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Studio Tests - APS-C format

The 70-200mm F2.8 L IS II USM puts in a very impressive performance on APS-C format. It's pretty well as good wide open as it is stopped down at all focal lengths, and while it's least strong at the long end, overall there's very little to complain about here at all. Compared to the previous 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM, there's really no contest - the new version is streets ahead.

Sharpness on APS-C is very impressive, even wide open. Stopping down can sharpen up the corners a little bit, however at the center of the frame the lens is pretty well as sharp wide open as it will ever be. There's strong evidence for a shift in focus on stopping down at 70mm, which is something to look out for when focusing manually. The lens is fractionally less sharp at 200mm compared to shorter focal lengths, but it's still more than acceptable.
Chromatic Aberration
Chromatic aberration is exceptionally low. If you look really closely there's a tiny bit of fringing at the extremes of the zoom range, but it's unlikely ever to be a problem in normal use.
We consider falloff to become perceptible when the corner illumination falls to more than 1 stop less than the center. There's simply nothing to be concerned about here at all.
Distortion is extremely low, from 0.5% barrel at 70mm, through neutral at 100mm, to 0.4% pincushion at 200mm. This is absolutely nothing to worry about, as it will be essentially imperceptible in normal use.

Macro Focus

The 70-200mm F2.8 isn't intended as a macro lens, but still doesn't do too badly in this test. Coverage has been slightly improved; maximum magnification is 0.22x, at a closest (manual) focus distance of 1.15m, and a working distance of about 91cm from subject to lens. (Note the lens will only confirm autofocus at a slightly longer subject distance of 117cm.)

Right at minimum focus, image quality isn't quite so stellar. This is not helped by the fact that our sample shows clear asymmetry when focused this close, with the right side of the frame rather softer than the left, meaning reasonably consistent results were only obtained by stopping down to F8 or smaller. Red/cyan chromatic aberration is also very visible.
Macro - 103 x 68 mm coverage
Distortion: negligible
Corner softness: Low
Focal length: 200mm
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Total comments: 5

I make 40 X 60 inch prints.... using the 5dMkIII & this lens... I can see noise, grain, distortion---from 8 inches away ... and with a magnifying glass but at 4 ft. where EVERYONE actually stands, its PERFECT. I have a friend who uses a Phase 1 and his 40 X 60 prints are definitely better at 8 inches than mine! His 8 x 10's do not "appear" any "better." (I do NOT wear glasses) Since my customers and I only care about what we see (not what we can imagine from "4k" on 1080 p monitors) I just don't get the fuss --- ??? Are most photogs microscope users?

leica f64

This is, without a doubt, one of Canon's best lenses. Great optics and resolution. I borrowed one last week and was impressed with the results. My only concern is the weight. Most of my work is handheld and involves traveling by foot good distances every day. I already use battery packs on both bodies and the combo makes for one heavy load. I have been using the 70-300L which is shorter and lighter but the difference between the two is telling me to spin the 300 and get this.


I have to disagree, best for what use and on what body? For example: as short range sports weapon on an EOS 1D yes it is superb given the other options from Canon. As a walk about lens or a landscape lens there are much better choices.


I had the great opportunity to get my hands on this lens at a once in a lifetime price .All I can say is wow. From the very first shot I knew it was something special. Very accurate focusing ,very fast ,excellent color and contrast.I upgraded from the old version 70-200 mm 2.8 L non is.

Giang Son

Yes this lens is legendary!

Total comments: 5