DXOMark: The Canon RF 28-70mm F2 L Is One the Best Zoom Lenses

The Canon RF 28-70mm f2 L USM is a class leading lens according to DXOMark.

Canon’s new(ish) Mirrorless cameras haven’t had the biggest selection of native RF Mount lenses to play with, but all the available lenses are strong performers. According to a new report from DXOMark, the Canon RF 28-70mm f2 L USM is one of their best yet, but it does come at a price. Join us after the break to see exactly how the lens performed during its time on the DXOMark assault course.

If you’re not sure who or what DXOMark is, or what they do, let us explain. DXOMark subjects lenses and cameras to lab tests to determine how good they are in controlled environments. Lab tests and real-world results differ greatly, so many take their findings with a pinch of salt. However, when you combine their findings, with the results we get from our real-world tests, you get a much better idea of what a lens or camera sensor is capable of doing. The Canon RF 28-70mm f2 L USM just happens to be the latest piece of glass to grace their facility, and it has come through the tests well.

 RF 28-70mm f2 L

The Canon RF 28-70mm f2 L USM was, of course, tested on the Canon EOS ROverall the lens scored an impressive 33 points, which puts it above comparable lenses which were tested on comparable cameras (the Canon 5D Mk IV for example). The lenses are scored across various categories such as sharpness, vignetting, light transmission, and more. The Canon RF 28-70mm f2 L scored 21 points for sharpness, 0.2 for distortion, -2.0 for vignetting, 2.2 for light transmission, and 11 when it comes to chromatic aberration.

The new RF mount 28-70mm beat the old Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L USM in every category. It scored 31 points overall, which broke down into 21 points for sharpness, 0.4 for distortion, -2.0 for for vignetting, 3.0 for light transmission (it is an f2.8 after all), and 15 for chromatic aberration. So as you can see, there is an improvement over the older EF Mount lens.

rf 28-70mm f2 l

The Canon RF 28-70mm f2 L also scored well against comparable lenses from Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina; all of which were used on the Canon 5D4, which is basically the same as the Mirrorless EOS R.

The Tamron SP 24-70 f2.8 Di VC USD scored 30 points overall and scored the same as the Canon lens when it came to sharpness (21), but it fell short in distortion, vignetting, and light transmission. It did, however, control chromatic aberration better than the Canon RF 28-70mm f2 L. The Tokina AT-X 24-70 f2.8 Pro scored 28 overall, higher than all other competing lenses when it came to sharpness (22), but it fell short in every other category. The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Art hit 27 points overall, but performed worse than other lenses in almost every other category.

So there you have it; the Canon RF 28-70mm f2 L USM is the lens to get if you love using zooms in this focal range. Just keep in mind that you’re going to pay for it. The Canon RF 28-70mm f2 L USM costs $2,999, whereas the Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 L USM II, the Tamron, the Tokina, and the Sigma cost $1,599, $899, $782.89, $1,112.89, respectively. For the money spent you are getting an incredibly weather sealed, wonderfully constructed lens that has a constant aperture of f2, and not f2.8 like the others. If those features are worth it to you, and you want native RF mount glass, you’ll enjoy this lens.

Our review of the Canon RF 28-70mm f2 L USM is still in progress, but we have shared some awesome low light images made with it here for you to enjoy. Be on the lookout for our full, real world review. It will be with you soon. If you would like to see the full review from DXOMark, head to their official website.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.