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Thread: RF 24-70mm F/2.8 L IS USM Question

  1. #1
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    RF 24-70mm F/2.8 L IS USM Question

    So this new to just arrived. My first thought out of the box is that there is not enough savings in size and weight over the EF 24-70 II lens to matter.
    I went through a half dozen copies with B&H to get an exception EF 24-70 II to get an exceptional copy, should I have just kept the old.

    Here is the question:

    I plug it in and start racking the AF to see how well it works and low and behold I learn that it the manual focus is electronic.
    It does not work when you are in AF mode at all. I read Bryan's review and it says this "FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is supported in AF mode with the camera in One Shot Drive Mode, but the shutter release must be half-pressed for the focus ring to become active."

    It doesn't work this way at all, either in servo or one shot mode. It only works in Manual. Does any one have a copy of the lens, can they confirm that it doesn't work unless in manual mode?

    I am trying to figure out if this Copy is ok.


  2. #2
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    All RF lenses are focus-by-wire. I don’t have the 24-70/2.8 IS yet (mine arrives next week), but I have the 14-35, 24-105/4, 70-200/2.8 and 100-500, and FTM works on all of them even without the half-press.

    I suspect you have electronic manual focus disabled in your settings. On the R, it’s in AF tab 4. I use back-button AF. I keep mine set to magnify, FTM works if I just pick up the camera, and if I’m pressing AF-ON and turn the MF ring the view magnifies at the AF point.

    Also note that FTM doesn’t work during active Servo AF.

  3. #3
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    That is it, thanks.
    It sounds like your full on switching to the R now.

    I was holding out for the 28-70mm f/2.L but it hasn't been in stock but the more I thought about it I decided I would rather have the primes rather than a do all zoom. So I went with the 24-70. It seems like a nice copy but it is quit a bit of cost outlay for minor improvements. When Canon starts releasing the wide fast primes or Tilt Shift I think then I will switch those.

    I am debating now if the 70-200 is a worthy change, I doubt the improvement in IQ would be significant enough to form the version II I have now. The collapsed length is appealing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    An easy fix is always nice.

    Yes, I have the R3 on preorder. I far prefer the integrated grip form factor, and I didn’t find the 18 MP of the 1D X limiting. If I shot only birds I’d have bought the R5, but the R3 will be an excellent all-around body for me, and I’d like mostly native lenses when it arrives. I’ve had the R and RF 24-105/4L for ~2.5 years, bought the others after the R3 announcement as lenses have trickled in stock.

    I’m still considering canceling my 24-70/2.8 order and getting the 28-70/2 instead, since I have the 24-105 as a general purpose zoom. I have a few days to decide.

    I did swap my EF 70-200/2.8 II for the RF in large part for the form factor. It’s a bit better in IQ, but the difference isn’t huge. Ditto for the EF 16-35/4 to RF 14-35 – the latter is very small and light.

    I have the EF 85/1.4, but don’t use it enough to justify the RF 1.2 version (and if I do opt for the 28-70/2, I may end up selling the EF 85). I’m not keen on the focus shift of the RF 100L macro, so I’ll stick with my EF there. The 1.4:1 mag is not a selling point for me, since when I want over 1:1 I use the MP-E 65. The RF 600/4 also doesn’t justify the cost of switching from my EF 600/4 II.

    There is a rumored RF 10-24 and some rumors of RF TS lenses, but for my 11-24 and TS-E 17, the mount adapter with drop in filters is a big advantage. The salad plate filters I have for the TS-E 17 are a PITA, and I don’t have the dinner plate setup for the 11-24. So RF versions of those would have to be something really special to trump the easy filtering with the adapter. A 10-24 vs 11-24 wouldn’t do it for me. An RF TS 14mm would be tempting, though. We’ll see what happens there.
    Last edited by neuroanatomist; 11-06-2021 at 04:33 AM.

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    What convinced me to go with the 24-70mm instead of waiting for the 28-70 f/2 came down to just a few things.

    The 28-70 would be like having several primes, but the only prime in that range that I really use is the 35mm F/1.4L II and I like using it at F/1.6-1.8. The 28-70mm would be like a slower prime all across the range.
    In older versions of the 24-70 the lens wasn't as sharp as it is stopped down, but the 24-70 II was sharp at f/2.8 and I believed the RF version would be to. So at all the other lengths the f/2.8 will be fast enough.
    The final tipping straw to order it over keeping my the EF 24-70 II is the fact it has IS. Without flash shooting family pics at night the IS might be nice, and the holidays are coming and the lighting will be by X-mas tree.

    How about the 100-500mm, is it worthy?
    Would it be similar to owning the 100-400mm, or substantially better?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    I have only used the RF 100-500 (borrowed Joel's for awhile at Laguna Seca). So most of this is based on a review of specs, and reviews. Just to get this out there, but a common reason that will apply to all of these the fact that I still have the 5DIV as my second body and my wife shoots an 80D, and while she has a EFs 15-85 and a EFs telephotos but still borrows my EF glass, especially the telephotos, when she shoots. So I am not ready to exchange EF for RF. At this point, it would be in addition too in many instances.

    The RF 100-500 is slightly sharper, gives you that extra reach, but the big selling point is that it is lighter in relatively the same size. I'll almost certainly upgrade to the 100-500 at some point, unless something faster/more reach but still versatile gets released. Was it "substantially" better? It was substantially lighter, that was noticeable the second I swapped lenses. Bryan's "in-use" weight is only 90 g different, that doesn't include the converter, so ~220 g w/ converter. I do wonder if the weight of the 100-500 is better balanced as it felt like more than 1/2 lb. The bit more reach was noticeable. In terms of IQ, I've seen comparisons, I can see it, the RF is sharper but on that day, both lenses generated great images.

    Swapping the 24-70 f/2.8 (EF Mk II vs RF). The biggest things that have caught my eye are sharpness at 50-70 mm (win for the RF), IS and weight. Again, I've seen real world comparisons, I believe the RF is just a hair shaper at those focal lengths. That would be nice. Regarding IS, looking at Bryan's IS tests with the RF and they are only a little (~1 stop) better than I get with my EF lens (IBIS). Avalanche Falls (1.3 sec) in the monthly was not shot with a full tripod. Those shots were either using a tripod as a monopod or resting on the guard rail. From Banff, I already posted a 0.5 sec handheld image. I took 3-4, all were sharp. Weight, the RF is ~100 g heavier. With converter, they are essentially the same weight.

    So, from above, you mention that IS was a primary reason for switching. I do think IS+IBIS is better, but maybe only ~1 stop. If you still have your EF 24-70 II, you might want to try IBIS only (making sure it is on, Picture/camera tab 7, mine was off when I received it). Or maybe the sharpness at 50-70 mm is noticeable? I'd be interested if it is.

    If you have both 100-500 and RF 24-70, then, so, you can start leaving the converter at home, which saves 130 g.

  7. #7
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    I consider both the RF 24-105/4 IS and 24-70/2.8 IS to be viable choices for an R-series standard zoom. In the EF-DSLR world, the 24-70/2.8 II offered overall better IQ and better AF performance (on bodies with f/2.8 AF points) than the 24-105/4, at the cost of IS, zoom range and a stop of light. For RF, the lenses are fairly similar in IQ (Bryan indicates they trade off through the ranges), there’s no special AF performance advantage at f/2.8 on a MILC, and both have IS. So it really comes down to one stop of light vs. a broader zoom range. Even subject isolation is similar at 70/2.8 and 105/4, if you have room to back up (although perspective will be a bit different).

    Now throw the 28-70/2 into the mix. On a body with IBIS, the lens delivers the same (specified) 8 stops as the two IS zooms. I agree that the 28-70 is more like a ‘collection of primes’ than a zoom lens, and with my f/1.2-1.4 primes, I generally shoot them between f/1.8-2.2, so the 28-70/2 would actually serve that purpose for me.

    If I had to choose just one of the three, the 24-70/2.8 would be an easy choice. However, I already have the 24-105/4, and that doesn’t combine very well with the 24-70/2.8 because there’s lots of overlap. The 28-70/2 would make a better ‘partner’ for the 24-105, so at this point I’m leaning that way.

    The 100-500 is an excellent lens. I think Brant nicely summed up the comparison to the EF 100-400. In my case, I sold the 100-400 soon after getting the 600/4 II, because I used that when I needed reach and used the 70-300L as a compact option. Swapping the 70-300L for the native 100-500 was an easy decision for me since I’ve been using the adapted 70-300 on family walks and feel the need for more reach while not wanting to carry the 600/4 and manage kids.
    Last edited by neuroanatomist; 11-07-2021 at 07:49 PM.

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    I agree with Brant's summary too.

    When we swapped lenses for a while at Laguna Seca the images I took with his EF 100-400 II were perfectly sharp and I would not say there is enough difference in sharpness between it and the RF 100-500 to entice anyone to switch.

    The primary advantage is the extra 100mm of reach and secondarily the weight and balance.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post

    So, from above, you mention that IS was a primary reason for switching. I do think IS+IBIS is better, but maybe only ~1 stop. If you still have your EF 24-70 II, you might want to try IBIS only (making sure it is on, Picture/camera tab 7, mine was off when I received it). Or maybe the sharpness at 50-70 mm is noticeable? I'd be interested if it is.
    Initially the difference I see are so subtle that it might not be worthwhile for most people. The 24-70 II is going for about $1300 used, and it is an extra $1100 plus tax to switch.

    The RF version actually feels a bit larger on the camera than the EF version with adapter even thought it is not. Size is a wash.
    Looking at Bryans image charts I am not seeing much difference in IQ. Keeping in mind all the comparisons are either higher resolution or lower.
    From what I have seen so far they are about equal as far as sharpness all the way through. I would have to set up some home made tests to compare.

    Honestly it is a questionable upgrade for most people.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    When we swapped lenses for a while at Laguna Seca the images I took with his EF 100-400 II were perfectly sharp and I would not say there is enough difference in sharpness between it and the RF 100-500 to entice anyone to switch.
    It sounds like my debate to buy it is the same as I had with the EF 100-400 II. I gave the 100-400 I version to my brother when I bought my first 500mm. My thinking now is to upgrade to the 600mm f/4 and possibly buy the RF 100-500mm as a filler for the other ranges.

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