Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM review

Canon’s high-spec but lightweight telephoto zoom gets a major revamp and is full of new tricks to check out

5 Star Rating

Digital Camera World Verdict

Relatively compact and lightweight, this new zoom is easy to live with and a stellar performer. Even so, autofocus, stabilisation and outright image quality are no better than from Tamron’s similarly priced 70-200mm f/2.8 G2.


  • +

    Fabulously sharp

  • +

    Lightweight for a 70-200mm lens


  • -

    Stabilization and AF doesn't outperform the equivalent Tamron lens

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New versions of both of Canon’s EF 70-200mm stabilized telephoto zooms are now available. The Mk III edition of the f/2.8 is only a minor refresh, with a high-tech coating added to one of the internal elements, fluorine coatings on the front and rear elements, and a new paint job that’s a slightly paler shade of grey. The new Mark II edition of f/4 lens is much more interesting to all Canon goers, having undergone a complete makeover.

Naturally, the f/4 rating of this lens is a full f/stop slower than that of its f/2.8 sibling but the upside is that it’s significantly smaller and barely more than half the weight, at 780g compared with 1480g. 

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.