CES 2010: Canon announces the new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by hannahthiem, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. Canon announced a multitude of point and shoot cameras, printers, camcorders, even calculators today (I attended a pre-briefing session earlier in December). With much less emphasis, Canon quietly announced a new pro lens: the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. Could this be due to the fact that they're attending CES, more geared towards consumer electronics, and not PMA (where Canon typically announces their pro products)?
    Upgrades from the very popular first version of the lens include:
    • redesigned internal elements, with the addition of a fluorite element and a fifth UD element
    • improved AF speed
    • enhanced build, with a slight weight increase (1490g vs. 1470g)
    • reduced minimum focusing distance (now 3.9 feet, compared to 4.6 feet)
    The lens will ship in April, pricing still to be determined. Read more about this in the press release below.
    Official Canon Press Release

    Canon’s New EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Incorporates Advanced Lens Elements and Enhanced Durability for High-Speed Autofocus and High-Performance Optical Image Stabilization
    LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., January 5, 2010 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, introduces the new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. Arguably the most popular focal range in Canon’s telephoto arsenal and a staple lens for any professional photographer, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens provides the focal length, maximum aperture and zoom power for capturing everything from fast-action sports to studio portraits. Built for the professional, the body structure of the new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens has been enhanced to provide better durability and strength without a significant increase in weight. Canon has improved optical performance on the new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens by redesigning the internal elements, incorporating a fluorite element and a fifth UD element. The use of the fluorite element and five UD elements helps to minimize secondary chromatic aberrations and produce better image quality with improved contrast and resolution through the entire zoom range; the end result is an optically precise lens worthy of becoming the leader of Canon’s L-series lenses.
    Along with its redesigned optical elements, the new lens design features improved AF speed due to a new focusing algorithm and has reduced the minimum focusing distance to 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) through the entire zoom range, allowing photographers to capture tighter portraiture shots in a small studio space. The previous lens model’s minimum focusing distance was 4.6 feet (1.4 meters), whereas now photographers can stand nearly 8 inches closer to their subject and achieve sharp focus and tight crops. Canon has also enhanced the Image Stabilization allowing it to compensate for shutter speeds up to four steps slower than 1/focal length, a one step improvement over the previous lens model.
    “Canon’s core has always been our optics, and we are constantly challenging ourselves to produce better and more advanced optical systems for our customers. The new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens incorporates the best advancements in Canon lens technology from the past few years and packages it into what we believe will be the most popular lens for professionals and advanced photographers,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A.
    The enhanced magnesium alloy barrel design of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens features added strength with a minimal 20-gram increase in weight compared with the previous model (1490g vs. 1470g) and retains Canon’s protective seals and fittings providing dust and water resistance for those photographers working in adverse conditions. A new bayonet mount on the front of the lens includes a locking mechanism to ensure the supplied lens hood remains securely in place. Other noticeable improvements include a wider focusing ring, and sleeker design by reducing the thickness of any protruding elements such as the switch panel. The new lens is also compatible with Canon’s existing EF1.4X II and EF2X II Extenders as well as EF Extension Tubes and the 77mm Close-Up Lens 500D.
    Pricing and Availability

    The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens is supplied with a detachable tripod collar, a reversible bayonet mount lens hood and a lens pouch. The new lens is scheduled to be delivered to U.S. dealers in April, price to be determined.
     
  2. Given that the current version of the lens is quite good, it will be interesting to see both performance specs and pricing. The closer focusing seems useful - we'll see what the focusing improvements bring.
    Dan
     
  3. It seems canon is trying to copy what nikon is doing. They come up with a new 70-200 f2.8, canon follows. I am still waiting for 14-24 f2.8 or a new 100-400L. Come on canon...
     
  4. Ditto Angel vis the now-ancient (by modern standards) 100-400 4.5-5.6L:
    That zoom is the one that *really* needs updating; especially both (1) sharper optics for the long end; and (2) all-new IS hardware --only a ridiculous 2 stops of compensation with the current outdated edition. And let's not forget that old-fashioned push-pull zooming!
    Sheesh! As usual, Canon seems asleep at the switch.
     
  5. The new Nikon sells for $2400, the current Canon is available for $1700. I'd expect the MkII version to shift up close to the Nikon price.
    I'd guess this is both an answer to Nikon and a way to increase prices
     
  6. Bob, that was more or less what I was alluding to in my vague message above. I'll wait and see whether the "betterness" is significant or not when it comes to real photography.
     
  7. Given comparable Canon gear is slightly cheaper than Nikon, I predict the mkII 70-200 f2.8L IS to be around $2199~$2399.
     
  8. It's probably a quetion of how much sharpness and stabilization you need. I can't remember hearing too many complaints that the 70-200/2.8L IS USM was too soft, or that chromatic aberration was a real problem or that the IS system wasn't effective enough or that the hood fell off or the barrel wasn't sturdy enough.
    I've no doubt that the new lens will bench test better, but I suspect that anyone upgrading will have to pay close to $1000 to find out how that translates to real world use.
    Of course to a professional who makes their living with the lens, losing a single shot could cost them a lot more than $1000, so if you need the best, it will be worth it.
     
  9. I'm not rushing out to sell my current 70-200/2.8L IS just yet. But I am curious to see how version II performs.
     
  10. Regarding the 100-400:
    And let's not forget that old-fashioned push-pull zooming!
    I've read opinions (and I don't believe they were from Canon - I think they were from the user community, and so they should be taken with a big grain of salt) that this is supposedly the better configuration for its intended user community, allowing for both focus and zoom to be adjusted without having to take one's hand off one control and put it on another (i.e. a one-touch zoom vs. a two-touch zoom).
    Personally, the times I've played with this lens, I've found it to be awkward. But then again, every zoom lens I've ever owned has been a two-touch zoom, so that's what I'm used to.
    Anyway, I'm not defending Canon on this one, nor am I stating that they've given the above as the reason for this particular design. I'm just saying this is an opinion I've seen on the net, and maybe there's something to it.
    Regarding the new 70-200: I think Bob's right (as usual). It may be worth upgrading if you're a pro. If you're not, chances are that the improvements are not of very much significance, so unless you have at least several hundred bucks burning a hole in your pocket and you can't come up with any other possible way to spend it, it's probably not worth the upgrade. I sure as heck won't be trading in my first-gen version of this lens; it's sharp enough for me (and for the editors at the microstock sites to which I submit some of my photos), its IS works well enough for me, its build quality is way beyond what I need, and it's a far better lens than I am a photographer.
     
  11. The response to push-pull is more about it being different than being better worse. When I got my 100-400 I worried about this, but it isn't issue at all for me in real life.
    Push pull - as pointed out above - does let you zoom and focus without changing hand position. (Though I'll admit that the number of times that I would want to manually focus and zoom at the same time is close to zero! :) Perhaps more significantly, moving the hand forward and backwards as the lens zooms tends to keep the hand under the center of gravity of the lens as it changes length.
    If there is a time when it isn't so great it might be when working from the tripod. Here the weight shift doesn't really matter, and rotating zoom might be a bit better. But really, it is a fine lens and push-pull isn't necessarily an issue at all.
    Dan
     
  12. I have ZERO issues with my current 70-200 2.8 IS. Can't imagine it getting that much better. v/r Buffdr
     
  13. This announcement should make one RUSH OUT RIGHT NOW and buy a 70-200/2.8IS while they can still afford it!
    Sure the new one will be better. . . .but I think you are all correct about the pricing.
     
  14. This announcement should make one RUSH OUT RIGHT NOW and buy a 70-200/2.8IS while they can still afford it!
    Sure the new one will be better. . . .but I think you are all correct about the pricing.
     
  15. I really can't understand Canon's logic. IMHO the 50/1.4 II (ring USM and IF design) and 24-70/2.8 IS are a much more needed upgrades.
    Happy shooting,
    Yakim.
     
  16. Steve Dunn wrote: "Regarding the new 70-200: I think Bob's right (as usual). It may be worth upgrading if you're a pro. If you're not, chances are that the improvements are not of very much significance................".
    Or maybe you've got more money than good sense? Hey, wait a minute, I think that's ME!
     
  17. Of course this a lens that targets the pro market. Just as the old one was. Of course the lens will be more expensive than the old one, that has been the trend with the recent L upgrades.
    Of course most of us do not need the improvements this lens brings, or do not have enough justification to buy it. Or enough money. Canon is targetting the pro market, not the amateur market.
     
  18. I am with Yakim, a 24-70 2.8 IS would be something new and very useful. IMO and speaking from the casual shooter perspective, IS is something I prefer more on a standard zoom because I will probably have it with me 90% of the time ( travel, walking around etc ). When I lug my 70-200 ( which is not often )its a already a commitment so taking a monopod is not much of an issue. I would love a 50 1.4 with real USM, I love the quality from the current 50 but the autofocus is not very good.
    I am curious why remake a reasonably new lens that is a good performer? I can only assume the new one will be pretty spectacular. I am also curious about the hybrid IS on the 100mm macro, why not use it here? I have not used it but I hear its not that useful for extreme close up shots as it is on far away subjects so wouldn't it make sense on a 70-200?
     
  19. The reason for no 24-70 IS and no 50/1.4 II is that Nikon don't have them. Nikon do have a "new and improved" 70-200/2.8 VR II, hence a new and improved Canon 70-200/2.8 IS II. An important rule of marketing is make sure you're caught up with the competition. Then you can think about moving ahead. That especially applies to Nikon. I'd assume Canon don't really care a whole lot about Olympus, Sony and Pentax (hence no body based stabilization).
    The new hybrid IS is really only effective for macro work. Adding it to this lens would increase the cost even more and have no practical advantage. Besides, Nikon don't have hybrid VR on their lens....and Canon like to slighly undercut Nikon on prices.
     
  20. The reason for no 24-70 IS and no 50/1.4 II is that Nikon don't have them.​
    Nikon do indeed have a new 50/1.4. Not stellar optically perhaps but at least it doesn't break (I think).
     
  21. Well, the cynic in me suggests that since Nikon don't have a 50/1.2 and Canon do, they're happy with the current situation. If they make the 50/1.4 any better than it is, they may rob themselves of 50/1.2 sales. Nikon don't have that issue.
    I do agree that a redesigned 50/1.4 with ring USM would be a nice addition, as would a 400/5.6L with IS. However since Nikon currently don't even have any variety of 400/5.6 lens ...
     
  22. If they make the 50/1.4 any better than it is, they may rob themselves of 50/1.2 sales.​
    That's why we should call for a new 50/1.8, with USM and IF, rather than anything else.
     
  23. I'd assume Canon don't really care a whole lot about Olympus, Sony and Pentax (hence no body based stabilization).​
    I remember reading an interview with a Canon executive ~2 years back in which he said that Canon regard Sony as its main competitor.
    Happy shooting,
    Yakim.
     
  24. If Canon does consider Sony to be their main competition, then it might explain how they got caught sleeping when the D3 and D700 were released, and why they're playing catch-up on certain products. Sony makes some nice stuff, but really, more of a competitor to Canon than Nikon?
     
  25. Just think what they have achieved in the past 2 years and think what would happen by 2020.
    Happy shooting,
    Yakim.
     
  26. zml

    zml

    it might explain how they got caught sleeping when the D3 and D700 were released, and why they're playing catch-up on certain products​
    Ah, the power of myth... Nikon did not have a full frame DSLR until 2007 and considering that the Canon's FF DSLR offerings go back to 2002 (1Ds - five years can be considered an eternity in consumer electronics...) I wonder who is really playing catch up. At best (and I'm being very charitable here) Nikon has managed to catch up and now it is a game of one-upmanship, with Nikon a half a stop ahead in noise but badly lagging behind Canon in movie modes, consumer/prosumer offerings and some lenses.
     
  27. I *really* hope this Mk II version isn't *that* much better in closer focusing and speed (and contrast and sharpness...) My lens arsenal became complete with the 70-200 f/2.8 IS, and I don't feel like losing a grand to buy this unit.
    [I mean, I will if I have to, but I'm hoping it's just a "decent" upgrade.]
    On the 50mm front, I'll add some votes for Sigma. Canon's jump from the 50 f/1.4 to their f/1.2 is a HUGE price jump, and I'm nearly certain it cannot be justified next to Sigma's 50 1.4 EX DG HSM. This Sigma lens is far above Canon's 1.4, and much more aligned with their 1.2 in quality and build. The difference in aperture... it's imperceptible. f/1.4 is so tiny that it's tough to use anyway. Still, if done right the darn thing is nicely sharp wide open.
     

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