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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Sep 15, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: good walk around lens, quiet and fast focusing, good price new, sharp images, great bokeh.
Cons:
No tripod collar(expenssive to buy), not ideal for indoor or low light.

Well after owning a Sigma 70-300mm APO Macro DG and getting this lens, it’s definitely a different league. I do think that the Sigma lens is a great all around consumer lens for the price, but it just wasn’t cutting it for me.

I quickly learned that you have to pay the price for quality glass, and the only serious “L” series lens I contemplated on getting was the 70-200mm F.4 L and the F2.8 and the 2.8 IS version.

Both F2.8 was way over my budget and though I would’ve loved this lens I found myself looking at the F4 and found a great deal for a used one. A few days later and $600CAD later I was a proud owner of the Canon 70-200mm F.4 L

Image Quality:

I was immediately impressed with the quality of images this lens produced. Color and contrast was richer, bokeh is very smooth and with a steady hand or mounted on a tripod this lens produces sharp images. I compared my shots with the Sigma and though the sigma got soft from 200-300mm it wasn’t that far in sharpness compared to the Canon lens. However, the bokeh is much nicer and because of this, in my opinion the canon seems sharper giving the image a 3d look. The images seem to pop out at you. If you are anything like me, I still had a hard time getting sharp images on the long range due to my own lack of ability to hold the camera still, stopping down helps combined with a higher shutter speed. This is where I wish I could afford the 2.8 IS. However with good technique images are sharp on all focal lengths. I still have much to learn in regards to technique. This lens also makes great portrait pictures, great for outdoor shots. I use this lens with my Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D) and together, it is a sweet combination.


Build:

The body of the lens made out of metal I believe is very sturdy and well built. At 705g it’s still light enough to use as a walk around lens. A few people have complained about the off white color but I like it, especially in the hot sun, it doesn’t attract as much sun as a black lens would, but heads will turn to see what in the world you are holding.
This is the first time I’ve had a lens with USM (ultrasonic motor). Man is it ever quiet compared to the Sigma. I was so used to the noisy motor that when I first used this lens I was pleasantly surprised how quiet it was. Focusing is fast in good light but struggles a bit in shade or low light situations which are expected at f4. The inner focusing is great as well, compared to lenses like my Sigma that extends and can attract dust.

Price: For a relatively new photographer like myself, this lens is a great buy even new; however it is quite pricey here in Canada starting at $800CAD before taxes. If you can find a used one in great condition for around $500U.S I would highly recommend this lens. With the results I’ve been getting from this lens, I quickly forgot the money that was spent on it and I’m very pleased with it. In the long run, it would prove to be a good investment.
Conclusion: This lens will be loved by amateur or pro, it delivers sharp quality images with good technique, compact enough for a walk around zoom. Being the cheapest L zoom lens in the “L” series line up, this lens gets top marks from me. I’ll have this lens in my bag for a long time…unless I get a wealth of money somewhere one day and I can afford the f2.8 L IS, this lens is my baby!

Now I have “L” Fever!!



 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Sep 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: good walk around lens, quiet and fast focusing, good price new, sharp images, great bokeh.
Cons:
No tripod collar(expenssive to buy), not ideal for indoor or low light.

Well after owning a Sigma 70-300mm APO Macro DG and getting this lens, it’s definitely a different league. I do think that the Sigma lens is a great all around consumer lens for the price, but it just wasn’t cutting it for me.

I quickly learned that you have to pay the price for quality glass, and the only serious “L” series lens I contemplated on getting was the 70-200mm F.4 L and the F2.8 and the 2.8 IS version.

Both F2.8 was way over my budget and though I would’ve loved this lens I found myself looking at the F4 and found a great deal for a used one. A few days later and $600CAD later I was a proud owner of the Canon 70-200mm F.4 L

Image Quality:

I was immediately impressed with the quality of images this lens produced. Color and contrast was richer, bokeh is very smooth and with a steady hand or mounted on a tripod this lens produces sharp images. I compared my shots with the Sigma and though the sigma got soft from 200-300mm it wasn’t that far in sharpness compared to the Canon lens. However, the bokeh is much nicer and because of this, in my opinion the canon seems sharper giving the image a 3d look. The images seem to pop out at you. If you are anything like me, I still had a hard time getting sharp images on the long range due to my own lack of ability to hold the camera still, stopping down helps combined with a higher shutter speed. This is where I wish I could afford the 2.8 IS. However with good technique images are sharp on all focal lengths. I still have much to learn in regards to technique. This lens also makes great portrait pictures, great for outdoor shots. I use this lens with my Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D) and together, it is a sweet combination.


Build:

The body of the lens made out of metal I believe is very sturdy and well built. At 705g it’s still light enough to use as a walk around lens. A few people have complained about the off white color but I like it, especially in the hot sun, it doesn’t attract as much sun as a black lens would, but heads will turn to see what in the world you are holding.
This is the first time I’ve had a lens with USM (ultrasonic motor). Man is it ever quiet compared to the Sigma. I was so used to the noisy motor that when I first used this lens I was pleasantly surprised how quiet it was. Focusing is fast in good light but struggles a bit in shade or low light situations which are expected at f4. The inner focusing is great as well, compared to lenses like my Sigma that extends and can attract dust.

Price: For a relatively new photographer like myself, this lens is a great buy even new; however it is quite pricey here in Canada starting at $800CAD before taxes. If you can find a used one in great condition for around $500U.S I would highly recommend this lens. With the results I’ve been getting from this lens, I quickly forgot the money that was spent on it and I’m very pleased with it. In the long run, it would prove to be a good investment.
Conclusion: This lens will be loved by amateur or pro, it delivers sharp quality images with good technique, compact enough for a walk around zoom. Being the cheapest L zoom lens in the “L” series line up, this lens gets top marks from me. I’ll have this lens in my bag for a long time…unless I get a wealth of money somewhere one day and I can afford the f2.8 L IS, this lens is my baby!

Now I have “L” Fever!!