Canon announces a pair of new 70-200mm f/2.8L and f/4L IS lenses

Jun 7, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Canon announces a pair of new 70-200mm f/2.8L and f/4L IS lenses

Jun 7, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Last month, there was word floating around that Canon was about to announce updates to their popular 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses. Well, Canon has now officially announced those updates. The two new lenses are, not surprisingly, the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III and 70-200mm f/4L IS II.

They’re not that different from their predecessors on-paper. In fact, the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III looks almost identical to the II except that it has 9 diaphragm blades instead of 8, and it weighs a few grams less. The 70-200mm f/4L IS II, on the other hand, is slightly heavier than the original. And it has a larger filter thread (72mm instead of 67mm). Chances are, there will be other differences, but so far, Canon doesn’t appear to have released all the information.

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM

On the outside, the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM doesn’t seem to have changed much from its predecessor. It has lost a little weight, and no doubt the optical formula will have been tweaked a little, but if it’s at least as good as the II, it’ll be a pretty stellar lens.

  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Format: Full Frame
  • Focal length: 70-200mm
  • Max aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum focus distance: 1.2m (3.94ft)
  • Diaphragm blades: 9, rounded
  • Image stabilisation: Yes
  • Filter thread: 77mm
  • Dimensions: 88.8 x 199mm (3.50 x 7.83″)
  • Weight: 1.44kg (3.17lb)

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

This is the first refresh of Canon’s 70-200mm f/4L, and in contrast to the f/2.8, the visual differences between this and the earlier generation are quite noticeable. It’s a different shape, for a start, and it has a larger 72mm filter thread. In use, it focuses a little closer than the previous version, too, at 1m instead of 1.2m.

  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Format: Full Frame
  • Focal length: 70-200mm
  • Max aperture: f/4
  • Minimum focus distance: 1m (3.28ft)
  • Diaphragm blades: 9, rounded
  • Image stabilisation: Yes
  • Filter thread: 72mm
  • Dimensions: 78.4 x 175.26mm (3.1 x 6.9″)
  • Weight: 779.6kg (1.72lb)

Obviously, the f/4L IS II offers a significant weight saving over its almost-double f/2.8 sibling, although it is few grams heavier than the original f/4L. In practical use, I would imagine the slight weight gain won’t make any real difference.

Both the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM and 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM are available to pre-order now. The f/2.8L is $2,099 and is expected to ship in August, with the f/4L priced at $1,299 and is expected sometime this month.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Canon announces a pair of new 70-200mm f/2.8L and f/4L IS lenses”

  1. Daniel James Avatar
    Daniel James

    Ah good timing, that’ll reduce the price of the mkii I’ve been eyeing up ?

  2. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
    W Douglas LeBlanc

    Price bump in Canada near double plus harmonized sales tax. Ouch!