I recently took my new Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L USM lens out to the lovely setting of Sizergh Castle, a National Trust property in Cumbria. The intention was to do some test portraits, but I ended up creating a little story which I’m calling ‘In Search of Snowdrops’.
The lens performed brilliantly, and I absolutely love the background bokeh when shooting wide open (f2.8) at full zoom (200mm) while close to the subject.
This lens is quickly becoming a permanent fixture on my camera.
I treated myself to a new lens this week, and have been itching to try it out. At lunchtime today I finally got the opportunity to grab a few shots with it, and I’m seriously impressed with the performance.
First of all, I should say that this isn’t a lens for the faint-hearted. It’s heavy (about 1.4kg), long (about 20cm), and quite tricky to hold steady at full magnification. However, some of the wonderful background bokeh effects that are possible at wide apertures at 200mm make it all worthwhile.
All these images were shot at 200mm, with the aperture wide open at f2.8, except for the cat picture which was shot at 190mm. The cat and the soya milk carton were taken indoors with the light supplemented by on-camera flash (bounced).
The picture of the hen and the picture of the leaf demonstrate the level of bokeh that can be achieved when shooting at this focal length, at f2.8, close to the subject. The dark background on the leaf picture is actually the bottom of the garden, but the shallow lens has totally smoothed it out.
I can’t wait to try out some portraits with this lens.