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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
178 410497 Jun 1, 2015
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $1,134.20
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.85
9.08
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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Spearin
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Registered: Nov 27, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 98
Review Date: Aug 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, great contrast - all expected elements with L glass. Combines VERY well with the 1.4x II extender. Very nice focal range.
Cons:
Nil. Most peoples' negative comments are completely subjective such as price and weight. Those are not issues with me, as the price is suited for what you get.

100 reviews. The one-hundredth is also positive.

Not much can be said about this lens that hasn't already. For me, weight is not an issue. Combined with a 20D and grip, it seems to be well balanced. Weight is completely subjective. I happen to have been working construction for the summer in order to afford this lens... plus I'm in the Army reserves, so I guess I can say that I'm built enough to handle it.
(example: http://www.sportsshooter.com/funpix_view.html?id=5598 )

For some people though, weight can be an issue - but don't take it as a reason to NOT buy this lens. You won't be able to find a lighter alternative to what this lens can do.

I opted not to get the IS version for two reasons. First, cost - I'm a university student. Second, the necessity for IS to me seemed low. I am a student photojournalist, and much of my work is geared towards sports. However, there are definitely situations where IS can be needed. BUT, just two nights ago I shot a dimly lit concert at the campus pub... I managed to get sharp shots at 200mm with a shutter speed of 1/40 - example:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/spearin/223809617/

With your own personal development of handling technique, you can get by without IS. It depends on what you will be shooting.

Since I do shoot a lot of university sports, I also purchased the Canon 1.4x II extender. As mentioned in the previous review, this brings it to greater length at the loss of only one stop. It's great for shooting field sports (such as football, soccer, rugby, etc) as you can have a versatile zoom and still maintain sharp image quality. I haven't experienced the 2x extender, but haven't heard too many positives. The 1.4x would be fine for most subjects.

I am very happy with this lens. It truly does as expected. To some people, it may seem expensive, but if you are going to be making money from your images... it is a worthy investment. If you have the extra money to spend, you should get the IS version, however with the right technique you can get by without. I plan on getting the IS version down the road when I can afford to... but will definitely get by with this for now!


Aug 25, 2006
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Jonathan Knight
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Registered: Aug 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2342
Review Date: Aug 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $770.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, f/2.8, contrast, color, AF focusing speed.
Cons:
You'll know when its on your camera...(heavy). Not really a complaint for me, but for some It can be.

I'll make this review short and sweet: The best telephoto lens you can buy in photography today. Period. Sharpness, AF Speed and AF Accuracy are nothing short of incredible.

Aug 25, 2006
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timbop
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Registered: Dec 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6495
Review Date: Aug 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast AF, sharp wide open at all FL, light enough to handhold without collar, build
Cons:
I can't use it for everything

Bought this baby as a refurb to save cash, and so glad I did. Otherwise I would have waited longer to get it, and missed the great pics I have already taken with it. Wide open at any aperture it is fantastic, I've used it for twilight outdoor basketball with great results. I took the collar off and shot handheld for 45 minutes with no trouble holding the weight. It takes very well to a 1.4TC, so you really get a 70-200/2.8 and 98-280/4. At 280 it's good enough for larger animals or less timid ones. I plan to pick up the 300/4 next for birding and smaller wildlife.

If you've been waiting for the IS and you shoot action, stop waiting! Pick this gem up and shoot with it while you save for the IS (which you may just decide you don't need), you'll be able to resell this baby for almost what you paid when the time comes.


Aug 11, 2006
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Whistler
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Registered: Jul 26, 2006
Location: Finland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Its a Lense with capital L.
Cons:
Weight, price, availability

Bought this Lense finally two weeks ago. Taken several test shots of grids and patterns. Its like xerox copier. Accurate as heck!

This is it. The Lense.

With 20D body,it dont lose target easily, but that happens occasionally. I have photographed airplanes on air, which at a times is challenging for camera/holder ;o)

Weight and size is con of this Lense, but it seems to be best money can buy. More morning porridge will compensate the weight.

For others, theres sad news: Manufacturing this Lense has been stopped.


Jul 26, 2006
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dalephill2
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Registered: Aug 26, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 744
Review Date: Jul 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, sharp sharp...Not as heavy as I heard many say, quality through and through.
Cons:
wish it was weather tight like IS.

I came from the F4 version which is a darn nice lens but felt I needed that extra stop a few times, At dusk it wants to hunt for focus and if you do not have your ISO pushed to its limits then your gonna get some blured images unless you have tripod, with the 2.8 your gonna fare better. and focuses faster as well. Its wider round than the f4 version, which I actually like, more manly, ha ha ha ha. the hood compliments the lens, and acts as a magnafyer for those gawking.. the 1*4 worked good on the f4 and I have yet to try on the 2.8 yet. but am positive its gonna be super.

Jul 6, 2006
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Brikwall
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Registered: Jul 2, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jul 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast (large max aperture), fast AF.
Cons:
Must remove lens from camera to add/remove tripod collar.

I just purchased this a couple of weeks ago. I'm still getting used to the size and weight but do not find it as large or as heavy as I first expected. I have been using it as my primary walk-around lens and am not overly troubled by the weight, even after carrying it for several hours. It does make one stand out, though, which is rather unnerving for someone like myself who prefers to remain inconspicuous.

I'm amazed at the sharpness of this lens. I've mostly shot wide open or at f/4 and find it as sharp as my 50mm f/1.8. My Rebel XT is set at Parameter 2 (no in-camera sharpening or other adjustments) and I have yet to add any sharpening during post-processing.

The AF, compared to my previous non-USM consumer grade lenses is extremely fast and accurate. I can easily track the action at soccer and football games - the few shots I've lost have been due to my own carelessness and not any faults with the lens or autofocus.

My only major complaint, at this point, is that the lens must be removed from the camera in order to add or remove the tripod ring. It's not a difficult or time-consuming process, but I am worried about getting dust in the camera or on the rear element.

I had originally planned on purchasing the much cheaper 70-200mm f/4L USM but decided to make the jump to the f/2.8 while I had the chance. I'm glad I did as that extra stop comes in handy, not only for indoor/low-light photography but also for adding great bokeh to portraits.

This is my first foray into L-series glass - I'm hooked! Even though money is tight and I'm just an amateur photographer, I don't think I'll ever look at another consumer-grade lens again!


Jul 2, 2006
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George Chew
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Registered: Sep 2, 2005
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 11
Review Date: Jul 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,085.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very fast focusing speed, very very good IQ, very handholdable.
Cons:
None.

Greetings,
After more than 1 month of using this lens, mostly indoor taking stage events, I dare say this is THE BEST. The image qaulity is close to the EF200 f2.8L but the latter is a prime, not as versatile as this 70-200. I've also shooting it with 1.4x TC II, the image quality only suffer a little. They are a great combination. This lens is very very good. Enjoy...


Jul 1, 2006
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asparkes
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Registered: May 21, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1968
Review Date: Jun 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: White lens makes me look sooooo punk-rock, speed, sharpness, build, silent AF
Cons:
A bit heavy, but f/2.8 and all, Hunts at moments .... am really stretching here

I bought this lens to replace my Sigma DG 70-200 f/2.8. The Sigma is a great lens in its own respect, but the L is truly wortht the extra couple hundred bucks, SERIOULSY. On FF this is a dream. The color and sharpness are akin to a prime lense. The AF is wonderful. If you can do with out the IS, this is easily the best telphoto zoom out there. With a 1.4 tc on a crop body, it also will kick it at outdoor sports. GET ONE.

Jun 30, 2006
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mlavander
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Registered: Dec 11, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 701
Review Date: Jun 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,139.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great AF in low light, great size and weight, image quality is amazing.
Cons:
NONE!

I already reviewed this lense a while back, but I am doing another since I have been using it so much.

The weight of the lense IS NOT AN ISSUE! If it is, start working out. I frequently use this lense with a Canon 2x, 580EX and 20D body with a grip and the entire package is well balanced and not too heavy.

Last year I used my 50mm f/1.8II at the Downriver Cruise. I got some decent shots after dark. This year I used to 70-200. Even shooting at 200mm and 1/100s handheld (non-IS lense), I still got many sharp pics. Tried the 50mm and it took forever to AF, if it managed to. Went back to the 70-200 and kept shooting well after dark. At ISO1600 on the 20D, the shots were pretty good.

http://mlav.com/car/downriver06/41.jpg

This thing is great for portraits. All I use.



Jun 28, 2006
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six100
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Registered: Apr 7, 2006
Location: Argentina
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Prime-like overall image quality (simply beautiful and sharp images). Impressive bokeh. Usefull 1.5m minimal distance focus switch. "L standard" 77mm filter thread. Best USM lens I ever used, period.
Cons:
Price, but you get what you pay for (worth every penny). White...but you get used to it and in the end you start loving it. The original hood is very expensive.

My best lens ever. If you hear someone say "the image quality is similar to primes" believe him. It is a prime with a 70-200 range.

This lens produce an impressive bokeh, one of the best I've seen. And what can be said about USM...it's just addictive. Fast, silent and precise. Once you try it, you don't want to go back to enything else.

One thing to note about this lens is the price for a replacement hood (ET-83II). I bought this lens second hand and since the hood had some marks over it but the rest of the lens was mint I decided to go and buy a new hood just to match the awesome conservation of the lens. 45 bucks was the cheapest I could find...if you add the delivery cost to that you have a lot of money for a piece of plastic...of course you can get a 77mm hood from some other brand...if you don't mind going < 100% original. Besides that and the 1k+ price tag, this is a dream lens to have. I would only replace it with a bigger range lens with similar performance.

Some pics taken with it:

http://www.deviantart.com/view/32909643/

http://www.deviantart.com/view/32871123/

http://www.deviantart.com/view/32870946/

http://www.deviantart.com/view/32725524/

http://www.deviantart.com/view/32628862/


Jun 27, 2006
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Rigardt
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Registered: Dec 15, 2005
Location: South Africa
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jun 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very well build, very nice saturation, very very sharp, nice bokeh etc etc
Cons:
None

I purchased this lens after a load of reading this site and many others. Choice had to be made between IS version and this one. My shooting style does not realy warrant IS or the price tag that goes along with it. Have shot a few hundred pics with this lens now, many just attempting to indicate flaws. I am a very happy chap with my purchase and cannot find anything to complain about. This is one of those lense that makes all the stuff you learn and practice with a camera just so much easier. Enough praise for now - wanna go shooting!

Jun 27, 2006
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jthai
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Registered: Aug 2, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jun 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good Optical, sharp all focal length. Nice contract... very sharp at wide open...
Cons:
Heavy

I am happy with this lens. Send to Canon for calibration front/back focus and shaprness along with my 24-70F2.8L...
Test shot at wide open and I amazed with the picture quality..F2.8 is sharper than 24-70F2.8L...
Focus is fast and accurate..Thank to Canon correct the back focus on my 300D body last year and recently had focus adjust and AE firmware upgrade...
Highly recomend to buy this lens..


Jun 15, 2006
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sf94102
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Registered: May 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,129.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Crisp, contrasty images. Build to last. Fast.
Cons:
None.

This lens is wonderful. Images are beautiful.

I rented both the 135 f2, and 200 f2.8 to see if my shooting style was condusive to using primes; both lenses were great, however the zoom makes everything so much easier. I ended up selling my 70-200 f4 immediately and purchased the 2.8.
It took a day to get used to the weight ( lens + 30D + battery grip, minus tripod collar ). People complain about the weight, but this lens is built to last.




Jun 14, 2006
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RikWriter
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Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2595
Review Date: May 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Ultra sharp, clear, great color and contrast. Very fast focussing, great aperature.
Cons:
Heavy.

Just a very very nice lens. I wish I had more use for it with my photographic style, as I would still have it.

May 31, 2006
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f_o_t_o
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Registered: Jan 30, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Razor sharp, exceptional build quality, deep colors, super value
Cons:
none--worth every penny!

I bought this lens for my 20D for mainly sports stuff and indoor photography where zoom is needed with light is low. I opted for the non-IS because most of my subject matter is moving. I've found that I get a false sense of security with IS (on other lenses). At any rate this lens is super sharp. And I mean sharp. I was impressed with my 50mm 1.4 and 2.0 or above, and this 70-200 is excellent. It is worth every penny! I consider the AF fast enough--despite the comments below--but I've never tried larger more expensive lenses.

I recenly shot a few thousand pics of baseball and soccer games (day and night) and the keeper rate was exremely high (some 90% in focus and proper exposure--many with poor composition--but that's my fault). Many images reveal minute details such as dust being pounded off the catchers mit and the Rawlings name can be easily read. Some night shots were at ISO3200, 2.8, 1/200 -1Ev was a definate hit with my customer (decent focus and low noise given the settings). Simply put, this lens has proven to be sharp at 2.8 and above--I never have to worry if a shot will be soft at a specific f.

I have seen no issues with CA, light fall off, focus hunting, inaccurate focus, or exposure issues on my 20D. I only have only positive comments. It's build quality is exceptional--and I thought my 100mm 2.8MACRO was well built. It's a bit heavy and rugid but a very small sacrific given the image quality. Personally I could care less about the off-white color--getting good images are what I'm all about.

I did a bunch of research--talked to some wedding photographers, talked to some 70-200 ownes, and spent several hours on review sites. If you are shopping for a high quality zoom--look no further. Your decision will only be IS or not. I spent $1200 at B&H and feel it was well worth it. What I have seen and experienced, a 3rd pary lens isn't worth the risk.



May 24, 2006
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keithmills37
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Registered: May 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1224
Review Date: May 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,085.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wonderfully sharp, Incredible contrast, built like a "Brick Sh_t House"
Cons:
none

I just bought this lens after many months of thought and research.. It was between this lens, the 70-200mm 2.8L IS and the Sigma 70-200mm 2.8. These other two lenses seem to have softness problems at 2.8 (according to FM Forum comments and some reviews I read on other sites). I can tell you that this lens is worth every penny. I love it ! It is tack sharp and the contrast is awesome. It is heavy, so it takes some strength to lug it around for an extended period of time. Also, get used to comments while you are out like "that's a big a_s lens !" and "Look at that guys camera !". It draws attention, which for me is fun. Like my brother, (who is also into photography), said to me once "sure the Sigma is a nice lens for the money, but it's not an L lens and it's the wrong color" Spend a few hundred more now, and get the best if you have the option to do so.......Cheers and happy shooting !

May 16, 2006
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
178 410497 Jun 1, 2015
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $1,134.20
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.85
9.08
9.7
ef70_200_28_1_


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