A favorite focal length of still photographers, and naturally of hybrid cinematographers bridging the gap between the worlds of still photography and motion picture, the new 70-200mm Compact-Servo is sure to be an ideal choice for the ultra-light documentary shooter. Canon’s 18-80mm Compact-Servo was announced about the same time last year, just ahead of NAB 2016. If you’re unfamiliar with the Compact-Servo line, imagine all the camera operators in the world using Canon’s L series still lenses. Now imagine half of them called Canon and complained that their L series lens doesn’t hold focus through the zoom and it doesn’t have integrated gears, and the focus isn’t reliable or repeatable… Then imagine Canon going to their engineers and explaining this – and that’s where we get the Compact-Servo zooms.
The Compact-Servo zooms are a true hybrid lens. They take what’s necessary of both still photo and motion picture worlds and mash them into one product. There are, of course, shortcomings as a result. Keep in mind, there are laws of physics that must be obeyed. As it always is in lenses – compromises must be made. And in the case of the Compact-Servos, the benefits outweigh the limitations for the shooter that this series is designed for. The 70-200mm is ideal of the lightweight, nimble production that needs to fit two small, light zooms into a small pack along with a camera and accessories. With the pair of Compact-Servo zooms, 18-80mm and 70-200mm, you’re covered from 18mm all the way to 200mm at less than six pounds total. Think about that for a second…
All of the features are pretty similar to the 18-80mm Compact-Servo including the image stabilization, parfocal design, super fine auto iris with Canon cinema cameras, Constant T-stop through the zoom range, Servo zoom control (powered through the EF mount), auto focus (which is pretty clever when used in conjunction with Canon’s face recognition cameras for tracking)… I’m starting to sound like the brochure here… But you get it! Basically, there’s a ton of cleverness going on under the polymer body of this lens.
We’ll be sure to do some more testing with this lens, not only at NAB next week, but when production models start shipping later this year. There’s no official word on pricing yet – but we expect it to be on par with the 18-80mm which carries a list price of $5,699.
For the spec lovers: