CANON EF 70-200MM F2.8L IS II USM

Digital Photograper - - Group Test -

Canon’s 70-200mm lens aims to be the cream of the crop, in more ways than just its off-white paint job

stand­ing out from the crowd, this 70-200mm has Canon’s clas­sic off-white fin­ish, used on the com­pany’s big lenses to re­duce the build-up of heat when shoot­ing un­der the sun. launched back in 2010, the Mk II has a fully re­vised op­ti­cal path, featuring top-grade flu­o­rite glass and no less than five UD (Ul­tralow Dis­per­sion) el­e­ments. The re­vamped im­age sta­biliser is rated at four stops, with switch­able static and pan­ning modes.

As one of Canon’s flag­ship pro-grade lenses, it’s built to with­stand a pun­ish­ing life­style, with a mag­ne­sium al­loy bar­rel and a full set of weather seals. It’s the only lens on test in which the zoom ring is po­si­tioned at the rear, putting it within very easy reach. You’ll un­doubt­edly spend more time ad­just­ing the zoom set­ting than fo­cus­ing man­u­ally. even so, the man­ual fo­cus ring is com­fort­ably large and op­er­ates with smooth pre­ci­sion.

Aut­o­fo­cus is su­per-speedy and whis­perquiet, prac­ti­cally snap­ping into place even with large changes in fo­cus dis­tance. The aut­o­fo­cus range lim­iter switch, which locks out close fo­cus­ing be­tween 1.2m and 2.5m, is largely su­per­flu­ous. Ba­sic man­ual over­ride of aut­o­fo­cus is avail­able, but only in ‘One shot’ mode af­ter aut­o­fo­cus has been ac­quired.

sharp­ness is mostly ex­cel­lent but drops off a lit­tle at both ends of the zoom range, es­pe­cially at short fo­cus dis­tances. Colour fring­ing is neg­li­gi­ble and there’s only mi­nor bar­rel and pin­cush­ion dis­tor­tion, at the short and long ends of the zoom range re­spec­tively. The Canon was also a lit­tle more sus­cep­ti­ble to flare than the nikon and Tam­ron.

Be­low

Sim­ple but ef­fec­tive

some of the con­trols are a lit­tle ba­sic, com­pared with the nikon and Tam­ron lenses, but han­dling is good over­all and build qual­ity is ex­cel­lent

Be­low left Com­ing up short

70mm

In our re­view sam­ple, sharp­ness dropped off no­tice­ably at the short end of the zoom range

Be­low right The long view

200mm

At the long­est zoom set­ting, the drop in sharp­ness from the mid-zoom sec­tor is only slight

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