Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8 USM L - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Special thanks to Rainer Zentner for providing this lens!
The Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8 USM L is a discontinued lens introduced back in
late 1993. The lens has been replaced by the EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L (see separate review) in
late 2002. As a designated L class lens it is primarily intended for professional
users but its was affordable enough for many serious amateurs - and it's more so now on the
used market. On APS-C DSLRs its field-of-view is
equivalent to 45-112mm on full-frame cameras which isn't overly useful due to the
rather "long" wide-end.
With a weight of 880g and a size of 83x117mm it is quite a bit heavier and bigger than
many third party alternatives but comparable to similar lenses made by other
genuine brand manufacturers. In fact it's also slightly more light-weight than
The lens has a reverse zooming mechanism so it extends towards the wide end
of the range. It is shortest at 70mm. While this may seem odd at first the system
makes sense when attaching the deep flower-shaped hood which remains highly effective
at all focal lengths. So with attached hood the size of the package remains constant.
Still it would be nice if such a lens would not extend at all during zooming.
The front element does not rotate during focusing there're no issues when using a
polarizer - without hood that is.
The optical construction is made of 16 elements in 11 groups, including one high-quality
grounded aspherical element in the front group.
The min. focus distance is 0.5m resulting is a max. object magnification of ~1:5 at
70mm. The lens features 8 circular aperture blades. The filter size is 77mm.
The lens has a ring-type USM drive based on a front-focusing system resulting
in an extremely fast AF speed. As usual for modern ring-type USM lenses full-time
manual focusing is always possible in one-shot AF mode.
The build quality of this lens is very good. No significant wobbling and quite
smooth controls. Unlike its successor the lens is not sealed though.