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  Reviews by: Brian Matchick  

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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Aug 12, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Great build, IS, USM, contrast, bokeh.
Price, heavy and only descent image quality.

Writing this review makes me feel like the guy who shows up to an Apple forum and bashes the iPod. But I feel this lens was given a fair go 'round and must call it as I see it. I bought the 2.8L IS based solely on the reviews posted here. I wish I had seen this: first. Everything people say in the FM reviews is dead on, except for some of the raves about image quality. This lens has great contrast and bokeh, but it really isn't that sharp overall and there is way too much purple fringing. I shoot RAW with a 20D and PP everything with PS at 100%, which does mean I'm a tough grader. And viewed at 50% things look much better (they may also look good printed; I didn't print anything). But for $1600 I really wanted to love this lens, but so many shots were a disappointment and needed a lot of sharpening and other work, even at f8 or f10. I even exchanged the lens with Amazon to make sure I had a good copy, but my results were looking just like those in the review I link to above, so I think it's simply that the new version of this lens has issues. It's sad because I've (in my mind) drooled over this lens for a while and am still kind of shocked that I just couldn't deal with the image quality. I no longer have the 2.8 and will be ordering the f4, which really does seem to be stellar (I hope!). If I wasn't such a nit-picker, I may feel differently, but for that much $$ I just couldn't live with it. BTW, someone mentioned that the 2x converter works well with the 2.8. I must respectfully disagree. My results were awful, and a quick forum search at someplace like dpreview will reveal that almost everyone with this setup is not happy. The 2x simply magnifies the 70-200 2.8s flaws and using that combo really is no better than cropping and upsampling without using the converter. Please check it out before spending $300 2x unless you have an 70-200 f4 or some good primes to use it with. I'll just add that I had the 2.8 for a month and did everything I could to make sure it wasn't *me* causing the issues. I've at least convinced myself that it wasn't. Smile But YMMV, I suppose.