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Lens review

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

3 November 2010
Szymon Starczewski

8. Vignetting

One look at the thumbnails below shows that the Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II USM on a small APS-C sensor doesn’t have any serious problems with vignetting.

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II USM - Vignetting


Our measurements confirm that statement. At the shortest focal length the vignetting would be hard to notice even at the maximum relative aperture because it amounts to 12% (-0.37 EV). On stopping down to f/4.0 the problem becomes marginalized completely because it decreases to 4%. If we move toward the middle of the focal range the situation is similar – by f/2.8 the vignetting is 15% (-0.42 EV) and by f/4.0 only 5%.

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On the APS-C sensor the chances are we can notice the vignetting at the maximum focal length. By f/2.8 it amounts to 22% (-0.72 EV) but on stopping down the aperture by 1 EV it decreases to an imperceptible level of 10%. After attaching the converter, contrary to the Sigma 70-200 mm OS, we see the situation improving. The vignetting by f/4.0 reaches 14% and it disappears almost completely by f/5.6 where its level is just 4%.

Full frame demands a lot from a lens. Can the Canon perform there up to scratch? Let’s look at the thumbnails below.

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II USM - Vignetting


At the shortest focal length the problems are small if they occur at all. At the maximum relative aperture the brightness loss in the frame corners reaches 28% (-0.95 EV) which is a noticeable value but not especially bothersome. Especially that on stopping down to f/4.0 the vignetting decreases to 13% and by f/5.6 it is just 7%.

The problems become more pronounced at 135 mm. There, by f/2.8, we deal with the vignetting on the level of 36% (-1.31 EV). On stopping down the aperture to f/4.0 and f/5.6 we see this aberration decrease to the values of 22% and 17% respectively. Only after using f/8.0 aperture the problem disappears completely.

The sharpest decrease of the brightness in the frame corners we observe at 200 mm. After applying the maximum relative aperture the vignetting reaches 39% (-1.43 EV) and on stopping down the lens to f/4.0 this aberration decreases to the level of 23%. By f/5.6 we deal with still noticeable level of 16% and only by f/8.0 there are no further problems.

After attaching the original Canon TC 1.4x converter the vignetting at the maximum relative aperture amounts to 32% (-1.1 EV) and it decreases to a very slight value of 12% by f/5.6.

In this category the Canon lens fares significantly better than the rival Sigma. It is worse, though, than the Nikkor 70-200 mm f/2.8 VR II which had results by several percent better.


Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II USM - Vignetting

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II USM - Vignetting

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II USM - Vignetting

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II USM - Vignetting