Canon 24-70 2.8 I Vs Ii: Which One To Choose In 2023?


When it comes to professional-grade zoom lenses, the Canon 24-70 2.8 series has always been a popular choice among photographers. The first version of this lens, released in 2002, was a game-changer and quickly became a staple in many photographers’ kits. In 2012, Canon launched the second version of this lens, promising improved optics and features. In this article, we will compare the Canon 24-70 2.8 I vs II and help you decide which one to choose in 2023.

Optical Quality

The Canon 24-70 2.8 II boasts an upgraded optical design with 18 elements in 13 groups, compared to the 16 elements in 13 groups found in the first version. The newer lens also features one Super UD and two UD elements, which reduce chromatic aberration and improve image sharpness. As a result, the Canon 24-70 2.8 II delivers sharper and more detailed images than its predecessor, especially at wider apertures.

Build Quality

Both lenses are built to withstand professional use, with a weather-sealed construction that protects against dust and moisture. However, the Canon 24-70 2.8 II has a more robust build quality with a tougher, more durable construction. It also has a fluorine coating on the front and rear elements that repels water and makes it easier to clean.

Autofocus Performance

The Canon 24-70 2.8 II features a new autofocus system that uses a ring-type ultrasonic motor (USM) for faster and more accurate focusing. It also has full-time manual focus override, which allows you to make fine adjustments to focus even when autofocus is engaged. While the autofocus performance of the Canon 24-70 2.8 I is still fast and reliable, the newer version is noticeably quicker and more precise.

Image Stabilization

Neither the Canon 24-70 2.8 I nor II has image stabilization, which can be a drawback when shooting in low light or at slower shutter speeds. However, many Canon cameras now feature in-body image stabilization, which can compensate for this lack of stabilization.


The Canon 24-70 2.8 II is more expensive than its predecessor, with a retail price of around $1,800 compared to the Canon 24-70 2.8 I, which is around $1,100. However, the improved optical quality, build quality, and autofocus performance may justify the higher price tag for professional photographers.


In conclusion, both the Canon 24-70 2.8 I and II are excellent lenses that deliver sharp, high-quality images. However, the Canon 24-70 2.8 II offers improved optics, build quality, and autofocus performance, making it the better choice for professional photographers who demand the best. While the price tag may be higher, the benefits of the Canon 24-70 2.8 II are worth it for those who want to take their photography to the next level.