Canon updates their popular 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS and f/4L IS lenses

Canon has updated their popular 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS and f/4 L IS lenses.  The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM uses the same optics as the previous version, but it now features updated optical coatings. An Air Sphere Coating (ASC)  has been combined with updated Super Spectra Coatings that Canon claims significantly reduces lens flare and ghosting.

EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Canon updates their popular 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS and f/4L IS lenses

The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM was well regarded by both photographers and videographers as a being one of the sharpest telephoto zooms around. Instead of trying to improve on the optical design Canon instead focused on putting better coatings on the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. The new coatings are said to reduce ghost and flaring particularly when shooting in heavily backlit situations.

What is Air Sphere Coating (ASC)?

Air Sphere Coating (ASC) is a special coating that Canon is using. It consists of a film of silicon dioxide and air over a vapour deposition coating. This film forms a surface that has a lower refractive index that optical glass.  The way Air Sphere Coating (ASC) works is that it reduces reflected light from entering the lens. According to Canon, this allows more light to enter the lens instead of it being reflected off the glass. This ASC helps combat aberrations regardless of focal length or the angle of light. Canon also claims this helps provide cleaner images with fewer distracting reflective effects.

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Canon updates their popular 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS and f/4L IS lenses

Apart from the change to the coatings, it’s a case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The AF speed and response, IS, and minimum focus distance are exactly the same as on the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. The only change to the exterior of the lens is a change to a slightly whiter colour that matches Canon’s newer super telephoto zooms.

EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM

Canon updates their popular 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS and f/4L IS lenses

The 70-200mm f/4L IS USM was a popular choice for shooters who wanted a lighter lens and a cheaper alternative to the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. Unlike the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM, Canon has slightly updated the optical design for better performance on the 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM.  The original 70-200mm f/4L IS USM featured 16 Elements in 13 Groups. The new 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM uses 20 elements in 15 groups. The close focus has also improved from 3.94 ft. / 1.2m to 3.28 ft. / 1m.
Canon updates their popular 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS and f/4L IS lenses
The 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM has also had its IS updated and now offers up to 5 stops of correction. The lens also gets an additional IS mode. There are now three dedicated image stabilization modes available: Standard, During Exposure Only, and Panning. Just like the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM, the optical coatings have also been updated on the 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM to help reduce ghosting and flare. However, the 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM only gets the Super Spectra coating and not the Air Sphere Coating (ASC) that is found on the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.

Canon also claims the AF has been improved on the 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM, particularly when using newer Canon EOS cameras. Additionally, it now has a 72mm front filter diameter as opposed to the 67mm found on the original version.

How does the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM compare to the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM?

Canon updates their popular 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS and f/4L IS lenses

The 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM is a lighter (780g compared to 1440g) version of the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM with a slightly slower aperture. It features 20 elements in 15 groups as opposed to the 23 elements in 19 groups found on the faster  f/2.8L IS III USM. The 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM has a 72cm front filter diameter and a close focus ability of  3.28 ft. / 1m, while the f/2.8L IS III USM uses a 77cm front filter diameter and has a close focus of 3.94 ft. / 1.2m.

Price

The EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM retails for $1299 USD and the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM will be $2099 US. The 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM will be available at the end of June, while the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM wont be available till August.

What about other Canon lens updates?

Canon updates their popular 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS and f/4L IS lenses

While it’s nice to see Canon updating their 70-200mm telephoto zooms I can’t help but wonder why they haven’t yet updated other  lenses such as the very popular 17-55mm f/ 2.8 IS. It would also be nice to see IS added to the  24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM. Canon seem to have also abandoned the 50mm f/1.2L USM, with only a new 50mm f/1.4 USM being rumoured to be released this year.

What do you think about these new lenses from Canon? Would you consider updating your 70-200mm? Let us know in the comments section below.

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