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

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353 744746 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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Chris Fawkes
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Registered: Feb 1, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 3830
Review Date: Oct 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super Sharp
Cons:

One awesome lens. Weel built, super sharp and it looks great.
Samples can be seen at http://www.chrisfawkes.net/wedding3.html


Oct 2, 2007
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Eike Schroter
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Registered: Sep 25, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:



There is something I don't understand about this lens.
I'm sure it's a great lens.
How is it that when I'm shooting at f2.8, 200mm, with the IS on, at 1/6400 of a second, the shots are out of focus?
I'm shooting with one shot auto focus on.

Even with a mono pod, at F4, on the 30D, bright overcast light, at 1/3400 of a second, IS on.

I'm baffled.


Sep 25, 2007
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MSC
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Registered: Feb 14, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 11464
Review Date: Sep 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, build, 2.8, IS
Cons:
None

Workhorse lens, super sharp, IS is tops for lowlight, tough (can withstand a drop, or wet, or sand), and it is 2.8. 2.8 is critical for sports. I'd buy a 70-200 2.0 if they made one tho. Smile

Sep 21, 2007
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TimesUP
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Registered: Feb 6, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 650
Review Date: Sep 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,425.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, excellent contrast, focus.....etc,.
Cons:
None


I have read everything there is to read about this lens. I have laughed at folks who were willing to spend an "arm and a leg" on


Sep 13, 2007
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Kari Post
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Registered: Jan 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 660
Review Date: Sep 10, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, good AF speed, accurate focusing, IS, AF with 1.4x and 2x extenders, included tripod collar
Cons:
I've noticed some C/A in high contrast areas

I owned this lens for about six months before switching to the 70-200mm f/4 IS. Previously, I owned the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens for comparison.

This is a top notch lens. The lens is quite sharp, performing exceptionally well for a zoom, and does well even with converters added, although the AF hunts considerably more with the 2x and focus acquisition is slower. When used on a tripod with the IS off this lens is one of the sharpest I've seen, zoom or prime.

This lens is just as good as, or better than, the Nikon version in all regards, including AF speed and accuracy and overall image quality.

I really enjoyed this lens, but have traded it for the f/4 version for lighter weight when backpacking.


Sep 10, 2007
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reburns
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Registered: Oct 27, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 244
Review Date: Sep 10, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Wider aperture than alternatives
Cons:
Tested several copies and found them too soft to use on a full-frame digital

Please, when you post a review for a lens, state which camera bodies you used. I used a 5D with this lens.

I assumed that this was a good performing lens based upon the high review marks received here. After purchasing and testing 3 copies, and testing three other copies, I conclude that this lens cannot keep pace with full frame digitals. I was hoping to use this lens for available light indoor photography and DOF subject separation.

I am choosing the 70-200 f/4 IS instead. Photozone tests that model to be Canon's highest resolution zoom. Folks like the contrast, and it's supposed to have the latest & greatest stabilization.

The test was a controlled still-life setup, testing all three copies at the same time on a tripod-mounted camera. Tests were conducted wide-open because I want to be able to use the lens that way. Tests were done at the limits and middle of zoom range. There were inconsistencies between the copies, but all were soft. I later compared the best of the three to the so-so 100-400L lens with the longer lens wide open and the 70-200 f/2.8 stopped down to match. The result: the 70-200 & 100-400 produced virtually identical resolution (accounting for different magnification). Also compared was the most dependable copy of the three to a colleague's copy. His was substantially sharper at 70mm but softer at 200mm. Another test was between this 2.8 IS model and a store's f/4 non-IS model, and the f/4 model was substantially superior.

I would not recommend this lens until Canon updates it, and instead produce better images using the cheaper and smaller f/4 model.


Sep 10, 2007
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racketman
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Registered: Jun 5, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 18
Review Date: Aug 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: build quality, weather sealed.
Cons:
weihgt, price.

I had the f4 L and that was a fine lens but I was frustrated at having to protect it in rainy conditions. If you want to shoot in all weather and have a 1 series body there is only one choice.

Aug 31, 2007
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DavidWEGS
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Registered: Apr 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3799
Review Date: Aug 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS.
Cons:
Weight, well not really, but I can't complain about anything else ;-)

As has been said, this works as advertised and has performed at the top for over three years now.

If using with a TC the images are slightly softer, but still very close to the 400/5.6's IQ.

I would buy it again.


Aug 14, 2007
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Brian Matchick
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Registered: Aug 12, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 12, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Great build, IS, USM, contrast, bokeh.
Cons:
Price, heavy and only descent image quality.

Writing this review makes me feel like the guy who shows up to an Apple forum and bashes the iPod. But I feel this lens was given a fair go 'round and must call it as I see it. I bought the 2.8L IS based solely on the reviews posted here. I wish I had seen this: http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_70200_28is/index.htm first. Everything people say in the FM reviews is dead on, except for some of the raves about image quality. This lens has great contrast and bokeh, but it really isn't that sharp overall and there is way too much purple fringing. I shoot RAW with a 20D and PP everything with PS at 100%, which does mean I'm a tough grader. And viewed at 50% things look much better (they may also look good printed; I didn't print anything). But for $1600 I really wanted to love this lens, but so many shots were a disappointment and needed a lot of sharpening and other work, even at f8 or f10. I even exchanged the lens with Amazon to make sure I had a good copy, but my results were looking just like those in the review I link to above, so I think it's simply that the new version of this lens has issues. It's sad because I've (in my mind) drooled over this lens for a while and am still kind of shocked that I just couldn't deal with the image quality. I no longer have the 2.8 and will be ordering the f4, which really does seem to be stellar (I hope!). If I wasn't such a nit-picker, I may feel differently, but for that much $$ I just couldn't live with it. BTW, someone mentioned that the 2x converter works well with the 2.8. I must respectfully disagree. My results were awful, and a quick forum search at someplace like dpreview will reveal that almost everyone with this setup is not happy. The 2x simply magnifies the 70-200 2.8s flaws and using that combo really is no better than cropping and upsampling without using the converter. Please check it out before spending $300 2x unless you have an 70-200 f4 or some good primes to use it with. I'll just add that I had the 2.8 for a month and did everything I could to make sure it wasn't *me* causing the issues. I've at least convinced myself that it wasn't. Smile But YMMV, I suppose. http://www.pbase.com/matchick

Aug 12, 2007
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David Hiten
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Registered: Aug 12, 2007
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image Quality - Speed - Image Stabilizer - Reach
Cons:
Weight consideration - Size Consideration - Price Consideration

This lens rocks!

If you are going to get a job done properly then get the right tools. I was out a few fay back at a Rock concert and obviously no flash was allowed + I could not stand in the front the whole time blocking the view of other fans.
This lens allowed me to sit back and pick up on some amazing shots. The quality is astounding. I am amazed every time I look at the photos shot at between iso 800 - 1600.
I use a 30D and the noise levels were contained while getting an exceptional amount of detail.
I cannot imagine a time when I will not have a lens like this. It is pure heaven to own a tool like this.

Weight wise it is heavier than other options but why would you want a lighter tool that cannot do the job - that does not make sense. If you need 2.8 and want the extra stop the IS offers then start gym now!!
Price is relative. IMHO this lens is a steal for the doors it opens up artistically as a photographer and professionally as a return on investment.
I held this baby for 5-6 hours with limited breaks between and although I admit it had my back aching a bit on the walk to the car - I could still smile knowing that my images were gonna look as sweet as possible with only compromise being my ability to get the best out of this amazing machinery!
Call Santa and tell him you're a good boy! - 0800SANTACLAUS


Aug 12, 2007
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starlights
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Registered: Oct 17, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 365
Review Date: Aug 6, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,390.00

Pros: Sharpness Sharpness Sharpness
Cons:
None, if you can hold a little weight - not as much as you may think though.

I wrote a review last evening, but it seemed to have disappeared, so i will write one agaiin

I bought this lens a little over a month ago. I thought it would be a great purchase, even though the price was daunting, but never realized that its worth every cent i paid for it and more ! This lens is as sharp as they get, with IS to boot. Its so good that now i am planning to sell my 135 f2 because it seems that this lens can produce results every bit as good as that and more. I was a non believer in IS, until i used this lens - the IS lets me go down to a speed of 1/60th sec on 200 mm with aperture between 2.8 - 3.5 so i can take hand held images even at dusk. I am hooked !!

One of the sharpest lens in my collection !

Btw - dont bother too much about the reviews you read about the weight of this lens - once you get hooked, you wont even notice the weight (which isnt really all that much)

Highly Recommended.

wish they made 85 1.2 with IS

Here are a couple of images made from this lens recently

http://www.pbase.com/sanjaygitu/image/81831539
http://www.pbase.com/sanjaygitu/image/81831539 (1/60s)
http://www.pbase.com/sanjaygitu/image/83234024


Aug 6, 2007
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dnenciu
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Registered: Jul 25, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 621
Review Date: Aug 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,825.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: fast f2.8, IQ, sharp, weather sealed, built like a tank.
Cons:
expensive (but worth the money)

I was torn between this one and the f4 is version. They both have trade offs. Based on reviews the f4 is is sharper at similar apertures and has a better is (4 stops). Also is lighter and less expensive. But finally I decided on this one because of the fast aperture which gives me a more accurate AF, great bokeh, and faster shutter in low light.

The image quality is very good. At similar apertures it compares well to my (70-200 f4 non is). At f2.8 is surprisingly sharp, by f4 it's very sharp. Might not be as sharp as my 135mm f2 L but is very close. I would not hesitate to use it wide open.

It's heavy but I knew that before I got it.
Build quality is excellent better than the f4 is (has a plastic body) and the weather sealing meens less dust inside.

The IS gives me sharp photos as low as 1/30 (even 1/15 but the keeper rate starts to be lower)

They say the f4 IS version gives 4 stops but I don't shoot very often at 1/15, is too slow for anything except static subjects at high ISO. I would rather have the extra stop.

The bokeh at 200mm f2.8 is great, almost as good as the 135mm f2L at f2.

With the 1.4x TC I get a decent 98-280 f4 IS, a bit soft at f4 but stopped to f5.6 is very good.

Colors are a bit on the cool side. Contrast is great.

I am very happy with it and would recommend it to anybody that needs the fast speed or the background blur that f2.8 gives. If you don't need that than save some money and weight and get the f4 IS, tried it and is also great.


Aug 6, 2007
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starlights
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Registered: Oct 17, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 365
Review Date: Aug 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,390.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness Sharpness Did I say Sharpness ?!!
Cons:
None whatsoever (some say weight - but once you start seeing the results - it doesnt matter anymore)

I was a non believer as far as the IS lenses went - until i bought this lens, over a decision to buy a no IS version of the same lens.

I am hooked !! This lens is so sharp that i am actually planning to sell my 135 f2, since it seems to just sit in the bag for most times - the IS along with the tack shaprness makes this a killer lens. Now even when shooting hand held in low light, most of my images are keepers - i have gone down to 1/60th at 200mm on this lens and come away with razor sharp images (Using 5D).

Totally recommended - you wont regret it.

Here are a couple of samples from my recent shoot - you be the judge.

http://www.pbase.com/sanjaygitu/image/81831539
http://www.pbase.com/sanjaygitu/image/83234024
http://www.pbase.com/sanjaygitu/image/81831950 (shot at 1/60 s)


Aug 5, 2007
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Pablo Vicente
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Registered: Apr 24, 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 160
Review Date: Aug 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Beatiful and very useful background blur / bokeh, it's not like blurring in PS with filters. f/2.8 + IS make it very useful for indoor events and model photography during sunset.Great for extreme close ups and experimenting with DOF.
Cons:
Size, weight, price.People stare as if you're about to launch a space shuttle.

Using the 24-70 all the time, I found myself limited in the focal range, as I like to flatten the perspective a lot shooting portraits and love extreme close ups as well as street photography 'from a distance'.This lens is a real pleasure to work with both in the studio, outdoors and during indoor events, as well as outside playing with the great background blur.

The IS really works and once you've used it, you'll always want it.


greetings,


Pablo


www.pablovicente.com
www.digitalpixels.net
www.retouching.be



Aug 4, 2007
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DLP
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Registered: Apr 17, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 2505
Review Date: Jul 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Build quality, useable case and tripod ring included.
Cons:
No sharper than f4IS with noticeably more CA

I was so undecided between this lens and the F4 IS varient that I ordered both. The lens is heavier than the specs. My copy with collar and hood tipped the scales at 3# 11 OZ. Nearly a half pound heavier than the specs. Most dissapointing to me was the CA especially at 70mm. IS is a bit of a let down in a side by side comparison with the newer generation F4 IS. The IS on the F4 closes the gap to some degree between the two. I would still recommend this lens but if you have visions of better BQ or IQ simply because the price is higher you may be dissapointed. If you need a fast zoom I'm sure this one will be just the ticket.

Jul 30, 2007
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hsw21
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Registered: Aug 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1173
Review Date: Jul 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image Quality Build Quality
Cons:
Wish it is a bit cheaper (of course it is just my wishful thinking).

I'm eye-ing this lens for a while, have to wait because of the money (have to save for it) and because of the reviews that says we dont need it, its too heavy, could do the job with F4 version, etc, etc, etc....

One day I have enough money to get it, plus there was rebate program ($100) and my brain also wasn't in 100% normal working condition, so I "accidentally" click the "submit order" button and there you go, I've bought it....

Used it for the first time at the wedding, and yeah, people were right, it was too heavy, after just an hour holding it, my left hand becomes so shaky, but I got great result on that day though...
So, conclusion, it gives great result, but weight is a little bit of an issue for me.

Used it again for second time at different wedding, this time prepared better than the last one.
I was able to get even better result than the last time and my hand is not to tired anymore.

BTW, I also have the F4 non IS version and love it too because of the result and the lightweight, but the F2.8 IS is more preferable because it looks better (more "real PRO" like), image quality (I love both result from F4 and F2.8 IS), bokeh and lower light capability when needed OR in my case I can use my F4 if the wedding is outdoor and use the F2.8 IS if its indoor.

Conclusion, I have no regret buying it.
I love the lens, I love the result, I'm happy with it.


Jul 29, 2007
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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 744746 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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