Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 USM L - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Images

Click on an image for downloading the full-size variant.

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length28.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/100s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed200
Focal Length70.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/100s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed125
Focal Length28.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/80s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length39.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/320s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length70.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/100s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length65.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/640s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length28.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/1000s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length70.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/800s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed800
Focal Length37.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/50s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length51.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/800s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed640
Focal Length28.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/80s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed200
Focal Length45.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/60s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length46.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/640s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length70.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/640s

Competition

The Canon RF-mount is still a proprietary system with no license granted to third-party manufacturers. Thus the primary competitors are the in-house cousins, the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L IS and, certainly to a lesser degree, the RF 24-105mm f/4 USM L IS. There are further alternatives when using an EF-to-RF mount adapter. However, unless you have to have it an interim solution, we wouldn't recommend adapters really. As you can see below, the RF 28-70mm f/2 USM L (shown to the left) is in a league of its own size-wise - and rest assured - if you have to carry it through the day, you will suffer due to its heavy weight. Just based on its aperture, the choice isn't straightforward forward though. The 24-70mm and 24-105mm USM L IS feature image stabilizers thus they can have certain advantages in low light situations despite the slower speed. However, the RF 28-70mm f/2 USM L is superior optically as well as in terms of depth-of-field potential. A 70mm f/2 is pretty good even by prime lens standards whereas a 70mm f/2.8 or 105mm f/4 is nothing to write home about in this respect really.

Verdict

The Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 USM L is everything that you can expect from it - it is a monster of a lens with a monster performance. This is especially true for the broader center quality which is as good as on the best prime lenses. The outer image field is also superb in the lower zoom range. The corners soften a bit at 70mm but remain easily on a good level. That's on a 45-megapixel sensor. On 20 to 30 megapixels, the lens is almost perfect. The native image distortions can be noticeable at 28mm but not an issue beyond. The native vignetting is quite high at f/2 but that's no different from prime lenses. Auto-correction comes to the rescue in both cases, of course. Lateral CAs are absolutely negligible. The quality of the bokeh is good but there is a little room for improvement here. However, that's complaining on a very high level really. The rather massive focus-breathing isn't ideal for videos though.

The build quality is excellent which isn't surprising given its professional target audience. The materials and assembly quality are top class. Weather-sealing is a natural feature at this price point anyway. Some may not like the extending zoom mechanism - but this is just normal for pretty much all standard zoom lenses. A bigger question mark may be around the handling, though. The lens is huge and using the big zoom and focus ring isn't quite as comfortable as on the RF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L IS. You may argue that this isn't any different from fast tele lenses but the RF 28-70mm f/2 will be used mostly hand-held and, as such, it is front-heavy and unbalanced.

If you want the very best and fastest standard zoom lens there is, the RF 28-70mm f/2 USM L is the one to go for - at least for photographic purposes. However, you should ask yourself whether you are ready for it. This just isn't your average fast standard zoom lens. It will leave you in awe but as with all monsters, you will feel it after having battled with it for a long day.

Optical Quality (45 megapixel):
★★★★★
Optical Quality (30 megapixel):    
★★★★★
Mechanical Quality:
★★★★★
Price/Performance:
★★★★★

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