Can be a great lens
This is the second 70-200 mm lenses for me, I returned the first after a couple of weeks because I could not get a sharp image from it. The replacement lens was much better, but I at the time, I still rated it as the least sharp of the three lenses I own. I couldn't see what all the hype over L series lenses was all about.
A funny thing happened though, the more I have used this lens, the sharper it has gotten. The auto-focus has sped up, and become quieter as well. Now, I rate this as the sharpest of the three lenses, although the auto-focus is still slower and louder than the other two lenses. Why that is, I don't know, but this lens has gone from producing OK photos, to some mind blowingly sharp photos at times.
I have found that when using this lens near the limits of its close focusing capabilities, I have to switch to live view and focus manually to get the awesome sharpness this lens is capable of. I can use the servo mode of auto-focus to come close to that, one shot auto-focus produces variable results, usually not good.
At more typical working distances, this lens is blowing me away with the sharpness, color, contrast, and color saturation, but it was if it had to be broken in to get to this point. It's now producing photos so good that I can't imagine how the photos could be any better, and that's saying a lot. The photos are so sharp that you can "see" the texture of a bird's feathers, or the scales of a butterfly's wings.
There's a lot to love about this lens, like the fact that it doesn't change length when you zoom it, it stays set at whatever focal length you set for when using it near vertical, it's fairly light for it's focal length, and most of all, the photos that it can produce.
I use this lens on a 60D body, and apparently, there are differences in the way that lenses and bodies perform together. I purchased a second 60D body two weeks ago, and used this lens on the second body for a week, and the difference in the accuracy of the auto-focus is very noticeable, much better with body number two than the first.
One more thing, I purchased the non IS version, it works fine for me, but I would recommend the IS version, even though it is more expensive. I wished that I had done so. My other two lenses have it, and you don't know how much you will like something until you try it.
So, overall, this lens has a lot going for it, I have learned how to get some incredibly sharp images from it, I love it. But, I think that Canon should do a better job of making all their lenses work 100% with all their bodies, 100% of the time.
September 15, 2013
Best for Portrait Photography
Best for Portrait Photography and best for all photographer .
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August 22, 2013
Best Lens I Ever Purchased
I have had my 70-200 f4L since 2007. I've used it on a 30D, 7D, and now on my 6D. I also sometimes attach the 1.4x III extender when using it on the 6D. This by far has to be the best lens I have ever used. It is coming up on 6 years and I have never had an issue with it. The lens is consistently sharp and always performs when called upon. Over the 6 years of owning my 70-200 f4L I have photographed everything with it including wildlife, sporting events, airplanes, and scenery. No matter what the subject matter is I always get images that are sharp and crisp. This lens was my first "L" series and because of it I will never buy anything else.
I personally do recommend something like a 24-70 or 24-105 to complement the lens and to consider the 1.4x if using this on a full frame.
May 26, 2013
Very good purchase
Sharpness is not so good at the corners of the frame and the built quality is not as good as you would expect from an "L" lens, but that's all you can criticize of this zoom.
The 70-200/4 L is inexpensive, it has a unique color rendition (which I really love) it's light, compact, and it keeps its size even zooming. Considering its price, it is a very good purchase.
May 21, 2013