- Up to 4 Stops of Image Stabilization
- Superior Image Quality
- Ultra-Low Dispersion UD Glass
- Fluorite & Aspherical Elements
- Super Spectra Multi Coating
- Ultra Sonic Motor – USM
- Constant f/2.8 Maximum Aperture
- Filter Size – 77mm
- Eight Blade Circular Aperture
- Resistant to Dust and Moisture
Improving upon one of the most celebrated lenses in the Canon EF line is no easy feat, but Canon has done just that. The all-new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM increases the speed, performance and optical quality of the EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM while maintaining all of the characteristics that have made it a legend for professionals and advanced amateurs alike. The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM features one fluorite and five UD elements for increased optical quality and reduced chromatic aberration. It has a minimum focusing distance of 1.2m/3.9 ft. at all zoom settings, which is useful for photographers in smaller spaces trying to get closer to a subject. It features a next-generation Optical Image Stabilizer, providing up to 4 stops of correction at all focal lengths. And as with all L-series lenses, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is dust- and moisture-resistant and designed for use in the challenging environments typical of rigorous professional use.
Overall, then, the EF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS II USM gains about as close as it gets to an unqualified recommendation, given the price. Its combination of exceptional optics and quirk-free design even manages to surpass Nikon’s equivalent that we tested recently, stealing the crown of ‘Best in Class’ by a whisker. It’s a significant improvement over what was already an accomplished lens, capable of consistently delivering results that will satisfy the most demanding of users, and you can’t ask for much more than that.
Conclusion – Pros
- Exceptional image quality
- Superb build quality, including dust- and water-sealing
- Highly effective image stabilization
- Excellent autofocus and manual override
Conclusion – Cons
- Relatively harsh rendition of out-of-focus areas of the image
- Somewhat susceptible to flare with direct light sources in or close to the frame
- Inconvenient design of tripod mount ring (can’t be detached without taking lens off camera)
I can’t say I was really expecting this lens since the current version is so good (and so popular). I suppose it may in part be a response to the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II which was released this summer. Nikon added ED elements and improved their VR, so Canon have added more elements and improved their IS. And so it goes.
What happens when a classic professional’s go-to lens is taken and improved in every way? You get the 70-200 F/2.8 IS II! This truly is a fantastic lens, even at its rather high price point. Compared to the original 70-200 F/2.8 IS, the new version has improved optics and a fantastic IS system, and for action photography I’ve found that improvements in both optics and autofocus have led to higher amounts sharper images. In relation to primes, there are primes out there that are faster and sharper, but they either lack IS (such as the 135 F/2) or are very expensive (such as the 200 F/2) or have less features than this lens (such as the 200 F/2.8), and all primes lack the flexibility of a zoom lens. Ultimately, there will be few wedding and sports photographers and photojournalists who won’t want this lens. So is it worth the upgrade over the original? For me it was – the extra IS in a reception situation is a large benefit, and the improvement in sharpness had me sealed the deal.
Like I said in the introduction, I have a feeling that the new Canon 70-200 F/2.8 L IS II USM will find itself a permanent place in my photography bag!