I'm an enthusiast landscape photographer, and I recently sold off a few lenses including my trusted 24-105 and Samyang 14mm wide angle lenses to scrape together enough coin to buy the new 24-70 II that there are so many rave reviews about. I also enjoy shooting occasional street-scapes, travel and my family, so I figured I would enjoy the improved standard zoom. So far, after very limited testing (the weather has not been cooperating since I got the 24-70 II), I am very impressed with the IQ and build of the 24-70 II, but I am wondering if I made a wise choice (money aside) for use as a primary landscape tool.
I decided to hang on to my old 17-40 as I wanted a slightly wider and lighter zoom to accompany the 24-70 II. My test findings comparing the 17-40 with the 24-70 II are more or less consistent with the-digital-picture ISO 12233 Crops. Against a flat surface (like a brick wall), at 24mm, the 24-70 II completely destroys the 17-40 for sharpness in the f/4 to f/5.6 range, especially out at the edges and corners. Around f/8 I found the 17-40 cleans up near the edges, and the 24-70 II loses sharpness quickly. My copies are equal at f/8. I might put the 17-40 very slightly ahead of the 24-70 II in edge sharpness at f/11 through f/22 (all at 24mm FL). Either my 24-70 II is slightly softer or my 7 year old 17-40 is slightly sharper than the samples from the-digital-picture.
Having said that, I wonder if I made a mistake getting the 24-70 II because my landscape style typically has me shooting at f/8 to f/11 to try and get the entire scene from near foreground to infinity all sharp and in focus. This means for typical landscape shots, I won't often be taking advantage of the real strengths of this beautiful lens, which is incredible sharpness, colour, and contrast at f/2.8 through f/5.6.
I guess for the same money as the 24-70 II, I could have gotten the legendary 24mm TSE II for landscape shooting, but I mostly shoot landscapes handheld, as I am not often able to get out on my own with a tripod which is necessary for that kind of shooting. Also, the TSE is not versatile for streetscape, travel and family shots. I also thought that for the rare occasion where I do manage to get out on my own with a tripod, I could use the 24-70 II with focus bracketing/stacking technique to get equivalent sharp images as the TSE.
Obviously, I need to get out and shoot with the new 24-70 II, and I will do so soon, but I'm real curious what other people here think of the 24-70 II in so far as landscape shooting goes?