Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 II, a review from the reader Radozhiva

View of the lens Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-70mm 1: 3.5-4.5 II and sample photos from it prepared, especially for Radozhiva, Mikhail Sazonov.

Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 II

Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 II


Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 II - a good full-time lens of the film era. This is the first full-time zoom for Canon EOS cameras.

Only two lens modifications were released:

  • Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 - the first version. It has metal parts of the focusing system mechanisms.
  • Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 II - the second version presented in this review. The beginning of 1988. An aspherical element was added to the optical circuit. Details of the focusing mechanisms are made of plastic.


Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 II

Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 II

The copy of the lens that I had is one of the first. Judging by the number on the mount, it was released in 1988 (!), But this did not affect its external and internal condition in any way. The lens, although plastic, is firmly knocked down, nothing dangles, does not play, despite its years. It lies well in the hand, it feels 'pleasantly plump' and 'real', especially after the small and incomprehensible EF-S 18-55. There is a metal bayonet and a distance scale window with markings for work in the infrared spectrum.

Brief characteristics of the lens:

Focal length 28 mm - 70 mm
Optical design 10 elements in 9 groups, including 1 aspherical.
Maximum aperture f / 3.5 - f / 4.5
Minimum Aperture f / 29
Number of petals 6
MDF 0.39 m
The weight November 285, XNUMX
Filter diameter 52 mm
Lens hood EW-68A

The zoom ring is rubberized, about a centimeter wide, weakly damped, did not cause discomfort when working with the lens. The force is uniform. The zooming in on this lens is very interesting: the EF 28-70 does not change its size when focusing, although the front lens moves inside the lens. So the zoom is not quite internal. This causes some inconvenience when using filters: the thread for them is made on the lens barrel and is sometimes hidden in the bowels of the lens. Canon called this technology a unique three-group zoom. The rear lens is firmly fixed in the mount and does not move anywhere, the effect of a vacuum cleaner is absent. Mounting the hood at the EF 28-70 on the latches, there is no transport position (the hood, however, I had was not original). The diaphragm has a total of 6 rounded lobes.


But when focusing, the front lens of the lens comes out with a trunk forward and rotates. This, of course, also makes it difficult to use filters. And if you can get rid of the first drawback (hiding thread) protective filter, then with the second drawback inherent in most whale lenses, you have to put up with it. Focus mode is switched by a switch on the body. I liked the switch itself, but its location is not very convenient, you have to change the grip and frantically search for it.

Focus ring about 5 mm wide, plastic, not damped. It spins in jerks, it feels like it's biting into the plastic frame of the lens. The stroke of the ring is about 180 degrees, which contributes to comfortable manual aiming. During autofocus, the ring is not connected to the focuser mechanisms and rotates freely, without affecting the focus.

The MDF lens is 39 cm, the maximum magnification is 0.22X. The lens is definitely not suitable for macro, even despite the beautiful focus scale with the inscription “Macro”.

The autofocus drive uses a conventional micromotor. Autofocus speed is average, lenses take about 1 second. My copy had a small back focus, constant at all focal lengths, so this defect can be corrected by introducing an AF correction.

Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 II

Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 II

Image quality

And here the old dark and nondescript lens turns into a swan. No wonder some consider this lens a legend. Up to 50 mm on the crop, it is sharp, starting with an open aperture. Only the very corners of the frame sag slightly. With f / 8 it is very sharp across the entire field, even on the FF (judging by the reviews, the information is not verified).

Chromaticity is poorly expressed, freezing is absent. The strongest chromatic aberration manifest themselves at wide angle and open diaphragm. After 50 mm, a slight effect appears on the open monoclethat disappears as the diaphragm covers.

Vignetting annoys only at the edges of the focal range and only at the open.

Distortion: a classic 28 mm barrel goes into a 70 mm cushion. The character is simple. The value is not annoying. Backlight carries surprisingly well, the contrast does not fall.

It seems to me that the photos from this lens are given with film even on a digital carcass. And sharply, with good micro-contrast, and soft at the same time. On covered apertures, this lens competes with the Canon Elks 28-70 f / 2.8L and 24-105 f / 4L.

Photo examples

Sorry, the lens is sold. Therefore, frames whose originals were found by a lucky chance do not shine, but, in general, reflect the nature of the image of the lens. All photos are presented without processing, only development in ACR and in some places correction exposure. The shooting was made at Canon 450D.

Source files can be downloaded at this link.

A few more frames with correction so that it is not so sad:

My experience

Considering a lens cost of around $ 100- $ 150, this is just a Canon find and secret weapon. I used this lens for several years and was very pleased with it, despite the lack of a small stabilizer aperture etc. limitations. Everything that is better than EF 28-70 costs already quite different money and is not always affordable for an amateur.

Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 II

Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 II


Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 is a good full-time lens. Perfect for beginners, frugal and economical photo lovers. Competitors for this lens include:

  • Canon EF 28-135 f / 3.5-5.6 IS USMhaving the worst optical characteristics and design, but equipped with a stabilizer and USM drive, as well as having a larger range of focal lengths.
  • Canon EF 24-105 f / 3.5-5.6 IS STM. I didn’t use it, I don’t know, but it costs twice as much.

The rest, similar lenses are even better, larger and more expensive than the one in question.

Thank you for attention.

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Comments: 97, on the topic: Canon EF 28-70 f / 3.5-4.5 II, a review from the reader Radozhiva

  • anonym

    I have such a lens-color, sharpness conveys perfectly, it’s still far from the L-series, but better than the newer pop models. It’s better not to go out without a hood in sunny weather, it’s possible to buy a lens hood (analogue), the Chinese do not sleep))) In cloudy weather it takes off very relishly. Autofocus rarely smears, quite fast. Its price in the secondary market is very pleasing, I definitely recommend it.

    • Michael

      Maybe far. But on the covered and 12 MPix, the difference in resolution is minimal

      • Foreign land

        Michael, thanks for the reviewer! The lens is cool - in contrast to the outright digital garbage from the 90x 00x boot from the film era. Those still somehow worked on film - quiet horror on the digital. On ff on crop - och happy. The film is just a picture with sufficient sharpness and excellent volume. It's nonsense to look for bokeh smoke here, pixel-by-pixel Lek and so on. Pleases as well as 35-70 from the same era of the 80s. A very atmospheric lamp object with its own character. Taking off the elki from the black, I put it on. And what buzzes like a bumblebee and a plastic construct - well, take care of your optics, prevent it and you will be happy.

  • Oleg

    Dealt with two lenses from the review, both of the first version. I drove on 5x cameras, 2 crops 20d and 450d, two ff first dimes and 1d mark3. What is said in the review, I would attribute to use on the first penny, read about the rest of the cameras ... Let's start with the crop. 20d with this lens works average, autofocus smears sometimes, color, contrast are good. Sharpness is worse than 18-55 second version. At 450d, the picture is the same - it merges the whale with sharpness (rather, because the whale has everything ok with sharpness)) In general, 28-70 3,5-4,5 is not about the crop even once, the whale is sharper, faster. I see no reason to take it to ANY crop. The first penny is just a bomb, the sharpness is excellent, almost open. The color and contrast are excellent. I tried to put on 1d mark3, not a fountain ... The lens bleeds, there is not enough resolution. In general, the lens realizes itself as much as possible on the first penny, but this is where its use is sure that it ends. A few words about mentioned here 28-105. I had it on a penny - except for the motor usm, it has no advantages compared to the hero of the review. The color is dull, the sharpness, the contrast is worse, and if in the center of the frame it is simply worse, closer to the edges there is a complete jo ... On the crop, I'm sure that it would work even worse. The lens was sold without regret.

    • The

      What are you explaining to them here, they have read on the Internet about the fact that they use the central part of the lens and therefore, on the crop lenses will be sharper. They did not write about the resolution limit of the lenses. Here they are sitting here and even see some differences in something. The circus.

    • Misha

      Something like a camera and a nickel and 1d, and put such glass on them))) here’s a kit from kenon 18-55 rare bullshit, and in any version this lens is much better from the review. I’m shooting on 5d m3 and only fixes L and sigma couple

      • Oleg

        Unlike you, at least I filmed what I'm talking about, you are demonstrating ignorance in the matter. If your alleged possession of 5dmk3 and l-fixes is true, then it rather gives you away as just the owner of expensive toys, and not a person who understands in the slightest degree about the issue you are discussing here.

  • The

    Soap soap, which he is praised everywhere, I do not understand.

    • Foreign land

      Buy it and take a look. If you find. Chapito

  • Misha

    Here people write about some kind of sharpness on the whales, but they do not have sharpness or resolution and the color rendition is dull ...

  • Novel

    I bought this lens today for $ 100.
    I have a Canon RP. Previously, the zoom was Sigma 24-105 Art. The glass is beautiful, but due to a set of fixes covering almost all of this focal point (40 2.8, 50 1.4, 85 1.4), it safely lay on the shelf, tk. inferior to each of them separately. And it is very illogical to keep glass for 1000 euros on the shelf if there are fixes that are more interesting and generally cheaper. Therefore, she went to Avito, and it became necessary to buy some kind of zoom, just to be. Choice, incl. thanks to Arkady, fell to 28-70, in the end he did not regret it. Got almost a new copy. The picture is cool, and, most importantly, thanks to the crop mode, the RP 28-70 has turned into 28-112mm, which is not inferior in focal length to the more expensive Sigma)
    In short, I'm very glad)

    • Alexander

      Hello ! I also have RP, I have 24-105 L, but I want a smaller one. I also want to take 28-80 f / 3,5-4,5. You will not be able to upload a couple of photos for viewing. It was with the RP and this lens? Thanks in advance!

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