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217 of 222 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent lens you would love if you know what you are buying it for...
I have been using the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM Lens for a year now. I am so much pleased with the superior clarity and build quality it offers, that I feel I am aquainted enough to write a review about this amazing lens.

1. Construction:
The lens is very well constructed - faithfully stands up to what the magical letter 'L' denotes.

a)...
Published on 3 Sep 2011 by Duraison Praveen

versus
8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry to not agree!
This could be a fine example of the tale of the Emporer's New Clothes. Everyone says it looks the part simply because of the price paid and the fact its an L series lens. Well everyone reviewing the lens is saying how good this lens is but my opinion is that its just not as good as an EF-s 55-250 which costs far less. I know I have both so can compare under the same...
Published 10 months ago by Steve


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217 of 222 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent lens you would love if you know what you are buying it for..., 3 Sep 2011
By 
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens (Electronics)
I have been using the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM Lens for a year now. I am so much pleased with the superior clarity and build quality it offers, that I feel I am aquainted enough to write a review about this amazing lens.

1. Construction:
The lens is very well constructed - faithfully stands up to what the magical letter 'L' denotes.

a) Barrel: The lens barrel and the mount are made of metal. The barrel is painted in off-white and bears the adorable red ring at the end. The lens is sure to make heads turn but when you look at the pictures that this lens take, you would forget to notice the attention you are getting.
b) Rings: The zoom ring feels smooth and softly damped when turning. Unlike some non-L series lens, the ring does not stutter/lock when it is turned from its initial position. There is no backlash between the rings (zoom and focus) and the lens barrel.
c) Switches: There are 2 switches, one for selecting the focussing mode (auto/manual) and other to select the focus range (1.2m-infinity and 3m-infinity). The use of former switch is self explanatory. The latter switch is used based on the distance between the camera and the subject. This helps the lens to focus quickly depending on the situation. Please bear with me while I try to explain. If the subject is present within 3m from the camera, the first position (1.2m-infinity) is selected. In this mode, the lens starts to attain focus from minimum focus distance to the subject. Else, the other position (3m-infinity) is used. In this mode, the focus range of 1.2m to 3m is ignored and the lens starts to focus from 3m onwards thereby reducing the time required to attain focus on the subject. Many would be aware of it, however it is better to let the others know about it.
d) Dimensions: Weighing at 630g and measuring 172mm long, this lens is slightly heavy for my 450D but feels perfectly balanced in hands. It's neck can be used to mount the lens (instead of the camera) onto a tripod using a tripod ring. The lens does not extend while zooming or focussing so remains as-is at all times.

2. Image quality (IQ):
This is the best part that I enjoy writing. The image quality is excellent. The difference between the IQ of this lens and that of standard kit lens (I know it is not fair but just for sake of comparison) is astronomical. Even when shot wide open (F/4), the image is so sharp with rich tone and contrast throughout the frame (center, border and corners). I never hesitate to shoot wide open unlike other lenses which need to stopped down (F/8, etc) to produce the best quality possible. I haven't noticed flare (whitish bloom like effect when a bright light source is in the frame) or CA (reddish or bluish fringes) in any of my pictures. Wide open and sometimes even narrower (based on the distance from the subject), the out of focus (a.k.a bokeh) clarity is too good. On a normal day with enough light, you would need a shutter speed of 1/70 sec at 70mm and 1/200 sec at 200mm to shoot without shake. Though not always, nature has been favourable to me in this aspect. I have this lens fitted to my 450D (crop sensor) so I cannot comment on any vignetting or light fall off issues which 'might' exist if used on a full frame sensor.

3. Zoom range:
On a crop sensor camera (like my 450D), the 70-200mm focal length range equates to 112-320mm (1.6x) which is abundant enough to reach closer to subjects, example of such situations being sports and wildlife photography. It is definitely not a walk-around lens (at least on a crop sensor camera). On a tripod, it can also be used for shooting the sky at night.

4. Auto-focus speed and accuracy:
Auto-focus is extremely fast, quiet and most importantly accurate. Make sure you make use of the focus switch to ensure quicker focussing.

5. Accessories:
The lens, belonging to 'L' family, comes packaged with a grey leather pouch and a hood. Like most of the hoods, this hood can be joined to the lens in inverted position thereby making the lens compact to carry.

Pros:
- Excellent image quality in terms of both sharpness and color tone/saturation (in fact astronomical if you are moving from kit lens)
- Beautiful and uniform out of focus (a.k.a bokeh) making best use of the wide aperture and long zoom range
- Solid built quality
- Compact when compared to lenses of similar focal lengths
- Excellent resale value if life doesn't treat one well

Cons:
- Slower for low light situation (not a con for me as I clearly understand the situations wherein this lens has to be used and also that I don't see myself realising the potential that the premium price difference between the non-IS and IS version (or the F/2.8 variant) would offer. I have come across few situation where I felt that it could be little faster but in those cases, I increase the ISO and/or shoot in RAW to improve it later.

Equivalent alternatives:
- None in my opinion, considering the image quality and resale value (in case life becomes busy to carry on photography as a hobby).

Other notes:

1. To people who may be stuck up in deciding between Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM Lens and Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:
Before buying this lens, I had gone through the tough time of deciding the better of the aforementioned two lenses. I am glad that I bought the L one. The 70-200mm L is a bit longer (172mm) and heavier (705g) than the 70-300mm (142.8mm and 630g) but feels perfectly balanced in hands. And the image quality, WOW! I was amazed at what my 450D was able to deliver in spite of being a 12MP sensor. I then realized that it is not the sensor that primarily matter but the lens.

2. Warning:
In most of the forums, the most common advice that professional photographers give to amateurs/hobbyists (like me) is that once you start using a 'L' series lens, anything less than a 'L' lens is less. And I completely agree to it. After experiencing the 'L' effect, I have even changed my standard kit lens (18-55mm IS) to 17-55mm IS USM (way superior to the standard kit lens, but that's not important for this review). So take it from me - anything less than 'L' is indeed less!

3. Understand the lens:
During my analysis before buying this lens, I had read many reviews by professional photographers favouring this lens. On the other hand, I had also gone through contrary reviews by people complaining about the slow F/4 aperture speed. I am thankful to the former because they knew what they were talking about. Photography is my hobby and I don't see myself needing the IS or the wider aperture of the elder siblings of this lens, or simply affording them. So when you buy this lens, make sure that you understand what this lens is capable of.

4. Accessories recommended:
Definitely buy a good UV or protector filter (Hoya). You do not want a scratch on this beautiful lens. A lens pen (Hama) is recommended to keep it clean and ready for next use.

5. Accessories to avoid:
If you are interested in tripod rings, make sure that you buy a genuine Canon make. Third party makes are inferior in quality and tend to damage the paint coating of the lens. Also avoid a polariser filter on this lens when there is only just enough light. It reduces the light entering the lens by a stop or 2.

Highly recommended for anyone who do not need IS.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did I worry?, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens (Electronics)
Have been looking for a long lens for some time to add to my Canon 550D. Firstly, thanks to all those who have spent time contributing reviews which helped make my mind up. Not having a huge budget, I was looking at the Canon 70-300mm f4.0/5.6 IS USM and it appeared to be the right lens for me at a price I could afford. But the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM kept nagging away in the background. Although over 100 (at the time of writing) more and not as long, I was swayed by the promise of extra quality. And while it may be a small thing, it's nice for once to get a lens hood and pouch included in the package. I added on a polarising filter and two days later it all arrived on my doorstep.

I'm not an expert photographer but love improving and already after just two days of use, I know I made the right choice. The clarity of image quality is a step up from my other Canon lenses - a 50mm plus 10-22mm wide angle, with the supplied kit lens now left behind at home. Have just posted a couple in the "product images" display. Hard to see as the pic sizes displayed there are small but...the first was taken down on the Thames in low light just after dawn on my very first outing with this lens and the second the day after involving the moving target of an approaching steam train at Clapham Junction.

Like many here, I simply could not justify the cost of the IS version of this lens and was concerned about image blur - my hands are steady-ish but not steady enough not to worry about and can move at the wrong moments like anyone else's. Having taken around 200 photos so far of different kinds, it's simply not a problem. Is the lens "too big" for a 550D? No. It is a little heavier than I anticipated from some of the reviews and you wouldn't want to hold the camera with just one hand for too long. But in practice you, of course, hold a second hand on the barrel of the lens, which feels fine weight and balance-wise. And it's also perfectly comfortable hanging from your neck camera strap.

I thought I would also have to purchase a new camera bag but the camera plus new long lens attached fits perfectly in one compartment with the lens hood reversed.

In conclusion - very pleased with the purchase which opens up a whole new area of image possibilities while at the same time enabling me (hopefully) to create better pictures...plus have lots of fun!
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176 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb lens, 18 Nov 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens (Electronics)
The ef 70-200/f4 is a fabulous lens. It's very sharp, has good depth of field at f4 and is a joy to use.
The focus can be set to 3m to infinity or 1.2m to infinity. The shorter length is very good for close ups of flowers or similar. If its left on 1.2m it may hunt when trying to focus. You can also set to manual focus.
One issue with the lens is back focus, if you are shooting at something when there is a bright, or high-contrast background, you may find the camera has focussed on the background.
I use my 70-200 f4 on an EOS20D, I have taken thousands of shots with that combination, photogrphing; cricket, riding, birds, flowers, people, aircraft and stars. Other than the minor issue of back focus, I have had trouble free shooting. The lens is well worth getting.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic daylight outdoor telephoto zoom, 14 Nov 2010
By 
Brian Levine - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens (Electronics)
This lens is for outdoors daylight telephoto shots requiring F4 or higher: in a low light it MUST have a tripod or you'll only get 1 in 5 shots, and forget moving subjects. If you need indoors then get a faster (and much more pricey) lens (F2.8) because your shutter speed will be so slow you'll go soft as jelly.

Outdoors it is a dream: it really is just as good as the F2.8 or IS equivalents: superb bokeh, lovely sharpness, good colour. The AF/USM is fast and quiet.

For the money this is as good a telephoto as you'll get: it is relatively light when compared to its faster incarnation but it is still a little heavy on a 7D with battery pack carried for a few hours. It is a long lens when you have the largish hood on, so camera bags need to be chosen accordingly.

The Loewpro backpack/rucksack with weather-sealing is pretty good because you can carry this on the camera with the hood on and still have room for 4 primes, filters. cables, tripod ring and a netbook.

On a 7D which is what I use it on there is no noticeable vignetting and the focal range is 112mm - 320mm which gives at its shortest fantastic portraits worthy of a good prime and at its longest is almost a paparazzo lens.

Just remember, what you need for this to show off its potential is daylight.
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best, 24 May 2010
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens (Electronics)
I have several L lenses and currently use the 5D and 7D Camera bodies. The 70-200mm is one of Canons finest lenses and the F4 version is sharper than my F2.8 by a long way. Unless you need the extra light then save money and go for the F4.

Pros

Excellent image quality
Very sharp even wide open at F4
Good colour and contrast
Lightweight

Cons

Silly lightweight case supplied
No tripod mounting ring supplied with this version
Warranty only 12 months. it should be longer for a Pro lens
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Lens, 20 Oct 2009
By 
Reprob8 (West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens (Electronics)
If you are looking for a good yet affordable telephoto zoom for your Canon DSLR, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM could well be the perfect choice. The optical quality is immaculate. With my other lenses there is a noticeable drop in sharpness when using the widest aperture. This lens is tack sharp throughout the entire range, so you can shoot wide open without compromising sharpness. Construction is first class as expected from a Canon L series lens and the USM focusing is quiet, fast and accurate. I have not yet experienced issues with back focusing as some have previously mentioned. At f/4, it's not the fastest lens in the world and it lacks image stabilization, so a tripod is required at long focal lengths or in low light. However,it makes up for these omissions by having great optics and a very reasonable price tag compared to its higher spec Canon siblings. A highly recommended investment.
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super lens, 10 Mar 2008
By 
paul "paul" (cheshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens (Electronics)
Bought this lens to work with my new EOS 40d.

Looks great on the camera, weight / balance is very nice and compliments the 17-85 kit lens very well. I like to use auto-focus but still be able to tweak the focus manually - this "full time manual" is not available on the cheaper 70-300 zooms which use gears in the focus mechanism.

Bear in mind that the "crop factor" on a 40d or similar means that this is equivalent to a c100-300 zoom on a film camera.

The lens focuses almost instantly and gives lovely pictures with really bright colours.

If you have a 40d, I'd recommend this as a very effective addition to a great camera.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll Never Go Back, 27 April 2009
By 
A. Roberton "Alan Roberton" (Camborne, Cornwall) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens (Electronics)
What can I say that hasn't already been said? This most popular of Canon's L lenses is as good as anyone who has one says. Quite simply it's an L lens and all L lenses are the best.

My 70-200mm f/4 L lens is coupled with my Canon EOS 30D, a marriage made in heaven, and the difference from my 17-85mm IS lens is astounding. Colours are more vibrant, auto focussing is faster, mush faster, and the sheer quality of the image is brilliant.

I assume as you are reading this then you must be thinking about getting this amazing lens, well you can stop thinking now, make the decision and buy it - I promise you, you won't regret it, especially if this is your first L lens.

One word of warning, once you buy an L lens, nothing else will do! You have been warned.

One final word, about SimplyElectronics - be prepared to wait. In their blurb that say that any item in stock is usually shipped within 3 working days, often sooner. One of the reason I bought from them was the promise of a short wait. However, it took SE 17 days to send my lens, even though I sent many emails it made no difference. Each time I contacted the company via email, I had to wiat until the next day for a reply and always from a different person. I got my lens in the end, but feel very let down by the comapny - I shall NOT be buying anything from them again, I urge you to do the same.

Don't let SE's terrible performance put you off from buying the lens though, just get it elsewhere, unless you are prepared to wait - I waited 17 days when the lens was in stock, I cannot imagine how long it would take if the lens was out of stock!

Added 28th May 2009 - I've had this lens for some weeks now and it has hardly been off my camera. My problem now is that nothing less than 'L' lenses will do. I am still overwhlelmed by some of the photographs I have taken, the quality of this (and I assume all) L lens(es) is superb. I cannot praise it enough.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great lens, great price, 8 April 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens (Electronics)
After some consideration and advice from others, I had decided that this was the lens I needed to 'take my photography to the next level.' I was not wrong, it focuses very quickly and gives great, sharp results in all conditions I've tested it in so far.
I took some time searching for the best value (even considered buying direct from Hong Kong, as I was flying back to the UK via HK), however Amazon was offering by far the best price on this lens (taking into consideration that buying abroad and shipping to the UK entails costs from shipping and customs). The lens arrived quickly and the communication from the seller (Simply Electronics) was excellent - I was kept well informed of the status of my order.
I've sent off for the cash-back (special offer from Canon at the time of purchase) which makes it better value still.
If you are considering buying this lens, you can't go wrong buying from Amazon.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More impressive than I expected., 30 Dec 2010
By 
N. Allen (Wrexham, north Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens (Electronics)
I bought this lens to replace my Sigma 70-300 which was quite frankly, terrible. This lens however, is absolutely fantastic. As it's only F4 it clearly has it's weaknesses in low light, as you'll need a tripod, where the more expensive 2.8 will obviously be the more sensible choice.

If money is no object, you'll get the 70-200 F2.8 II which is about 1600, but if you're like me and can't afford that yet, the price for this lens (under 480) is an absolute no brainer.

So far I've only taken a handful of shots as the light has been absolutely terrible in the last couple of days since I had it delivered (12 days late by City-Link, for no reason what-so-ever, with no reply to any emails I sent). The shots I have managed to take are amazing, quality wise when compared to my previous lenses. There literally is no comparison between this lens and my Sigma 70-300. The colours are so nice and crisp, and the image itself is almost butter like in it's smoothness. There seems to be no flaws at all with this lens on my crop sensor 30D, and I really didn't think I'd ever see shots coming from my camera at this level of quality without processing.

Do not for one second hesitate to buy this lens if you know you won't be using it in low light situations. If you will be wanting it for lower lighting then I'd suggest saving a few hundred pound more for the 2.8 version, and then there's the IS versions of each lens to consider too.

To sum up, buy the lens, you won't be sorry. Unless of course the company you use, uses City-Link as a courier; then you may not even see your lens for weeks on end.
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens
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