The 70-200mm focal size f/2.eight lens has turn into a staple within the images world with every digital camera producer providing their variant on this now basic design. The historical past of the autofocus-capable 70-200mm f/2.eight lens inside the Canon universe stretches all the best way again to 1989 with the introduction of the Canon 80-200mm f/2.eight L lens, whose top quality and progressive design went a great distance in cementing Canon’s robust market place heading into the 90’s.
This lens was up to date six years later with the legendary Canon 70-200mm f/2.eight L USM lens which featured not solely incredible picture high quality but in addition a quick and quiet inner focusing motor with on the spot guide focus override. This mannequin turned an prompt basic and has since been up to date 3 times, first in 2001 with lens stabilization, then with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.eight L USM IS II in 2010 that includes a brand new optical components and higher stabilization and now once more in 2018 with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.eight L USM IS III which provides new coatings to the 2010 mannequin.
At present, I will probably be reviewing the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, whose introduction in 2010 ensured that one in every of Canon’s hottest lenses would have the ability to sustain with the megapixel wealthy sensors which might comply with within the coming decade. In comparison with its predecessor, the Canon 70-200mm f/2.eight L USM IS II includes a full optical redesign aimed toward enhancing the picture high quality of the lens at extensive open apertures and particularly on the 200mm focal size the place the unique IS mannequin fell in need of expectations.
Chromatic aberration ought to be considerably mitigated because of using one fluorite glass component within the optical design which additionally options 5 UD glass parts. The lens additionally receives Canons Four-stop Picture Stabilization system. Canon additionally said an enchancment within the construct high quality of the lens with higher climate sealing and higher sturdiness. I obtained a replica of the lens 4 and a half years in the past, and it has been my companion on a number of journeys the world over over that point. I first paired the lens with Canon’s 1DIII physique and later a Canon 1Dx.
Mountain Gorilla, Uganda
1. Lens Specs
- Versatile 70-200 focal size vary is right for portraits, landscapes, journey, and sports activities
- Quick f/2.eight fixed aperture permits for wonderful low mild efficiency
- Four cease Optical Picture Stabilization
- Incredible all-metal construct high quality and climate sealing
- Canons skilled grade ultrasonic motor for quick focusing together with higher topic monitoring
- Suitable with an optionally available exterior 1.4x and a couple of.0x teleconverters
Canon EOS-1D Mark III @ 170mm, ISO 200, 1/400, f/5.zero
- Mount Sort: Canon EF
- Focal Size Vary: 70-200mm
- Most Aperture: f/2.eight
- Minimal Aperture: f/32
- Lens (Parts): 23
- Lens (Teams): 19
- Suitable Format(s): EF, APS-C
- VR (Vibration Discount) Picture Stabilization: Sure
- Diaphragm Blades: eight
- UD Glass Parts: 5
- FL Glass Parts: 1
- Autofocus: Sure
- USM (Extremely Sonic Motor): Sure
- Inner Focusing: Sure
- Minimal Focus Distance: three.94 ft (1.2 m)
- Focus Mode: Guide, Guide / Auto
- Filter Measurement: 77mm
- Dimensions: three.5 in. (88.eight mm) x 7.8in. (199mm)
- Weight (Approx.): three.29 lb (1.49 kg)
Canon EOS-1D X + EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +1.4x @ 205mm, ISO 100, three/10, f/36.zero
2. Construct High quality and Dealing with
As a part of Canon’s prime of the road L collection telephoto lenses, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II has an outstanding construct high quality. It includes a sturdy, all-metal physique that’s climate sealed all through. This ensures that it holds as much as the trials of professional utilization. Measuring 88.8mm in diameter, 199mm in size and weighing 1490grams, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS II is a heavy lens and truthfully, it feels extra substantial than its weight would recommend. Akin to its predecessors, the lens doesn’t prolong throughout zooming nor focusing. There isn’t a play or wobbling in any respect, and the rubberized 137°-rotating focus ring operates very easily. The climate sealing could be very efficient, and after repeated utilization in several climate circumstances, together with getting caught with the lens in torrential rains whereas mountaineering in Costa Rica, I can say that it functioned flawlessly and at no level did it appear as if any extraneous materials was getting into internally.
The lens’s entrance aspect doesn’t function fluorine coatings (one thing Canon addressed with the Mark III mannequin launched this yr) that make it simpler to wipe off dust and fingerprints from the entrance aspect. Even with out these coatings, the entrance factor of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS II could be very straightforward to wash off.
Canon EOS-1D Mark III + EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 200mm, ISO 400, 1/1250, f/5.6
Each the rotating zoom and focus rings are very clean, with the previous a bit tight when initially receiving the lens. A counter-clockwise zoom ring rotation selects the focal size. The zoom ring is well situated in the direction of the rear of the lens and behind the main target ring, which is functionally perfect as you by no means inadvertently bump the main target ring whereas altering the focal size.
On the entrance of the lens is a filter-friendly non-rotating 77mm filter thread, surrounded by a bayonet mount for the ET-87 lens hood lens hood provided with the lens. The push-button launch permits the hood to remain locked into place and is far more safe than the previous lens hood which used a screw-into-place design which loosened over time. The hood’s inside has anti-reflective flocking which helps scale back any stray mild.
4 switches adorn the aspect of the lens barrel and sit proper under the space scale window. The primary change is a spotlight distance limiter with a few choices; 1.2m- infinity and a couple of.5m- infinity. The latter is particularly helpful for rushing up the main target for sports activities and wildlife images. The subsequent change is an easy AF/MF change. The final pair of switches management picture stabilization. The primary actives and deactivates the IS system (ON/OFF) whereas the second selects the picture stabilization mode. Mode 1 is the ‘standard’ setting that stabilizes in each dimensions and is greatest fitted to common use. Mode 2 routinely detects panning and turns off stabilization within the course of motion.
In the direction of the again of the lens barrel is a detachable collar that holds the tripod mount foot. The foot rotates easily, nevertheless it, sadly, lacks click-stops on the 90-degree marks for portrait and panorama positions. I’d have beloved to see Canon implement a built-in Arca-Swiss fashion quick-release shoe to enrich the foot and make it simpler to function on a tripod.
Canon EOS-1D Mark III + EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +1.4x @ 135mm, ISO 200, 1/200, f/5.zero
General, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS II handles superbly, with its all-metal, climate sealed design simply holding up underneath inclement climate circumstances and in demanding environments. Each the zoom and focus ring function very easily, with the main target ring particularly properly dampened. I additionally like the brand new design of the hood which makes it a lot simpler to mount. The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS II is undoubtedly a heavy lens, and also you’ll certainly really feel your neck after carrying it round for an entire day, nevertheless it’s a small worth to pay given the standard of its construct.
three. Focus Velocity and Accuracy
As knowledgeable wildlife photographer, autofocus is among the most essential issues that I search for in a lens/digital camera mixture. Today even probably the most primary lenses supply a strong focusing efficiency, primarily when utilized in good mild, however the place the highest of the road lenses come into their very own (together with the higher digital camera our bodies) is in with the ability to focus precisely beneath difficult circumstances. Circumstances corresponding to low mild, fast-moving topics, and sophisticated backgrounds require lenses that benefit from the cameras monitoring capabilities, and fortunately the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS II excels on this regard.
Canon EOS-1D X + EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +1.4x @ 280mm, ISO 500, 1/800, f/10.zero
An necessary facet to think about when judging a lens’s focusing capabilities is that the digital camera physique performs an integral position within the high quality of the autofocus and because of this, it’s essential to match your lenses with high-quality our bodies that may ship good focusing efficiency. I’ve been in a position to make use of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS II alongside the dependable Canon 1Dx physique whose distinctive focusing capabilities rank as a few of the greatest I’ve skilled.
The general focusing efficiency of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS II is unbelievable, with the lens snapping into focus virtually instantaneously. The truth is, I might price the velocity of the specializing in this lens on par with my Canon 300mm f/2.8L USM IS lens which has lengthy been thought-about a benchmark for focusing velocity within the EF mount. The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS II lens options Canon’s USM motor so focus operation is extraordinarily quiet, with solely a really slight whirr heard because the lens parts transfer inside. This lens additionally options an advantageous minimal focus distance of simply 1.2m which makes it excellent for close-up images.
Preliminary autofocus acquisition could be very quick, and I’ve no hesitation about partaking the main target system the second the goal is within the viewfinder. In good mild, focus locks virtually instantaneously onto the topic with virtually no delay. The massive f/2.eight aperture additionally signifies that focus speeds are wonderful in low mild conditions. That is particularly helpful when taking pictures at nightfall and daybreak or when mountaineering in dense forests the place mild ranges are very dim. In such conditions, the one-stop benefit of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS II over lenses just like the EF 70-200mm f/4L USM IS II turns into fairly evident and I’ve discovered that I can get about eight additional minutes of capturing time at nightfall when utilizing the f/2.eight vs. the f/Four lens.
Focusing accuracy can also be very excessive, and I really feel that the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS II compares favorably with Canon’s greatest prime lenses in how nicely it could monitor fast-moving topics.
Whenever you mount an exterior Canon 1.4x Teleconverter, autofocus velocity stays very excessive although focus accuracy takes a slight hit. In good mild, you may be arduous pressed to note that the converter is in use, in any case, you continue to retain an f/Four max aperture. When utilized in low mild circumstances, there’s a slight, but noticeable drop within the general tenacity skilled when utilizing the naked lens.
The under photograph of a uncommon Mountain Gorilla in Uganda was taken with the lens and an exterior Canon 1.4x Teleconverter, and it highlights how properly the mixture was capable of focus via the dense undergrowth on the eyes of the topic.
Canon EOS-1D X @ 280mm, ISO 12800, 1/320, f/eight.zero
If you mount an exterior Canon 2.0x Teleconverter, autofocus velocity and accuracy is noticeably lowered. This isn’t as noticeable once you use the mixture in noon lighting however can turn out to be fairly sluggish in low mild circumstances. In good mild and with the main target limiter engaged, you’ll be able to efficiently monitor troublesome topics such because the leaping Capuchin Monkey seen under with comparatively excessive consistency. Sadly, I discover that this mix turns into fairly dangerous when making an attempt to trace fast-moving topics in the course of the wee hours of the day. General, whereas this mix is respectable when utilized in good mild, I’ve by no means been notably proud of the general efficiency of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II when its used alongside Canon’s 2x Teleconverter. The difficulty doesn’t appear to be with the teleconverter as I discover it really works nice on the f/Four max aperture Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens.
Canon EOS-1D X + EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x @ 205mm, ISO 640, 1/1000, f/6.three
Four. Picture High quality
It might have been silly for Canon to replace the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS I with out fixing some its picture high quality letdowns, notably on the 200mm focal size. Fortunately, I can report that the Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L USM IS II just isn’t solely capable of outperform its predecessor on the 200mm focal size however all through everything of its vary. That is most noticeable on the extremes of the focal vary at max apertures.
At 70mm and f/2.eight, the EF 70-200mm F/2.8L USM IS II efficiency is nothing in need of astounding, with tack sharp central sharpness and really robust corners. Issues marginally enhance one cease down at f/Four, with the picture now nearly tack sharp all through the whole thing of the body. At 70mm, the lens is clearly able to producing a prime-like efficiency proper out to the very corners of the body. At 135mm and f/2.eight, the lens stays wonderful within the middle of the body, with the general decision simply barely behind the 70mm focal size. Picture high quality within the periphery of the body is a bit weaker right here although it stays on a really excessive degree. At 135mm and f/Four, issues considerably enhance, with each central and nook sharpness getting a noticeable increase. At this setting, the general sharpness very almost matches the extraordinarily excessive degree discovered on the 70mm and f/Four setting.
The 200mm focal size is often the weakest on the 70-200mm focal size lenses and this was an particularly noticeable challenge with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS I lens. At 200mm and f/2.eight, the EF 70-200mm F/2.8L USM IS II performs admirably, with central sharpness remaining very excessive and good sharpness within the corners. At 200mm and f/Four, issues noticeably enhance within the middle of the body with sharpness once more reaching very almost tack sharp ranges. The corners enhance however not as noticeably as the middle of the body, with sharpness within the periphery of the body remaining on a fairly excessive degree.
The EF 70-200mm F/2.8L USM IS II is at its sharpest on the f/Four and f/5.6 apertures, with the consequences of diffraction turning into noticeable by f/11. General, the sharpness of the EF 70-200mm F/2.8L USM IS II is actually excellent within the middle of the body in any respect focal lengths, with the 200mm providing a touch decrease efficiency. Sharpness within the periphery of the body can also be excellent and even wonderful on the wider finish of the focal vary.
Canon EOS-1D Mark III @ 125mm, ISO 200, 1/500, f/5.6
The Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L USM IS II can also be suitable with Canon’s 1.4x and a couple of.0x teleconverter’s, however the picture high quality takes fairly successful. With Canon’s 1.4x Teleconverter mounted and the lens used at f/Four, the sharpness within the middle of the body is now simply on an excellent degree with distinction a bit on the low aspect. The corners of the body fare worse, with particulars turning into fairly mushy. Fortunately, issues considerably enhance only one cease down at f/5.6, with the middle of the body now very sharp certainly and the corners wanting a lot better. Sharpness marginally improves at f/eight with the f/5.6 and f/eight apertures offering the candy spot for the mixture.
When the lens is used alongside the Canon 2.0x Teleconverter, the general sharpness additional degrades with this rather more noticeable on the 200mm (now 400mm) finish of the focal vary than at 70mm (now 140mm). At 400mm and f/5.6, the general picture shouldn’t be very sharp, with mediocre resolving energy within the middle of the body and an almost unusable efficiency on the sides of the body. Fortunately, issues enhance dramatically within the middle of the body only a third of a cease down. At f/6.three and 400mm, the sharpness within the middle of the body is now extremely usable. Sadly, the corners of the body stay fairly weak. By f/eight, sharpness within the middle of the body is additional improved with mid-frame sharpness additionally turning into fairly usable. The standard within the picture periphery improves solely barely and by no means reaches an inexpensive degree at any aperture mixture.
5. Vibration Discount
The EF 70-200mm F/2.8L USM IS II comes with Canons Four-stop lens stabilization system which doesn’t disappoint. I’ve discovered the vibration discount system of the lens to be wonderful and it has enabled me to take some handheld photographs that shutter speeds which are far under what I might often go for with the older era telephoto lenses which solely had 2 stops of stabilization. There are two stabilization mode settings to be discovered on the lens. Mode 1 is for stationary topics, and it does an outstanding job of each decreasing vibrations within the viewfinder in addition to the precise picture itself. That is my go-to mode when I’m handholding as a result of it makes it a lot simpler to border and hold monitor of your topic because it strikes throughout the body. Mode 2 IS is used for panning with a topic. On this mode, just one axis of stabilization is offered – permitting a linearly-moving topic to be tracked. General, the picture stabilization system on the lens is superb and makes an already versatile lens that rather more versatile.
Canon EOS-1D Mark III + EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 200mm, ISO 160, 1/400, f/5.6
The standard of the bokeh of the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II is superb. Out-of-focus highlights are virtually completely round in form all through a lot of the picture body, with the standard within the nook remaining very strong. This lens is ideal for portraiture and topics stand out superbly from the background when utilizing this lens at f/2.eight. The standard of the blur shouldn’t be fairly nearly as good as one of the best primes, however I might fee it as among the many greatest I’ve seen on a quick aperture zoom lens.
Canon EOS-1D X + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 200mm, ISO 12800, 1/320, f/5.zero
The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II reveals a average quantity of vignetting that improves because the lens is stopped down. On the 70mm focal size, there’s little or no vignetting at f/2.eight, and it turns into nonexistent one-stop down. On the 135mm and 200mm focal lengths, there’s a few 1.5 cease of darkening within the corners at f/2.eight and about half a cease at f/Four. By f/5.6, vignetting turns into virtually negligible in any respect focal lengths.
Canon EOS-1D X @ 98mm, ISO 400, 1/320, f/11.zero
The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II handles flare fairly properly and a lot better than its predecessor. The unique lens struggled mightily with dealing with brightly lit objects within the body and new lens presents a a lot better resistance on this regard. It doesn’t imply that you simply don’t should watch out when capturing towards the sunshine however distinction stays excellent and inner reflection are dealt with nicely sufficient for a lens of this sort.
Canon EOS-1D Mark III + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 200mm, ISO 200, 1/400, f/5.6
Trendy lenses have grow to be more and more good at mitigating chromatic aberration, and the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II exhibits little or no even when capturing in excessive distinction conditions. The efficiency is greatest within the midrange of the lens 100mm-150mm the place you may be exhausting pressed to seek out any chromatic aberration in even probably the most excessive conditions. Chromatic aberration is extra noticeable on the acute ends of the lens, specifically at 70mm and 200mm, however even right here it is extremely properly managed. Lateral chromatic aberration can also be very properly corrected on this lens and solely begins to turn out to be pronounced when including teleconverters. Including the Canon EF x1.Four Teleconverter provides a bit extra chromatic aberration although it stays simply fastened in post-processing. With the EF x2.zero Teleconverter, the quantity of chromatic aberration will increase noticeably, with seen magenta coloured halos round excessive distinction areas and within the periphery of the body.
Given the recognition of this focal size, there are lots of choices obtainable that compete immediately with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II lens.
The obvious comparability is with this lens’s predecessor, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM I lens. The older lens options many similarities, nevertheless it lags behind the mark II in virtually each means. Picture high quality is improved on the brand new lens, particularly wide-open sharpness and distinction at f/2.eight. That is most noticeable on the 200mm focal size within the corners the place the Mark I model is sort of tender. With each lenses stopped right down to f/5.6, sharpness is incredible proper to the corners of the body, and there’s little or no to inform them aside. The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II handles flare a lot better than its predecessor. The brand new lens additionally options a greater stabilization system together with a greater efficiency with Canon’s Teleconverters. They’re fairly comparable relating to their dealing with of chromatic aberration and vignetting.
For photographers who discover the 70-200 f/2.eight lenses too heavy, too giant or too pricey, there’s a splendidly mild various within the type of the Canon EF 70-200 f/4L IS USM and the newly launched EF 70-200 f/4L IS USM II. The f/Four.zero variations weigh lower than half the load of the f/2.eight variations and price round half as a lot. The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II is ever so barely sharper at wide-open apertures than the EF 70-200 f/4L IS USM lens, however the tables flip with the newly launched EF 70-200 f/4L IS USM II which is each bit as sharp because the f/2.eight lens. As a consequence of its one-stop aperture benefit, the F/2.eight lens holds a definite benefit when capturing in dim lighting. The f/2.eight can also be a contact faster to give attention to fast-moving topics, though the f/Four variations are not any slouches. Naturally, the f/2.eight lens gives a shallower depth of area at extensive open apertures, and this provides it higher background to topic separation. The EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II can also be extra fitted to Canon’s x1.Four and x2.zero Teleconverters than its F/Four counterparts.
Canon EOS-1D Mark III @ 280mm, ISO 100, 15/1, f/eight.zero
For photographers enthusiastic about discovering better-priced options to Canon’s native 70-200mm focal size lenses there are a number of third-party choices. One of the best of those is the Tamron SP 70-200 mm f/2.eight Di VC USD lens which presents an excellent construct high quality with climate sealing, wonderful picture stabilization, quick and correct autofocus, and nice picture high quality. The Tamron doesn’t fairly attain the lofty heights of the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II with its construct high quality, focus accuracy and picture high quality within the middle of the body however for $500 much less the Tamron is worthy of consideration.
For a really comparable worth to the Tamron lens, Sigma presents their 70-200mm f/2.eight lens within the Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.eight EX DG APO OS HSM lens. The Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.eight EX DG APO OS HSM was launched again in 2010 and presents a strong general efficiency that lags that of the Canon lens. The Sigma is properly constructed and has good picture stabilization and excessive sharpness within the picture middle. The place it falls behind the competitors is within the accuracy of its focus which isn’t almost as constant as that of the Canon lens. Nook sharpness can also be comparatively weak.
Canon EOS-1D X + EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +1.4x @ 98mm, ISO 800, 1/800, f/10.zero
The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II lens has been round for almost a decade now, however it stays probably the greatest 70-200mm f/2.eight lenses available on the market. Actually, when Canon just lately up to date it with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM III, they stored the mark II’s optical components and solely added new coatings to assist scale back flare and ghosting.
Optically, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II is superb all through everything of its focal size vary together with the steadily tough 200mm focal size settings. When including a Canon EF 1.4x Teleconverter, the efficiency stays very excessive, particularly one cease down. Including the Canon EF 2.0x Teleconverter creates a helpful focal vary of 140-400mm with a max aperture of f/5.6 however I’ve discovered the efficiency of this mix leaves a lot to be desired, particularly in relation to its focusing efficiency. The lens exhibits negligible ranges of lateral chromatic aberration and bokeh fringing is properly managed for a lens of this sort.
Optically, the lens additionally options different robust qualities together with a great efficiency towards sources of brilliant mild, a average quantity of vignetting that improves because the lens is stopped down and wonderful bokeh. The construct high quality is nothing in need of excellent with a sturdy, all-metal physique that’s climate sealed all through. When paired with knowledgeable grade physique just like the Canon 1Dx, focus efficiency is very spectacular. This combo can sustain with quick motion even in low mild, and the lenses Four-stops of picture stabilization proves important for photographing handheld in dim lighting circumstances.
General, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II stays an impressive lens eight years after its introduction. It has distinctive construct high quality, a strong function set, wonderful focusing capabilities and incredible picture high quality throughout the whole thing of the focal vary and taking into consideration that the lens has as a brand new price ticket of simply $1,799, I can’t assist however give it my highest suggestion.
Canon EOS-1D X @ 190mm, ISO 12800, 1/800, f/three.5
- Optical Efficiency
- Bokeh High quality
- Construct High quality
- Focus Velocity and Accuracy
- Dealing with
- Picture Stabilization
- Measurement and Weight
Images Life General Score