"The Canon 24mm-70mm f4L IS v Canon 24mm-70mm f2.8L"
The 24mm-70mm standard zoom lens is a useful lens, and one that I think all photographers should have in their lens collection. If you shoot a Canon camera and want a 24mm – 70mm lens and want the best there are two options: the Canon 24mm – 70mm f4L IS and the Canon 24mm – 70mm f2.8L lenses.
The L series lenses aren’t cheap but then if you want the best you are going to have to pay for it. Besides, an L series lens is an investment that will provide trouble free service provided you look after it of course. L series lenses are well worth the money, and if you can afford one and are actually prepared to dig deep and pay the high price tag I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Before jumping in with the detail let’s take a look at the specifics of each o the 24mm – 70mm lenses:-
These are both L series lenses which means they are made out of the same high quality/grade components and are made to the same high standards. Both of these lenses are tough, durable, robust and pretty much ‘bullet proof’. Both of these lenses are weather sealed and this not only makes it moisture/damp resistant but also dust/dirt resistant too. Both of these lenses are built to last and will deal with whatever abuse you care to throw them.
Being L series lenses both of these lenses are made using the same high quality optics. The 24mm-70mm f2.8L is slightly sharper at f4, but given no lens is at its sharpest when used wide open at its widest maximum aperture this is to be expected. I.e. at f4 the f2.8L version is stopped down whereas the f4 is at its maximum widest aperture. The difference in sharpness is very slight and barely noticeable and the only way you are going to see it is to study photos side by side and scrutinise them or go pixel peeping on the computer. Both of these lenses are very sharp and you will be impressed by either.
The f2.8L lens doesn’t have image stabilization whereas the f4L IS lens does. Some photographers need image stabilization and some photographers want/like image stabilization however there are some photographers that do not like image stabilization. Only you know if image stabilization is important or not. One of the problems with image stabilization is that it affects the autofocus and slows it down.
The f2.8L lens is physically bigger and heavier than the f4L IS lens, and this is to be expected given the f2.8L lens lets in more light. Getting that extra stop of light requires a bigger lens, which also increases the weight. In the big scheme of things and compared to other lenses both of these lenses are manageable. The size and weight difference may or may not be a consideration, and only you can answer this.
As you’d expect the 24mm-70mm f2.8L is more expensive than the Canon 24mm-70mm f4L IS lens. You have to pay a lot of money to get that extra stop of light, and I do often question whether the extra cost is worth it or not. Being able to shoot wider enables you to reduce the depth of field and is also useful in low light, but there are things you can do to make the subject pop and shoot in low light and these things don’t cost a penny.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.