Canon EF 24-70 f/4L IS USM first looks

The Canon EF 24-70 f/4L IS USM is a great new addition to the Canon EF lens range. It is a compact standard zoom lens that displays all the hallmarks we’ve come to expect from Canon’s premium L series range.


The lens will look instantly familiar to owners of Canon L series zoom lenses. The compact design is intended as the perfect partner to the new EOS 6D, with its relatively compact full-frame body. There’s a simple and well laid out design, with the zoom ring at the rear of the barrel and the manual focus ring at the front. Two switches on the left hand side of the body control image stabilisation and auto focus, whilst the right hand side of the barrel is a zoom lock switch that also controls the lens’s macro mode.

In the Hand

The lens is light and compact – only 93mm long and weighing just 600g, but with the solid build quality that Canon owners have come to expect. Focus is fast and quiet thanks to the Ultrasonic Motor (USM), whilst the lens also features full-time mechanical manual focus, even during autofocus operation, keeping you fully in control of focus at all times.

Macro Magic

An interesting new feature on the lens is the macro capability. At the telephoto end of the zoom range, the macro function can be engaged by pushing the switch on the right hand side of the lens barrel forward. The yellow lettering of this macro switch matches the macro markings on the zoom ring. Once enabled they allow the zoom ring to rotate only within the range of the yellow line, allowing you to fine-tune composition. The minimum focusing distance is just 20 centimetres, and Canon’s innovative Hybrid Image Stabilisation offers 2.5 stops of compensation. The system, which is derived from that first seen on the EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, is specifically designed to give improved effectiveness at the far end of the zoom range, where most IS systems struggle. It’s a nice touch and works really well. The macro switch also functions as a lock switch, to prevent the lens extending accidentally when not in use.


The lens is an accomplished performer. It sits comfortably in the hand, with the control rings easily accessible and tactile. The aperture uses a nine-bladed circular iris for attractive background blur and you’re left in no doubt that this is a premium quality lens; there are fluorine coatings to both the front and rear elements for easy maintenance and cleaning, plus the water and dust resistance common to all L series optics. The lens features a 77mm filter thread. Helpfully, this doesn’t rotate on focusing, which makes graduated and polarising filters easier to use.

The lens comes complete with a reversible lens hood, lens pouch and is one of the first to feature Canon’s new “Mark II” lens cap. With the previous Canon design, it can sometimes be difficult to attach or detach a lens cap to a lens that has a lens hood fitted. With this new centre-pinch design it’s much, much easier. All in all, this is a very attractive package.


A high quality lens, ideal for customers buying their first full-frame camera.

Park Verdict

An impressive new addition to the Canon L Series line-up.

We Love

♥   Macro mode with 0.7x magnification
♥   Hybrid Image Stabilisation – 4 stops for normal shooting, 2.5 stops in macro
♥   L Series optical quality
♥   Dust and splashproof design

CLICK HERE for full specifications, more information and to purchase. 

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