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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

Canon’s EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM is a lightweight, compact L Series telephoto zoom lens with Image Stabilizer. The optical Image Stabilization in the new EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens provides up to an incredible four stops of shake correction-a first for Canon IS lenses. The use of fluorite UD lens elements provides excellent optical performance in terms of resolution and contrast. These features, together with its water-and dust-proof construction, provide both the performance and portability to meet user demands.What’s in the box: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens, E-67U 67mm Snap-On Lens Cap, Lens Dust Cap E (Rear), ET-74 Lens Hood, LP1224 Lens Case and 1-Year Warranty.

  • 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens with f/4 maximum aperture for Canon digital SLR cameras
  • Fluorite UD lens elements produce excellent optical performance in resolution and contrast
  • Ring-type ultra-sonic monitor (USM) for quick and quiet autofocusing; lightweight construction
  • Image Stabilizer provides up to 4 stops of shake correction; water- and dust-proof construction
  • Measures 3 inches in diameter and 6.8 inches long; weighs 26.8 ounces; 1-year warranty

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What customers say about Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras?

  1. 897 of 906 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Image quality king of the 70-200mm line., November 26, 2007
    Jesse R. Hunter

    This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Camera)

    I have owned at one point or another all Canon’s 70-200mm’s with exception of the f/2.8 non-IS, along with a decent amount of other Canon L glass. Hence this review will be from the perspective of someone who may be deciding whether or not to add this piece of glass to their matured L collection or someone who is deciding on this lens versus another 70-200mm. If you are instead someone who has already decided on this lens and is looking for one last push to click the buy button, consider this, and the 25 reviews below it, as your green light.

    First up, let’s talk about the obvious good. This lens carries with it the most advanced IS drive to date, yielding an incredible 4-stops of stabilization. In real life, it is infact four full stops of stabilization. No kidding. For non-moving subjects, this lens becomes an effective 70-200mm f/1.4 as far as handholdability is concerned. When there is subject movement, however, realize that f/4 is still your true aperture and motion blur will be inherent.

    As for the not-so-obvious good, this 70-200mm version has the highest image quality out of any of the other 70-200mm’s. CA, vignetting, and sharpness is the best with this lens. Lens weight and balance is also the best in comparison to what it offers: it’s only slightly heavier than the f/4 with all that IS goodness and not even close to as heavy as the f/2.8 IS with it’s one-stop advantage.

    The Bad. I always try to find something I dislike with each lens. For some L lenses, it gets tough and I have to get picky, such as with the 135mm f/2L or the 180mm F/3.5L. This lens sits in that catagory. I would have to say I dislike the non-petal shaped lens hood. Yep. That’s about it. Wish I could say more here. For the price, this really is a superior buy.

    Let’s do some comparing.

    Against the 70-200mm f/4L: The ‘baby’ of the 70-200mm line, it’s half the price. So is the IS drive worth the ~500 bucks? Well to answer that question, you must realize the limitation of f/4. F/4 usually means sharp glass that’s lightweight and cheap, of good value. But it also means more than enough light for sunny days, but never enough for cloudy days, indoors, just after dusk, just before sunrise, during inclement whether, or any other time when shooting conditions are optimal for great pictures. So do you plan on using this lens without a tripod (or flash) ever during these times? If you answer yes (even if you didn’t, you will), you might become frustrated with the f/4 non-IS version over time and seek to upgrade, or continuously pack a tripod for which you will also need to buy the lens tripod ring. (Do realize however, that neither the f/4 non-IS or the f/4 IS will serve you well when it comes to indoor action. For that, you’ll have to move up the chain to the f/2.8.) From my personal experience, the f/4 IS also delivers an increased dynamic range near the highlights, slightly more saturation, and slightly less CA in comparison to the f/4 non-IS.

    The f/2.8L non-IS: I have never owned this lens, so I can only speak by stats and offer a little limited advice. They are both nearly equal in price, so let’s talk about the differences. The f/2.8 is built better (more metal and sealing) and comes with a tripod ring (plus that envious petal-shaped hood). It shares the weather sealed mount and near-equal image quality (the f/4 IS is slight sharper). And you of course gain a stop in aperture but lose IS. So which is better? Since stat-wise they are so close, I would ask what your intentions are. Are you primarily a landscape photographer or an event photographer? More pictures of your kids or more of slow-moving objects. Both lenses do low-light well, it’s just that if your shots have little moving in them, you are much better off with the f/4 and to use a flash when the shots do include movement. If your shots almost always include a lot of movement, go with the f/2.8 (but you should really consider the f/2.8 IS).

    The f/2.8 IS. The moving versus non-moving distinction is so important that I actually ended up owning BOTH the f/2.8 IS and the f/4 IS. Why? Because the f/2.8 IS is the strongest contender for low-light event work out of the 70-200 line, yet offers the worst in image quality. The image quality difference between the f/4 and the f/2.8 is nothing short of significant. You simply do not use the f/2.8 to generate fine art as it’s image quality does not allow it (in my spoiled rotten opinion. In fact, until the f/4 IS came along, I didn’t think any of the 70-200′s were suitable for this task.) So I utilize the f/2.8 for event work and the f/4 for everything else I need a 70-200mm zoom for. As a side note, the f/2.8 maintains a 3 stop IS drive while the f/4 maintains a 4 stop drive. This means both lenses maintain the same effective 70-200mm f/1.4 aperture. Add all this up, and my recommendation is to go with the 70-200mm f/4 IS and save ~$550 unless you are a…

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  2. 373 of 379 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Worth every pennies, December 8, 2006
    NutMac “NutMac” (Mountain View, CA) –

    This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Camera)
    With over 100 lenses produced for Canon EOS system, finding the right lenses can overwhelm even the experienced photographers. My search for walkaround lens took over two months of research and auditioning. After choosing Canon’s EF 17-40mm f/4L USM as a walkaround lens and EF 50mm f/1.4 USM as a portrait lens, my attention shifted toward telephoto. A bit of background info. My current DSLR body is Digital Rebel XTi (EOS 400D). I plan on upgrading to full frame DSLR body next, so I only look at EF lenses (no EF-S) with solid build quality (it needs to be around to serve the next camera).

    At first, finding a telephoto lens seemed almost as easy as portrait lens. Professional reviewers alike hail EF 70-200mm f/4L USM for top-notch build quality and superb optical performance at a reasonable price. (EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM are too heavy, large, and expensive for my needs.) 70-200mm focal range is just about ideal for me, which becomes 112-320mm in 35mm print format. I took many fantastic pictures with it, but quickly found a problem. Without a tripod, telephoto isn’t easy to shoot. With 17-40mm lens, I can take well-focused images shot after shot. Even under challenging light, I can hit fairly high percentage of photos without flash. At 200mm, situations get considerably trickier. Under very good lighting, I can take one great looking photo after another. Under somewhat limited light, however, I found myself with rather high percentage of out-of-focus photos. Increasing the ISO speed helped a good deal, but even that has a limit. Eventually, I found myself depending on the tripod for reliable results.

    Then I saw EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM. At nearly twice the price tag, I was very reluctant at first. Then I was given the opportunity to play with it in person. To my surprise, it weighs and sized about the same as non-IS counterpart. And it has super-state-of-the-art 4-stop (!) image stabilizer with panning mode and tripod detection. After selling EF 70-200mm f/4L USM at a minimal loss (L-series lenses tend to have very high resale value), I saved up for IS.

    Weighing in at 1.68 lbs., it is only slightly heavier than non-IS and about half as heavy as f/2.8 counterparts. At 3″ width and 6.8″ length, it is also considerably smaller than f/2.8. Even on comparatively small Digital Rebel XTi, it does not feel entirely out of place. Thanks to inner focus, the lens does not extend nor rotate during focusing or zooming. It stays at 6.8″ at all time. As to be expected, its ring-type USM with full-time manual override is silky smooth and fast. Simply a pleasure to use.

    The lens has 4 switches, (1) focus limiter (sets minimum focus distance of 1.2m or 3m… a bit far in my opinion, but then again, this is a telephoto lens), (2) auto/manual focus, (3) image stabilizer, and (4) stabilizer mode (regular mode 1 or panning mode 2). The image stabilizer is simply fantastic. As with other image stabilizer, it is not effective at stopping subject in motion. Once IS is switched on, it kicks in with a satisfying click when you press the shutter button half way. Click all the way and you may be able to say goodbye (at least see you later) to tripod.

    So how does it perform? The sharpness is simply amazing, almost as sharp as my benchmark EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens from center-to-edge. All in all, images were even better than non-IS counterpart, with smooth and more vibrant color, no noticeble barrel distortion, vignetting, nor chroma aberrations.

    Also noteworthy is new circular aperture blades (8 of them), creating prettiest blur effects (bokeh) you will ever see. Thanks to Super Spectra coatings, it is even better at suppressing flare than non-IS and f/2.8 counterparts. Simply put, this is one of the most state-of-the-art zoom lenses Canon has produced.

    As with other L-series lenses, it comes with a carrying pouch and a lens hood. It accepts 67mm filters.

    - 4-stop image stabilizer.
    - Not too heavy. Not too large.
    - Amazing build quality.
    - Great image quality with very nice bokeh.
    - Top-notch focus mechanism.

    - Expensive.
    - IS will use more battery.
    - f/4 aperture may not be fast enough for some.


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  3. 121 of 123 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Expensive but worth the money, November 29, 2006
    PJ (GTA, Canada) –

    This review is from: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Camera)
    Like used Honda’s and Acura’s, this Canon lens is destined to command a high resale dollar.

    I traded in my Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens for this new lens. The colour of this lens is a slightly darker off-white (almost gray-white) than the non-IS version. So, if you have an older Canon Tripod Mount Ring A (W), you may see a slight colour mismatch. Personally, not a big deal by any means. The instruction manual illustrates and refers to their new Canon Ring-Type Tripod Mounting Socket A II (W) which I have not seen in colour to see if it is an exact colour match for this lens.

    Mated to my tripod mounted Canon Digital Rebel XT set at ISO 100, the lens appeared sharper than the non IS version from f/4 through to f/18 for the majority of it’s focal length. For this particular lens, optimum images were obtained at f/7.1 at 70mm and f/9 at the other focal lengths.

    Flare is better controlled than the non IS version.

    Bokeh has improved with the new round eight aperture leaves.

    Colour and contrast have dramatically improved with the new UD glass.

    With the Image Stabilization (IS) activated on Mode 1, there were more useable images taken at 4 stops below the usual minimum recommended settings at all focal lengths.

    According to Canon Canada, the IS DOES NOT automatically shut off like Canon’s EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM, Super Telephoto and Diffractive Optic lenses. But, the battery will continue to drain while the IS is on as per the instruction manual.

    Because I could not find any third party substitutes, I recommend purchasing their expensive Canon tripod collars in either white or black. It optimally structurally stabilizes the lens/camera assembly. For weight reduction, you can always remove the collar.

    This lens and the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM lens mounted on my Canon 5D is all I need to capture almost all of my images.

    A word of caution: check each lens for foreign particles between the front and adjacent lens elements. I saw one lens with a large piece of something stuck onto the element immediately behind the front element.

    UPDATE (13-July-2007): Please see my sample photos with this lens taken af F4.0 with the IS activated. This zoom lens is even better than my trusty old Nikkor AF-D 80-200 F2.8 IF-ED!


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