Thursday, 13 December 2012

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM Preview


Preview based on a pre-production Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM
Back in September Canon introduced the EOS 6D, its entry into the nascent 'compact, lightweight' full frame SLR segment. With the launch of the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM, Canon has now revealed what's destined to be its 'kit' lens. The newcomer is relatively compact in size to match the ethos of the 6D body design, but sports the company's premium 'L' series designation. However this comes with a price tag that's sure to make more than a few Canon users catch their breath - we've been told the the RRP will be $1499 / £1499.99 / €1459. What remains to be seen, though, is how much it will cost in a kit with the 6D body.
The 24-70mm f/4 includes one relatively unusual feature - a macro mode offering up to 0.7x magnification, which is accessed by pulling forward the zoom lock switch and rotating the zoom ring past the 70mm mark. This is complemented by Canon's 'Hybrid IS' that's specifically designed to give better performance for close-up work than conventional IS systems (which tend to be ineffective for macro work). Overall this should add useful extra capability compared to most other standard zooms.
Aside from that, the specification is much as we'd expect from a premium Canon optic. The lens is dust- and splash-resistant, including a rubber seal around the mount. It incorporates a ring-type ultrasonic motor for fast, silent autofocusing, and offers full-time manual focus. The aperture uses a nine-bladed circular iris for attractive rendition of blurred backgrounds, and the front element has a fingerprint-resistant 'fluorine' coating. On paper at least, this all looks like an attractive package.

Headline features

  • 24-70mm focal length; constant f/4 maximum aperture
  • Macro mode with 0.7x magnification
  • 'Hybrid IS' optical image stabilization - 4 stops for normal shooting, 2.5 stops for macro
  • Dust- and splash-proof design
  • EF mount for APS-C and full frame Canon SLRs (and EOS M via Mount adapter EF-EOS M)

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM specifications

 Maximum format size35mm full frame
 Focal length 24-70mm
 35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) 38-112mm
 Diagonal angle of view  84° - 34°
 Maximum aperture F4
 Minimum aperture F22
 Lens Construction • 15 elements in 12 groups
 • 2 UD glass elements
 Number of diaphragm blades 9, rounded
 Minimum focus • 0.38m / 1.2ft (normal)
 • 0.20m / 0.7ft (macro)
 Maximum magnification • Approx. 0.7x
 AF motor type • Ring-type Ultrasonic Motor
 Focus method Internal
 Zoom method Rotary, extending barrel
 Image stabilization • Hybrid IS
 • 4 stops (normal shooting)
 • 2.5 stops (macro mode)
 Filter thread • 77mm
 • Does not rotate on focus
 Supplied accessories* • Front and rear caps
 • EW-83L Lens hood
 • LP1219 soft pouch
 Weight 600g (21.2 oz)
 Dimensions 83.4mm diameter x 93mm length
 (3.3 x 3.7 in)
 Lens Mount Canon EF