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

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222 427285 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: 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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zolbs
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Registered: May 3, 2009
Location: China
Posts: 19
Review Date: Oct 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight, fast focus, solid build, nice colors
Cons:
White color

I was looking for a general purpose zoom that I could use for travel photography, mostly shooting outdoors.. And I wanted something that I could comfortably carry around all day - which ruled out the 2.8.

At the same time, I was reluctant about the quality of the images from this lens, compared to primes that would fall within the range.

But in the end, I'm very happy with this purchase.

The images are crisp. The focus is fast. And I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the bokeh. It's quite good.

And the very manageable weight is fantastic. I can be on the run all day, and my spine is still properly aligned at the end of it all.

9.5/10


Oct 13, 2009
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EZarris
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Registered: Oct 1, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great build quality, extremely sharp, speedy AF, IS, very light for such a lens, relatively inexpensive, zoom ring turn easily, i like the white color, constant max aperture.
Cons:
Too sharp, AF is way too fast, too solid. :D Just kidding, nothing wrong with this lens.



Oct 1, 2009
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vince
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Registered: Mar 18, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 306
Review Date: Sep 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Stunning optics at all apertures, incredible color, contrast and sharpness.
Cons:
It's white, and it's long though not heavy.

I sold my 70-200/4L non-IS because for some reason it was not as sharp as my 28-70L. I really hesitated before spending money on this lens, but it was well worth it.

The IS version of the 70-200 doesn't disappoint. It is waaay sharper, and has better micro-contrast than the old non-IS one. It has quickly become my go-to lens for all long lens type occasions. Delivers stunning quality results even at f/4 at all apertures. Highly recommended.


Sep 28, 2009
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vongole
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Registered: Apr 1, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 4
Review Date: Sep 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast (F4), sharp, very fast autofocus, very efficient IS
Cons:
Bokeh is somewhat sharp. A lot of pricedifference between IS and non-IS

This lens is just great! Its light with superb quality.
I use this on my 50D and I just love it.

See:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vongole/3931433572/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vongole/3923088373/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vongole/3936712161/


and a lot more on:
http://www.vongole.nl/singelloop2009/content/IMG_6953_large.html

Lens used is at bottom of page



Sep 20, 2009
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nickjohnson
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Registered: Sep 15, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 747
Review Date: Sep 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: light / good handling, great IQ, good IS, works fine with 1.4 Extender II, fine build.
Cons:
none – it really is that good!

Common to all reports

This is my attempt to give something back to the forum members who have provided this wonderful resource. I found much here that helped with my lens selection. So over the last 1 to 2 years here is what I used – all on a pair of 5D bodies. (My comments will be subjective and personal. I will try to avoid saying anything that cannot be read in the spec sheets).

17-40 L
24-105 L IS
70-200 f4 L IS
180 L Macro
400 f5.6 L
50 f1.8 mkII
Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX

70-200 f4 L IS
Comment
This is an exceptionally good lens. The light weight makes it easy to handle and the IS really makes me look a much better shooter than I am !

Used hand held for plants and gardens, with 1.4 Extender for flowers and landscapes. Also used wide open for low light grab portraits This lens somehow always flatters both me and my subjects.

IQ – in absolute terms – is very good indeed. For a zoom, IQ is spooky / miraculous! Only a very slight hardness in some out of focus areas stops me from forgetting it is a zoom and mistaking it for a prime.


Sep 19, 2009
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capnfishy
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Registered: Dec 24, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Review Date: Sep 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb detail. Sharpest lens I have bought to date. Later version IS.
Cons:
Narrow zoom range - but you know you are buying into that for the IQ

I bought this lens off eBay a year or so ago, and I have not used it a lot in that time, simply because the range of 70-200mm is not one that I go out wanting to cover all that much. More often I take the 24-105 and 100-400 to cover my needs. Not that they are bad lenses, but whenever I take the 70-200 f4, I am totally blown away by the crispness of the detail it delivers. I wager you could get just about as good a screen sized JPEG using a 100% crop from the 70-200 as you could using less of a crop from the 100-400.

Sep 18, 2009
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jankson
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Registered: Sep 4, 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent,light,small,good IS.
Cons:
cant find anything

Buy and enjoy.

Sep 13, 2009
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dealaddict
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Registered: Jun 11, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 31
Review Date: Sep 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, IS, relatively smaller at this range
Cons:
IQ depends on the focus distance, soft at FL=135-200 at short focus distance (1.2m-3m)

In general, I am quite happy with this lens. very good build quality, and relatively small that I am ok to carry it around. IS is very useful at long range. One limitation is this lens cannot used to take macro type of shots. it is very soft at FL=200mm at its minimum focus distance. However, it is very sharp if I use it as it is designed for. For taking portraits, I will usually stand far enough that it will be sharp.

Also, I feel the image is a bit soft in general at 200mm, but it is acceptable.


Sep 4, 2009
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aladyforty
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Registered: Feb 3, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1728
Review Date: Aug 7, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, IS, beautiful all round lens if you dont need the F2.8
Cons:
I wish it was black

Ive had this lens a very short time but love it already. I sold my 70-200 F2.8 (non IS) and replaced it with this due to the weight as I have a shoulder problem. I have owned the F4 non IS version and that too is a wonderful lens but felt that giving up the F2.8 version meant I needed IS to at least have a chance to get some of the lower light shots I just would not get without IS.

This lens is seriously sharp, the colors are beautiful, very contrasty and the bokeh is not too bad either. The lens works very well with the EF 1X4 TC and shows very little degradation if any at all. Its an all round great lens


Aug 7, 2009
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akilah
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Registered: Aug 27, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 162
Review Date: Jun 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, great color, great AF, perfection
Cons:
Lack of a tripod ring, conspicuous color and shape

I own a number of zooms and primes, and am now on my 5th DSLR. Although I now own zooms that cover more range, primes from wide angle to long telephoto, I keep coming back to this lens for one reason: unmatched quality. I was in the store to get a 70-200mm f 2.8, and when the clerk brought it out I was shocked at the weight. I realized that I wouldn't enjoy carrying it around. There was a Canon event at the time in the store, so I talked with the rep and looked at some photos.

I went for this lens over the 2.8 because I figured I would rarely want to actually shoot at 2.8, and the size would discourage its use for the long city walks and nature hikes I enjoy with my wife. I have never regretted it since. I've compared the f4 with a friends f2.8 and it edges past it in every quality category. The AF tracking is superb. The IS is a life saver.

I've come to the conclusion Canon didn't make my lens. I think it's manufacture has been outsource to aliens. Although its relatively narrow range seems odd for general use, I use it anyway all the time just because of the awesome IQ.

The negatives are there: odd size filter dimension (67mm), no tripod collar (despite IS, tripods are important for serious shots), longish size doesn't quite fit in a standard camera bag, does it *really* need to be white, 70-200 is sort of in-between the most used lengths (for me). Seems pricey.

But one big positive makes these negatives seem minor: its optical quality and performance is unmatched (at least by anything I own or have tested).

I have a 5D Mark II, and if I could only have two lenses it would be the 17-40mm f4, and the 70-200mm f4 IS.


Jun 18, 2009
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venkidesh Iyer
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Registered: Nov 27, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 302
Review Date: Jun 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $945.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Before trying the f4l IS i had wet my hands on f2.8L IS. The heavy factor of that lens troubled me to use it as handholdable walkaround lens.That prompted me to switch to the f4IS. I was surprised when i held the lens. It was lighter than my 24-70 2.8. I have no problem handholding it for hours.Very versatile and usable as general purpose walkaround.

Now coming to the IQ aspects. Sharpness at wide open is phenomenal.Contrast and color are excellent. The IS really works.I did some test shots handholding it at 1/15 and 200mm and pictures were very sharp.This is an awesome piece of lens.AF is very fast and even in dim light it focuses fast and accurate. The only thing lacking in the IQ department if bokeh.The background blur is not creamy & smooth . But with careful choice of subject distance and background reasonable bokeh could be obtained.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/20866796@N03/show/with/3623174738/


Jun 17, 2009
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Enche Tjin
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Registered: Jun 14, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: relatively lightweight, very sharp, IS
Cons:
non-black color

The Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS USM is very suprising lens. It is lighter and shorter than I thought. The color is close to tan rather than white like we saw in the product shots scattered around the web.

The zoom and manual focus bar are very smooth, and there are 4 settings on the lens, 2 Image Stabilization modes (general and horizontal I believe), Auto Focus - Manual Focus, and focus range.

Included in the package are high quality bayonet lens hood and lens pouch to protect the lens from harm.

I took the lens to the garden and take a couple shots, and it performs brilliantly sharp wide open at f/4. The IS gives you 4 stops advantage and you can see the IS on action straight from camera viewfinder (not like built in camera stabilization).

Although it is longer than most of the Canon lens, it is slim and light enough to carry around.

This lens is also quite versatile. You can use it for Portrait, Nature (include flowers), Outdoor sports, candid photography and art show performance.

Highly recommended for photographer that demand a light weight, high quality telephoto lens. This lens definitely worth every penny.

Visit my blog www.radiantlite.com for sample photos


Jun 16, 2009
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Peter Cheuk
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Registered: Nov 29, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Autofocus still works fast and accurate in stacking two 1.4x converters on Canon 5D, i.e., 137mm to 392mm f8, even though in dim indoor light at night, with sharp and very eye-pleasing image!!!!
Cons:
none

My viewing context:

iMac 24 inches monitor. Shot full frame Raw with 5D and then edit.

The tests:

1.I have Canon 1.4x and 2x Extenders, and Tamron SP 1.4x and 2x Tele-Converters. I stacked the 2 1.4x on the lens. Shot indoor dim light at night, at 392mm f8, with flash, ISO 800-1600, on kid's face, at minimum focus distance, or a bit farther, close-ups. Results are fast and accurate AF. (I tested the AF f8 on other subjects at dim light also). View at the monitor, with a little editing applied, i.e., just sharpen edges once or twice, and enhance a bit contrast, kids eyes, skin and lip texture, skin hair are sharp with details, and very eye-pleasing. Shutter speeds were 1/30-1/60. (experienced readers can tell how "dim" I am talking about in the aforesaid settings in taking kids' images; in tests in somewhat darker conditions, AF still worked very well).

2.I tried both 2x. No AF. Not even focus assisting red light and beep sound, although both occasions were f8.

3.stop down does not increase sharpness. It is consistent with the resolution test figures in Photozone site.

4. I have Canon 28-300 L. It is very autofocusable at f8 with either 1.4x, serving nearly all daytime outdoor conditions well in ordinary travel trip. (In my experience, it hunt, e.g., when focusing at an owl hiding in low light corner in its cage in cloudy day. But focus assisting function still worked well.) In terms of focusing speed, and low-light tolerance, 70-200 f4 IS is much much better and I am sure that it will not hunt in the above condition. Conversely, still fast and accurate.


Jun 11, 2009
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StuCollings
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Registered: Jan 7, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 255
Review Date: Apr 12, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight (relatively), superb sharpness, excellent contrast.
Cons:
Hood can be fiddly to fit if you are in a hurry.

Upgraded to this from the 'normal' f/4 last year. I thought the old lens was sharp but this is something else. Images really 'pop' and portraits are scarily sharp. Just spent an afternoon shooting a dog agility event and the results are stunning.

Unless you need that extra stop of light, this baby beats the f/2.8 in every respect!


Apr 12, 2009
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Steve Langton
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Registered: Oct 29, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, light, IS very effective
Cons:
Not F2.8 but not much else

Upgraded to this from the non-IS version. Thought very long and hard about whether I would have preferred an F2.8 version and in some ways that lens would have been better. However, no problems at all with this lens, the image quality really is good, the latest IS system seems to be very effective and the lens is conveniently light and portable. With the Canon 70-200s the main question is just how much do you need F2.8 because if you accept the limitation of F4 maximum aperture (or don't need any more) this lens won't disappoint.

Mar 20, 2009
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deeslk
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Registered: Mar 12, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 12, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, Fast AF, Great Contrast and Extremely Sharp with the latest IS from Canon
Cons:
Wish it took 77mm filters, it's 67mm

A wonderfully sharp lens, a pleasure to shoot with. Can be handheld easily for hours because of the light weight.

Mar 12, 2009
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
222 427285 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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