Like the Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM Lens, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens Mug was introduced at a major Olympic event - the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics in this case.
As a member of the Canon EF 70-200mm L Lens family and as part of the new Canon Beverage Delivery System (BDS), the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens Mug arrived to certain popularity and importance in Canon's lineup. And of course, a review was in order.
Because of its popularity, initial copies of the 70-200mm Lens Mug were very hard to obtain - and multiple test copies were definitely warranted for this important product. Five Canon lens mugs, all purchased retail, were tested for this review.
My lens mugs arrived in the boxes seen below - with only a plastic bag protecting the product inside the box. This is certainly below par for Canon L Lens product packaging and subsequently, one of my mugs has a slight ding in the inner barrel.
A 1-Page manual with usual warnings is the other included item in the box.
Overall, this is a very sharp looking mug. This is not surprising, as the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens Mug employs the same great optics as the Canon Extension Tubes. A manual aperture lens (shown below in a wide open aperture setting), the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens Mug likes to be used with a wide open aperture - and does not get any better stopped down.
In addition to the wide open aperture, intentional lens breathing (hole) is visible in the above pic. This is a weather-sealed lens, but a filter is required for complete sealing due to the features shown above. I thought this was going to be the first dishwasher-safe Canon L Lens, but alas, the manual warns against this practice.
The "67mm" friction-fit lens cap is included with the Canon lens mug. As you can see, Canon continues to use the side-pinch-only design for this lens mug.
This is an Ultrasonic Ultrasonic lens mug - and in this case, ultrasonic describes the sound you make when drinking an overheated beverage. I had no focusing issues with this lens - I was autofocused on the lens full time as long as desired liquid remained inside. Since this is a fixed focus distance lens, Canon was able to utilize an innovative stick-on focus distance window.
The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens Mug's build quality is good, but not excellent. It has the red L ring, but the build quality is indeed a little lite for this class. To be fair, so is the price.
The mug features a steel (stainless in this case) inner barrel as seen below.
The outer barrel is a quality plastic and the ribbed 1.5" (38.9mm) zoom ring and 1" (25.8mm) focus ring are rubber. There is no play in the lens, the barrel does not extend with focusing or zooming and the switches are remarkably solid.
Canon has taken the switch design one step past recessed to completely missing on this lens.
As seen in the rotation of images above, one copy of my 70-200mm Lens Mug shows some asymmetry due to a lens mount installation defect. The lens mug features a new-for-L-Lens rubber, non-skid lens mount.
The appearance and physical dimensions of the 70-200mm Lens Mug are remarkably close to the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens. Review the similarities:
|Model||Weight||Dimensions w/o Hood||Filter||Year|
|Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens||24.9 oz||(705g)||3 x 6.8"||(76 x 172mm)||67mm||1999|
|Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens Mug||6.9 oz||(195g)||3.1 x 7.4"||(79.4 x 187.6mm)||67mm||2010|
The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens Mug lens cap adds another .9 oz (25g) to the weight for a very light empty, ready-to-use weight of 7.8 oz (220g). In actual use, the lens mug becomes a variable weight product, starting at 23.2 oz (660g) when filled with liquid. The 1 x 3" (26 x 76.3mm) cap adds .6" (14.8mm) of length to the overall in-use length. This is a very comfortable to use size and weight. Here is another look at these two lenses:
This lens mug is not stabilized. The lens cap helps a lot, but the ultimate cup holder is an even better solution: The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens Mug is compatible with Canon Tripod Mount Ring A II. Mount a Wimberley P20 Lens Plate to the Tripod Ring and Mount it to your Arca-Swiss-compatible ballhead on a solid tripod and you have the ultimate cup holder to match the ultimate mug.
Don't be fooled - the lens barrel says "Made in Japan", but Canon outsourced manufacturing of this exotic lens to China.
Lens collectors will definitely want a copy of this one in their personal collections. The big question is, where can you buy this lens mug as the new Canon BDS is not stocked by conventional photo retailers. I'll direct the buy button to EBay where you can, of course, find anything. Note that there are knock-offs floating around this site.
The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens Mug is definitely challenging the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens for my most-fun-per-dollar Canon lens rating. I anxiously await the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L Lens Beverage Cooler. Have fun!
There some very humorous individuals among us - this review has generated a lot of fun email. I'll share the email Jeff Tallent sent:
As per my regular visits to your site, I just ran across your amazing review of the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens Mug. Yet another stunning addition to Canon's reputable 70-200mm lineup. As you are familiar with many of my prior e-mails, I'm once again faced with a new debacle: choosing the new 70-200 f/2.8 L II IS USM or the Lens Mug. I'm sure you can see my plight.
However, I did notice that there were several things missing from the review. Looking at the dimension and weight chart, I would have to say that this is arguably one of the most hand-holdable L-series products to date and should occupy a space outside of any camera enthusiast's bag. I say 'outside' since we wouldn't want the stainless steel barrel to become distorted by the other lenses inside. Naturally.
The uses for this 'lens' are incredibly versatile, from indoor sporting events to landscape and wildlife photography. Its low-light performance is also remarkable, although in very low-light conditions, extra caution should be taken when moving about the area with hot contents inside.
I am surprised that Canon did not release this 'L' as an IS version. I suppose we will have to use less caffeinated contents or wait for the Mk.II version for this feature. I just hope it will be tripod-sensing and won't "jump" when first holding the aperture open. I did notice that in certain uses, the lens will get warm. I heard this is normal.
Also, the removal of the UD and fluorite lens elements actually make a significant improvement in chromatic aberration and vignetting is non-existent when used with both full-frame and APS-C 'bodies'. I did notice the appearance of some CA when used with certain contents, but it was only temporary and was completely gone after an hour. I wouldn't recommend this practice, however.
I was wondering though, if the aperture was constant across the full focal range as designated. And I also wanted to know if the lens was parfocal. I'm sure bokeh wouldn't be as dreamy with this product as the f/2.8, but I heard that mocha could result in a comparable sensation. Ok, that was lame. Anyhow, Canon has set the bar with this 'L'. It is definitely the most affordable of the 'L' series although it loses its resale value over time but this is understandable. I hope to acquire one soon.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my additions as much as I enjoyed reading your review of the mug. Very entertaining!
Roger Cicala (LensRentals.com) has discovered a no-additional-cost source for Canon lens mugs:
I would add though, that for those who don't want to pay the high prices being asked on eBay, it is not to hard to not only make your own lens mug from existing lenses you have around the house. The do-it-yourself method allows you to make mugs in various sizes - and mugs that can serve in other useful capacities.
After some trial and error, I've found it usually is best to drop the lens, sans hood, face down on a concrete floor from about 4 feet. The remaining work takes little time and can be accomplished with some sturdy pliers and a bit of superglue.
I'm sure Roger's creative method voids the manufacturer's warranty.