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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
380 810416 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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jbd1
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Registered: Feb 27, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 440
Review Date: Jan 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Good lens to cover this focal range on a budget. Lens is fairly lightweight. Silent focus.
Cons:
f/4 makes it harder to keep faster than 1/focal length shutter speed in any conditions other than bright daylight.



Jan 22, 2005
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cladnin
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Registered: Sep 8, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 150
Review Date: Jan 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, focus speed, small and lightweight
Cons:
F4 and no weathersealing

Takes incredible pictures at a nice lightweight small size.

Jan 20, 2005
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backfocus
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Registered: Jan 19, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness,contrast,AF(speed and precision), colour rendition, build qualitiy AND price
Cons:
really none, although ....

mine had a terrible backfocus at 70-100 when I purchased it. I sent it in for calibration and now have something like a perfect telezoom

Jan 20, 2005
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CurtPick
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Registered: Nov 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3260
Review Date: Jan 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything about this lens is perfect for the range.
Cons:
f4 but who cares !

There is nothing bad about this lens. No way , no how !
Its light, easy to carry around, sharp, contrast is excellent, bokeh is even better ! If your looking to shoot out doors or in good light this is the ultimate zoom for you ! The f4 may be too slow for bad lighting for some, but I never had any problems with this lens in low light when used properly !
Its a WOW lens at a WOW price !

AAAAA++


Jan 19, 2005
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aftershock
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Registered: Dec 11, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent Optics
Cons:
none

I got this lens about a couple of months ago. I use it with Canon 20D and it works perfect. I have had no problems. I used to take pictures at a dance party. The lights were down and only rotating colored lights were spinning. I was amazed that this lens not only focused fast but very accurate and sharp.

I was thinking about getting the f2.8 version, but didnt because the price is too high for my range, plus, on 20D you can crank up the ISO and get very nice images.

I love it.


Jan 16, 2005
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tobogranyte
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Registered: Nov 17, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jan 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast AF, brilliant sharpness at all lengths, relatively light and freakishly cheap for such a good lens.
Cons:
Some weirdness in extreme lighting at 200mm which, honestly, may not even be the lens

I bought this lens before buying the 24-70L as a telephoto zoom I'd want to keep.

I wasn't disappointed. I reviewed the 24-70L some months ago since it's the lens I keep on the camera and use regularly. This one, however, isn't as readily useful and it's only recently that I've used it enough to speak coherently about it.

In short, there's just about nothing wrong with this lens. I haven't taken a single picture with it that I'm unsatisfied with because of anything to do with the lens (it's all my lack of talent).

While I haven't done any "tests" with this lens, I can say that images I get from this lens simply appear sharper than those from the 24-70. The detail is exquisite.

As long as the reduced perspective of a telephoto isn't a problem to your style it's a good lens for street photography--at least the kind I do. Yes, it's that head-turning white and somewhat large, but the distance I can put between myself and subjects has compensated for that.

I haven't tried the 70-200 2.8L IS. Right now, I don't know that the 2.8 would make much of a difference, but the IS might. At this price, though this lens is a great value. Certainly a better value than my 24-70...

The only thing I've noticed is that in a few shots, directly into a setting sun (sun hidden behind a tree trunk, of course) at 200mm I was getting what seemed to be an extreme lack of focus through some tree branches with the bright sky at the top of the frame in portrait orientation. It didn't look like the standard CA or the things one expects in that kind of a shooting situation. It looked radically out of focus, and was so severe that I could see it in *thumbnails.* However, in plenty of other shots in more normal conditions, there is no focus problem in that area, so I'm figuring it's just too extreme a shot.

But really: ignore that last part and buy the lens. You won't be disappointed.


Jan 11, 2005
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adamp88
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Registered: Dec 27, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 668
Review Date: Jan 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast AF, wonderful color and contrast, lightweight, affordable!
Cons:
The optional tripod collar is expensive.

I couldn't be more pleased with my lens. Great and very useful zoom range, sharp as a tack with wonderful color and contrast. It does seem to draw a lot of attention being somewhat big and white, but I can deal with that. My only nit is that for proper balance and the best stability on a tripod, you really should have a tripod collar, and Canon's collar is pretty damn expensive for what it is.

Jan 10, 2005
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paparazzinick
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Registered: Jan 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7337
Review Date: Jan 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, fast zoom, focus is very fast, inexpensive
Cons:
no IS, hunts in very very low light

I use this for sports and it is very fast. also use it int he night when I am chasing celebs. hencemy name, paparazzi.

Jan 9, 2005
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artguy
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Registered: Dec 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 103
Review Date: Jan 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $575.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very nice lens - light weight for the style
Cons:
no IS

This is a very sharp well built lens. I like it because it is lighter that the 70-200 IS and much cheaper. If you often shoot weddings or race cars or sports then I think the IS lens would be worth the cost to get.

But a nice mono pod will also give 3 stops advantage and now I have $1,000 to spend on other lenses that are faster than the 2.8 would be anyway.

Anyway, I like this lens and would recommend it.


Jan 9, 2005
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Photo_lc
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Registered: Jan 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jan 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, fast, quiet and, yes, sharp! Very very sharp!
Cons:
Performance at extreme corner is noticeably poor sometimes.

I purchased a used 70-200mm a year ago and did not find astonish results on this lens. Thatís partially because that used one (later proven to have some problems) was not calibrated well with my then 10D. Many pictures were sharper than 70-210mm f/4 but over all not as sharp as reviewers suggested to be. At least I found that my even older used 80-200mm L performed significantly better. To prove that most reviewers did not over-praise this lens, I simply purchased a new one this week for my new 20D. The result is..

This new lens and my new 20D (purchased Nov, 2004) matched perfectly! The result was very very sharp even at f/4! Also, I am satisfied with the newspaper-shooting test results too. Resolution, color, contrast and light uniformity were all first-rated. Got more on-focus shots than my Tokina 100-300mm F4 (which is also excellent at optical quality.) I only found that the extreme lower-left corner had a little more decreased sharpness than the lower-right corner for some shots. I only had this lens for one day. More tests should have been done before I post this review. However, the difference between this one and the used one I purchased last year is so significant that I cannot help letting the reader know this result!

So my suggestion is that purchase NEW 70-200mm f/4 lens from authorized dealer! The new one costs $550 (plus rebate discounts now). Don't buy used ones on Ebay that cost $525 on average! I do trades on Ebay a lot to test out different lenses. My experience tells me not to tough used ones if you don't save over 50%! Because generally used ones do not perform as well as the brand new ones. This is because that if people like the lens very much, they won't sell it! What is put out for sale are mostly problem ones. Bad samples do exist. But if you buy from authorized dealers, you are safe!

I would rate this lens a solid 5. And if you don't need f2.8, this is an absolute best buy!


Jan 6, 2005
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3ABX03
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Registered: Dec 26, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Dec 26, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $577.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: L Quality
Cons:
AF not always work

It is grate and light zoom. Sharp. I donít believe you can get any sing batter for the money. I certainly recommended.
Igor
http://www.pbase.com/3abxo3/kids


Dec 26, 2004
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Dan Martin
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Registered: Sep 7, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 876
Review Date: Dec 23, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $730.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast AF, great contrast and resolution, not very heavy, excellent build quality.
Cons:
I now have "L" fever. :)

I really can't add anything that hasn't already been said in the previous 4 pages. This lens is as good as everyone says it is. Whoever said "if you're even considering buying the lens, just buy it" couldn't be more right. I have no regrets whatsoever and look forward to using it for many years to come.



Dec 23, 2004
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corgiwcn
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Registered: Apr 8, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 50
Review Date: Dec 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $579.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Excellent sharpness (if AF happens to work), color, acutance across all aperture and focal range.
Cons:
Very bad and widespread quality in autofocus at least for digital bodies. Wide end (70mm-100mm) normally show back focussing.

First warning, don't buy this lens after you have used a good prime like 85mm f/1.8, because you are unlikely to be very impressed by it. Or, more harshly, you might be disappointed.

Second, a lot of complaints about the backfocus issue (on 10D, 300D, and probably some copies of 20D) have been circulated. The quality control of Canon in the presence of digital SLRs should have been more stringent.

This zoom is probably the best compromise you can get for excellent sharpness, color rendition, and acutance. Even at f/4, my outstanding 85mm f/1.8 is just tad sharper than this zoom. The color rendered is very pleasing to the eyes. The acutance of this lens is more in line with my 17-40 f/4 -- the Canon "L" trait, where my 85mm f/1.8 is a little more natural and subdued (probably because of its intended use as a portrait lens). Bokeh is a little harsher than my 85mm f/1.8.

Because of the backfocus issues, I have put this zoom under the most extensive tests I could execute. One thing that bothers me is the accuracy of this zoom. From 70mm to 100mm, if you focus at objects near infinity (at the distance scale), it can be a hit-or-miss. You could probably blame this on the 300D I own, but my 85mm f/1.8 and lowly 50mm f/1.8 "hit" the targets at f/2.8 every time on every side-by-side test. This caused me to conjecture that the not-so-bright f/4 lens is finally showing its flaw here. On the other hand, I tested my lowly 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM II against this lens at f/4 (wide open for both) and 70mm; the 28-105 go the AF right every time. The only conclusion is that the 70-200 f/4 is deeply flawed in QC or design at least for digital bodies.

I then sent it to Canon to fix the AF problem. Now it came back much worse. The lens is now seriously backfocused as never before and the AF is very very bad for not-so-far objects.

I am giving it 3/5 for bad QC.


Dec 15, 2004
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doctordoom16
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Registered: Dec 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Dec 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $579.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light weight, fast AF, nice color/contrast, feels godd on 20D w/ battery grip.
Cons:
none

I have used the nikon 70-200 vr lense, the tokina 80-200 lense (nikon mount), the sigma 70-200 (on my 20D), the canon L 70-200 f/2.8, and by far this lense is the lightest and most comfortable to handhold. The VR/IS lenses are way too heavy and big for this focal length (my 300 f/4 is smaller and lighter). This lense is like a toy dog, you can take it anywhere and not notice its weight. I never use it on a tripod (low light i use my 135 f/2 or 135 f/2 with 1.4x tele con)) and don't miss the collar. The images are sharp and contrasty (not on par w/ my 135 f/2, but still very, very good). I really like this lense. I do miss the extra stop at 2.8, but if the light is fair, shooting at f/4 and ISO 400/800 will produce very good images. Noise on the 20D is well controlled at ISO 800 (except in the darkest of shadows). The lense hood is small and easily managed. I would recomend this lense highly to anybody looking for a good all purpose lense with outstanding image quality at a very reasonable price. I think that canon has done a great thing by introducing the "L" line of F/4 lenses (17-40, 70-200, 300). I own them and love them. Thier is nothing sacrifised with these lenses except size, weight, and cost (which are 3 things i could do with less of). Unless you need the extra stop (I used to think i did, but having a f/2.8 in low light is not as big a differnece as you think. Get the 135 f/2 if you need true low light shots at a reasonable tele length) get this lense and enjoy the "L" craze at a great price.

Dec 13, 2004
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jimnms
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Registered: Mar 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 15
Review Date: Dec 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, fixed apperture, great price & exelent image quality, light weight, and what everyone else has already said.
Cons:
Nothing

I purchased this lens from jgbryan021900 on the Buy/Sell Forum here.

I have the Canon 75-300 IS, and I was nervous about not having IS and losing 100mm of zoom at first. The 70-200 2.8 IS cost and weighed too much for me to even consider.

I love this lens. I took it to an airshow a few weeks after I got it. It was dark and overcast, but this lens still pumped out some excelent images.


Dec 9, 2004
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csaapi
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Registered: Nov 17, 2004
Location: Hungary
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 17, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $555.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image Quality, weight, Fast and quit AF
Cons:
None found yet.

I purchased this lens from the US, and I get it just 3 days ago. Here in Hungary it is an expensive lens, that is why I ordered it from US.
This is my first L lens, it is an upgrade from my 75-300 IS USM. I had some quality problems with the 75-300, it isn't the optimal lens for digital. (its pretty good for analog)
with my 10D the 70-200 works pretty well. AF is fast, and the Image quality... for the first time I didn't find words for the quialty. I took photos of my girlfriend's cat, and I can see the details of her fur. its amasing.
I think we will have great time together in the futur. Smile


Nov 17, 2004
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†††



Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
380 810416 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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