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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

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354 771264 Jul 16, 2015
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92% of reviewers $3,244.92
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Incorporating Canonís second generation Image Stabilization technology, this telephoto zoom responds in as little at 0.5 seconds, while providing up to three stops of correction for camera shake. Its AF system has been refined for better response time and tracking speed. And even the new 8-blade circular aperture offers a more pleasing out-of-focus image. Constructed to pro standards, this fast zoom is also highly resistant to dust and moisture, too.


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Rei Lombardi
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Registered: Jun 16, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness and handling are just perfect, with an overall image quality that's now become a benchmark. The way it fits in my hand, how balanced it feels...a great lens that comes with me everywhere I go!
I spend 5 minutes trying to come up with a con...but couldn't! That must tell you something!

If you don't want a white lens, don't use Canon.
If you don't want a heavy lens, don't buy pro lens, buy a 55-200mm!
If you don't want an expensive lens...well, maybe you are in the wrong game!
The EF 70-200 L IS USM it's white, it's heavy and indeed it's expensive, if you can't cope with all that, maybe you should think about start collecting stamps or something.
It doesn't get any better than this! This is a dream lens and the 'compromises' that it's use require are far less annoying than the whining from some 'self-belived' photographers.
If you complain to much about something that is so perfect and so wanted by so many people, then you should reconsider your status as a photographer and put down your name to take part in the next Opra show!
For the rest of you, REAL photographer that appreciate and value the good thing in life, this is an AWESOME lens!
Buy it if you can afford it and ENJOY IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Jun 16, 2007
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Ed Cucci
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Registered: Nov 18, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 39
Review Date: May 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,699.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: It's white
It's white

I've only had this lens for a few days but I'm very impressed with how accurate and sharp it is (yes even at 200mm). I will admit that at 200mm and 2.8 it's a bit soft (for a large print) but by f8 its tack sharp. I have a 21" HD monitor and I can fill the whole screen with an image shot at 200mm and have printed a 13" X 19" (Canon Pro 9000) copy and it looks great. I know a lot of guys have complained that this lens is soft at 200mm at any apeture but I dissagree. Anyway, great IS, color and fast AF. I'm giving it a 10 for my copy anyway. Very pleased.

May 2, 2007
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Registered: May 5, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 18
Review Date: Apr 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, excellent clarity and colour. If my 24-105L was this sharp, Nikon would be put out of business.
Heavy and "white".

I bought this lens several months ago but hesitated posting a review until I have used this extensively. The review is from a point of view of a keen amateur photographer and used primarily on a 5D.

Without a doubt, this is easily the best lens I have. I have a copy of the 17-40L and the 24-105L and the cheap 50mm f/1.8 but this 70-200L really blows them all away. It is much sharper with less distortion, better colour and most importantly I find the pictures with the 70-200 has a 3D feel to it. Bokeh is also excellent. I find the lens sharpest at f/8 to f/9.

The IS works very well and I can get decent shots at 1/30 most of the time, but in order to ensure you bag 100% of your shots, you should shoot at a faster speed especially at longer length.

My gear is purchased primarily for travels. I find that this is too heavy to carry around and seldom bring it out on holiday unless I know there is an obvious need for it.

I also have the 1.4x teleconverter and find that the image quality decrease substantially when using it. I won't say the image is terrible (still better than than the 17-85 IS which I had awhile back), but it's ranking amongst my L lens will drop from #1 to last.

I have several friends who travel extensively. They decided to sell this lens for the 70-200L f/4 IS because of the weight. They did not notice any image quality difference. If the cost/weight is going to bother you, I suggest going with the f/4 route.

A toss up between the f/4 and f/2.8 IS? If you are rich, built like a tank and need f/2.8, get this. If not, get the f/4. Image quality is going to be the same.

The white lens bothers me. From what I read, some actually like it as it gives them the "feel good pro factor". I am not a pro and don't feel the need to feel like a pro. My concern is not wanting the lens to be more prominent than it already is. After all, this is a pretty big lens! It is hard to get a natural/candid shot of the subject at times because they are usually stumped by the size of a big white lens pointing at them!!

Last thing to note. When I use this lens on my 20D, the AI Servo does not work. I don't have this issue with the 20D with other lens and the AI Servo on the 5D works with this lens. This seems like an isolated accident but you should check it out if you have a crop camera.

Apr 26, 2007
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Registered: Feb 27, 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 270
Review Date: Apr 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very, very sharp; Sharpness throughout range. IS is fantastic; Superb image quality and colour rendition. Built to last. Looks sexy as well.

From the very first you feel you have gotten a high quality product in your hands. During usage this impression is just confirmed. With this lens you feel you can handle almost every photographic situation..
I am very glad I got this 2.8 IS ver.. It is expensive, yes, but I donīt have to buy another lens to support this lens cos it is a very versatile lens covering a high number of photographic categories.
The more i use it the more i love it. The moment I press the shutter release button, i know I am going to get sharp pics.. every time...really an amazing lens! IS is fantastic, more useful than expected.
Before buying this lens I had been reading a lot about weight concerns from some users, and I had expected this might be a minor problem - but now afterwards I really donīt understand this. No problems at all. I am carying the lens in my Lowepro Toploader 75AW, when I am not shooting.This bag and the 2.8 IS is a good combo, cos the bag gives me quick access to the camera. I can carry this lens all day without any problem.
I really canīt find any CONS so far - only the price maybe, but it is worth it.!!

Highly recommended!

Apr 20, 2007
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Joe Jargisa
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Registered: Mar 29, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 170
Review Date: Apr 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Sharp wide open throughout focal range, Built to last a long time, very responsive AF on the 1d Mk2, good firm feel adjustment with focus and zoom rings, share 77mm filters with other L's
Quite heavy, expensive (rightly so). No real cons at all!!

Finally went for the 2.8 IS model after months of debating. Very pleased with this lens!
In fact trying to look at it objectivley there is nothing really I can say that is bad about this model. I keep it on the camera much of the time!

It was a very difficult choice as looking all over the web, many comparisons are made between the different 70-200 models. This has been complicated even more by the release of the F4 IS model. But the 2.8 really has great BOKEH. It really shines in all areas.

I would recommend it without letup to anyone!

Apr 15, 2007
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Mark Chambers
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Registered: Mar 7, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Apr 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,669.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great for sports shooting and general photography (indoor and outdoor), even in lower light. Focus is very fast. Build quality is exceptional.
It's pretty heavy.

I've used this lens for a couple of weeks now. I have used it in a variety of light. I have mainly been shooting little league baseball and basketball inside a gym. I have seen great results even with lower light in the evening (outside) and have had no issues with autofocus. I use al servo and the lens set to mode 2 and it has done a great job keeping things in perfect focus when tracking moving subjects. I was using a Canon 70-300 is usm lens prior to getting this 70-200 is usm lens and there is a big difference in the quality and capabilities of this lens. The lens is not light so I have been using a monopod and it helps. I've shot many photos zoomed to 200mm handheld and been amazed by the image stabilizer. I am very pleased with this lens. I have been able to get shots in lower light outside and inside that I would not have been able to get with my f4-5.6 lens. I am amazed at the photos that my 30d is now shooting with this lens. --- I highly recommend this lens.

Apr 13, 2007
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David John
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Registered: Mar 11, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: Apr 2, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,699.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Great for weddings...
NOT for sports!!

I was disappointed in the speed of the auto focus. If you're a serious sports shooter...STICK WITH PRIMES!!

Apr 2, 2007
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Registered: Oct 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1096
Review Date: Mar 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,699.99 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS, 2.8, versatile focal range.
People say price and weight, but its worth the price and weight is expected.

A man in a brown truck just dropped my copy of the 70-200 2.8L IS yesterday morning. So my reveiw is based on my thought right out of the box.

Before opening the box I did notice the weight of the package was comprable to the weight of my 5D and grip when delivered. I ripped open the box and snapped the lens on and raised it to a clock on the wall.

Click, Spool, Smile...

So far I'm impressed with this lens. Because of its size, I have to keep it on the body while stored away in my bag. It takes the place of my 135L. I can still see my self using the 135 for portrait sessions and work with models. But for now the 70-200 will be my work horse for wedding work. I'll be giving it a work out tomorrow at a event that I'm shooting.

Because of its size and color, It will probably intimidate people a bit and make me a bit more noticable. I experienced this when I had the 70-200 f4L and I would imagine that it would be a similar experience with this one.

I actually took my kids to the park and had this lens on the 5D as I shot them from afar. Another dad approached me and said, "now thats a camera, are you a photographer?" I said no and smiled. He then asked me to shoot a meeting he had that night. THAT NIGHT! I declined because of prior engagements but I basically got hired for a job based off this lens alone. lol.

This is a great lens, the time it took me to save for it was well worth it. I'd purchase this thing again in a heart beat.

Mar 30, 2007
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Chris Walker
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Registered: Mar 29, 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp lens at all apertures, fast autofocus
Price (Switzerland US $ 2700)

After reading almost all posts on this lens at this forum, I decided to buy this lens. It's my first prime lens and I really must confirm that I donít regret my decision.

Itís a great lens. I use it on my 20D and at all distances and apertures the pictures are crystal clear, very sharp, excellent color and contrast.
If you ever think to buy a lens in this range (70-200) itís definitely this one. If you canít afford it, save your money still you are able buy it. Although this lens in Switzerland is very expensive (compared to the price, US customers must paid for) itís worth every penny. The fast AF is amazing for every kind of racing like horses, cars, ski and so on. The IS and the 2,8 a real advantage in low light conditions when you better donít use a flashlight.

I can confirm all about, what others wrote concerning the quality of this prime.
Go and get it!!!

Mar 29, 2007
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Jake Holt
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Registered: Oct 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: AF speed, I.S., color, bokeh, zoom range, build quality
Fairly soft at 200mm at 2.8, especially compared to 200 2.8L prime.

I've been using this lens for a month now, so I figure I've used it enough to give my 2 cents.

First, overall, it's a very good lens. The zoom range is very useful, I.S. works as advertised (I've gotten acceptably sharp results at 200mm and 1/15th of a second), and the color and bokeh are great. It's sharp at f4 and very sharp at 5.6.

However, my disappointment comes when shooting at f2.8, particularly at 200mm. I use this focal length primarily for weddings, and up until now I've been using the 200 2.8L prime. While I love the quality and the size of the prime, I decided that it was worth the weight and cost to have the I.S. and zoom capability. While I've loved using the 70-200, I've noticed that that amazing look that the 200 prime had at 2.8 is not there with this zoom. Maybe I've been spoiled by the prime - I use both primes and zooms, and I know that primes are generally sharper at a given aperture - but given the rave reviews this lens always receives, I just expected more. The 200 2.8 is amazingly sharp even at 2.8 - it gives me the absolute best results of any lens in my kit - so I know I'm holding the 70-200 to a very high standard. Still, given the price tag I expected more.

So, once I noticed these results, I began checking around more and lo and behold, I'm not the only one who feels the same - check out the findings here:

As you'll notice, the MTF numbers are rather pedestrian at 2.8, 200mm. Now, I'm not a pixel peeper by any means - this is a difference that's noticeable in 5x7 prints. Look at some other popular lenses on that site, and you'll see that much better numbers are to be found with the 200 2.8 prime and the 70-200 2.8 non-IS. Zooms are always a compromise in some way, but it would seem that a telephoto zoom lens would be engineered to perform best at it's longest setting.

With all that out of the way, I still like the lens, and I would buy it again, although I think for the price it should be better wide-open. It's an incredibly useful tool, and although 2.8 isn't great, it's there if you need it - although I find I tend to bump the ISO before I switch from f4 to f2.8. Maybe the moral of the story is that L series primes will spoil you!

Mar 27, 2007
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Bjorn Beheydt
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Registered: Mar 22, 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, IS, f2.8, built like a bazooka, colors, bokeh, the looks, ...
Maybe the price, depends on your needs, looks like a bazooka :-)

Before buying this lens, I first rented the non-IS version a few times. While that is already a great lens, this one is even better. the question is not, is the IS worth the extra money, the question is: do you have the extra money to spend. If you do, don't doubt, buy!
The built of this lens is superb. With this thing mounted to my 5D, I am not afraid of being robbed. Like said before, this thing looks like a bazooka, and if you hit someone with it, they will know that it can feel like a bazooka too :-)
Another point is indeed the looks. This thing looks great, and impressive. this has both positive and negative points. People always come up to you when they see you shooting. This can result in new customers, but can be annoying at times too.
the sharpness of this lens is incredible, same for the colors. the IS is really a great help too, keeping pictures sharp at slower speeds (low light) that would otherwise be lost. This lens makes the difference between a good wedding reportage and a bad one.
Whenever I want to be sure of a good shot, I take out this lens.

Mar 23, 2007
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Registered: May 26, 2003
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,659.95 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid, fast, great focusing speed, good looking :) etc etc
weight.... pricy....

All the pros said them all. There's nothing I can add.

Oh, I'll just say, while the new "Baby White IS" (F4 version) is light & easy to carry around, this "Little White IS" has greater fire power...

So if you are tough, if you are strong, if you are built to carry weights... there's no reason why you should not just aim for this Little White IS. Smile

Mar 21, 2007
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Registered: Jul 14, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2082
Review Date: Mar 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS works wonders, f/2.8, rotating collar.
maybe price...naw, it's worth it.

I've owned several copies of this lens (I'm a gearhead yes) and all of them were fabulous. Never seen a bad copy. I've used the 70-200 2.8IS on 30D, 1DMkII-N, 20D. This lens produces superb bokeh, has very fast focus. This lens and the 35L are my two most used and altime favorite lenses. I prefer using the zoom over 85L/135L combo because of the flexibility and prime quality this zoom offers. The 85L admittedly is in a class by itself though and comparing it here is somewhat inapropriate.

I love that the tripod collar can be loosened to rotate camera into portrait position but really would've liked an alignment mark for vertical position like it has for horizontal. This lens is sharp wide open. 2 IS modes, and yes an off switch makes 3, make this lens highly versatile for all kinds of shooting. I've used it extensively for sports, candids, portraits and stitched panos @ 70mm. I couldn't see the f/4 version as being an alternitive purchase because of subject movement.

I highly recommend this lens. I buy and sell alot of lenses but this and the 35L tops on the seller's remorse list. Wink

Mar 16, 2007
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shiato storm
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Registered: Jan 15, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Review Date: Mar 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Built like a tank, IS, f/2.8, weather seals, constant length in focal range. Image results and clarity top notch. great low light performer.
built like a tank also carries it's weight like a tank...not such a negative though when you consider the positives. Expensive. It's almost worth it but virtually exclusive to the well-off or pro's.

As anyone on here probably knows this is one of those lenses that carries itself extremely well and comes highly regarded. The range is a very good portrait or 'not too far away' sports lens, indoors and outdoors.
Plus points for me is the weather sealing due to the shooting I do (on/by a river following rowing) and the IS. I had to use this at its full working aperture in low-light and bouncing around on a rubber dingey and results are very impressive wide open. I even used this at beyond -20C and it didn't complain one iota. Yes the IQ is meant to be better in the non-IS version but for usability this is the lens to have. Attached to the 1DmkII the combination is one of the most effective I've shot with.
the obvious downside to this - and not just the physical weight - is the amount of money this will cost you. You might be lucky and find an exceptional 2nd hand copy which may be the best route for you, if you are quite well-off or a pro then the expenditure perhaps wont matter so much thanks to your wealth or that you know it'll work well for you and pay itself back immeasurably.
I highly recommend this lens but you must think carefully about your needs prior to spending a great deal of your earnings on it. I'd suggest you try the other 70-200 (f/4's) and then go from there if this proves to be more suitable to your shooting.

Mar 14, 2007
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[ X ]

Registered: Feb 22, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 31
Review Date: Feb 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: its big.... and white it also feels like your doing something right. The salesman hit my sucker buttons and I couldnt argue with him cos hes right, I wanted to shoot motorsport and maybe this is a good lense...The portraits of my girlfriend are just a side affect. Love this lense. Already chased a 1.4 down and on a 30d the moon becomes big. think i need a 300 2.8 next but at the same time i want a 10-22 efs...
credit card now about to self combust..... I'd do it again though.

Bought this at the same time as a 30d and 17-85 is... yeah I know.. I got caught up in the moment but I DONT REGRET IT...

Feb 23, 2007
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Registered: Feb 11, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 6
Review Date: Feb 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,845.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast (for a zoom), very sharp, IS, good focal range, compatible with the teleconverters, built like a tank, feels great, and has 77mm filter size (consistent with most other L zoom filter sizes).
Vignettes wide open, and is expensive, but it's worth the money, and delivers.

I have owned my 70-200/2.8L IS since October, 2006, but have shot with one before, and achieved very pleasing results.

I previously owned the 70-200/4L, which was a very sharp lens, albeit a stop slower and with no IS. It was my first L.

I decided to upgrade, and not long after, sold my 70-200/4L.

I've used mine on my 20D and 5D, again with pleasing results.

I've found that the 70-200/2.8L IS is one of my most frequently used lenses. I absolutely love working with it. It's large, long and heavy, but feels great, and performs very well indeed.

When using one, the size, weight, construction and feel of the zoom and focus rings make it clear that you're using serious gear. This lens is a staple in photojournalism and sport photography circles, but is also used by many amateurs.

The extra speed and the IS are desirable and beneficial. I mostly shoot wide open with this lens, and its focal range is quite useful to a shooter like myself who prefers longer focal lengths. The wide (for a zoom) f/2.8 aperture is also useful for shooters who like narrow depth of field.

It seems to be universally accepted that the 70-200/2.8L IS is a very sharp lens. Mine certainly is. There's a lot of glass in it, and it is a zoom (a great zoom), but its sharpness is up there with my L primes (35/1.4L, 135/2L and 300/4L IS). All of these are known for being sharp, and the 35/1.4L and 135/2L have what I call "wow effect". I've not done any testing to compare the sharpness of the zoom vs. these primes, but my own experience and results tell me that the 70-200/2.8L IS is right up there with these excellent L primes. I expect the difference in sharpness (if any) to be very negligible.

This lens is able to resolve a high level of detail, produce crisp edges and really isolate a subject from the background. Just what the doctor ordered.

The 70-200/2.8L IS is a very expensive lens, and if money is no object, then for some people, size and weight certainly may be. I don't mind heavy lenses (and this is my heaviest), but if compactness, lightness and discretion are important, this lens won't deliver in that regard. If sharpness, speed and quality are priorities, then it absolutely delivers.

I bought the 1.4x teleconverter at the same time, but tend to use it more with my 300mm L prime for extra reach.

One other point worth mentioning is the 77mm filter size. All current L zooms (excluding the two 70-200mm f/4 lenses) use 77mm filters. Apart from the 14/2.8L and the super-teles (300/2.8 IS and above), only three L primes use 77mm filters (24/1.4L, 300/4L IS and 400/5.6L), with the remaining primes using 72mm filters.

If you happen to own several lenses (L or otherwise) which use 77mm filters (I own three), the common size is both handy and a cost-saver when it comes to more expensive filters, such as circular polarisers.

The only negative comment I can make about the 70-200/2.8L IS is that there is noticeable vignetting on full-frame cameras when shot wide open, especially if there is a lot of sky in the corners.

Otherwise I cannot fault it.



Feb 2, 2007
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
354 771264 Jul 16, 2015
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $3,244.92
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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