Canon evolves the workhorse EF 70-200mm f/4L and f/2.8L Series Lenses with new USM and Image Stabilization features
The 70-200mm telephoto lens is a staple in many kit bags. The focal range provides massive shot flexibility, and if you have the f/2.8 models, shooting in low light isn’t an issue. The Canon 70-200mm F/4L IS USM and the Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II USM have dominated the market for many years, with impeccable image quality and resolution, and incredibly reliable stabilization. These new models from offer updated features, in the familiar housing of the trusted telephoto lens.
The EF 70-200mm F/4L IS II USM gets a 5-stop Image Stabilizer which aids in keeping the image steady; ideal when using a camera without a stabilized sensor or when filming in a fast paced environment.
The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM get a 3.5-stop Image Stabilizer, with weather sealing and the maximum aperture of f/2.8 for a smooth bokeh. It is considerably heavier than its f/4L brother, weighing in at 1480g (3.2lbs), and has a minimum focus distance of 1.2m.
The fact that they were able to improve the stabilizer in those lenses even further is impressive, considering the fact that it has been one of the most reliable stabilizers in the market before already. We’ll see in testing how much better it is now and can compare side-by-side to the predecessor models we both have in house at cinema5D HQ in Vienna.
Both lenses now include the new ring-type USM for faster and more accurate auto focus, which when paired with a Canon Cinema Camera with DAF, could be a winning combination for video auto focus. They are also receiving a lick of paint to bring them in line with the other telephoto L series lenses.
Here are the specs of the EF 70-200mm F/4L IS II USM:
- Constant f/4 aperture
- 5-stop Image Stabilizer
- New ring-type USM focusing
- New performance control CPU and firmware driving accurate auto-focus.
- Flourite coated elements to correct chromatic abberations.
- Manually set 1m minimum focus distance
- Dust and moisture sealed.
- Weighing 780g (1.7lbs)
The specs of the EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS III USM:
- Constant F/2.8 aperture
- Minimum focus distance of 1.2m
- Dust and moisture resistant with protective seals.
- Flourine coated front and rear elements.
- 3.5-stop Image Stabilizer
- New ring-type USM with silent auto focus.
- Weighing 1480g (3.2lbs)
No New Glass Elements
Apart from those key features, there are no new glass elements in the lenses, or any truly groundbreaking updates to the new models. The Canon EF 70-200mm F/4L IS II USM and EF 70-200 F/2.8L IS III USM are both workhorses, now with updated features like the 5-stop IS and ring-type USM that are beneficial to video shooters and photographers alike. However, are these updates enough to spend out on the brand new models?
Both lenses will be available this Summer, and we expect to see them at both IBC and Photokina this year.
Are your old Canon 70-200mm lenses due an upgrade? Are the features in these new models enough for you to bite the bullet and buy? Let us know in the comments.