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Lens review

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L USM

24 February 2010
Szymon Starczewski

3. Build quality

Most of the 70-200 mm f/2.8 lenses have similar dimensions, no matter whether they are stabilized or not. If you consult a comparison chart, presented here, you can notice it easily. The model without stabilization, being tested here, is only slightly smaller than the IS lens. The differences are bigger when it comes to weight. Additional optical elements, responsible for the stabilization, make lenses 200-300 grams heavier than the devices which don’t have that mechanism inside.

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L USM - Build quality

The appearance and the build quality of both L-series devices are very much alike. Apart from the characteristical cream barrel, made of magnesium alloys, two big black rings stick out. The one closer to the metal mount is a zoom ring, the second is a manual focus ring. Both work in a correct way and are well-damped so they allow to set the needed parameters with high precision. Between the rings we find a clear distance scale window and this scale includes a substantial difference between the Canons 70-200 mm f/2.8: in the case of the stabilized model it starts from 1.4 meters, here – from 1.5 meters.

On the left side from the distance scale we’ll also find a focusing mechanism switch (AF/MF) and a distance limiter which can be set on full (from 1.5 meters to infinity) or limited range (from 3 meters to infinity).

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The lens doesn’t change its dimensions either on zooming or on focusing. Because of that it is airtight, as it doesn’t allow any dust ingress, and will cooperate with different filters without any problems. It this case the filters should be 77 mm in diameter.

The inner construction, as it befits a zoom lens of such a high class, is not simple and the manufacturer larded it with low-dispersion elements. We deal here with 18 elements in 15 groups. As many as four elements, including two big ones from the front element system, were made of UD glass ( Ultra-low Dispersion). The circular aperture has eight diaphragm blades and it can be closed down to f/32.

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L USM - Build quality

The buyer gets a lens hood, an tripod adapter and a stylish, light-coloured hard case included in box.

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L USM - Build quality