The main lens of many photographers, the EF 70-200mm L-series has been updated. Not to do things by halves, Canon has updated both the f/2.8 and f/4 Image Stabilizer versions; EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM.
These lenses have been a pretty well guarded secret, or maybe I’ve stopped looking or information on the rumours sites. I’m interested in both, as I currently have both of their predecessors. I have the f/2.8 for it’s AF performance and the f/4 for it’s lightweight. So what do you get if you opt to update.
EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM
This replaces the old version that was launched way back in 2006. I’ve checked the details on several Canon websites and this one now has a 9-blade aperture for smoother bokeh, plus a 5-stop stabiliser. Interesting is that when the old version was launched it had a 4-stop stabiliser, though maybe CIPA testing wasn’t around at the time. Still this means slower handholding speeds are possible for low light travel photos. There is also the three IS modes available, first seen on the super telephoto lenses from 2010. Pair the lens with a 1.4x extender for 280mm at f/5.6. The press release says that there’s a new AF drive engine and the AF speed should be better than the older model. It also focusses 20cm closer, down to 1m compared to 1.2m for the earlier version.
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM
This also replaces the older model that was launched in 2010, the key changes are to do with reliability and image quality. It uses the latest Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to reduce flare and ghosting. The stabiliser assembly provides 3.5 stops of extra stability, the old lens was 3-stops. This lens has an 8-blade aperture, not the 9-blade seen in the f/4 version.
Canon UK press release
United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 7th June 2018 – Canon has today announced an upgrade to two of its most loved and well-regarded L-series lenses, with the launch of the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM. The 70-200mm lens has been instrumental for professional, semi-professional and photography enthusiasts for many years, thanks to the ability to easily change image composition by switching from standard to telephoto. This adaptability means both lenses can capture a wide range of subjects, from portraits to wildlife, reaffirming the pivotal role the 70-200mm lens plays in a photographer’s kit bag.
Commenting on the launch of the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM, Michael Burnhill, European Product Specialist, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon Europe, said: “Following feedback from our global photography community, we are very proud to be introducing these two lenses. We are committed to delivering the best quality and performance-driven products for today’s visual storytellers to ensure we provide unsurpassable choice for photographers looking to meet their image requirements with confidence. The EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM epitomises the very finest in L-series optical technology, whilst being compact in size, robust and lightweight, and the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM offers unbeatable performance, versatility and durability.”
Superior quality, robust and compact design – the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM
Built on the high standards of its predecessor, the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM possesses the superior build, durability, and ergonomic design that Canon’s breadth of lenses are renowned for. Weighing just 780g, the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM is great for those on the move. Whether shooting on a beach, or at a wedding, this lens is guaranteed to deliver stunningly crisp images in a range of environments. The Fluorine Coating reduces dirt and water drops clinging to the lens, and Super Spectra coatings eliminate ghosting and flare. The EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM’s fluorite lens elements are capable of correcting colour aberrations, guaranteeing high resolution and high contrast images. This excellent and reliable image quality is invaluable in reducing time spent on post-production.
The EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM’s f/4 constant aperture provides consistent exposure in a range of varying lighting scenarios. The nine blades on the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM ‘s circular aperture create a pleasing bokeh effect, blurring the background and helping to accentuate the subject. The EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM comprises a new Image Stabilizer unit, based on the design of Canon’s EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, which delivers the equivalent effect of a shutter five-stops faster, compared to the previous lens’ three-stopsi. This is beneficial for any shooting scenario where the camera may be jostled, such as at film premieres, or shooting wildlife on safari.
The EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM uses a combination of a Ring USM and a new third generation EF engine, which features a new high-performance control CPU and newly developed firmware, to drive greater speed and accuracy in achieving high-speed autofocus. The silent functioning autofocus can also be tweaked manually and allows a close focusing distance of 1m, compared to the 1.2m on its predecessor. These features make the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM perfect for unobtrusive and precise shooting, characteristics required to successfully capture street photography.
High-performance, versatile and durable – the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM
The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM replaces Canon’s flagship 70-200mm lens, enhancing the experiences of photographers using this industry leading lens. It has been designed with high-performance and robustness at its heart, ideal for a photographer who requires a high-quality telephoto lens for accurate detail. Built to meet the demands of professionals, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM’s protective seals make it an obvious choice for challenging conditions. Resistant to both moisture and dust, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM also comprises fluorine-coated front and rear elements, which are easy to clean. With the functionality photographers love, updates to the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM’s durability means it is excellent for shooting high-quality travel photography.
With its wide f/2.8 maximum aperture and eight-bladed circular diaphragm, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM opens up a world of creative options. It enables the photographer to emphasise pin-sharp subjects against a silky smooth, out-of-focus background. Thanks to its first-class fluorite and UD optics, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM delivers high contrast and excellent resolution. When using this lens, a photographer can be confident that they can achieve the perfect shot. Shooting in low light is also no problem for the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM, thanks to its fast f/2.8 maximum aperture, which is constant throughout the zoom range and lets in twice as much light as an f/4 lens.
Camera shake isn’t something users of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM should be concerned about as a 3.5-stop Image Stabilizer compensates any blur caused by movement. A ring-type USM motor offers silent autofocus at outstanding speeds, and manual adjustments can be made at any time with a simple twist of the focus ring. These features make the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM an exceptional lens for perfectly, and quietly, capturing animals in their natural habitat.
EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM – Key Features
- Versatile 70-200mm zoom range
- Constant f/4 max aperture
- Ring-type USM focusing
- 5-stop Image Stabilizer
- Highly portable, weighs just 780g
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM – Key Features
- Versatile 70-200mm zoom range
- Constant f/2.8 max aperture
- Ring-type USM focusing
- 3.5-stop Image Stabilizer
- Tough, weather-proof construction
Pricing and availability
The EF 7-200mm f/4L IS II USM is available from summer 2018 with an SRP of £1,299.99/€1,519.99
The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM is available from summer 2018 with an SRP of £2,149.99/€2,499.99
Please also check the press info from Canon USA, where the mention of the ASC coating is found.