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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

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222 428890 Jun 21, 2014
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91% of reviewers $1,079.18
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.71
8.76
9.7
ef70-200lisusm

Specifications:
The EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM is a lightweight, compact L Series telephoto zoom lens with Image Stabilizer. The optical Image Stabilization in the new EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens provides up to an incredible four stops of shake correction-a first for Canon IS lenses. The use of fluorite UD lens elements provides excellent optical performance in terms of resolution and contrast. These features, together with its water-and dust-proof construction, provide both the performance and portability to meet user demands.

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Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 70 - 200mm f/4

Lens Construction: 20 elements in 15 groups

Diagonal Angle of View: 34°- 12°(with full-frame cameras)

Focus Adjustment: AF with full-time manual

Closest Focusing Distance: 3.94 ft. / 1.2m

Zoom System: 7-group helical zoom (rotational angle: 72º)

Filter Size: 67mm

Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.0 x 6.8 in. / 76 x 172mm 26.8 oz./760g (lens only)


 


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riversen
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Registered: Apr 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: May 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,060.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wow! The IS is out of this world. It does allow for phenominally slow shutter speeds. I had the 70-200mm f/4L USM lens and loved it. I recently sold my 3 primes to get this one. I am happy with my decision. The weather sealing is nice and build is great. The lens is tact sharp. I love having 1 lens to work with and not needing to change lenses.
Cons:
I think a tripod color could be included and the IS makes a bit more noise than the IS on my 24-105mm f/4L IS lens

If you are looking for a nice 70-200mm telezoom lens, then please consider this one. The IS is truly amazing and the build of the lens is superb. I have enjoyed the non-IS version, but this one is a step up. I am only beginning to use this. I did give up my wider aperture prime lenses to buy this one and still don't think I will be disappointed. I do have to use a high ISO and slow shutter speed to utilize this lens. I think I can use it indoors with okay lighting.

May 6, 2007
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timnosenzo
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Registered: Jun 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1375
Review Date: May 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,059.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: 4 stop IS, weather sealing, excellent IQ
Cons:
plastic barrel?!

I upgraded to this lens from the non-IS version, which was an excellent lens. I was shocked to open the box and find that the barrel of this lens (or at least the bottom portion of it) is made of plastic! Per Canon support, this was done to save weight. Personally, I feel that this is too expensive of a lens to be made of plastic. Poor decision on Canon's part for a pro lens.

So despite the good IQ I've decided to send it back. I had hoped to keep this lens for a long time, but I just don't think plastic will stand up to abuse as well as a metal body. Going to splurge for the f/2.8 version.

I'm posting mostly as information for people thinking of purchasing this lens. I never read anywhere that the barrel was plastic, and I did quite a bit of reading first. I have no doubts that this lens will make many people happy, but for me I was disappointed.


May 3, 2007
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wfr2
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Registered: May 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1331
Review Date: Apr 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sharp and well built
Cons:
I wish they had made it a bit shorter. It does attract attention.

I sold my very sharp nonIS lens on FM's buy and sell because my age dictates IS now. I am pleased to report that the new lens is also very sharp even with 1.4TC. Fairly light and very well built. IS works well but I am not convinced it is really 4 stops worth. I first bought a 70-300DO with IS but that lens is nowhere near this lens in IQ or build quality.

Apr 27, 2007
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Richardpcrowe
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Registered: May 1, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 38
Review Date: Apr 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent optics and build. Low weight and relatively small size for its focal range. Compatible with 1.4x TC with little or no image damage. Very fast AF with USM. However the main PLUS is the wonderful IS system.
Cons:
None!

I have just received my new 70-200mm f/4L IS lens which is intended to replace my wonderful non-IS version of that lens. All I can say from preliminary testing is WOW!

The images are absolutely great. I have not tested this lens head-to-head against my 70-200mm f/4L Non-IS version but, the images are at least equal if not better. That is really saying something because I have always considered the 70-200mm f/4L as one of my sharpest lenses.

The main value of this lens, of course is in the wonderful IS system. Canon has achieved a winner in this system. I am getting older and to tell you the truth, I cannot hold a camera/lens as stable as I could ten or twenty years ago. However, right out of the box, this lens provided tack sharp images at 1/45 second using the lens at 200mm.

This would normally be called a two stop advantage (1/FL = 1/200 second, 1 stop advantage = 1/100 second, 2 stop advantage = 1/50 or 1/45 second). However, I would have to test my holding ability to see if I can actually hold a lens steady at 1/FL or if I need to use 1/2xFL. If so, that would be a three stop advantage for me. I did not try 1/25 or 1/30 second but, as I play with the lens, I will learn my limitations.

I see no negative points regarding this lens.

Some photographers say that it is too expensive. That's only because the non-IS version is comparatively inexpensive. This lens is in the price range of the 70-300mm DO IS lens and will give better images than that lens. I have a 1.4x TC so the 200mm side can be stretched to 280mm with a f/5.6 aperture. The street price has come down and you can get this lens at less than MSRP.

Some folks shy away from the "white" color as attracting too much attention. I use a screw in metal filter rather than the OEM filter and the lens is much less imposing in looks. Besides, I have always used prefessional cameras and I am used to people looking at my gear. They really used to look at the 4x5 press cameras I used.

Some folks say that the tripod ring should be included. Perhaps it should but, maybe a lot of folks will use this lens hand held taking advantage of the IS. That way, they don't have to pay the extra price that an included tripod ring would cost. By the way, I have a ring from my "old" non-IS model.

I also have some 67mm filters which fit on the new lens thereby saving some bucks.

The final gripe by some folks is that this is f/4 rather than f/2.8. What can I say? Stating that the 2-3 f/stop advantage it gives will nulify that shortcoming in many instances will automatically bring out the cry "YOU CAN'T STOP MOVING OBJECTS WITH IS".

I will grant that point but, you cannot stop moving objects with an f/2.8 lens (IS or non-IS) that you have left at home because it is too heavy. The f/4L (in either configuration) is half the weight of the f/2.8L. The size is also smaller making it a much more transportable piece of gear.

If you can afford it - BUY THE IS VERSION it is that much more versatile however, if bucks are short - the non-IS f/4L is still a great lens and will continue to provide outstanding imagery with great build.

I can see myself using this IS lens FAR more than I used the lens it is replacing. IT IS A WINNER!


Apr 27, 2007
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Santoso
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Registered: Apr 23, 2007
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: As sharp as f4 can provide in daylight.
Cons:
Not recommended for indoor or low light action&sports

I got this lens at a bargain. Used it for two weeks then I sold it and go back to my trusty 70-200 f/2.8. Sure the IS is fun and sharpness is great, however when I tried it low light with moving subject, I gotta move up to iso 1600 or 3200 most of the time. Quality of the picture also decreases with noise reduction. I recommend this lens to people who dont do much low light shooting or shooting with no flash.

Apr 23, 2007
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pmp6
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Registered: Aug 19, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 161
Review Date: Apr 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,060.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:



Apr 1, 2007
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ZITA1
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Registered: Mar 28, 2007
Location: Croatia
Posts: 76
Review Date: Mar 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp, great color, light,IS does really work 4- stops, very acurate focus
Cons:
- none, after month

I am new in world of digital - photo. I get Canon 30 D and ef - s
17- 55 f 2,8 IS USM ;ef 50 1,4 USM and ef 70-200f 4 IS USM. My copy of this lens is fantastic very sharp, great color, weightless and easy to work. Is really work 4-stops. For me is one problem which lens I took like general propose lens? I think 70-200 f4 IS USM.


Mar 29, 2007
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Rodrigo Asehan
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Registered: Jan 14, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,249.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp. Very Sharp. Nice colors and contrast. You can just bring this lens anywhere because of its size. Effective four stop IS. Water/dust resist too.
Cons:
Lack of tripod mount.
Mar 26, 2007
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toma7
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Registered: Jan 31, 2007
Location: Austria
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 4-stop IS, excellent resolution, sharp, clor, build, weight
Cons:
white

the silhouette pictures

www.pbase.com/toma7/u_beins_bridge


Mar 20, 2007
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Husien Jahja
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Registered: Nov 9, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 16
Review Date: Mar 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Really sharp... great tone and colour. IS does work at 1/15, tried it and could not believe it.
Cons:
Could not see any flaw... Maybe need tripod collar for extra comfort.

I got this lens by accident from a friend who wanted to upgrade to 70-200 f2.8 IS.

I wasn't sure if the price paid is equally satifying for the IQ.

When I tried it for a few times, I really could see the tone and colour of this lense. The photos really appears very colourful and sharp, IMHO.

I had read many review from various sites and they had recommended this lens. I would say nearly none had bad review on this lens. It is sharp from centre to corner....

It a must have lens if you are thinking for small light weight travelling lens. I own a 70-300 DO IS and also 70-200 f2.8L. I think this would be for keep with my 135 f2L, for low light.

Can't go wrong with this lens, pricewise a little bit lucky buying on second hand market which only been used for 2 months.

I definitely recommend this lens... Buy it and you will know what I meant...


Mar 20, 2007
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FatBoyAl
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Registered: Sep 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 670
Review Date: Mar 16, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,249.00

 
Pros: Huge number of keepers; incredible IQ; build quality; weight
Cons:
None after 5 months

As a follow up on this lens -
I've bought a 1.4x tc and even with that on, this is one sharp lens. Truly a wonderful piece of equipment. I was out shooting birds with this and my 100-400 and sadly, I must say this is far far better than even the best shots with the longer lens. Sharpness is simply unreal and contrast and colors will blow you away.
The real prize is when you can compare it to another lens. Do yourself a favor and check it out. And we're not talking pixel-peeping here - just look at any shot taken with it.
Now don't get me wrong, now that I'm somewhat more knowledgable, the 100-400 turns out some nice shots. But they simply can't compare with this lens.
Worth every single penny and I paid 20% more than they cost now.


Mar 16, 2007
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Peter 13
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Registered: Feb 24, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,045.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, great IQ and contrast, "clean" images, very useful IS
Cons:
some dust inside the first copy I got

I got this lens for Christmas. The first copy was sharp but it had some dust inside. I was alarmed mostly by a larger than usual dust spec on one of the inner glass elements. There were visible “normal” dust particles on the black rings inside, as well. Then I expected my consumer zoom 28-105 USM II, which is my workhorse for the last 3 years, and found about the same amount of dust inside! To be fair, the 70-200 has much larger glass elements inside. I was not so much concerned about the dust already there; I was more afraid that the sealing is not working. The lens went back to B&H, they made this a painless experience. The second copy is as good as the first one, and clean.

What has been said about this lens is true. It is extremely sharp, with great IQ. The DOF is much smaller (because of its range) than the lenses I have been using so far. This lens made quite clear that my Rebel XT front-focuses, something that I suspected so far but never bothered me much. So the XT was shipped twice to Canon, and now focuses well (if you have to do that, insist on the Irvine repair center). It is very easy to blame the softness of your photos on the lens, while the reason might be improper focusing of your camera. If you use tripod, the mirror lockup makes a noticeable difference; more so in portrait mode; at least with a cheap tripod. At f/4, this lens is unbelievably sharp, indeed; with small DOF, as expected. I tried it with the 1.4 extender, still sharp. Take a look:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/171/421582726_434fb41642_o.jpg (at f/4, 1/100, 111 mm, IS)

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/135/421582720_fd7c59977b_o.jpg (at f/4, 1/200, 200 mm, IS)

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/178/421582711_d9474570e0_o.jpg (f/6.3, 1/320, 223 mm, IS, 1.4X)

The 4 stop claim might be true. On my 1.6 crop factor camera, I take sharp pictures at 1/15 sec, 200 mm with success rate 50-60%. I had success even at 1/7 sec! At 1/30 – 1/40 sec, 200 mm, my photos are sharp about 75-80% of the time. I cannot understand how the light noise of the IS can be a problem. To me, it is a useful feedback – it tells me when the IS is active and when not. I would highly recommend the IS version – at least half of my photos would have been impossible without it.

For some strange reason, the noise of the XT at ISO 800 is much less visible with this lens than with the cheaper non L lenses I own. See the first photo above, taken at ISO 800, no noise reduction applied. I could never get such clean shadows with the 28-105 USM II in low light at ISO 800, for example. The photos taken with the 70-200 need much less post-processing than before; very often none. I borrowed the 24-105 f/4L for a few days before I bough this one. Even though it is a nice lens, the 70-200 takes more enjoyable images in the overlapping range. It is not the sharpness only – there is more contrast, they are “cleaner”, less CA, if any. The 24-105 is still a very good lens though.

It is pricy but it is worth any penny. I am taking one point off only because my first copy had dust inside.


Mar 14, 2007
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SamDCruz
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Registered: Mar 12, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 95
Review Date: Mar 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,075.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Lightweight, Build Quality, Fixed Aperture,
Cons:
Only as far as 200mm

I have been finding I need a little more reach, with excellent quality but not to much weight.

This lense falls perfectly into that category.

I was almost going to buy the 2.8 version, but the weight was ridiculous for a trip of more than 3 months.

I also looked at the 100-400 but again the weight was an issue.

I bought the lense in Hong Kong (Stanley Street) where the prices realy are fantastic and also got the kenko 1.4x convertor for only $85 (both brand new). This gives me up to 280mm but on the 1.6 crop body of the 400D i get 448mm - not a bad reach.

Now i have a small but perfect kit for my job as a travel photographer - the 17-85IS stays on the camera most of the time and the 70-200 comes out on a regular occasion.

The 400D is light and no problem with the 70-200 IS 4 attached. I really dont see how the 30D costs more when there is more technology and higher quality in the 400D as long as you know how to use it. I too often see poeple wandering around with the 400D and kit lense shooting everything on auto setting arrrgh!!!

GET THE 70-200 IS 4.0 the image quality is amazing. I took this shot hand help at about 190mm. ISO 200. 1/500 shutter. F5.6

http://imagex.smugmug.com/gallery/2192817#135875568



Mar 13, 2007
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Richard7481
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Registered: Jun 25, 2006
Location: Japan
Posts: 11
Review Date: Mar 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, build quality, IS
Cons:
Arrived with dusty elements

What more can be said that hasn't already been said about this superb lens. Outstanding IQ, solid build quality and the added bonus of shot saving 4 stop IS.

The only downer is that my copy shipped with some visible dust in the elements, but I know that it won't show up in pics and my 85 1.8 also has the same upon inspection so it's best not to get too worried about it. I would take a sharp yet dusty copy over a soft but pristine lemon,everytime.


Mar 12, 2007
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alpha_1976
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Registered: Feb 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 751
Review Date: Mar 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight; strong built; weather sealing; efficiency of IS
Cons:
No tripod collar

I bought this lens a few days ago. This lens is pure gem. IS works really great. Looks like you gain 3 stops straightaway. Canon claims 4 stops but may be one less stop has something to do with my shaking hands! IQ improves slightly from widest 4.0 to 5.6 beween 70mm and 180mm (roughly). Pictures are very mildly soft wide open. Only at 200mm, you have to stop down to f/8 to get the best picture out of it. Flare is very well controlled even when pointed directly into the sun. Bottom line - just go and grab it.

Mar 11, 2007
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Jay Taft
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Registered: Dec 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 712
Review Date: Mar 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight, sharp, excellent image quality, IS, worth the price.
Cons:
None

The 70-200 f4 L non-IS was a great lens for me. I sold it a while ago to buy the 70-200 f4 L IS when the price came down a bit at B&H.

The IS version is everything I expected and more based upon the image quality of the non-IS version, and information available on the web. I was able to get 2 stops shutter speed reduction out of the box, and 3 stops with a bit of practice. Haven't made 4 stops yet but I'm working on it.

IS seems quiet compared to some comments I have read. Certainly no noisier than the AF on my non-Canon lenses, which aren't loud at all.

Works beautifully with the old Canon 1.4x TC Mk I -- no problem at 280mm (448mm on the 10D), f5.6, 1/40th second. AF is excellent, too.

Going to Costa Rica in a few weeks where this lens will get a good workout. It's a gem. The performance is worth the price.


Mar 9, 2007
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
222 428890 Jun 21, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,079.18
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.71
8.76
9.7
ef70-200lisusm


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