Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SideBySide: 70-200 2.8 L USM IS vs 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II (Part 1)

Canon has recently send out a new version of it's flagship 70-200 2.8 L USM IS now as version II.

The new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM increases the speed, performance and optical quality of the previous EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM while maintaining all of the characteristics that have made it a legend for professionals and advanced amateurs alike.

The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM features one fluorite and five UD elements for increased optical quality and reduced chromatic aberration. It has a minimum focusing distance of 1.2m/3.9 ft. at all zoom settings, which is useful for photographers in smaller spaces trying to get closer to a subject.

It features a next-generation Optical Image Stabilizer, providing up to 4 stops of correction at all focal lengths. And is dust/moisture-resistant and designed for use in the challenging environments typical of rigorous professional use.

Now that you know what you will get let's take a look at a side by side with the older model...

I do not wish to start here an extensive comparative test chart with all the good and bad specks about both lenses. There are a lot of good web pages out there who can do it better than me and also have the expensive equipment to do it, basically what I wanted to bring you here is a quick side by side page where you can see the most evident differences between both and decide if it's worth the upgrade for you or not.

I will make this as a 2 part set since the images I got from the shooting test will take sometime to process has I've been challenged by the fact that the Exif info file does not contemplate the IS feature On/Off, well at least I haven't found a way, yet, to know which ones are what (although I know some of them by eye contact has they were shot with a very low speed o they are easily targeted). If you care to have a software where I can read this info let me know in the comments.

So let's start with the Syde-By-Side tour:


First what you notice is that the box for the new 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II is much BIGGER than the previous one. As you can see at the beginning of the article the front view and now the side view it's a lot Bigger box.


Only when you put the 2 together you can see the minor differences between them otherwise they are almost the same.

On top you can see the NEW 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II and at the bottom of the image you have the older model 70-200 2.8 L USM IS. You notice the NEW one is a little bit thicker not much but a little I can tell you, the aspect is the same and has I told you before not noticeable at a distance. The same White shark Canon has used us to ;)


Here is a Side-By-Side with the lens hood mounted. Don't let the image fool you has this seems that the NEW 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II is taller than previous model, but it's just on the pictures has actually they are the same size even with the hood on.


Nothing much on the top of the lens except that the NEW 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II is a little greener, because of the fluorite, but they both use the same 77mm filter.

Ufff!! at least you do not have to buy another expensive filter if you are moving from the older model.


The buttons are placed on the same place and the only difference you see is that the NEW 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II now focus at a minimum focus distance of 1.2 m/3.9 ft prior to 1.4 m/4.6 ft on the older model.


Another noticeable feature is that the meter scale is now smaller either in size and number size. if you were having trouble reading the previous numbers then I think you will need a better glasses to see this ones.

Well but they are all there ;)


One of the most important things for me when working around this kind of lenses is it's weight. So I figure, when I saw it, if it's BIGGER than it should be HEAVIER!!

Well I can tell you that Canon had a great weight balance on the NEW 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II.

I took my kitchen scale and put the up to test with the Tripod Mount Ring on (as pictured above).


On this corner you have the 70-200 2.8 L USM IS weighting 1620g


And on the other corner the NEW 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II weighting 1660g

not big of a difference between them and it's not noticeable even when using it all day long.

Official numbers on the weight are NEW 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II 1490g vs. 70-200 2.8 L USM IS 1470g. I believe that this has to do with fact that I had the collar ring to it and Canon weight only the lens, or maybe it's another marketing strategy... who knows...

As Per Canon Words:
"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)..."


The also New Lens Hood has a security button on it and it's the first Canon lens to have this kind of thing.

From what I've see here it seems more of a security reason than a fashion design. I believe that Canon has made this in case and for some reason the lens crushes into something very hard the Lens Hood will break by detach instead of the old model that could damage the front part of the lens.

The new Lens Hood has also 4 small screws that attach the Lens Hood collar ring to the Hood itself so when it breaks only the plastic Hood would be damaged. Nice move on this one Canon ;)

It's also noticeable that the Lens Hood of the NEW 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II is not shinny as the previous model (you can see it in the above picture) and the plastic looks more rigid and stronger than the older model too.


Here is a closer look to the Locking Button when you screw it all to the lens it gives a click and when you need to remove it just press the Locking Button and turn it to remove.

Very simple and practical.


Last but not least the carrying bag. It's made of the same material as the older one except that it's BIGGER to fit the NEW 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II, the Lens Hood and the Tripod Mount Ring inside.

Since a lot of Rumors been circulating about if the lens would come with Bag, Hood or what, here is the list of items that comes officially with it:

- Card Box for the NEW 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II
- 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II
- Lens Hood ET-87
- Tripod Mount Ring B(W)
- Instruction Manual
- European Warranty


I believe this one Hell of a lens. I've been testing it out for a couple of days and it produce even cleaner images has previous model.
It's price is high but it's well worth it if you are searching for the ultimate quality to present to your clients.

We will talk more on quality and Image stabilization on Part 2 of this article.

Stay tuned...


SideBySide: 70-200 2.8 L USM IS vs 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II (Part 1)
SideBySide: 70-200 2.8 L USM IS vs 70-200 2.8 L USM IS II (Part 2)
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