A dream Lens...
Written: Mar 28, 2008
a Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:SHARP optics, Nice zoom range, Quality build, Stabilized.
The Bottom Line: An outstanding lens- One of the best- And VERY highly recommended!
The Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS is considered by many to be the finest lens in the Canon lineup- And for good reason. It is a favorite of mine, and should be included in the kit of any really serious photographer.
The Lens Itself This is a Canon "L" series lens. That means that it is one of Canon's pro grade, top of the line lenses. Build quality is OUTSTANDING. Everything is well made, and fits together well. You can tell by feeling it, and working with it, that it is a quality piece of equipment.
This is a twist zoom lens, you turn the zoom ring to adjust it. It is super smooth, too. The lens is fixed length- Unlike cheaper zooms, the end of the barrel does not extend or rotate during use.
Like many other "l" lenses, it is dust and weather sealed. If you pair it with a 1 series body, it's virtually weather tight. On other canon bodies, you still have a 'weak point' where the lens attaches to the body (there is no gasket). But, you don't need to worry about the rain nearly as much.
The lens has canons ultra smooth, quiet USM focus system- Which is always ready to be manually focused- Just grab the ring and focus away. Unlike less expensive ring motor models, where you have to flip a switch. This can be really helpful if you ever need to 'tweak' the autofocus a bit.
As the thing is built like a sherman tank, it is HEAVY. But, that is the price you pay for quality optics! You'll certainly know that you are toting this around with you, but look at the bright side- You can cancel your gym membership to make up for the cost of the lens!
The optical quality of this lens is beyond impressive- It is UNREAL. Images are tack sharp throughout the zoom range. I have heard comments that it softens up a bit at the high end (200mm), but I have not seen it in person- And I have looked close!
Best Uses This lens shines in a lot of areas, but there are a few that it is particularly great for-
Low Light With a f/2.8 apeture, and IS, this is a KILLER lens in low light. Wedding and sports photographers Love it. For shooting indoor sports events, like swim meets, it is great- Especially since they often don't allow flash.
Portraits Rather than buy that 100mm prime for portrait work, why not enjoy the versatility of a zoom? The 8 blade apeture, at f/2.8, produces a KILLER bokeh (background blur) in portraits.
Sports I already mentioned this under 'low light', above, But it is also great for outdoor sporting events as well. The Image Stabilizer really helps when shooting the action handheld!
Wildlife This lacks the reach that a serious wildlife photographer will need, but it is good for some limited wildlife work, especially in a zoo environment. You'll want more reach for birds, and other smaller or more 'skittish' critters, though. You just won't be able to get close enough.
Street I love this lens on the street, for candids. The long reach allows you to take shots of people before they even know that they have been photographed.
Dislikes There is little NOT to love about this lens, other than the weight and size. The only other 'issue' that I have had is that cool grey color makes it stand out- REALLY stand out- That was Canon's intent. It screams "BIG EXPENSIVE LENS", which unfortunately also screams "MUG ME" in some situations. Other than that, no complaints from me!
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