Canon 24-70mm I, Good Deal?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dukey, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Dukey macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2011
    I got offered to buy a used Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L I for $900. I know the price of this lens has been fluctuating from 1100-1300 used and with the II that came out I'm wondering if the price of this lens will drop in the next couple of months. I do need the lens but I'm hesitating on whether I can get a better deal (I have bought stuff in the past at a decent price only to see the price plummet after 3-6 months).
  2. Parkin Pig macrumors 6502a

    Parkin Pig

    Oct 23, 2009
    $900 is at the lower end of the price range for a quality used 24-70mm f/2.8L here in the UK, but then prices are generally a bit higher here anyway. I've got one myself and it's a fabulous lens. Guessing how prices will change in the future is an impossible task - you really have to be happy with the price you pay today, and enjoy the lens.

    As for the mk II - I would imagine there are very few photographers (if any) who are capable of producing work that clearly shows how the mk II is better than the mk I, so the mk I will serve you well for many years. Just make sure it's in top condition.
  3. tgara, Jul 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013

    tgara macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    Connecticut, USA
    The price will probably continue to decrease over the coming months simply because this lens is no longer made, but if you need the lens now, $900 is a good deal. I'd say go for it.

    I have the MkI version, and can say it's a great lens when coupled with my 5D Mark III. Pictures come out razor sharp. I am very satisfied with the results, and have no plans to upgrade to the MkII version. FYI, I paid about $950 for mine brand new in 2008.

    What camera body are you using?
  4. truettray macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2012
    Woah I wish I knew who you know! The best I can find it for is $1,200. I'm holding off until I can find it for under $1000.
  5. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    If the lens is fully functional, then I would definitely pull the trigger and buy it. $900 does seem to be at the lower end of the spectrum, so make sure you test it out (if you can) before you hand over the money.
  6. Dukey, Jul 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013

    Dukey thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2011
    Thanks for the replies.

    Using a 7D. Eventually upgrade to II or III.
  7. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    I got mine new for $1400 and the lens is almost glued to my camera. $900 for the same lens now? Wow, go for it before someone else nabs it!
  8. steveash macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2008
    I'd also recommend the 28-70 f2.8L that predated the 24-70 if you can find one. If you can live without the extra 4mm at the wide end then the older lens actually performs better all-round. Sharper with less distortion and vignetting but no weather seals. I got one in part payment for some work for a friend and found it so good that I switched.
  9. Pompiliu, Jul 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013

    Pompiliu macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2012
    $900 seems like a decent price. :)
    But get a full frame camera. The lens if made for FF, it doesn't perform that well with crop sensors: the older lenses can't resolve a sensor with such high pixel density.

    BTW, Canon sent me the mkII version. My god!:eek:
    What a beast lens. Much much better than the old one, in fact is the best 24-70 lens ever made.
    Sharper than a knife (sharper then a lot of non-L primes actually), so little distortion even at 24mm, so much better resolution at 2.8 compared to the old version.
  10. ocabj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2009
    I sold my 24-70 f/2.8 v1 for $1100 when the 24-105 used prices finally plummeted and I was able to pick one up for $600 used (in pristine condition).

    The reason why I ditched the 24-70 was because I never used it for portraits (always use the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II or 85 f/1.2L II) and the 24-105 was more versatile for what I did use that focal range for (products and video).

    That being said, I also dumped the 24-70 v1 because it just didn't look good on the 5D Mark III. Granted, at the time I still had a 5D II for backup, the 24-70 just didn't resolve very well at all (which explains why they updated it with a version 2).
  11. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    You're saying you dumped the 24-70 because it didn't look good on the camera? :confused:
  12. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    I shoot video also, and I almost always prefer the 24-70 over 24-105. You can improvise a very good stabilizer with a tripod, one that completely outdoes the optical stabilizer. And the extra stop of exposure really helps with the lighting and bokeh. Also, the smooth zoom range (24-105 has a compressed 24-36 zoom, like a log curve), reverse zoom and its immense build quality all helps.

    The 24-105 is infamous for its excessive distortion throughout the range. For product photography this lens leaves a LOT to be desired, and for video it's not tolerable at all.

    IMO the version 2 looks uglier and cheaper than the version 1. It also has worse bokeh when compared side-by-side, despite having an extra aperture blade. The sharpness is not worth the extra $1000, especially not for video where it doesn't matter anyway.

    I shoot, like a lot of other people, APS-C for the moment. It has higher pixel density than full frame cameras, obviously. And the version 1's somewhat outdated resolving power is more than good enough for most, if not all uses.
  13. skasol macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2007
    I too used to own the 24-70 many years ago and for my used I ended up replacing it for a 70-200 II for my portraits. Heck I take my 135L over it any day. I agree that u should try to pair it with a FF body. What is your purpose of this lens? What photography do u do?
  14. ocabj, Aug 8, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013

    ocabj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2009
    Yes. The v1 just didn't resolve well on the 5DIII compared to how it looked on the 5DII. Since my 5DIII is now my primary, I dumped the 24-70 v1 since I didn't want to use the 5DII just for one lens.

    I'd like the 24-70 II, but I just don't use that focal range enough to justify it. The 24-105 f/4 IQ looks good enough on the 5DIII for the basic product shots I use that focal range for.

    Here's a sample of one of the last shots I took with the 24-70 v1 on the 5DIII: (note: lingerie portrait)


    Shot at 70mm, 1/200s, f/2.8, ISO 100. Two light setup (more info here:

    From a pixel peeping standpoint, the image wasn't all that great. But I wanted that shot and was able to salvage it in post.

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