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Thinking of Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L IS USM Lens


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#1 TheRealDrew

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 04:04 PM

I am thinking of getting the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L IS USM, and was wondering what port size is needed? (Joking on that part, but I thinking of this lens :))

The reviews I have seen have been real good, and the size/weight issue for top side shooting looks in the ballpark. Though the 2.8s are tempting, to me this one seems to hit the sweet spot. Would use it on a 5D Mark II and maybe on a cropped frame. Figured I could get an extender and loss the stop if I think I need more reach on the lens. In the past I recall people mentioning some combinations of a lens along the lines of this range plus an extender in terms of being good for overall travel. Even on my 5D II without an extender, I am fairly sure that most local shooting would be in the ballpark while an extender would be more than enough. For things like travel (shooting wildlife, etc.) I figured the 1.4 should also get a good amount. Especially with a bit of cropping on the 5D :D


I am pretty sure that this lens is something I should add, but figured I would throw this out to the members here to get their thoughts.

#2 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 05:40 PM

I just ordered this lens. Based on everything I've read, it performs better than the much vaunted (and 2x the price ) 70-200 f2.8L IS II. I will be using this on the 5dmk2 and the 7D. Friends who've owned both say that the f4L is sharper. Though there are some concerns that it's a bit more fragile due to the plastic barrel.

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#3 bmyates

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 06:15 PM

It's a great lens, and arguably a much better deal than the f/2.8 original or MarkII (which I own), and with good cameras (like yours), you can probably bump the ISO to make up for it being slower than the 2.8, without much noticeable noise. Not to mention the fact that the much lighter weight makes it easier to travel with and hand-hold. I'd say go for it!

Edited by bmyates, 09 September 2011 - 06:15 PM.

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#4 Steve Williams

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 09:48 PM

It's a great lens, and arguably a much better deal than the f/2.8 original or MarkII (which I own), and with good cameras (like yours), you can probably bump the ISO to make up for it being slower than the 2.8, without much noticeable noise. Not to mention the fact that the much lighter weight makes it easier to travel with and hand-hold. I'd say go for it!


Ditto what Bruce says Drew. Great lens! It's my go to boat lens on trips and I never go anywhere without it.

Take a walk over to B&H and do your thing.

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#5 Drew

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 12:11 AM

If you need accurate/faster AF performance, get the 2.8. The 5D2 X-type sensor is just a bit faster with f2.8 lenses. I found 2.8 II to be the sharpest of all the 70-200 with IS, albeit by the slimmest of margins. Of course, the bokeh is also the most dreamy.
However, if you are considering the 1.4x III, you may wish to consider the new 70-300 L. Just picked one up and it's very comparable in performance and light with extra 100mm without the extension. It's now my travel lens unless I'm shooting serious... then the 70-200 comes along.

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#6 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 01:14 PM

I've just bought the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX which has just won the European lens of the year. I had the Canon 70-200mm F/4 and much prefer the performance of the Sigma.

http://www.sigma-ima.../eisa/index.htm
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#7 Timmoranuk

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 10:39 PM

In fairness, I havn't shot the Canon but I'm there with Alex on the Sigma. in fact, the three lenses I will always have with are all from the Sigma stable; 8-16, 17-70 and 70-200. I just need the x2 Sigma TC for the long glass...
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#8 TheRealDrew

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:42 AM

Hey all, thanks alot for all the information (sorry for the delay in replying)

Right now the main lens on my 5D Mark II is the 24-105 and happy with the results and it sounds like all the options will be a big step up from the basic EF mount lens I use in the 70-300 range (bought that one more on a lark just to have something.)

From what Bruce and Steve says, it sounds like I will not go wrong if I get this one. @Drew, I started also looking at the 70-300mm and it is good to hear how well it does for you. Found a review or two on it, including one where someone took it to Africa and got some real nice shots. Does look too much heavier and is smaller than the 70-200mm. Seems you can also use the Kenko convertor on it as needed. Though I would like the 2.8mm the size is an issue. Going to give a serious look at the 300mm now. I have an so-so 70-300 that I bought for just playing around with, and found the range good for things I am shooting but the quality night up to par. Alex/Tim, good to hear on the Sigma. I have a EF-S Sigma that I really like and with the 2X convertor that lens looks like a good option also. Though I do not plan on shooting in real bad weather or conditions, having some weather sealing on the lens is something that was playing in my mind. Splashes/drizzle/dusty conditions. Though the price of the lens and the 2.8 makes it tempting and poked around and there are some impressive examples of the lens, though it looks a bit heavier than the Canon 70-300.

Will kick this all around. Sounds like all the options will work for things above water, wildlife shots basically in various conditions(?)

#9 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:02 AM

Just finished testing the f4 and f2.8. I'm keeping the f4. =) Half the price and weight, stunningly sharp wide open, the f2.8 is softer at 2.8, same at f4, yes, it's a stop slower but I've got an 85 f1.8 if I want shallow DOF.

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#10 stever

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 08:11 PM

i've been thinking about this lens for some time, but after my last trip where i ended up carrying my 100-400 more than usual i got serious and tested it against the 70-300L (and 70-300 and Tamron 70-300, both of which were unacceptable for IQ and other reasons).

the image quality of the 70-300L is very good (although not significantly better than a good 100-400) but the handling does does not compare to the 70-200 f4 and it is not as sharp at shorter focal lengths (although probably sharp enough on the 5D2 - the difference is more noticeable on crop frame)

the 70-200 with 1.4xiii is almost as sharp as the 70-300 at 300. the 1.4xiii holds up much better in the corners than the 1.4xii although there seems to be no difference in the center. the weight of the converter and 70-200 is about the same as the 70-300L

i tested 2 each of the 70-300L, 70-200 f4, and 1.4xiii and found no significant differences in the lenses and converter combinations

will be taking the 70-200 and 1.4xiii on my next trip in 3 weeks instead of the 100-400. from experience, i think i'd rather have the 100-400 on a boat or in a vehicle - but not walking around.

to make the lens less conspicuous and easier to handle, i added the vastly overpriced black lenscoat kit, and cut 1 1/4 in off the lens hood

i have also tried my 58mm 500D with step-down ring and see no significant vignetting at f8. this may make a macro lens unnecessary for some land trips