Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Lens Review


When you first see this lens, its white body simply stands out from any other. With the white coating and Canon’s classic L lens red ring, it separates itself from the competition and makes a statement.

“I am professional grade.”

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

It isn’t anything like your standard 55-250mm kit lens; this thing is built like a tank, almost all metal and has the weight to match at around 3lbs. I weighed it in at 1316g (46.45oz) with hood attached and no lens caps. The lens mount is EF, thus it will mount onto both Canon full frame and crop bodies. It will also accept either of the Canon EF 1.4x II or Canon EF 2x II teleconverters for longer reach.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

The zoom and focus rings are made of the typical Canon rubber. The focus ring is smooth with very little play and has around 135 degrees of throw. It is a bit easier to move than the Canon 24-105 f/4’s focus ring and is dampened nicely too. The zoom ring has a nice smooth and solid gear-like feel to it as you rotate. When shooting angled up or down the zoom ring becomes harder or easier to push or pull from end to end due to the weight of the optics in size.

Canon 6D IMG_3298

The lens has an inner focusing system with USM (Ultra-Sonic motor), which is near silent. When focusing the front element does not rotate or change the lens’s length. It features full-time manual focusing which allows for focus adjustments without the need to change the focus switch to manual. This feature is great since it prevents damage to the focusing motor. Overall, the focusing is extremely fast and accuracy is spot on every time. Minimum focusing distance is at around 5ft, which is pretty typical for a lens as this.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Thread

The lens cap and filter thread size is 77mm. The lens does not have IS (Image Stabilization) nor weather sealing. I can personally do without IS on this lens as I mainly shoot at shutters fast enough to where I won’t have any hand shake blur. The extra $1,000 isn’t worth it for me as of this time. However, no weather sealing is a bit of a disappointment when spending so much on a Canon L lens. Though it hasn’t stopped me from shooting in a slight bit of rain as of yet.


Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Optics

With the f/2.8 max aperture and the 200mm focal length comes some pretty heavy glass encased in its white body. The lens is comprised of 18 elements in 15 groups, in which 4 of the elements are UD glass. UD stands for Ultra-low Dispersion. Basically these types of lens elements provide better image quality by minimizing color fringing and increasing sharpness. And in my use, I have found the UD glass to work great even in harsh lighting conditions. While being able to open to f/2.8, the aperture can also be stopped down to f/32 when needed. However, at such small apertures diffraction starts to cause the image to become less sharp.

INTRODUCTION The 70-200mm focal length has been one of the most versatile and popular zoom ranges available. First introduced in March of 1995 the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM has been one of the go to lenses for sports, portraiture, and journalism across the world. Canon has four 70-200mm lenses in their lineup, two f/2.8s and f/4s with and without IS. As a portrait photographer I find the f/2.8 aperture is a must have over the f/4 versions to completely isolate your subject and stray from any distractions or environmental flaws. Thus is why I sold my 70-200mm f/4L USM…

Review Overview

Build Quality
Optical Quality

The White Whale

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM is a top quality lens that delivers high IQ, fast accurate autofocus, and creamy bokeh. Although it lacks IS and weather sealing, this lens is a great value compared to its newer weather sealed brother with IS.

User Rating: 5 ( 1 votes)

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