RF 24-70 f2.8L IS

Larsskv

EOS 6D MK II
Jun 12, 2015
827
268
The RF 24-70 f2.8 has been in stores for a while now, but finding serious user experiences about it, comparing its IQ to the EF 24-70 f2.8 L II, is about as hard as finding an ice cream store on the north pole.

Yes, some reviews illustrates better sharpness and clarity, but I haven’t been able to find direct comparison photos of the bokeh.

There are plenty of GAS driven reviews on bhphoto, amazon etc, but they appear to be quite superficial.

I hope someone in here with experience from both lenses can share their thoughts, and hopefully some comparison images. Thanks!
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
4,441
1,105
The RF 24-70 f2.8 has been in stores for a while now, but finding serious user experiences about it, comparing its IQ to the EF 24-70 f2.8 L II, is about as hard as finding an ice cream store on the north pole.

Yes, some reviews illustrates better sharpness and clarity, but I haven’t been able to find direct comparison photos of the bokeh.

There are plenty of GAS driven reviews on bhphoto, amazon etc, but they appear to be quite superficial.

I hope someone in here with experience from both lenses can share their thoughts, and hopefully some comparison images. Thanks!
I saw a distortion example with pretty severe mustache-distortion that kind of bothered me, and it’s not easy to correct either ... but I tried the 15-35 today and I must say that the talk of brutal vignetting is perhaps a bit more than it deserves. It wasn’t usesless although noticeable. I could live with it, anyway, the RF24-70 Has about the same vignetting, so in that case I wouldn’t be TOO concerned. I expect AF and IS also to perform very similar and they both were seriously good with the 15-35. I was not that impressed with the 70-200 and felt it took a long time to activate IS, the 15-35 should be more like the 24-70 and it was instant. 1/4s at 35 was no issue .
Perhaps more an indicator than useful info though. Lol.
 
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tron

EOS 5D SR
Nov 8, 2011
4,458
719
I saw a distortion example with pretty severe mustache-distortion that kind of bothered me, and it’s not easy to correct either ... but I tried the 15-35 today and I must say that the talk of brutal vignetting is perhaps a bit more than it deserves. It wasn’t usesless although noticeable. I could live with it, anyway, the RF24-70 Has about the same vignetting, so in that case I wouldn’t be TOO concerned. I expect AF and IS also to perform very similar and they both were seriously good with the 15-35. I was not that impressed with the 70-200 and felt it took a long time to activate IS, the 15-35 should be more like the 24-70 and it was instant. 1/4s at 35 was no issue .
Perhaps more an indicator than useful info though. Lol.
I have got the 15-53 and 24-70 early January but I just had the opportunity to use 24-70 a little. Since I was using it for - don't laugh I will explain - birding at close distance I didn't set it at f/2.8. but at around f/4.5. Some were excellent some blurry but I could not know if it was me (not very probable) or the snake eagle. It was one that could not fly ever and had been sitting inside a room in an organization that takes care of birds and frees the one that can survive. And it was used to people.

So back to the question. I got these two lenses for shooting interior spaces like museums churches because I always wanted f/2.8 zooms of that range with IS. Are you satisfied with IS? Does it really work satisfactorily? I feel that the pressing of shutter has to be paid some attention and that shooting a few shots in a row helps irrespective of lens used (I also have the 24-105)
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
4,441
1,105
I have got the 15-53 and 24-70 early January but I just had the opportunity to use 24-70 a little. Since I was using it for - don't laugh I will explain - birding at close distance I didn't set it at f/2.8. but at around f/4.5. Some were excellent some blurry but I could not know if it was me (not very probable) or the snake eagle. It was one that could not fly ever and had been sitting inside a room in an organization that takes care of birds and frees the one that can survive. And it was used to people.

So back to the question. I got these two lenses for shooting interior spaces like museums churches because I always wanted f/2.8 zooms of that range with IS. Are you satisfied with IS? Does it really work satisfactorily? I feel that the pressing of shutter has to be paid some attention and that shooting a few shots in a row helps irrespective of lens used (I also have the 24-105)
This is perhaps off topic though, but I didn’t spend more than 15 minutes with it, but made sure to try waaaay longer speeds than I would ever use without IS, and they were all as sharp as can be, and I didn’t have to wait for the IS to do its thing, so yeah don’t think it could be better. This along with IBIS for 7-8 stops of correction will change everything for interior and cityscapes. Very exciting!
 
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tron

EOS 5D SR
Nov 8, 2011
4,458
719
This is perhaps off topic though, but I didn’t spend more than 15 minutes with it, but made sure to try waaaay longer speeds than I would ever use with IS, and they were all as sharp as can be, and I didn’t have to wait for the IS to do its thing, so yeah don’t think it could be better. This along with IBIS for 7-8 stops of correction will change everything for interior and cityscapes. Very exciting!
Wishing for a kind of programming without external devices that would allow us to shoot a series of photos with different speeds. But of course we can do it manually, no real issue there. I am certainly going to enjoy these lenses (and a future IBIS body) in interior spaces.
 

Larsskv

EOS 6D MK II
Jun 12, 2015
827
268
The RF 24-70 f2.8 L IS was finally offered at a discount, and I couldn’t resist. Got it today, and I did a sharpness comparison with my EF 24-70 LII.

I have owned five versions of the EF L II lens, and three of them have had noticeable issues at certain focal lengths. The one I have now is a very good performer, without any serious weak points.

My RF 24-70 2.8 is sharper than the EF version at every focal length. At f2.8 at 50 and 70mm the EF lens is slightly sharper in certain areas of the frame, but when the frame is averaged, the RF lens pulls ahead.

I am very satisfied about two things. My RF doesn’t have any serious weak spots. On it’s poorest performance (corners included) it is still performing really well, and it’s weakness doesn’t become apparent before you view at 100%.

Second, one thing that always bothered me the the EF version was that it did not improve much when stopping down. The RF version does improve noticeably, which makes it a significantly better landscape lens than the EF version.

I haven’t had the opportunity to compare bokeh in a serious way, but my impression so far is that the two lenses seem very comparable.

The RF close focus abilities is much better than the EF version, but sharpness takes a drop at minimum focus distance and f2.8 (so do the EF lens, but at a greater distance).

All in all, I believe the RF and EF lenses will perform quite equal in real world scenarios, IQ wise, but the RF lens will pull ahead when edge to edge sharpness is important, and when making large prints.

AF is very fast and precise. IS works very well. Build quality is great. It is large and heavy, very comparable to the EF 16-35 f2.8 L III.

The EOS R + RF 24-70 is a few mm shorter that the 5DIV + EF L II.
 
Feb 27, 2020
4
1
I have been using the RF 24-70mm (and the RF 15-35mm) for landscape and I am very happy with them. My EF 24-70mm /2.8 is the first version, so I can't compare, but the two RF lenses are sharper than my EF 16-35mm /4L for landscape.

So, I am very happy with the RF glass, but given the price, if I couldn't afford them, the EF glass would be quite good of course.
 

Act444

EOS 6D MK II
May 4, 2011
1,073
143
The RF 24-70 f2.8 L IS was finally offered at a discount, and I couldn’t resist. Got it today, and I did a sharpness comparison with my EF 24-70 LII.

I have owned five versions of the EF L II lens, and three of them have had noticeable issues at certain focal lengths. The one I have now is a very good performer, without any serious weak points.

My RF 24-70 2.8 is sharper than the EF version at every focal length. At f2.8 at 50 and 70mm the EF lens is slightly sharper in certain areas of the frame, but when the frame is averaged, the RF lens pulls ahead.

I am very satisfied about two things. My RF doesn’t have any serious weak spots. On it’s poorest performance (corners included) it is still performing really well, and it’s weakness doesn’t become apparent before you view at 100%.

Second, one thing that always bothered me the the EF version was that it did not improve much when stopping down. The RF version does improve noticeably, which makes it a significantly better landscape lens than the EF version.

I haven’t had the opportunity to compare bokeh in a serious way, but my impression so far is that the two lenses seem very comparable.

The RF close focus abilities is much better than the EF version, but sharpness takes a drop at minimum focus distance and f2.8 (so do the EF lens, but at a greater distance).

All in all, I believe the RF and EF lenses will perform quite equal in real world scenarios, IQ wise, but the RF lens will pull ahead when edge to edge sharpness is important, and when making large prints.

AF is very fast and precise. IS works very well. Build quality is great. It is large and heavy, very comparable to the EF 16-35 f2.8 L III.

The EOS R + RF 24-70 is a few mm shorter that the 5DIV + EF L II.
Interesting, thanks for the review.

As an EF 24-70 II owner, the weakest point of that lens for me is 70mm f2.8. In fact, when I want maximum sharpness I find myself pulling back to ~60mm and shooting from there (or, in some cases, remaining at 70mm but stopping down to f4 or f5.6). Pretty strong performer otherwise, though.
 
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Larsskv

EOS 6D MK II
Jun 12, 2015
827
268
Interesting, thanks for the review.

As an EF 24-70 II owner, the weakest point of that lens for me is 70mm f2.8. In fact, when I want maximum sharpness I find myself pulling back to ~60mm and shooting from there (or, in some cases, remaining at 70mm but stopping down to f4 or f5.6). Pretty strong performer otherwise, though.
It seems to me that 70mm is the weakest point for both the EF and RF versions. After investing in the RF version, I am happy to report that the RF at it’s weakest point and f2.8 still is sharp enough to be acceptable for a landscape photo, whereas the EF version (my very good copy of it) does drop below what I find acceptable for landscapes (at f2.8 and 70mm).

Both versions improves when stopping down, but the RF improves more.
 

Larsskv

EOS 6D MK II
Jun 12, 2015
827
268
Opticallimits has released their review of the RF 24-70:


I have a few remarks to the review about some statements that differ from my own experience. I guess parts of it can be explained by copy to copy variance.

First the vignetting. I can confirm that there is considerable vignetting, but please be aware that it is even and smooth. I don't find it disturbing. That said, in general I don't mind vignetting, so take that into account.

When it comes to sharpness, the results Opticallimits presents does not match my own experience. My copy of the RF 24-70 seems to be at its best at 35mm, while the copy Opticallimits has tested seems better at 50mm. This is either due to copy to copy variance, or it can be that my examination is done at infinity focus, and opticallimits measure at close distances.

With regards to bokeh balls, and the quite busy inner "onion-like" inner structure displayed in the review, I would like to report that from my very limited experience with the RF 24-70, I have only seen smooth bokeh balls. My only examples is with a f2.8 aperture. If this "issue" bothers you with the opticallimits review, I recommend looking further into it, and that you don't take the review pictures for granted.

One thing that made me very reluctant to invest in the RF 24-70, was that it, from what I could figure out from TDP, didn't seem to be much difference IQ wise, compared to the RF 24-105 L IS. This impression can be backed up in the review. Opticallimits states that:

On the more affordable side is the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS (right). For the vast number of photographers, it is actually the more sensible choice. Yes, it is a stop slower but it has, obviously, a range advantage and while the difference in price may give us the impression that it is optically inferior, this is not the case.

This statement about optical performance does not correspond with my own experience. I have now compared the RF 24-70 to the RF 24-105 at infinity focus at 24, 35, 50 and 70mm, at f4 and f8. While the 24-105 is a strong performer, it is poorer at every focal length and aperture than the RF 24-70. The 24-70 is sharper, has better contrast and better clarity. In parts of the frame the 24-105 gets a bit hazy, with poor contrast and clarity.

Every zoom has some variation in its performance. What I see though, is that at the edges where the RF 24-70 at certain focal lengths is slightly worse than I would like to see, it is still as good as the RF 24-105 is at its best edge performance. When the whole frame is considered, the RF 24-70 is significantly better.

I would say that if you are on a budget, you should definitely go for the 24-105. It is really good, but it isn't as good as the RF 24-70, at least not at infinity focus.

My honest opinion is that the RF 24-70 has proven to be a better performer than I expected. It doesn't have any serious weak points, and stopping down solves the few issues that I have with it.
 
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YuengLinger

EOS 5D MK IV
Dec 20, 2012
2,856
1,099
Southeastern USA
Opticallimits has released their review of the RF 24-70:



This statement about optical performance does not correspond with my own experience. I have now compared the RF 24-70 to the RF 24-105 at infinity focus at 24, 35, 50 and 70mm, at f4 and f8. While the 24-105 is a strong performer, it is poorer at every focal length and aperture than the RF 24-70. The 24-70 is sharper, has better contrast and better clarity. In parts of the frame the 24-105 gets a bit hazy, with poor contrast and clarity.

Every zoom has some variation in its performance. What I see though, is that at the edges where the RF 24-70 at certain focal lengths is slightly worse than I would like to see, it is still as good as the RF 24-105 is at its best edge performance. When the whole frame is considered, the RF 24-70 is significantly better.

I would say that if you are on a budget, you should definitely go for the 24-105. It is really good, but it isn't as good as the RF 24-70, at least not at infinity focus.

My honest opinion is that the RF 24-70 has proven to be a better performer than I expected. It doesn't have any serious weak points, and stopping down solves the few issues that I have with it.
Yes, and the distortion from 24-35mm is annoying on the 105. Out of focus areas especially more pleasing, even at f5.6, on 70mm.

I find, for this zoom, Christopher Frost's review most closely matches my own experience.

As for vignette, no issue for me at all. Loving this version (and my ef version was stellar).
 
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Act444

EOS 6D MK II
May 4, 2011
1,073
143
It seems to me that 70mm is the weakest point for both the EF and RF versions. After investing in the RF version, I am happy to report that the RF at it’s weakest point and f2.8 still is sharp enough to be acceptable for a landscape photo, whereas the EF version (my very good copy of it) does drop below what I find acceptable for landscapes (at f2.8 and 70mm).

Both versions improves when stopping down, but the RF improves more.
Question: Do you use DPP for post-processing workflow (if you post-process at all)? It seems these new RF cameras have DLO (digital lens optimizer) enabled by default, which can make these lenses seem a bit better than they really are. I noticed this with my RP and 35mm 1.8 - at f1.8, the IQ seemed surprisingly decent with sharp corners...then I realized DLO was preset. Once I disabled it, the corners got noticeably softer. It seems that with MILC (specifically, RF mount), digital correction of lens flaws and electronic image manipulation will be much more prevalent.
 

Larsskv

EOS 6D MK II
Jun 12, 2015
827
268
Question: Do you use DPP for post-processing workflow (if you post-process at all)? It seems these new RF cameras have DLO (digital lens optimizer) enabled by default, which can make these lenses seem a bit better than they really are. I noticed this with my RP and 35mm 1.8 - at f1.8, the IQ seemed surprisingly decent with sharp corners...then I realized DLO was preset. Once I disabled it, the corners got noticeably softer. It seems that with MILC (specifically, RF mount), digital correction of lens flaws and electronic image manipulation will be much more prevalent.
I only use Lightroom and raw images, so there is no DLO corrections in my images.