Upload & Sell: On
Phil McNeil wrote:
Both are outstanding lenses, pixel peeping will show that the 70-200 f/4 is sharper than the 70-200 f/2.8 mk I, and the 2.8 mk II is sharpest of the three, but "significant" advantages, not for most folks. For me the 2.8 advantage is more about DOF control and the extra stop of low light ability, not image quality.
This is perhaps the best way to look at it. People who want to buy such a lens often convince themselves that that newer, more expensive lens will create much sharper (or something else) photographs. But there are a few cautions here:
1. The differences, to the extent that they exist, are not "night and day" - more like 6:08 p.m. and 6:09 p.m. In the end, all of the Canon 70-200mm lenses are excellent performers and "sharp" enough to make prints as large as you'll ever need.
2. As far as the functional differences - keeping in mind that they are very small, too - you have to think about how relevant they are to your photography. For example, when someone tells you that the f/2.8 lens might focus faster, are you actually having a problem with your lens focusing fast enough? And how much "faster" are they talking about.
3. Also consider alternative approaches to getting some of what the f/2.8 zoom might provide. For example, while f2.8 can provide some degree of narrower DOF and nicer OOF background... a couple of the right non-L primes can give you maximum apertures between f/1.4 and f/2 for even more of this.
Factors like weight, bulk, and cost aside, there is little doubt that the new 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II is the state of the art - but if you already have a 70-200 you own an excellent lens and the differences are likely to be quite tiny.