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Kermit 09-30-2012 12:42 AM

Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS II Review!
(Also posted in the MCB reviews it section)

Howdy guys, so here's my written review of the Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS USM version 2(wow, that's a mouthful) lens!

So I got this lens about a month ago and I've been shooting it a LOT since it got here. I really wanted to put it through it's paces just as the price is very high on this piece of glass, it costs over a third more than my DSLR body alone. Right off the bat, I really enjoyed the lens and was eager to shoot with it so I have been using it quite a bit for several different styles of photography.

This lens is packaged very well. Traditional White and Red Canon box with a nice "golf bag" looking lens case. In the package came:

Lens Bag
Lens Hood
Tripod Collar
CD's and Users Manual

Initial Impressions:

"Dang! This is a heavy lens!" The lens is very hefty and solid. I got my start with a film via an old SLR with a few old Sigma lenses, so plastic lenses never really felt "right" to me. This is a proper lens with a metal casing. It's a very robust, high quality lens in terms of "in the hands" feeling.

Okay, this lens is heavy and one of the first things I noticed was definitely the weight of this bad boy. Coming in at 3.3 pounds, it's a hefty piece of kit. Although the weight causes some strain after a few hours of carrying it around, it balanced very nicely with my Battery Gripped 7D body.

Zoom Ring
Not really much to say here, zoom is zoom. What I do want to touch on is the zoom ring here. The zoom ring is very smooth and lightweight. I can zoom in or out with one finger effortlessly. It took a while to get used to not having any external moving parts on the lens while moving through the zoom range, but after a while I appreciate this feature very much.

Focus Ring
Super smooth and heavy. Very, very easily to pull focus manually and quickly. The focus ring has been widened since the version 1 of this lens and is very easy to grab on too. However, I have noticed myself bumping this several times, even in AF, and had to refocus. Minor detail I would like to point out.

The switches all around the lens are easily accessible and well made. A complaint that I've heard from the version 1 was that the switches were flimsy feeling, which is definitely not the case here.

Moving on from a more physical standpoint, I will now go into more of my experience with the performance of the lens.

Focus Speed
The ultrasonic motor in this lens is INSANELY fast and quiet. I have no complaints here as it is a superb lens in terms of focusing speed. Despite having to turn a huge amount of glass, the focus is precise and quick even in very poorly lit scenarios.

I took this lens to a football game and focus was not a major issue at all. I was very impressed with how well the lens focused in low light. Even my 50 f1.8 has had issues focusing in that sort of lighting. The large aperture combined with the fast motors attribute to the super quick and snappy focusing of this lens.

This lens is SHARP! I will say right off the bat, hands down, this is one of the most brilliantly sharp telephotos that I have used. Here is a shot demonstrating the detail of this lens.
(f2.8, ISO 400, 1/250. He was actually spinning on the swing when I took this!)


The colors that this lens produced were very good. I have noticed that they are much more exaggerated by white balance settings. For example, the cools are much more cool and the warms are much more warm. Not really sure how to describe it, but it's noticeably good. The colors that I have seen are amazing, even in low light where I am normally reluctant to get into higher ISO range.

Chromatic Abboration
None. Insanely impressed with this aspect of the lens. I have not found any hazing or blue streaks around sharp edges at all so far.

Flare and Ghosting
Again, very minimal. The thing has a whopping 23 lens elements, so that is to be expected. It handles any flare and ghosts very, very well shy of pointing it to the sun. I have had no issues with this area of performance whatsoever.


The only way to describe the Bokeh that this lens can produce is to just say it. Buttery smooth. Creamy at the wide end, and smooth as silk at other. The compression of the 200mm on top of the f2.8 aperture equal an amazing looking background for portraits. I absolutely adore the quality bokeh I have gotten while using this lens.

Some Examples:

Last Notes

Lens Hood

The lens hood is very well made. Super high quality as I would expect. The inside of the hood is lined with a velvety materiel and the plastic is very solid. The hood uses a twist-lock style system instead of the more common thread on style(which is good at a whopping 77mm)

Tripod Collar
I enjoy having this feature available. However, I did not particularly care for the design of it. It works well, and it is very high in quality. However, you must remove the entire lens in order to get the collar off the lens. Minor nitpick though, very well made.

Well, that wraps it up! If you feel that I left anything out or have any questions, post em up!


pk5 09-30-2012 12:47 AM

Use the tripod collar as a handle when shooting in odd position.

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