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

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353 742687 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 Canon’s 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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hans.dampf
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Registered: Feb 12, 2014
Location: N/A
Posts: 11
Review Date: May 9, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Bokeh, Build Quality, Image Isolation Qualities
Cons:
Weight, Price, Size

I now work for several years with this lens and DSLRs and I can only report good things about this lens. The focus accuracy is really impressive on the entire zoom range. The build quality is as it should be for an L lens, extremely good and robust. This is a workhorse, using it everyday will not wear it down. This is also one reason why this lens still enjoys great popularity with the press, sports and wedding photographers since its release almost 16 years ago. The value for money at for this lens is very well done. Only the new version of the 70-200 2.8 L II may still show better sharpness values ​​and a nicer bokeh, but also it costs almost twice as much. The bokeh is really wonderful, even when shooting wide open at f2.8. For portraits, this lens is really very good. Only specialized prime lenses are of course even more beautiful in terms of the exemption possibilities and the bokeh . If you like extreme subject isolation qualities and absolutely creamy bokeh, take a look at the primes like 85 f/1.2 L, 50mm f/1.2 L or the 135 f/2L . But the 70-200 2.8L IS has a great advantage against fixed lenses: It's flexible! practise and get to know this lens, it has to deliver good images under allmost all conditions. For wedding photography or similar activities this lens is simply better because it is more flexible than fixed lenses. Only the weight can be a limiting factor, it's really heavy.
What about the corresponding alternatives? There are still 2 70-200 4,0 L USM lens from Canon. Both very sharp and also a still image stabilization. However, F4 is sometimes simply not fast enough, especially since the 70-200 4,0 L IS USM also has a pretty high price. Alternatively, there is also the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8. It is quite sharp (if you get a good copy), but much slower in terms of autofocus speed. Furthermore, there is also a Sigma 70-200 2.8 which is not necessarily super sharp at maximum aperture, and autofocus is by far not as reliable as with this Canon lens.

For me as a wedding photographer, this lens is simply a must, even with the relatively high price and weight. The fact is that there is really no alternative to it if you need nice and sharp pictures from further away or if you need to isolate your subject from the background. Don't think about saving some money by going without the IS - the stabilizer helps a lot at long focal distances and handholding this thing is tough.

One word about the version II of this lens - yes, it's sharper and a bit better. But really - this lens has been top notch and best in class for 16 years, it has not gotten any worse since the new version came out!

Take a look at real life examples (not brick walls!!) of this lens in action in a couple shooting that I did recently:
Photographe de Mariage à Genève

These pictures were shot with it:

Photographe de Mariage à Genève

Photographe de Mariage à Genève

Photographe de Mariage à Genève


May 9, 2014
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dkyeah
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Registered: Dec 10, 2013
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 26, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Weather sealing, fast and accurate AF, not so expensive anymore
Cons:
Less sharp than the newer version, heavy

While the newer version is noticeably sharper, this lens is very good. You can get it on eBay for quite cheap. If you shoot sport or wedding this is a must have lens. Though I must say, I tend to use more and more my 85mm 1.2 instead of this lens for most of my work. I still use my 70-200 when I need faster AF or a longer focal.
When I'll update it, I'm might take a look at the 135mm f/2. As it is lighter, smaller and has a 1 stop advantage, though it's not stabilized.Will see.

If you want to see how it performs in low light, check the following link. It's a wedding runway I shot for a magazine and the 70-200 2.8 IS was perfect for that job: http://quentindecaillet.com/blog/4262-photographe-mariage-geneve-salon-du-mariage-de-geneve-2013-defiles.html


Mar 26, 2014
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michaeldejesus
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Registered: Jan 29, 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 25
Review Date: Feb 7, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Still great after all these years. I look back at all the keepers I got from this lens, especially paired with my original 1D classic, and I'm amazed. Even if I had the money I'm not sure I would buy the Mark II version of this lens. Would I get the incremental value out of buying the newer version? I think not.
Cons:
None that I can think of. Sure, it's not the latest and greatest, but you're not losing much.

A great lens that keeps getting better. Built like a tank and sharp as a tack. Amazing lens.

Feb 7, 2014
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ezekiele
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Registered: Jan 16, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Feb 6, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great Image stabilizer
Cons:
Not the as sharp as I would like at 2.8

As a <a href="http://ezekielephotography.com/">wedding photographer</a> I use the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM in tandem with the 24-70mm f/2.8L EF USM on 5DMK II's, they are a great pair for fast paced events. I really have no complaints about this lens for the work I do it gets the job done.


Feb 6, 2013
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scott_scheetz
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Registered: Oct 31, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 3, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,070.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, good contrast, Lighting fast AF, accurate AF, Weather sealing, Good IS system. IQ wide open from 70-135mm is Great! Excellent build quality.
Cons:
IQ at 200mm wide open is a little weak. Flares very bad when shooting towards a light source even with the hood attached. HEAVY!

I've gotten some brilliant shots with this lens. The IQ is really quite good wide open, except at the long end of the range (~200mm). Its not terrible at 200mm, but its not as good as at 70mm, and no where close to a prime.

This lens is amazing on a full frame. The auto focus is lighting fast and accurate, even on a 5D. Weather sealing is great. I've shot in the rain several times without any problems. IS is great, and very beneficial for a lens of this range.

This is a heavy lens, but it has an excellent build quality. It balances very nicely on a gripped 5D.

Here are some shots using this lens on a 5D. (All are wide open)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/8347899745/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/8400255871/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/8341162208/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/8348959158/


Feb 3, 2013
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nswelton
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Registered: Jan 16, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 246
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: mind blasting if you're new to lenses of this grade. indestructible.
Cons:
has a washed out look, not much contrast, not as sharp as the newer versions, kind of a let down for a lens this expensive.

i loved this lens until i switched to primes. then, suddenly, i hated it and basically stopped using it. maybe it was the fact that i was using all L series primes? but maybe not: when i got the f4 IS version, i immediately knew that my distaste for this lens had everything to do with the fact that it just optically does not perform as well as the newer canon zooms (i.e. the f4 IS, the F4 non IS, and the f2.8 Mark II). it's soft compared to the current gen zooms and the colors and contrast need to be pumped up in post. if you're looking to save the money, get this -- but i highly highly recommend waiting a little longer, saving a little more, and getting the mark II version, which is simply phenomenal.

on the plus side, it's quick and accurate to focus, and can probably withstand having a bomb drop on it.


Apr 11, 2012
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Nezza
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Registered: Nov 24, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 470
Review Date: Mar 31, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Well made, IS.
Cons:
Image quality wide open

This is a nice F4 lens. Wide open my copy is soft with a lot of image bloom. Stopped down 1 stop it is nice and sharp. I may have a rogue lens as everyone else seems to think mthe lens is exceptional.

Mar 31, 2012
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Kevin Sherman
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Registered: Nov 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1045
Review Date: Jan 19, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Fast, Amazing
Cons:
Heavy?

Compared with the Version II, this one is a great value now.

Fast focus, good sharpness, IS is tremendously beneficial. Money maker. Shoot a tooooooooon of sports with this puppy.

Only negative is the lens hood, the plastic mount wears down pretty quickly. Barely a year after purchase, I had to start using gaffers tape to keep it on.


Jan 19, 2012
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dolina
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Registered: Nov 4, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 3628
Review Date: Nov 22, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: 20g lighter & $800 cheaper than the Version 2
Cons:
Since has been replaced by the Version 2 on March 2010, which is ok cause the Version 1's cheaper.

I have the Version 1 and Version 2 of this lens. I did a side by side test between the two during a football match using two EOS 7D bodies with the same brand battery and same brand 8GB memory card.

I noticed that the USM is much more responsive and quieter on the Version 2 than on the Version 1 that I immediately noticed which subject is in focus.

I would not have noticed this if I weren't switching between the two setups seconds between each other.

If you are a working photog with a Version 1 I would buy the Version 2 ASAP and keep or sell the Version 1. The Version 2 will shorten your workflow significantly. The shortening of workflow correspond to the improved image quality and keeper rate that benefits the Version 2. This is what you get from a decade's worth of R&D.

If you are a non-working photog with the Version 1 I would keep it and buy another zoom or prime lens.

To quantify the Version 2 I would say this is a 25% improvement over the Version 1

If you want to see lens samples on full frame, APS-H and APS-C bodies go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/alabang/tags/canonef70200mmf28lisusm/


Nov 22, 2011
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DLP
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Registered: Apr 17, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 2503
Review Date: Aug 3, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,600.00

 
Pros: BQ, case and collar included
Cons:
CA, weight

I was so undecided between this lens and the F4 IS 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.



Aug 3, 2011
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Leonard Gozali
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Registered: Jan 15, 2011
Location: Indonesia
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Review Date: Jan 18, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,950.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid Construction, Fully Weather Shield, IS, F/2.8 and its CANON!
Cons:
Price, Weight

This truly is a fantastic lens, even at its rather high price point. Compared to the original 70-200 F/2.8 IS, the new version has improved optics and a fantastic IS system, and for action photography I’ve found that improvements in both optics and autofocus have led to higher amounts sharper images.

Jan 18, 2011
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nglaap
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Registered: Dec 17, 2010
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: very sharp, fast, versatile, great colors, buildquality
Cons:
the weight, dear god the weight

We are on mixed terms, this lens and me. I love it and hate it. Produces great images, excellent focal length and versatality (in its range) especially on a FF body. I have used it on a canon 30D/40D/5DMKII and found the images produced by this lens on all cameras to be excellent in terms of color/sharpness. The IS is a handy build in tool. You can handhold this lens at ridiculous low shutter speeds and still get tac sharp images. In terms of use, after 2 years this lens still surprises me (in a good way Smile )

But.....this lens has one very big downside and that is the weight. For me this is the main reason I dont keep it on my camera for too long a time. I'd never part with it but everyone who is lookin out to buy this lens I would recommend to rent one first and see if the weight is an issue for you. The F4 version of this lens is equally sharp and has considerably less weight, but its F4. I personally need the 2.8 since I photograph a lot of stuff indoor and cant always fall back on flash.

Conclusion, its an awesome piece of equipment and I still have to say you cant go wrong with it if you choose to buy it. Just consider the weight!


Dec 17, 2010
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Todd Klassy
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Registered: Sep 27, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 290
Review Date: Sep 30, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,699.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp images, parfocal zoom, weather sealing, rugged build quality, quiet AF, color rendition.
Cons:
None

A lot of people are talking about the new Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM, and rightly so; I'm sure it is an exceptional lens. It's predecessor, however, should still receive its props and in virtually every regard is an exceptional lens and no slouch when compared to its replacement.

One of the key advantages of this lens over the Mark II version is the fact that it is parfocal, which means it stays in focus when magnification/focal length is changed. The Mark II version, I'm told, does not have this feature, which for sports and wedding photographers may be a limitation.

I use this lens most frequently with my Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM as I backpack and travel around performing my duties as a travel photographer in Montana and throughout the Midwest. It is most frequently coupled to my Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which has a might large censor as you know, and the Mark I version of the same camera. It always performs and I seldom if ever have to worry about "getting the shot." Shots are crisp and clear, even on my 5D Mark II, with its extended resolution. Colors are great, bokeh very good for a zoom lens, and its build quality has to be second to none. Simply put, I love this lens.

Here are some examples of shots I have taken with this lens most recently. I think you will agree that it does an exceptional job:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/4703087574/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/4854765652/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/4706126864/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/5008258292/

And here is one wide open:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/4861410037/


Sep 30, 2010
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Snopchenko
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Registered: May 18, 2010
Location: Russia
Posts: 2108
Review Date: Jun 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: + everything really.
Cons:
- heavy and bulky; - white.

Uh, this is THE lens for me. Hard to fault on anything, and really, hard to find any words that wouldn't sound banal. Name a good attribute of a lens and the 70-200 has it in spades. Bright? Check. IS? Check. Sharp? Double check (and f/2.8 is fully usable to boot). Fast and accurate AF? Check. Tough build? Check. Anything else? Check.

Maybe it's heavy and bulky, but it's my problem, not that of the lens. At times I regretted not going with f/4 L IS, but then I found myself shooting lots of dark indoor venues and never been in doubt since.


Jun 26, 2010
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wcben
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Registered: Feb 8, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Mar 9, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,799.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, AF Speed, "feel", Bokeh quality.
Cons:
Wish I'd had the chance to do the rebate in January.....

Debated long and hard, really didn't want to spend the money, but couldn't be happier, what an outstanding lens!! I shoot namely hockey and our pets and this lens by itself has changed my photography only for the positive. On hockey, my "keeper rate" has tripled! I really couldn't be more positive! I wouldn't have thought that one piece of equipment (other than a body) could change everything for me, I believe this lens has!

Mar 9, 2010
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meltech1
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Registered: Mar 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Mar 2, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: One Outstanding Lens
Cons:
None



Mar 2, 2010
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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 742687 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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