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Canon 70-200 F4

17 May 2006 6:31AM
Looking at this lens for a future purchase but would like to know its versatility in terms of occassional portrait work (not professional), close up sporting events such as Triathalons and some nature shots such as isolating flowers, lanscapes and seascapes (eg- waves).

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wotashot 13 2.2k
17 May 2006 6:41AM
You wont regret it - its a belter for what you describe.
andytvcams 14 10.4k 1 United Kingdom
17 May 2006 6:50AM
I used one the other day.

Nice lens..
Tony_M 13 342 England
17 May 2006 7:02AM
It's the lens that goes on my camera most often, including wildlife close-up shots. It is very versatile, and a good match for your new 350D.
cambirder 13 7.2k England
17 May 2006 7:30AM
This lens is one of the best buys around. It is excellent for nature shots, and works well with extension tubes is you want to get in really close, the Canon 1.4 converter is also very god on this lens if you want a bit of extra reach. Many of the nature shots in my PF have been taken with this lens, although for macro work I now use a 100mm macro lens.

AF is fast and it is very sharp wide open so will be ideal for your sporting events. Fine for portraits too, although 70mm will be a bit long for full body or group shots due to the cameras 1.6 crop.

A bit expensive, but I do recommend you get the tripod collar, which gives better ballance and control when mounted on tri or monopod.
17 May 2006 7:34AM
Thanks for the replies. It is one lens that I have really had my eye on and I think that it is quite a versatile lens which could be used for a variety of purposes and offer quality results. Is it a very heavy lens for carrying around, hand held for a period of time?
* Just saw your message Cambirder. Good info. The portraits would not be full body, just an idea I would be thinking about of in the future to try something distance but being able to use the 70-200 for.
cambirder 13 7.2k England
17 May 2006 7:46AM
The lens is somewhat heavier and longer, than your average budget 70-200, but not excesively so at 705 grams (half the weight of the 2.8 version) I have no problem carrying one around all day.
_ 12 535 4 Virgin Islands, British
17 May 2006 7:53AM
Superb lens.
I had one for years and sold it and a 300/4 to buy a 100-400...........worst move I ever made!!!!!!!!!

I now use the 2.8 version with IS, but there is no difference between the sharpness of the shots I got with the /4 and the /2.8 ones.
67mm filter thread was a bit of a pain, but if you use a 24-85mm lens you will find it has the same thread.........also a highly under rated cheap lens.

peterjones 15 4.6k 1 United Kingdom
17 May 2006 9:22AM
John, I totally agree with your sentiments re the 100/400; IME a very over rated lens. Also agree that the 24/85 lens although not sold as such is easily "L" quality in terms of output.

I was interested to read that you regard the 300mm F4 just as sharp as the F2.8; the 300mm is on my shopping list as the next lens to get; apart from the stop difference, the weight and of course the price is there any other difference 'tween the two that affects output?

Many thanks, regards, Peter.
_ 12 535 4 Virgin Islands, British
17 May 2006 12:13PM
The 300/2.8 focuses miles quicker than the f4 esp with a 1 series body. The image in the viewfinder is a lot brighter too, this goes for any 2.8 lens, but when using a 300 or 400 it really jumps out you.

My kit for years was made up of three lenses, the 70-200/4 the 300/4 and the 24-85, some of my best shots were made with these three lenses. The 2.8 lenses just make things a bit easier when light is at a premium.

peterjones 15 4.6k 1 United Kingdom
17 May 2006 2:00PM
Many thanks John Smile

Rgds. Peter
Mitzi 11 1.0k
17 May 2006 11:16PM
My problem with the f2.8 70-200mm was mainly the sheer size of the thing - and the expense! The f4 is just as good optically and much lighter to carry around.
mjsayles 11 1.0k
18 May 2006 12:05AM
I got the 70-200 f4 over the f2.8 for two reasons.

1. Cost
2. Size/weight

Cost was the main factor, but I also wanted to be able to carry it for long periods, and I didn't fancy the bulk/weight of the f2.8. But let's not kid anyone - cost was the major factor.

Anyway, as others have said, the 70-200 f4 is an absolute beauty. Often said to be the best 'bang for bucks' lens in the entire Canon range. I use it for wildlife, wildflowers (works very well with extension tubes for this, but is excellent on its own) and portraits. I don't do sports photography, but I can't see how it wouldn't be good for the kind of sports you're interested in.
Clarence 12 136 United Kingdom
18 May 2006 12:32AM
I have the 70-200 f4 and love it. As said above light relative to it's f2.8 sibling and without IS you do need to keep it steady.

John/Peter, interesting that you are not impressed with the 100-400? I bought mine last year instead of the 300 prime simply for the flexibility. I was impressed but have not had a chance to compare so what have you found it's weaknesses to be? (apart from it being an alleged dust sucker)
peterjones 15 4.6k 1 United Kingdom
18 May 2006 9:47AM
I have never noticed the 100/400 to be a dust sucker but to me the lens did everything to just a merely acceptable standard.

Detail was always lacking, I could never get anything sharp with the lens despite IS or even on a tripod without IS; I always had to use plenty of USM.

My 70/200 F2.8 gives superlative results by comparison even down to a 1/4 second; it was probably me I didn't like the 100/400 lens, I didn't like the handling, too slow in terms of focus and maximum aperture.

Just my opinion, no doubt others have different views; I got rid of the thing on ebay.


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