Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Hipnomac, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Hipnomac macrumors regular

    Hipnomac

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    #1
    This is only $600 at amazon, and with black friday coming up, there might be an even better deal to be had.

    i dont have any L lenses yet, and I just purchased my first DSLR 6 months ago. I've been getting much better, and Im currently in a place to shoot excellent wildlife shots.

    Anybody had good experiences with this lens? picture quality when using a cropped camera?

    thanks.
     
  2. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    #2
    I have had one and had really great results.

    In fact I bought it because by all account it was sharper than the Canon 70-200mm L f/2.8 Mk I. Canon recently released the Canon 70-200mm L f/2.8 Mk II and it is now as sharp as the f/4.

    I know the base 70-200 f/4 L is about $600. Their IS version is almost twice that but it includes IS and more importantly is 'weather sealed'. Weather sealed can be a huge plus if you plan on shooting on beaches or lake fronts.
     
  3. Hipnomac thread starter macrumors regular

    Hipnomac

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    #3
    Thanks buddy, I appreciate it. Yeah I saw the one with IS which would be nice, but we are on a limited budget and really need a telephoto for wildlife, we are in the jungle, so we only shoot when we know there isnt going to be rain.

    Quick question: Can you recommend a good Wide Angle as well, around the same price.
     
  4. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #4
    The 70-200 f/4 was absolutely killer on my old 10D. In terms of pure IQ, it was easily on par with the 85L and 35L.

    I sold it because I needed something much faster than f/4 in the 70-100 range, and I don't shoot at >100mm very often. Hence the 85L.

    But if you need something in the 70-200 range and you're ok with f/4, this lens is absolutely an incredible value. Highly recommended.
     
  5. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #5
    To the best of my knowledge all Canon L lenses are weather sealed, not just the IS versions. That taken into account, weather sealing is only complete if the camera is sealed as well. Only the 7D and 5D series cameras are weather sealed.

    A lens that goes out to 200mm isn't really great for wildlife, especially birds. I have a Sigma 120-400 on my Canon XSi and it is just usable. Great for ducks and the like but the raptors are a bit farther out and more wary. The serious birders that I see out at my local wildlife preserve have 600mm lenses on crop body cameras.

    The 70-200 f/4 is a very good general purpose lens.

    Here are Flickr Group links to compare what people shoot with this lens and a comparison link for a longer lens.

    70-200

    Canon 100-400

    The Expensive 600mm Serious Bird link

    Dale
     
  6. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Nope. I have three L-series lenses (17-40L, 35L, 85L mkII), and only the 17-40 is sealed, and then only with a UV filter on the front.

    The 70-200 f/4L non-IS is not weather sealed.
     
  7. harcosparky, Nov 22, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

    harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Incorrect!

    Canon 70mm-200mm f/4 L ---> NOT Weathersealed

    Canon 100mm-400mm IS L ----> NOT Weathersealed



    Incorrect as well ... depending on the lens.

    The lens is weather seal and a part of that seal package is a ring gasket on the mount. Some weather sealed lenses require a filter on the end to complete the seal, some do not. Those that do not require a seal are still weather sealed and protect the lens but will not protect the body unless it is sealed as well.


    You forgot the camera used most by professionals ... the ID series.

    Weatherproofing levels ....

    1D Series BEST
    7D Series BETTER
    5D Mk II GOOD

    Here are the combinations I see when out shooting Eagles.

    What the Professionals use...... ( most have two cameras )
    On The Tripod --- EOS 1D Series Camera - Canon 600mm or 800mm lens.
    Around Their Neck ---- EOS 7D - Canon 100mm-400mm IS L lens.


    This image was done with a 7D and Canon 100mm-400mm IS L lens by me at Conowingo Maryland.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Hipnomac thread starter macrumors regular

    Hipnomac

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    #8
    Thanks for the recommendation Dale. I guess I was a bit fooled by the appearance of the lens, and its ability to Zoom, and totally neglected the fact that it's 200mm. I have currently have a 55-250mm kit Lens, and although we've gotten some awesome bird pictures from it, it's the distance that has been killing us. I'm sure the 200mm takes awesome photos, being an L, but I was looking for range. I appreciate it. The question is can we scrounge up the extra $$ for it.

    @everyone else, thanks so much for your input.

    ----------

    Awesome shot!

    Since I am still learning, and don't have the cash flow for professional equipment, I think we are going to go with the Sigma 120-400m.

    @Harkosparky & @Dale or any other wildlife photographer: We are currently in the Belizean jungle, getting our blog going taking nature shots. There are so many migratory and local birds to take pictures of. If you're interested we have opportunities for photographers to come down and stay for free in exchange for use of the photos... PM me if you're interested.
     
  9. Zmmin3 macrumors regular

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    #9
    Beware the 70-200 F4! With that quality for that price, it is a gateway drug!

    After getting it, you'll find yourself wanting the more expensive white stuff!!!!

    ;) :D
     
  10. aerok macrumors 65816

    aerok

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    #10
    I'll safely assume you didn't mean the powdery stuff...
     
  11. Zmmin3 macrumors regular

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    #11
    That would be correct!
     
  12. aerok macrumors 65816

    aerok

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    #12
    I already have 4 lenses and plan on buying this one next with IS. I just wish they were more affordable :(
     
  13. hitek79 macrumors member

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    #13
    Shop around

    I purchased this lens for $375 on Craigslist which was an total steal, but you can regularly find it for $450 used.
     
  14. aerok macrumors 65816

    aerok

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    #14
    Don't forget that the IS version is a lot more, lowest I found was $900 used.
     
  15. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #15
    You won't go wrong with the 70-200mm f/4L USM as your first L lens. It's a little gem of a lens.

    By the way, while it's not a lens for wildlife photography, all depends on the size of the animal you are taking photos of, and the distance. For example, while taking photos of moose in the wild (Alaska), often times I have to switch to my second camera with a 200mm f/2.5L because the 400mm L on the other camera is too long. When taking photos of ducks or seagulls at a local river, I use either the 70-200 f/4L, or the 200mm prime above.

    As a starter the 70-200 f/4L will be an excellent choice. You will just have to get closer to your subject. Besides, you will find plenty of uses for it other than wildlife.

    70-200 f/4L
    [​IMG]

    400mm L
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    200mm f/2.5L
    [​IMG]
     
  16. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    Alaska
    #16
    200mm f/2.5L
    [​IMG]
    Plus a Kenko tube
    [​IMG]

    No tube on this ones
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Hipnomac thread starter macrumors regular

    Hipnomac

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    #17
    Awesome shots, thanks for the insight. Distance is our main issue, as we are going for the birds, there are hundreds of local and migratory birds on the reserve, and we need the distance. I think we are going with the 120-400 by Sigma.

    Thanks to everyone for their input, it helped a lot. An L is going to have to wait until next time.
     
  18. LadyMacBeth43 macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I use the 70-200 f4 L on my XSI. It was my first L series, and we tried a 100-400 before that and there was just no comparison in the movement of the lens.

    This lens is a great way to get into the L series. The cropped sensor is going to give you a little more reach, won't it? I thought it worked out to really being 112-320 when the 1.6 crop factor is factored in, but I will leave it to the others to jump all over that if I'm incorrect.

    If you like to use a monopod or tripod, the ring mount collar is a good idea, because that lens is going to really unbalance a smaller camera. The ring mount cost us an additional $140. For the way I use the camera, I really needed the collar. Others may not.

    I'm very happy with the 4.0 in daylight situations, particularly in strong sun. I have significant enough trouble in lower light that I often wish the 2.8 had been possible. An eventual body upgrade may help with this, but that is years down the road, and I foresee many more years of me swapping out to my 50mm just because the light is too low for the 4.0.

    I can wear the 70-200 mounted on the XSI very comfortably on the Cotton Carrier harness while hiking. It fits standing up in my messenger style camera bag when I wrap it for travel, and with the smaller body size I find it relatively easy to stow in a horizontal position inside the bag for short periods of time. I do feel the camera is a little off-balance when this lens is on, so I don't like to travel with it on.
     
  19. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #19
    $140 for a ring mount? The sigma 120-400 I chose instead had one in the box. What's next, pay for lens caps and hoods for L lenses?

    Dale

    Occupy Third Party Vendors
     
  20. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

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    #20
    Ouch, my 400L came with a tripod mount, you can get Asian knock-offs for a lot cheaper on eBay.

    Nice shots, but 200mm f/2.5L? I've never heard of such a lens, are referring to the 200mm f/2.8L?

    [​IMG]

    I think it's going to be my next...
     
  21. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    #21
    I tried the Sigma 120-400mm against the Canon 100-400mm L.

    I chose the L, sharper, better color and contrast ... but pricey.

    Tripod Ring on Canon 100-400mm L = INCLUDED ( as are the caps, hood, and case )

    I have owned the Canon 70-200mm f/4 in the past and cannot see a reason for needing a tripod ring for that lens. Small and light enough to hand hold, mount it to the camera and the camera to the tripod.

    If a lens needs a Tripod Ring, Canon includes it.
     
  22. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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  23. simio macrumors newbie

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    #23
    Wow, AlaskaMoose, those are some really nice shots! Great job.
     

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