EF 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 II - how good is it?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by ian riches, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Just how good is the EF 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 compared with current
    mid-range Canon zooms?

    This is the only lens I've ever really used with my bodies (first a
    1000FN and more recently a 50e / Elan IIe). I had a brief stint with
    a Sigma 28-300 - but the least said about that the better ;-)

    The optical performance of this lens is generally fine for my use, but
    I do find the autofocus somewhat slow and noisy. I may well have some
    money for a new lens early next year, but only in the £200-400 range -
    not, unfortunately, enough for the L-Series 24-70 or even an older
    used model.

    Has anyone tested the 24-85, 28-105 and/or 28-135 IS against my
    current lens? I'm not overly bothered about zoom range....but if
    image quality is worse it seems like a somewhat retrograde step

    Thanks for any help!

  2. The EF 28-70 3.5-4.5 is a legendary optic from back in the day. Some claim it to rival L series zooms in terms of sharpness. In fact, I've heard it referred to as the poor man's L zoom. I wanted one back then but couldn't afford the premium price tag ($450 was big bucks in 1989!). I do remember AF noise was a lot softer than my Nikon 8008...
  3. I had two of these before moving into the L(24-70). It's pretty sharp but not as sharp as the L's. Focus is good for its age. Color and contrast is good but not as good as the L's. Good size for travelling. WARNING! Do not put a polarizer on this lens. Took me awhile to get it out. Overall, it's a pretty good lens for under $100. My XMAS wish, 24-70L the size of this lens!!
  4. I have used this lens and the newer EF 28-105 3.5/4.5 USM, I would say the 28-70 is as good as the 28-105 in optical quality.
  5. I was incredibly stupid to have traded this lens for another body over a year ago, back when I had no clue about it. I had originally bought it for $60, and sold it for $80, thinking I was making a profit...the lens is worth a lot lot lot more than $80 in excellent condition. :(<BR>
    Optically, the 28-135 is better than the 28-105, and that in turn is better optically than the APS kit lens 24-85.<BR>
  6. I used to have one. Actually I still do, but this one's broken. I agree with the above, that it's about as sharp as the 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 USM, which isn't much different than the 24-85 USM or 28-135 USM IS. All pretty good optically, with the edge going to the 28-135 USM IS.

    But the 28-70 f/3.5-4.5 is noisy & not that fast to focus. The others are faster & very quiet. They also have Full Time Manual (FTM) focusing, and just feel better to me.
  7. ted_marcus|1

    ted_marcus|1 Ted R. Marcus

    I used this (ancient) 28-70 zoom for many years. Optically it's quite a fine lens, which I continue to appreciate whenever I scan a slide or negative I took with it. But it was kind of noisy, clunky, slow-focusing, and heavy for its range. I traded it (along with my EOS 650) for an Elan II with a 28-105. I can't really compare the optical performance; maybe the 28-70 is very slightly better. But the 28-105 is quite sharp, quiet, fast-focusing, and very versatile. I don't regret the trade in this case.
  8. I have this lens and I also have the 28-135 IS. I have not made any critical comparisons of these two lenses but I would say that they are about equally sharp and contrasty. At the wide end the 28-70 shows a bit more distortion than the 28-135.

    The 28-135 is the one that I normally use as my standard zoom, mainly because of the IS and longer zoom range, but I still plan to keep the old one for when I want to use a smaller and lighter zoom.
  9. Thanks for all the inputs. It looks like the concensus is that optical performance will be very similar to what I am used to.

    I'm leaning towards the 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 on that basis, as:

    1) It's the cheapest
    2) I rarely find the need for something wider than 28mm
    3) I'm not sure about springing the extra £160 or so for the IS lens.

    Thanks again for your inputs.

  10. If anyone is still following this thread....I've decided to keep my money. The lens seems sharp enough for me. I did some scans of a Kodak Extra Colour Elite 100ASA slide film that are (to me) pretty impressive in terms of detail and resolution. These are untouched scans (i.e. no dust removal, no grain reduction and no USM) done on a Minolta Dual Scan Elite II at 2820dpi.
    First, the full frame:
    Now a detail from the top of the frame:
    And the middle of the frame:
    And finally the bottom:
    These look good enough for me! Any comments? Ian

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