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Keywords: Canon EF Tele Zoom 35mm L USM tested


Registered: November 2015
Posts: 1
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by nhla350
Review Date: 11/23/2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $2,299.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, Sharp, Colour ,Slick AF, Creamy Bokeh , Build and IS
Cons: None... OK ! If really picky the weight but what do you expect

STUNNING....simply Stunning on a crop (7D) or a FF (5D3).

Have used for three years now for sports, events and some portrait work. The go to lens on most occasions has been this beauty.

Just today I sold my 300 F4 that was bought at the same time for "sharp " extra reach but it hardly saw action. (That was a good buy for some one @ $1050)

Instead I have used the 70-200mm with both 1.4X & 2X EXT iii's to get extra reach when needed, and even with a 1.4 this beautiful piece of kit beats the 300mm F4 hands down. With a 2x Ext its probably a dead heat except the 70-200 is longer.

If you are thinking about getting one just take a deep breathe and go for it! You won't be disappointed.

I still retain my 70-200mm F4 IS USM as a lightweight option when weight matters.... but whilst also brilliant , the F4 is not in the same league when it comes to resolution! Few things are ! | |

Registered: July 2014
Posts: 5
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by mariuspavel
Review Date: 7/19/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $2,000.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp and buid quality
Cons: price - better IS on Mark 2 version

I tested this lens a week ago and it looks and performs good, but i prefer Mark 2 version that i own.
Pictures a took with this lens:

Registered: May 2012
Posts: 2
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by Danno
Review Date: 5/18/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,225.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality, sharp at 2.8
Cons: Fragile hood

Bought this lens second hand from a shop yesterday.

I wanted to buy the 4IS, but bought this lens instead.

Despite reports of this lens not being sharp at 200mm, I find this lens sufficiently sharp at 2.8. Yesterday I was carrying my gear through an afternoon of shopping with wife and daughter to test the weight. I find the lens less heavy than expected. Most people complain too much?

I have tested this lens against 200mm F/2.8 fixed and the 70-200mm F/4 IS. The 70-200mm 2.8 gave nicer colours than the fixed 200mm. The 4IS was boring, as I don't see the point of buying a lens similar to my 24-105L. What would I gain by spending so much money? The 70-200 2.8 is really special, I don't care about weight.

Today I shot at the first commune of a friends daughter. Light was challenging, but with a 2.8 it was fine. With the 4IS I wouldn't have such nice photos, your lens can stabilise, but you won't stabilise children.

I do miss stabilisation in low light of it's expensive brother, but I spend much less now and wait with that investment.

Excellent lens, build quality, image quality including colours, just awesome. I have the 85mm F/1.8, in low light colours change, the 70-200 shows good colour and contrast at 2.8 so important.

Registered: January 2012
Posts: 5
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by JRenato
Review Date: 1/13/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Talvez a melhor em sua categoria.
Cons: Nada.

Zoom de Qualidade Superior.
Exelente em todas as distâncias focais.
Nitidez e Contastes Irretocáveis.
Foco de Altíssima Velocidade.

Talvez o Melhor zoom 70x200 2.8 !!!!!

Registered: July 2007
Posts: 36
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by touristguy87
Review Date: 9/12/2009 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $1,500.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: the pros are just not all that great for the cons
Cons: the obvious: size, weight, limited focal-length range...cost...

I had this lens for a week. It's just not all that much. Aside from the obvious stuff like the weight (it's about the weight of a freaking cinderblock) and the size (it's like carrying around your forearm, though it will fit in a backpack), it has a few sneaky cons to it. But I will sum it up by saying that if you need this lens then you will deal with the cons (and they are numerous), if you don't really need this lens, then you will happily return it.

The question is, how do you know that you really need this lens before you actually buy one and hump it out to the field and take shots?

Well, the only outstanding reason I can see to buy this lens is if you need a 70-200mm F2.8 zoom and nothing else will do. The IS is superfluous because while it's neat to take 200mm handheld shots at F2.8, handholding this lens gets old fast, and with good technique you can do that with a Tamron 28-300VC at 1/8s or so, which is a far more friendly carry than this lens. So it's the sheer speed and bokeh at F2.8 that justifies this lens. Or maybe you're shooting film, for some reason, and need every ounce of speed that you can get. And true, at F2.8 wide open you get some extra focus-precision with Canon cameras. So yeah if you need a good 200mm F2.8 lens, then this is the ticket.

Otherwise the 70-200 F4 and a whole lot of other options make more sense.

In which case you're just going to buy it regardless. Unless you're thinking of switching to Nikon, because if you're that hung-up on SNR you're probably going to switch to a D700, D3 or D3X too. I think, though, that after lugging this sucker around a few times & dealing with its limited FL range you will try very hard to find another way to get the shot without using this lens. Or else you will wish for the 200mm F2.0 or even the F1.8 (at...$4500 new). But I think that most shooters will want either a faster, shorter lens or a faster, cleaner camera or a combination of the two and some NR.

Registered: May 2009
Posts: 3
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by AljoschaNiko
Review Date: 5/23/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,267.78| Rating: 10 

Pros: Already very sharp at f/3.2, excellent build quality, good handling
Cons: On my exemplar sharpness @200mm begin's at f/5.6

As I got to shot pictures the first time with this lens, I felt that "High level" of this lens. It's really professional and very good in build quality and optical performance. But on my exemplar, the sharpness at 200mm just begins at f/5.6 and the "wow" effect of sharpness is at f/8. I expected to be a little bit sharper wide open. But when it's sharp and when you get one team with your lens, you can really produce awesome results! I highly recommend it to every one who needs excellent build quality and excellent optical performance as well as in low light situations!

Registered: January 2009
Posts: 2
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by tanglefoot47
Review Date: 1/30/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $950.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, sharp, white, 2.8, great colors, contrast
Cons: None

I love this lens I have owned all the 70-200 and settled with this non IS. It's fast, great for LL sports

Registered: October 2008
Posts: 1
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by Andy__
Review Date: 12/6/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $899.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent IQ, fast AF, solid feel
Cons: A bit heavy

This is an excellent lens all round I think. I have owned mine for about 3 months and couldn't be happier.

I have taken pics at two motorsport events and the results have been stunning. Sharpness, detail and colour are outstanding. Thought about the IS model but decided for an extra $700 USD it wasn't worth it. Not for an enthusiuast like myself anyway.

This has been an excellent purchase for myself and I highly recommened this lens.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 8
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by PsiBurn
Review Date: 5/8/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,190.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp at f/2.8, great bokeh, fast AF, solid build
Cons: heavy [but not as heavy as I thought it would be], attention drawer

My first L, and I couldn't be any happier.

This lens is built well, albeit without weather seals, but from what I can see, can take a good beating. That, and the images it produces, are some of the many reasons I got this over other competing 70-200 models.

It's still taking me some time to handle the lens properly as it is quite heavy, but it is not as heavy as I thought it would be, if not, quite well balanced, esp. w/ a battery grip on a 20D/30D. That, and ppl's eyes are seriously drawn to this lens...

Overall, I'm glad I got this lens. I thought about the f/2.8 IS and the f/4 IS, but after what happened to my 17-55 f/2.8 and the IS mechanism bugging out on me, I wanted to stay away from IS for a bit and was very glad Canon still made this model, even after over a decade.
Sea Dragon Rex

Registered: January 2008
Posts: 5
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by Sea Dragon Rex
Review Date: 1/7/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,033.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp lens. Fast silent focus. Beautiful bokeh
Cons: Large white lens that stands out

This is an awesome lens. It is very sharp and the bokeh is incredible. It is built like a tank and the only reason I don't rate it 10 in build quality is because it doesn't have a weather seal at the base.

It is a big heavy lens so you have to get used to the weight. It also attracts a lot of attention because of the size and color. I've used this lens with my XT and 40D and love it with either camera (though it feels better balanced on the 40D).

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 15
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by fergusonjr
Review Date: 1/19/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Incredible Image Quality. Big Aperture. Superior Build-Quality. Super Smooth Controls
Cons: Weighty.

I'm not quite sure how this lens could possibly be any better, except for the addition of IS. This is a phenomenal lens. I didn't add the price to the list of Cons, because at $1,100 I think this lens is a pure bargain.

Like the 70-200 f/4L, the zoom and focus rings on this lens are as smooth as butter. This lens feels exceptionally tight and solid.

In comparison to the f/4 lens, I had expected that this f/2.8 lens would have some trade-offs and downsides as result of its larger aperture. But I was wrong. This lens produces the same incredible images with the same fantastic sharpness as the f/4 lens, even down to f/2.8. I expected at least to see some kind drop-off in edge-sharpness, but I was wrong. This lens is perfect.

The f/2.8 really makes a difference for achieving faster exposures without having to up the ISO. We're talking about being able to capture at twice the shutter speed. I did some quick tests of trying some stop-action captures, and the difference between f/2.8 and f/4 in many cases resulted in getting the shot and not getting the shot . . . one picture stopped and sharp, one picture kinda stopped and slightly blurred. To me, the f/2.8 makes this a feasible indoor lens, although I haven't had a chance to test it in indoors to a great extent. Another benefit of the larger aperture on this lens is that the background blur (bokeh) is even smoother and deeper than on the f/4. You'd certainly expect this to be the case, but the blur on the f/4 is already nice enough such that you don't necessarily think about looking forward to it on the f/2.8 . . . but once you see it, you notice it!

I really cannot imagine how this lens could be improved, except perhaps by the addition of IS (which you can get for an additional $600!), or by the addition of another 100mm of zoom. I suspect that Canon found a a sweet spot here with the 70-200, where they could achieve a very useful, fairly wide-range zoom without any compromises. The addition of another 100mm would probably make the lens suffer in some way or another, either in sharpness or CA . . . not to mention size and weight, especially at f/2.8. No, this lens is perfect.

It's important to note that this is Canon's one and only f/2.8 telephoto-zoom lens, and the level of care they've put into making this their flagship telephoto-zoom is evident. It's perfect . . . did I mention that already?

The only slight negative I can think of mentioning for this lens is the weight. It is about twice as heavy as the f/4 lens, and it's certainly noticeable. The f/4 is about the same weight as the Rebel, and it feels nicely balanced on that body . . . it's almost a perfect match. The f/2.8 is roughly twice the weight of the Rebel, and the balance definitely changes toward the lens. It's hefty enough to make you start thinking about whether you should be attaching your shoulder/neck strap to the lens rather than the camera. So, this is a little compromise, but the performance on this lens is so phenomenal, you forget about the added weight pretty quickly.

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 10
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by six100
Review Date: 1/8/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,200.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Prime-like overall image quality (simply beautiful and sharp images). Impressive bokeh. Usefull 1.5m minimal distance focus switch. "L standard" 77mm filter thread. Best USM lens I ever used, period.
Cons: Price, but you get what you pay for (worth every penny). White...but you get used to it and in the end you start loving it. The original hood is very expensive.

My best lens ever. If you hear someone say "the image quality is similar to primes" believe him. It is a prime with a 70-200 range.

This lens produce an impressive bokeh, one of the best I've seen. And what can be said about's just addictive. Fast, silent and precise. Once you try it, you don't want to go back to anything else.

One thing to note about this lens is the price for a replacement hood (ET-83II). I bought this lens second hand and since the hood had some marks over it but the rest of the lens was mint I decided to go and buy a new hood just to match the awesome conservation of the lens. 45 bucks was the cheapest I could find...if you add the delivery cost to that you have a lot of money for a piece of plastic...of course you can get a 77mm hood from some other brand...if you don't mind going < 100% original. Besides that and the 1k+ price tag, this is a dream lens to have. I would only replace it with a bigger range lens with similar performance.

Some pics taken with it:

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 4
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by samo
Review Date: 1/1/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,140.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Awesome IQ, great multipurpose range.
Cons: Heavy, expensive.

The ultimate event lens. I use this baby to shoot weddings, mounted on a 5D, and boy it delivers. It's really sharp even wide open, with very good contrast and color, autofocus is fast and accurate. My keeper rate is very high. On the downside, it's heavy and feels unbalanced without the battery grip, so add more weight to the formula.

This is one of the best midrange tele-zooms in Canon's lineup, just be careful using it if you have a bad back.

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 1
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by MarkW
Review Date: 12/16/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 0 

Pros: No comments I just bought this lens yesterday

I have another question since I only bought this lens yesterday I haven't been able to try it out. However, what is the difference (if there is any) that my lens body's color is off-white whereas I only see clear white sample pictures on the internet?? Who's got any ideas?

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 5
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by kwk36
Review Date: 12/10/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: fast, well made, sharp
Cons: none

I must admit I was less than impressed with my first images from this lens. I am not new to photography but I am new to autofocus. My other lenses have been forgiving of my AF ignorance. This lens however, showed me that autofocus, like any other tool, must be learned and used correctly. My problem was keeping the focus point in use on fast moving subjects and using the correct focus mode for the subject. Once I got this through my head I have found my images to be good and sharp. This is a well made lens with great performance and it made all the difference in getting the shots I needed on my last shoot. I didn't even consider the IS version. I guess I'm still a little too "old school" for that. I can't see why anybody would regret buying this lens, it's top notch.
Michael LV

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 3
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by Michael LV
Review Date: 12/6/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,200.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, good color and contrast for all Zoom range
Cons: Heavy

Excellent resolution, color and contrast even on F#2.8 in mid field. With aperture from 5.6 full field is great, considering it is a Zoom.
A bit too heavy but it makes a good return on effort to carry.
Overall I am very happy with this Lens and will not give it away.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 5
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by Lawrence88
Review Date: 11/24/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,100.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Awesome IQ, bokeh, build quality
Cons: none

What more can be said about this lens? It's one of the main workhorse of many professionals. I use mine mainly to cover events/concerts/publicity events/etc with superb results. You can't beat the bokeh except with the fast long primes, but then they won't be flexible. In the beginning my focusing sight shakes a little from holding it although most of the time it will not usually affect image sharpness in the end (I am spoiled by IS I guess) but after getting the lowepro slingshot 200 AW I can use it for handholding. I use monopod also but in some events it is not easily setup given the situation.

Some people say the weight is a problem but it's really not that heavy. Of course it will be a different story if you hold it all day... Get a nice shoulder strap for your camera for an easier time lugging it around...

Is the IS worth the extra $500? Maybe but I chose to go without and got an extra lens with the savings instead... Or you can go get a flash with the savings to freeze motion in available light. You will do fine in daylight with it.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 7
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by theoak
Review Date: 11/20/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

Pros: Long range, 2.8, tripod mount, big manual rings
Cons: No IS.

I love this lens, and use it a lot. All of Canon's 70-200s are great lenses.

I do wish that I had put the cost of this lens towards the IS version instead of buying this one. This shouldn't reflect poorly on this lens, but I shoot in low light a lot and it would be nice to do so at smaller aperture with IS.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 12
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by ddesimoni
Review Date: 11/18/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,100.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: 2.8, fast AF, sharp
Cons: none

this is my normal walk around lens, works great with the canon 1.4 extender.

Do I miss IS, NO, having seen resolution test of this lens versus the IS, I decided to pick this lens. Have I missed a few shoots with the IS, sure, is it worth the difference in cost and lower resolution, NO.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 2
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by r0nald
Review Date: 11/16/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,049.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Very well constructed, excellent optics.
Cons: Long and heavy.

This lens is my money maker (I'm a wannabe Pro photographer). I shoot cycling races and this lens gets the job done. Since all of the bikes races I shoot occur during the day "IS" wasn't such a big factor when I choose the non-IS version. I figure I would not carry the extra "IS" weight around and save $. This lens is still quite capable in low light situations with an aperture of f2.8. The 70-200 f2.8 is very sharp and has a very fast USM AF - makes my job a whole lot easier and very enjoyable.
Ross T

Registered: October 2006
Posts: 4
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by Ross T
Review Date: 10/13/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Incredibly SHARP...FAST...Beautiful Bokeh!!
Cons: None

This is an Awesome Lens...I've had mine for 10 yrs....Fantastic Portrait Lens...BEAUTIFUL Bokeh....Incredibly SHARP...FAST...Spends more time on my camera than any other lens!!

Registered: February 2006
Posts: 3
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by hellofacanon
Review Date: 2/16/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Fast AF.Very sharp and contrasty images.
Cons: Almost none

This lens is very much comparable to a prime.
USM AF is VERY fast and is perfect for indoor sports.
Very good portrait lens too.

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 2
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by magicbutton
Review Date: 12/3/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,100.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: ultra-sharp, fast AF, rugged.
Cons: weight/size

What can you say that hasn't already been said about this lens? It's as close to a perfect mid-range telephoto as you'll ever find.

I'll never sell it.

Construction is very solid and has resisted any wearing or chips on the body that come from long hours of use.
This is not a 'weatherized' model though and no gasket is on the mount if that matters to you.

The 2.8 has been critical for me to have and I would have missed shots if I had gone with the cheaper f/4 version. I have been happy with all my 2.8 shots in all lighting conditions for sharpness. In fact, I am continually amazed at the shots that I get with this lens.

Have seen some posters( on other boards) mention that the color of this lens attracts muggers, etc. This is silly to me. A mugger is just gonna see that you have a SLR-like camera. It doesn't matter if you have a black lens or a pink one. Don't let the white color discourage you. In my experience, I have traveled internationally with this lens and walked in all manner of places with no issues ( I know... might have been luck, I doubt it though) . You just need to use your head irregardless if you have a $200 lens attached or this one!

Length and weight of this lens make it a challenge to use on long days or in crowded areas. But, choosing gear is a compromise. I'll gladly sweat a little more or move a little slower to get my images captured with this lens. Most of my 'wow' photos come from this lens.
It's an amazing bit of hardware.

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 5
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM review by mdbassman
Review Date: 11/2/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,000.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp -Great Dynamic Range- Fast!
Cons: A Tad heavy

Great zoom lense. Sharp images at all ranges and great contrast. On 5d very little corner vignetting on some images and none on others.


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