Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Canon announced yesterday a new version of one of their top lenses, the 70-200 f/2.8L. This has always been one of my favorite lenses for wedding photography, it gives you a good reach, is very sharp and with the IS you can shoot in a dark church at 1/60/sec pretty well (even lower if you have a steady hand). The current 70-200 is such a good lens I am not sure how much Canon will be able to improve on. If you already have a current 70-200 I don’t think there is much need to upgrade, the current lens runs $1,699 at most online retailers and I would assume the new version will be around the same price point. But if you have been looking at this lens for awhile it might be good to wait until April and pick up the new version.

canon ef 70-200 f28L IS II(2)

Here are some of the improvements:

  • Image quality has been improved thanks to the redesign of the internal elements. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens now has a fluorite element and a fifth UD element that improves the contrast and the resolution.
  • The new 70-200 has a new focusing algorithm to improve the AF speed
  • The minimum focus distance has been reduced from 4.6ft to 3.9ft
  • The IS has been improved in the new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens to where it compensates up to four stops over normal lenses.
  • The enhanced magnesium alloy barrel design of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens features added strength with a minimal 20-gram increase in weight compared with the previous model
  • The lens hood has a new locking mechanism to lock in place more securely


Official Canon Press Release
Canon’s New Incorporates Advanced Lens Elements and Enhanced Durability for High-Speed Autofocus and High-Performance Optical Image Stabilization

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., January 5, 2010 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, introduces the new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. Arguably the most popular focal range in Canon’s telephoto arsenal and a staple lens for any professional photographer, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens provides the focal length, maximum aperture and zoom power for capturing everything from fast-action sports to studio portraits. Built for the professional, the body structure of the new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens has been enhanced to provide better durability and strength without a significant increase in weight. Canon has improved optical performance on the new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens by redesigning the internal elements, incorporating a fluorite element and a fifth UD element. The use of the fluorite element and five UD elements helps to minimize secondary chromatic aberrations and produce better image quality with improved contrast and resolution through the entire zoom range; the end result is an optically precise lens worthy of becoming the leader of Canon’s L-series lenses.

Along with its redesigned optical elements, the new lens design features improved AF speed due to a new focusing algorithm and has reduced the minimum focusing distance to 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) through the entire zoom range, allowing photographers to capture tighter portraiture shots in a small studio space. The previous lens model’s minimum focusing distance was 4.6 feet (1.4 meters), whereas now photographers can stand nearly 8 inches closer to their subject and achieve sharp focus and tight crops. Canon has also enhanced the Image Stabilization allowing it to compensate for shutter speeds up to four steps slower than 1/focal length, a one step improvement over the previous lens model.

“Canon’s core has always been our optics, and we are constantly challenging ourselves to produce better and more advanced optical systems for our customers. The new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens incorporates the best advancements in Canon lens technology from the past few years and packages it into what we believe will be the most popular lens for professionals and advanced photographers,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A.

The enhanced magnesium alloy barrel design of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens features added strength with a minimal 20-gram increase in weight compared with the previous model (1490g vs. 1470g) and retains Canon’s protective seals and fittings providing dust and water resistance for those photographers working in adverse conditions. A new bayonet mount on the front of the lens includes a locking mechanism to ensure the supplied lens hood remains securely in place. Other noticeable improvements include a wider focusing ring, and sleeker design by reducing the thickness of any protruding elements such as the switch panel. The new lens is also compatible with Canon’s existing EF1.4X II and EF2X II Extenders as well as EF Extension Tubes and the 77mm Close-Up Lens 500D.

Pricing and Availability
The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens is supplied with a detachable tripod collar, a reversible bayonet mount lens hood and a lens pouch. The new lens is scheduled to be delivered to U.S. dealers in April, price to be determined.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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  1. I just bought absolutely miraculous brand new Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS II USM. I have purchased 2 lenses to choose the best one. I am very critical about my equipment. I have the version 1 of this lens. I made several comparison shots with my new lenses against my old version #1. At 200 mm the new lenses were in a totally Different League. The difference to that degree was unexpected. My Canon 70-200 2.8 IS looks now as a piece of junk.
    The new lenses are extremely sharp even wide open. The contrast and colours are way better as well.
    I am very excited about the results. The new 70-200 F2.8 IS II is as sharp at 135 mm as a Canon 135 mm lens which tells you a lot. Time to retire all my primes.
    Take a look at this link:

    Read more:

  2. Awesome, thanks for the info!

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