Customer Review

490 of 499 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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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 29, 2010 9:20:10 AM PST
GregCliff says:
Thank you Michael....this was a great post.

Posted on Feb 3, 2011 6:12:51 PM PST
Appreciate your review. I too am tired of lugging the 2.8 around for days at a time when traveling. Others have told me I should get this lens. After your review, I'm heading to the store. Thanks.

Posted on Feb 13, 2011 3:49:37 PM PST
Carl Baker says:
I thought that the 1.4x teleconverter would make it a max of 300mm not 450mm. I'm kinda new to photography so I'm not sure.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2011 8:17:47 AM PDT
Good point. At the Canon Camera Hall in the Canon Camera Museum at, for the Canon EF second series lens extenders, Canon states:

"A lens extender is an adapter lens that fits between the camera body and the lens and extends the focal length of the lens. While maintaining the lens's high optical performance, the Extender EF1.4X II increases the focal length by 1.4 times and Extender EF2X II doubles the focal length."

So you're quite right, the Canon EF 1.4X II Extender Telephoto Accessory will extend the focal length of a suitable Canon EF lens by a multiple of 1.4, hence extending the focal length of a 200mm Canon EF lens from 200mm to 280mm. (200mm x 1.4 = 280mm).

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2011 4:21:47 AM PDT
Keith Oliver says:
Lenses are marked for being used on a full frame camera. A crop body has a smaller sensor, which increases the reach of any lens. a 50mm lens on a T2i would actually have the reach of a 80mm on a 5D. The 450mm would be the equivalent of using this lens with a 1.4x converter on a crop body, which most Canons except for 1D and 5D. 200mm x 1.4 x1.6 = 448mm

Posted on Nov 19, 2011 8:39:42 AM PST
Very nice review! I just purchased this lens too and I absolutely love it! I am currently using the 7D, which is my second DSLR and I love the camera. And the lens makes it complete! However, if you don't mind, I have a question, sine you seem to know a lot about photography :)
My 7D came with the Canon 28-135mm US IS and I am thinking about selling it to buy a new L lens.
Currently I have the Canon 70-200mm f/4 L and the canon 50mm f/1.8 in addition to the 'kit-lens'. I am a student, and I am just beginning to get more serious about photography. This I am on a tight budget, also after purchasing the 70-200mmL.
I am considering the Canon 17-40mm f/4 L to replace the 28-135mm. Do you think that would be a good choice and make my kit a good one and for most purposes complete one? I have read rather mixed reviews about the 17-40mm on a Crop camera such as 7D. Yet I have seen a lot of magnificent photos of that mix. I just find the 28.135mm not wide enough for some purposes. And it is more of an all purpose lens. I wouldn't mind carrying my kit around though because I absolutely love my 70-200mm :D I would appreciate any kind of help :) Thanks in advance! and again, nice review, which helped buying the lens too :)

Posted on Nov 26, 2011 10:12:04 PM PST
A certain site I found in my hunt for lenses said that the II version of this is great for portraits. Would you dub the same for this? Also, would it be compatible with my Canon EOS Rebel T3? Or does it require the T3i? Help!
ps, here's the site I was referring:
Review of the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens:

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2011 11:12:15 PM PST
Hey Alaina,

This lens can be mounted on any Canon EOS DSLR (meaning the Rebel series, Tx etc.).
Well, in most cases the second is always better in some point. But do you mean by II version the lens the link is referring to, or do you mean the 70-200mm f/4 IS? (which is the actual Mark II of the lens which the review is actually referring to...)

In any case, the f/2.8 aperture version is much bigger and heavier, and of course much more expensive (around $1000 more). The one you are looking for is probably the best zoom lens that is available right now. The question is, if you really need it. The greater aperture of 2.8 is very good for low light shooting and it gives you also more possibilities to play around with your DOF (Depth of field - how blurry the unfocused part of the photo is), which is actually really nice for portraits. Nevertheless I do own the f/4 Non-IS version and the DOF is really nice.
The f/2.8 mark II has one more big advantage, which is IS - Image Stabilization - which makes it quite heavy. It is very useful when you do a lot of handheld shooting.

So the question is, what do you need/want? What is your budget you could spend?
If you are not on a budget at all, anybody would tell you to get the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM. This is the ultimate lens.

But, I think nowadays pretty much everybody is on a budget. The price on for the f/4 right now is under $600 and it is just THE Bang for the buck!! Even for a higher price, this lens is excellent! I have own this lens and tried it out and I just love it. Most of the time I shoot handheld and have not experienced any problems so far.

To your question again: Yes, this lens would work for your camera, and yes this lens is absolutely good for portraits as well. But most of all for nature and sports photography.
It is quite light, but feels very high quality, since the lens' build is second to none.

Posted on Dec 13, 2011 9:42:36 AM PST
A. Herbert says:
I'm not camera savvy. Would this lens work for indoor shots of kid playing hockey?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2011 8:54:41 AM PST
DeltaD says:
I would say yes, since the hockey rink is pretty brightly lit.
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