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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: May 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Comparatively light, sharp wide open, fast and accurate AF, nice build.
Quite conspicuous with lense hood attached, backfocused at 70mm from new. There is a quiet clunk when AF locks, could be the distance scale - not sure.

This lense seems to be plagued with backfocus problems, specifically at shorter focal lengths. I tried 2 copies with the same problem before deciding to send it to Canon for calibration. It came back working perfectly but judging by the amount of people with the same issue there appears to be a serious QC problem at the factory. Be very weary of buying second hand, if it's out of warranty it will cost over $100(50) to get Canon to calibrate. Don't be fooled by a focus chart as mine was spot on at 200mm but horribly out at 70mm.

Sometimes I do wish it was faster but there's no way I'm willing to lug around something like the Sigma 70-200 F2.8 (also tested), it's nearly double the weight. The Canon 200 2.8 prime is tempting me at the moment but I know I would miss the zoom, the F4 really does fill a hole that no other lense can give you.

Those things aside it really is an excellent lense, it feels good in my hand, everything is in the right place and as long as I do everything right the results are fantastic. Also works well with a cheap Tamron 1.4x TC, barely any noticeable image degredation center frame with slight sharpness/CA problems towards the edges(still very useable).

Overall highly recommended, you might have to be prepared to invest a little time to get it working correctly but the final product is worth it.