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This is a review of the canon EF 70-200mm F4.0 non IS lens. I have own this lens for just over 2 years and it is the best lens I have ever owned. I brought this lens because I wanted to replace my sigma 70-300mm lens which I got in a bundle with the camera which is a good lens for the £200, that is what it would have cost me to buy and it served me well over the years but I was looking for a better quality lens that I could use every day, so after reading hundreds of review seriously hundred and if I looked harder I probably could have read thousand. Nearly every review was positive and the only one that weren’t was because of the place where they were brought from and not about the lens.
So after deciding to go for this telephoto lens and having to take a drop in focal length I decided to buy this lens. when I unpack the lens it came in a strong box well protected and inside I found the lens, the lens pouch and the ET-74 lens hood, which in most review I read said you have to buy them separately, so luckily for me the shop where I brought the lens included them in the price. You also get the lens caps and the instruction manual.
The lens itself weights more than want you first think (705g) but compared to is big brother the canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS (1490g) this is super light I know people who can only hold that lens and camera for a couple of hours before their arm start to hurt but the 70-200mm f4.0 lens is very light in comparison, I have personally spend 5-6 hours holding the camera at air show and motor races with no problem what so ever and out of all the telephoto lens L series that (the white lens) this is the lightest out of all of them.
The construction of the lens is fantastic, all metal construction built to the highest quality and it doesn’t matter if you buy this lens the cheapest of the L series or one for £8000 they are all built to the same standard so you can have confidence in what you are buying is a pro bit of kit and as added bonus if you buy this lens in the UK or Europe you can sign up to the CPN which is canon professional photographer network, there a few rules like you need two pro camera bodies and three pro lens but it is a great services and if you do qualify then it is worth doing, the website http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/index.do where you can see the terms and condition to see if you qualify. There are two switch on the body one for AF/MF, to be honest the auto focuses is fantastic the Ultrasonic Motor (USM) that canon use is super fast and very precise, I personally never use manual at all it is that good. The other switch change between minimum focusing distance of 1.2m and 3m this is supposed to speed up the speed of focusing when taking a photo of a distant object but I personally can’t see any different maybe you could see a difference if you were using the lens on a canon 1Ds or something but on most of the range that canon do there is no noticeable different . The two black rubber ring are zoom and manual focus there is also a distance window, which I never used.
The image quality is fantastic the colours are vibrant and with really good contrast. The image quality is razor sharp and has good depth of field at the widest aperture f4 and has a Min aperture of f32, I don’t think I have gone bellow f22 but it good to know I can if I need to, you can blur the background at f4 but the subject does need to be a few meters from the background or it will not be blurred, it is not as good as the f2.8 its big bother but that does cost 4 time the amount. There has been lots of reviews and test of this lens and most of them say that the f4.0 will match the image quality of the f2.8.
Taking photo with this lens is brilliant with whatever camera you attach it to, set the camera up in the right setting and this lens will happy take the photos, auto focusing quickly and silently all day everyday brilliantly.
There are only one or two small problem that don’t affect me but they may affect some people who want to buy this lens. The lens is not good in low light due to the fact it has no IS (image stabilizer) if you want that with this lens then that will cost you about £750. The widest aperture this lens will open to is F4 and that is not though in low light. If you want to uses one in low light then you would need to buy the f2.8 with IS but the new mark 2 cost over £2000 or you could get a third party lens cheaper. The tripod collar for this lens is very expensive costing over £100 but there are third party manufacture that will sell you one on Amazon for about £15-25 which does the same. This lens is not weather seal so you can’t uses it in the rain but then you have to have a weather sealed camera anyway (I haven’t) but most people don’t want their expensive camera to get wet anyway. so unless you are a hardcore photographer who goes trekking in all weather then this won’t make any difference to you anyway. These are only small problems and would only really affect pro photographer, most user like me will never run in to these problems.
Where to buy it from is a problem I found should I go to a high street shop? pay way more then what I need to or buy it on the internet? Then having the problem buying it brand new on the internet or second hand from eBay or photo auction site, there are some good one so I am told I just don’t know what one they are. So eBay, I never trusted site like eBay for electronic devices and that goes doubled for some think delicate like a lens. So I search the internet Google shopping was really good and I found that there was a massive difference in the price starting at like £300 to £700. I found a great site that sell brand new electronic equipment at really cheaper price I pay for the lens £370, a £180 cheaper then what Jessops was selling it on the high street at the time the website if you want to look is www.SimplyElectronics.net the current price at the time of writing this is £469 still cheaper the most high street shops.
My conclusion on this lens after using it for over 2 years and taking about 10000 photo with it, give or take 1 or 2, is that there are not many lens that you could buy for what this costs, that are as good as this. This is a must have for any canon SLR user because if you don’t have a lens like this in your bag then you are wasting what you camera is meant for. There are certain times that this lens wouldn’t work but they are few and far between and are so small that they can easily be over look. As long as you know what the limitation are for this lens then you will be surprised every time you press the shutter button.
Welcome to Ciao! This is such a superb review, that one can only assume you write elsewhere. Do you have any photos you can put up to illustrate the lens' prowess? Sounds like a good step up for me, since I sold my telephoto lens (after rubbish researching, and buying the wrong one). Diana :)