Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM

Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM

This review covers


» Image Quality «


» Sample Pictures «

» Conclusion «

» Further Information «

Table of contents

Released in 2012 the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM is one of the first two wide angle prime lenses ever to feature image stabilization (if you believe Canon's press release). It offers a great focal length and a good maximum aperture. Read on to find out whether this lens could be for you and make sure to check out the image quality lab tests shown on page 2 of this review.

Intended Use


Wide angle lenses such as the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM are frequently used for landscape photography as their wide angle of view gets more of the scenery into the image. The good maximum aperture of f/2.8 is probably not needed very often for this type of photography as usually a maximum of sharpness is desired (and achieved by stopping down) - but of course it doesn't hurt.


The wide angle of view of the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM is ideal for shooting indoors with limited room. And of course the focal length of this lens is even better than the 28 mm offered by lenses such as the EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM. The aperture of f/2.8 is also good for indoor use where you usually don't have a lot of light.


Photographing a big building almost always requires short focal lengths such as 24 mm. The challenge for lens manufacturers is to deliver this wide angle of view without too much distortion and fortunately the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM comes with a very acceptable amount of distortion (as you can see from the image quality tests on page 2 of this review). Of course dedicated speciality lenses (such as the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II) are even better suited for architecture but they also require a much higher financial commitment.

Street & Travel

For travel photography a wide-angle prime lens is not as versatile as a zoom but it usually offers a much better image quality, better maximum aperture and is smaller and lighter. In addition to that the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM offers an image stabilizer which is always appreciated where you wouldn't want to carry your tripod. If you go on a trip you probably wouldn't take this lens alone but together with one or two other small primes you've got a great travel kit.

When used with an APS-C camera the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM has an effective focal length of 38 mm which is a nice focal length for all sorts of things.

Weight and Dimensionstop


The EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM's weight is 10 oz.

Lens Weight [oz]  
Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM 10

Compare with the weight of other lenses:


Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM 14
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM 20
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM 22
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM 17
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II 7
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS 16
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM 28
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM 32
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM 23
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM 11
Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM 9
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM 4
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM 19
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM 9
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II 4
Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro 10
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS 14
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II 14
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM 12
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 52
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM 14
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM 21
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM 22
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM 52
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM 83
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM 90
Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2 (for Canon) 16


The EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM's dimensions are 2.7 " (diameter) by 2.2 " (length).


Compare with these values:

Length in
Diameter: in

Handling and Build Qualitytop

The EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM is not one of Canon's prestigious L series lenses but it comes with a similar build quality. It features a metal lens mount that is likely to last a lot longer than conventional plastic mounts and its surface material is nicely roughened which both gives it a high-end look and prevents scratches. Like most non-L lenses the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM is not sealed against dust or moisture and Canon do not ship any accessories with the lens other than the dust and lens cap. But a pouch and lens hood are available for purchase.

The lens has a nicely sized focusing ring (0.5 ") positioned where it should be and operating smoothly and precisely. The two switches (AF/MF and IS on/off) are rock solid as well (the IS switch might even be a tad too stiff). The ultra sound focusing motor is silent, precise and fast and it allows full-time manual override of the autofocus operation (which is most useful during One-Shot AF mode).

Image Stabilizer

The lens has a modern and hardly audible image stabilizer that compensates camera shake to allow shutter speeds up to 4 f-stops slower. That's great but let's pause here for a moment and do some math. Without image stabilization a 24 mm lens can be used on a fullframe body handheld at around 1/25 s. 4 stops slower means you can use it with stabilization at around 0.6 s handheld. But an exposure time that long will likely cause motion blur with anything but still lifes. It's not a problem for architecture (as buildings seldomly move) but e.g. people never keep completely still and even trees can be affected by the slightest breeze. So be aware that image stabilization generally is less useful with wide-angle lenses than telephoto lenses. In fact the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM is among the first two wide angle prime lenses ever to feature image stabilization (says the Canon press release).

The image stabilizer in this lens cannot detect the presence of a tripod and thus should be turned off in this circumstance (according to the user manual). It does however detect panning shots automatically and switches over to an IS mode that compansate either just horizontal or vertical shake.


The lens's front element does not rotate while focusing which makes the use of circular polarizing filters easy (as they have to be rotated according to the angle the camera has to the sun). The 58 mm filter size is a very common size among Canon prime lenses which is good if you'd like to share a filter for several lenses. Small diameter filters (such as here) are also less expensive than the bigger ones.




Image Quality