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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
179 403996 Sep 30, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $1,132.91
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.86
9.09
9.7
ef70_200_28_1_

Specifications:
One of the finest telephoto zoom lenses in the EF line, comparable to a single focal length lens. It has four UD-glass elements to correct chromatic aberrations. Its constant f/2.8 maximum aperture and superb image quality make it one of the most popular professional SLR lenses in the world. Compatible with Extender EF 1.4x II and 2x II.


 


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oldshutterhand
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Registered: Jan 24, 2012
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 30, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very fine picture quality, unified in the range, excellent build qualitym quick and accurate USM autofocus
Cons:
Huge, expensive


This is a very fine lens, excellently built, optical qualities are awesome, a real pro lens, but a little bit big(No free lunch.) For me it is not heavy at all, perhaps heavy for smaller people.


See in more detail here:
http://oldshutterhand.com/equipment-reviews/canon-70-200mm-f2-8-review/


Sep 30, 2013
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kezeka
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Registered: Feb 18, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 1168
Review Date: Jan 26, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp sharp sharp, contrasty, great coloration, little to no distortion, built like a battleship.
Cons:
No IS (depends if you need it or not), no weather sealing.

This was the first L lens I ever purchased. Couldn't afford IS and didn't need it for sports/action photography. This lens is a work horse and is designed to be used into the ground. It has never let me down in a single situation: sports, concerts, events, portraits, scenery - this lens does it all.

The lens barrel is solid metal. Focus and zoom rings are fluid. The tripod mount is smooth and solid.

Downside? You are saving a pretty penny over the IS lens, but make sure you don't need IS. I imagine it would come in handy for low light situations where it is relatively difficult to keep the shutter speed at 1/200 of a second. However, if you are going to be shooting sports or people scrambling around, you'll need the shutter speed at least that high anyway. From what I have seen in testing - this lens is in general marginally sharper than the IS mk I variant. That said, the IS mkI has weather sealing in addition to IS. When you pull this lens out, you generally wont want to screw around with weather because again, it is a workhorse, so that weather sealing is a big selling point against the non-IS variant.

Overall, I never really had any problems with this lens and it certainly took everything I threw at it over my ownership. I recently sold my copy to fund an upgrade to the 70-200 IS mk II for the improvement in sharpness and critically the addition of weather sealing and IS.

If you need a 70-200 for sports and action photography and are on a budget - this is the lens for you! If you intend to use it in adverse conditions or low light, I recommend getting the IS mk I or II and saving a little frustration in those scenarios.

Sample photos:
http://smu.gs/14i16cH
http://smu.gs/14i1hEF
http://smu.gs/X0IHeM
http://smu.gs/14i1A2l
http://smu.gs/14i1K9Y


Jan 26, 2013
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15Bit
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Registered: Jan 27, 2008
Location: Norway
Posts: 3786
Review Date: Aug 31, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, AF speed, Build quality, Utility
Cons:
none

A hard lens to fault. Well made, great value, superb image quality and amazing utility - i use mine for everything from Macro (with tubes) to Portraits and Candids. Even Landscapes from time to time.

Some criticise the weight, but its a f/2.8 lens so i can't see how this is a negative - such lenses inherently weigh more. In any case the balance of the lens with xD and xxD bodies is excellent.

Bokeh is generally very good, but does sometimes show a little weakness with busy backgrounds.

Bottome line - I've had mine for 5 years and have no intention of being parted from it any time soon.


Aug 31, 2012
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Prasann Patel
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Registered: Mar 20, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jul 13, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, good zoom range, handy tripod collar, strong focusing, works with Canon 1.4x and 2.0x extenders
Cons:
A bit on the heavy side

This was the first L-series lens I had ever owned, and I'm so glad I went with it rather than another L-series.

This lens is a perfect example of what you get when you pay for the extra "L" from Canon. It's incredibly sharp, even wide open at 2.8. The bokeh is great as well. I have to have the tripod collar positioned at the top so my hands are free at the bottom of the lens to zoom and focus and its a little on the heavy side so long period of use can put some strain on your hand, but image quality is certainly worth it.

Great lens for photojournalism, portraiture, filming, and more!


Jul 13, 2012
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Jeroenro
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Registered: Jan 11, 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 16
Review Date: May 30, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp from F2.8 and up, fast autofocus, light strong, build like a rock!
Cons:
Heavy

The musthave Canon zoom! I use this lens for most of my portrait work. But its a great lens for low-light situations like catwalk shows and concerts. Dropped this lens several times but it still works!

May 30, 2012
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Innovator
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Registered: Aug 20, 2004
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 2, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: f2.8, zoomrange, sharp, great bokeh
Cons:
no IS, for filming handheld less easy but manageable, (but the IS II version is stupidly expensive and IS I version less sharp), white and big

I sold my 200 f2.8L & 135 f2L in favour of this lens to have more flexibility (even if those were the almost perfect primes Canon ever made).

First I was a purist with Canon's Holy trinity (85L - 135L - 200L) which I planned never to sell, but I found for the longer focal lengths primes not so handy.

The 200 2.8L was too tight (even for basketball shots out of the tribune) on a 5D2. The 135L was better, but as I ocasionally shoot basketball I didn't want to keep this lens either. I had the 135 f2L on my 40D crop and with the 1.6 cropfactor, the 216mm was an awkward range.

I wanted to give my 135L a second chance on my 5D where 135mm is 135mm, but as I have the magical 85 1.2L I eventually sold the 135L also.

85mm is better for portraits. The 135L would be great for candid portraits, but you need to have a lot of moving space for this. I would mainly use it for onstage performances (on seat), receptions, basketball (on seat), in 3 situations almost impossible to take steps behind.

So I compared all 70-200's and the f2.8 non-IS seemed sharpest, best price (I only paid $850 to a wedding photographer who sold it for the 70-200 f2.8L IS II).
He showed me some pics from his children and some wedding albums with this lens, all great with f2.8 bokeh.

The 70-200 f4 IS is also great tack sharpt, but it's a "sunny lens", I don't like f4 (you never know you have to shoot inside, that's why I sold my 24-105 in past).

So the 70-200 f2.8L non IS replaces my 135 2L + 200 2.8L and is ideal for events,concerts,... always flexible/lowlight/sharp/bokeh advantage.

The 70-200 2.8L is a perfect follow up on my 28-70 2.8L
Both 2 elder gem lenses, but great IQ, price,...

The only 2 primes I have left are the 35 1.4L + 85 1.2L
Those two are magical primes and can be used more often due to less mm's.

Now I have my perfect setup :
35 1.4L + 85 1.2L (bokehlicious lowlight portraitprimes)
28-70 2.8L + 70-200 2.8L (best allround zooms)


Apr 2, 2011
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eMilk
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Registered: Jun 15, 2010
Location: Iceland
Posts: 3
Review Date: Mar 13, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,380.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good build quality, sharp wide open, nice handling, smooth focus/zoom ring, nice range, good bokeh.
Cons:
Heavy, pricey, white.

Have owned for two months.

Very nice lens, handles very well.

What they say in the other reviews is true, amazing bokeh,
good sharpness wide open, and excellent L-build quality.

But it is pretty heavy though. Prior to purchasing this lens I read alot of reviews saying it was heavy,
but I though, pff, heavy doesn't matter, I'm strong blah blah blah... The weight and size is a bit of an issue.
Its too large to carry around when walking around or something like that, but it does feel very solid in your hands.
It also bothers me that it is white, because I feel like a showoff when I use it for very casual occasions, but
the fact that it is white also gives people confidence when you shoot at more formal occasions such as sport
events, or like myself, dog shows.

All in all, great lens. Recommended as an addition to your normal lens.
I do not recommend as only lens, I have this, a 50mm f/1.8 II along with a 50D body, and I very often
need something with a more general range.



Mar 13, 2011
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af120835
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Registered: Apr 21, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 892
Review Date: Jan 2, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at f2.8, fast and accurate AF, nice bokeh, focus limiter useful, internal zoom & focus, f2.8 throughout zoom range. Nice to see some accessories included (hood, tripod mount and case).
Cons:
No weather sealing- VERY disappointing for an "L" lens, bit of a lump, but easy enough to get used to.

What the others have said really. A sharp lens, even at f2.8, if you get a good copy. Stopping down to f3.5 shows a slight improvement, but not much: you have to be pixel peeping to notice the difference.

I wouldn't have any qualms about shooting wide open.

The autofocus is very good. It is fast and accurate and even moreso if used with the limiter.

I've coupled this with a Canon 2X mkII extender and the results are impressive. Even wide open at f5.6 the image is far sharper than I'd have thought it would be. Stopping down to f6.3 does improve things, but you need to be zoomed in at 100% to see these improvements.

The only thing I have marked it down on really is build quality. Why it isn't weather sealed is beyond me. And also I seem to have gained a genuine bit of Canon dust and speck of dirt.

It's not the first time I've found such items in a new lens, however, I have no intention of returning it because so far it hasn't caused any problems and I don't know what I'd get back if I did.

It is somewhat irksome though after spending the money on it, and I don't appear to be the only one to have come across it. I wish canon would improve their QC slightly.



Jan 2, 2011
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AbramG
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Registered: Jan 30, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2441
Review Date: Oct 24, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Outstandingly sharp at all apertures/zoom levels, reasonable weight for a constant aperture telephoto. Solid build quality. F/2.8 at all zoom levels :)
Cons:
No weather sealing (but this lens pre-dates such an available option), I have heard of some sample variation, but I have not experienced this personally. Lens mount get's a slight wobble after years of use.

I purchased this lens new in 2005 and it has never left my side since. I have used this lens for everything and it truly is wonderful. I have never once felt regret purchasing the Non-IS version, and only now do I feel the new mkII IS version would be a worthy successor.

This lens has provided consistent performance on every camera I have ever used it on and it has outlasted all of them as well! I have never had any issues with this lens out of the box, however I have noticed recently that the lens has the slightest (1mm side to side) amount of play at the lens mount. I haven't noticed this with my other lenses, but most of my other glass isn't as heavy either. I haven't taken it in because it just works so darn well!

The price on these guys used is practically a steal these days, that's probably my only regret was purchasing it new, you always wind up paying more!

If you're debating which of the 5 versions of the 70-200L to get, this is definitely the one to look at if you can't afford the new MKII IS version. I've heard great things about the f/4LIS as well, but I prefer to have f/2.8 available.


Oct 24, 2010
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mccc
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Registered: Jul 23, 2010
Location: Portugal
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jul 23, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast AF, great color, build quality.
Cons:
none

My first pictures taken with it have impressed me. Will report more later.

Some Pics here:

www.mariocaldeira.com

Mc
Portugal


Jul 23, 2010
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The Chimp
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Registered: Jun 5, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 3, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Really like the image quality. Robust and tough. The focus speed will spoil you for all other lenses.
Cons:
Let's have an all black version, huh? We're not all out to showboat!

I bought this second hand in 2006 and is the only lens I haven't switched out or replaced since then. I had considered the alternatives including the f4 version and the IS version - which were the only Canon options at the time. I remember asking myself if I should spend the extra coin for the IS version. Obviously, I didn't. I doubt that I ever will spring for the IS version as long as this keeps working.

I often work with this lens in a studio with a monopod and people are often puzzled as to why when the flashes freeze motion. Well, it's less about being snobby about sharpness, more that my arms get tired holding a 1D with this on for hours at a time during a shoot. That says more about me than the lens because I still strap it on and still enjoy it very much.

Under the tripod collar are a few screws on the barrel of the lens. Somehow one of the screws got loose and came out of mount and lodged itself under the rotating tripod collar. Each spin of the collar meant that the now loose screw gouged out some of the paint. The lens still works fine, has a few battle scars but I check the screws now and then.


Jun 3, 2010
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Coelacanth
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Registered: May 31, 2010
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 31, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast AF, great color, creamy bokeh...
Cons:
Are you kidding?

To this point, i'm still amazed at how good the images i've taken after i start using this camera. The colour was crisp and the focusing is REALLY FAST...i have no problem shooting indoor and the camera will focus without a problem...

the only problem is the weight, but as the other posters had mentioned, the pain will be wiped out after you see how good your pictures looked...

The bokeh is smooth and creamy, though not compared to my nifty fifty 1.4...

General, this lens will be with me till it stops functioning...and maybe revive it again if i need to...


May 31, 2010
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bysensitivo
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Registered: Jan 1, 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 44
Review Date: Apr 24, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fantastic booken! Great colour, excellent AF & build quality.
Cons:
None



Apr 24, 2010
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Jarhead5811
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Registered: Apr 2, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 3, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: It's just over half the cost of the new Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM!!!
Cons:
Long Minimum Focus Distance, makes my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II Lens seem loud and slow.

I absolutely love this thing! I could and would have liked to have held out for the IS version but would have been missing out for a long time (at least a year, or longer considering what prices are doing). My primary subject is our 14 month old that is just starting to walk and the majority of my blurred shots are due to subject movement that IS wouldn't have prevented anyway.

It could stand to focus closer but unless you're going for a macro shot framing dictates backing up anyway.

I did purchase a center pinch Promaster lens cover due to it being next to impossible to remove and replace the Canon version that comes with it when the hood is in place.


Apr 3, 2010
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CQ photography
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Registered: Oct 28, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Low Light, White (reflects heat), Durability, USM quality
Cons:
None for what you get, some would saw cost and weight, but that's expected

Right out of the Box I was very impressed with this lens. The sharpness was astounding. It's my favorite lens period! Some would prefer the IS version, but for the Price difference, I don't think its that worth it. I have buddy that shoots sports with the IS version and he has doesn't like it because it sometimes has time with a fast focus. Even with Weddings it works fine. If you are a strict wedding or low light shooter IS could be for you/or if you have shaky hands

Mar 12, 2010
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fusionphoto
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Registered: Apr 16, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 17
Review Date: Feb 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,340.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp,fast focusing and well built. Plus its an L
Cons:
Heavy

Only picked up this lens yesterday but my first pictures taken with it have impressed me. Will report more later.

Feb 20, 2010
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
179 403996 Sep 30, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $1,132.91
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.86
9.09
9.7
ef70_200_28_1_


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