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

ef70-200lisiiu_586x225
Review Date: Jan 31, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,050.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp to corners, fast and quiet AF, improved IS, reduced CA and flare improved contrast and color rendition.
Cons:
Pricey, gained a little weight.

Im not one to post up that I want this lens, or it looks like a great lens or post off of what I have heard. I instead like some others here wait unbtil I have had the lens long enough to give it a fair appraisal as at times there is a learning curve involved.

Having owned the first version of this lens for quite some time the first thing noted was the wider rubber on the zoom and focus rings. Not that it really accounts for anything but makes it easily distinguishable from the first version. The second cosmetic change is the hood is now a matte finish that doesnt get easily marked up as the old style did. After a few months still no marks on the hood. The hood also locks into position and had a push button release not found in its predecessor.

Now for the important part.

The new version is quite an improvement over the first version in pretty much all aspects. The sharpness to corners on a FF body is evident to even the casual observer. Vignetting is minimal and CA has been reduced. The IS has been improved for at least another stop over its predecessor. The AF and IS motors are nearly silent without the clunking noise in the IS when engaged. AF is very fast and spot on. The manual focus ring is well damped with no play noted. Flare is also well controlled compared to the previous version and the contrast is a bit more crisp with excellent color rendition.

What most want to know is if it is worth the upgrade.
In my opinion I am rather pleased with the upgrade. I went through a few copies of the version one to find a copy that was reasonably sharp, this one was sharp right out of the box and for a change didnt need calibration. There are sharper lenses to be found in the prime line up but you will be hard pressed to find a sharper zoom. I was so impressed in fact that I sold one lens that I thought I would keep forever, the 135L. After comparison of the 2 at f 2.8 and 135mm the difference was only evident to pixel peepers shooting news print. I did however keep the 85L for use in certain applications.

Overall this is a great addition to the Canon lens line up and I have no regrets in making the choice to upgrade.