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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens Review - Performance

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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens Review - Performance: Canon Ef 70 200mm F2,8L Is III Usm With Hood On Canon 5dsr (Custom)

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

Sharpness at 70mm is excellent in the centre from f/2.8 through to f/8. It is very good at f/11 and f/16, good at f/22, and only at f/32 does diffraction really get a grip and here it is only fair. 70mm edge sharpness follows exactly the same pattern, and in fact in terms of figures follows the central results very closely.

Central results at 100mm show excellent sharpness from f/2.8 to f/11, very good at f/16, good at f/22 and fair at f/32. The edges are excellent at f/2.8 and f/4, very good from f/5.6 to f/16, good at f/22 and fair at f/32.

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At 135mm, sharpness is excellent from f/2.8 to f/11, very good at f/16, good at f/22 and fair at f/32. The edges are very good from f/2.8 to f/16, good at f/22 and fair at f/32.

At 200mm, central sharpness is excellent from f/2.8 to f/11, very good at f/16, good at f/22 and fair at f/32. The edges are excellent from f/2.8 to f/8, very good at f/11 and f/16, fair at f/22 and soft at f/32.

In summary, this is a very sharp lens that performs to a very high standard throughout the range.

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

How to read our MTF charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution as LW/PH and is described in detail above. The taller the column, the better the lens performance.

For this review, the lens was tested on Canon EOS 5DS R here using Imatest.

 

CA (Chromatic Aberration) is extremely well controlled at all focal lengths and is really very unlikely to be a problem. If further correction is required, then there are software solutions.

 

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Chromatic Aberration Charts

How to read our CA charts

Chromatic aberration (CA) is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Canon EOS 5DS R here using Imatest.

 

Distortion measures at -1.36% barrel at 70mm. At 100mm correction is virtually perfect, measuring -0.02% barrel. This changes to pincushion distortion as we zoom, measuring +0.72% at 135mm and +1.33% at 200mm. This is an excellent result.

Flare is not a problem, not having shown itself in even the most demanding backlit shots. The worst that was seen was a slight reduction in contrast when shooting against very severe backlighting.

The bokeh is highly impressive, being as smooth as silk. The quality of the out of focus areas in an image is quite beautifully rendered.

The claim for the stabiliser is 3.5 stops. A 4 stop advantage is realistic, depending of course on the situation and the individual photographer as well as the IS system.

We now look at vignetting and at 70mm wide open we see the corners -1.3 stops darker than the centre. This reduces to -0.9 at f/4, -0.7 at f/5.6 and -0.5 from f/8 onwards. At 100mm vignetting is -1.8 stops at f/2.8, reducing at f/4 to -1.5, at f/5.6 to -1.4, at f/11 to n-a.3 and then settling to around -1 stops from there onwards. At 135mm f/2.8 shows -1.8 stops, f/4 -1.5, f/5.6 -1.4, f/8 -1.3 and again -1 stops thereafter. Vignetting at 200mm is -1.8 stops at f/2.8, at f/4 reducing to -1.4, at f/5.6 -1.2, at f/8 -0.9 and thereafter -0.6 stops.

Overall, the lens acquits itself extremely well.


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

 

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

 


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Comments


SteveBB 17 31 United Kingdom
21 Aug 2018 9:03PM
Wondering what the differences are between this lens and the USM II version of the same. If you have used the previous version and following your review, how did you find the usability ? Was it faster to focus while panning for instance ? Smile
21 Aug 2018 9:50PM
Minor improvements to coatings and speed of AF, but unfortunately Gary reviewed the Mark II version and I reviewed this one, so a total comparison is not possible. In terms of optical quality the formula hasn't changed, so both are very capable of producing superb results. I'm sure that somewhere on the web someone will have used both.
8 Dec 2018 5:07PM
I bought the EF 70-200 2.8L IS mk11 when it was first released, having owned the Mk1 previously.

In my opinion there was a noticeable improvement in quality and therefore worth the outlay. So my $64K question is if you have the mark 11, is it worth going for the mark 111 instead?

Any views appreciated.

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