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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
380 816900 Sep 24, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $593.78
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.64
9.36
9.5
ef70_200_4_1_

Specifications:
High-performance, L-series telephoto zoom lens combining light weight and compactness with an f/4 maximum aperture. Inner focusing and the ring USM enable quick and quiet autofocusing. Also, a circular polarizing filter can be attached and used without difficulty because the front lens element does not rotate during focusing. The tripod collar (sold separately) is the same one used with the EF 300mm f/4L USM.


 


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Glassbottle
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Registered: Jan 17, 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 567
Review Date: Apr 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Damn good lens, cheap for what it is.
Cons:
Will not bring about world peace.

Make no mistake, this is a very good lens. Everything they say is true: it's sharp, contrasty and well-built; it transmits nice colour; it focuses fast and accurately; it's fairly light and it handles well. It is much better than my flaky old non-L EF 100-300mm f/5.6, which it replaces. Yet it is not the cure for the common cold.

This is my first foray into the deep and dangerous world of L lenses and I must say that (unlike most people, it seems) I'm not completely blown away.

Perhaps my expectations were too high, given the breathless excitement of most reviews and the abundance of flattering sample pictures. Or perhaps I have buyer's remorse.

But I'd like to sound a gentle warning to others who may imagine than possessing an L lens will give them supernatural powers.

This lens is not as sharp as a cheap prime like the 50mm/1.8, all the hype notwithstanding. Close, but not quite. (Of course, the bokeh is better.) And it is not *that* much better than a decent consumer zoom such as the 28-105mm/3.5-4.5 USM. The improvement seen in A4-size prints isn't vast, although pixel-peeping does show it up, and colours are probably better. But old-fashioned considerations like lighting and technique make more of a difference.

These things are, of course, difficult to quantify. On the whole I'm very pleased to have the 70-200mm/4, and I'd buy it again. But I think it's worth injecting a spoilsport dose of L-scepticism into the general rapture.


Apr 29, 2006
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Ernnez
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Registered: Jun 17, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 24, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: $575.00

Pros: L, size, built,
Cons:
No IS

Great travel lens

Apr 24, 2006
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riversen
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Registered: Apr 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: Apr 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great build quality, very sharp, quiet and quick focus, and absolutely incredible price...
Cons:
For what I paid for an "L" quality piece of glass... none!

I am learning so much and it sure helps that I have a fine piece of glass. All I can say is wow! If you deciding between the 70-300mm IS USM or this one, ask yourself if you really need the 300mm with IS right away. If you can live without the IS (do you do most of your photography outdoors or in well lit areas?), get this one. You can buy the extender X1.4 to get to 280 reach which is wonderful!!!

Apr 17, 2006
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powerear
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Registered: Apr 14, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp overall at f4, light, almost perfect build, colors, USM
Cons:
none, maybe a better integrated hood like at the 300/4l

I used the lens with the 30D and the 17-40L, which makes a very nice and carryable combo. First I though about the Sigma 100-300 but I had problems with Sigma lenses in the past. My Canon were always perfect after years of use. And 300 may be a bit to long without IS. I bought the 70-200L and I very pleased with it.
The lens is very sharp in the corners at f4 and gets only a very small bit better at 5.6. If you keep the DOF in mind the lens is always useable at f4. Very nice boket. Very fast focus.
I used to have a 300L4, which was not much better in sharpness in the field. I sold it because for my use it was to long at a crop camera.
Build quality is perfect. Dust proofing would be nice. Its light enough to carry always with you. That the most important thing in my opinion. The 300L4 has always been a bit to heavy, this one is nice. Its small enough to fit in the pocket of my outdoor jacket.
Think that over when you compare with the 2.8. Keep in mind that the DOF gets very small with 2.8 on low distances what meens you have to step down. I shot some photos in the zoo from a distance of 2m and the DOF was not more that 5 cm at f4.
IS would be nice but I use a monopod.
Price is good, but relatively more expensive in europe than in the USA. The 2.8IS is much to pricey in comparison.


Apr 14, 2006
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GMosher
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Registered: Aug 23, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 48
Review Date: Apr 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: WOW! FAST near-silent AF, great build quality. PRICE!
Cons:
No tripod collar:(

Smile Nothin but smiles!

Apr 13, 2006
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bigbossbmb
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Registered: Feb 13, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 138
Review Date: Apr 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $545.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, quick AF, nearly silent, great images, price, build quality...
Cons:
f4 (but can't expect 2.8 at this price), beware: causes L fever

don't hesitate if you can't afford a 70-200f2.8 then you should probably get this lens!

I bought this when I ordered my 30D...incredible combo

I know have 'L' fever Sad


Apr 10, 2006
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ga1lyons
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Registered: Mar 14, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 299
Review Date: Apr 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $519.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: fast, clear, "L" glass, price point on quality, the white makes everyone think i have purpose in life, and am there for a reason and not just some dork with a camera.
Cons:
not 2.8, not IS, doesnt make my breakfast

You know, i'd like to own a 2.8L IS version, but i cant afford it and if you are reading these reviews you likely cant either. So i'll tell you what you want to know. The answer is yes, since you cant afford a 2.8L IS, you want this lens. If you need a good quality lens to fill the 70-200 range and not give your first born, this is it. Lens is responsive, clear and sharp. A friend and i compared them (his is a 2.8L non-IS) and the difference tween ours were slight. Is it a perfect lens? no, none is, is this the best lens you'll ever get for this money? It is for me.
Happy shooting.


Apr 10, 2006
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Radu Gulie
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Registered: Apr 10, 2006
Location: Romania
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Razor sharp, very light comparing to 2.8 (IS) version, great contrast, overall an L lens...
Cons:
None so far, and I've been using it for about a year.



Apr 10, 2006
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njandl
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Registered: Aug 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 231
Review Date: Apr 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $525.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, build, AF, color and contrast, size. Absolutely everything you could want in a 70-200 f/4 lens.
Cons:
As many have said, white lens = attention. Would love IS...but then sales of the f/2.8 IS would go WAY down ;)

My first L, and a true revelation. Phenomenal sharpness and color when I first tried it using film; equally great results now on my 20D. Light, great build and balance, and f/4 has been much less of a limiter than I thought. You still get great bokeh, and low-light is not nearly as much of an issue with digital. Would be untouchable if it had IS, but that might take away its best-L-glass-for-the-money status. Regardless, this is a truly great lens.

Apr 5, 2006
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GabrieleNisi
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Registered: Mar 29, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Colori, Nitidezza, Prezzo, leggerezza, AF (Colors, sharpness, low price, weith, AF)
Cons:
Nessuno (none)

Questa stata la mia prima lente che ho comprato con la mia prima Canon, la 20D. In attesa che mi arrivasse il 17-40, sono stato un paio di settimane a divertirmi con la 20D ed il solo 70-200/4L.
Che dire: stato amore a prima vista.
Una lente stupenda, nitida, ottima per i ritratti rubati,con un AF molto veloce e silenzioso. COlori stupendi e buon contrasto. Questa lente ottimizzata per 200mm dove d il meglio di s, ma ottima anche su tutta la lunghezza focale ed a tutte le aperture dalla massima f/4 fino a f/16.

E' una lente dalla quale non sono mai riuscito a separarmi, nonostante abbia poi acquistato anche il 100-400 IS L.

Il 70-200/4L una comoda lente anche per viaggiare leggeri e si bilancia bene anche sol corpo pi piccolo della 350D.

Una lente da 10 e lode !!!!!!!


Mar 29, 2006
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gliphix
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Registered: Jan 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 28, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: $578.00

Pros: Sharness, build... slim and narrow
Cons:
length ... too long for the small range

Here is my gallery of sunsets... mostly taken with this lens:
http://www.pbase.com/gliphix/sunsets

This image was taken with this lens:
http://www.dpcprints.com/print.php?IMAGE_ID=311840


Mar 28, 2006
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teryValencia
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Registered: Jun 16, 2005
Location: Spain
Posts: 120
Review Date: Mar 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp , fast , colors , build
Cons:
price of the 67 mm filter

I bought this lens from a FMer and went out for a testing session during a U9 soccer match.
I was not disappointed at all. AF is really fast and colors are great. Pictures produced are tack sharp. The only i could say is that USM AF motor is so silent that you almost dont know if you have focused or not ... Wink

really , this is a must-buy if the range is ok for you.

tery


Mar 26, 2006
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Cynewulf
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Registered: Sep 26, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 70
Review Date: Mar 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, lightweight considering the quality glass
Cons:
Tripod collar is expensive and should be included, not particularly attractive hood

Sharp and very usable hand held with a reasonable amount of light due to its relatively light weight. Still feels very sturdy though.
Great lens!

Tripod collar should be included with the lens.


Mar 23, 2006
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misanthropic a
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Registered: Sep 26, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 448
Review Date: Mar 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good reach with a 1.6x, deathly quite, tack sharp, solid as a tank. The colors and contrast are spectacular.
Cons:
none.

This is by far my most used lens', its great for portraits, great for sports, pretty much anything. The action and feel of it are silky smooth, and the AF is super fast and quiet. Definetly a super bargain lens, that does a better job than many far more expensive ones.

Mar 21, 2006
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tellingthm
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Registered: Jan 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 337
Review Date: Mar 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: build, af speed, amazing color and sharpness, surprisingly lightweight
Cons:
none

i purchased this lens on FM a couple of months ago, and it is quite simply stunning. the build is superb and the af is lightning fast. in my opinion, this lens looks heavier than it is- this doesn't necessarily mean that it's lightweight, but it's much easier to hold and carry than i imagined it to be. i've been able to get sharp shots at 200mm, f/4, 1/40 on my 20d!
i'd say it's the best value in the L lineup, but i don't shoot tele enough to like it more than my 17-40.
of course it's not f/2.8, but that keeps the price/weight down, so i can't fault it for that. if i shot indoors a lot then i'd rather have the 2.8 IS, but i only really use this lens outdoors during the daytime, so the "slow" speed hasn't been a problem.

it looks good, it feels great, and it produces absolutely amazing color & sharpness. i love this lens!


Mar 12, 2006
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rouseyfire
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Registered: Mar 8, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Hi. This is my first post. Not sure if this is the right forum. Just purchased a Canon 20D and then a 28-135IS which is great, especially when compared to the photos taken with my old point and shoot. As with most of my hobbies, I get the urge to get better stuff...so I am waiting to get a 17-40 L f4.0 and 70-200 L f4.0 lens. They both should arrive this Friday. Two questions: Should I keep the 28-135? If I sell on ebay I could get maybe $300-350 (its less than a month old) Not sure if your that price it would not be better to keep it, although I'm not sure how much use I would get out of it. I couldn't make up my mind between the 70-200 F2.8 or F4.0 until I looked at several web sites which had photos posted using the F2.8. What I found was that most of the postings using the F2.8 were taken at f4.0 or slower. If you're going to shoot most of time at F4.0 or slower, what's the benefit of paying twice the amount for the F2.8?
Cons:



Mar 8, 2006
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
380 816900 Sep 24, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $593.78
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.64
9.36
9.5
ef70_200_4_1_


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