Improving upon one of the most celebrated lenses in the Canon EF line is no easy feat, but Canon has done just that. The all-new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM increases the speed, performance and optical quality of the 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 Stabiliser, providing up to 4 stops of correction at all focal lengths. As with all L-series lenses, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is dust- and moisture-resistant and designed for use in the challenging environments typical of rigorous professional use.
The optical formula is suitably complex – 23 elements in 19 groups – and includes no fewer than five ultra-low dispersion (UD) glass elements, plus one made from fluorite to minimize chromatic aberration. The minimum focus distance has been decreased giving improved maximum magnification, the IS system updated to give a claimed 4 stops of stabilisation and the autofocus system revised to meet the demands of Canon’s latest fast, high-resolution DSLRs such as the EOS-1D Mark IV. The lens is also, as is usual for Canon’s L series optics, fully sealed against dust and water.
Of course, all this comes at a considerable price – as it is always with a new release, the ‘II’ lens commands a hefty premium over the previous version of the lens, which also makes it around four times as expensive as its (non-image stabilised) third party rivals from the likes of Sigma and Tamron.
With an introductory price of well over INR 1,50,000/- ($2000 internationally), many potential upgraders will surely be wondering whether the improvements can possibly be worth the money.