Zoom Lens Shootout: Canon RF 28-70 f/2 VS Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8

Photography Gear

Back in July, photographer Patrick Seguin took advantage of his CPS membership to test out one of the most beastly lenses Canon has released in recent memory: the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM. In the video above, he pits this lens against the tried and true EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM to see just how much better the new RF lens performs.

Canon hasn’t been bashful about sharing the advantages of the wider, shallower RF mount found on its new full-frame mirrorless EOS R and EOS RP. The shorter flange distance should allow them to design high-performance lenses that outclass their EF line in a big way, as the brand explains in this promotional video. But a promotional video is one thing, and a real-world comparison is quite another. So Seguin decided to review the RF lens, and then compare it to the EF 24-70 f/2.8 for good measure, during a shoot for a magazine client of his.

You can check out the video to see side-by-side sample images starting at the 5:55 mark, but the results can be summed up in a few points.

  • When shooting the 28-70mm lens wide-open at f/2, Seguin captured sharper images “time-after-time,” even when compared with the sharpest sample he managed to get using the EF lens.
  • When both lenses are stopped down to f/2.8, the difference becomes even more drastic, with Seguin capturing “a lot more detail” through the RF glass.
  • The RF lens does a better job of focusing on the EOS R, compared to the EF lens using Canon’s own adapter.
  • All three of the above points hold true throughout the zoom range, but the difference is less pronounced at 70mm.

Of course, the more straight-forward comparison here would be between the brand new Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM and the EF version, but this 28-70mm lens review and comparison does reveal just how much performance Canon can squeeze out of their new RF Mount glass. Now that the RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM is out, we’d expect Seguin to put it through its paces soon.

Check out the full shootout and review up top to see many more sample shots of both lenses in action. And if you like the comparison, check out Seguin’s nascent YouTube channel, or head over to his website and Instagram.

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