Saturday, September 8, 2012

Prima Facie - Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II

Three days ago, my colleague Martyn received his spanking new Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II lens! I was the first person he show the 1.6 KG, NZ$ 4,000.00 chunk of glass to ;)

Alright Martyn, I don't have one :)  The fact is, I can't afford one!

Fondling this cold metallic wonder optics bring back memories of those great time I was with the papers, most of my news pictures were shot with a similar lens but WITHOUT the luxury of IS (Image Stabilizer).

Canon launch their first generation EF 70-200 f/2.8 L in March 1995, rapidly the versatile zoom became the "must have" of all EOS totting pros.

In September 2001 Canon delivered the same lens with an advance image stabilizer and priced it 3 times more than the non IS version.

Canon claimed their version two IS zoom have a three stops advantage over the non IS, what they meant was if you are able to shoot a shake free shot with your non IS at 1/125 (@ 200mm), you will be able to do the same at 1/15 with the IS lens!  A bit of exaggeration, but possible ;)

A happy Martyn with his NZ$9,000 new toy, the Canon third gen 70-200 IS II lens on a 5D III full-frame DSLR.
 After a production run of nine years, in April 2010 Canon replaced the lens of three stops advantage with a third generation IS II.  The new glass attracted another US$ 500.00 "extra".

It is hard to imagine how to improve upon one of the most celebrated lenses in the Canon EF line. But Canon has done just that.

According to them...

"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 Stabilizer, providing up to 4 stops of correction at all focal lengths.

And 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."

Switches on the heavy lens are dust and moisture resistant.
 Martyn agreed to let me take a few shots with his new gear to substantiate Canon's claim of a "4 stop advantage" of their latest IS technology... I need a model and our colleague Rebekah was gracious to the challenge, thanks Reb!

Any place will do... a quick test of the wunder glass at our warehouse ;)
1/15 and it is pin sharp, the focusing was very fast and spot on!
Another 1/15 shot, Nice bokeh, even though it was at f3.2.
What do I think of the lens? Would I buy one?

Great lens! The auto focus is lightening fast and spot on! It is a very solidly build lens, a bit over engineered but that is what the pro want!

No, I won't buy one because it is too freaking HEAVY for me to lug around! Twenty years ago I will kill for a super zoom like this one ;)

As for Martyn, I expect to see some top rate action shots from you soon!  You hear?  ;)  Enjoy!  And thanks for letting me trying it out!!

Here are two of my shots taken with a similar but non IS 70-200 Canon...

Life is beautiful....
One of those rare moment when light, composition and expression all "fall into place"!
A candid shot at Central Park, New York.
Girl and baby
 I was shooting a street market in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, this kind Malay family let me use their veranda. At the corner of my eyes I saw her with the baby... quick shot with Canon 70-200 at about 200mm. What can I say?  Just pure innocent...

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