With an DxOMark score of 26, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 MkII is the highest scoring professional fixed-aperture mid-range kit zoom of any brand in the DxO Mark database and comfortably outperforms rivals as well as the firm’s earlier Mark I version, particularly with regard to the sharpness levels across the frame. We’re used to seeing a noticeable deterioration in performance in the outer fields at longer focal lengths even with high-quality optics from the big-name marques but the new Canon bucks that trend. As for distortion and vignetting, it manages to hold its own against rivals even if it hasn’t quite managed to improve on those over the outgoing Mk I version. In spite of the complex optical construction, some chromatic aberration is visible in the corners that may require additional removal in post-production software but levels remain in line with the best of rival offerings. The main downside, however, is the very high price. At $2,500 the lens is far less accessible than the model it replaces, but the reduction in weight and size coupled with the boost in optical performance looks set to satisfy future demands from as yet unannounced high-resolution cameras.