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  • Paul says:

    Man, i wish i had the cash for these lens. They take such beautiful shots with such nice Bokeh!

  • STEVE says:

    Your thoughts on IS for me, are right on the mark. I still – like you – use my old 80-200/2.8. Besides, IS is not a sure thing. Taking a sequence of shots under marginal lighting conditions with a non-moving subject will yield different degrees of sharpness. I get much more consistent results using a monopod or tripod and save a lot of $.

  • I evaluated these lenses last year but went for the f/4 IS version – had the IS which I do use and is a lot cheaper ($1,349.00) than the f/2.8 IS version. All have very similar optical quality from what I have read. Of course, I am mostly shooting landscapes with it, occasionally wildlife.

  • Photo-John says:

    I think I bought my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L back in 1997 or ’98. I bought it used for $1000. It’s easily the best camera gear investment I ever made. Since then, I’ve been through 9 camera bodies but I’m still using that same lens. I just had it repaired and they replaced the board and the motor. That cost $300 or so and it was money well spent. I know the new versions have better optics and better auto focus performance but my original 70-200 is so good that I don’t really care. As for image stabilization, it would be nice but I primarily shoot outdoor sports where IS doesn’t really have any benefits. If I need IS then my subjects are going to be too blurry from motion so it doesn’t really matter. Plus, I’d be better served by buying a shorter L zoom than upgrading my 70-200.

    Dan didn’t mention the Canon 70-200mm f/4L lenses. The non-IS version is probably one of the best lens deals on the planet. The auto focus and optics are basically the same as the f/2.8 lens but it’s much smaller, lighter and it sells for about US $600. A lot of backcountry ski photographers use that lens because of the size and weight and they know they aren’t compromising at all on performance. My dad has one and I’ve borrowed it a couple of times and didn’t feel like I was really giving anything up. Periodically, I think about buying the 70-200mm f/4L because it’s easier to carry on the bike or skis. And if you’re on a budget and want a 70-200mm L lens, the f/4 version is definitely the way to go.
    Good post, Dan. Good to see you getting out of your Nikon comfort zone 🙂

    I’d appreciate it if you guys who own the Canon 70-200mm lenses would visit my site, PhotographyREVIEW.com and write reviews for your lenses. We could use your reviews.

  • Dan Bailey says:

    Thanks for the detailed comment, John. Note that since the two comments regarding the 70-200mm f/4L, I edited the post to include that lens, which is indeed a very good third option for general outdoor photography use.

    And yes, definitely visit http://www.photographyreview.com/ for a huge collection of great gear reviews.

  • Josh says:

    or you could just get a used 70-200mm F/2.8 IS (not IS II but the first one) for the same price as a new 70-200mm F/2.8 non is.

  • Zoltan Kolyankovszky says:

    It’s a great advice after all. I was quite happy with my first generation IS lens for almost ten years, now I am about to “refresh” my gear to be updated, and I’m not sure I want to go for “IS II” with an extra 1000$. I just either have to keep my old IS lens, or go for the one without Image Stabilizer, and be a better photographer and find the way to shoot good pictures without it. 🙂 When I got my first generation IS 70-200, the difference was much smaller, about 3-400$. I miss 70-200 2.8 USM IS without the mark “II” !

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    Terry Bourk

    I have read you new book “Behind the Landscape.” I could not “put it down” meaning that I kept at it because each photo you presented/analyzed was interesting and informative. I am trying to develop an eye for composition (both the scene and the light).

    Thank you! The examples you present and the suggestions are very helpful. Purple Mountains, McKinley River and Wonder Lake are fascinating.


    Roger Sinclair

    You have done it again! Another triumph.

    Your generosity to share, the clarity of thought and concise explanation thereof is brilliant. Perhaps I should also mention the beautiful photos and the talent necessary to produce them.

    Thank you, Dan.