This post is a compilation of information related to the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens.
JG Photography has an excellent review of the 70-200/2.8 II, complete with test charts and sample photos, and concludes:
This truly is a fantastic lens, even at its rather high price point. Compared to the original 70-200 F/2.8 IS, the new version has improved optics and a fantastic IS system, and for action photography I’ve found that improvements in both optics and autofocus have led to higher amounts sharper images. In relation to primes, there are primes out there that are faster and sharper, but they either lack IS (such as the 135 F/2) or are very expensive (such as the 200 F/2) or have less features than this lens (such as the 200 F/2.8), and all primes lack the flexibility of a zoom lens. Ultimately, there will be few wedding and sports photographers and photojournalists who won’t want this lens. So is it worth the upgrade over the original? For me it was – the extra IS in a reception situation is a large benefit, and the improvement in sharpness had me sealed the deal.
mmullen is one of the first owners of the 70-200mm f2.8L II, and is extremely happy with the lens. In a forum post, he shared bird (a heron), dog and flower photos taken with a Canon 7D at ISO 400, ISO 640 and ISO 800, at apertures of f/4 and f/2.8. Mike has the following opinion on the 70-200 f2.8L II, EF 70-200mm f/4 IS and Canon EF 2X II extender telephoto accessory:
[…] I am VERY impressed with the sharpness wide open at 200mm — with and without the EF 2X II attached. I would have to say it is at least as sharp as my 70-200 f4 IS and here’s the kicker — that’s comparing the f2.8 wide open too. Wow!
One of the first things I noticed is the IS mechanism is very quiet and the AF sounds more hi-tech than the older 70-200 f2.8 IS, the 70-200 f4 IS and even the 300mm f2.8 IS. The focus movement is very quiet and precise sounding compared to any other lens I’ve used.
He adds the following information on the build quality:
As for the exterior surfaces, looks to me like the first two-fifths (from the mount to the end of the zoom ring) are metal castings, probably magnesium, the zoom ring appears to be magnesium also and the center ring with the distance scale and the focus ring and the end ring are all some type of high grade plastic resin. However, these rings do not hold the lens together structurally, they are the outer casing. I’m sure these rings and trim pieces are not necessarily indicative of the material underneath. I never noticed there was some plastic until you asked me to check it out, it’s very well made and engineered, I’m sure. IMO, there are probably two main body pieces made from magnesium and joining somewhere in the middle third with the balance made of high grade resin and perhaps one more sliding magnesium body piece inside depending upon what the engineers felt would be most satisfactory.
I do not feel the plastic is there to make the lens cheaper but rather to make it a better lens, lighter, tougher, quicker to adapt to changing temperatures and with tighter tolerances and less sloppy feel. It’s a very tight feeling lens with no binding. The focus ring is very smooth with easy action but with just a hint of that hydraulic action from old manual focus lenses. The zoom ring requires a bit more force to turn and feels quite “positive” in it’s action.
I really would not worry about the build quality of this lens. IMO, it is better than the all metal lenses that existed before resin technology was anywhere near it’s current state. Another advantage of plastic shells is that they will not make your hands as cold when you use it in cold weather.
The filter thread size on the 70-200 f2.8L II is 77mm, which means you’ll want to be looking at 77mm filters.
The press release for the lens has the following statement on additional accessories for the 70-200/2.8L II:
The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is supplied with several accessories, including the new ET-87 Lens Hood and the Ring-Type Tripod Collar B (W). A brand new Lens Case LZ1326 is also included as standard, offering quick and easy access when users need to switch lenses in time-pressured situations.
Compatibility with a range of optional Canon accessories also allows users to pair the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM with the Lens Extender EF 1.4x II, Lens Extender EF 2x II, Extension Tube EF 12 II, Extension Tube EF 25 II, and 77mm filters.