Canon Announces EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III and EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II Lenses [Update: Pre-Order Now]

Tonight, Canon announced the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM lenses. These both include the latest technologies in their categories for improved performance within one of the most popular zoom ranges around.

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III lens features an Air Sphere Coating (ASC) for better flaring and ghosting control. Other features include the Optical Image Stabilizer with up to 3.5 stops of correction, fluorine coating on front and rear elements to help reduce smears and fingerprints, an inner focusing system with Ring Ultrasonic Motor (USM), one fluorite lens and five UD lenses that help to provide high-image quality, a minimum focusing distance of 1.2m (3.9ft), and a circular eight-blade aperture. This lens features 23 elements in 19 groups.

The EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM lens features numerous updates, most notably including optical image stabilization (IS) that provides up to five stops of compensation (up from three stops before) while also being more quiet. Also, minimum focusing distance has improved 20 percent and is now down to one meter (3.3 feet). Other features include one fluorite lens and two UD lenses for high-image quality, Super Spectra Coating technology and optimized lens element placement to minimize ghosting and flaring, circular nine-blade aperture for a beautiful bokeh quality, a fluorine coating on front and rear elements, and an inner focusing system with Ring Ultrasonic Motor. This lens features 20 elements in 15 groups.

The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM will be available August 2018 for $2,099 (the same MSRP as its predecessor) while the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM will be available at the end of June 2018 for $1,299 (a $100 increase over its predecessor).

Update: The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM are now available for pre-order.

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Adam Ottke's picture

Well, to be fair, there's also room to be thankful that they're improving the current ones at essentially the same prices, which will help drive the price of the others down even further if you don't need the updates. I think it's actually a lot better than those of us in the Nikon boat where the updates came with several-hundred-dollar MSRP increases, which meant the older versions weren't driven down too much in cost for those of us wanting to save based on depreciation (but then it helped those of us with the previous versions maintain our value for them). There are pros and cons to everything, I guess.

michael andrew's picture

Well yes Adam, you could phrase your comment like that, but it would lack all of the popular cynicism and sarcasm that is favored in todays photography comments sections. Take your positivity to NPR.

Adam Ottke's picture

Okay. Next title: Canon Disappointingly Keeps Updating Their Gear, Won't They Just Stop It Already? ;-)

Alex Armitage's picture

Should honestly be called 70-200 f2.8 L II (v2)

I don't think this is intended to be an upgrade, just a refresh. Meaning if you already own a 2.8 II, great. Anyone buying a new lens in the future should get a III if they want a new lens.

Adam Palmer's picture

There really isn't that much to improve on the old lens.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Just sharpness, not that the old one was soft, but tests show that new Nikon was a step ahead in terms of resolution, especially in corners. I suspect Canon has brought the new one up to compete with the Nikon while undercutting the Nikon price.

Deleted Account's picture

I have no idea but, how does it compare with Nikon's for focus breathing and MFD?

Adam Ottke's picture

Good question, but we won't really know until the reviews come in for the new ones once available...

Deleted Account's picture

I was actually referring to the current version. If the current version is as good, or better, than Nikon's newest version in those areas, everything said is true. If not, those are more important factors than sharpness, where they're close enough to not worry about it.

Florian Brand's picture

Tony Northrup had a video/rant about the focus breathing issue of Nikon a while back. It prevented him to switch to Nikon for Portrait. That might have been the old Nikon though.

Ryan Cooper's picture

I'd disagree, in most cases focus breathing and MFD doesn't have much actual impact on my shooting. (Though I accept that in some uses it is torture) however, more image quality is always desirable.

PS: AFAIK the Canon current version does not have noticeable focus breathing issues.

Deleted Account's picture

Of course it doesn't affect some cases but I'm thinking about things that differentiate one from another. Pretty much all the current 70-200mm lenses are *very* sharp and have great IQ. I can't imagine someone picking one over another solely on those attributes.

Ryan Cooper's picture

They are reasonably sharp, though I remember being pretty surprised by the wide open sharpness difference between the new Nikon and all the competitors. The Nikon one is the first time I thought: "wow it actually can compete with a high end prime". Which is something I've never seen from a zoom shot wide open before.

Deleted Account's picture

What we, as photographers, see is very different from the general audience but, yeah! :-)

Ryan Cooper's picture

Absolutely, but the first person my work has to please is me so I consider it relevant.

Jon Kellett's picture

Can't comment on the sharpness, but the V2 did have more issues with CA than the V1. Not that the V1 had legendary CA.

Pedro Quintela's picture

Let´s wait for the reviews to come. For now I will continue with my trusty F/4 IS, it really performs well for my kind of use on the 5ds. It´s good to know that the prices are marginally the same.

Reginald Walton's picture

Well, as I wrote on another blog - Not sure why they released a new version of the 2.8 anyway, unless they are just trying to do what Nikon did. Nikon needed to, Canon didn't. Even though the lens was release 10 years ago, it took Nikon this long to put out a lens that is better than this version (at a whopping $2800 at that). Good upgrades to the f/4 version, but I'm keeping my 2.8 version II. Canon, just focus on vastly improving the 5D series.

Florian Brand's picture

I am actually quite happy with the mk4 upgrade. Usability is tons better than the mk3 (touch screen, wifi, focus,...). Featurewise I agree, could have been better. But at the end of the day reliability and usability trumps features.

The 70-200 is a bugfix release of a workhorse. It was probably not that expensive R&D. VC probably comes a straight from the newer 100-400. It allows Canon to claim that they have the newest design, remove doubts for customers deciding between the new f4 and this one.

Personally I'd like to see an VC equipped 24-70 f2.8 from Canon.

Reginald Walton's picture

Ahh yes, that would be good to have IS (VC is Tamron's gargon lol) in the 24-70. I shoot Nikon also and just got their new 24-70 with VR and love it. But I'll have to keep my Canon 24-70 a little longer.

C H's picture

yay, bought my 70-200 2.8 mkii 3 weeks ago; it was a huge step from my 2.8 non-is version, but I think I don't miss much of the mkIII....

As long as no 3rd party comes up with a better lens than the mkII, I think this mkIII update is just plain silly.

Deleted Account's picture

Ok, seriously...who asked for this lens? That's right. No one. In comparison, how many of us have been asking for a 24-70 f/2.8 with IS? Many that's who. And that's what's wrong with Canon at the moment. They don't listen to their customers. Been shooting Canon for 10+ years. Just bought my 1st Sony A7III. Will I switch? Don't know but I do know Sony listens to their customers. Companies that don't listen to their customers eventually die. Kodak.

Usman Dawood's picture

A company that didn’t listen to their customers became the most valuable company in the world.


Sorry I couldn’t help myself :-p.

Kodak failed due to lack of innovation as opposed to listening to their customers. If anything many customers were actually happy with sticking to film at the time especially pro shooters anyway. Maybe listening to customers is a bad thing?

Congrats on the new Sony though I hear it’s a pretty special camera.

honderd woorden's picture

Kodak died because their core business (photographic film) died.
Canons imaging business is only 27.8% (2017) of their total business and inkjet printers, photo printers and image scanners are included in this 27.8%.

“who asked for this lens? That's right. No one.”

Customer demand is a good reason to update, but not the only reason.
Compatibility with a future (professional) mirrorless system might be a reason.
New automated production lines might be another one.

Eric Salas's picture

Canon’s new product development team must have quit two years ago since they haven’t released anything useful for Canon users in that amount of time.

6DMii ... yea, what a joke

Now this chunk of glass with a new coating and a different shade of white painted on.

I’m so glad I abandoned Canon when I did.

honderd woorden's picture

Depends on the definition of “usefull” I guess but in the last 2 years they introduced an 85mm f/1.4L with image stabilization, the 16-35mm f/2.8L III, 3 new tilt-shift lenses (TS-E 50, TS-E 90 and TS-E 135) and now these 2. Yes, the new f/2.8 isn’t much of an update, but the 70-200 f/4 seems to be a decent update.