 f/2 review by Fro

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
951
205
ethanzentz.com
Not really much new in this review if you already watched his EOS R review.

He was a little edgy in this video though, kind of fun.
 

padam

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 26, 2015
530
186
It needs a body with built-in IS, and then it will make a very strong case for itself.
 
Mar 14, 2012
2,241
135
It needs a body with built-in IS, and then it will make a very strong case for itself.
To whom is a ~3lb 28-70 f/2 lens targeted to? Event shooters that aren't walking miles between shots and who value the extra stop to decrease ISOs from 6400 to 3200 in dim venues and who would take a 1 stop penalty in lieu of carrying multiple primes. And for those users, flash is more important because subject movement will preclude the use of low shutter speeds. I can't imagine that the general Canon user will opt for this in lieu of a RF 24-70 f/2.8 especially if it has IS -- too expensive, too heavy, too much space in the bag.

I think a RF 24-70 f/2.8 IS makes more sense. It's a more general lens and lens IS > IBIS. The lens is what it is, and the RF 28-70 f/2 makes a strong case for itself regardless of the body.
 

padam

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 26, 2015
530
186
To whom is a ~3lb 28-70 f/2 lens targeted to? Event shooters that aren't walking miles between shots and who value the extra stop to decrease ISOs from 6400 to 3200 in dim venues and who would take a 1 stop penalty in lieu of carrying multiple primes. And for those users, flash is more important because subject movement will preclude the use of low shutter speeds. I can't imagine that the general Canon user will opt for this in lieu of a RF 24-70 f/2.8 especially if it has IS -- too expensive, too heavy, too much space in the bag.

I think a RF 24-70 f/2.8 IS makes more sense. It's a more general lens and lens IS > IBIS. The lens is what it is, and the RF 28-70 f/2 makes a strong case for itself regardless of the body.
Yes, but it is also not heavier than carrying a bunch of primes. A 3k$ lens is obviously not targeted at the "general Canon user"...

Again, it is a very different lens in terms of the look in comparison to a 24-70/2.8 IS, so it is pointless to compare, at this point that is obviously more in line with what people are happy with, if there is no built-in IS in the body (it is still going to cost over 2k$ though and it may not be quite as sharp)
Maybe you haven't even used a camera that has it, but within its own limits, it works quite effectively at standard focal lengths for both photo and video (and for tele lenses it works in combination with lens IS).
Even at normal shutter speeds hand-held it helps utilising all the resolution the lens and sensor are capable of. Shooting at test charts is not the same as taking real-world images.
 

YuengLinger

EOR R
Dec 20, 2012
2,244
274
Southeastern USA
To whom is a ~3lb 28-70 f/2 lens targeted to? Event shooters that aren't walking miles between shots and who value the extra stop to decrease ISOs from 6400 to 3200 in dim venues and who would take a 1 stop penalty in lieu of carrying multiple primes. And for those users, flash is more important because subject movement will preclude the use of low shutter speeds. I can't imagine that the general Canon user will opt for this in lieu of a RF 24-70 f/2.8 especially if it has IS -- too expensive, too heavy, too much space in the bag.

I think a RF 24-70 f/2.8 IS makes more sense. It's a more general lens and lens IS > IBIS. The lens is what it is, and the RF 28-70 f/2 makes a strong case for itself regardless of the body.
Was this lens primarily a "head-turner" to help market the release of the EOS R? I think it has practical uses for event/photojournalism, but otherwise, what a chore to haul around. I'm generally in favor of faster is better, but in this case, I agree, a 24-70 2.8 with IS and IQ that edges out the ef 24-70mm f/2.8L II would sell very well. The 28-70 f/2 has niche appeal, bringing to mind the 11-24 f/4, which, upon release, seemed more a "statement" than a practical option.
 
Reactions: Chaitanya
Mar 14, 2012
2,241
135
Yes, but it is also not heavier than carrying a bunch of primes. A 3k$ lens is obviously not targeted at the "general Canon user"...

Again, it is a very different lens in terms of the look in comparison to a 24-70/2.8 IS, so it is pointless to compare, at this point that is obviously more in line with what people are happy with, if there is no built-in IS in the body (it is still going to cost over 2k$ though and it may not be quite as sharp)
Maybe you haven't even used a camera that has it, but within its own limits, it works quite effectively at standard focal lengths for both photo and video (and for tele lenses it works in combination with lens IS).
Even at normal shutter speeds hand-held it helps utilising all the resolution the lens and sensor are capable of. Shooting at test charts is not the same as taking real-world images.
It's true that I haven't used an IBIS-equipped camera but I've owned/used the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS, 16-35 f/4 IS, 35 f/2 IS, 24 f/2.8 IS, 28 f/2.8 IS, and at these shorter focal lengths, I haven't found IS to be worth that much. It has more value for still-life, but I often find the limit to be close to 0.25s handheld. And even if it improves or minimizes camera shake, oftentimes it's still not pixel sharp. Before I sold the 17-55 f/2.8 IS years ago, I did experiments seeing if IS improved pixel sharpness, and it typically didn't. For faster shutter speeds (less than 1/60s), IS had no benefit, and for the very slow stuff, IS wasn't pixel sharp, so it had a narrow range of usefulness. And with an ultrawide 16-35 f/4 IS, the shutter speeds required for live subjects (especially kids) minimize the usefulness of IS. I have IS in all my telephoto lenses where I find it to be more beneficial, but the user also has to let IS settle. I've had many shots at a beginning of a sequence where nothing is sharp, which I've chalked to IS response times.

I see the value of IBIS for video but again, in the case of the 3 lb 28-70 f/2, I can't see many people trying a run-and-gun style with that heavy a lens. When I'm taking video (kids concerts/plays), I'm usually using a 24-105 IS, but it's usually on a tripod, so again IS doesn't have much value.
 
Mar 14, 2012
2,241
135
Was this lens primarily a "head-turner" to help market the release of the EOS R? I think it has practical uses for event/photojournalism, but otherwise, what a chore to haul around. I'm generally in favor of faster is better, but in this case, I agree, a 24-70 2.8 with IS and IQ that edges out the ef 24-70mm f/2.8L II would sell very well. The 28-70 f/2 has niche appeal, bringing to mind the 11-24 f/4, which, upon release, seemed more a "statement" than a practical option.
I think the lens had several purposes. It does serve as a "head-turner" but it fulfills a niche that cannot be met by the EF lenses. I think it was smart for Canon to launch the R with lenses that don't have EF counterparts because it gets people to buy into the system. The RF 24-105 is the only lens that has a EF counterpart with similar performance and it's a kit lens. The RF 35 f/1.8 IS is a macro and is 1/3 stop faster than the EF 35 f/2 IS, the RF 50 f/1.2 has much better performance than the EF 50 f/1.2, and the RF 28-70 f/2 is something totally new. Except for the RF 24-105, the other 3 RF lenses offer something different than EF, which can be adapted onto the R with native performance. Going for something different than EF counterparts gives Canon the lens breadth to cover more use cases while minimizing duplication, an that is important at launch when the new system has so few native lens options.

Another way to think about it is this. I'd rather have had an R that had IBIS and the MP count of Nikon's Z7. But Nikon came out with lenses that had F mount counterparts: 24-70 f/4, 35 f/1.8 and 50 f/1.8. The new lenses might be better than their F-mount counterparts, but they're not top glass and they cost more. Who's excited about those Z lenses? Not as many people as those that are excited by the RF 50 f/1.2 and RF 28-70 f/2. I expect the camera manufacturers to give new body options every two years, but lenses stay in the portfolio for many years and perhaps decades.
 
Reactions: YuengLinger

YuengLinger

EOR R
Dec 20, 2012
2,244
274
Southeastern USA
I think the lens had several purposes. It does serve as a "head-turner" but it fulfills a niche that cannot be met by the EF lenses. I think it was smart for Canon to launch the R with lenses that don't have EF counterparts because it gets people to buy into the system. The RF 24-105 is the only lens that has a EF counterpart with similar performance and it's a kit lens. The RF 35 f/1.8 IS is a macro and is 1/3 stop faster than the EF 35 f/2 IS, the RF 50 f/1.2 has much better performance than the EF 50 f/1.2, and the RF 28-70 f/2 is something totally new. Except for the RF 24-105, the other 3 RF lenses offer something different than EF, which can be adapted onto the R with native performance. Going for something different than EF counterparts gives Canon the lens breadth to cover more use cases while minimizing duplication, an that is important at launch when the new system has so few native lens options.

Another way to think about it is this. I'd rather have had an R that had IBIS and the MP count of Nikon's Z7. But Nikon came out with lenses that had F mount counterparts: 24-70 f/4, 35 f/1.8 and 50 f/1.8. The new lenses might be better than their F-mount counterparts, but they're not top glass and they cost more. Who's excited about those Z lenses? Not as many people as those that are excited by the RF 50 f/1.2 and RF 28-70 f/2. I expect the camera manufacturers to give new body options every two years, but lenses stay in the portfolio for many years and perhaps decades.
Good points.
I'm really looking forward to some real-world samples from working photographers.
 

padam

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 26, 2015
530
186
It's true that I haven't used an IBIS-equipped camera but I've owned/used the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS, 16-35 f/4 IS, 35 f/2 IS, 24 f/2.8 IS, 28 f/2.8 IS, and at these shorter focal lengths, I haven't found IS to be worth that much. It has more value for still-life, but I often find the limit to be close to 0.25s handheld. And even if it improves or minimizes camera shake, oftentimes it's still not pixel sharp. Before I sold the 17-55 f/2.8 IS years ago, I did experiments seeing if IS improved pixel sharpness, and it typically didn't. For faster shutter speeds (less than 1/60s), IS had no benefit, and for the very slow stuff, IS wasn't pixel sharp, so it had a narrow range of usefulness. And with an ultrawide 16-35 f/4 IS, the shutter speeds required for live subjects (especially kids) minimize the usefulness of IS. I have IS in all my telephoto lenses where I find it to be more beneficial, but the user also has to let IS settle. I've had many shots at a beginning of a sequence where nothing is sharp, which I've chalked to IS response times.

I see the value of IBIS for video but again, in the case of the 3 lb 28-70 f/2, I can't see many people trying a run-and-gun style with that heavy a lens. When I'm taking video (kids concerts/plays), I'm usually using a 24-105 IS, but it's usually on a tripod, so again IS doesn't have much value.
Some people use the 70-200 2.8 IS II handheld all the time (but for video, it is useful even on a monopod), and this lens is no different to use, IS would make it more useful in any case.
Again, this lens is an additional choice Canon gives its R system users, and people are complaining about it in another thread as well, which is a bit ironic I think, since it is only an option.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,877
1,207
Canada
Some people use the 70-200 2.8 IS II handheld all the time (but for video, it is useful even on a monopod), and this lens is no different to use, IS would make it more useful in any case.
Again, this lens is an additional choice Canon gives its R system users, and people are complaining about it in another thread as well, which is a bit ironic I think, since it is only an option.
And this is what I don't understand.....

If you already have a 24-70F2.8, why would you want to buy another one in the R mount, when you can use the one you already own? Wouldn't it make more sense to get something a bit different?
 
Reactions: jd7

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
701
80
And this is what I don't understand.....

If you already have a 24-70F2.8, why would you want to buy another one in the R mount, when you can use the one you already own? Wouldn't it make more sense to get something a bit different?
I think a lot of people start from the assumption that using an adapter is a problem and you want to be using native lenses.

What Canon seems to have done with the EOS R is build something close to a dual mount camera (especially when you consider the weight of the EOS R plus R/EF adapter is only a little more than the weight of a 6DII).
  1. With the R/EF adapter on it, EF lenses perform pretty much as well as they did on an EF DSLR, so you can treat the EOS R as an EF mount mirrorless if you want, without any real performance penalty. (Well, there are limitations in the EOS R body compared with some of Canon's DSLRs, but what I mean is the EF mount lenses generally perform as well on the EOS R as they would perform on an equivalently spec'ed EF body.)
  2. With RF lenses, you get the benefits of lenses which (at least allegedly) either couldn't be made practically for EF or which have higher IQ for the size/weight.
When you look at it that way, if you have 24-70 f/2.8L II, no reason to be worried because there isn't an RF 24-70/2.8 yet. You won't be losing anything using the EF version on the EOS R compared with using it on a native EF body, and you have the option of adding or switching to the RF 28-70 f/2.8L if you want. And at some point in the future there will presumably be an RF 24-70/2.8 of some kind (improved IQ over the current EF? IS? a touch smaller and lighter than the current EF?) as an upgrade option.
 
Mar 14, 2012
2,241
135
And this is what I don't understand.....

If you already have a 24-70F2.8, why would you want to buy another one in the R mount, when you can use the one you already own? Wouldn't it make more sense to get something a bit different?
I think Fro had mentioned it in one of his videos but the rear caps are not fully compatible. That and the need to move the adapter among the EF lenses. The feature that a lot of people will be looking for is IS. Me? I'm still waiting for a change to play with the R in a store, especially with some of my fast EF primes. I'm also waiting for the 5D IV version of the R. That and the prices of the RF lenses to start falling.
 

dak723

EOS 6D MK II
Oct 26, 2013
1,141
434
And this is what I don't understand.....

If you already have a 24-70F2.8, why would you want to buy another one in the R mount, when you can use the one you already own? Wouldn't it make more sense to get something a bit different?

Yes, of course. Canon, isn't stupid, despite constant internet whining to the contrary.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,877
1,207
Canada
Yes, of course. Canon, isn't stupid, despite constant internet whining to the contrary.
Exactly!

They are not going to bring the camera to market with 60 brand new R lenses, the R lenses will take 10 years to build up to a full portfolio, so it makes sense to add ones that are not the same as EF first, and gradually replace the EF with R versions, probably as a mix of popular lenses and new lenses
 

mirage

EOS RP
Jul 31, 2018
297
111
I think a lot of people start from the assumption that using an adapter is a problem and you want to be using native lenses
exactly. a significant portion of users were and are unable or unwilling to understand the differences between
1. solid, simple, glass-less "extension tube mount adapters" from Canon
2. thirdparty cross-brand lens adapters with various mechanical, optical and electronic issues (eg 5 versions of metabones adapters to use canon EF lenses on Sony A7/A9 E-mount cameras
3. telecom ertets and other adapters with optical elements inside designed to achieve optical effects (eg narrower angle of view)

typically those users are clueless but very vocal in their "total resistance against any stinkin' adapter" and they associate all potential or real disadvantages for adapters listed under 2. and 3. also with any OEM Canon-Canon adapters.

luckily reality is different. :)
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
701
80
exactly. a significant portion of users were and are unable or unwilling to understand the differences between
1. solid, simple, glass-less "extension tube mount adapters" from Canon
2. thirdparty cross-brand lens adapters with various mechanical, optical and electronic issues (eg 5 versions of metabones adapters to use canon EF lenses on Sony A7/A9 E-mount cameras
3. telecom ertets and other adapters with optical elements inside designed to achieve optical effects (eg narrower angle of view)

typically those users are clueless but very vocal in their "total resistance against any stinkin' adapter" and they associate all potential or real disadvantages for adapters listed under 2. and 3. also with any OEM Canon-Canon adapters.

luckily reality is different. :)
My feeling is Canon deserves a fair bit of credit for managing to make EF lenses perform as well on the R as they would on a (similarly spec'ed) DSLR body, and making the transition to the R mount as painless as possible for EF lens owners. From the bits I've read, it doesn't sound like Nikon has done as well with the Z/F adapter.
 

mirage

EOS RP
Jul 31, 2018
297
111
And at some point in the future there will presumably be an RF 24-70/2.8 of some kind (improved IQ over the current EF? IS? a touch smaller and lighter than the current EF?) as an upgrade option.
yes. RF f/2.8 "pro" zooms are expected for 2019 as per Canon's (vague) statements/"sort of a roadmap" chart.

At least until then EF 24-70/2.8 II on EOS R will serve as a sane and sensible alternative to rushing out and buying RF 28-70/2 at "early adopter price".

the extra stop f/2 vs f/2.8 may be useful and valuable in a few difficult situations for a few people who know what they are doing and are willing to lug the lens along. for most other situations and users f/2 vs f/2.8 will not make much of a difference on a 28-70 lens. and for instagram cat photos f/2 will not work "guaranteed wonders" either. :)