|UWE WALZ||The new Canon EF 2.8/70-200mm L IS USM|
This autumn, Canon introduced a number of new, interesting products including the EF 2.8/70-200mm L IS USM with a further improved image stabiliser and faster autofocus. German wildlife photographer Uwe Walz was fortunate enough to be amongst the first to test this new IS-lens.
The Canon EF 2.8/70-200mm L IS USM is a true multipurpose lens and, along with the two new converters, it can well compete with the EF 100-400mm L IS USM, with only some minor restrictions.
I have tested the lens with both, the 1.4x and the 2x converter and even with the two at the same time. The tests clearly showed that over the complete focal length range the lens' performance fully matches corresponding fixed focal lengths. When using the converters you have a telephoto lens of 4.0/280mm maximum with the 1.4x converter and of 5.6/400mm maximum with the 2.Ox converter. lf that won't do, the combination of the two converters results in a 8.0/200-560mm telephoto zoom. The image stabiliser works perfectly even with this combination. However, it requires at least one converter of the new generation. Without it, the converters can be stacked only with a short extension tube as a spacer.
Wonders never cease? just when we think Canon have perfected their autofocus systems, they improve them further. The autofocus of the new IS zoom has become much faster and with the stabiliser you gain more than three f-stops, in my experience. When I started working with the lens I had the impression that the stabiliser had not been activated; it is a true low-noise device, almost completely silent. After touching the release with both the EF 100400mm L IS USM and the EF 4.0/600mm L IS USM, I always noticed the subject vibrating in the viewfinder for some few seconds. The EF 2.8/70-200mm L IS USM has put an end to this problem.
I took perfectly sharp pictures at the 200mm focal length at shutter speeds of 1/13 sec., without a tripod. Proceeding from the general rule "reciprocal value of focal length = shutter speed" this result equals almost four f-stops.
I had no problems at all to take perfectly unblurred pictures with the 1.4x converter attached, a focal length of 280mm and an exposure time of 1/80 sec. More often than not, the exposure time for pictures taken in combination with the 2.0x converter, Le. at a focal length of 400mm, amounted to 1/30 sec. Here again, the stabiliser enhances the photographic possibilities by up to four f-stops. The pictures taken with a combination of the two converters at a focal length of 560mm were the absolute highlight. Even at this extreme focal length I succeeded in taking sharp and brilliant photos at shutter speeds from 1/40 to 1/80 sec. - without tripod, freehand. Furthermore I noticed that the weather- and dust-proof sealing of the diverse setting buttons and the bayonet has been further improved, now matching the sealing of the IS super telephoto lenses.
Wonders never cease!!