This Big Off-White Bazooka Won My Heart... And My Eyes!
This lens isn’t inexpensive, but especially if you shoot outdoors, this is the ultimate EOS tele zoom lens for under £400.00. Compared to most other EF professional "L" lenses, this is the least costly of all, but its PROFESSIONAL LEVEL PERFORMANCE and CONSTRUCTION are definitely NOT COMPROMISED in any way.
In the world of Canon EOS EF mount lenses, there are three levels of quality classifications. The inexpensive models are commonly referred to as “consumer grade”, designed primarily to meet competitive price points. The upgrade models are known as “mid grade” lenses. These can be very respectable in optical performance, but they are not as durable or "high performance" as the real pro gear.
The top level is reserved for true working pros, and those who are very dedicated to the art of photography. These are the “L” Series Professional lenses. Most “L” lenses are designed with very effective weather & dust seals and special optical elements to deliver superior performance and the ultimate in rugged reliability. Canon's “L” models all have a bright red ring around the front of the barrel.
This telephoto “L” is a great choice for nature lovers, hikers, street photographers, adventurers and especially for the parents of budding sports stars. You really command respect when you whip out your Canon EOS with this big off-white bazooka locked ‘n loaded. You instantly become the “Pro” (whether you actually are or not). It is amazing to watch the crowds at the soccer game part to let “the real photographer” get a little closer to the action. If you prefer to not call any attention to yourself, avoid this lens! Otherwise, be prepared for the envious stares from the guys & gals with the long skinny black lenses.
This is a real "rough & tumble" lens, with optics delivered directly from the great glass gods. It will keep functioning properly, even when the rain or snow begins to fall during the last quarter of a game or out on a long nature hike, unlike the consumer and mid-grade lenses.
However, there are other reasons to commit to this fairly costly model. The optical resolution, colour richness and contrast are absolutely superb! Chromatic aberrations and lens flare are extremely well controlled. There is almost NO DISTORTION visible through this lens, at any focal length. This is especially true on a smaller frame digital camera because these bodies take advantage of the lenses “sweet spot”, by primarily using the glass near the center portion of the lens. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM produces incredibly sharp photos time after time, after time, after time...
This model is threaded for 67mm filters, not the easiest to find. You may have to buy some relatively expensive filters that will only be usable on this one lens, like I did, but it is definitely worth it. The front element is always stationary, so using a circular polarizer is never a problem. The zoom and focus rings are plenty wide enough, even for the most gorilla-fisted photogs out there, and yet, both rotate as smooth as a well-powdered baby’s behind.
There is no doubt that this is a real "L" lens. It is just oozing with that magic "luxury" stuff that makes it such a great optical instrument, as well as a very good investment. Considering how close it is in performance, and the high cost for most "L" models, I can easily call this one a true bargain!
Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. ProfAudio1
40 of 44 people found this review helpful.
Best Landscape Lens?
I love this lens! I bought it for both Landscape work and Portrait shots. This lens is light enough and small enough to fit neatly into a camera bag without becoming some sort of workout when walking with it (unlike the much larger and more expensive f/2.8 versions)
It is very sharp, especially given the right amount of light and therefore a faster shutter speed. I have also taken 3 minute long exposures that are razor sharp at f/11-16. F/22 starts to get softer at 200mm, but there isn't any other zoom that I know of that would be any sharper. A camera hood is a good idea with this lens as the front element is quite close to the end of the lens and stray light does easily enter it. The good news is the hood is reversible so takes up as little space as possible.
The zoom and focus rings are smooth and steady, the autofocus on my 5D mk II is very quick. Many people feel they 'need' a faster f/ stop and think that f/4.0 will not give enough background blur or bokeh. I find it fine if your subject is quite close and there is a bit of distance between your subject and the background. Bokeh is pleasingly buttery and the subject is focused nicely. When zooming you lose depth of field, so where a 100mm lens might be fine at f/2.8, the 70-200 at full zoom needs that bit more dof to keep your subject in focus acroos most of the face. Obviously for landscape work, the faster f stops are not really needed and f/ 11-16 is fine. I know a lot of people like the IS version of this lens, which if I had the money I would buy, but for a saving of £350-£400, it is quite a heavy price to pay.
In short, a versatile, super sharp, light weight and relatively compact zoom lens with outstanding optical performance that is a joy to use. Oh and it won't completely break the bank, just temporarily disable it :) Go and get one!
Oh, and if you want to do long exposures with it, I would recommend a tripod collar for extra stability. Don't recommend the expensive Canon ones, a cheaper Canon style will do fine.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
FANTASTIC!, Sharp at all focal lengths, Light, Compact, My sharpest L Lens!
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
|Size / weight|
|Value for money|
The only thing to say about this lens is that it is FANTASTIC!! It is by far the sharpest zoom lens I have ever used. I couldn't justify buying the 70-200 2.8 II over this one for a couple of reasons:
1) I rarely shoot wider than F4, and if I do then I use prime lenses.
2) After renting both the F4 IS and the 2.8 IS II, the F4 IS is sharper wide open at F4 than the 2.8 IS II is at F4.
3) The weight difference compared to its bigger brother is so light. I have managed to carry this around all day with no wrist ache at all.
4) The IS is on par with the 2.8 IS II.
5) Its smaller and more compact.
Overall this lens is sharp at every zoom length wide open. I can get pin sharp images at 1/30th of a second with the IS on. I've tried it on a 60D, 7D & 5D mk2 and I cant fault it at all. It is by far the sharpest L lens I own.
For some people, 1 downside may be the IS noise. It is a little louder than other IS models but you know its working and it works perfect. You can't compare this to the non IS version, the optics are better & the focus is faster. As far as I can see at 100% crops, this is on par with the 2.8 IS II for image quality and at F4 wide open it is better than the 2.8 IS II at the same F stop. Out of every 100 shots, I was probably miss focusing 3, maybe 4. Every image was spot on. Another plus side is that it is weather sealed just as good as the 2.8 IS II.
If you're debating this or the 2.8 IS II, then just go for this if money is a little bit of an issue, you really wont get any better unless you spend an extra £1000. Regardless of whether at some point if I get the 2.8 IS II, I wont be selling this, it is that good.
My only moan is the price, and not much of a moan. I think it's a tad bit pricey. If they included a tripod collar (Which isn't needed as its very light)and a thick case like the bigger L lenses instead of the pouch then I wouldnt have no problem with the price.
Apart from that it is worth every penny and it'll be a keeper until they bring out the same focal length that is sharper at F4 throughout the zoom range as this is.
I can't stress enough how fantastic this lens is. I didn't think my image quality could improve after using my 24-105 F4 IS, 24-70 2.8 mk II or 100 macro L.
You won't regret this purchase. If images are coming out wrong then guaranteed it isn't the lens, it'll be something you are doing wrong. This lens lives up to all the forum hypes and reviews.
I hope this has helped.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
The smallest and lightest 70-200 'L' lens
This is the baby of the four 70-200mm L lenses that Canon do. It lacks IS, and is F4 so it's not the fastest lens, but it is very good optically.
It only weighs 700g (about 1.5 lbs), it comes with the lens hood but not the tripod ring. It takes 67mm filters, and the front doesn't rotate so polarising filters and graduated filters are easy to use.
You may find that 200mm is a little short even on a crop body for some sports or wildlife photography, so work out if it's long enough before you buy.
It is compatible with both the 1.4x and 2x Canon extenders (only a few Canon L series lenses are), but with the 2x Extender the overall aperture will be F/8, so only the 1D bodies will have working autofocus.
List price is over £600, but UK internet price is around £400, and of course ebay price is even lower.
Summary: Reasonably price (for what it is), great quality, good size and weight. But work out if you need something longer.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
|Size / weight|
|Value for money|
Gr8 Lense, good build quality "The image stabilization achieves three shutter speed steps of camera shake correction within 0.5 seconds after the shutter button is depressed halfway and yields correction for up to four full shutter speeds while handheld ..." (Canon's Press Release). Canon's first 4-stop Image Stabilizer makes this lens just as handholdable in low light as the extremely popular 70-200 f/2.8 IS with its 3-stop stabilizer and 1-stop wider aperture. And, you can shoot with this lens hand held at an up-to-4-stop slower shutter speed than with the non-IS Canon 70-200mm f/4 L USM Lens.