Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 USM IS - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2014


Some lenses live longer than others. The Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 was such a lens. It remained in production for no less than 24 years ... and just as reminder - we are talking about consumer electronics here. However, in late 2012 Canon finally decided that it is time for a successor - the Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 USM IS. As you may notice the focal length and speed remained the same but Canon added a modern USM (Ultrasonic) AF as well as an image stabilizer. While USM is not really a killer argument in this range (the micro-motor AF drive was fast enough after all), the IS certainly widens its usage scope specifically with respect to low light photography. As such it is an obvious choice e.g. for street or indoor photography. Given its focal length and speed it certainly faces stiff competition from the zoom lens gang here but some users may prefer to have a smaller and more light-weight package here.

The build quality is on a very high level thanks to a lens barrel made of high quality plastics based on a metal mount. Officially the lens is not weather-sealed but it keeps a constant physical length at all focus settings so there aren't really many spaces where water/dust could penetrate into the body anyway. The focus ring operates smoothly. The lens hood is just an optional item unfortunately.

As already hinted the AF is based on a ring-type USM which is both very fast as well as virtually silent. Full-time manual focusing (FTM) is, of course, supported. According to Canon the new IS stabilizer is good enough for about 4-stops. As always we suggest to take this with a grain of salt or two. In the real life it is about 1 stop less in our opinion.

Optical construction11 elements in 9 groups inc. 1x aspherical element
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.20m (max. magnification: ~1:4.3)
Filter size58mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped, optional
Other featuresImage Stabilizer