I purchased the 70-200mm 2.8 lens back in the early 2000s and it quickly became my go to lens. I kept it on for 95% of my portrait work from the Canon 10D and 20D to the 5D and 5DMK2s. It was my “if I was trapped on a desert island with one lens” lens.
That was until I began using the prime lenses. The 85mm 1.2 and 50mm 1.2 began to be my workhorses and the 70-200 was resting in the bag….only because they were “sharper” to me. But in my senior and fashion work ,both on location and studio, I needed to be able to zoom. For studio fashion I needed to go from headshots to full body faster than walking back and worth. And on location I needed that zoom when on rooftops and for our senior sports shots. So the 70-200 reappeared and did what I expected it do…not as sharp as primes but still a great lens.
Over the last 6 months however I noticed in post production I was “missing” some shots. The focus was off but not “back focusing” or focusing on the wrong side of the face. At settings from 2.8 to 5.6 and various shutter speeds I would get shots that I could only describe as “blah” . They had kind of a “vaselin covering the lens” look to them. I was having to fire off 10-12 shots of one pose to ensure the focus was on…this was making my shoots longer.
I sent the lens off to Canon and had it “serviced” and returned. Not much of a difference and in talking with other photogs, some were experience the same thing. This even prompted me to try out Nikon for a week! (You can see that review HERE)
So I invested in the new 70-200mm with the option to return it IF I didn’t see a difference that would justify the cost.
I don’t have a lot of charts and scientific mathematical optical graphs comparing the two…but I do have real world (for me) tests that I performed yesterday. By “real world” I mean shooting my shot in my conditions with both lenses on the 5dMK2 with the same settings. I want to thank 2011 Senior Model, Vanessa G., for assisting on this shoot.
I will have more images to post but this example pretty much sums it up for me! It is the first image I looked at in Lightroom and I can clearly see a difference. These images are RAW and imported into LR with NO CHANGES made. “Oatmeal” 70-200 v1 on the left and NEW 70-200 v2 on the right. I will be reviewing more from the shoots but I wanted to post this example because I think it shows me a difference!