Since I've got the Canon 24-70mm 2.8L for the first time in my hands I can definitely say that this was not love at the first sign. This did not changed in the past two years. It is what it is. A rock solid work horse. Very good build quality but average image quality. So when Canon announced the successor of this lens I was quite amazed. After reading through a couple of reviews I was sure I have to get one. And I did. You know, Christmas time is a very good excuse for getting new gear.
So the parcel arrived at my doorsteps and I unboxed it. Nothing unexpected in the box? Far wrong! The usual leather pouch for the lens was really no surprise. But when I garbed the lens hood I was wondering how long this one will last. If you never had the old 24-70mm in your hands that might not be a surprise or anything to wonder about. But I did and this tiny wobbling lens hood thing feels kind of strange. After using it now for several days I'm getting used to it. Especially the lock button is very nice. I can't count the times where the old lens hood was part of my images because it missed this lock button. But still it is a very tiny lens hood which covers only the wide angel focal length and does not provide a nice rain cover like the old one.
Another thing I found in the box what a lens. If I had not spend my time on reading reviews about it I would thought they boxed the wrong one. While the old 24-70 is a rock solid metal made lens the Mark II is plastic land. I don't say it feels cheap but I'm a little bit afraid that it'll not be as durable as the old version. But I'll see. Another thing I noticed was the smooth focus ring. But once I tried to zoom in and out the zoom ring does not move that smooth. It is very tight and it is not easy to move it to the right position. Because of this I've ordered a second lens but I encountered the same thing. Maybe this will change while using the lens.
So far I did not said a good word about the Canon 24-70mm L Mark II, right? Let's stop this. Because once you finished unboxing a lens you can attach it to a camera. I did it and that's where the magic begins. The lens is amazingly sharp. That's real Lens Porn. Even with the widest aperture it captures details the old one was never capable of. The are a ton of reviews and high tech tests out there but you need to see this yourself. I've got this lens for a couple of weeks now and I have to admit that I love it. It is on par with the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS Mark II. It does not longer matter which lens you have attached as long as it is the right focal length.
Of cause it is not perfect. Forget about crying because of the new filter thread. Get used to it any buy yourself new filters. But for about 2000€ one can tend to expect image stabilization for this beast. I think the save 100g of weight could have been spend for adding a nice IS to this lens.
Is it worth the extra money? Well... yes, it is. Especially if you have G.A.S ;-)