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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
380 819854 Sep 24, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $593.78
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.64
9.36
9.5
ef70_200_4_1_

Specifications:
High-performance, L-series telephoto zoom lens combining light weight and compactness with an f/4 maximum aperture. Inner focusing and the ring USM enable quick and quiet autofocusing. Also, a circular polarizing filter can be attached and used without difficulty because the front lens element does not rotate during focusing. The tripod collar (sold separately) is the same one used with the EF 300mm f/4L USM.


 


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phagan
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Registered: Nov 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 64
Review Date: Nov 16, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $535.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Zoom range, Build quality, Image quality, Accurate and fast AF, AF zone select system.
Cons:
None found

I've had this lens for about 5 months now and I must say it's very nice. The lens was an upgrade to an old Canon 75-300 zoom lens and let's just say there's no comparison. If I had to only have one lens this would be it. Like others have said Canon's L line is simply nice and makes you want to get out and capture some good shots. It's solid in every aspect and I'm not sure what others say about the lens hood because I think it's substantial and far from "cheap." What is cheap about this lens is the lens case Canon offers. Who would honestly put a $500+ lens in a flimsy case? No big deal there though because most people that will buy this lens will have a case to store it in. I use a LowePro AW Mini Trekker and it's awesome...fits right down the middle just fine with body attached and a 50mm lens below that. Like others have said the bokeh is great and I use it most of the time at f4 with no trouble. It's fast enough for my purposes and fits in to my budget as well. Don't hesitate, buy it and enjoy it. I bought the tripod collar which is not that big of a deal at around $80-90 considering you have to have it when mounted. It makes the vertical shooting much easier as well for those of us without body brackets. Great lens. Coupled with my 17-40f4L I've got one incredible lens kit. Consider this $ well spent.

Nov 16, 2004
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fozzybear1969
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Registered: Oct 27, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 309
Review Date: Nov 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $910.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: L lens, great price, sharp picture, great contrast, light for this type of lens, good bokeh.
Cons:
Does not come with a tripod mount, wish it was a 50-200mm.

After renting the 28-70 L, I saved my money and bought a 70-200 L f4.0 and love this lens. The reason why I didn't buy the 28-70 L is that it is too exspensive, I plan on getting the Tamron 28-75mm XR Di. I tried it out and the image quality is comparable to the 28-70 L. Back to the 70-200 L f4.0, the bokeh is suprisingly nice for f4.0 with the subject nicely sharp. I only wish this was a 50-200, but if Canon did make such a lens it would cost a lot more. I also like the fact that it is fairly light weight but on my digital rebel with my battery grip and flash it weighs a ton. Suprisingly with my shakey hands the pictures still come out sharp. This is my first L lens that I own and I am glad that I got it.

Nov 15, 2004
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KLeigh
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Registered: Oct 14, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 42
Review Date: Nov 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $570.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, wonderful contrast, good weight, fast quiet AF, inexpensive for a lens in this range / quality
Cons:
a little hard to miss, no tripod collar, hood seems like an afterthought

I was really mixed about getting this lens, but WOW am I impressed now that I have it. It takes gorgeous pictures. Very crisp, good wide open, but really phenomenal stopped down even to just f5.6.

The weight feels very balanced on the 20D, its light enough to not be a bother (I had it on the camera and walking around for about 4 hours straight and barely noticed), but heavy enough to be easy to hold steady. AF is fast and quiet with the USM.

To nitpick: it should really come with a tripod collar, but that's a less than huge complaint from me since I mostly shoot handheld. Its also pretty visible, which can be both good and bad (nice when if convinces people to move out of your way, annoying for candids), and the lens hood feels cheap.

Overall I think you'd be very hard pressed to find a lens of this quality for this kind of price tag.


Nov 12, 2004
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drfrank
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Registered: Apr 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Nov 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: It has been stated many times. Sharp, balanced color, very smooth operation and fast focusing.
Cons:
No tripod ring. Its an option.

This is my first piece of L glass and definitely will not be my last. ! The only lens I have that comes close to the quality of photo produced by the 70-200 F4L is the 100mm f/2.8 macro. I would have no problems recommending this lens to anyone looking for a zoom at this focal length.

Nov 8, 2004
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rhinophoto
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Registered: Oct 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 270
Review Date: Nov 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Smooth operation. Quick. Perfect balance of sharpness and color. Price. Solid feel.
Cons:
No tripod mount supplied. That's it.

Had the lens for a week now and it has produced incredible photos on my 20D. Read all the possitive reviews on this site and they were correct.

Shot portraits using studio strobes and in a moderately lit church with no flash - great, clean, sharp photos with a very nice balance to them. The lens operates very quickly with a smooth feel. Colors came out as close to perfect as I have seen in any lens.

Very happy I spent the money instead of going with a lower priced lens.

One example is at http://www.rhinosart.com/portfolio/DIZACbws.jpg (only used photoshop to take out all color except blue/cyan. No shapening, levels, ect.)


Nov 8, 2004
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d4vid
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Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 37
Review Date: Nov 4, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: Nicely built, white coating, fast AF, internal zoom, internal focusing, lightweight.
Cons:
Picture quality is not sharp, color is not brilliant. Price is too expensive.

I bought this lens after reading all the good reviews from this forum and dpreview. My first problem is backfocus, so I had to send it to Canon Service. This doesn't fix the backfocus issue, so re-sent it second time. This second time the backfocus issue is resolved. However, I notice the lack of sharpness, color saturation when using this lens.

I will sell this lens and change it to other brand, most likely Tamron zoom lens. I had very good experience with Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Di, it is sharper and produces more accurate/brilliant color compared to this L lens.


Nov 4, 2004
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Peter Kirk
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Registered: Sep 25, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 309
Review Date: Nov 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: optically brillliant...light as a feather for its range.
Cons:
Collar could be supplied with the lens.

I have owned and sold the 70 -200 f 2.8L, and the 2.8L IS, both too heavy.
Image quality on this lens is equal if not better in some areas. The IS was not as good as this lens in image quality. Feature wise it was better, but monopod/tripod was a must with that lens. I walk around ALL day with this and no stress. Its a good size as well..small and compact. Highly recomended lens.


Nov 2, 2004
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Rob_287
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Registered: Oct 23, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Oct 27, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Canon L quality, light weight, supremely sharp, an absolute bargain!
Cons:
none

I recently returned to Canon after 6 years as a pro Nikon user and the 70-200 f4 was the first Canon lens I purchased for my new 1D Mark II. I went for the f4 at the time because I needed a 70-200mm lens for an assignment and the f2.8 was out of stock. I have to say I was very pleasantly suprised. I had just gone from using a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR ED lens on my old D1x, to a Canon 70-200 f4 non IS lens with basically no loss of quality.......

This lens is simply oustanding, no other manufacturer offers anything like it at this price level. Highly reccomended!


Oct 27, 2004
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optician
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Registered: Oct 16, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 7
Review Date: Oct 27, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good price for an 'L', fast silent focus, sharp, nice range, excellent build quality.
Cons:
size and weight but you'll happily live with that

My first 'L' lens and likely to be the start of an expensive addiction.

Captures beautiful, sharp, colourful images with good contrast and lovely bokeh.

Capable of excellent results at all apertures.

Balances nicely on my 10D with battery grip

I've owned it for a while now and it still has the ability to make my jaw drop when I see an image for the first time..


Oct 27, 2004
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phili1
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Registered: Dec 12, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 2790
Review Date: Oct 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $559.95 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Fast auto focus/sits well in the hand/no increase in size when zooming/non rotating front lens/smooth manual focus/Large zoom and focus ring/easy to use AF-Man switch as well as quick focus set up
Cons:
Once in a while it hunts

I love the fact that it stays the same size when zooming from 70mm to 200mm.It takes practice to keep it movement free, but it gets better each time. the tripod mount is easy to use and is a snap to go from Horr to vertical. All switches are easy to adjust. The focus is so fast that it should be awsome for birds in flight. It will also make a good sport lens.

Anyway all I can say is it love at first use. I took ten pics with it and got ten good ones.

Here is one Mallard I shot today.

http://www.pbase.com/phili1/image/35031453


Oct 13, 2004
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clsward
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Registered: Oct 6, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Review Date: Oct 6, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: O So Sharp. Great Background Blur. Great Value, Build Quality. How can a lens focus that quick?
Cons:
Nothing, no matter how hard I try to think of a negative.

It just oozes quality, The F2.8 and IS versions are out of my price range so I've never considered them as a viable alternative. The extra weight would cause me a problem anyway as I'm a keen climber/walker.

Its focus's quicker than any lense I've tried. It's sharper than and lense I've tried, It's built better than any lense I've tried and I just love it.

It is expensive here in the UK at nealy 600 but I imported on from Jersey (www.7day-shop.com) for 429. No duty or VAT to pay.

I have the 17-40mm F4 L as well, they make the perfect combination and are both relatively light when attached to my 10D. As these are both F4 I intend to buy either a 50mm F1.4 or 85mm F1.8 for low light conditions.

All in all I have not one negative about the lens. Canon could have included the Tripod Ring and it could have come with a free case of Red Wine but apart from those pipe dreams its PERFECT!


Oct 6, 2004
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Rob Ernsting
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Registered: Jun 24, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 7
Review Date: Sep 22, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness even at f 4 with a 10D, fast focusing, portability, boket, contrast, FTM, front is fixed. Reasonable priced compared to the 75-300 IS USM
Cons:
The off white color. The hood can be smaller IMO for a 10D. Wished it was 50-200mm.

The reason that I first chose for the Canon 75-300mm IS USM was because of the IS. (see my commnets in the subject review article). I was afraid not to be able to use it w/o IS. Much to my surprise it is no problem at all. Of about 500 shots only a few were blurred by instabality of my hands. Then again the expsoure time was too long in most cases.
Here are my suggestions.

Set the function of your camera to Time preference Tv and do the following:
1 focal length 70mm set timing to at least 1/100 or shorter when feasble
2 focal length 200mm set exposure time to 1/250 or shorter and use a mean value in between 70-200mm.
The reason is that you can go as low as f4 for diapragm and be sharp with a 10D.
3 Use ISO 200 to gain a little extra exposure time versus F.
4. The focusing is fast and by that one eliminates automatically blur is my experience! In comparison if the focusing is slow one automatically reduces control over holding the camera still. A short exposure time avoids blur. Hence the preference for Tv setting.
5. You can pan easily fast moving objects like a bird, again becase of the fast focusing.

I only wished it had a range of 50-200mm.

I was able to test briefly the 70-200mm F2,8 L USM from the photoshop. It is a lot heavier and I had a lot more blurs, that can also be due to my inexperience and the few shots I made( 25). But I consider the difference in price and weight substantial drawbacks.


Sep 22, 2004
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gunblue
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Registered: Aug 19, 2004
Location: Philippines
Posts: 414
Review Date: Sep 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $578.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp and high contrast. Nice Bokeh. Light.
Cons:
Expensive tripod collar (bought it anyway). No rubber seal on the lens mount.

Having this as my first L glass made me decide to skip 10D and save for 17-40 f4 L. Now I ordered it and was very glad not to jump on the 10D. Will now save for 20D. Currently using EOS50 with V-Grip and the 70-200 performs very well. Never expected my shots to be that good. So I'm really missing a lot before this lens. L lens is simply addictive.

Sep 9, 2004
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go4it
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Registered: Sep 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 746
Review Date: Sep 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $570.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Well, DUH?!?!? It's an "L" lens. Not much else to say ... GREAT zoom range, lightweight and mobile in the real world. Use something like a 17-40mm "L" with it on the low end and it's just about the perfect 2-lens combination.
Cons:
Lacks the IS feature. (Big deal. Use a monopod.) Long, white lens attracts a LOT of attention in public. Be careful! For the additional cost, I couldn't justify the 70-200mm f/2.8 (that and the added weight).

Don't cut yourself when using this lens. It's THAT sharp! =:)
Just hold it PERFECTLY still and the images will simply astound you! Beautiful, silent USM AFand a silky-smooth zoom feature. Surreal colors, contrast and resolution. It's a "dream-come-true" lens.
Stays on my 10D about 75% of the time. I use it for almost everything!

Late November 2004 update: Just added the optional tripod collar and a 20D body and after using this, I'd advise EVERYONE to get it!! Terrible price at 122 bucks but the 10D body and the lens balances better with the collar in place on the lens.


Sep 9, 2004
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Vance
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Registered: Aug 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 95
Review Date: Sep 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $570.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Relatively light, great quality pictures, very fast AF, I like the white
Cons:
Isn't f/2.8...oh well.

Everything has already been said about this lens.

Sep 3, 2004
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drebel
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Registered: Aug 31, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 6
Review Date: Aug 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: well built, light, cheap (relative), great colours, fast focus, low distortions, sharp, does not extend while zooming.....
Cons:
whats there not to like? (except that its a f4)

got this one after trying the 2.8, which was way too heavy. Once you try this, you will not want to shoot with a non-L anymore...

it would be nice if the hood was white too ^^


Aug 31, 2004
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
380 819854 Sep 24, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $593.78
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.64
9.36
9.5
ef70_200_4_1_


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