Canon 70 200mm f2.8 review
Official name: Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 USM L
Canon 70 200mm f2.8 review
Focal length: 70 – 200mm
Minimal focus distance: 1,5m
Aperture blades: 8
Lens elements: 18/15 groups
Weight: 1310 g
Dimensions: 85×194 mm
Filter size: 77mm
This is a Pro photographer’s workhorse lens since 1995. Since the release of this lens Canon already produced two new IS versions of this lens: In 2001 The discontinued 70-200 f2.8 L IS, and the newest 70 200 f2.8 IS II version in 2010.
Build quality, ergonomics:
This lens features 4! UD elements. The lens built like a tank, no need to worry, it is a Pro lens. Compare to the f4 version the lens is big, bulky and obtrusive. Someone walks to a place with this lens everybody will notice, it can be good on the other hand if you intend to submit a nice invoice after the job. The weight is not heavy for me, perhaps for smaller people can be an issue. The auto focus is quick and nearly silent.
This is a cheapest Canon 70 200 f2.8 lens, but still very expensive, I wouldn’t recommend to buy this beast unless, you are a Pro, or you have plenty of money, or this is the only lens you want to own. For an amateur the f4 version is much more practical, in picture quality department the difference is small, if any. A flashgun and an f4 version is still cheaper. In the other hand the one stop difference can be quite good if we shoot indoors, and this lens not vignettes so much on Full Frame cameras as th f4 version, and has better bokeh. Personally I prefer to use brighter primes indoors, I admit that the zoom is much more useful, you can be quicker to respond to action, etc. I think this lens fit the best on a Full frame camera, where the focal length is much better, and high iso capabilities of the camera is also better. A biggest drawback of this lens is the size.
This is a very fine lens optically. Sharpness, colours, contrast are great, I see no purple fringing or other problems. Distortion is very low. The quality is unified everywhere in the range, meaning both end (70 and 200mm) are sharp. Compare to the 200 f2.8 prime, the prime is better: the difference is not big, but the prime has better contrast, and sharpness.
Sample pictures without sharpening or any other post processing except resize and perhaps curve adjustment click to see in 1200 pix see the pictures at f2.8, f4, and f5.6
Canon 30D Canon 70 200 f2.8 L ISO 640 f4
Usage with teleconverters:
Normally both 1.4x and 2x teleconverter works with this lens autofocus maintained, the results with the 1.4 coverter is particularly good with a little loss of sharpness. The Canon Mk I, and II are fit optically the best for this lens the newest III is designed to work with newer lenses.
What is it good for ?:
Canon has 3 f2.8 70-200 zooms lenses to date: This lens, The Canon 70-200 f2.8 L is, and the Canon 70 200 f2.8 is II. Basically all other options are much more expensive. Sigma and Tamron also has lenses in this range. Nikon also has a 70 200 f2.8 lens but that lens is much more expensive(and perhaps a little better).