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

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220 422491 Aug 21, 2013
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: 72ΒΊ)

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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Dan Kim
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Registered: Apr 23, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 38
Review Date: Jun 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Awesome lens!

Jun 12, 2007
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pepsi
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Registered: Jan 19, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 56
Review Date: Jun 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, light and the IS is amazing!
Cons:
None that I can think of.

I was sceptical about spending this much money for IS over the non-IS version. In fact, I was almost set to pull the trigger on a non-IS 2.8. But, after talking with a fellow FM member, I was swayed to this lens and bought it.

First impression was that it was very light and very sturdy and well built. Not a "pro build" lens? What does that have to do with anything? What constitutes a "pro build", and how will that do anything for me?

After mounting it on my body and running through a few test shots, my doubts about IS were put to rest. It is simply a god send! I have done some experimenting and have gotten some VERY crispy shots at 1/3rd of a second handheld in a very low light room!

Sharpness is very good at F/4 and gets lethal at F/5.6! Bokeh is better than I expected.

I don't have enough good things to say about this lens. It filled a void in my kit, and filled it well. I highly recommend it!

It slays me to read some of these "reviews". "No tripod mount, made of plastic and not 2.8" are the common "cons". Did any of you do any research at all before you bought it?


Jun 12, 2007
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I Simonius
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Registered: Apr 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 51
Review Date: Jun 11, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: weather sealed , IS
Cons:
Not as good a the 2.8, or f4 non IS

Quote:
The canon is my first "serious amateur" lense (it's definitely not pro glass - get the f/2.8 if you want pro). I saved my money for about 6 months (I'm a HS student) to get it, and I will never regret it. It has enabled me to take pictures I never could before, IS-wise and IQ-wise.


Any lens is not defined 'pro' by it's speed (only ill informed amateurs think that).

I rated this very low because the first copy was a huge dissapointment. I stand by that as today I went to the shop and tried a 2.8, a non IS f4 and the IS f4

The 2.8 and f4 non IS are both exceptionally sharp at f4, the 2.8 is quite acceptable at 2.8. The f4 IS version (second copy I have looked at) was decidely average at 200mm FL and especially so at close range ( as others have pointed out)

I doubt my first copy was a lemon, it was no different to the second, so I reiterate that the f4 IS was a huge dissapopintment - an 'average' lens.


Jun 11, 2007
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Christophe T
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Registered: Jun 9, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent Image Quality, IS serves very well, focus is insanely fast at the 3-infinity setting, contrast is awesome.
Cons:
The pouch that comes with it is okay to store it, but you will definitely want something more useful. Also, the hood gets fingerprints on it easily. No tripod mount, but I'm not going to cry because of that.

Disclaimer: I'm not a pro.

First, let me start by saying that the previous reviewer is the worst reviewer I've ever seen. You can't rate a lense "1" because canon provided you with a lemon. When that happens, just bring it back to the store you bought it from and get another one. Seriously.

Also, the previous reviewer who rated it about 6-7 because it is made of plastic is another fail of a reviewer. It is fine to mention in the negative aspects that you thought it was negative that it's made of plastic, but it's not that big of a deal. You're reviewing a lense. It's not even cheap plastic!

Now. The lense.
It is a great lense. Really worth the price you pay for it (every dime). Previous to having this lense, I only had a tamron 28-200mm (really old) and a canon 50mm F1.8 (the legendary 150$ prime).

The canon outperforms both, at every F setting/focal length.
The 50mm is sharp at about 4.5, but the canon beats it at F4 from 28 to 200mm.
The tamron isn't sharp at all and suffers from heavy CA (chromatic aberration) that even if you can take a good blur-free picture (f5.6 at 200mm) it's going to have the dreaded purple fringes all over. Not a case there. The canon wins.

The canon is my first "serious amateur" lense (it's definitely not pro glass - get the f/2.8 if you want pro). I saved my money for about 6 months (I'm a HS student) to get it, and I will never regret it. It has enabled me to take pictures I never could before, IS-wise and IQ-wise.

First example, birds. I love taking shots of birds. Yes, this lense is "only" a 70-200mm, but i could crop the pictures about 50% and get a perfectly usable one. (I do want the 2x extender, though). And the IS lets me take on poses so i can get a great viewpoint without any blur in the image. The AF is a great gift, it's so fast on the 3m setting that I can quickly frame and take a picture with any of the birds.

The only downsides I can think of, and it applies if you're looking to buy this lense, are:
- Somewhat heavy. Not wrist-breaking heavy, but you're going to be scared of it breaking off the camera lense mount (canon XT here). It's not a big issue, I just hold the lense instead of the camera.

- Image quality is not as good close range. It's really really good at around 2 meters or more, but closer than that and you get a slight blur. Yes, the 1.2m focus is tempting, and you can get really good shots with those, but don't buy this lense thinking you can shoot great macro.

-It doesn't fit in my lowepro slingshot 100AW bag, but then again, it's a top-loading bag. If you're buying a bag along with this lense, try it with the camera on and see if it fits, as you're going to want to leave this lense on your camera.

- No tripod mount. Not a big issue with me, as i don't shoot tripod/monopod (not yet anyway), but if you want one they're really expensive.

- It definitely looks like a pro lense, albeit it's not really one. You're going to get attention. As always, not a big problem, as I already get attention for using a dSLR instead of a point-and-shoot, but you're not going to be discreet with this baby.

- The IS isn't as loud as the other reviewers would make you believe (it's my first IS lense, i don't know how quiet are the other ones). I would compare the sound as: a mouse click when it switches on, a battery rolling slowly on a desk when it's on, and another mouse click when it switches off. If you have your doubts, see if your camera dealer can make you try it.

In short, this lense is everything i was expecting. Before having it, on 150 pictures, maybe 2-4 would be good, and now i have about 30-40 due to the IS and picture quality.

For example of shots I took with this lense, see http://flickr.com/photos/rnx/tags/70200mmf4lis/

If you have questions about the lense, just write me an email @ kerrisquee@gmail.com with the subject "canon 70-200" and i'll gladly answer it.


Jun 9, 2007
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I Simonius
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Registered: Apr 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 51
Review Date: Jun 4, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Zoom, IS
Cons:
Sharp 70-90 range; Soft from 135-200

I considered all the reviews and test carefully before getting this lens and was expecting a lot better. As one poster already said Canon IQ is a lottery.

My supplier has very kindly agreed to replace the first copy of this, it was so bad I sent it to Canon but they said it was 'within specification'
:~(

Right.... all I can say is that their specification is pretty wide with regard to performance IQ wise. Shooting on a 5D it is no where near as sharp as my previous non IS version ( which of course I now regret selling)

The fact is that this lens reminded me of an old vivitar I had back in the 1970s. It was OK but that was it. This lens is no better than a 1970's vivitar, (plus IS) so that means that as far as Canon is concerned an 1970 vivitar would also be 'within specification' ... so be it, it's not what I expect from a 2007 'L' lens.

Another comparison - it's about the same IQ as the kit lens my friend got with her 350XT, just acceptable, again it's not what you'd expect from an 'L' lens.

Another comparison: it would be fair to say I think that it is about te same as the 400 end of the 100-400 'L'. i.e. not a disaster - but definitely bettered by the primes

If it was a bog standard £200 70-200 zoom, with no 'L' designation I might think that was all I should expect I just hope the second copy is better because if this is as good as it gets - it's pretty ropey.



Jun 4, 2007
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tanglefoot47
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Registered: Oct 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 14816
Review Date: May 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp very sharp, great color and contrast, new generation IS and fast AF
Cons:
None

What a lens I have owned all the 70-200 there is and this one is the best. Maybe not built as good as the 2.8's but it's solid and a solid performer. I sold my first one and bought a 2.8 and knew I made a mistake. I missed it so much I am now waiting for my second one to arrive on Monday

May 31, 2007
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trenchmonkey
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Registered: Oct 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 34519
Review Date: May 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open, absolutely sick by f5.6. Great color/contrast/nice bokeh for an f4. Fast accurate AF, 1.4x well tolerated.
Cons:
None

Awesome, I know abit about fine Canon glass and this is just
an engineering marvel. One of my favorite lenses ever.:)


May 27, 2007
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execom99
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Registered: Oct 23, 2005
Location: Slovakia
Posts: 173
Review Date: May 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: excellent resolution, this is must have lens if you need not f2.8. It is sharper compared to non-IS version and it has 4-stop IS which really works perfectly. Build quality is great
Cons:
hood could be in shape like 2.8 version has, now it is like cup for coffee :)

Lens produces beautiful and very sharp pictures. It is very usable from close-ups (using extension tubes), portraits, and land photography. Its weight is very accurate and you feel how solid made it is ...

I owned nonIS version which was great lens too, but I never regred this upgrade. IS works perfectly and it is very useful. I think this is one of best Canon zoom lenses ...


May 27, 2007
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PeterFigen
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Registered: Dec 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 69
Review Date: May 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Light weight. Very smooth zooming mechanism.
Cons:
Not nearly as crisp at closer distances - 10-20 ft. - as my 2.8 non IS

I'm testing my third copy of this lens. Compared to a very good 2.8 nonIS, the first was much softer at 200mm but slighly better from 70-135. The second was sharper at 200 but much softer at 70-135. The third copy seems to be about equal to the nonIS 2.8 at 200mm, slightly sharper at 70-135, but once you focus on something 10-20 feet away, the 2.8 lens is leaves this new lens in the dust, and not just in the center. If this is normal, then it's going back. So far, I'm only partially impressed, but I also ask a lot of the lenses I use and push them very far. For distance only subject, I'd say that this lens is very, very good. Canon still needs to work on its quality control. As far as I can tell, it's an absolute crapshoot to get a good one of these lenses.

May 24, 2007
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jbuk
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Registered: Jan 24, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: So sharp i need to go to casualty to fix my eyes, excellent colours/ contrast, lightweight
Cons:
Image stabilizer isnt the quietest but its not a major problem

This is one very sharp lens, its even sharper than the 70-200 f2.8 non IS that I briefly owned (of which I thought was very sharp)

If your looking for a lens in this focal range then this is great value , excellent quality build and is very light . I think that this could become my favourite


May 24, 2007
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Ataboy
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Registered: Sep 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 628
Review Date: May 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, contrasty with good colors; IS is amazing; not heavy
Cons:
corners are slightly softer; F4; plastic barrel

I am sitting here comparing test shots made with this lens and Canon 100/2.8 macro, which, as we know, is a very sharp prime lens. This zoom is SHARPER in the center, has better contrast and color rendition. It is slightly softer in the corners wheres 100/2.8 is the same. The most amazing thing about this lens is IS. I used to have 28-135 IS and I was disappointed because with IS turned on it was significantly softer. But this one in all my tests even at 1/800 sec is as sharp or sharper with IS turned on than without it!
The build quality is not exactly the same as of 70-200 non-IS version because it does have a plastic barrel, but nevertheless it is very good. And it helps to reduce weight, which makes it an excellent travel lens. Highly recommended.


May 17, 2007
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mfurman
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Registered: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2849
Review Date: May 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very good sharpness in the range of 70-150 mm. Good colour and contrast in this range. Very good IS
Cons:
Problems with sharpness at the close focusing range and 200 mm

One of the reasons, I purchased this lens was its maximum magnification of 0.21 (Minimum Focusing Distance of 1.2 m at 200 mm). I was disappointed to find out that although this lens performs spectacularly at 135 mm:

http://mfurman.smugmug.com/gallery/2842902#152315863-O-LB
http://mfurman.smugmug.com/gallery/2842902#152519487-O-LB

(these are just average shots)

it fails at 200 mm (or I would say at >180 mm), at f/4.0 and focusing range 1.2 m (< 1.5 m). The lens gets better (200 mm) at focusing distance > 2.2 m.

http://mfurman.smugmug.com/gallery/2842902#152748740-O-LB
http://mfurman.smugmug.com/gallery/2842902#152519312-O-LB

(these are the best shots out of 50+ taken)

I am not certain if it is a loss of sharpness or contrast problems because of spherical aberrations but the lens is not very good at its maximum magnification.

I thought that it may have been a unique problem of my copy but there were a few other lenses having the same issue, that I learned about.



May 16, 2007
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riversen
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Registered: Apr 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: May 12, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,060.00

 
Pros: I have to add that I did not send my lens back because the barrel is alledged to be plastic. I think if that was important to me, then I would have send back my Canon 30D for the same reason, since its housing covering the frame is plastic. I should probably send back my flash, as it is also made of plastic. This is a bit absurd in my book.
Cons:
None!

I felt that the previous poster's 7 is ridiculous and absurd. I guess it is not different that some folks hating the lens because it is an off color white. To me the optics, durability, and quality speak for the lens. I don't see people refusing a ventilator or heart valve transplant because there are plastic components to it. Perhaps, I am way off, and I apologize if that is the case.

May 12, 2007
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riversen
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Registered: Apr 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: May 7, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,060.00

 
Pros: Wow... this is well built, solid, smooth to work with, crystal clear, tact sharp, and extremly fast at focusing. F/4 is a very workable aperture and I cannot say enough good things. The IS is out of this world adn r
Cons:
I only wish it was f/2.8 at this size, but that is not a negative. We cannot bend physics to make something it cannot be. I really like this lens and just wish I could get a 30D type camera with the high ISO setting of the new Mark III. Okay, I am rambling now. :-)

This is a superb lens that really is amazing. I have yet to discover everything, but I feel like I have to chime in right away. Get this one.

May 7, 2007
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riversen
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Registered: Apr 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: May 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,060.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wow! The IS is out of this world. It does allow for phenominally slow shutter speeds. I had the 70-200mm f/4L USM lens and loved it. I recently sold my 3 primes to get this one. I am happy with my decision. The weather sealing is nice and build is great. The lens is tact sharp. I love having 1 lens to work with and not needing to change lenses.
Cons:
I think a tripod color could be included and the IS makes a bit more noise than the IS on my 24-105mm f/4L IS lens

If you are looking for a nice 70-200mm telezoom lens, then please consider this one. The IS is truly amazing and the build of the lens is superb. I have enjoyed the non-IS version, but this one is a step up. I am only beginning to use this. I did give up my wider aperture prime lenses to buy this one and still don't think I will be disappointed. I do have to use a high ISO and slow shutter speed to utilize this lens. I think I can use it indoors with okay lighting.

May 6, 2007
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timnosenzo
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Registered: Jun 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1374
Review Date: May 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,059.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: 4 stop IS, weather sealing, excellent IQ
Cons:
plastic barrel?!

I upgraded to this lens from the non-IS version, which was an excellent lens. I was shocked to open the box and find that the barrel of this lens (or at least the bottom portion of it) is made of plastic! Per Canon support, this was done to save weight. Personally, I feel that this is too expensive of a lens to be made of plastic. Poor decision on Canon's part for a pro lens.

So despite the good IQ I've decided to send it back. I had hoped to keep this lens for a long time, but I just don't think plastic will stand up to abuse as well as a metal body. Going to splurge for the f/2.8 version.

I'm posting mostly as information for people thinking of purchasing this lens. I never read anywhere that the barrel was plastic, and I did quite a bit of reading first. I have no doubts that this lens will make many people happy, but for me I was disappointed.


May 3, 2007
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
220 422491 Aug 21, 2013
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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