Canon EF 70-200mm 1:2.8 L IS USM review
Studio Tests - APS-C format
The 70-200mm F2.8 IS struggles a little at maximum aperture on the smaller APS-C format, with some softness towards the corners, and never quite hitting the heights with regard to resolution. However in all other respects it puts in a decent performance; chromatic aberration is very low, and falloff and distortion negligible (the latter both advantages of the 'sweet-spot' effect of using a full-frame lens on the APS-C).
|Resolution||Sharpness on APS-C is certainly very good, if not quite outstanding. As usual, the lens is weakest at the extremes of the zoom range, and best in the middle. Naturally it also tends to be softest wide open, and gives optimum results at apertures of F5.6-F11 before diffraction softening starts to degrade the image significantly (F32 is best avoided completely.)|
|Chromatic Aberration||Chromatic aberration is very low, with just a little visible at the extremes of the zoom range. At 70mm there's some green/magenta fringing, which increases slightly on stopping down (due to an increase in the red/cyan component), but in the middle of the range (100mm and especially 135mm) CA is almost completely eliminated. At 200mm a little red/cyan fringing returns, but again it's kept extremely low. Overall a very impressive performance.|
|Falloff||We consider falloff to become perceptible when the corner illumination falls to more than 1 stop less than the centre. There's simply nothing to see here, move along please.|
|Distortion||Distortion is extremely low, from 0.57% barrel at 70mm, through neutral at 100mm, to 0.39% barrel at 200mm. This is absolutely nothing to worry about at all.|
Specific image quality issuesAs always, our studio tests are backed up by taking hundreds of photographs with the lens across a range of subjects, and examining them in detail. This allows us to confirm our studio observations, and identify any other issues which don't show up in the tests.
Softness wide open
The major issue highlighted by our studio tests is that the 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM gives low MTF50 values when used wide open on APS-C, especially at the extremes of the focal length range, and this is borne out in real-world shooting. However, examination of the images shows that the issue is fundamentally one of low contrast, and a lot of detail is actually being resolved. This means that the softness can be mitigated to some extent by a simple levels or curves adjustment, or better yet judicious use of the unsharp mask tool. (Of course it's also worth noting that depth of field is extremely shallow at F2.8, and this can add significantly to the perception of softness; accurate focusing is also absolutely essential.)
The samples below illustrate the image quality which can be expected from out-of-camera JPEGs at the extremes of the zoom range and F2.8 (as shot with the 12Mp EOS 450D); not bad, but lacking in the biting sharpness and contrast which characterizes the Nikon AF-S VR 70-200mm F2.8G on a DX camera, for example.
|70mm F2.8, EOS 450D||100% crop, centre of frame|
|200mm F2.8, EOS 450D||100% crop, centre of frame|
|Douaumont Ossuary by Eric 54-BNF|
from Armistice Day
|Silhouette at sunset by Jill Hancock|
from Portrait Lens (around 80mm or equivalent - please check the full rules)
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear ain't fly? You gotta hit us up and read our treat yo' self guide.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.