Does everything I expect it to.
I'm a photojournalist working in the field everyday for a newspaper, and I usually use my wide, but when I need the long glass, this almost always does the job. I hesitated for a long time about whether to spend the extra dough for the 2.8 IS, or just get the 2.8 non-IS instead of this lens, and needless to say I went with the f/4 IS. My thinking was, there are going to be a lot more situations where I need the 2-4 stop IS than the one stop aperture improvement.So far, I've had it for about 5 months, and I have no complaints. People who say it's heavy just aren't used to professional lenses. Carry a 2.8 IS around for a while, and you'll appreciate how light this lens is. It's about the size of a tall boy beverage can, fits easily in my bag and doesn't weigh it down too much.It's about the sharpest lens I've used in the realm of Canon 35mm-type, focus is sharp and fast. Works great for sports. Even indoors, for the most part. The extra stop would be nice when the arena you're shooting in is really dim, but even shooting basketball it's better to shoot at f/4 anyway. I'm sure at some point, when I have more money than I know what to do with (which I'm hoping will be soon...), I'll break down and buy the 2.8 IS, but in the meantime, this lens is beautiful, reliable, light, sharp, and the zoom is smooth, silky and well damped. I prefer primes anyway, so I think I'll probably just get the 135 f/2L, 85 f/1.2L or 200 f/2L for portraits or whatever.The only negative I can imagine is that the lens hood is ugly as sin. Works like a charm, but let's face it, an attractive camera and lens is just a littttle bit more fun to own.Hope that helps.
Nothing beats it for the cost!
This baby rocks. Expensive, yes, but the quality is unsurpassed. I'm no pro, but this lens makes you want to be a better photographer...because frankly you really have to try hard to take a bad picture with this lens. You get the picture framed properly, and this lens will do the rest.
Even wide open at f/4, it takes near-perfect photos. I can hardly tell any difference when you step down a stop or two. AF is always tack perfect!
If you primarily want something for action photos, consider getting it without IS (as it will save you a little weight and about $400+). If you really need the low-light capabilities, then consider the f/2.8 IS version (with additional weight and $600 extra!!!).
But if you plan on using it for portraits, stills, or basically anything under 1/250 shutter speed, then you're going want the IS. It's definitely worth it for what I often use it for. I've tested the f/2.8 and it's just not worth it for 95% of what I shoot, especially given the fact that the f/4 is considerably lighter!
Forgo those fancy dinners for 8 months, and just get it. You can survive on rice, beans, and salad....but you can't survive without this one in your back. You won't be disappointed.
I chose the f/4.0 over the f/2.8 because of cost (approx half) and weight. Since I'm not as steady as I used to be and I like to take outdoor/wildlife photos the IS feature is more important than the larger aperture opening. The f/4.0 IS and F2.8 non IS are comparable in price.
The AF action is quick, smooth, and precise. The optics are excellent and pictures are of good quality.
I coupled the lens with a Canon 1.4X extender on my Canon XSi camera and got some good quality pictures on my cross country road trip.
I have since added the Lens "tripod" mount to better balance the lens and camera when using a monopod/tripod, and a Canon 2X extender. I would recommend the tripod lens mount especially when using the extenders.
The 2X Extender will cost you two full f stops and therefore disables the AF function of the lens (it works just fine with the 1.4X extender). If this is important to you go to the f/2.8 and choose between th IS and non IS versions.
Al in all a great lens.
This lens is superb but co$tly.
Wow. After having read constant praise of this lens, I have to agree--it is sharp, beautiful bokeh, a masterpiece.But in using it my daily life, I found it a bit too heavy, I need a 300mm zoom for my zoo animals, the IS (though fabulous) depleted the battery on my Canon 50D, and I have just reached the point that I don't want to spend [$] or more on a lens, especially if it is for the "Canon" tax. I found such a lens in the Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD lens (see my review). For one-third the cost (after a good rebate, and Tamron is very quick to honor theirs), this 70-300mm is actually in the same league as the 70-200mm f/4L. The Tamron is an amazing lens, and my comparisons in Aperture were initially hard to believe.Still, having actually used the Canon 70-200mm f/4L lens, is see why it is a legend. But other lens makers are improving their zooms rapidly, while Canon never seems to lower its prices...
The Best Zoom Out There
I was one of the first adopters of this lens - paid full retail for it. I had the non-IS version of it at the same time and I was able to do some comparison photos. Where the 2.8 version is supposed to have slightly less IQ on the IS lens, there's certainly not the problem here. My copy of the IS beat the non-IS on every shot.
This is - as tested by a number of sites - the sharpest, highest resolution zoom out there. In many cases, it beats primes of the same focal length. Added to that is Canon's simply incredible 4-stop IS system. And it's pretty light, too!
I've used it alone and with a 1.4xTC. Using the TC slows down focusing a little and you have to have good lighting, but you can get some wonderful shots. All in all, this is THE lens to beat in the focal length. There's really nothing else like it.
I love this lens
I love this lens. I often hike with this being the only lens I take along. With a full frame body, I rarely need wider than 70mm and when I do, I take two or three 70mm shots (portrait) and stitch them together later. I do sometimes wish I had the brighter view finder that the f/2.8 version of this lens provides, but that lens weighs more than twice what this one does and is of course larger. Also, a full frame viewfinder is naturally brighter than an APS-C viewfinder so that helps. With today's cameras that have modest noise at ISO 800 or 1600, I use higher ISO to make f/4 sufficient when there isn't much light. And it's surprising how low the depth of field can be with an f/4 tele lens. I didn't have a problem deciding where to spend the $750 I saved by going f/4 instead of f2.8.
Buy this Lens
For years I was the White lens wanna be. I have spent 200, 300, even 400 dollars on various zoom lenses for years never laying down the extra money for the big boy lense. Oh the money I could have saved in the long run. On my 30D this lense is very manageable. Anyone who tells you it is too heavy needs to spend a little more time with something other than a Bic-Mac and a beer in their hands. If you are the least bit fit, and used to backpacking, purses, or weapons being slung for hours and days on end then you will have no issue with the weight. The payoff from just leaving it on is outstanding. My 20D with a 17-85 IS USM and my 30 with this lens is almost a perfect kit for a vacation, day out or event if you want it simple. BUY THIS LENS
A great lens
I got this lens about 2 weeks ago and couldn't be happier. First off, I ordered a used lens with a D grade. The lens was in such great shape I honestly thought they sent me a brand new one by mistake. Upon its first use I noticed a large improvement in my photos. Focus is tack sharp and very fast. I was mainly shooting Canada Geese down at the river, yes you do need to crop the image to get the close up you want but with this lens that does not matter. The image is still very sharp even when cropping.
What else is there to say, it's a fantastic lens.
I guess if I had to point out one bad thing it would be this, once you use an L lens you're going to want another, then another and so on.
My first Canon L-series lens is a winner
I have always enjoyed shooting w/telephoto zoom lenses on Canon film slr's. I now shoot almost exclusively in digital. I particularly like the not-so-intrusive reach a telephoto zoom offers. Great for candids. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L IS USM lens is my first L-series lens. I have to admit this has been a wonderful purchase! I have it paired w/a Canon EOS 50D. Sharp images throughout the zoom range, reasonably fast for a telephoto zoom @ f/4.0, IS – all features which help enhance my photographic skill set. I am glad I purchased this lens. It has exceeded my expectations. Also, great to use w/a B+W MRC circular polarizer.
Btw, I opted for the 4.0 instead of the 2.8 since my primary use for this lens is targeted primarily to outdoor/acceptable light conditions. For other conditions, I use a 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens.
I just could not believe how good is the image quality with this lens. Amazing! Very sharp images so full of information/details. Build quality is suberb. Very solid and reliable. I just wish they could focus closer to the subject, but I know this type of lens is not designed for that. Yes it looks quite expensive, but I have absolutly no regrets. It is actualy a great value, given its quality in all aspects. Could not find any real downside (except I think it should be delivered with the tripod collar). I would recommend it to anyone interested in that 70-200mm range. Great for portraits, great for kids! Again, astonishing quality. I could not see any anoying chromatic aberration, but I still have not taken pictures against the sunlight (usually tree leafs present some chromatic aberration in such cases).