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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did I worry?
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...
Published 18 months ago by lifeofwylie

versus
71 of 100 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stay Clear! GREY IMPORTS
I purchased this lens and when I tried to register with Canon, they advised that it was a 'grey' import and that it was probably for the Asian/Australian market and therefore would not be covered under warranty as it isn't a UK lens. When I told Rumsby Electronic about this they were in complete denial, even though I have several emails from Canon themselves stating this...
Published 19 months ago by Dan


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19 of 19 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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grin factor guaranteed, 13 May 2011
By 
Mr. Ian Harvey (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I've had one of these for just over a year, using it with an EOS 40D (1.6x crop factor). It's big, expensive, and comes with a legendary reputation. Is it really that good? Um, yes, actually...

1. The bokeh is a thing of wonder: background blur is a gorgeous velvety soup of loveliness, and brings a smile to my face every time.
2. Sharpness and contrast are first-rate, and I'm struck by the colour reproduction: it's vivid in a natural (rather than a 'crank up the saturation in Photoshop') way.
3. AF is spectacularly fast and accurate.
4. It's incredibly well-built, feels bulletproof and is very satisfying to own.

So, it's perfect in every way? Actually there are some negatives to consider:
1. On a crop-sensor camera it's a pretty long lens; basically you'll always get close-ups with it, and any complete photo kit will need to include something wider.
2. It is undeniably big. I wouldn't say it's impractical to hand hold or unbearably heavy, but it's not something you'll pack for a holiday unless you're pretty sure you'll be using it.
3. It's conspicuous, and quite an intimidating thing to point at a shy subject.
4. It's minimum focus distance is 1.5m, so it doesn't work too well in confined spaces.

So, I've no regrets about choosing this lens, but I'd recommend it as one part of a photographic toolkit, and not the last thing you'll ever need to buy.
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221 of 227 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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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 17 Feb 2007
As a photographer who swears by prime lenses, I've never really adopted zooms as part of my essential kit. This lens, however, has changed my mind. It's very fast, autofuses superbly and produces the most uniform bokeh (back- foreground blur) I have seen in my work. I have the stunning 85mm 1.4, and the 70-200 competes - in terms of bokeh - with this.

Lens weight never worries me - being a youngish, fit male - but be aware that this lens is large (because it's well made) and unless you're very strong, you wont be hand-holding this for long stretches of time. When this lens is mated with my 1DS, with flash attached, it's impractical over long periods of time (like weddings) without monopod support.

But in terms of what you get for that extra weight: it's a stunning piece of glass and the results speak for themselves: superb contrast and colour; pin sharp, even wide open; silent, rugged and above all, it replaces several lenses in one go. I use this for portraits, landscapes and all manner of people related photography.

This competes with my 85mm in terms of usage times.

If you're unsure about whether you should buy this - don't be. From the minute you review your first series of images you'll love it.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 2 Nov 2010
By 
L. Turner - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The previous reviews state how good a lens this is which it really is!

I also choose this lens over the F2.8 as it is nearly half the weight and wanted to take it travelling and minimise weight in my hand luggage.

I now leave this lens on by default.

Love it, no regrets
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96 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable!, 27 May 2010
I struggled for weeks justifying the cost of this lens, heck it's expensive. However, I bit the bullet, bought one and all I can say is WOW! I use it on a 5D MKII and the sharpness is simply jaw-dropping, I've never seen anything like it before.

Is it heavy...
Is it big...
Is it worth it...

All of these questions are things I considered, but now I own the lens and have seen the results, I don't care about its size or weight. This is now the standard lens fitted to my camera. It's great for shooting birds, wildlife, portraits and just about anything except macro. Having said that, you can get within a distance of around 1.5 metres and when cropped the detail is just awesome.

Sharpness, IQ, colour, contrast and bokeh are all superb, I'm really pleased I invested in this lens and I'm sure I'll keep it for years and years and years.

Yes, it's a lot of money, but if you can bring yourself to part with the cash, I promise you, you'll be smiling from ear-to-ear when you see your pics, it's just a beautiful piece of kit.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The logical next step, 5 Mar 2010
By 
Wim Nelis "Wim" (Geel, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Last year I bought the camera and a 24-70mm 2.8L USM lens, the logical next step for me was this lens as it links up just nicely.
The lens is pretty heavy but much shorten than I expected, but this is not a liability.
I find myself using this lens more and more over my 24-70. Probably because I'm not a huge fan of wide lenses. Anyway, the lens works perfectly, very silent and fast. When using the lens for longer periods of time, I take my tripod because body and lens begin to weight pretty much.
Now, a lot of people asked me why not buying the same lens with image stabilisation (IS)...well, as long as you're shooting with shutter speeds above 1/200s you don't need IS (check the stats in any photoguide).
So instead of spending 500 euro more for IS, I used the money I saved on a very good tripod (a carbon tripod, lighter when travelling).
So yes, this was a very good investment for me but everyone has to decide for him/herself what to buy. The only advise I want to give you and the one given to me a few years back: think about how/why you are going to use the product you're buying (For me low light level photography without flash is a must).
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85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too good to be true or truly too good?, 28 July 2011
By 
Fiona (Lanarkshire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Hi!

It took a lot of courage for me to drop so much money on this lens and I was back and forth for a while, but the more I read and the more samples I saw the more I wanted it! I even tried Google searches for "focus problems" and "bad copies" etc and other very negative phrases because frankly the hype seemed too good to be true. I figured no-one wanted to admit to spending a ton of cash on a bad lens, sort of a mass denial!

I didn't find anything, so in a fit of courage I picked up one of these bad boys, slapped it on my 7D and headed straight to the new Riverside Transport Museum in Glasgow. I figured it's best arena is low light, since the big price comes in part from the big apeture and funky 4-stop stabiliser, so I set about taking some abstracts of vehicles from through the ages, some candid portraits and some close-ups in the muted lighting and busy environment.

Simply different class. My abstracts were punchy and sharp, the vehicles shots looked like something from a car mag and my portraits were moody and intimate, with the clutter and the crowd blurred out of existance and the frame filled with facial expression.

I have a few L lenses in my collection, but I've never used a lens remotely this good before. It isn't the most discreet lens in the world and caught the eye of many passers-by, but what caught my eye was the stunning images I was getting.

The backgrounds are defocussed in the creamiest fashion, the in-focus areas are razor sharp even at the widest apeture (fantastic!) and the colour & contrast are amazing.

Handling of the lens is stellar. It gets heavy on a long day out but I expected that. The autofocus (especially with the 7D) is lightning quick and totally dead on. I had noticed some slight softness issues in outdoor/ high contrast scenes when pixel-peeping, but I figured out it was due to the cheaper Jessops UV filter I had on it, which had a really obvious effect, probably because of how well the lens could render the errors on the sensor! I switched it for a Hoya Pro-1 Digital UV and the results are even sharper rendering with even smoother background blur. In short don't skimp on your filter if using one because this lens will punish you for it!

I've found myself addicted to the look of the images produced and I take the lens everywhere. It's so much fun to use - best fun-to-price ratio of any lens. It is a great inspiration and a joy to use. I've reconnected to photography in a new way thanks to this lens. I can't over-sell it. It really is as good as everyone says.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great lens, 4 Jun 2009
This is my first L lens and it has exceeded my expectations. Before buying it, I worried for a long time that the difference in image quality wouldn't be obvious to me, or that it wouldn't be worth the money even if it was obvious. Having bought it, I have no regrets -- the quality is breathtaking (and I am using it on a humble 450D).

The results are superb. In the shop I compared it with the Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS, and the difference in image quality was overwhelming even when viewed on the modest LCD of a 450D.

It is easy to worry obsessively about sharpness -- no need with this lens, it is wonderfully sharp. Where it really shines, however, is in the colours it reproduces. Saturation is really good. If you, like me, have never tried a professional lens before, you really will notice the difference. The IS is very useful -- it makes low-light shots at 1/15 easily possible, provided your subject is still. It certainly gives you at least a 3-stop shutter-speed advantage if you have reasonably steady hands. I have not noticed any chromatic aberration, even in circumstances that would normally be very harsh for a lens.

I don't really have any criticisms. It is a beautiful lens and it helps to produce beautiful photos. It isn't noticeably heavy (at least to me) -- the f/2.8 versions are a lot more bulky. Of course you sacrifice something by choosing f/4 over f/2.8, but the bokeh on this lens is lovely nonetheless. It is a bit long on a crop-sensor body to be a general walkaround lens, but it really shines for portraits (head-shots particularly).

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. In my opinion, it is easily worth the money.
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178 of 185 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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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens
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