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Thread: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM

  1. #1

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    Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM

    I am thinking about buying this lens, to replce my 75-300 usm lens, I want it primarily to shoot at a distance of about 50 foot[ wildlife] am I right in thinking it will do the job? thanks.

  2. #2

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    Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM

    Hi, I have this lens and it gives excellent results, there are two options on this lens image stability or not, I have the none IS but as long as you use a tripod I see no reason to buy the more expensive IS model. Also take into account the camera you are going to use full frame or crop, with a crop (Canon) you will get I believe 340mm 70-200 X 1.6 maybe my maths is not what it used to be
    The other advantage of the none IS version is the much cheaper price.
    Russ

  3. #3
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM

    Birds move around a bit so; since 1/200 is a bit slow for a moving subject then non IS is fine. It is a really good lens but if I didn't mind the weight I would go for the f2.8L.

  4. #4
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    Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM

    The 70-200mm f/4L is a very good lens however, the IS version is far more versatile. When I shot with my previous non-IS model, I felt like I was a prisoner to bright conditions.

    I purchased the 70-200mm f/4L non-IS lens before the IS model was released. Although I did like this lens quite a bit, I would normally only use it tripod or monopod mounted or in the bright sun. I purchased the lens fully expecting this and was not shocked or disappointed at its performance.

    At that time, the only Canon telephotos with IS available were the excellent but very heavy 70-200mm f/2.8L IS and the 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS which is pretty much a dog as far as IQ is concerned.

    I always felt constrained using the non-IS 70-200mm f/4L lens. I wanted a lens which I could use in conjunction with a mid-range zoom and which I could hand-hold in other than the brightest conditions. When Canon introduced the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens I snapped up one of the first copies and never looked back.

    I shoot with two 1.6x cameras wearing the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and the 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses and this is the best and most versatile focal range combination I have ever used. IMO, I can travel just about anywhere and shoot just about anything with these two lenses. I would not enjoy shooting with the 17-55mm lens alone because the tele end is just not long enough for my uses. However, adding the 70-200mm f/4L IS to the mix opens my horizons.

    Of course, the IS model is more expensive than the non-IS version but, it is really a better and more versatile lens than the non-IS version. I can shoot at 1/60 second expecting 100% sharp images and I use my IS lens 4-5x more than I was ever able to use the non-IS version. The lens has become my favorite portrait glass and it is one of the best lenses with which I have ever shot. I have not compared the quality of the IS version, head to head, against the non-IS lens but, it seems to me that the IQ and Bokeh is a bit better.

    I would not specifically select either of the 70-200mm f/4L lenses as a wildlife glass because, 200mm just is not quite long enough. However, the 1.4x TC can add some length and the IQ and AF doesn't suffer too badly. I have not seen a head to head comparison of the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS lens (non-L) against the 70-200mm f/4L IS with 1.4x TC but, if I needed 300mm or so, I would be prone to investigating that lens. The L version of the 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS lens would be neat but it is quite a bit more expensive.

    The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS (series) lenses are great but they are also too heavy for my walk-around photography uses. I occasionally carry my 300mm f/4L IS (which weighs approximately the same as an f/2.8 model) on all-day walk around photo excursions and the lens is far too heavy for me to carry comfortably.

    See my China galleries at http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/ which were entirely shot with the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses on 40D and 30D cameras.

    BTW: I don't know about used lens prices in he UK but, the difference in price between a used IS and a non-IS version of the lens here in the USA is not as mind boggling as the difference in new prices.

  5. #5

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    Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM

    I use the F4 IS version and totally agree with what Richard said.

    However, depending on the required use, there may be a few other things to consider.

    Firstly, forget about equivalent comparisons with lens sizes on full frame cameras versus crop sensors. The simple fact is that you currently have 300 mm max and you are considering 200 mm; and your camera body hasn't changed.

    So you are losing 100 mm. If a lot of your photography is in the 200-300 range you will be disappointed with the results; except for the greatly improved image quality.

    It is true, as Richard mentioned, that a 1.4x converter would almost restore the 300 mm option. But do you currently have a suitable converter?

    If not, when you add this cost to the 70-200 (if you get the IS version) it is time to also consider other alternatives. For instance, the new 70-300 L IS which, although I haven't used it myself, has produced some excellent results for a friend.

    What is your budget and why are you wishing to change, exactly what will you be photographing? The standard 70-300 IS produces good photos, although admittedly not quite as good as the 70-200 L range.

    Do you need a zoom? If most of the shots are going to require 300 mm the Canon 300 mm prime lens might be another suggestion; it will work well with a converter. Alternatively, a 400 mm might be a better bet. Or the Canon 100-400 L.

    I think we really need some more details of the exact intended use.

  6. #6

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    Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM

    Thanks for all replies, my primary consideration is for wildlife, also in the winter months the shortest part of my garden is approx 50 ft which is a haven for all sorts of wildlife so I could shoot from indoors , budget is around 400, so if someone could give me third party lens alternatives I would be grateful, thanks

  7. #7

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    Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek G View Post
    Thanks for all replies, my primary consideration is for wildlife, also in the winter months the shortest part of my garden is approx 50 ft which is a haven for all sorts of wildlife so I could shoot from indoors , budget is around 400, so if someone could give me third party lens alternatives I would be grateful, thanks
    Hi, You don't need third party as with just 50 extra on your budget you can buy a new one, OK i no it's Ebay but it is new and in the UK Item number:110797315826
    Price:439.99 +10 P&P.
    I just did a search on yahoo.
    Russ

  8. #8

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    Re: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM

    But what would be the smallest 'wildlife' that you wish to photograph, Derek?

    In the winter, I sometimes shoot from my garden shed, as a hide, with a distance of around 30ft and use 500 mm for small birds; like robin, greenfinch, blackbird, etc. That is from an open window as shooting through glass is full of potential problems.

    So for that sort of photography, I would say 300 mm is the absolute minimum. The problem with going bigger is the cost, unless you are really lucky and find something good secondhand.

    Possibly, keep your existing lens for now or get the standard 70-300 and construct a hide closer to your targets may be the best option. And, if you don't already do it, always use a tripod if your shutter speed is reduced.

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