Canon Reviews

Lensrentals.com: Nearly Complete Teardown of The Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS II

Roger and Aaron at Lensrentals.com decided to do a teardown of the brand new Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II after having one return from a rental with a malfunctioning IS unit. Don’t worry about the reliability of the IS unit, as its the same one that Canon uses in its newer lenses and has proven to be very reliable.

Rent the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS IIBuy the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II

Roger discovered after doing MTF testing on a batch of the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II lenses, that the copy variation was the lowest he’d ever seen for a zoom lens. Canon’s manufacturing abilities are obviously on display here, though they’ll never go public with how they’re assembling lenses now, but there are usually some clues in tear downs.

Lensrentals.com speculates:

We have some hints, and a lot of Roger speculation, about how Canon is getting lenses with such low variance. Here’s what we know: Canon has more optical adjustments than most lenses, not less. So while they may have tighter tolerances (I have no clue), the key seems to be more in a careful optical adjustment of compensating elements than anything else.

Adjusting compensating elements is time-consuming and can be complicated. We sometimes spend half a day doing it on a complex lens. Canon seems to have made the process modular and logical. In this lens, for example, there are (we think):

– Centering for the focusing element.

– Tilt and centering adjustments for one or more middle elements

– Centering adjustments for the rear element.

It is clear that Canon is going with more, and more straightforward, adjustment of optics than the other manufacturers. Most lenses have a centering, or at most a centering and tilt adjustment. Many lenses have no optical adjustments at all. There are a couple of non-Canon lenses that have multiple adjustments, but it’s the exception, and often the adjustments are shims, which have more limited adjustment possibilities. See the full teardown

slclick

Matched Grip
Dec 17, 2013
2,644
23
#2
Once again it's the old 'We are all EXCITED!' which turns to 'This sucks because we all want MORE' upon release to finally 'Real world use shows it is something to be excited about'. i.e. 6D2 as well.
 
Likes: jpcanon

Canon Rumors Guy

EOS-1D X Mark II
Jul 20, 2010
7,003
53
Canada
www.canonrumors.com
#4
Roger and Aaron at Lensrentals.com decided to do a teardown of the brand new Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II after having one return from a rental with a malfunctioning IS unit. Don’t worry about the reliability of the IS unit, as its the same one that Canon uses in its newer lenses and has proven to be very reliable.
Rent the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS IIBuy the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II at Adorama
Roger discovered after doing MTF testing on a batch of the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II lenses, that the copy variation was the lowest he’d ever seen for a zoom lens. Canon’s manufacturing abilities are obviously on display here, though they’ll never go public with how they’re assembling lenses now, but there are usually some clues in tear downs.

Lensrentals.com speculates:
We have some...
Continue reading...


 
Likes: Berowne

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
Nov 7, 2013
2,149
95
Germany
#5
It's always the same: fascinating and frightening.
Of course Roger and Aaron and all others at Lensrentals know, what they're doing, but just to imagine doing this on your own... phew!
Thanks for doing and sharing that with us, guys.
 
Likes: Berowne
Jan 3, 2018
70
0
Yorkshire
#6
Wow - not that I expected much less (of Canon, or Nikon for that matter), but amazing to see the attention to detail that goes into the latest lenses - and as has been said elsewhere, you begin to appreciate why these things can cost a fair bit. So we know that they not only perform well optically, but are built well too (and yes, there are no doubt links between the two). Great article, and may just swing me the way of this zoom.
 
Aug 26, 2015
237
38
#8
I wonder if this means that while the new 2.8 is going to be the same optically, the sample variation might improve considerably if they implement similar changes in its construction, but I guess they'll see through that as well.
 
Likes: Berowne
Jun 7, 2014
204
63
#10
I wonder if this means that while the new 2.8 is going to be the same optically, the sample variation might improve considerably if they implement similar changes in its construction, but I guess they'll see through that as well.
In the discussion about the 70-200/4-MFT-Testing Roger said, that he will perhaps not do Variance-measurements in case of the 70-200/2.8 III:
"I haven't tested it; since the optics didn't change I don't expect to see a difference. I wouldn't be surprised if the variance is smaller. Reality is it's a week long commitment of me and a very expensive machine to do a full set of 70-200 lenses for variance and it's just lower on my priority list right now."
 

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D Mark IV
Jan 28, 2015
2,565
208
Irving, Texas
#11
Once again it's the old 'We are all EXCITED!' which turns to 'This sucks because we all want MORE' upon release to finally 'Real world use shows it is something to be excited about'. i.e. 6D2 as well.
Just like teams have their armchair quarterbacks, who'd win every game were they ever on the team, Canon has its armchair CEOs, engineers, etc. Without ever trying or even touching a product they declare it a winner or loser before the coin has even been tossed. Before it even reaches store shelves they begin to moan. They'll do the same when mirrorless is announced. In fact, they are already doing it.
 
Nov 2, 2016
212
58
#12
Canon lenses seem to be made very well indeed. What I’d like to see is a comparison between canons and Nikon’s, and, something we very rarely see, Leica and Zeiss. Are those very expensive lenses worth the extra price, mechanically?

Leica has been having optical and mechanical reliability problems for the past few years, at least
 
Aug 2, 2018
10
5
#13
I love my F4L II example. I got it from BB with my elite points for a nice discount and its been a no brainer so far for sure. I rented a 100-400 II and while its reach is nice, carrying the lens sucks. The F4 II gives me decent reach and also works a lot better in low light/indoor shots (I like to shoot bands, stand up, indoor events, etc). It works amazingly with my 6D II , seems Canon has optimized this lens for the newer bodies for sure.
 
Jul 29, 2017
52
12
25
Exeter, UK
#14
Once again it's the old 'We are all EXCITED!' which turns to 'This sucks because we all want MORE' upon release to finally 'Real world use shows it is something to be excited about'. i.e. 6D2 as well.
Nah, I’m still of the opinion the 6DII is the most dissapointing camera release of the last decade. I tried my best to like it but I can’t.
 

justaCanonuser

Grab your camera, go out and shoot!
Feb 12, 2014
246
75
Frankfurt, Germany
#15
This is why I always love to read Roger Cicala's blog, in particular before I decide to invest in new gear. The main message of their past teardowns of Canon lenses is that if you read a good review of a particular lens then you can expect that your own copy has this optical quality, too. That's great to know.

My experience of shooting with Canon gear in rugged environments (nature, birding, wildlife) in a nutshell is that Canon generally delivers quality, Nikon does not anymore, unfortunately. We have both an extended Canon and Nikon gear, and with Nikon we had a lot of trouble, dying camera mechanics, dying AF drives, failing camera buttons and thread mount contacts because of worse weather sealing. With Canon I only had a broken thumb wheel of my original 7D during the past 10 years, that's it. I am no fanboy, that's just our side-by-side real world experience. This reliability and quality is what keeps me to use Canon (plus Canon's nice color rendering just out of the camera). So my own experience fits well to what I read at lensrentals (I don't care anymore about dpreview & Co.).
 
Last edited:
Likes: Larsskv