Everything You Need To Know About the Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS III USM & 70-200mm F4L IS II USM

Canon 70-200mm F:2.8L IS III USM & 70-200mm F:4L IS II USM.png
(LEFT: Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS III USM; RIGHT:70-200mm F/4L IS II USM)

Canon just announced two brand new 70-200mm lenses. The 70-200mm F2.8L IS III USM & 70-200mm F/4L IS II USM. They're both great mid-range telephoto lenses that can produce quality bokeh making them great for portrait photography along with action and adventure work. So, what's the difference besides about $900 dollars? It turns out, subtle details that elevate one just slightly over the other. 


The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM 
Canon 70-200_4L_IS_II_USM_TOP_CL.jpgThe Canon EF 70-200mm F4L IS II USM is an update over the previous generation and, according to Canon, is a perfect zoom lens for amateurs or people dabbling on the cusp of becoming a professional. This new model upped its Optical Image Stabilization from the original F4's three stops to a whopping five shutter speed stops. The hardest part about shooting with a long lens is the image blur you can get when you're at a full telephoto, which is why you see so many of them on tripod mounted cameras or with the camera set down on a flat surface. This dramatic IS change could make all the difference when choosing a lens as you won't necessarily need a tripod to ensure crisp in-focus shots. 

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The lens also has three IS modes which according to Canon are: 

"uniquely designed and suitable for a variety of shooting situations, such as the capture of still subjects, panning or fast moving objects. Furthermore, the IS operational noise has been reduced, which proves ideal for photographers shooting in a concert hall or on-stage shooting at the theatre" 

Additional features of the 70-200mm F/4 IS II directly from Canon's press release:

  • One fluorite lens and two UD lenses helps to provide high-image quality
  • Minimum focusing distance shortened from 1.2m to 1m (3.9ft to 3.3ft)
  • Super Spectra Coating technology and optimized lens element placement helps minimize ghosting and flaring
  • Circular nine blade aperture producing a beautiful bokeh quality, ideal for portrait shooting
  • Lens features 20 lens elements in 15 groups
  • Fluorine coating on front and rear elements helps to reduce smears and fingerprints
  • Inner focusing system with Ring Ultrasonic Motor



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The Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS III USM
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The Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS III USM is a lens for professionals who want and need the very best. It's faster than the F4, better in low-light situations, and has something called ASC which stands for Air Sphere Coating. This technology is a coating on the lens that helps reduce artifacts when shooting like ghosting images, light flares and helps suppress the reflecting light. This lens only has 3.5 stops of image stabilization, though. It does. however, have three more lens elements inside and more groups. Instead of the F4's 20 lens elements in 15 groups, the F2.8 has 23 elements in 19 groups. The theory is more elements in more groups can help correct distortion and chromatic aberrations to a greater degree. This lens is expensive, but it might be the only mid-telephoto zoom lens that you'll ever need. 

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Additional features of the 70-200mm F2.8L IS III USM directly from Canon's press release:

  • Optical Image Stabilizer up to 3.5 shutter speed stops1 of correction
  • Fluorine coating on front and rear elements helps to reduce smears and fingerprints
  • Inner focusing system with Ring Ultrasonic Motor
  • One fluorite lens and five UD lenses helps to provide high-image quality
  • Minimum focusing distance of 1.2m (3.9ft)
  • Lens features 23 elements in 19 groups
  • Circular eight blade aperture



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Both 70-200mm lenses begin shipping soon, with the Canon EF 70-200mm F4L IS II coming out in late June 2018 for an estimated $1,299.00, while the Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS III should be arriving in August 2018 for around $2,099.00.



For more information, check out this video from Canon which highlights specific differences between the previous generations of these lenses.