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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
353 744400 May 9, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $3,231.35
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.82
8.19
9.4
ef70-200_28lisu_1_

Specifications:
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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dwill23
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Registered: May 8, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 17, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,629.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Zoom, tripod collar
Cons:
sharpness, useless at f2.8 to F3.5, way too heavy, price

I bought this lens because Canon says they've updated the AF (auto focus) CPU. To my disapointment, it's still very slow. People who review this lens can NOT be sports photographers, and I assume haven't used fixed prime lenses.

Once you are spoiled by the likes of a fixed 300mm or 400mm you will HATE the AF performance of the 70-200 IS or NON IS.

If you REALLY dig for reviews you'll find many many people saying this lens is over-rated. (read reviews for the fixed 200mm F2.8 II).

The NON-IS lens is noticably sharper, altho the AF blows on both models. Sure it will seem quick if it's the only L telephoto you have, but it will be smoked by the 24-70 USM, and the 200mm fixed (prime), and 300mm and 400mm etc etc etc etc.

This lens has 23 pieces of glass. I sold it and got the fixed 200mm which has 9 peices of glass. That's 39.1% as much glass, and it is WAAAY sharper at F2.8 and barely gets sharper when stopped down, meaning it's great the whole way!

The AF on the fixed 200mm is a world faster.

It's not that this lens, (the 70-200 IS) is particularly slow-to-focus, which is why it gets rave reviews, it's just that any other lens for sports are particularly FAST. But there is no way around the fact that this lens is soft at F2.8.

I shoot sports, and i bought the 70-200 for my backup camera, and have a 300mm on the big EOS1D2. The AF was so bad that i just couldn't use it. I need something bright, so i bought the 200mm fixed and there is no comparison!

I hate this lens, and will never buy it again. You are reading a review from someone who shoots NCAA sports, and sports is the hardest test on gear because your subjects are running around as fast as the possibly can!

Dig deep and you will find the truth. Do no buy this lens!


Aug 17, 2006
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dikeda
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Registered: Dec 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Aug 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built like a tank, weather sealing, sharpness across all apertures, superb contrast and overall IQ, IS works well, fast AF
Cons:
slightly lower IQ and sharpness than non-IS 70-200 2.8 L, slightly heavy for all day use

Many photographers prize this lens above all others, and you can see why the minute you take it out of the box. The build quality is unsurpassed: you could kill someone with this lens. It is also a virtual miracle worker when taking photos: it will allow you to get shots that you would otherwise miss.

As mentioned by others (and the manual), you must slightly pause after locking focus to allow the IS to stabilize.

While exhibiting excellent contrast, sharpness, color saturation and bokeh, I concede that the non-IS 2.8 does have higher resolving power. HOWEVER, I cannot hand-hold the non-IS model at 200mm lower than 1/250 without compromising image quality. Anything less than 1/250 and it doesn't matter how much sharper the non-IS lens is -- it will be blurry.

On the other hand, I can shoot cleanly at 200mm, f2.8 and 1/30 or even 1/15 with this baby (note: this is on a 1.6 crop 30D as well).

If you've got the $$$, get the IS 2.8L.


Aug 17, 2006
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Achechino
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Registered: Feb 1, 2006
Location: Spain
Posts: 15
Review Date: Aug 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,620.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, really fast and quiet zoom, build construction and overall quality....
Cons:
maybe the price, but you'll get what you pay for.

I've bought this lens in a trip to USA 1 month ago, and since then I'm in love with it.
Love the IS, the 2.8 aperture along the range, the build quality, the colours and the really sharp images I can get with it.
The bokeh is wonderfull.

I'm always waiting for a break to take them out and make some pictures.



Aug 16, 2006
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pesto
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Registered: Mar 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 231
Review Date: Aug 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very solid feeling and optically superb lens.
Cons:
The auto focus "on-off" switch is poorly located, the result for me has been many lost images due to my inadvertantly switching AF off.



Aug 13, 2006
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dvarnav
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Registered: Jul 20, 2006
Location: Greece
Posts: 429
Review Date: Aug 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Accurate for the 96% of my shoots,sharp,IS is working like a charm,Fastest AF I have used so far,increatible construction.
Cons:
none ....

This lens is by far the most usefull piece of technology that anyone could use with his camera. The usefull shots that I got from this lens was about 96% as it has sharp and accurate focused subjects. If I have to use only one lens with my camera this could be the one.
About Image stabilizer generally speaking its a great inovation but especially for the 70-200 2.8 is a must add-on as you can take usefull photos even if at 1/8 without any effort.

I have only one commest to make about the construction of this product is by far the best sealed lens I had ever used and you have nothing to worry about using this Canon product in any situation .

Now about the weight... As I loved to make walks (2-3hours max) taking photos with my SLR or DSLR this habbit didnot stoped me due to the heavy weight of the this lens. The weight is something that you can stand it as the camera is still managable. By using that professionally I admit that using a well constructed strap (maybe by Lowepro) carrying the camera with that lens could be no problem.


Aug 2, 2006
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DigitalBill
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Registered: Jul 17, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 314
Review Date: Jul 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super Sharp, smooth zoom, rapid autofocus, stunning color rendition, versatile indoors and out. IS and 2.8 are an unbeatable combo.
Cons:
None

If I had only one lens to carry, this would be it. It's impossible to list the myriad situations where you'll find this to be the 'perfect' lens. It can produce simply beautiful images. How good is it? I've shot major league baseball using both the 1.4 and 2X Canon extenders with spectacular infield shots. Just look at any national or international high-level news conference, and you'll see more shooters using this lens indoors (without flash) than any other. Regarding the 'heavy' comments -- it's all relative. If you're coming up from a consumer-grade light prime lens, of course it's heavier. This is a professional-quality lens, and feels like one. I believe its solid build and 'feel' are assets that enhance stability. As always, it's a good idea to try it first with your camera body at an authorized dealer to be sure it meets your individual needs. This is also a good idea, as the first copy of this lens that I purchased didn't meet my 'back focus' demands. Fortunately, I was able to exchange that one immediately for the lens I now own. I don't know that any lens can be called 'perfect', but this one comes very close.

Jul 29, 2006
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HoboSyke
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Registered: Jul 26, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: SHARP SHARP SHARP.. IS. f/2.8. L series.
Cons:
None so far

After having the 24-70 F/2.8L for a while, I was expecting similar results with the 70-200 2.8L IS. How wrong could I be, this lens blows th 24-70 away. Tack sharp photos.
The lens is heavy but not in a bad way at all.

Feels very nice in my hands accompanied with my 20D.
Think I might get the battery grip next to help with the overall feel of the this lens and camera combo!.

Get this lens if your considering it, dont considering it for another second, just go and get it.


Jul 29, 2006
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benandbobbi
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Registered: Jul 18, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jul 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,699.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Clearity, Speed
Cons:
None

I moved from the magic drain pipe (80-200 "L") to this one and have never looked back. If there ever was a true successor to the MD, this is it. Well Done, Canon!

Jul 28, 2006
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rslee
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Registered: Dec 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 57
Review Date: Jul 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,649.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: AF, Sharp, IS, Contrast, Color, and everything else.
Cons:
Nothing really.

It lives on my 1D2N.

I love everything about it -- even the weight. It is perfect balance when mounted on 1D series or with Body+Grip.

Picture quality rivals good primes.

Yes, IS is worth the extra money IMO.



Jul 27, 2006
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kuere
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Registered: Dec 18, 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp,colors, fast AF, helpful IS
Cons:
a little heavy, white, expensive

As everybody also mentioned this lens is incredible responsive and sharp. At my EOS 5D together with Tamron 28-75 an ideal kit. May be my 135/2.0 L is a little better and lighter, but IS make the zoom more versatile. I like this lens and can recommend it.

Jul 24, 2006
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Glassbottle
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Registered: Jan 17, 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 567
Review Date: Jul 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast, sharp, very effective IS, weather sealed, beautifully made
Cons:
Ever so slightly softer than my f/4 version at f/4; heavy (but read on)

So I picked up one of these second-hand at a really good price. I wasn't really in the market but it came up (friend of a friend), and you know how it is.

I was fearful, having read the complaints of softness and arm-numbing weight, and so I made dozens of tests in two sessions before I shelled out the money.

Yes, by the most rigorous standards the lens is somewhat soft at f/2.8, but it's perfectly usable. At f/4 and smaller it's pretty much on par with my excellent 70-200mm f/4 lens, although it does seem to be more susceptible to flare.

The bokeh of the two lenses is similar at identical apertures, with the f/2.8 lens having the edge for creaminess and, of course, the ability to open up to f/2.8.

So, as far as I'm concerned, the f/2.8 lens turns in a performance just as good as the f/4 version, and you gain a stop, plus the magical IS.

And the IS is very good indeed. I spent several hours today shooting a kiddies' birthday party for a family with too much money. I used the 70-200/2.8 for a lot of it. The indoor venue had big windows but I still needed to go below 1/30s quite often, even at ISO 800. The IS worked amazingly well, especially in panning mode. I could follow running kids with the lens and get images that were pretty damn sharp, apart from great motion blur in the background and the limbs. I'm still marvelling at them.

Also, I took close-up audience pictures during a clown show, with the lens mostly at the long end, at speeds of 1/15s to 1/60s -- and the only blur in the vast majority of them was caused by subject movement. Mind-boggling.

Focus, by the way, is absolutely spot-on.

And what about the weight? Well, I can only suppose that the photographers who complain about it must be really weedy. I'm a 5'11" male but I'm nobody's arm-wrestling champion. I've had no trouble holding the lens, a 5D and a 580EX to my eye for long periods. Sure, the lens is heavier than some, but it's far from being unmanageable.

All in all, I think this is a pretty fab piece of kit. There's no way I'd buy it at the dizzying retail price, but second-hand it's been a damn nice windfall that will make a lot of my photography easier and better.


Jul 22, 2006
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Chiefdog72
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Registered: Oct 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 215
Review Date: Jul 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,699.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Amazing IS, Weather seal, Overall quality and feel.
Cons:
Canon QC

After reading the reviews here I was very confused. Some reviewers said this lens is next to perfect, others said it was soft. So I decided to find out for myself. I own a 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS, date code UTxxxx . (I love this lens.) I purchased a 70-200 f/2.8 IS, date code UUxxxx. Both lenses were purchased new from B&H with USA warranty.

When the IS version arrived I stuck it on the camera and took some pics. My initial impression was that I was going to love the IS. It didnít take any pixel peaking to see the images from the IS version were far inferior to the non IS version. I was very disappointed. There was so much difference that I thought something had gone wrong with my camera. I switched lenses and shot a few with the non-IS and much to my relief the pics came out sharp and beautiful as always.

I started to send the lens back to B&H and that would be thatÖÖBut, I just couldnít understand why some experienced photogs in this forum would give this lens such high marks in their reviews. So, I took a chance and sent the lens to CanonÖÖIíve sent several lenses to Canon and I have been happy with their service and quality of work. I just didnít think Canon could improve this lens enough to match the non IS version.

Iím very pleased to say that I couldnít of been more wrong. The lens I got back couldnít be the same lens I sent in. (I actually checked the serial number to make sure.) The initial pics were beautiful.

I also have a 135 f/2 L, a 200 f/2.8 L II, and an 85 f/1.8 to test against. After extensive testing IMHO, this lens can hold its own against the best. It is ever so slightly softer than the primes and non-IS version. The IS on this lens is amazingÖ..For me itís a keeper. I sold my beloved non-IS version. The only way to beat this lens is with a prime and tri-pod.

I have answered my question and hopefully helped you with your decisionÖ..What it boils down to is the IS worth $600.00 to you.

It is a shame that Canonís QC department canít seem to get their act together. A lens in this price range should be perfect out of the box. So if you have noticeably soft pics with this lens, send it in you wonít be sorry.


Jul 21, 2006
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Emile Gregoire
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Registered: Sep 9, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2468
Review Date: Jul 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: exceptionally sharp, great contrast and color, well build
Cons:
none

By far the best lens I've ever handled. Extremely sharp, at both ends, wide open. Well built. Easy to handle. No complaints whatsoever. Provides a lot of keepers.

Shooting for 15 consecutive minutes is a heavy strain on the muscles, but it is worth it so I will not complain about weight.


Jul 18, 2006
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paul.kzk
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Registered: Jul 16, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 249
Review Date: Jul 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast focus, solid built, sharp images, nice lens hood...
Cons:
heavy

Very nice lens. its my first "L" and im happy it is... fast focussing, sharp images, perfect for any photographer... This is a lens i'll carry if i got to only pick one!

Jul 17, 2006
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swormley
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Registered: Feb 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,699.95 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Really Outstanding Zoom Lens
Cons:
None

The EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS (on the EOS 5D) gives me very sharp
detailed imagery at full aperture. However, when using the image
stabilization (IS), it is easy to make the mistake of not waiting
for the gyros to stabilize (about one second) resulting in some
"artistic blurs". As with any lens, one needs to learn what it
can and can't do. The IS allows me to work in many lower light
circumstances making this a really outstanding lens.



Jul 4, 2006
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aero145
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Registered: Jul 1, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 333
Review Date: Jul 1, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: L glass, white, popular, pretty sharp images.
Cons:
Images not as good as the should be, heavy lens, tripod collar just a bad thing to have on when not using tripods/monopods.

I've tried two examples of this lens. One example on a Canon 20D, and another on a Canon 5D. The shots I took were suprisingly bad! They were not sharper than out of my Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS lens!

The lens is heavy, and the tripod collar is just in the way when zooming. The lens hood is big, and would be nice white lit.

Overall, the f/2.8 is a good feature, but the photos are not sharp then.


Jul 1, 2006
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
353 744400 May 9, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $3,231.35
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.82
8.19
9.4
ef70-200_28lisu_1_


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