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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
222 426284 Jun 21, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,079.18
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.71
8.76
9.7
ef70-200lisusm

Specifications:
The EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM is a lightweight, compact L Series telephoto zoom lens with Image Stabilizer. The optical Image Stabilization in the new EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens provides up to an incredible four stops of shake correction-a first for Canon IS lenses. The use of fluorite UD lens elements provides excellent optical performance in terms of resolution and contrast. These features, together with its water-and dust-proof construction, provide both the performance and portability to meet user demands.

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Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 70 - 200mm f/4

Lens Construction: 20 elements in 15 groups

Diagonal Angle of View: 34- 12(with full-frame cameras)

Focus Adjustment: AF with full-time manual

Closest Focusing Distance: 3.94 ft. / 1.2m

Zoom System: 7-group helical zoom (rotational angle: 72º)

Filter Size: 67mm

Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.0 x 6.8 in. / 76 x 172mm 26.8 oz./760g (lens only)


 


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cohenxa
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Registered: Jul 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 831
Review Date: Aug 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: First L lens and I "see" the difference. AF is QUICK and reliable. Images are sharp, good contrast - accept the 1.4x converter without any issue
Cons:
No tripod ring - IS a little noisy

I own this lens for 6 months now and I am really happy with this purchase. I use it for portrait, landscape abstract and wildlife (with or without 1.4x). I was looking for "portability" and I am impressed by the result. Most of the pics from it are great...if only I purchased it earlier :-).
I rate it 7 beacuse I found a little bit $$$ to move from the non-IS to the IS (almost the double)


Aug 13, 2007
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mfurman
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Registered: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2849
Review Date: Aug 13, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $980.00

Pros: Very sharp, great contrast and color
Cons:
Some issues with MFD and 200 mm

This is the follow up to my previous review in which I rated the lens relatively low (8). I have checked three copies of this lens and kept the third, although they were all practically the same. I have done some extensive shooting with the lens and I think that it is very, very good. I have been practically using it all the time and I would increase my rating to 9.8, if I could.
The issue, that I focused on in my previous review, remains. The lens is less sharp at 200 mm and MFD (1.2 m). I use it either up to 170 mm, if I need to shoot at MFD or increase my focusing distance to at least 2.5 m, if I need 200 mm. I am talking about achieving prime like sharpness. With this exception, the lens is "perfect".
Those who rate it below 9 (me included), do not know what they are talking about. To give it "5", because the copy may be defective, is completely ridiculous and a person doing this should be banned.


Aug 13, 2007
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tmr_wa
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Registered: Sep 7, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1023
Review Date: Aug 10, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros:
Cons:

I begin this review of the 70-200/4 IS by admitting that I didnt use my 70-200/4L (non-IS) very often on my 1.6x DSLR. While I was impressed with the optical performance of the zoom, I typically found myself at 200mm and wanting a bit more speed. So unless I knew I was going to need the 200mm reach, I wasnt reaching for the zoom. I sold the 70-200/4 and purchased a 200/2.8L. For most purposes, I was content with the 200L prime a great lens if you need the 200mm focal length. But, I wasnt completely satisfied.

Landscape photography is one key area where I missed the flexibility of the zoom. While I often use the 200L in the field, I found myself wishing for the ability to zoom out to a wider focal length. I purchased a 28-135 IS and while this lens was plenty sharp when stopped down, I was often using it between 70-135mm and it was not as sharp as my primes, or perhaps more telling, the 70-200/4L I used to own. I started to think more seriously about purchasing another 70-200L. Canon currently offers plenty of options.

The f/2.8 versions of the 70-200 are too large and heavy for my purposes. Simply put, I dont like carrying large lenses. Plus, I already have the 200L, along with some other shorter and faster prime telephoto lenses; an f/4 zoom suits my needs perfectly. I originally planned to re-purchase the non-IS version of the 70-200/4. But, reviews of the f/4 IS caught my attention, and I realized that this lens was something I should consider more seriously. I sold my 28-135 and purchased the 70-200/4 IS.

My initial impressions of the lens have been quite favorable. Not surprisingly, the lens handles much like the non-IS f/4 version. The optical performance appears to be very similar as well this is a sharp zoom. Since I dont own the non-IS version, I cannot do a side-by-side test; I have, however, tested the IS f/4 against my 200L prime. My 200L is perhaps a bit sharper at comparable apertures, but any modest differences would not likely be seen in prints, and other variables like lighting, composition, subject movement, etc. are much more likely to produce discernable differences in real-world (non-test) situations. I was somewhat surprised to note, as others have reported, that when used on a 30D, the center performance of the f/4 IS does not improve when stopped down; the lens is as sharp at f/8 as it is at f/4. Im intrigued to know if stopping the lens down would improve performance on a full-frame DSLR.

To date, I havent had the opportunity to use the IS on this lens extensively, however my initial explorations suggest that I gain a 2-3-stop improvement. That said, I am fairly critical about sharpness, and I note that my best photographs still come when the camera is mounted on a tripod. I recently purchased the optional tripod mount because I expect to use this lens on a tripod quite a bit. Although the tripod mount is well constructed and works well, it is kind of pricey for what you get. Nevertheless, I highly recommend the tripod mount if you plan to use the lens on a tripod. Does this mean that the extra cost of the IS wasnt worth it in my case? Perhaps, but I do anticipate using this lens hand-held, and my experiments suggest that IS certainly can help still an unsteady hand.

I have seen reports that the 70-200/4 IS cannot produce sharp images at the minimum focus distance and 200mm. I only have experience with my lens, but my forays into the garden with the zoom suggest accurate focus. Perhaps most importantly for my landscape and event photography, the lens performs quite well when focused on far away objects.

Here are a few examples of images (on a 30D):


http://www.pbase.com/tmr_wa/image/82512557

http://www.pbase.com/tmr_wa/image/82917018

http://www.pbase.com/tmr_wa/image/83309210


In sum, I highly recommend the 70-200/4 IS. If you find the price a bit steep, I wouldnt hesitate to get the f/4 non-IS (and carry a sturdy tripod if you often encounter low light).


Aug 10, 2007
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Per Zangenberg
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Registered: Jan 17, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 11
Review Date: Aug 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp wide open, light, IS, zoom is very smooth, white (show-off effect)
Cons:
max f4 aparture (allthough you now that before buying so...), white (draws more attention).

I had the Sigma 70-200 2.8, but I found it too heavy and too big and found it hard to hold steady at lower shutterspeeds. The 70-200 f4 IS is smaller, lighter AND has IS. I do miss the 2.8 aparture sometimes though.

Here are some samples from 5D:

http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=346
http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=372
http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=375
http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=618
http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=629


Aug 8, 2007
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Erwin Foo
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Registered: May 3, 2007
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,070.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, IS, Focus very fast, quiet and accurate.
Cons:
No

After I bought this lens, I was immediately shocked by it's sharpness. The Image quality and the richness of the color is very good.

I tried on my Canon 400D, the focus speed is fast, quiet and accurate.

This is a great lens!

Some Sample:

http://www.pbase.com/erwinfoo/image/83378770
http://www.pbase.com/erwinfoo/image/83378771
http://www.pbase.com/erwinfoo/image/83378774



Aug 5, 2007
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oek2
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Registered: Aug 9, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
Review Date: Aug 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: light weight, sharp, fast focus.
Cons:
bit pricey.

amazing lens, very sharp in all focal range, also very light compare to my 24-70.

Aug 4, 2007
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DLP
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Registered: Apr 17, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 2488
Review Date: Jul 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, Stunning IQ, BQ, IS
Cons:
Cheap lens case, Tri-pod ring not included

I was so undecided between the F4 IS and the f2.8 IS that I bought both to compare side by side. For me the F4 IS was the clear winner. All images I tested were just as sharp if not sharper than the f2.8 IS. The newer generation IS on the F4 closes the normal disparity between f4 and 2.8. Sadly at the loss of some shutter speed. The lens is light and the AF is blistering fast. A real joy to use. Also noteable in the two copies I compared the f4 IS displays no visible CA even at 100% crop.

Jul 30, 2007
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John Squillace
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Registered: Sep 30, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jul 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stunning sharpness; breathtaking color rendition; astonishingly effective image stabilization.
Cons:
None.

This is the first review I've ever posted here; I simply can't keep quiet about this lens any longer. Utterly sublime in use and delivery; an extension of your mind and hand in every sense, with achingly beautiful output.

With this lens, suddenly, I am Kertesz - I see the thing; I feel the thing; I make the thing.

You must please buy one immediately.



Jul 22, 2007
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EveningSky
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Registered: Feb 6, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 209
Review Date: Jul 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, very good contrast, IS really works!
Cons:
None

Truly a remarkable lens. Supprisingly sharp, especially considering that the lens contains 20 elements. Even at F4, very sharp. IS really works. Tripod mount is expensive, but a quality product and very useful. Wish that there was a mark on the lens for portrait mode to line up with the tripod mount. Lens is relatively light, in comparison to the F2.8 models in this focal lenght, helpful to me and my back. Highly recommended, truly a remarkable engineering achievement (IMO).

Jul 13, 2007
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Underground
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Registered: May 21, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 17
Review Date: Jul 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: As everyone has already stated color, contrast and sharpness is fantastic.
Cons:
None.

Do I wish this lens was less expensive? Yes, of course! I wish my car was cheaper as well. If you make your living or even just some extra $$$ from photography then this lens is for you. I shoot events and enviromental portraits so this lens is just about as good as it gets. VERY sharp at f4, easy to hold and I.S. I really could not ask for anything more. It is worth every penny.

Jul 13, 2007
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sven rose
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Registered: Jul 9, 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 17
Review Date: Jul 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, colours, contrast
Cons:
would prefere to have it in black, quite impressive with the huge lens hood on it.

It is the best lens I have with best and most reliable results.
Works well with Kenko Teleplus 300 TC 1.4X and / or extension tubes for macros.

The IS ist amazing. I very shortly use before a non-IS, non L-Zoom 70-200 f/4 - what a difference, what more versatility with IS. And of course nothing to compare in terms of IQ

The IS is also very useful when taking macros with extension tubes or +3 close-up lens, when I need to step down the aperture. So the 70-200 L f/4 IS becomes my macro-lens.
(with extension tube of 20mm:
http://svenrose.smugmug.com/gallery/3077963 - 167943605
with Hoya +3 lens: http://svenrose.smugmug.com/gallery/3077963 - 167957796
both without any processing other then resizing to 1600x1200)

I read one review that compare the sharpness of the lens with other high-quality lenses ( canon 85 f/1.2, 100 f/2, 135 f/2.0, Sigma 70-200 f2.8)the result was, that from f/4 to f/12 the zoom lens is quite equal, only the 85 f/1.2 was a little sharper. Considering this, it's worth the high price, because if you don't' need greater aperture than f/4 you don't need primes (without IS!) in the range from 70-200mm.

p.s.: finaly I find the URL of the review: http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/999/cat/11


Jul 9, 2007
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anil kumar
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Registered: Jun 25, 2007
Location: India
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jul 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great color, contrast and handling capabilities
Cons:
Seriously searching for them.

Simply a superb lens. This is the first time i got my hands on a 70-200 L zoom. Weight is not at all an issue. Build quality is top notch. At all apertures, this lens quality is great. Sharpness, contrast, color u name it. only limit is my photographic abilities. If u have the means and want to take ur photo IQ to the next level, i strongly suggest buying this lens.

Jul 9, 2007
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Bob Seifert
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Registered: Oct 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $984.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, lighter than it looks, not at all obtrusive.
Cons:
none

Wanted IS in an L @ 70-200. I am pleased that I went with the f4 over the f2.8. If for any other reason that I was able to buy B+W UV, B+W CP, Canon 2x TC and the tripod lens mount ring. The accessories were the difference in price between the f4 and f2.8.

I'm old and not a pro so I'm happy.


Jul 3, 2007
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Gaspar Andres
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Registered: Jun 24, 2007
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, IS, bokeh, low weight
Cons:
Quality really varies from lens to lens

Well, after reading this and other forums I was decided but also a bit concerned about the Quality Control from Canon.

Fortunatelly, I live now in China, so here if you spend 1000 bucks on a lens (which is what the shop attendant will make in 2 years) you are allowed to hang around and bother the shop far beyond the point where in US or Europe they would "send you home".

I took a test paper, hang it into the shop wall, and set up a tripod, my 30D, and tested 5 brand new 70-200 f4 L IS that I unsealed myself for more than 3 hours.

2 of them looked ok but had defects (1 had a strange defect in the lens close to the camera, like a coating problem, the other one had dust inside the outer lens).

From the other 3 there was a clear Best: the other 2 were respectively soft at 70-135 and 200 mm.

The one I picked was simply amazingly sharp at all ranges, and I could prove it consistantly in the test.

I shoot with a good tripod (from the shop :-), remote switch, mirror locked-up, 3 focal distances (70-135-200) and 5 shoots per focal distance, with and w/o IS (although the IS "test on a tripod" turned out irrelevant for obvious reasons) . No room for missinterpretation, same camara, light, person, day, target test paper, distance, simply all taken care.
I even code the names so that I would not know which lens shoot what photos to avoid a placebo effect.
I could test in a very well controlled environmen and just can tell you that even if all the lens were kind of OK, there are clear differences, and some are good, some are awesome.

I agree with the people that was not happy to pay 1000 bucks and needing to change the lens several times.

Maybe after this report more people will ask Canon to test lens before buying, but somehow they put themselves into this, isn't it?


Jun 24, 2007
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JohnJ80
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Registered: May 11, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 5647
Review Date: Jun 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, great IS, light weight and very portable.
Cons:
price.

Very sharp. Hard to believe but lens to lens with my non IS version, it is sharper.

The newest IS from Canon is really quite amazing. You an handhold this lens with ease. It is a wonderful travel lens and probably Canon's best zoom out right now.

J.


Jun 22, 2007
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Alexander Adin
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Registered: Apr 20, 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, Build quality, Circular aperture, Size, Amazing image stabilization and Versatility.
Cons:
The included lens bag is close to useless.

This is my first L-lens for my Canon 30D and I, as many other, now have a bad case of the L-fever. The lens is amazing in every aspect.

I had a hard time figuring out which one of the 70-200mm lenses I would get but went for this one in the end, and I'm very glad I did. Since I basicaly do all photography outdoors I simply don't need the f/2.3 for light sensetivity. I at least haven't come up with any scenario where I have needed it so badly I just couldn't crank up the ISO one step.

If you are wondering about the bokh I think it's incredible, the circular apreture sure gives the blur a good look. And yes, there is enough blur to isolate objects if you go up to the tele part of the lens. No doubt about it.

And I have to say that the image stabalizer that is in this lens is amazing! I had no idea that they could make something so efficient at reducing shakes, taking pictures at 200mm without having to care for you shaking is very nice I assure you.

The only think that dissapointed me was that the lens bag they included is really useless. It's just a leathery pouch in which you can carry the lens around, it doesn't protect the lens even from minor impacts or events like that. In my oppinion they should put at least some kind of padding inside it just like sigma do with their EX series of lenses.

Still, this is a great lens and I would recomend it to anyone looking for a 70-200mm.


Jun 21, 2007
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
222 426284 Jun 21, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,079.18
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.71
8.76
9.7
ef70-200lisusm


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