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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 11 Jan 2011 (Tuesday) 13:38
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Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS Mark 1 or mark II?

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Joined Dec 2010
Jan 11, 2011 13:38 |  #1

finally decided this is the lens i want, now trying to decide between which version, found sellers of both, mark 1 for 1500, mark 2 for 1900 what you guys think? worth the extra 400?

5DMK2|85 L II |24-70L|16-35L|70-200 2.8 IS MK2L|430EXII

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Jan 11, 2011 13:40 |  #2

Both are good... go with whatever your budget allows, IMO

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Cream of the Crop
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Jan 11, 2011 13:41 |  #3

Only a $400 difference? mkii for sure..

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Jan 11, 2011 13:44 |  #4

I had to ask the same question.

"Do I want to keep my MKI or switch to MKII?"

There is no question about MKII being superior to the MKI, however MKI has never failed me.
I always enjoyed the quality it produced.
I could still go for the MKII and be even happier, but the extra $$.. I could get 17-40L or fund it toward 135L.
That is my dilemma...

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Joined Dec 2010
Location: SFO Bay Area
Jan 11, 2011 13:52 |  #5

ni$mo350 wrote in post #11618806 (external link)
Only a $400 difference.....


OP: I think the prices you mentioned are ballpark. Real world difference between the two lenses is about $500 or so (~1450 for mk1 and ~$1950 for mk2)

A lot depends on what you shoot, it's commercial application and how disposable $$ is for you. The mk1 is a phenominal lens and even more so with it's current valuation. The mk2 is a slightly sharper lens but comes with a premium. If you shoot commercially, then I would recommend mk2 as it seems to promise more keepers and a higher hit rate. If you shoot for leisure then the mk1 will serve you just fine and save you some money. You can get another decent lens for the savings (maybe a UWZ if you don't have one?)

Disclaimer: I "upgraded" to mk2. Nothing wrong with my mk1 (in fact it was very sharp), but I am one of those gear freaks with the have to haves!

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Jan 11, 2011 14:09 |  #6

The typical census shows the II sharper than the I. I tried the I and found the II to be much sharper. I picked up the II on rebate and have been very happy with it. I find it on par with my 135L.

If you're on a budget, the I is a good alternative.

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Cream of the Crop
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Jan 11, 2011 14:27 |  #7

I replaced my 70-200 F4IS with the MKII. The MK1 never tempted me. If I am going to have to deal with the extra weight it better be as good as what I am replacing + add something, such as f2.8

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Jan 11, 2011 17:42 |  #8

Mark II is MUCH sharper! Go with the Mark II and dont look back!

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Jan 11, 2011 17:52 |  #9

Easy! MKII. No doubt about it!

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Jan 11, 2011 23:04 |  #10

TeamSpeed wrote in post #11618801 (external link)
Both are good... go with whatever your budget allows, IMO

I'd second this - the original lens was the pro choice for many years and is still very capable of producing a pro grade result (when used correctly of course ;)). The M2 is undeniably an upgrade and an all round improvement over the original design and optical formula and there are many who have happily upgraded from the original lens to the M2 - and many who have bought those original lenses (second hand) and been more than happy with them.

In the end its a tricky choice because you're essentially at the top end of the scale splitting hairs between two offerings. My best advice to you is to try them both out in a shop or somewhere like a camera club - in the end this gives you a real world understanding of how to two compare for you. You might find the difference worth the price cost - on the other hand you might feel that the cheaper original lens is more than enough for your wants and needs.

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Jan 14, 2011 21:38 |  #11


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Jan 14, 2011 23:48 |  #12

I have the MKI, but I had purchased it when the MKII was a 'rumor'. In any case, go with what you can afford.

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Location: New Jersey, USA
Jan 19, 2011 20:17 |  #13
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hi, mind if you share where or which online web store is selling the MKI at the price of 1500 and KII 1900? Im looking for the MKI badly and there is no where i can find a new unit at that price =(
thank you

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Jan 19, 2011 20:26 |  #14

MKII for sure, if a 400-500 difference is all there is.

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Jan 19, 2011 22:07 |  #15
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Every other post claims that II is significantly sharper than I. I wander where this is coming from. The MTF charts published on Canon site show that Mk II sharper in the center while Mk I is sharper on the border. Only at 70 mm Mk II is sharper both center and border. So Mk II resembles more Nikon 70-200 than Mk I in this regard.
There is no magic wand. The lens design is a very mature business and it is difficult to improve something very dramatically. The biggest difference between two lenses is not sharpness but IS and closer focusing distance (+ for Mk II ) and much different bokeh (Mk I wins ).

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Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS Mark 1 or mark II?
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