Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

One of the finest Canon EF Lenses is the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens. Since its announcement, the new version has become the go to lens for almost all Canon professionals. The new version features a revision of the optical design and a slightly closer minimum focusing distance of 1.2 meters.

Many are asking if the new lens is worth the upgrade. Of course, without question, the new lens is obviously sharper than the old. But there was nothing wrong with the old lens, its not like there were hundreds of negative reviews. The old version was very sharp. With the fluorite lens elements, chromatic aberration was lessened and reduced to their minimal levels. And because of that, the old lens didn’t really suffer from CA. Canon claims that the new lens offers an extra stop of image stabilization. The other details such as the distortion and corner shading, however, are the same.

DESIGN

Like all the other L- series Canon lenses, the build quality of the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens is excellent. The advanced seals for extreme weather conditions and the dust- resistance are the newest additions. The lens looks and is built like a tank and honestly, weighs like one as well. It is heavy and its not the type of heavy that you can resist holding for a long time. I recommend you use a monopod or a tripod to help you with its weight. But if you are planning to hand hold it all day, there’s not much of a problem aside from the weight because the IS works very well. Canon has installed four f-stops for shake reduction. There are also several control points on the lens. Besides the focus and zoom rings, the lens has four command switches. The focus ring looks larger than the old version. This provides the best manual focusing fidelity I have ever tried. And the zoom ring is very smooth but firm enough not to fall off. The lens also comes with a hood which comprises three and a half inches of the lens’ overall length. The hood’s interior is flocked to block any stray light and there’s this locking mechanism to keep the hood from falling off.

PERFORMANCE

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens works well and has impressive quality. At 70 mm, the image has almost excellent sharpness especially in the center of the image and good toward the edges. At f/11, the best quality is achieved since the edges get a similar sharpness as that of the center of the image. At f/2.8 and 135 mm, the quality of the center of the image is very good and the edges are at very good qualities. Best quality is achieved at f/8 where sharpness is consistent and good all throughout the whole frame. At 200 mm, sharpness comes naturally and at its best. The quality and sharpness of the whole frame is excellent. Best quality is achieved at f/5.6 to f/8, where the centers sharpness is outstanding and the edges excellent.

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens also has fewer if not no chromatic aberration at all. In fact, if you take images using the lens, you might want to look very closely to find any. Chromatic aberrations are only found at 70mm and 200mm in the corners. But you’ll hardly even notice them. This means that the fluorite elements are working really well in the lens.

Also, with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens, there’s not much of a problem when it comes to shading or the vignette. There’s not much of an issue of the corner shading when it comes to the sub frame 20D, the only ones I noticed were found at 200 mm at f/2.8 where the corners were a bit darker than the center. Other than that, there’s not much to comment about. But when you change to the full frame 50D, there was a significant corner shading when I used the lens wide open. At 100mm and f/2.8, the corners look one full-stop darker than the shades at the center.

Distortion is natural for any telephoto zoom lens but as far as this Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens goes, it doesn’t give many problems about distortion. There is however some pincushion distortions at the telephoto end and some barrel distortions at the barrel end.

If you use the lens as a macro, which it was not intended to be used for, the lens comes very competitive. I must say that compared to the older version, its minimum closing distance has improved at 1.2 meters and the magnification is 0.21 times.

The focus speed of the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens is something you will take pride of. I must say I probably can’t find a lot of lenses that can keep up neither beat the speed of its focus. The focus takes at most only a second to go through the focusing range. And what’s good is that the lens makes almost no noise at all while doing this.

PROS

The new version is excellently weather sealed, it has very fast focusing, it is very sharp with varying levels at all apertures and focal length and It has a very effective four stop stabilizer.

CONS

There’s not much to say about the lens just that it is too pricey and it has a fall-off illumination at the sides at 200mm.

CONCLUSION

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens is indeed very sharp and if you’re looking for image stabilization and the sharpest and best image quality a 70-200mm zoom lens can offer, than this is definitely worth the money. However, if you don’t need such refinements, then sticking to the old Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS I USM is a good choice.  I assure you that the old version gives you no disappointment. Indeed, Canon has made impressive adjustments and advancements from the old version but nonetheless, no one was complaining about the old version.

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