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EF 70-200 which to buy?


Im looking to buy an EF70-200, probably the f4 but not sure if i want the usm/is usm/ is usm ii or if there are any other variants of it. Could you guys help?



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Canon has released several 70-200mm F/4L lenses dating back to 1999 with many revisions. Canon has also released several F/2.8models too. All of which use Ring Type USM AF motors. What are you shooting mainly and what is your budget. What camera are you using this lens on. If your using a newer camera such as the 7D Mark II get the the IS II model. USM lenses released in and after 2009 support Dual Pixel AF. Older lenses don't support Dual Pixel AF since those older lenses lack the hardware. They will still work and AF like newer lenses with Dual Pixel AF. But you won't be able to make full use of the camera's AF system.

                All EF F/4L models released over the years

  • EF 70-200mm F/4L USM (original non-IS version 1999-2021)
  • EF 70-200mm F/4L IS USM (1st Gen IS version 2006-2018)
  • EF 70-200mm F/4IS II USM (2nd Gen IS version 2018-Present)


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D



Get the mk II.  There is no difference between the II and III except the paint color, dull vs. bright white and a newer fluorine coating. There was nothing wrong with the mkII's coating, so spending extra for a mkIII is not necessary.

****Oops, only the f2.8 has a mkIII.  Try and grab a second gen. regardless of which you get,   

Bay Area - CA

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Basically, there are two major options for this focal range from Canon: the f.2.8 and the f/4 and there are variants of each.    They all have USM motors and come with Image stabilization or not.  Personally, I would not every buy a telephoto lens that did not have IS.  Much depends on what you shoot and how much you really need that extra stop from the f/2.8 version.

I have owned both and will make this personal observation.   The best lens is the one you are prepared to carry and, for me, the f/2.8 was too heavy.  The f/4 IS USM MkII is the latest version, and it is much lighter and less bulky.  I sold the f/2.8 but kept the f/4 IS USM version and it is a brilliant optic, and likely to be quite a bit cheaper than the f/2.8 version.

In the end you must decide what to 

cheers, TREVOR

"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
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