Canon EF 28-70 f/2.8 L
Canon EF 28-70 f/2.8L
This lens has been my workhorse lens
for over 5 years. I purchased this lens in June of 2002 and it has
more than paid for itself in the intervening time. The lens was
introduced in November of 1993 and was subsequently replaced by
the 24-70 f/2.8 L in November of 2002.
For those 9 years this lens was considered Canon's best standard
zoom. My copy of the 28-70 L is sharp
throughout the zoom range and suffers only a slight loss of sharpness
when shot wide open. My copy is very sharp by f/3.5 at both ends
of the zoom range.
The maximum f/2.8 aperture allows for a nicely shallow depth of field,
and the eight-bladed aperture provides a very nice quality of the
out-of-focus areas (bokeh). This can be seen in the photograph directly
below. What I like most about this lens is the sharpness. I've used
it quite a lot for portraiture and glamour, and sometimes I think
that it's almost too sharp for those photographic styles since the
subject's skin imperfections stand out too strongly. Still, this lens
spends a lot of time on my cameras, especially when I need a low-light,
This is definitely not a light lens. It weighs in at 1.9 pounds (880
grams), but I have taken it on many hikes with me simply because it
is such an outstanding lens. I've used it for quite a bit of faire
and festival photography as well, but I currently use a 24-105 f/4
L IS for outdoor event shooting since that lens is lighter
and has significantly more reach. If I needed to shoot a night event,
however, I would chose this lens over the 24-105 L.
The extra stop allows for a brighter viewfinder image and more accurate
focus when using a precision focus screen such as the Ee-S, Ec-S and
The zoom ring is smooth and well damped. The lens extends as you
zoom out to the 28mm end and retracts as you zoom in to the 70mm
position. The hood mounts on a non-extending portion of the lens
barrel and the petal shape ensures there is no vignetting at the wide
end of the zoom range. The focus ring is also wide and well damped, and the focus moves smoothly and easily across the range.
Portrait at 70mm and f/2.8
As expected of a Canon L lens, the build
quality is excellent. The lens uses Ring type USM auto focus which
allows Full Time Manual focus override. Minimum focusing distances
is 1.6 feet (0.5 meters ) and the lens utilizes an internal focusing
system with a non-rotating front element. This is great when shooting
with a circular polarizing filter. Unlike the newer 24-70 f/2.8 L, this lens is not weather sealed.
The EW-83B hood fits snugly via a bayonet style mount and is flocked
on the interior to absorb light. The hood is made out of high impact
plastic and is very easy to mount. I reverse mount my hood on the
lens for easy storage. Filter size on this lens is 77mm making it
easy to share filters with the other L
zooms such as the 70-200 f/2.8 L IS,
the 24-105 f/4 L and the 17-40 f/4 L.
The lens contains 16 elements in 11 groups. The first element is
a large aspherical element which helps provide the excellent contrast
and sharpness exhibited by this lens. Flare is well controlled at
all apertures and images are well saturated with excellent color rendition.
Did I mention that this lens is rugged? In 2003, during a pre-dawn
hike to an observation point on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon
to shoot sunrise, I tripped and fell onto the rocky trail. This lens,
mounted on my Canon 10D, bore the brunt of the fall despite my attempts
to twist in mid-air to protect it. Once my cursing stopped and I pulled
myself together, I determined that the lens was essentially undamaged
except for a nasty scratch on the lens hood. I subsequently shot the
sunrise and many thousands of shots since that fall with no issues
whatsoever. So, despite its heft and weight, this lens goes with me
on most serious hikes.
Although the lens has been superceded by the 24-70 f/2.8 L,
it can occasionally be found on the used market for about $600 US
dollars. They go quickly when available, so if you're want one you'll
need to act fast. I don't think I've met anyone who has owned this
lens who hasn't loved the image quality.
for this Lens
Hiking in Zion
Las Vegas at Night
Tioga Pass -
28mm, f/11, 1/200, ISO100 Canon 10D