With the new year, Canon has released a new professional “L” zoom lens, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. This is a very popular lens among sports, journalist, and wedding photographers for many reasons. I currently own the Version I of this lens and love it. Nikon released their Version II follow-up to their 70-200mm with a few new improvements including a 4-stop VR and better optics. The reviews I’ve seen have been very positive.
So what is Canon offering in their latest 70-200mm? Here’s a simple comparison chart:
|SLR Lens||Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM||Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM||Winner|
|Year Introduced||October 20, 2009||September 2001||Mark II|
|Image Stabilization||Yes, 4 stops (3th generation)||Yes, 3 stops (2nd generation)||Mark II|
|Weight||1,490g (3.3lbs)||1,470g (3.2lbs)||-|
|Max Diameter||89mm (3.5in)||86mm (3.4in)||-|
|Length||197mm (7.8in)||197mm (7.8||-|
|Groups/Elements||19/23, 1 fluorite and 5 UD elements||18/23, 5 UD elements||Mark II|
|Minimum Focusing Distance||1.2m (3.9ft)||1.4m (4.6ft)||Mark II|
Clearly Canon has made some very nice changes such as an extra-IS stop (4 vs. 3), the addition of the fluorite element will make this lens as sharp as its little brother the f/4-version, and the minimum focusing distance has been reduced by 8 inches. I’m a bit shocked as I was expecting Canon to incorporate their new Hybrid IS system or at least the 4-generation IS system that is used on the Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM lens (5-stop IS!).
I see a lot of nice features, but nothing ground breaking enough that I would upgrade to. If you are in the market for a professional 70-200mm, I would definitely recommend holding out until April and getting the Mark II version. Otherwise, the Mark I version should drop some in price and become a great alternative. If you’re looking to purchase it, be prepared to open your wallets and get it from trusted authorized Canon distributors like B&H Photo Video or Adorama.
You can also read Canon’s press release here.
Bui Photography is a group of professional wedding photographers in the San Francisco & Bay Area who create compelling, artistic and appealing wedding photos for brides and groom. Let’s meet for some coffee and let us show you the beautiful photos we can create on your wedding day. Also be sure to check-out our Facebook page for specials and upcoming events. You can also find the latest on our Twitter page and definitely follow our RSS feed to see our latest photoshoots.