I have wanted a telephoto zoom lens for a few months to accompany my Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens. After researching lenses online, I decided the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens would be a great companion. However, I decided to test the lens out before I dropped a big chunk of change. As I was about to leave for a trip to the Olympic Peninsula, I determined it would be the perfect opportunity to test the lens. 

The lens is hefty

First things first, this is not a lightweight lens. Coming in at 52.6 ounces (1490 grams), the lens is on the hefty side. I was able to shoot my pictures without a tripod, but using a tripod could reduce the camera shaking due to the weight of the lens. Also, it gets a bit heavy carrying the lens after hiking through the forest for a couple hours. Make sure your camera bag is equipped with padded straps; otherwise, your shoulders will be sore at the end of the day.

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Time is required to switch between lenses

Second, it is a bit cumbersome to switch between this lens and the 24-70mm lens. While the 24-70mm lens is not as heavy as the 70-200mm lens, it takes a few seconds to switch between the two lenses. While I was taking photos at Cape Flattery, I saw a seal swimming in the water. I snapped a few photos with the 24-70mm lens, and once I switched to the 70-200mm lens, the seal had disappeared into the water.

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Despite the flaws, it captures breathtaking photos

Notwithstanding the lens being a bit ponderous to handle, the lens takes amazing pictures. While visiting Hurricane Ridge, which overlooks the Olympic Mountains, I was able to go from taking panoramic shots of the Olympics with my 24-70mm lens to focusing in on one single mountain peak with the 70-200mm lens.

Also, the focus is crisp in all shots. Though I was not able to catch the seal with the 70-200mm lens, I found a sea otter playing in the kelp beds close by. I focused on the sea otter as if I was just twenty feet away, despite being on a 120-foot high cliff above the ocean.

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Overall, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens is a powerful photography tool. It works in all types of lighting conditions, from cloudy days to bright sunlight to a dawning sunrise. It may be a heavy lens that requires some strong shoulders to carry it, but it is worth the muscle strain.

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Jessica McGraw

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