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

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354 745571 Nov 12, 2014
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91% of reviewers $3,231.35
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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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btjohnston
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Registered: May 20, 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1083
Review Date: Jun 17, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything! Build quality, image, contrast, colour .. the lot
Cons:
none really, it is heavy but so is gold.

This is my first L series lens.
I was saving for what seemed like forever but finally it was in my hands. I love everything about this lens and realise now, what everyone else was saying about L glass.
This lens is rarely off my 10D.
I'm about to go overseas and this lens will be coming with me, heavy or not.


Jun 17, 2004
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Saxxon
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Registered: Jun 14, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 313
Review Date: Jun 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Clarity, speed, image satisfaction
Cons:
It is a touch heavy.

After experiencing an L Series lens, I don't care to shoot with anything else.

Jun 15, 2004
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spartan123
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3683
Review Date: May 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS
Cons:
Heavy and expensive.

Great lens, love the IS. I still think the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX is just as sharp and fast AND a lot less money.

A must have for any one who needs to hand hold. If you have a steady hand or use mono/tripods then buy the Sigma and use the rest of the money you saved for some other lenses.


May 13, 2004
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wkoffel
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Registered: Mar 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: May 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything. :-) Incredibly sharp, great bokeh which yields stunning portraits when wide-open. The IS works marvels.
Cons:
Very heavy. The AF/MF switch is easy to bump if you are using the zoom ring from certain angles. Tripod ring can't be removed without unmounting the lens.

I bought a new camera bag, just so I could leave this lens on my Digital Rebel body when it's stored. The lens works beautifully with my 1.4x Extender, and with my 25mm extension tube for closer focusing.

The IS is a dream, well worth the extra money, in my opinion. If you don't want IS, just get the f/4 version of the 70-200, as it's much lighter and cheaper. But for the best, IS can't be beat.

Search for '70-200' on my site for a wide variety of photos taken with this lens.
http://www.fountainphoto.com/


May 11, 2004
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KevinRiggs
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Registered: Jun 7, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 413
Review Date: Apr 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Clarity, color rendition, speed, range of zoom, shallow DOF
Cons:
Cost

I love this lens. Since I shoot portraits almost exclusively it is a great lens to have for headshots and it is usable for some longer body shots as well. It is a wonderful medium telephoto lens that is incredibly fast. I debated getting the IS version but the images are sharp and it is easy to handhold even in diminishing light. I have far more keepers out of my photosets with models especially at the early morning and later afternoon times. Very happy with this purchase.

I don't find the weight to be a problem. I've hand held it through several 3 hour+ photosessions with models and a couple of ball games (with 2x TC) and I've noticed only minor fatigue. I use a Bogen Manfrotto 681 sometimes with the TC just to be sure on those longer shots. I wouldn't suggest the TC for this lens as the image quality is just too "mushy" in the details for my taste. I'm saving up for the 400mm or 500mm monsters to get those up-close-and-personal shots.

Kev


Apr 12, 2004
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ferdi
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Registered: Mar 17, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1130
Review Date: Apr 7, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Constant f/2.8, clear and sharp optics. Good range. High quality build. Works well with the Canon 2X EF teleconvertor.
Cons:
Heavy.

Used it for a month so far, awesome lens. Bought it together with the 2X TC. Use it with the 2X TC when I go shooting wildlife, and without the 2X TC when shooting sporting events when I get to shoot from the sideline. Very very versatile lens. No regrets getting this lens. The IS has helped a lot by giving me stability and the freedom to be on the move all the time and not worry about lugging a tripod or monopod around.

Like they say pictures are worth a thousand words, http://photos.thefongfamily.com all the bird shots are taken with this lens with the 2x TC on.

Regards,
Ferdinand


Apr 7, 2004
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chansi
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Registered: Feb 17, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 144
Review Date: Apr 6, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good range, sharp image, powerful IS function, constant f2.8!
Cons:
It is kind of expensive, but worth the money. A bit heavy.

This lens is awesome. Get for sport, portrait, and wild life. This lens is pretty sharp even wide open. This is by far one of the most popular L lens. This lens is pretty good boken too.

Apr 6, 2004
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Armin
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Registered: Jan 5, 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 37
Review Date: Mar 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, sharp, IS, solid, practice your muscles....a must have lense.
Cons:
not really....maybe the lenshood, and it practice your muscles ;-)

The IS of the 2nd/3rd generation is the hammer, especially the IS-Mode 2 (pan).

I doubt, that some built in camera-stabilizations of the future can come close to this impressive developement. 1/30s exposing time is *safe* at any lenght, slower is possible (tried it down to 1/10 sec. with many keepers)!

Very sharp around f4- f16, pretty useable at f2.8.

Heed the DOF:

@ 200mm / f 2.8 focused at 2 m you have ca. 2 cm sharp depth
@ 200mm / f 4.0 focused at 2 m you have ca. 3 cm sharp depth

@ 200mm / f 2.8 focused at 4 m you have ca. 6 cm sharp depth
@ 200mm / f 4.0 focused at 4 m you have ca. 8 cm sharp depth

@ 200mm / f 2.8 focused at 6 m you have ca. 18 cm sharp depth
@ 200mm / f 4.0 focused at 6 m you have ca. 32 cm sharp depth



It's truth...the non IS version is a bit sharper, but with camera shake, the most sharp lense isn't helpful anymore. I'm looking forward for a very loooong cooperation with this lense....my first and only zoom.





Mar 1, 2004
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Nour
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Registered: Jan 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jan 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Internal zooming, lightning fast focusing, all solid metal body, sharpness, color, contrastÖ All perfect.
Cons:
I just bought that monster and as hard as I try to find some flaws I only get tired of carrying it so I put it to rest.

I think finally I find the lens Iíve been looking for since I started with photography, I will keep this lens as long as Canon donít make a newer version, I will highly recommend it. Although itís an expansive lens I still think itís worth the money, I like the IS feature even though I never needed it.
The 24-70 2.8 L and this one plus 100 mm 2.8 Macro will be enough to fill all my photographic needs for now.


Jan 30, 2004
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CyberDyne
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Registered: Oct 7, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1276
Review Date: Jan 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,139.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image Stabilization is fantastic. A superb lens, sharp fast AF,... and did I mention IS?
Cons:
It is heavier than the Sigma competition. Canon makes flimsy hoods, the tripod mount can't be removed while the lens is mounted on a body. It is very expensive.

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L Vs. Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX
This is by no means a scientific comparison,. It is more my personal impressions and observations. I realize this comparison review may be a bit controversial. Understand that I have owned the Sigma for about 8 months compared to 4 days with the Canon,. So I am "used to" the Sigma. I admit that this may "color" my opinion.

First,. let's compare;
1st impressions out of the bag
Overall Build Quality: Tie
Both lenses give an equal impression of overall build quality being top notch.

Weight: Winner, Sigma.
The Canon is heavier @ 51.2ounces Vs the Sigma's 43 ounces. I find this amusing as Sigma's are always being classified as "heavy"
The Canon definitely feels heavier!

Controls: Winner, Sigma.
The focus ring and the zoom ring on the Sigma are smoother and more tactile. The focus ring is much larger on the Sigma and the rubberized texture more pleasing to the fine touch. When I use the lens with Manual focus as a macro with rings, this is a help.

Personally I prefer the direction of the Sigmas' clockwise rotation to increase zoom magnification to Canon's counter clockwise. This is totally one person's opinion,. Leaving this an easy 50/50 as to who prefers what.. but to me there is some logic to turning the ring UP to INCREASE magnification.

PLEASE NOTE,.. BOTH lenses focus rings turn in the same direction

The Canon has a more substantial Manual/Auto focus switch.

The Canon also has a focus limiting switch that will exclude the closer range from 1.4m to 2.5m (leaving an effective range of 2.5-infinty) This handy Item helps prevent "hunting" at the close focus distances and speeds AF accordingly.

The focus gauge window on the Canon is taller, where as the Sigma's is wider. The print on the Canon's is bolder larger type. Meters are white on black but feet are green on black making the feet unreadable. Sigma,. Both meters and feet are white on black,. But this creates confusion, as you don't instantly know which is which. I give equal ratings to the zoom mm increment marks, white on black for Sigma and Black on white for Canon. Both legible.

Accessories: Winner, Sigma.
The Sigma's lens collar can be removed from the lens while the lens is mounted to the body. The Canon's cannot. I found this out while the Canon was mounted on my monopod,. I wanted to remove the camera quickly and went to open the collar. It doesn't open. However,. The two collars seem about equal in strength,. And the Canon's is easier to rotate.

If you have not seen a Sigma EX lens hood,. Then you should. Compared to the flimsy items that Canon is selling the, Sigma's are made of far better materials. Not thin flimsy plastic,. But solid chunks of molded hard plastic that have a built in flat rough texture that will not reflect light as much as the shiny Canon hoods. Also the bayonet mount on the Sigma's seem much more solid.

In use.
Viewfinder Image: Winner, Canon.
On my 10D, the image in the viewfinder seems slightly brighter with the Canon.

Overall ergonomic impression: Winner, Sigma.
As a general side by side, many of the details above,. Zoom ring, focus ring and especially weight, the Sigma seems an easier lens to pick up and shoot with hand held. The Canon is a LOT heavier than I was expecting. It is nearly 8 ounces heavier than the Sigma.

Compare this to the Monster lenses like the Sigma 50-500mm EX Zoom,. Which weighs in at 58 ounces, which means it is only 6 ounces heavier than the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS.

Image Stabilization: Winner, Canon.
This is the first IS lens I have owned. I have had occasion to use a few others briefly,. But in most cases I was shooting from a tripod anyway. The IS gives the Canon a clear, undisputed advantage over the Sigma. The question is how much is it worth. There are IS features built into cameras that cost one quarter the cost of the 70-200mm IS,. So I am not sure why it needs to come at such a premium. There is a $700.00 or so price difference between the two Canon versions of this lens. And yet the new IS version of the 300mm f/4 costs no more than the old non IS version did?

Image Stabilization is a boon indeed. As my image quality comparison is in fact only at the beginning stages,. I cannot yet offer my opinion on how much it affects the performance of the lens. But I can tell you it is amazing. I am sure there will be many conditions under which the IS will be a great advantage.

AutoFocus Speed: Canon!
The two lenses seemed to focus at very similar speeds with the Canon's IS ON But I did find that the Canon was indeed faster. Although it was not as large an advantage as I was expecting.
From my initial use,. it seems to me that the IS function slows down the Canon's AF as we have to wait for the IS to "spin up" from a cold start. But once the IS has spun up,.. the AF is indeed quicker. With the IS switched off the speed difference is much more noticeable. Also,. the focus range limit switch helps even more to boost the Canon's AF performance.
The Canon is the clear speed king.

Autofocus Accuracy: Tie?
This really has surpirsed me. If there was anything I expected to be a lock it would be the Canon AF Accuracy. As it turns out, the Canon is no more perfect than the Sigma... it still delivers noticeable flaws on occasion and with about the same frequency (in both cases,.. you get along fine for most shots and then if there is anything that can throw it off there is a chance the focus will be way off. But understand that both are excellent performers) I know I have read many more instances of people unhappy with the Sigma's focus. All I can tell you is mine is very accurate. I will allow you to make your judgements about Quality Control based on your own findings.

Focus Tracking: CANON
No contest. With static objects.. I perceived little to no advantage for the Canon. But with a moving object the Canon camera's tracking works much better with the Canon lens in this case.

Image Quality: UPDATEDCanon
The first few trials with the Canon I perceived little improvement over the Sigma in Image quality. It was not untill I got the Canon into the environment for which I intend to use it,. ie: a dark theatre for performance shots.. that I found what the Canon is made of.

Some Samples
http://newfoundland.fotopic.net/p10870980.html
http://newfoundland.fotopic.net/p10870981.html


Some performance samples
http://carmenpremier.fotopic.net/p5023608.html
http://carmenpremier.fotopic.net/p5023639.html
http://carmenpremier.fotopic.net/p5023644.html
http://cyberdynesystemsimaging.fotopic.net/p4638500.html
http://cyberdynesystemsimaging.fotopic.net/p4402370.html


Jan 1, 2004
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rockshootr
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Registered: Dec 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 49
Review Date: Dec 23, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS - hand-held sharpness at 1/10 (even though I never shoot for my change at 1/10 it's impressive), low-flare - I shoot rock music, lots of lights...few flares. Despite what others say, I like the weight. And I love the look of it, probably because it does the job that I need it to do.
Cons:
I guess I have no cons. I usually do. I shoot this lens around the house just for fun.

I can't say enough about this lens. I love it so much when it rides in the car, I put a seatbelt on it. It has a place at my dinner table. And it will be in the next family portrait. I could write a song about it.

More to the point. IS is great. Not only for the actual shot but I use it when I'm setting the shot up. I might shoot from 80 to 125 at 200mm and 2.8 (concert venues and lighting) and all my images are smooth, even sharp. I can see the guitarist's pores, and he's 45 feet away with red, blue, green and blue lights dancing around him, and all those different colors show up in a magnificent collage of color, light and music.

Forget the .5 second delay for IS to engage. You won't notice it. And it's effect on my batteries has been negligible.

One thing of note: This lens helped pay for itself the first night that I used it, on the third shot that I took.


Dec 23, 2003
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John Meara
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Registered: Apr 18, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Review Date: Nov 25, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super Sharp & Fast Focus
Cons:
$$$

My favorite lens..Not much can compare. Add a TC 1.4 and it is still awesome.

Nov 25, 2003
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CanonGuy
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Registered: May 27, 2003
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 276
Review Date: Nov 10, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: AF, IS, USM, f/2.8, UD, IF, FT-M, size, weight, length, range, its white! the works! A benchmark on how every Canon "L" series should be.
Cons:
Buttons are easily shifted while shooting vertically. Gives Error 99 from time to time, draws battery power considerbly, tripod ring cannot be removed without dismounting lens from body.

I've owned the predesesors to this lens, i.e. the 80 - 200 & 70 - 200 and this zoom range has been the most useful for me. Was it worth the upgrade? - definately, the IS alone is worth the upgrade; and at the same time, shorter focusing & better sealing against the elements are thrown in (so does the weight, btw). If I were to sell-off all my other lenses, this one will NOT be on the "for sale" list.

Other than the cons mentioned above, this lens is simply AMAZING!


Nov 10, 2003
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Gary Coombs
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Registered: May 2, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Nov 10, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,649.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Incredibly Sharp even wide open, beautiful contrast and color, gorgeous bokeh
Cons:
none.. well maybe weight, but who cares with this kind of quality.

This lens is Best Of Breed. Period. For me it has replaced all primes in its range. This is the best lens I've owned in 30 years of buying Canon, followed closely by the 24-70 2.8L. I would never have believed my two favorite lenses would end up being zooms.

The IS on this lens has to be experienced. I would never have believed the kind of shots I've gotten hand-held with this lens at 200mm. I've owned the lens since May, 2003, and love it more every time I use it.

Some of my best 70-200 2.8L IS images are at http://GaryCoombs.com/10D/New


Nov 10, 2003
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Richard Smith
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Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 517
Review Date: Nov 3, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,224.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, Sharp, IS.
Cons:
Big, Heavy.

Bought this second hand after studying the other reviews here. Initially had a problem with it (inaccurate focus), soon fixed by local Canon repair specialist.
Now in full working order.
I love using this lens for portraiture, its results are something special for a zoom lens.
Wish it was a bit lighter but hey you can't have everything.


Nov 3, 2003
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WilbertC
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Registered: Mar 7, 2003
Location: China
Posts: 19
Review Date: Oct 19, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS rules!
Cons:
Heavy & expensive.

I used to have the non IS version which is already an excellent zoom lens, provided if you can carry a tripod with you during your shootout. But still I'm not too happy about the results of low light handheld shots. I switched to the IS version last year and now I'm a happy man. Try shooting something handheld @1/15sec/f2.8 at 200mm sans IS, see if you're happy with the results. With this lens, you'll be as happy as I am. I guaranteed that.

Oct 19, 2003
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†††



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

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
354 745571 Nov 12, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% 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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