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Lens review

Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM

29 November 2012
Szymon Starczewski

6. Distortion

As long as you work with the smaller APS-C sensor the distortion shouldn’t be a big problem. Even at the widest angle of view its value, being officially -1.99%, doesn’t exceed -2%, so it could be called moderate. Barrel distortions decrease swiftly and at 35 mm focal length they are already close to imperceptible values (officially on a level of -0.33%). At a slightly longer focal length they become zero and turn pincushion. At 45 mm you get already 0.21% which increases to 0.46% at 70 mm.

A bit more problems you can encounter on full frame. At 24 mm the distortion reaches -3.85%. It is not a high value – it’s enough to mention that the Nikkor at 24 mm had the distortion on a level of -3.94% and for the Sigma we recorded even a worse result of -4.59%. Still it should be noticed that the Canon made the situation easier introducing moustache distortion. In full frame photos you can see a slight but definite bend to the other side.

At 28 mm focal length moustache distortions disappear and then we deal with just classic barrel, amounting to -2.30%. That type of distortion can be seen also at 35 mm focal length where its value we assessed as -0.67%. At 50 mm there is already pincushion distortion of 0.49% which increases to 0.95% when you pass to the maximum focal length.

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50D, 24 mm
Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM - Distortion
50D, 50 mm
Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM - Distortion
50D, 70 mm
Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM - Distortion

1Ds MkIII, 24 mm
Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM - Distortion
1Ds MkIII, 50 mm
Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM - Distortion
1Ds MkIII, 70 mm
Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM - Distortion