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

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353 741887 May 9, 2014
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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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srugina
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Registered: Nov 6, 2008
Location: Finland
Posts: 39
Review Date: Nov 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, solid build, IS works very well
Cons:
quite heavy and pricey. Very big especially with hood on

It is probably one of the best pro lenses out there. It is heavy but also perfectly sharp and the IS works very well.
I have to say it looks kinda scary with the hood on, but luckily you don't have to get so close to the subject with such a lens.
I strongly recommend it to those photographers who earn their living out of taking photos.

Cheers!

sandra
http://sandrarugina.eu/


Nov 6, 2008
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chinks
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Registered: Jun 18, 2004
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 266
Review Date: Oct 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, quick to focus, fast at 2.8, Good focal range from 70 to 200mm, IS.
Cons:
Chromatic aberration at larger apertures at edge even on 1.6x crop cameras, focus hunting on 20D and 30D in many low light conditions, heavy, price.

Well for this range this is about the best piece of kit you can get. Unfortunately it's pricey. I expected fast, dead on focus locking for this top line lens but I get focus hunting quite a lot in lower light conditions.

Although it fits a 1.4x TC, the picture quality drops to an amount I'm not comfortable with, so does the focusing competency.

Fortunately on 20D and 30D bodies, focus is dead on and quick when the center spot is used in brighter conditions.

The chromatic aberrations at its edges even on 1.6x crop cameras is disappointing. Thankfully it's not that obvious for most pictures. But at f/2.8 edge quality suffers.

I suppose it's fantastic for a zoom and one can't really complain too much but for some work I know I'll be reaching out for some workhorse primes.


Oct 26, 2008
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photosbyjay
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Registered: Oct 12, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Breathtaking detail, solid build, creamy dreamy background blur, rich colours
Cons:
Heavy purple fringing in high contrast areas

This is a great all round lens. I am a wedding photographer and have used this on 2 weddings already and love its versatility. It's great for framing the bride & groom and then quickly zooming in close for a ring exchange or tears on the bride's face.

Opening the shots up in Lightroom or Photoshop is such a pleasure; some shots just make me stop and stare. Every detail (hairs, pores, dress texture) is rendered very realistically, "just as I remember seeing it". The background blur is creamy and smooth and round, and gives everything a dreamlike quality. Autofocus is super quick - you can just trust it. I combine it with the joystick focus point method and it's very fast and intuitive.

You can see a gallery of shots I took with my 40D and this lens at http://www.photosbyjay.com.au/wedding-photographer-sydney/pre-wedding-photo-session-mostafa-and-houda-cabarita-park/

On a 40D with cropped sensor it does reach a lot - you'll need a fair bit of room to back up for things like group shots (I found myself switching to the 16-35 for the bigger groups because there just wasn't enough room). I do find myself sometimes zooming to 200mm though (320mm on a full frame).

The only caveat I've found so far is the nasty purple fringing which seems to turn up in very high contrast areas. Take a look at

http://www.photosbyjay.com.au/images/blog/Rani-0099.jpg

and

http://www.photosbyjay.com.au/images/blog/Rani-0102.jpg

To me this is really severe considering the cost of the lens. It doesn't seem to happen when the subject is not wearing plain white and not in direct sunlight.

Overall, this is one of the most satisfying and impressive lenses I've ever owned, and I find myself wishing I could rewind time so I could have this on one shoulder and my 16-35 on the other shoulder to shoot all the past weddings I've done.




Oct 12, 2008
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macsfstop
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Registered: Jun 25, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Sep 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build, IQ, Reliability, Bokeh, 2.8+IS=Low-Light Confidence
Cons:
For what this lens offers: it's worth the price, it's worth the weight.

Likely one of the most (if not THE most) reliable zoom lenses Canon makes. AF is fast and accurate, edge-to-edge is crisp on a 5D, it's weather sealed, and it's subject isolation ability lives up to its reputation. Definitely the go-to lens for must-have shots.

Sep 28, 2008
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musclepics
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Registered: Sep 4, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 848
Review Date: Sep 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Fast Autofocus, Best Of Class Image Stabilization, Weather Sealing
Cons:
None

After using the 135L for years, I switched to this lens and don't regret it. The autofocus is extremely fast and accurate, and the IS is fantastic.

This lens is built like a tank, and optically and build is slightly better than it's Nikon counterpart that I used quite a bit.

Highly recommended if you can afford it.


Sep 20, 2008
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albertino
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Registered: Dec 22, 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 7, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: stabilizzazione-luminositŗ
Cons:
morbido su quasi tutte le focali-pesante e costoso

la sua resa non Ť assolutamente adeguata al suo costo e peso

Sep 7, 2008
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Joseph N. Hall
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Registered: Dec 31, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tank-like construction, super fast and accurate focusing, reliable workhorse, IS makes this lens incredibly versatile
Cons:
Heavy, big, conspicuous, a little soft at f/2.8

In my opinion, this is probably the most useful lens Canon makes. Even though it's a little pedestrian now, it was really a revolutionary and game-changing design when it was introduced. This used to be my "pry this from my cold dead hands" lens, until I began doing more shooting with shorter lenses.

I've never found the weight and size to be a problem, but then again I guess I'm used to lugging around 30 lbs of gear whenever I head to a shoot. However, this lens will get you noticed. If that's a problem, you may want a backup like the much more discreet (and black) 75-300 IS. I'll probably cover mine with black gaffer tape one of these days.

Optically it's outstanding until you mate it with a TC; I wouldn't advise that combination unless you really need it. There is some fairly obvious CA wide open at 200mm on high contrast subjects. Aside from that, nothing to complain about. This is a fantastic portrait lens and wonderful to work with in available light even when there's almost no light available. I've photographed bands under dim club light at speeds down to 1/10-1/15 sec zoomed to 200mm with the lens supported on a wall, table, pillar, whatever. Works great.

I urge people not to buy the non-stabilized version of this lens. Adding IS to it makes it so much more versatile. If you've ever used a 135/2 in low light you understand how difficult it is to handle. It's very difficult to shoot acceptably sharp photos handheld (even braced) at 1/30-1/60 sec. Not so with the 70-200/2.8 IS. 200mm at 1/30 sec held in one hand, no problem. This lens loves low light. If you buy the non-stabilized version, and start to think about all the photos and opportunities you've missed, you'll forever wish you'd spent the extra $600.


Sep 2, 2008
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rentedmule
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Registered: Jun 13, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 41
Review Date: Aug 31, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, flexibility
Cons:
Weight

My review is for a limited group of people, parents of kids playing sports. If you need or can only justify one lens to capture good shots of your kids playing junior and high school sports, I highly recommend this lens. You really do need the lower light capabilities the 2.8 gives you. The IS is very useful to those of us who do not shoot enough to master good lens holding technique.

This lens is great for everything except football at night. It is not quite long enough. It is a good low light lens but football at night is tough. Fortunately the new camera offerings from Canon (50D and beyond) with high, usable ISO will help. This lens with any current Canon camera is perfect for soccer, baseball, tennis, softball, etc. Yes, more reach is always nice but bang for the buck this lens is a great choice. The f/4 lens is great except I believe it is too slow for sports in gyms (they are always dimmer than they look) and outdoors at twilight.

Combine the IQ and large aperture of this lens with a good crop camera with usable 1600 ISO and you can upsize/crop in post processing and get good action photos of your kids sports. The lens is tough, my 13 yr old dropped it on a parking lot, with no ill effects.

If you are looking to upgrade from your kit lens (or the first cheap large zoom you bought) this lens merits your consideration. Its expensive but it will cover nearly all your needs for kids sports and you won't outgrow it as they go onto sports under the lights later on.


Aug 31, 2008
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slamdesign
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Registered: Jul 30, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: is, 2.8, kudos
Cons:
weight

ok, just got this lens yesterday to replace my 135mm f2L. I will be using it for mainly for weddings and did my first wedding with it also yesterday... it went well.

all reviews you read are true and accurate! Although shockingly large (compared with my 135L and 70-200 F4) I carried it around with a lens belt, and 2x40D's all day it it wasnt too heavy, maybe i am just used to carrying alot of gear? But dont let this put you off, size and weight its not a problem in my opinion.

The main reason for choosing this over my 135L, is that i need a zoom at weddings as you cant always use your feet. Also immediately noticed alot of my shots do not need cropping which saves time.

Quality is at least on a par with 135L, blokeh probably not as creamy, but still good. But the IS and zoom makes it much more versitle lens, I can now shoot the wedding breakfast indoors, adverage-poor lighting, hand held, 200mm, F2.8, 1/30sec, iso 800.

A lot more of my shots are keepers now. IS is a must, just remember 1/30 sec is great for sharp shots as long as subject doesnt move. This lens is a diffrent beast from 70-200 F4, probably just as sharp but nowhere near as usable for weddings, forget indoor work even with a monopod.

Alot of dosh, but if your serious about your photos or are a professional making a living from your images, just close your eyes, bite the bullet and hand your money over, (you will soon forget about the holiday you could have had with this money once you see the quality).


Aug 8, 2008
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norrislw
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Registered: Aug 5, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 22
Review Date: Aug 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast AF, build quality, IS.
Cons:
Weight and Price

Got this lens in May, very happy with the sharpness and IQ of this telephoto. IS is a plus, and performs great for panning shots. A little heavy, but F2.8 is a plus for low lighting situation.

Aug 6, 2008
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brad_n_texas
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Registered: Jan 13, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: Jul 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Well from what I have read here, Nothing but GREAT
Cons:
None

After reading several reviews and 100s of posting in FM, broke down this morning and called B and H and ordered one, Why wait 4 to 6 days for it to come in, had it sent next day..



Jul 28, 2008
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SebR
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Registered: Jul 16, 2008
Location: Norway
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,963.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Insane fast and accurate autofocus, great build quality, weather sealing, very versatile in poor lightning conditions because of IS and the large aperture, lovely "bokeh". Perfect for portrait and sport photographing.
Cons:
Could be sharper wide open at 2.8. Knife sharp at F/3.5+. Pricey - But you get the "boss", and will never ever regret that you included both IS and F/2.8 - Trust me.

Paired with EF 400mm IS F/2.8 - There is no better combination for sport photographing in the whole wide world.

You need to decide if IS and F/2.8 really will be necessary for you. For indoor sport photographing, and possibly concerts with low lightning I say it's a "must". A bit heavy, but you'll get used to it. Especially when you see the image results later on. Wink


Jul 16, 2008
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factoryphoto
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Registered: Jul 5, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 303
Review Date: Jul 15, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,400.00

Pros: Great colors,very fast focussing, great for sports and any kind of photography.
Cons:
zero I have no complaints best workhorse lens out there bar none.

This by far the best lens i've owned.. I just purchased a 300 F2.8 about 2 months ago and sold it 2 weeks ago to go back to this lens.. Dont get me wrong the 300 2.8 is absolutley unreal but I just can't justify the price between the two.. I shoot motocross exclusivley and the 70-200 is a work horse lens.. It does everything very well and i've got outstanding results from it for over 6 years I been using it. I just have nothing but great things to say about this lens, ive owned over 4 of these lenses and just ordered my fifth one.
Dont hesitate if your in the market for a lens of this caliber it is just that good.
Hoss


Jul 15, 2008
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Conrad Tan
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Registered: Dec 8, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 28397
Review Date: Jul 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,769.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tack Sharp! IS saves shots! f2.8 Stops action very well!
Cons:
Heavy... real heavy. Better hit the gym!

I agonized over this lens for almost a year. Now I don't know how I went so long without it! I loved my f4, but it pales in comparison to my copy of the f2.8. Go get one! You'll never look back!

Jul 12, 2008
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Kevin Simpson
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Registered: Nov 24, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jun 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Quality of the shots, colour, sharpness, speed of focussing and tracking in AI servo (even on 5D), sheer range of applications. nice zippy bag thing (although does anyone use that? if so, when?!?)
Cons:
heavy? White is a bit "phwoar, check out the length of my lens"

Tremendous value, great ability, beautiful shots. This is just a fantastic workhorse lens.

I am still consistently surprised by the sheer quality of the shots this produces (use on a 5D), even in less than favourable conditions (e.g. low light, windy, subjects moving about) so the IS clearly works and the glass is so good at producing faithful, wonderful representations of the scenes you try to capture.

I use it most frequently at 2.8 and I always think... sheesh, that is going to be tough to get good shots in this light at 2.8. And then, review the files and there they are again, cracking sharp shots.

It has also survided a few drops and knocks, with the lens hood popping off and the impact to the body having no effect at all.

For paid jobs (I mix hobby with some work for the family photography business), this and my 35L will be absolutely, 100% dependable and produce the results I need 95% of the time. (for that other 5%, I think I will ge the 85L).

I would like a black version, as I state above, it is not exactly stealthy so even during a paid gig it is a little 'bling'.

Love the zippy bag, but I have never used it, which seems a waste considering it is clearly a high value item. In what situations to others use it? I'd be delighted to hear so I can complete my praise for this delightful lens!


Jun 26, 2008
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RobertLynn
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Registered: Jan 5, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 11500
Review Date: May 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very good focal length. IS. Fast Av. Fast, silent, accurate focusing. The IS is quiet (but you can hear it if you are in a quiet area TRYING to hear it). Build quality is top notch. Light paint reflects light, and keeps the lens cooler (feel the hood vs the lens outside in the sun, you'll see). Lens is reasonably sharp at 2.8, and cleans up very nicely at 4.
Cons:
The weight (I knew this getting into it, it's not an issue for me, but for others they may not want to go hiking with it). The cost (it's on rebate right now, but still it's a lot of money. Casual photographers will love the lens, but springing for it may hurt the bank. My suggestion? If you enjoy photography and will use the lens, then buy it. Put the cost out of your mind, and enjoy the images you get from it.

1st, let me say I'm just an aspiring hobbyist, looking to start doing paid gigs. Take my review as someone who hasn't been doing photography for too long, though I have had work published by a few bands.

First off, the price. It is a hefty tag. However, how often do you have to buy it? With this price, you get a zoom over a 70-200 range, with a fast Av (to my knowledge, I can't think of a zoom made by Canon that is faster than 2.8), and IS technology.

Secondly, the weight. Physics will show you how it is that this lens weighs so much. It's the constant Av over the focal range (the f/4 IS is nearly half the weight) adds tremendous weight to the lens. At 3.7 lbs with the tripod collar on, it is heavy. I do not mind the weight, however I can see having it slung over your neck all day would definitely be bothersom.

Third, performance. The AF is fast, accurate and silent. When you test it, there's reports of sharp and soft copies out there. I think obviously there are some however; I think a lot of it is unrealistic expectations, and user error. Simply put, a telephoto lens isn't as forgiving on bad technique. Neither is a narrow depth of field. As far as sharpness, I find my acceptably sharp. Knowing that a prime (say 135L or 85L) is going to be sharper than a zoom. How much sharper in print, I cannot say. I'll leave that to someone else. Colors and contrast on this lens are great. Shots have minimal CA, except I've got a few at higher ISO (1600-3200) in high contrast areas, at full zoom, and 150 feet away) that have it. I didn't notice this, and it was pointed out to me (again think of this when you consider this review, I'm not the most experienced photographer out there) that it was there. was told it was minimal and could be corrected in post.

Another thing is that the front element doesn't spin during focus. You could us CPF if you wanted to.

My bottom line is this, after countless hours of research, I decided the best lens for me was this one. I could benefit from the IS, (though I'm confused on how much it benefits me), I use 2.8, so the choice was there. If you're looking at this one, you're looking at any of the 4 7-2's that Canon offers.

My advice is simple.
If you need f4 and no IS, then the f4 non IS is for you
If you need f4 and IS, then the f4 IS is for you.
if you need f/2.8 and no IS, then the 2.8 non Is is for you,
and you guessed it...the f/2.8 IS is there if you need 2.8 and IS.

Not a single lens in that range will do you wrong. Don't worry so much about the weight, worry about what features you need.
Before I forget, the case that comes with the lens is nice, not like the bag you get with the 24-70. Also the hood is nice, and does a great job of reducing flare.


May 27, 2008
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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 741887 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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