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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM 35mm Zoom
This large aperture, super high image quality telephoto zoom lens provides performance comparable to that of a single focal length lens, with a wide zoom range. Its major features include: a ring USM (Ultrasonic Motor) drive, built-in full-time manual focusing, short minimum focusing distance of 1.5m, high marginal illumination, and compatibility with Extenders EF1.4X and EF2X
Submitted by Kajuah a Expert
Date Reviewed: November 2, 2008
Strengths: Prime quality throughout the total range
Relatively light considering range and aperture
Cheap considering the lens.
Bokeh is the best - period.
Can be used as a landscape lens within reason
Weaknesses: Attracts attention (this is for you to determine as a weakness or strength based on your style, it works for me but some don't like the conspicous white lens pointed in their direction - especially the military, don't shoot anything military related with this lens it will get seized from you, justifiably).
The 70-200 2.8 is a beast of a lens, it's huge, but not huge for a telephoto of its class. It's heavy, but not heavy enough to strain your grip if you're relatively strong and are used to lifting around a lot of weight from time to time. It's not as heavy as the IS version, of course, but in my own opinion i think IS is a consumer feature and does not belong in professional photography, nor to justify a 600 $ price add on the lens for the feature.
I bought this lens 1269 $ (less tax) brand new, and am using it on a canon eos 50D. What surprises me, after using the 200 2.8 prime and the 135 2.0 prime, as well as the 100 mm 2.8 maco - this lens performs as good as primes at its selective focal lengths.
The build quality is excellent. Never again will I shoot a non_L. There's something about walking around with an L lens, especially that of the famous 70-200 category. Prime for wildlife, prime for portraits and even shines well as a landscape lens! I was worriied, at first, that i wouldn't be able to do landscapes anymore becaue I sacrificed a 17-40 and a 50 mm 1.4 as well as a mag fibre manfrotto to afford this lens.
On the othe hand i was wrong - sharpness PLUS bokeh in landscapes? Never heard of that before, maybe I'll post my shots but maybe I won't because there is something unique about having the dazzling gemstone blur mixed with flowing water.
A landscape photog is more concerned with minimum aperture than maximum, but maximum is great for capturing fast moving sprays of water, and flowing flowers.
It makes a great all purpose lens, I mean, absolute great. It never leaves my camera, though I have a deadly collection of Ls I prefer shooting the 70-200 unless on paid assignment for a specific purpose(wildlife, parks).
Another note: You need to know how to use this lens, it has it's very distinctive own personality. I see a lot of beginners and even amatuers buying the bundles of 70-200 (f4/2.8/with or without IS) and it's not a good situation. They give this lens poor reviews because they do not know how to shoot, in the first place, nor what to look for and how to use it. Any lens is a bad lens if you don't know how to make its good points shine. I rec. this lens for adv. amateuers - professionals ONLY.
It should be banned from being sold to newbies :) No offense to them, but this lens requires a legacy, like the 200 mm 2.0 had and that legacy cannot be shone to its brightest in hands that haven't deserved to hold it yet.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $1350.00
Purchased At: mcbain camera
Similar Products Used: canon eos 50D
24-105 f4 L
17-40 f4 L
135 2.0 L
35 1.4 L
100 2.8 macro
70-200 2.8 VR nikkor
300-800 APO sigma 5.6 on d300
Type of photography: People
Submitted by kenoja a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: March 20, 2008
Strengths: Tremendous brokeh and sharpness. Focusing has been effortless and the feel of the lens is pure luxury.
Weaknesses: None just a little heavy and takes some getting used to.
This is such a pleasure to use and I am so happy I bought it.
Coupled with my 5D I am finally getting the results I have sought for so many years.
It is heavy but what quality and performance. I wanted the IS version but could not afford the extra price. I shoot mostly at night so a tripod is a must anyway.
Every day is a learning experience with this lens, but I am a proud owner.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $1140.00
Purchased At: jr photo
Similar Products Used: 70-200 f4L which I sold to purchase this lens.
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by willembez a Expert
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2007
Strengths: Optical performance to challenge prime telephoto lenses at all focal lengths.
Superb protection for digital sensors.
Versatility: portrait/wildlife/landscape photography.
Compact for its performance levels.
Excellent value for money.
Weaknesses: Not as well-sealed at the back of the lens as the newer IS model: however, the addition of the 1.4 and 2x MK II Extenders solves the (potential) problem amicably.
No Image Stabiliser. However, if your camera handles high ISO`s fairly well, it shouldn`t be a problem to just crank up the ISO. If you use it on wildlife (with the help of Extenders), you would be resting it on a beanbag, mostly. It works well in African light if you want to hold it without support, e.g. when you stand under a tree and want to shoot a bird in the tree. If you use ISO 400, you`d still be able to get 1/800 exposure on most daylight shots. Even if you use a 2x Extender, you should be able to handhold this lens at 1/800, without blurring your image.
After listening to the advice of many (more experienced) wildlife photographers, I decided to buy the Canon EF 70-200mm/f2.8 USM lens. I have spent many weeks in the bush with this lens and can state with absolute confidence that this is the best zoom lens I have ever used.
Firstly, it has crystal-clear resolution; at all focal lengths. It remains amazingly sharp, even at the corners. Even with the 1.4 Extender attached, I couldn't fault the lens. And believe it or not, it performs even above-average with the 2x Extender (used on my EOS 20D). Now, this really says something of the inherent sharpness of the lens: Normally, wildlife photographers steer clear of the 2x Extender: not because it`s bad, but because it brings out all the optical flaws inherent in a lens. However, there is an exception to this rule: If a lens is optically approaching some degree of brilliance, it can still give satisfactory results with this Extender. A notable example is Canon`s EF 300mm/f2.8 USM: Many wildlife photographers in Africa will swear by this: The 300mm/f2.8 yields surprisingly sharp images when mated with the 2x Extender. It is an exceptional lens, optically speaking. But so is the 70-200/f2.8. And because it is so sharp, it is the only zoom lens that I have ever found to work well with the 2x Extender.
What does all of this mean to the average entusiast, planning a trip to the game reserves of Africa? If you are budget-conscious (like I am) and you can`t afford
a 300mm/f2.8 or a 500mm/f4, consider this beauty, with the addition of both the 1.4 and 2x Extenders. On my 20D, the lens + the 1.4 Extender translates into a focal zoom length of 157-448mm/f4, and combined with the 2x Extender, I have a
224-640mm/f5.6. Not too shabby...
The best news (for African bush conditions) is that you have a zoom lens which is virtually dust-free. The zoom action doesn`t change the length of the lens, so the lens doesn`t suck up dust particles like other zooms. (This can be a nightmare for digital sensors. A friend of mine uses the excellent 100-400mm/f4.5-5.6, but spends a lot of time cleaning his sensor!) With an extender attached, the back of the lens is virtually sealed against dust entering the system. I use the secon-generation Extenders (MK II), and found them to be well-sealed against dust.
Even if you never go to dusty Edens, the 70-200mm/f2.8 still mkes an incredible portait lens and is perfect for landscapes (to isolate detail and to compress distant hills), in addition to a good wide-angle lens.
I know that a lot of people would still buy the more expensive Image Stabiliser version of this lens, but I have found it to be less sharp around the corners, especially with the Extenders. It is therefore a pity to see this magnificent lens slowly dissappearing from the shelves of dealers. A lot of people are going to miss out on a superb lens...
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $980.00
Purchased At: Kameraz, Johannesbur
Similar Products Used: Canon EF 100-400mm/f4.5-5.6
Canon EF 300mm/f2.8
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by petr vokurek a Professional
Date Reviewed: November 7, 2006
Strengths: Excellent built and optical quality, handling. Buy it if you can and use it for taking beautiful pictures!
Weaknesses: None. Do not buy it if you are weak, though!
I used to be a "prime lens only" user. That is until I bouhgt a 24-70mm f2,8 L lens. With this beauty I soon found out that zooms are much more convenient and the quality can be amazingly good. This is only true for the high-end expensive zooms, though. The only significant drawback is weihgt and bulk. For this reason I have used a 1,8/85mm and 2/135 L lenses in the telephoto range up until recently. They are both very, very fine lenses very well suited for people shots. In some situations, however, I started to miss the zoom capability and also a tripod mount. That´s why I bought a 70-200 f 2,8 USM. I must say it is much heavier than the 135mm f2 but nott as heavy as I had thought. It is very well built and it has a tripod mount!!! With this beauty shooting from a tripod is so much easier! The quality of the glass must be extremly high as I am unable to find any significant differences between shots from this and the 135 f2 lens( which is perfect in all respects!), apart from slihgtly bigger light fall-off in the corners with the zoom. This, however, doesn´t bother me at all, as I usually darken the corners of people shots anyway, and much more than the lens does! I was also very pleasantly surprised with it´s performance with the TC 2x. Even at 200mm, f5,6 the quality remains very, very usable- and you get a 140-400mm f 5,6 lens! Overal I am very pleased with this lens and will be using it together with the 24-70mm f2,8 L lens as my main combo for weddings. At weddings it doesn´t matter that the lenses are so bloody big. Quite the opposite- you make a "bigger" impression! In situations where I don´t want to attract so much attention I will be using my Canons ( EOS 5d and EOS 3´s) without the vertical grip and with my much smaller primes.
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $1200.00
Purchased At: trendypod, Honk Kong
Similar Products Used: Canon EF 135mm f2, 85mm f1,8, 24-70mm f2,8...............etc.,etc.
Type of photography: People
Submitted by andergraph a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: December 17, 2005
Strengths: Sharp and fast
Weaknesses: Only having to make a quest for a very sharp on at f/2.8
After missing some shots on assigment with a 200 prime L I broke down and bought this lens from newegg. (New specail 6 months same as cash). Got the lens and out of 100 pics got 2 sharp. CAlled canon and they advised that they have been having alot of problemswith the focusing issue. Still in the process of sending it back. (horrible Customer service, Another story). Took the advise again of another reviewer on a tamoron I picked up and shopped locally. I went through 3 copies before I found the one I wanted. The shots and quality are very good. I can still catch more with the primes but loose the veristlty. Image comparision to my 200 prime is it is about 95% (where it should be).
Long story short, I am cheap but do not mind paying for great quaility. DO yourself a favor and walk in to buy one. Test it. Try not to make a jerk of yourself, but test it. Localy I paid $250 extra for lens. (Testing fee) in the long run it will save you money.
For those who say they can't afford it. Think of it this way. I have kids and if you do how many plays, dances, games, graduations will you have only blurry pictures of. I missed a couple and was so aggrevated I stepped up to a quailty lens and have not regretted it one bit.
My advise is stay with the kit lens as long as possible, save your money and buy the best, which this is. Couple this with a 2?-7? f/2-2.8 and you have a life long investment which you will continually use and enjoy. And, have the pictures you wanted instead of what you wish you had.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $1400.00
Similar Products Used: 200 prime L
Tamron 28-75 2.8
Type of photography: Sports
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