Wow! 70-200MkII first shots

Started Mar 16, 2010 | Discussions thread
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mmullen Veteran Member • Posts: 4,289
Wow! 70-200MkII first shots

I just unpacked my new 70-200 f2.8 IS II this afternoon and mounted it up right as the sun dropped behind a thick bank of clouds. Oh well, that's what f2.8 is for, eh? Shot a few in the yard trying it out with the EF 2X II extender and then took it to the dike for a walk with the wife and dog before it turned dark on us. I am VERY impressed with the sharpness wide open at 200mm - with and without the EF 2X II attached. I would have to say it is at least as sharp as my 70-200 f4 IS and here's the kicker - that's comparing the f2.8 wide open too. Wow!

The thing is huge compared to the f4 IS but when you consider that the EF 2x TC makes it a 400mm f5.6 lens that returns very good images and will AF on a non 1 series body, then it doesn't look too big (assuming you might use it this way).

One of the first things I noticed is the IS mechanism is very quiet and the AF sounds more hi-tech than the older 70-200 f2.8 IS, the 70-200 f4 IS and even the 300mm f2.8 IS. The focus movement is very quiet and precise sounding compared to any other lens I've used.

I normally wouldn't use such a short lens for birds but there was a heron on the trail we were walking on. It was probably a little too dark for the 2X TC and I didn't want the heron to fly away while I added the TC so I used it bare even though I wasn't quite close enough.

All photos are handheld with a 7D and are uncropped (full 7D frame) and reduced to 1000 pixels wide but are followed by 100% crops of the same image with no sharpening except for setting "2" when converting RAW to jpg in DPP.

200mm f4 1/250 sec ISO 400

200mm f4 1/320 sec ISO 400

This next one was shot at f2.8. It's surprising how little difference there is between it and the two previous shots at f4.

200mm f2.8 1/640 sec ISO 400

And here's one in flight (cropped) but without 100% crop.

200mm f2.8 1/1000 sec ISO 640

I'm very pleased with the performance wide open, a real gem of a zoom lens! But does that mean it can handle a 2X TC without having to stop down? Yep, it looks like it to me:

400mm f5.6 1/200 sec ISO 800

100% crop

And another one:

400mm f5.6 1/800 sec ISO 800

100% crop DPP sharpening of 1 and NR lum: 2 Chrom: 8

I apologize for the non-scientific nature of the samples and the high ISO on most of the shots and the fact that some have NR and others don't but I do think they provide a good idea of what can be expected of this lens when mated to Canon's highest pixel density SLR when daylight is waning.

In case it was not apparent, I think this one's a keeper. I don't think I can get rid of the 70-200 f4 IS though, there are times when I won't need f2.8 and I don't want to lug the beast around. Based upon the sample I recieved (and my short test drive), I can recommend this lens highly to anyone that wants to trade portability (and $$ of course) to achieve f2.8 in a zoom of this range.

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Mike Mullen

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