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

ef70-200lisiiu_586x225
Review Date: Apr 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Outstanding sharpness and contrast, extremely fast autofocus, sealed and rugged construction, 4 stops IS.
Cons:
As expected -but not bothering me- weight, and price.

The best Canon 70-200 I've tested. It has better plasticity than it's f/2,8 predeccesors, partly because of it's higher microcontrast. Sharp 'till the corners on my full frame 5D II (something that is not happening to that point with the f/4 IS) and rivals and even exceeds the performance of the non-IS f/2,8 at 135mm. It has very nice bokeh also and it's a joy to use. Heavier and costs a lot more , but when you see the results on your pictures you start having a big smile !

 
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: May 14, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Just wonderfull !
Cons:
Absolutely nothing, except maybe the first days of usage when you must get used to the push-pull zooming.After that is more easy to use it than twisting zooms of the same category.

I feel sorry for all the bad luck that some guys have with this lens -it happened to a friend also- but most copies that I have ever tried ( more than 5 ), including mine, are marvellous ! Maybe for some, is an AF microadjustment that is needed to show their full potential on the camera, but the only decentered copy that I have ever seen -and needed lens realignement by the service- was bought by a friend. By the way I have seen more 70-200's with centering problems, than 100-400's. I have to say also, that after a year of use I can't see any evidence of dust sucking by the push-pull mechanism of this zoom.

 
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Aug 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Range, performance, built quality.
Cons:
Push-pull zooming need to get used to it...again !

I just bought this lens after a period of thinking. I was afraid about QC issues, because of a friends bad experience of this lens, but it turned to be more than a good copy for me. I tested it immediately against my 70-200/2,8L and my 400/5,6L and found it to have very good optical performance, very-very close to these excellent lenses. It performs very well on my 1DII and my 40D both in AF and optical terms. The AF is slightly less fast compared to the 400 prime but sufficient for aircraft shooting. The IS helps a lot in order to have motion blur to the propellers. The only thing that I have to get used to ( again ) is the push-pull zooming ( the last lens I had with push-pull zooming was the 1994 Nikkor AF 80-200/2,8D ED ). I 've already sold my 70-200/4 IS in order to finance the purchase of this baby -kept the 2,8L which is better- and now the 400/5,6L has to go. I'm more than happy with the 100-400 !

 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

ef70-200lisusm
Review Date: Jul 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Mobile, very nicepicture quality, very effective stabilizer.
Cons:
Not up to my expectations after reading all those reviews...

After reading all those reviews, I had very high expectations from this lens. People that I highly respect from the forum, gave it the best of the ratings and I decided to give it a chance. Since then, I had already tested 3 copies of this lens and and none of 'em conviced me because of quality control. The centering was so and so and sharpness was very high in some focal lengths and average in others. Overall I was dissapointed from this lens. The potential of the design was high but the chances to buy a product that wasn't up to the standards of the design team was also high.
Then I found two new copies (UV code) that were more promissing, and I decided to enter the testing (torture for me!) again. First I tested them on Provia and Velvia slide film. Then I borrowed a 5D, and tested both and my 2,8L non-IS with it. I also repeated the test with my 1D mkII and 40D. The digital results were very close to the film results and revealled some differences. I 've kept the best shots from each lens -the subject was a block of flats at 85 meters away because I intend to use it for aviation and landscape photography. My results: this lens is certainly better than my 2,8L at 70mm in most apertures ( except at f/4 ),it's slightly worse at 100mm up to f/5,6, it lags behind my 2,8L at 135, and it's on a par with it at 200mm. The only area that it really shines, is at closer distances where it's increased micro-contrast give the pictures it takes a punch ! Probably that's why "The-Digital- Picture" and "The Photozone" gave it so good reviews. It also vignietes and has more distorsion than the 2,8L. My ranking is based on it's average performance at at far and close distances, because if I had to rank it regarding it's optical performance at far distances I would gave it a 9. What I forgot to tell you is that I bought it already after selling my 180L which was collecting dust...and I 'm still searching for a better copy than the very good one I already own !


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

ef70_200_28_1_
Review Date: Jul 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, contrast, bokeh, autofocus speed, robast built.
Cons:
Nothing actually.It's weight and size is average for an 70-200/2,8 lens so it's ok for me. And the price it's right. You cannot have something for nothing...

I had this jewel for a small period a few years ago and sold it in order to finance the -new then- 70-200/2,8 IS. While i was far from being dissapointed with the IS version -it was very versatile actually- there was something missing: the impressive sharpness that the non IS had ! After some testing i found that in every focal length and especially in the 170-200mm zoom area, the IS version i had was significantly less sharp compared to the non IS. Actually, my IS version needed a three f/stop down to almost reach the performance level of the non IS classic ! I repeated the test a few times in order to be sure about the results and took the decission to sold the IS version and buy this masterpiece of lens crafting once again. Because of my background as an editor of a related to photography magazine, i was able to do some more tests with two brand new versions of both lenses and discovered that the non IS version has better centering in general, resulting in more even and higher performance from center to corners in full frame. The center of the image especially is sharper at all focal lengths resulting in better performance with the extenders. I also did some comparissons with three brand new copies of the 70-200 f/4 IS and found my f/2,8 non IS copy to be superior in general, except maybe the absolute center, in which i found the two lenses to be equal with the f/4 giving a more contrasty impression. Finally i did some testing comparing my 70-200/2,8L (at around 180mm) with my 180/3,5L macro and found to my surprise the zoom to be superior ! I also own the EF 400 mm f/5,6L USM and my impression is that the zoom is better -at least- in the middle focal distances having better micro contrast. My opinion is that the only zoom lens in the Canon line up that can challenge the EF 70-200/2,8L in terms of optical performance is the f/4 L without IS which i also tested (2 copies). But having read some other posts here, there's always a possibility to buy a lemon. My only complain -if any- about the f/2,8L, has to do with the extreme corner performance at 70mm in full frame format, which could be a little better.I believe this to be the only weak spot compared to a good copy of the other versions. I hope that this review will help any one of you to make a better choice.