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481 of 489 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect on-the-go lens
I have to say, "Wow I love this lens."

I'd recommend this lens for three kinds of people:

1) People who want to get a taste of the L-series lenses who need a lens in the 70-200mm focal length relatively inexpensively;

2) People who already own the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens who have to lug that huge thing around for a long time;...
Published on July 22, 2005 by Michael C. M. Chow

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware Product Misrepresentation!!
The image shows a Canon EF 70-200mm F/4L IS USM -- Canon Model #1258B002 which retails for $1299.00

This listing is ACTUALLY for a Canon EF 70-200mm F/4L USM -- Canon Model #2578A002 which retails for $709.00

That's right! NO IMAGE STABILIZATION!! Even though the picture clearly displays a lens with the words "Image Stabilization" on it...
Published 16 days ago by AmieT


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481 of 489 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect on-the-go lens, July 22, 2005
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
I have to say, "Wow I love this lens."

I'd recommend this lens for three kinds of people:

1) People who want to get a taste of the L-series lenses who need a lens in the 70-200mm focal length relatively inexpensively;

2) People who already own the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens who have to lug that huge thing around for a long time;

3) People who want a L-series 70-200mm lens who don't NEED f/2.8 or IS.

Call me a wimp, but shooting 1000-2000 shots a day in the field with the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS gets tiring, especially if you're hand-holding. This lens is relatively inexpensive for being L-series glass, the difference in optical quality is almost imperceptible from the f/2.8, and it's sturdy and ergonomic enough to use all day long.

When I plan on shooting the whole day, especially over the course of several days, this is the lens I take with me, NOT the f/2.8 IS. It's shorter, narrower, and lighter. While you may not feel the difference when shooting for a couple of hours, take two people of equal endurance and strength and give them the f/4 and f/2.8 IS and send them out for a day and you know who is going to come back with the sore arms when the day is over.

On a 1.6x FOVCF body, the 70-200mm focal range makes this lens a little tight; but at 1.3x or 1.0x FOVCF, this focal length range is quite awesome. When I travel, I like to pair this lens with the 17-40mm f/4 and use my feet to fill the gap between 40 and 70mm (I also take along el-cheapo 50mm f/1.8 so I can shoot in low light, and the 1.4x teleconverter to give myself an effective 450mm reach) -- all of this is a good, lightweight, relatively inexpensive package. Also, while being quite a chunk of pocket change, this lens is nowhere near as expensive as the f/2.8 versions, and so it's a lot less of something to worry about when traveling or shooting under adverse conditions.

As so far, I have found NOTHING that I do not like about this lens (well, except for the one-stop loss from f/2.8).

I have to say that if you are looking for a single lens to do General Purpose work, this is not it. This lens is for specfic purposes. This lens works best as one-half of a pair, taking the upper useful focal lengths, while you use something like the 17-40mm f/4L or the 24-70mm f/2.8L to handle lower range of focal lengths. If you're looking for a carry-everywhere never-change lens, try the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens. It's a great value, the focal length range is in the sweet spot, and the optics are not bad.

Otherwise, if you fit into one of the three categories at the beginning of this post, I would highly recommend this lens to you.
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337 of 352 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible quality at a reasonable price, February 20, 2004
By 
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
In my opinion, this Canon lens provides the best value in Canon's entire line up of "L" glass (lenses). If you have never used an L lens before, this will open your eyes to what you have been missing. Very fast focusing, very sharp images, very little chromatic abberation, and consistent quality through the entire zoom and aperature range.
One note; with a widest aperature of f/4 and a long focal length, you will not be able to take indoor photos without excellent lighting or a flash. I've tried to take photos of ice hockey, where the rinks are notoriously poorly lit, and had very little success. Even with a tripod it is a challenge to maintain a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action of a kids game (yes, even with ISO at 800). But in good lighting or outdoors in the daytime, this lense rocks.
Great sports photos. Great nature photos. This lense is extremely versatile. I have even used it with flash indoors for portrait photography.
There is not too much to mention on the negative side. Its size and color do make it stand out a bit in public, and people may thing you are a professional photographer. I've also noted that the depth-of-field with a wide open aperature, especially at f4, is very narrow. As long as you've been careful to focus on your subject, the background will be blurry. But focus on something other than your subject and you may find your subject to be blurry.
All in all, this is one great lens that will let you take very sharp photos. And it is a bargain price compared to its f/2.8 and f/2.8IS sibliings.
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442 of 478 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Lens but......, August 7, 2006
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This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
Like many people my decision on a telephoto zoom lens came down to buying the Canon 70-200mm f/4L or the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. The trade offs seemed clear at first. The former performs slightly better (see Canon website for MTF data), is better designed & built, is faster and has the "L" lens status. User comments and ratings (at more than one site) are slightly more favorable for the L lens. The 70-300mm has an improved IS and of course a longer focal length. Both cost about the same so money was not a factor in my decision.

I eventually decided on the L lens and was initially disappointed. Photos ranged from wonderful to not very good at all. In fact, I almost returned the lens. Eventually I figured out the problem. My yard is heavily shaded so most of the initial photo's were taken in low light and I had selected shutter speeds that were too slow. To avoid camera shake you need to shoot at the reciprocal of the focal length or faster. Sounds simple but with the Digital Rebel XT (which I was using) you need to consider the camera's 1.6 multiplication factor. So at 200mm you need a shutter speed of 1/320 or faster not 1/200 like I initially thought. Once I made the speed adjustment things changed for the better.

Still I have some mixed feelings about my decision. When the light is good this is a fantastic lens but with the IS feature offered on the 70-300mm I would probably get photos that I will miss with this lens.

I can't fault the performance of this lens for its limitations and I have given it 5 stars. In other words it does what it is supposed to do very well but my message to other buyers is to consider where you are most likely to use the lens before buying. Remember IS becomes increasingly important as you extend the focal length. If your camera is already extending it by a factor of 1.6 you may find IS a very attractive feature.

(Note the 70-300mm has a recall on certain model numbers because of problems when using the lens in a portrait position.) By the way, I purchased from Amazon and it was a flawless transaction!
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but wish I had gotten IS, October 30, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
This lens is excellent and sold at a great price for L series. I can see how the IS would have been very nice, but the IS version costs almost double. If used with a tripod, get a VERY sturdy tripod, and image shake is greatl minimized. Without a tripod, great shots are still possible with this lens, but steady your hand as much as possible at longer focal lengths.

Also, it's not very good in low light, as you would expect from an F/4.

UPDATE: about 6 months into ownership....Amazon won't let me change the star ratings, so I'll just type it....this lens is 5 stars!!! Each time I take it out, I come home with shots that are incredible. Colors are great. Details are great. Contrast is great. Price is great. As good as it gets, without breaking the bank.

FIVE STARS!! (Yes, I was finally able to change my star ranking - 5 all the way for this GREAT lens!!)
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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Lens, March 6, 2006
By 
Michi (Ohio, United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
I have always had some kind of 70-200 lens since I started taking pictures many years ago. Once I went digital, I realized that my old zoom lenses really were not that good. I bought this lens and compared it to what I had, and a friend's Canon 75-300mm. The difference is amazing. The 70-200L is tack sharp. The other lenses look as if they have problems or didn't focus correctly. This lens also focuses quite fast, and when I use it with my newly aquired Canon 1.4X extender, there is hardly any quality degradation. On my Rebel XT with the 1.6 factor and the extender, I end up having a 450mm tele which still delivers incredible photos. I wish I had the 2.8 version but can't afford it. If you're in this budget range, you can't go wrong with this lens.
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213 of 230 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On fantastic lense for sports photography, August 6, 2003
By 
J. Harris (Hagerman, NM United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
I love this lens! Every year, I shoot a two-day 4-on-4 flag football tournament. With this lens, I consistently capture better photos than the other photographers with longer lenses. At f/4, it's fast enough to give you all the flexability in the world. Since it's a constant aperature throughout the length of the zoom range, your focus remains almost constant, so that you can cheat and get away with changing the zoom after you've got a focus lock.
While it's true that this lense will never "grow up to be" the f/2.8 70-200, at half the wieght and half the cost, it's worth it if you're looking at lugging around your camera for hours on end.
...P>One Warning: If you've never shot with a Canon Professional lens ('L' series lenses), you're in for a real treat. You'll have a very difficult time justifying buying anything for your Canon's in the future that's not an 'L' lens, and that can get VERY expensive.
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94 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canon's Affordable All-Purpose "Stud", January 22, 2007
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
Like many aspiring amateur photographers I've "climbed the ladder" of Canon lenses in search of the lens (or set of lenses) that best fit my shooting needs. I've been leaning toward sports and nature, with only a sprinkling of portrait and macro photos, thus I've bought and used the range of Canon's telephoto zoom lenses. You can almost compare them as if you were shopping for a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), where type of use, speed, price, and durability will be your deciding factors. Here are my summarized thoughts on three of the more popular telephoto zoom lenses:

70-300 IS - (Ford Explorer) - Big zoom, least expensive of the bunch, handy Image stabilization, great for outdoor sports, but slower AF than the rest. May be "sharp" enough for your needs, though discernibly less so than an L series lens.

70-200 F/4 - (Honda Pilot) - Pro grade build and optics, fast and quiet AF, lighter and much cheaper than the F/2.8. Great all purpose lens that is light enough to be a carry-around lens for trips and hikes.

70-200 F/2.8 - (Porsche Cayenne) - Impressively sharp and fast. Can handle lower light conditions such as indoor sports, but heavier and more expensive than those above. My left bicep is discernibly larger thanks to hoisting this lens.

Advantages - In the 70-200 F/4 Canon has created a harmony of features making it the all purpose middle of the line lens that is almost as affordable as the 70-300 IS, yet with the weather-proofing, durable build, optical performance, and tack sharpness close to the 70-200 f/2.8.

The 70-200 F/4 focuses very fast, very quietly and very accurately thanks to Canon's excellent Ring USM (Ultrasonic Motor). FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is enabled. The focus and zoom rings are very nicely sized and turn very smoothly. The lens does not extend during zooming and thanks to its inner focusing system the front element does not rotate allowing easy use of a polarized filter.

Drawbacks - If you're shooting indoors without a flash (concerts, some sports), the F/4 may not be fast enough for your needs. Also, the F/4 does NOT come with a dedicated tripod mount but it is available as an option ($60+) either in black or white.

Overall - This is the affordable all purpose stud of the Canon Telephoto zoom lens line that should find a nice home in most photographers' bags. Unless you have low light or specialized uses, this lens should be high on your list of "To Buy" items. Highly Recommended!
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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High-Quality, Light-Weight and Produces Outstanding Images, November 28, 2005
By 
Michael Morgan (The Last Hometown) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
What more can you ask for? Well, IS would be nice for those low-light 200mm hand-held shots. Otherwise, this lens is nearly perfect in build quality and most importantly, image quality. It is ultra sharp with eye-popping contrast and accurate colors wide open at f4.0 over the whole range from 70-200mm. Stopping down to 5.6 gives only a very slight improvement, just in contrast. I tested it against the new non-L Canon 70-300 IS lens and found the images of the f/4L to have noticibly higher sharpness and contrast at the same f-stops. It also beat the pants off the sharpness and contrast of the 3-times as heavy and 3-times as costly 70-200 f2.8 IS at the same f-stops (4 to 4, 5.6 to 5.6, etc) for all but 200mm, where the IS had virtually the same (but not better) image quality. It also works wonders using the 1.4X teleconverter, becoming a super-sharp 98-280mm f5.6 zoom with fast and accurate autofocus. This lens seems to get a very high percentage of rave reviews from owners and for a reason. You get the best quality images and build with the most portability (low weight) for the lowest cost. Yes, you can spend twice as much for the f2.8 non-IS version and haul 3-times the weight just to get one-stop. Or, you can spend 3-times as much and haul the 2.8 IS for a Gold's Gym workout to get low-light performance (but maybe lower image quality from my experience). There are many choices, but this lens seems to be a winner and a relative bargain for many reasons.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Lens I've Owned, Hand Down, October 13, 2005
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
Most people know me has the guy who constantly changes lenses, so I have a lot of experience with different lenses.

I picked this lens up used after owning the infamously slow Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. Let me just say, this lens blows the 75-300 out of the water in terms of optical quality, build quality, colors, sharpness, speed, USM.

The 70-200 may seem like it is a big lens, but it is very easy to control, especially if the camera has a battery grip.

I currently use this lens on my Canon 300d Digital Rebel, and optically, it is stunning. I have shot football, wildlife, buildings, etc, and every shot has came out crisp.

Now for the pros and cons:

Pros: Optical quality, build quality, internal focusing, non-rotating front element, ability to manually focus in AF, sharpness, speed, solid + fluid USM, really cheap price for what it is, it's an attention getter, comes with a soft case and hood

Cons: Nothing at all besides it only being f/4, which isn't the best for low light situations.

I have used the Canon 70-200 2.8 and I must say that the f/4 is so much easier to use, so much more enjoyable, and I've even heard that it is sharper than the 2.8.

You can't go wrong with this lens!
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hands-down best buy in the "L" class category!, February 2, 2006
By 
Miguel G. (Bucaramanga, Colombia) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
This was the first L-series lens that I ever bought. All I can say is "spectacular". At first I was looking at the 70-200 f/2.8 but the sheer weight and price turned me off. Additionally, I was told that I wouldn't be able to get good bokeh at f/4 -- not true as it turns out (look at the sample I've posted of a Buddha statue). I own a 24-70L f/2.8, and 50MM F/1.4 among others and this is probably the best buy for the money. Teamed up with a good teleconverter (like the Kenko Pro 1.4x or 2x) you also get a decent 280 or 400 lens. If you have a moderate (but limited) budget go for this lens and the other two that I listed -- they cover all the ranges and crank out world class pictures.
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