Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM L IS - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Special thanks to Markus Stamm (1st sample) and Ron Marchant (2nd sample) for providing the lens for testing purposes!
The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM L IS is one of the key lenses in the Canon lens line-up. It is especially
popular for press, sports and portrait photography. Used on an APS-C DSLR its field-of-view resembles a classic 112-320mm
lens on full-frame cameras.
While not really bigger nor heavier than similar lenses it is not small by "normal" standards with a dimension of 86x197mm
and a weight of 1470g. Adding the (included) flower-shaped hood increases the length even further - see the product
images below. Besides the hood the lens comes also with a detachable tripod mount which makes sense regarding the
weight of the lens.
The 70-200mm L IS has a 2nd generation image stabilizer. Canon claims a gain of three f-stops here
which I can confirm based on a little field usage. When compared to a first generation IS the difference
is quite easily noticeable in the viewfinder. Typical for Canon pro grade IS lenses the IS offers two
- standard: corrects movements of a static scene (horizontal plus vertical stabilization)
- panning: corrects the vertical axis only (regardless of the lens' orientation).
The optical construction is made of 23(!) elements in 18(!) groups, including 4 UD elements.
The min. focus distance is 1.30m resulting is a max. object magnification of ~1:5 at 200mm.
The lens features 8 aperture blades. The filter size is 77mm.
The lens does not extend during zooming. Due to the inner focusing system the front element
does not rotate so using a polarizer is no problem - unless you attach the hood of course.
The lens features a ring-type USM drive so AF speed is extremely fast. When combined with the Canon EF 1.4x II
converter the speed is marginally reduced (on the EOS 350D) which is probably a side effect of the smaller max.
aperture (one stop slower).
The build quality of this lens is exceptional. No wobbling whatsoever and smooth controls - just perfect.
The lens is also designed to survive in harsh conditions with a sealing against dust and moisture.