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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

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179 405925 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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Jonathan Knight
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Registered: Aug 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2318
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: 6427
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: 739
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: 1944
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: 2502
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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dwill23
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Registered: May 8, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build, f/2.8, zoom, sharpness, contrast
Cons:
AF speed... no really, read on.

I shoot NCAA field sports, (football soccer fieldhockey etc) professionaly and all my friend use this lens for short range work. I've owned two of the non IS versions in the past but didn't like the AF (auto focus) speed in tracking mode, (on a 10d, then on a 20d when i bought my 2nd one).

My 1st non IS version was old, and when it got cold out, the AF slowed way down. I was told it was because the grease was drying up, and gets slower when colder. That kinda made sense so i sold it, and held off a bit before buying a new one. My 2nd didn't slow down in terms for AF when it got cold out, but i was missing a lot of the sharpness from what i got out of my very cheap 75-300mm F4-5.6 III USM ($170). With the cheap lens I could see all the holes in the players jearseys, with either of the non-is versions, i had far less "keepers", and the holes in the jearseys were almost NEVER as sharp.

Sure the quality of a still shot from the 70-200 non IS was miles ahead of the cheap lens. I loved everything about it, except tracking AF speed. Even "one shot" AF seemed really fast, but not tracking.

Ahhh... but then the IS version came out. It claimed to have an updated AF CPU in the lens, which improved tracking speed, (canon knew about this problem?). I waited a few years before picking one up before last football season. Result? DISAPPOINTMENT! I saw no AF tracking performance increase!! Sad

Before you start telling me im crazy and that the 70-200 is the fastest AF lens of all time, let me ask you if you've used a 300mm f/2.8 or even the f/4.0 version. If you haven't, then you aren't experienced enough to pass judgement.

A fixed 300mm either the F/4 L IS USM or F/2.8 L IS USM version will blow it's doors off in terms of AF speed. The AF on the 70-200 is a joke! Nearly impossable to use for sports unless on a 1d body.

At first i have my 300mm f/2.8 on my 1d mark II body, and the 70-200 f2.8 L IS USM on the 30d. After my 1st game, i had to switch it, and put use the 1d as my short range camera mated with the 70-200. Why? Cause you can turn on the very center 5 AF points out of 45, which give you 5times the focus power with the 1d series cameras. Also, those 5 points are being used as a cross type AF sensor instead of just single line detection on a 30d.

My 30d is plenty able to focus my 300mm lighting fast. I thought maybe since i'm closer with my 300mm that the camera can focus better, but even on my 1d body i wasn't that happy with it's performance. I tried not zooming while shooting, and that didn't help either.

This is my 3rd 70-200, (1st IS version), and it's still not on par auto-focus wise with any prime telephoto.

Also it should be stated that this is NOT meant for a primary sports lens. I've read some review on this site for either the IS version or non IS version, where people say, "it can handle almost any sports event". HAHAHAHA umm not if you're a pro.

I must say however... I've shot 2 weddings so far with this lens, and it is awesome. New photojournalism type work, it is awesome. I truely believe there is nothing better. But 75% of my work is sports, so i do regret this lens just a tad. If the AF was as fast as my telephoto prime, it would get a 10 score.

If you are going to use this once in a while for sports, make sure you get a canon or sigma 1.4x converter. Make sure you don't get 5 player in your shot, get 1 or 2 max. (which is almost never possable at 200mm).

I'm sure most people think the AF is ultra fast, and it is fast, but it's not world-class like sports telephoto lenses out there. There really is faster, and if you are looking for a sports lens, this shouldn't be on your list as a primary.

The bad news is, you need to buy at least a 300mm F/4 which is a lens you'll only use for sports, whereas the 70-200 you'll use all the time. It's the lenses that are only made for 1 thing that get you the killer shots, and it's clear to see the 70-200 can be used for several different things, and it's farily well suited for a slew of tasks, but has the hardest time with sports, (altho that is the hardest thing for a lens to shoot anyway).

I really like this lens... i love this lens for everything except sports, and for sports is 'ok', not 'bad', so i might not sell it. altho i would like to try the 200mm f2.8 II USM prime.

cheers!










May 8, 2006
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
179 405925 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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