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

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222 428305 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

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: 72ΒΊ)

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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Yinxia Long
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Registered: Nov 11, 2006
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Review Date: Nov 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,140.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight, effective IS, fast focus, excellent IQ, etc. Can't be happier with this lens. Great complement to my 24-105mm.
Cons:
If anything, the IS is noisier than the 24-105. Wonder if it's caused by 4-stop IS versus the 3-stop IS on the 24-105. But it works great so who cares. Oh, it looks really long with the lens hood on.

Just got this lens. It is great. Maybe this is telling: I found it hard to take it off and put the 24-105mm back on as the carry-on. This is one sharp lens!

I was deciding between the f/2.8 IS and this one and did a lot of research before pulling the trigger. The weight difference was the swaying factor. I tried to handhold a 5-lb bag of flour and decided right then and there that I would not want to lug such a weight around. And the f/2.8 on a Rebel xti weighs more than the bag of flour! I knew it's a trade-off: I wouldn't get the kind of portrait background as the f/2.8 can give. But I decided it would be worth it: I'd rather have a lens that I care to use a lot than one that I admire but must leave home.

I don't think the price is unreasonable. After all, the price difference between the IS version of the f/2.8 and the non-IS version is about the same.

I was, however, a little surprised at the noise made by the IS. It is definitely noisier than the IS on my 24-105mm. While one need to put his ear to the lens body of the 24-105 to detect the whirring IS of the 24-105mm, one can clearly hear the IS working in the 70-200 from behind the camera looking into the viewfinder. But this may not be a totally bad thing: one need not have to double check to see if he has the IS on or off.

One last thing, it isn't that white and shiny; it is not the kind of attention grabber that a high gloss white would be. It has this nice greyish-yellowish hue to it and looks kind of low-key attractive. If one is worried about the color contrast between the lens and the camera body, put the hood on reverse, the lens is half black now. And it's size suits the Rebel xti with a battery grip quite well.


Nov 21, 2006
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penghai
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Registered: May 21, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 811
Review Date: Nov 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight, accurate focus, IS, great color, excellent build
Cons:
f4. But at this weight, there is really no complains.

This is the lens that once you have it, you will keep pick it up to use. Very sweet image and very functioning IS that works great in low light as long as the subjects stay still. I have tried shooting f4 at 1/20 seconds and it still works great.

It's sharper than 4 copies of 70-200 f2.8 IS and one copy of 70-200 f4 that I have bought brand new and returned a while back. None of the above 5 lenses even passed my focus chart test. But this 70-200 f4 IS is different. Focus right on and so far I didn't hear a bad copy yet.

The main character I like is the light weight. It make this lens so sweet and easy to use. Even though its current price is still high, I have no regret and would recommend this lens with no reservation.


Nov 20, 2006
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Netgarden
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Registered: Jan 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2547
Review Date: Nov 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,140.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent walk around for children shots, zoos, some birding, pairs up well with the wider shorter lenses. Fast focuses, IS really helpful. Weight of it is a joy. Works well with the 1.4x teleconverter.
Cons:
No negative remarks at all, I am thrilled to have this lens, and plan to use it alot along with my 24-105f4IS, a perfect combo. Wish it would allow one closer, but the 12mm canon tube will get you two ft. from target.

Everyone asks, is the extra $600 worth the IS?
If you hand hold, YES.
Tripod, probably not.
If you need it for low light, YES
If you have other lenses for low light you probably will prefer them.

I never owned the older f4, so I can't compare quality or clarity. But this lens is a perfect walk around compliment to the wider, shorter lenses. I bought it because it is light weight. I even have the 2.8 version, and am selling it, just too heavy for me to lug all day.

I would say the best advantage is the weight, the IS, the color, very fast focusing. The IS is most noticeable when you are shooting fast things like children playing, etc. The light weight lens whips around pretty fast the the IS helps stablize quickly. I immediately noticed the ease of use and high percentage of clean shots.

Its a joy to tote around, the low light issue being not any different than any other f4 lens. I figure most usually you'd use less than f2 anyway, although for sports I'd choose the heavier 2.8.
Just P.M. me if you want photos. I've had so much fun with this lens, including birding.


Nov 19, 2006
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vg1952
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Registered: Mar 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very good quality, colors
Cons:
May be price

It is a great lens. Very good quality and sharpness.
Colors are also great.
It is also very lightweight, and that is also critical to me.
Another good thing is the lens comes with a hood.
Very satisfied!


Nov 19, 2006
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mckytm
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Registered: Aug 25, 2005
Location: Philippines
Posts: 7
Review Date: Nov 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IS, sharp wide open, IS, great build quality, IS, weight and balance, IS, and I can finally use a 70-200 indoors (because of IS!)
Cons:
Price... but with the pics I'm getting, I don't mind at all :)

Purchased this lens last weekend in Singapore, and I've shot off a couple hundred frames already. I used to own the 70-200/4 non-IS version, so I already knew what to expect... but WOW. IS is a godsend! I never got to use my old 70-200 indoors, even at ISO 800 (think dark offices lit by pale fluorescent). I tried, but I'd ALWAYS get blurry shots. Now, shooting at 1/20 is a breeze!

I own the 17-55 IS (and used to own the 17-85 IS), so I'm no stranger to image stabilization... but it's only with the tele range that I fully appreciated IS. Yes, I've tried the 70-200/2.8 IS, but only for a short while - that beast was too heavy to keep hanging from my neck for long. Compared to a 2.8, the bokeh may not be as pretty, the aperture may not be action-stopping, nor may the autofocus be as fast. But this lens is perfect for my needs.

Highly recommended.


Nov 17, 2006
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Zeder
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Registered: Aug 22, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 708
Review Date: Nov 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wickedly Sharp! Very fast autofocus, IS 4 stops (WOW) it's true! Great color. Small and very light! WICKED!
Cons:
Price. You get what you pay for though!

I am just blown away by this lens! REALLY! I have the 70-200mm 2.8, great lens for sure, but this IS kills it in low light! Indoors I can shoot a person, not a running one mind you, @ 1/15 of a second @ 100 ISO and get a decent shoot HANDHELD. Try that with a 200mm F2.8 lens. Good luck! Bump up to 400 ISO and super success! I also had the 70-200mm f2.8 IS, I was not impressed at all! The IS worked well but the IQ was much worse than the non IS version. Unacceptable for the cost of that beast! And it was a beast. This new IS lens is such a treat to handle and carry! I really can't say enough about the sharpness and IQ of this lens. I also have the 200mm f2.8 prime and for the first time ever, a zoom beats its sharpness. I am totally obssesed with sharpness, and for the first time I am satisfied. I really didn't think it would happen! True it's not F2.8, but the advantage if this new IS not only makes up for it, it actually supasses it in functioanality, for me anyway! I think the physics behind the new IS and its super ability is that because of the size of the IS element in the lens is relativily small so the IS motors can move it around more quickly leading to the extra stop. I have the 24-105 IS L lens and there is a noticable improvment with this new lens. Basically if you try it, you will have to have it! So you have been warned!


Nov 16, 2006
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Julius
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Registered: Jan 26, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 939
Review Date: Nov 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,249.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight, extremely sharp at every focal lengths.
Cons:
High price.

This is the best 70-200 lens I have ever owned by far and I had a few including the Canon 70-200 f/2.8IS and the Nikon 70-200VR. It is noticeably better than my previous non-IS 70-200 f/4L lens especially at the edges and corners on the full field sensor camera (5D). Amazingly sharp at wide open and corner to corner, I could not be happier with the image quality I get from this lens. It is expensive but well worth the price. The IS is the best of any IS lens I ever had, the claimed 4 f/stop for handheld shots is real and I do not have very steady hands.
Highly recommend it to anybody who is looking for a lightweight, high performance tele zoom.


Nov 10, 2006
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Johno
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Registered: Jan 26, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 70
Review Date: Nov 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Weight, Size, Sharpness, Weather Sealing, 4 stop IS, Sharpness, Colour and Contrast. Oh... did I mention it's sharp too? ;)
Cons:
UK Price, Tripod mount is extra.

I was in two minds about the 70-200mm f/4.0 L IS USM lens on it's announcement. I felt it was going to be a good lens, but Canon's UK retail price was way in excess of what it should actually be selling for, and that the value for money was...to say the least...s~#te.

I have a non IS F4 and a 2.8/IS also. The 2.8/IS is a great lens, but i sometimes feel it's a bit bulky for certain situations, problem is, when I took the F4 non IS instead, I always missed the IS. So, my conumdrum was - I would probably use the new F4/IS alot, but...paying £990.00 in the UK for this lens was a no go - further exacerbated by the fact that the the equivalent retail price in the USA for the lens is around £680.00.

Conundrum Solved:

After a quick check with the highly recommended "Flash Camera" shop on eBay, I found myself with a new 70-200 F4/IS for £799. They had stocks in the UK, and I had picked one up within an hour or two at a saving of nearly £200 over the cheapest UK retail outlets. Top marks for service!

The Lens:

Build is of the usual high standards we've come to expect of canon L series products. To all intents and purposes, the lens feels almost identical to the F4 non IS version, but with IS and weather resistance added. On start up, my first impression was that the IS mechanism was pretty noisy compared other Canon IS lenses I own, but everything works fine, and you soon adjust to it. The recessed switches on the lens are an improvement too, as there's less chance of accidently moving them.

Sharpness accross the frame is stellar, i'd go as far to say that it's better than the 2 other 70-200's I own. This lens is sharp wide open from corner to corner even on a full frame body. There is actually very little improvement when stopping down - the F4/IS starts out sharp wide open, and stays that way.

The Bokeh is great too, the new 8-blade circular aperture creates a very pleasing foreground/background blur quality. Out of focus specular highlights are nicely rounded blurs, even when shooting at narrow apertures. Having a constant f/4 aperture at all focal lengths is a very nice feature too.

The 70-200mm F4/IS USM's colour and contrast are up to the usual excellent levels. CA (Chromatic Aberration) is very well controlled. Some mild barrel distortion is present at 70mm and mild pincushion is present at 200mm. The change from barrel to pincushion is gradual with approx. 95mm being the focal length of the crossover. Distortion is nearly identical between the two 70-200mm f/4 L lenses. I've noticed that the 70-200 f/4 IS controls flare very well - slightly better than non-IS f/4 and more importantly, it's noticeably better than the f/2.8 IS.

To all intents and purposes we have a stunning performer here, I'd go as far to say that I may not be using the 2.8/IS and F4/non IS that much from now on. So...would I recommend the 70-200mm f/4.0 L IS USM - YES, resoundingly, but UK buyers should go the route I went, it's much better value for money and you won't feel ripped off by canon's UK pricing structure. Thank god for eBay.


Nov 7, 2006
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engel001
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Registered: Sep 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 25
Review Date: Nov 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Absolutely a must-have travel lens! Just came back from a trip, now it is much easier to feel comfortable at longer focal lenghths, IS is very effective. Makes a great travel lens, amazing how compact the lens has stayed, basically identical to the non-IS version. Color rendition and sharpness appear flawless.
Cons:
Pincushion distortion evident at 200mm. Is this more than the non-IS version? It does seem more than I remember and I had to straighten out the horizon in PS? Wish my fullframe camera were smaller and lighter, too!! Worth every cent!!!



Nov 4, 2006
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GEO-hiker
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Registered: May 12, 2006
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: light weight,optic performence,great IS.
Cons:
may be price ,but i think it worth the cost.

= i had sold my 70-200 f2.8 IS,and waited this lens for a long time (what a big risk), of course the 70-200 f2.8 IS is good,but it too heavy for hike,and too big for take picture in the streets(eye ball absorber).

=After some test l got the conclusion,that the optic performence of this one as good as (if not better )the non IS one.and f4 aperture is quite practicable.

=the IS is as good as 70-200 f2.8 IS,i can hold it at 1/15th seconds,and have 70% percentage opportunity get rather sharp picture.




Nov 4, 2006
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FatBoyAl
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Registered: Sep 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 670
Review Date: Oct 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,249.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Same IQ as non-IS (which means fantastic), 4 stop IS, lightweight (especially when compared with 2.8 version), weatherproof
Cons:
Cost

Second day with the lens. After owning the non-IS version for just a week and knowing I was going to exchange it, this was my choice. I could afford either version, but the 4.0 won for lightweight, fantastic optics and size. I'm not doing night sports or events, so that means the 4.0 should be fine in most cases.
The IQ is terrific and the build fantastic. Sure, it could be cheaper, but I am not complaining! If you're torn between 2.8 and 4.0, look at your shots. How many are at 2.8? If not many, this is a GREAT alternative.
Wonderful lens!


Oct 29, 2006
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borderlight
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Registered: Dec 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1746
Review Date: Oct 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: As good as it gets.
Cons:
None

The IS version is welcome addition to the 70-200L family. Lightweight, weather resistant, better optics, and, of course, IS. This lens affords me the opportunity to shoot in a more relaxed way without constantly having to worry about keeping my shutter speed above @ 1/250th or better. There may be subtle optical improvements over the non-IS version, but having this lens for just a few days didn't allow me time to explore them. I was shooting with a 20D so if you own a FF camera your edge results may vary, but mine were great.

Word on the IS: Use a tripod when you have time. IS is certainly a plus, but it does not give you results like a tripod. I shot the book photos (see link) at 1/6th second handheld, but that's pushing it, and I think the results, although somewhat OK, are poor when slightly blown-up. A 1/30th might be it for most people.

http://www.pbase.com/borderlight/70200_f4l_is


Oct 29, 2006
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jonbrach
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Registered: Dec 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 896
Review Date: Oct 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality build size IS
Cons:
price

I received this new version of the old favorite and in my limited testing and use i am very pleased.I owned the non IS version for years and loved it but the chance to upgrade a classic to a 4 stop IS version was too much for me to pass up.This new lens seems to have kept all of the positives of the old version....sharpness,size,build quality,fast auto focus and now add a terrific IS system which really works as stated.If you own or owned the original you will love the new IS version...well,everything but the price!...that said if you can justify the price i think you will be very happy...the perfect travel lens

Oct 27, 2006
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softball29
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Registered: Oct 26, 2006
Location: United States
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Review Date: Oct 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight, crisp photos, focus is dead on, solid build and quiet, very sharp.
Cons:
None

This was my first L series lens and I got it about a month ago. It is a fantastic lens and I've used it for a lot of things, including a lot of outdoor sports (football, soccer etc.)

The only complaint I have is that it sometimes focuses on the wrong subject I am shooting. But I'll be able to overcome that in time, I'm sure.

Photos are excellent quality and great colors. As I've learned the lens more, I've been so amazed at what the lens can help produce. I'm sure as I keep learning it, things will continue to get better.

This is a lens I would highly recommend!


Oct 26, 2006
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
222 428305 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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