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My thoughts on Canon EF 70-200 f/4 L IS II

Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:42 pm


Bought this lens a week ago, having owned several copies of the venerable 70-200 f/4 L, released in 1999. Since this new version will obviously be the focus of interest for many aviation shooters, I thought I'd offer my thoughts, having used it for a week.

Firstly, it's ridiculously sharp, from edge to edge, even of a FF body - noticeably sharper than my non-IS f/4, and certainly better consistency across the frame. I can't speak for the 2006 f/4 L IS (which I believe is fractionally sharper than the non-IS), having never owned it, but it'd have one hell of a job matching this new version! The AF seems slightly faster and more accurate, but the previous versions were no slouches! I don't do too much low-light stuff so can't really comment on the IS, but based on past experience there's no reason to disregard Canon's claim that it's the very latest technology, allowing 5 stops of stabilisation in three modes.

My only complaint is excessive vignetting on a FF body (more so than the standard f/4), even at f/8. I know it's easy to get rid of but of course none of Canon's current DSLRs will have a profile for the II yet. This is slightly disappointing, since everything else about the lens shines so brightly. I've yet to try peripheral illumination but I'd rather the lens control vignetting diligently without the need for it.

The £1300 asking price seems fair for a brand new lens, especially since the original 2006 version is only about £200 cheaper at best (talking official UK products, not imports). Perhaps not worth the upgrade for those with the original f/4 IS(?), but I'm certainly happy with it compared to my f/4 L non-IS.


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