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CANON EF 70-200 F4 L USM ZOOM LENS.


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My local camera store has this Canon lens on sale right now for $700.

 

http://www.henrys.com/323-CANON-EF-70-200-F4-L-USM-ZOOM-LENS.aspx

 

It does not have image stabilization but its IS counterpart is beyond my reach at the moment.

 

I know on a tripod it would not be an issue, but hand held, if its as heavy as its IS cousin, I am afraid camera shake would become a problem.

 

What would be the safest shutter speed for this lens hand held? Is it worth the investment?

 

Jill

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It is reckoned that a shutter speed of 1/200th should be fast enough but I would personally go with a minimum of 1/500th. Just to be sure.

 

Allan

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I have one and use it a lot with a 5DII...very sharp even at f4...however I try to shoot a 1/400+ at long end.

 

However, 700USD doesn't seem like such a great deal, here I can get it new for 550Euros = 603USD!

 

Phil

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I have one and use it a lot with a 5DII...very sharp even at f4...however I try to shoot a 1/400+ at long end.

 

However, 700USD doesn't seem like such a great deal, here I can get it new for 550Euros = 603USD!

 

Phil

 

$700CDN which right now is $535US.

 

Jill

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It's a great lens. I use it with a 5D11. IS will not help you. 

 

Hand holding at 200mm with mirror NOT locked up, I am safe at 1/640 second. Maybe safe at 1/500 second. I can see softness on one side of image at 1/400 second. I am not Mr Shakey, so the softness is due to vibration from camera mechanism. IS will not solve this problem. If I had to replace the lens, I would buy the cheaper none IS version.

 

There is an extra cost tripod collar for the lens, but you do not need it if you connect your camera body to a sturdy tripod.

 

My usual method for hand held is to shoot at F5.6, Aperture priority, and up ISO until I get 1/640 second.

 

walking-the-dog-on-the-waterfront-trail-

Quick grab shot with camera preset to F5.6 Aperture priority, ISO 400, zoomed to 180mm, camera selected 1/640 second . Autofocus on people only, the focus on dog is going soft.

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I have one and when it's good it's great, but mine occasionally shows softness down one side of the image. I need to test it thoroughly to see exactly in what circumstances this is occurring, but I'm hardly using Canon now. I've not been too lucky with Canon lenses, my 24-70 was much worse, while, fortunately,  my 24-105 is a cracker. 

 

Test carefully at all focal lengths and subject distances while under guarantee or within return period.

 

Edit - Just read Bill's post more carefully, maybe my lens is fine but I need to up the shutter speed!

Edited by Bryan
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It's a great lens. Occasionally at low light I miss the f2.8 edition, but it is larger, more expensive and weighs more.

 

PS Mine does have the IS.

Edited by Niels Quist
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I agree with Niels. In film days I had a 80-200 Nikkor F2.8 but never used it at 2.8 because I usually needed a F5.6 depth of field. I also hike a lot, and a F4 70-200 is heavy enough.

 

Bryan: at 1/400 and 200mm the left half of a horizontal frame is slightly softer than the right half. It is not the camera lens mount, or the lens, as the softness clears up at 1/640.

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The age-old general shutter speed rule for hand held, of course, is matching the lens focal length to the shutter speed. So shoot at least 1/200 th sec at focal length 200, at least 100th sec at 100 mm, etc. I do currently have the f4 non-IS version and no complaints whatsoever,

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I have one and use it a lot with a 5DII...very sharp even at f4...however I try to shoot a 1/400+ at long end.

 

However, 700USD doesn't seem like such a great deal, here I can get it new for 550Euros = 603USD!

 

Phil

 

$700CDN which right now is $535US.

 

Jill

 

Ooops....I should have looked at your location! In that case I'd grab it ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

As others have said, Jill, it is a very good lens, and very light: when I bought it I initially thought the shop had sent me an empty box. It is, though, as you would expect with an L-series lens, sturdy and well made.

 

I typically use it at 1/400th or faster.

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Jill, if you can wait and acquire the f/2.8 IS then do that - by all means.

 

A friend of mine has one and I have compared them side to side.  The f/4 will work fine, but the f/2.8 IS is amazing.

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Jill, if you can wait and acquire the f/2.8 IS then do that - by all means.

 

A friend of mine has one and I have compared them side to side.  The f/4 will work fine, but the f/2.8 IS is amazing.

 

 

I have used the f/2.8 and was madly in love with it. But at more than double the cost of the f4, it is unlikely my budget will allow it. Right now I have to put off the f/4 as car repair has got in the way.  There is a local person with an f/4 for sale, but weary of investing high dollars on equipment that I have no knowledge of how well it was looked after.

 

Jill

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I sold my f/2.8 IS/USM and bought the f/4 non-IS and I love it! Just as sharp, easy to hand hold. I bought the tripod mount thinking I'd need it. The ring sits in a drawer. :)  It is much lighter and smaller and true, it's one stop slower. It all depends on your needs and shooting situations. But the f/4 is just as sharp. Also I should mention, I don't use IS except in extreme situations, where a tripod is not available.

 

There are tools and methods to get fine shots, without IS. The Little Brother 70-200 is a fine quality lens.

Edited by Klinger
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When shooting a stationary subject at slow shutter speeds with an IS lens, I found the following:

 

Hand held IS off equals lots of motion blur

 

Hand held IS on equals a bit of motion blur

 

Camera on tripod equals no motion blur

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