Jim Doty - Photo Blog

Photography: Photos, News, and Tips
Saturday, August 26, 2006

GREAT NEWS! Canon EF 70-200 mm f/4L IS USM lens

Recently announced Canon EF 70-200 mm f/4L IS lens

This week, Canon announced the new EF 70-200 mm f/4L IS USM lens. The expected release date is in November at a price somewhere around $1250 (USD). A lot of photographers, myself included, have been hoping and praying Canon would make this lens. The price should drop several months after its initial release and after the usual first rush of purchases.

The non-IS version of this lens has been hugely (and deservedly) popular with photographers. It is one of the sharpest lenses in its class, reasonably sized, not too heavy, and great to work with. The non-IS f/4 lens is also much less expensive than the bigger and heavier (and really quite wonderful) 70-200 mm f/2.8L lenses (both IS and non-IS versions).

The Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L USM lens started it all. Superbly made, super sharp, and a joy to work with. It became the primary short telephoto zoom lens for a lot of photographers, myself included. Despite its fine attributes, a lot of photographers wanted a lighter and less costly version. Enter the f/4L version, smaller, lighter, much less expensive, but a virtual match in sharpness to the f/2.8 version. It quickly became popular with serious photographers who wanted a premium quality lens without a very expensive price.

Canon came out with an IS (image stabilized) version of the f/2.8L lens and a lot of photographers upgraded. A lot more photographers longed for an f/4L lens with the IS feature. That day has come.

If the new f/4L IS version proves to be as sharp as the rest of the Canon 70-200 L series lenses, lots of photographers will rejoice - and line up to buy it.

This new lens sports the latest IS technology with a claimed 4 stop shake correction. That means you should be able to hand-hold this lens at four shutter speeds slower than a lens without image stabilization.

I will keep you posted as test reports and purchase information become available.

If you don't need the IS feature, the current version is still a great lens and you can buy it from Amazon.com for less than $600 and pay no shipping (link below).

The Canon family of 70-200 L series lenses (along with current "street" prices) will soon look like this:

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/4L USM (non-IS) - $591

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/4L IS USM - est. $1250 in November

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L USM (non-IS) - $1129

Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS USM - $1699

It looks like the f/4L IS lens will be about the same price as the the f/2.8L non-IS lens. An interesting choice, one stop slower (in a smaller and lighter package) with IS or a one one stop faster lens without IS?

More information from Canon is here and here.

The current family of Canon EF 70-200 L series lenses:


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