a 70-200 is a very popular lens, I own the 70-200 2.8 IS which I use professionally but really it's just too heavy to carry around with me on vacation. The f4 version is half the weight and much more compact so is a joy to carry. The f4 version works ok in good light, but in the Uk the light is never good so you'll find yourself struggling to get handheld shots at 200mm without cranking the ISO
for shooting in a studio, or on a tripod this lens is great, but for handheld shooting the IS version is a lot easier to use. Personally I can't recommend this lens, i'd say either get the IS version or get a handful of f2 prime lenses (50mm f1.8, 100mm f2).
it is plenty sharp, but 200mm f4 needs a lot of light, or you will get motion blur.
my advice is save up and get the IS, if you don't want the weight of the 2.8 lens
update: this review has been rated as 'not very useful', I guess that people don't like to hear that not all L lenses are perfect! The truth is that this is an ok lens, it costs around £500. The 2.8 IS lens I now use is an excellent lens, and it costs £1600- i'm not trying to sound elitist or something but the only reason this lens is popular is because of it's price- if price wasn't a factor everyone would have the f4 IS version, but since price is a factor for all of us people 'make do' with the non IS version, when really unless they desperately need the flexibility of the zoom lens you'll get better results and can shoot in much lower light with some f2 prime lenses- which in my mind is a better investment, and thus a better use of your money, don't just buy the L lens because it's an L lens and somehow that makes it better than everything else. The non IS version also isn't weather sealed, so if you buy this lens thinking that all L lenses are sealed then you'll be disappointed, so even though you do get a lot of lens for your money, you get even more lens for your money with the f4 IS, and if you think you can live with the limitations then you can save a lot of money and get a fantastic lens.
update 2: I upped my review to 4 stars, perhaps 3 stars was too harsh- but really in my opinion this lens, despite being cheap, presents a compromise, unless you really know you can live without IS (perhaps you shoot portraits with strobes, or perhaps you always use a tripod), but for a walk about lens the IS is very useful, especially on a telephoto lens.
There are a few available options for 70-200mm lenses in Canon L lens arsenal. This is lower down the budget spectrum but none the less is a great true L lens that produces incredible imagery. The Canon 70-200mm series is probably the best optically constructed around. Some would say there are certain draw backs using this specific version, the cheapest in the series due to it's features but in the right hands this still can be a powerful piece of glass.
It's not as fast, as wide open lens you would like in low light situations but it is constant aperture. So though out 70mm - 200mm there will be no available light loss. At f/4 wide open the images look sharp but you may occasionally get AF focusing hunting problems. But this mostly occurs indoors again in low light situations. Outside in daylight there doesn't seem to be much of a problem tracking moving objects. At the 200mm end there is slight vignetting but no real loss of picture quality. nothing that can't be tweaked in Photoshop.
The build quality is great and it's weather proofed well. Feels robust and durable, without being too heavy for carrying around with you. With some preparation when shooting you can get around the fact that this lens doesn't have any IS. When using the lens fully zoomed in on a overcast day I would defiantly use and recommend a mono-pod or tripod for stabilizing your shots and movements. Also it would help to keep your shutter speed at 1/160 of a second at least and beyond.
Image quality in superb with tack sharp images, great tonal quality and colour detail. Contrast is spot on and let me say this is a perfect lens for wildlife and sports photography. You may feel in the future though you may want to substitute this lens for an upgrade in the series. Maybe a faster version with IS. benefits sometimes do out way the cost.
I wouldn't rule out upgrading in the future but I can capture some beautiful picture using this lens and at the moment I'm truly satisfied with its performance.
This is a review of the canon EF 70-200mm F4.0 non IS lens. I have own this lens for just over 2 years and it is the best lens I have ever owned. I brought this lens because I wanted to replace my sigma 70-300mm lens which I got in a bundle with the camera which is a good lens for the £200, that is what it would have cost me to buy and it served me well over the years but I was looking for a better quality lens that I could use every day, so after reading hundreds of review seriously hundred and if I looked harder I probably could have read thousand. Nearly every review was positive and the only one that weren't was because of the place where they were brought from and not about the lens.
So after deciding to go for this telephoto lens and having to take a drop in focal length I decided to buy this lens. when I unpack the lens it came in a strong box well protected and inside I found the lens, the lens pouch and the ET-74 lens hood, which in most review I read said you have to buy them separately, so luckily for me the shop where I brought the lens included them in the price. You also get the lens caps and the instruction manual.
The lens itself weights more than want you first think (705g) but compared to is big brother the canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS (1490g) this is super light I know people who can only hold that lens and camera for a couple of hours before their arm start to hurt but the 70-200mm f4.0 lens is very light in comparison, I have personally spend 5-6 hours holding the camera at air show and motor races with no problem what so ever and out of all the telephoto lens L series that (the white lens) this is the lightest out of all of them.
The construction of the lens is fantastic, all metal construction built to the highest quality and it doesn't matter if you buy this lens the cheapest of the L series or one for £8000 they are all built to the same standard so you can have confidence in what you are buying is a pro bit of kit and as added bonus if you buy this lens in the UK or Europe you can sign up to the CPN which is canon professional photographer network, there a few rules like you need two pro camera bodies and three pro lens but it is a great services and if you do qualify then it is worth doing, the website http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/index.do where you can see the terms and condition to see if you qualify. There are two switch on the body one for AF/MF, to be honest the auto focuses is fantastic the Ultrasonic Motor (USM) that canon use is super fast and very precise, I personally never use manual at all it is that good. The other switch change between minimum focusing distance of 1.2m and 3m this is supposed to speed up the speed of focusing when taking a photo of a distant object but I personally can't see any different maybe you could see a difference if you were using the lens on a canon 1Ds or something but on most of the range that canon do there is no noticeable different . The two black rubber ring are zoom and manual focus there is also a distance window, which I never used.
The image quality is fantastic the colours are vibrant and with really good contrast. The image quality is razor sharp and has good depth of field at the widest aperture f4 and has a Min aperture of f32, I don't think I have gone bellow f22 but it good to know I can if I need to, you can blur the background at f4 but the subject does need to be a few meters from the background or it will not be blurred, it is not as good as the f2.8 its big bother but that does cost 4 time the amount. There has been lots of reviews and test of this lens and most of them say that the f4.0 will match the image quality of the f2.8.
Taking photo with this lens is brilliant with whatever camera you attach it to, set the camera up in the right setting and this lens will happy take the photos, auto focusing quickly and silently all day everyday brilliantly.
There are only one or two small problem that don't affect me but they may affect some people who want to buy this lens. The lens is not good in low light due to the fact it has no IS (image stabilizer) if you want that with this lens then that will cost you about £750. The widest aperture this lens will open to is F4 and that is not though in low light. If you want to uses one in low light then you would need to buy the f2.8 with IS but the new mark 2 cost over £2000 or you could get a third party lens cheaper. The tripod collar for this lens is very expensive costing over £100 but there are third party manufacture that will sell you one on Amazon for about £15-25 which does the same. This lens is not weather seal so you can't uses it in the rain but then you have to have a weather sealed camera anyway (I haven't) but most people don't want their expensive camera to get wet anyway. so unless you are a hardcore photographer who goes trekking in all weather then this won't make any difference to you anyway. These are only small problems and would only really affect pro photographer, most user like me will never run in to these problems.
Where to buy it from is a problem I found should I go to a high street shop? pay way more then what I need to or buy it on the internet? Then having the problem buying it brand new on the internet or second hand from eBay or photo auction site, there are some good one so I am told I just don't know what one they are. So eBay, I never trusted site like eBay for electronic devices and that goes doubled for some think delicate like a lens. So I search the internet Google shopping was really good and I found that there was a massive difference in the price starting at like £300 to £700. I found a great site that sell brand new electronic equipment at really cheaper price I pay for the lens £370, a £180 cheaper then what Jessops was selling it on the high street at the time the website if you want to look is www.SimplyElectronics.net the current price at the time of writing this is £469 still cheaper the most high street shops.
My conclusion on this lens after using it for over 2 years and taking about 10000 photo with it, give or take 1 or 2, is that there are not many lens that you could buy for what this costs, that are as good as this. This is a must have for any canon SLR user because if you don't have a lens like this in your bag then you are wasting what you camera is meant for. There are certain times that this lens wouldn't work but they are few and far between and are so small that they can easily be over look. As long as you know what the limitation are for this lens then you will be surprised every time you press the shutter button.
I've used the Canon 70-200mm lenses for several years, I'm a professional photographer & I've found it be a standard & essential part of my equipment. I've since upgraded to the 2.8 IS version of this lens, but I used this lens extensively before then.
The first thing about this lens is it's somewhat unorthodox appearance, it's very large & a kind of white/grey tone, meaning it stands out very obviously in practically any situation. It is also very heavy, so bear this in mind if you're considering a purchase. This isn't really a walk-around lens, it's a heavy duty professional lens that you can use ruggedly & repeatedly.
This IS (Image Stabilizer) version is a marked improvement on the non-IS, enabling you to handhold the camera in low light or indoor situations for up to an additional 3 stops. I used these lenses a lot at weddings, every church & venue was different, some offering great diffused natural light, others offering practically nothing besides horrible tungsten or florescent artificial light.
My main reason for upgrading to the 2.8 lens was that I simply couldn't get the shutter speeds I needed at f4 to make this lens ultra reliable in indoor situations. If you intend to use it primarily as an outdoor lens or you plan to add flash to your images, this is a much cheaper alternative. But the 2.8 is essential for me.
These lenses hold their value very well, so it is possible to invest in the f4 & consider upgrading to an f2.8 in the future. I've sold lenses for more than I paid for them in the past, particularly if exchange rates vary in the time you own the lenses.
There is no tripod ring included, unlike the 2.8 equivalent, but you can buy one separately easily enough. This level of Canon lenses are all weather sealed, meaning in theory you can get them soaking wet in the rain & they will suffer no ill effects. It's not something I make a habit of, but I've heard of people dropping these lenses in water & they kept on working.
It is very sharp wide open at f4, providing beautiful background blur as one would expect, which I've always considered one of the great advantages of the f4 & f2.8 lenses over their cheaper counterparts, the more you spend, the softer the background blur becomes. I've always felt one of the best uses of these 70-200mm lenses was the range they offer for Portrait Photography, on the shorter end you can shoot at 85mm, which is traditionally one of the classic ranges for a portrait photograph, then in the middle you can shoot at 135mm, another great range for a portrait. Of course you can shoot anywhere in between too, giving you a lot of options to play with.
Image quality is standout on any of the 70-200mm lenses, your pictures will be extremely sharp & will have tremendous clarity. The colour, tone & contrast of your images will be clear throughout.
In addition to portraiture, this lens will serve you well when you can't get too close to your subject (weddings, sports, wildlife). While I wouldn't walk around with this lens, it is very versatile & has multiple uses.
This is a really good lense, it is made from really robust metal and plastic. I use it on my cannon camera all the time. The best thing about it is that you can use the apateur 4.0 at all the focal length all the way upto 200mm zoom - for all the photographers here, you will know how useful this is when you are some distance a way from your subject and you want that small f number for the effect you are trying to achieve, or there just is not enough light at the location you want to shoot.
The lens is a really nice weight, i dont know exactly how much it weight, it feels really well made. Another good thing about this is, that when you want to zoom into your subject, there is no extension of the lens, all the optics work on the inside.
Many people prefer Nikon lenses over Cannon, i have found that Cannon are abit better. They are used by all the professionals because of the crispness of the picture and handling at not very nice photography locations.
I would highly recommend this lens.