2017 Canon EF 70-200mm 1:2.8 L IS USM Specification Review

The EF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM was presented way back in Aug 2001, adding to (but not replacing) the non-stabilized 70-200mm F2.8 L USM in The Canon eos well known telephoto collection. This is a lens which can truly be described as an experienced utility vehicle, with effective develop (including wetness and dirt resistance), extensive F2.8 highest possible aperture, fast and quiet ultrasound auto-focus engine, and visual picture stabilizing for hand-holding at slowly shutter rates of speed. The visual style is somewhere on the far side of complex it functions 23 components in 18 categories, with 4 UD components to provide settlement for chromatic aberration. According to Canon, this gives a ‘high-resolution, high-contrast visual capability’, as required from a lens which needs to carry out all day, every day in the arms of photography lovers across an extensive variety of topics and circumstances.

Canon EF 70-200mm
Canon EF 70-200mm

The 70-200mm is an EF lens, and has presumably been developed from the beginning for the best possible efficiency on The Canon eos expert 1-series DSLRs, with their full-frame Negatives and 1.3x plants (APS-H) types (indeed the very first EOS-1D was declared just per 30 days after this lens, with the full-frame EOS-1Ds following a year later). However it’s also completely at home on all of The Canon eos APS-C DSLRS, here offering a 112-320mm comparative position of perspective.

Key Features

  • 70-200mm central duration range; quick F2.8 continuous highest possible aperture
  • Optical picture stabilizing – 3 stops
  • Ring-type USM concentrating with full-time guide override
  • EF install for Cannon Negatives full-frame and APS-C DSLRS

Canon EF 70-200mm Body And Design

The 70-200m F2.8 is one of The canon eos L sequence top drawer contacts, and therefore designed to the very maximum requirements. From the seems to be to be basically of steel, and the inner concentrate and zoom capability style gives a sense of sturdiness and stability to the ‘one-piece’ style which few other contacts coordinate. The lens is wetness and mud proof, and features a rubberized ‘O’-ring around the install to provide a closure with you body. The stunning off-white color to is obviously designed to counteract warming under sunshine (and quite possibly not without some level of marketing value).

Canon EF 70-200mm Body ANd Design
Canon EF 70-200mm Body ANd Design

The lens is pretty common in size for its category, and therefore potential upgraders should appreciate that it’s considerably bigger and bulkier than customer telezooms such as the 70-300mm F4-5.6 IS USM. This therefore may well not be a lens you’ll want to take with them all day when on a increase though the forest, for example.

Lens body elements

  • The lens uses Canon’s all-electronic EF install. This means it will fit all of The Canon eos DSLRs regardless of indicator structure, APS-C, APS-H or Negatives full-frame. It’s also suitable with Canons 1.4x and 2.0x ‘Extenders’ (known to the world as teleconverters), maintaining complete auto-focus and picture stabilizing performance.
  • The narrow line is 77mm, which has become the de facto conventional for professional contacts, and typical across much of The Canon eos ‘L’ sequence collection. It does not move on autofocusing, which should please narrow customers.
  • The petal-type ET-68 lens bonnet is available as conventional and suits to the front of the lens via a bayonet install. It’s 95mm/3.75″ strong, covered with rushing to reduce representation of light into the lens, and turns around for storage space.
  • The zoom capability band moves 60 levels anti-clockwise from 70mm to 200mm. The ribbed rubberized hold is 32mm extensive, and the zoom capability activity incredibly sleek and accurate. In typical with other 70-200mm F2.8 contacts (and The Canon eos 70-200mm F4s), the zoom capability activity is entirely inner.
  • The concentrate band is a nice Thirty millimeters extensive, and moves 140 levels clockwise from infinity to 1.4m. It does not move during auto-focus, and the full-time guide system allows remodelling of the main concentrate even when the lens is set to AF. Again the activity is incredibly sleek and accurate.
  • A range range is available with marks in both legs and metres, and contains infra-red modification represents for 70mm and 100mm central measures. The concentrate band moves a little bit past the infinity indicate, obviously to allow for the results of regular heat range modifications.
  • The side of the lens gun barrel is decorated with no less than four changes. At the top we have an AF range change which can be used to restrict nearest concentrate to 2.5m (useful to reduce AF efforts and possible tracking problems), and below that the autofocus/manual concentrate method change. Both are well-sized and positive for activity.
  • The lower set of changes control the picture stabilizing mechanism; the On/Off change has a different shape, presumably to aid recognition by contact alone. The end change chooses either backing method ‘1’ (normal, for fixed subjects), or ‘2’ which instantly finds panning movement, and then balances in the other sizing only.
  • A nice contact is the supply of a ribbed hold at the end of the gun barrel, which helps increasing and dismounting of the lens from you.
  • The lens comes with its own removable tripod install band, which has a Teflon sleeve for sleek spinning. The line at the top adjusts with an indication on the lens for scenery structure capturing, but unfortunately there are no corresponding represents on the lens for image structure positioning. One discomfort with this design is that it can’t be eliminated while the lens is linked to the digicam.

Canon EF 70-200mm Images Quality

Specific picture top quality issues

As always, our studio room assessments are supported up by taking many pictures with the lens across a variety of topics, and analyzing them in detail. This allows us to ensure our studio room findings, and recognize any other problems which don’t show up in the assessments.

Softness extensive open

The significant problem outlined by our studio room assessments is that the 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM gives low MTF50 principles when used start up on APS-C, especially at the extreme conditions of the central length variety, and this is carried out in real-world capturing. However, study of pictures demonstrates the problem is essentially one of low comparison, and a lot of details is actually being settled. This means that the smooth can be reduced to some degree by a simple levels or shapes modification, or better yet careful use of the unsharp cover up device. (Of course itrrrs worth remembering that detail of area is extremely superficial at F2.8, and this can add considerably to the understanding of softness; precise concentrating is also essential.

f-stop f/5.6 Exposure time 1/160 Sec ISO-200 Photo By Azis Photography
f-stop f/5.6 Exposure time 1/160 Sec ISO-200 Photo By Azis Photography

The examples below demonstrate the picture top quality which can be predicted from out-of-camera JPEGs at the extreme conditions of the zoom capability variety and F2.8 (as taken with the 12Mp EOS 450D); not bad, but short of the stinging sharpness and comparison which characterizes the Nikon AF-S VR 70-200mm F2.8G on a DX digicam, for example.

Full-frame in comparison to APS-C

Eagle-eyed audiences will no doubt have observed that the MTF50 sharpness information at any particular central length/aperture mixture is remarkably greater on full-frame in comparison to APS-C. This may at first vision appear surprising, but in fact is an unavoidable impact of our demonstration of the sharpness information in regards to range sets per picture size (and thus outside of structure size). Quite basically, at any given central duration and aperture, the lens will have a set MTF50 information when indicated in regards to range sets per mm. In order to change to lp/ph, we have to increase by the indicator size (in mm); as the full-frame indicator is 1.6x larger, MTF50 should therefore be 1.6x greater.


The 70-200mm has a complicated visual design, and the abundance of components in its development might be thought to result in some surface problems under negative conditions. In this regard it acts somewhat in the same way to its Nikon version, usually managing backlit conditions completely properly, but sometimes running into serious difficulties with a strong light either within, or just outside the structure.

Canon EF 70-200mm Flare
Canon EF 70-200mm Flare

Our two ‘real-world’ surface illustrations show this clearly (on our reliable but dirty EOS 5D. with the sun placed in the area of the structure at 70mm, we see a lengthy complicated surface design, which reveals up mainly as reduced comparison with the aperture open up, but gradually enhances up on avoiding down. With the sun placed just outside the structure at 200mm, we basically see an excessive loss of comparison through the picture. To be reasonable this isn’t a particularly surprising efficiency for this type of lens, while these problems are easy to show when clearly looking for them, they’re not exactly common capturing circumstances for most customers.

Bokeh Quality

One truly suitable, but difficult to evaluate part of a lens’s efficiency is the ability to provide efficiently blurry out-of-focus areas when trying to separate a topic from the, usually when using a lengthy central duration and large aperture. Here the 70-200mm F2.8 L IS does very well, generating sleek, ‘creamy’ bokeh which hardly ever discounts the topic.

Canon EF 70-200mm Bokeh Quality
Canon EF 70-200mm Bokeh Quality


The issue of light falloff (or with this type of lens, more totally vignetting) has become a subject of much warmed discussion on our boards, with some protagonists disagreeing that it could eventually disaster Negatives full-frame to an also-ran in the the fight of the types, while those in the reverse camping opine that it basically makes no difference outside of lab examining routines. As regular the fact is somewhere in between; in many kinds of photos a little darkening at the sides basically makes no difference, and can actually help highlight the subject (indeed edge-burning techniques have lengthy been used in the normal darkroom for this very purpose); however in certain circumstances and programs it can truly take away from a photograph. In fact, the answer in any specific situation relies upon not just on the amount of vignetting/falloff showed by the lens, but also on a variety of other aspects such as the shape of the falloff design, the evenness of light, the subject, and the designed goal of the picture, so it’s not amazing views differ.

Chromatic aberration

Our studio room assessments indicate chromatic aberration to be extremely low with the 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM, and this is indeed the situation. In fact, while exploring through thousands of analyze photos with this lens across a variety of circumstances, we’ve fought to find any photos presenting important fringing at all. The examples below show large fringing you can anticipate to get at the extreme circumstances of the zoom capability variety (there’s basically none noticeable at all in the mid range); remember that these are taken with the rather challenging EOS-1Ds Indicate III.

Optical Image Stabilization

The 70-200mm features The canon eos second creation vibrations decrease system, which states to allow hand-holding at shutter rates of speed three prevents lower than regular before cloud from trembling digicam becomes obvious. The procedure is actually silent in use, with just a very silent whirring disturbance when functional, and with just-audible clicks of the mouse when it triggers and deactivates from the IS team moving in and out of the ‘at rest’ position.

We’ve generally found the stabilizing models in SLR contacts to be pretty effective in real-world use, and to evaluate this, we exposed the 70-200mm to our studio room picture stabilizing analyze at the wide and lengthy finishes of the product variety, using the EOS 5D as quality digicam. With this mixture we’d normally anticipate to be able to get great results portable at 1/80 sec at 70mm, and 1/250 sec at telephoto without picture stabilizing. The subject range for these assessments was roughly 2m at 70mm, and 6m at 200mm.

Canon EF 70-200mm Specifications

Street price • US: $1700
• UK: £1250
Date introduced August 2001
Maximum format size 35mm full frame
Focal length 70-200mm
35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) 112-320mm
Diagonal Angle of view (FF) 34º – 12º
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 23º – 8º
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F32
Lens Construction • 23 elements/18 groups
• 4 UD elements
Number of diaphragm blades 8
Minimum focus 1.4m
Maximum magnification 0.17x at 200mm
AF motor type • Ring-type Ultrasonic Motor
• Full-time manual focus
Focus method Internal
Zoom method Internal
Image stabilization • 3 stops
• Dual mode – Normal and panning
Filter thread • 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories • Front and rear caps
• ET-86 Hood
• LZ1324 Soft Case
Weight 1570 g (55.4 oz)
Dimensions 86.2 mm diameter x 197 mm length
(3.4 x 7.8 in)
Lens Mount Canon EF only
Other Dust and moisture sealing
Supplies distance information for E-TTL II flash metering