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|
|Dirt Hose by poppyjk|
|European bee-eaters by drvanger|
from A Big Year - birds
|Fat Is Beautiful Guinea 2008 DP by MarioSS|
from - Fat is Beautiful - (Woman's Portrait n Black and White+ A Border)
The a9 boasts impressive capability. As more examples of it in practice pour in, Sony's claims hold up. Watch the a9 track and maintain focus on a rapidly approaching basketball.
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more