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Author Topic: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II  (Read 23127 times)

RVB

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2013, 03:03:28 PM »
The only reason for fast primes for me now is shallow dof.
... and smaller and lighter is still a reason too (for me).

Low weight of primes is a big plus,if you don't carry it then you don't shoot it...

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2013, 03:03:28 PM »

skitron

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2013, 03:25:38 PM »
Low weight of primes is a big plus

Maybe not so much with the 200L f/2.0  ;) though I'd love to have one of those too.
5D3, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 100L, 24-105L, Sigma 50/1.4 DG, Canon TC 1.4x III

RS2021

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Re: Review -
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2013, 03:38:14 PM »
No doubt the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II is a superb piece of glass, if not the best of the Canon zooms. However, I'd rather carry any, or several, of these primes over it. The primes are lighter, much easier to carry and conceal; more discreet to shoot with therefore will yield more quality and candid shoots. Try carrying a big, heavy white lens around for half the night in any major city and I think you'd wish you had a prime. As for image quality, I am sure it's good and won't argue about that but I think its image quality is comparable to that of primes but not better.

+1... I cannot agree more.

On the one hand this has emerged as that "must have lens" based on reputation and those who think this gives them street "cred" as having "arrived" (you know who you are...don’t deny it!  ..) ...and yes The overall IQ is superb...no arguments from me.

But I have always had issues with the bulk, weight, and obviousness of this lens...these are not small issues.

So let me think this aloud...I guess it comes down to what one uses it for so read the rest as a personal musing...not a broadswipe at this excellent performer.

For tele "reach" this is an intermediary zoom at 200mm...doesn't get you close enough to the birds or the players as a 400mm would without extenders the use of which does knock a few pegs off IQ. This lens probably does best in "near" sports venues... soccer parents, basketball games, and nearer wild-life shots like squirrel and blue jay on your backyard rail or that swan in the park pond. While I have dabbled in this very occasionally, this is not my forte...and whipping out a foot-and-a-half long rather thick lens with hood among decent people is just head-turning.

Yet, it weighs a ton and if you have it around on the bleachers it weighs down on you, gawkers are starring, and when you walk in the dark alley, good luck. 

As portraits go, it does a sharp job, but at f/2.8 it is not a full substitute for a much lighter, real portrait primes at f/1.4 or f/2 even. For portraiture I have several much faster primes (85L II, 135L, and 35L for wides) in the range not to mention their size, weight, and portability!!. And if you tripod the zoom for indoor portraits or anywhere, then the IS becomes a nonissue...in fact you have to turn it off!

May be, above all, I am conscious about the zoom's weight and size and certainly unable to carry it for long on the 1 series or the 5 series bodies, and on my little toy crop it is an unbalanced monster of a lens...and I have always been concerned about the "obviousness".

If you don't use it much, which unfortunately I don't, I guess the high IQ really doesn't matter. I think the house cat plays with it more when I unpack camera bags. 

Oh dear, I may have suddenly arrived at a Cathartic moment here... 
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 11:36:53 PM by Ray2021 »
“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

Dylan777

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2013, 06:33:15 PM »

Without reading the review, just give me this lens and 24-70 f2.8 II on FF...........I'm done :-X

No need to carry: 24L, 35L, 50L, 85L, 135L, and 200L
Do you care about IQ?
70-200 II is not able to replace 85/135/200Ls in many situations...

I wouldn't spend my money on 24-70 f2.8 II & 70-200 f2.8 IS II, if IQ is not important in photography.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 06:38:15 PM by Dylan777 »
Body: 1DX -- 5D III
Zoom: 16-35L f4 IS -- 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Prime: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

shinjuku-thief

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2013, 08:57:32 PM »
Excellent review. I've had this lens for nearly 2 years and use it primarily for shooting football (soccer) matches and it is just superb. Matched with the 1Dx I rarely miss a shot and if I do its usually my fault for setting the camera/autofocus wrong. I agree the only real downside is the weight, it really is heavy at circa 1.4kg. The use of a Black Rapid strap has helped big time though.

If you can afford it this lens is without doubt the medium tele-zoom to buy. That said I've considered re-purchasing the F4 non IS, just for its low weight, it is a great lens too.

Quick question, you're using it with a 1.4x or 2x? The one time I used it, I found shooting football (soccer) that the long end on a crop is good to just over the half way line. Would you agree?

RS2021

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2013, 09:30:37 PM »
Excellent review. I've had this lens for nearly 2 years and use it primarily for shooting football (soccer) matches and it is just superb. Matched with the 1Dx I rarely miss a shot and if I do its usually my fault for setting the camera/autofocus wrong. I agree the only real downside is the weight, it really is heavy at circa 1.4kg. The use of a Black Rapid strap has helped big time though.

If you can afford it this lens is without doubt the medium tele-zoom to buy. That said I've considered re-purchasing the F4 non IS, just for its low weight, it is a great lens too.

Quick question, you're using it with a 1.4x or 2x? The one time I used it, I found shooting football (soccer) that the long end on a crop is good to just over the half way line. Would you agree?

70-200s are mid-range teles which do best in smaller venues...when used for large football fields by usually eager parents it happens in less formal play, school, or local teams and they can get closer to the action by foot by crossing the green or moving to the perimeter of the field where action is closest.... In big ticket professional games, 200mm will not get you close to even the mid field action from the bleachers...let alone far field...you can always crop.  Extenders are possible for the price of a few IQ points but ... even they will fall short for really far field scrums. 400mm is a fair bet and 600mm is a sure thing...whichever way you can achieve those...via native zooms, primes, or extender combos... Mind you, a lot of great sports shots have been taken with 70-200 ...however, you gotta be in the right place, is all.

“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

birtembuk

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Re: Review -
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2013, 11:34:38 PM »
(((lost the quote thing :)))
No doubt the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II is a superb piece of glass, if not the best of the Canon zooms. However, I'd rather carry any, or several, of these primes over it. The primes are lighter, much easier to carry and conceal; more discreet to shoot with therefore will yield more quality and candid shoots. Try carrying a big, heavy white lens around for half the night in any major city and I think you'd wish you had a prime. As for image quality, I am sure it's good and won't argue about that but I think its image quality is comparable to that of primes but not better.
(((quote)))

Agree with that. Have both 70-200/II and 85L but I use them in different type of situation. I don't bother to try shooting moving targets with 85L and won't go night street-photo with 70-200.   
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 11:37:00 PM by birtembuk »

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Re: Review -
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2013, 11:34:38 PM »

shinjuku-thief

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2013, 12:14:15 AM »
70-200s are mid-range teles which do best in smaller venues...when used for large football fields by usually eager parents it happens in less formal play, school, or local teams and they can get closer to the action by foot by crossing the green or moving to the perimeter of the field where action is closest.... In big ticket professional games, 200mm will not get you close to even the mid field action from the bleachers...let alone far field...you can always crop.  Extenders are possible for the price of a few IQ points but ... even they will fall short for really far field scrums. 400mm is a fair bet and 600mm is a sure thing...whichever way you can achieve those...via native zooms, primes, or extender combos... Mind you, a lot of great sports shots have been taken with 70-200 ...however, you gotta be in the right place, is all.

I got some shots that I was very happy with, so I know it can do the job, provided I'm in the right place of course. As a somewhat aspirational amateur, limited on most occasions by stadium rules, the longest lens I can carry in is 200mm. Next time I hire one I might try it with an extender, just to see the difference. Thanks for the reply.

Aglet

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2013, 01:36:02 AM »
I have the first version of this lens and am very happy with it. One knock I've seen commented on about the mkII is the bokeh is a bit more 'nervous' as compared to the first version. Not to say it's bad, but just not as 'creamy' as the original version. Aside from the cost to upgrade, this one quality is of concern to me in contemplating an upgrade. Can anyone comment on this comparison, is it fair to say the mkII isn't quite as nice in this one respect as compared to the original 70-200/2.8 IS?
I've shot all 3 of Canon's EF 70-200 2.8 L's
You can not beat this latest v2 for sharpness, it's fantastic!  So is the IS, very capable.
A bit of CA in FF corners but that's minor.

But yes, it's bokeh, at least in some situations, can be hideous and distracting, especially, in my findings, at wider apertures if there were fine structures just out of the focus plane (tree branches for example).  Unfortunately I ran into too many other compositions where the background blur quality was really poor, even when separated from the in-focus subject by a large distance.

I think this is one of those unfortunate compromises when an incredibly sharp zoom is built that has a lot of corrections to fix everything that's IN focus, the stuff that's OUT of focus can sometimes suffer.
I can also create an attractive bokeh, but I've preferred the look of the original non-IS lens for that at times.  The v1 IS was so not-sharp at the long end I got rid of it quickly.

Go play with one in the store.  You can see some of this effect even in a viewfinder as you adjust focus and zoom.  Can be really apparent if you can point out a window at some trees or shrubs where there's some fine structural elements and you'll see the kind of distortion caused as you the controls or even pan the scene.  I posted a sample in the lens gallery here.

My new Nikon 70-200/4 VR also does the same thing to a slightly lesser extent which some have referred to as "radial bokeh."  I need to do more testing before I determine which lems is more agreeable to me now that the 6D is a camera I also find capable of agreeable image quality to match.

If bokeh quality is as important to you as extreme sharpness then you have a tough decision to make.
I'm also waiting to see how the new stabilized Tamron 70-200/2.8 performs.  I've had good results from the earlier version.
I haven't played with any of Canon's f/4 Ls in this range.

RVB

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2013, 04:22:05 AM »
Low weight of primes is a big plus

Maybe not so much with the 200L f/2.0  ;) though I'd love to have one of those too.

I have the 200f2 also,it's a monster, I mostly use it in a indoors ,the DOF is razor thin when shot at f2 and the bokeh is beautiful.. its an exceptional lens but not one you could carry around for very long  unless your built like a tank (just like the lens is ).. lol

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2013, 08:25:39 AM »
I use this lens on a 5d3 and on a 50D, usually for weddings. I need it in bigger churches to catch family expression. At the reception (then I am also a bit more tired) I put it on a monopod. I am really happy with it to for dancing (if I am far enough people do not observe me and they feel much more free and act funny). For the rest of the time, at home or at weddings, I use the canon 85 1.8, when I want to be more inconspicuous. I use those two lenses in conjunction with canon 28 1.8 and canon 17-55 2.8 is
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qianp2k

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2013, 11:10:35 AM »
Discuss the review of the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II here.

Without reading the review, just give me this lens and 24-70 f2.8 II on FF...........I'm done :-X

No need to carry: 24L, 35L, 50L, 85L, 135L, and 200L
That's what I did to get two Canon F2.8 II zoom and 17 TS-E in the holiday season with Amazon 10% off sweet deals on top of Canon best instant rebate.  Yes I'm done with 5DIII :)  I don't need those L primes but may get Sigma 35/1.4 or 85/1.4 (hope Sigma updates it) later as they are very good but 1/2 price of Canon counterpart.

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2013, 04:27:17 AM »
I entirely concur with the review.

I have previously owned the F4 (with and without IS) and the 2.8 versions of this zoom and can say unequivocally that this lens is noticeably better in every regard, image-quality-wise, to those other zooms. Its one major drawback is the weight. You will notice it if carrying for any length of time.

Image-wise, it is IMO significantly better then any other lens in the same focal range with the possible exception of the 200 f2. So yes , it is better than the 135 that I had, except of course it is no where near as inconspicuous as the 135. The only portrait lens I have had that had a 'better' image quality was the 85 f1.2, where the bokeh is truly creamy and beautiful, but that lens only outdoes this one when fully open and is only useful for static subjects as the 1.2 lens' focussing is horribly slow, whereas the 2.8 zoom is fast and crisp, and has better IQ when stopped down than the 1.2 (which while contrasty doesn't have the same resolving power)

The IS on this lens is phenomenal, I have perfectly sharp test images hand held at 1/4 second.

However, because of it's weight I never take it when landscape shooting (which is exclusively what I do nowadays) and because of its size and colour it's no good if you're trying to be inconspicuous. 

For Indoor sports (like martial arts) and portraits and wedding type events is it far and away the best zoom lens there is for the ultimate IQ .

 I bought mine purely for my daughter's wedding but due to it's weight haven't used it since, so if, like me, you no longer shoot weddings, portrait etc and have a bad back, I'd think twice about getting it. I'll be reluctantly selling mine just because if the weight, but I find it hard to let go of, as I've never had a zoom as sharp.

For landscapes, if you want this sort of resolving power, be prepared to cary some weight for the day. (although longer FL lenses are heavier still ;))

So, for portraits, especially weddings, and sports this zoom cannot be matched.

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2013, 04:27:17 AM »

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syder

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2013, 08:25:22 AM »
Measurement  Photozone

Lets be honest... If you have a problem with sharpness with either the 135L or the 70-200 2.8 ii the problem isn't the glass  ;)

For video IS is pretty much mandatory for any tele lens that isn't going to be on a tripod 100% of the time, as your shutter speed is largely fixed at 1/50th (if you want natural looking motion blur). 135 is a nice length because it's the traditional length for close ups, but the extra flexibility in terms of both zoom range and stabilisation that comes with the 70-200 makes it a more attractive option for moving images. The weight also tends to be far less of an issue when mounted on a rig (a 5dm3 + rig + 70-200 ii is still lighter than most of the ENG cameras I've used - but having things balanced on your shoulder means that weight isn't the same issue as if its your arms taking the strain).

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Re: Review - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2013, 08:25:22 AM »