The Canon 70-200 2.8 is one Canon l lenses that call Canon shooters should have in their lens bag, and it doesn’t matter whether it is the image stabilised (IS) or the non-image stabilised (non IS) version since both are excellent.
The first Canon 70-200 2.8 lens I bought was the non-IS model a few years back when I first started out in photography. At that time I needed a 70-200mm lens and didn’t have the budget for pricier IS model so I bought the non-IS model instead. The non-IS model is cheaper than the IS model, but it isn’t cheap and I still had to save up to buy it, but boy was it worthwhile.
The image quality of the Canon 70-200 2.8 lens is simply stunning. Images are bright and vivid, without being oversaturated and there is good sharpness from the centre of the frame to the edges, with no barrel distortion or pin-cushioning. There is a learning curve with most Canon l lenses, however there isn’t with the 70-200mm f/2.8 and I was getting great shots straight out of the box.
With a maximum widest aperture of f/2.8 the 70-200 2.8 is a fast lens that will enable you to keep the shutter speeds up for sports and action photography. Since the aperture is constant throughout the entire range of focal lengths it is easy to keep the exposure nice and consistent whilst zooming in and out to take different photos. All you need to do is set the exposure once and that’s it. When using this lens there is no need to keep messing around with the exposure compensation button as you change focal lengths whilst taking pictures of the same subject.
Like all Canon l lenses the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 is not just optically brilliant, but it is constructed out of the best quality materials available. This means the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 is tough and durable, which is good given this lens is useful for a range of outdoor situations where you need a bullet proof lens.
The Canon 70-200 2.8 isn’t cheap but then it is a fast zoom lens of the highest quality, and given there are no good quality fast 70-200 lenses around the high price tag is to be expected. Sure, there are cheaper 70-200 f/2.8 lenses out there, but these are inferior to the Canon model.
f you want the best value for money 70-200 lens the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 is the lens to buy.
Even though I had the Canon 70-200 2.8, and I was very happy with it I wanted the Canon 70-200 is with the image stabilisation. I found I was doing more and more indoor photography and I wanted the image stabilisation so I could keep the shutter speeds up without having to bump the ISO too far. I was also fortunate enough to get a few paid shoots to fund the purchase of the Canon 70-200 is.
As you’d expect the excellent image quality and build quality is identical. Some people report the Canon 70-200 is is sharper and optically better, but from my experience I have not found this to be the case. Both the IS model and non-is 70-200 lens are the same with the only differences being the IS model is bigger and heavier, although not that much, and it has image stabilisation.
So what Canon 70-200 2.8 lens should you buy? The answer to this should depend on whether you want or need image stabilisation. If you want image stabilisation you should buy the IS model, however if you don’t really need it there is no point in shelling out the additional cash for the Canon 70-200 2.8 is as you will capture images of the same quality with the Canon 70-200 2.8. Having image stabilisation will help you keep the shutter speeds up without having to bump the ISO, so it is arguably more useful when shooting indoors or in low light.
The 70-200mm lens is one of the most versatile and useful zoom lenses out there, and it is a lens I use for many different things, including:-
Taking photos of dogs at dog shows
Dog shows and arenas are generally quite tight and you will quite close to the action, which means for frame filling photos a relatively short focal length zoom lens is needed, and this is where the 70 – 200 2.8 is comes into its own.
The 70mm wide end is enough to let you get large dog breeds, such as Great Danes and German Shepherds, fully in shot and the 200mm long end will allow you to get in nice and close for the smaller dog breeds, like pugs. The IS helps keeps shutter speeds up, however if you own the Canon 70-200 2.8 you can simply push the ISO a little for the same effect.
Taking photos of animals in zoos, at safari parks and wildlife parks
Zoos and wildlife parks allow you to get quite close to the animals but not right up close, and in my experience the 70-200 2.8 is lens is ideal focal length for taking photos. The 70mm wide end is enough to fit in the larger animals and the braver animals that come in close, and the 200mm long end allows for frame filling shots of those timid animals that refuse to get too close.
Most animal enclosures are outside therefore there it is seldom necessary to use the IS on the Canon 70-200 2.8 lens, so it doesn’t matter whether you have the 70-200 2.8 is or not. That said there will be times when light levels are low and the IS comes in handy so you don’t have to push the ISO.
Over ninety percent of my landscape photos are taken using a wide angle lens, my trusty 16mm – 35mm, and I am definitely in the ‘wider is better’ camp. That said, there are times when I do have to resort to a longer focal length to zoom in close to pick out something specific and the Canon 70-200 2.8 is the ideal lens in these situations.
When using the Canon 70-200 2.8 for landscape photography you definitely don’t need IS so I use the non-IS version, because it is slightly smaller and lighter, rather than the IS model. That said, either will do. I am just in the position where I can pick and choose what 70-200 2.8 lens to take along for the shoot.
The lens above is just one that I own and use for my photography. I, like all photographers carry many different lenses around with me and other lenses that I use include the following:-
Canon lens review - 100mm f2.8L IS macro
Whilst it is possible to do macro photography on a budget and use close up filters, reversing rings or extension tubes if you want to capture the highest quality macro photos you need a designated macro lens.
Having used a Canon macro 100mm f2.8 in the past I was impressed with it but once the 100mm f2.8L IS lens was released I simply had to have one.
This lens is absolutely awesome and not only can it record levels of detail you can’t see with the naked eye, it is tack sharp and it also has image stabilisation to enable sharp hand held shots at slower shutter speeds.
For an honest and unbiased review of the Canon 100mm f2.8L IS macro lens (yes I had to part with my own hard earned cash and buy it myself and wasn’t lucky enough to get given one to road test for free) and to see what it can do you may wish to take a look at this article. If you want a macro lens forget about the rest and go for this, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Canon lens review – 24mm -70mm f2.8L
The 24mm – 70mm focal range is useful for many things including landscapes, portraits, seascapes, travel and for general walkabout photography, and if there is one zoom lens every photographer should have in their lens bag it is a 24-70 zoom.
I originally bought the 24-70 for portraits because I had read about (and seen) the high image quality and the smooth and creamy bokeh.
It wasn’t until after I had the lens for a few weeks that I realised just how versatile it is, and I now use it for many different types of photo. The Canon 24-70 f2.8L lens is my workhorse and a lens I couldn’t live without and if you haven’t got a 24-70 lens I have to ask the question “why not?”
For a quick and honest review of the Canon 24-70 f2.8L lens (once again, it is a lens I had to buy myself and didn’t get gifted one to road test and report on) this article is something you should read.
Canon lens reviews - 50mm f1.8 “Nifty Fifty”
I only use Canon L series lenses these days, and upgraded from all my other non- L series lenses however I did keep my Canon 50mm f1.8, and couldn’t bear to part with it.
I bought the 50mm f1.8 as the first upgrade to my kit lens, and whilst it look and feels more like a toy than a serious piece of photography equipment it is a top performer and I have managed to get some cracking images using it.
I bought the f1.8 because the f1.2L is (in my opinion) way too expensive and I couldn’t justify the high price tag. Sure I would love an f1.2 lens but I am not prepared to pay that much for it. I chose the f1.8 over the f1.4 because, whilst the 1.8 is a little slower, the image quality of the 1.4 wide open isn’t that good and at f1.8 the 1.8 and the 1.4 are identical. The 1.4 is better built but the 1.8 is far better value for money.
For an honest and unbiased review of the Canon 50mm f1.8 lens take a look at this article. This is one lens you really do need, even if you are like me and only shoot L series lenses.
Canon lens review - 16-35 f4L IS
If you are serious about landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes and interiors you need a wide angle lens and the Canon 16-35 f4L IS should be top of your list. I chose the f4L IS over the f2.8L because the image quality of the f4L is better, the f4L is smaller, lighter and more manageable, the f4L has image stabilisation and the f4L is cheaper (you get a lot more bang for your buck).
The Canon 16-35 f4L is an awesome lens. The image quality is second to none and since it is built like a tank (i.e. very tough and durable) it is more than capable of being able to deal with whatever weather conditions Mother Nature throws at it.
For an honest and unbiased review of the 16-35 f4L IS lens from a long term user (once again, I was not blessed by any camera store for a free lens to put through its paces and report on) this article may be something you want to take a look at.
Canon lens review - 100-400L IS
The Canon 100-400 is, without a doubt, the best value for money super zoom lens on the market and I am stunned how Canon can sell such a top quality lens at such a great price. Okay, there are cheaper alternatives out there, and these cheaper alternatives go longer than 400mm but the image quality of the cheaper alternatives is absolute rubbish.
Combine that with the speed of the lenses (narrow maximum apertures of f6 or more) and it is easy to see the cheaper lenses simply aren’t worth buying. The image quality of the Canon 100 – 400 is awesome, the build quality is awesome and it is also affordable.
The Canon 100 – 400 is the ideal lens for motor sports, wildlife, bird photography and all other situations where you need to get up close to the subject whilst standing far away from it. I even use my Canon 100 – 400 for dragonfly photography! If you need a super zoom lens, and let’s face it who doesn’t? this is the lens you need.
For an honest and unbiased review of the Canon 100 – 400 from a long term user (this is one lens I didn’t have to buy because it was a gift from my wife. Strictly speaking, I guess I did buy it then – D’oh) you need to take a look at this article.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.