CANON EF 70-200MM F2.8L IS II USM
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.
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
In our review sample, sharpness dropped off noticeably at the short end of the zoom range
Below right The long view
At the longest zoom setting, the drop in sharpness from the mid-zoom sector is only slight