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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

ef70_200_28_1_
Review Date: Aug 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, great contrast - all expected elements with L glass. Combines VERY well with the 1.4x II extender. Very nice focal range.
Cons:
Nil. Most peoples' negative comments are completely subjective such as price and weight. Those are not issues with me, as the price is suited for what you get.

100 reviews. The one-hundredth is also positive.

Not much can be said about this lens that hasn't already. For me, weight is not an issue. Combined with a 20D and grip, it seems to be well balanced. Weight is completely subjective. I happen to have been working construction for the summer in order to afford this lens... plus I'm in the Army reserves, so I guess I can say that I'm built enough to handle it.
(example: http://www.sportsshooter.com/funpix_view.html?id=5598 )

For some people though, weight can be an issue - but don't take it as a reason to NOT buy this lens. You won't be able to find a lighter alternative to what this lens can do.

I opted not to get the IS version for two reasons. First, cost - I'm a university student. Second, the necessity for IS to me seemed low. I am a student photojournalist, and much of my work is geared towards sports. However, there are definitely situations where IS can be needed. BUT, just two nights ago I shot a dimly lit concert at the campus pub... I managed to get sharp shots at 200mm with a shutter speed of 1/40 - example:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/spearin/223809617/

With your own personal development of handling technique, you can get by without IS. It depends on what you will be shooting.

Since I do shoot a lot of university sports, I also purchased the Canon 1.4x II extender. As mentioned in the previous review, this brings it to greater length at the loss of only one stop. It's great for shooting field sports (such as football, soccer, rugby, etc) as you can have a versatile zoom and still maintain sharp image quality. I haven't experienced the 2x extender, but haven't heard too many positives. The 1.4x would be fine for most subjects.

I am very happy with this lens. It truly does as expected. To some people, it may seem expensive, but if you are going to be making money from your images... it is a worthy investment. If you have the extra money to spend, you should get the IS version, however with the right technique you can get by without. I plan on getting the IS version down the road when I can afford to... but will definitely get by with this for now!