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Canon 70-200 2.8L IS II Review. V1 vs V2 Comparison:

PinExt Canon 70 200 2.8L IS II Review. V1 vs V2 Comparison:

by Gavin Seim: Canon just released version II of the 70-200 2.8 IS, which may be their most legendary lens ever. My friends Ben & Molly from Nickles photography just got the new 70-200 2.8 IS II in their hands, so I went over for some tests (thanks for the help Ben). Being that the V1 is such a great lens, many (including myself) have been wondering how much it could be improved. And with a price tag of nearly $2500, it better offer something new. According to Canon the V2 “increases the speed, performance and optical quality of the 70-200, while maintaining all of the characteristics that have made it a legend“.

Well the images are in and so is this lens. I think Canon nailed it. Now granted their can be differences between one lens and another of the same model and my V1 lens is a few years old. It’s still in excellent working order however so I feel the comparison is pretty fair. These examples were all shot in RAW on the 5D MK2 under the same conditions and settings for each sequence. Images were processed in Lightroom 2, but no adjustments were added except that Camera Calibration in was set to Camera Standard.

Aside from the image quality I found a couple of interesting things. The V2 seems to shoot nearly 1/3 stop brighter and with a tad wider view than the V1. I checked this using a tripod for the detail tests to make sure the camera position would be the same. The V2 does indeed seem to be a few mm wider. I don’t know what that would be, I’m just showing what I found. I don’t see this as a big problem however. In fact the V2 letting in more light seems a good thing.

So far I’m impressed. See for yourself below. I’m posting full frames alongside tight details crops of each image. You can click any for a larger view,. You can also download the package of full res JPEG files at the bottom of the post if you want to take a close look. You can find this lens here on B&H or here on Adorama or here on Amazon. OK lets get started.

Image Stabilization Tests.
For each test I hand held 2oomm at 1/20th, supporting the lens barrel with my left and pressing the body firmly against my face. I took 5 consecutive shots for each comparison so I could account for variations in my own steadiness (or lack thereof). The results shown are the sharpest image from each sequence of five images, as well as crop zoomed in view of the same. While the V1 was good, the V2 of the lens was clearly better, producing consistently better IS performance.

PPS 70 200 LR 001 600x400 Canon 70 200 2.8L IS II Review. V1 vs V2 Comparison:

It can't be said that IS is not useful. Even on the V1 it makes a huge difference. But on V2... Well read on.

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