Gear Talk # 3 – Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

JULY 2011 – Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM on a plain white background. © Mark Zanzig/

The Affordable Tele Zoom

When you are reading this post, chances are high that you’re interested in owning this lens. And I can see why. It’s a tele zoom that creates professional, crisp images without noticable distortions and with realistic color reproduction. This lens simply delivers on any Canon DSLR body with an EF or EF-S mount.

I know that most photographers are working on a tight budget, especially beginners and amateurs. The consequence is that newer versions of this lens – the ones with a built-in image stabilizer – often exceed the budget. If that’s the case for you, please do yourself a favor and consider to getting this lense, i.e. the non-IS version. There’s always a good supply of these lenses at eBay, often in very good condition. This is a true workhorse and you won’t regret buying one of these once you see the results from your first few shootings.

This is the second lens that I definitely need in my butter & bread lens portfolio to cover most jobs. It covers the upper focal range while the lower end is covered by the EF 24-70mm 2.8L USM. Everything else is nice-to-have in my view. These two lenses can do 90% of my paying jobs.

Of course, having a non-IS version means that you have to work on your shooting skills. You will have to keep the lens more steady to achieve the same results as with the IS version (and I can tell you that the camera/lens combo is heavy.) You may have to increase your ISO to shoot faster and reduce the blur from the camera shake. But that bit of additional grain is neglectible these days. So yes, you can cope with having a non-IS version.

The lens works well on full frame bodies, APS H bodies (like the 1D mark IV) and APS C bodies. In fact, with the APS bodies you’ll enjoy the larger focal range of the lens which is always nice.

I purchased this lens in 2005 and sold it in 2011 to replace it with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS II USM which I still use. At that time I could not only afford the new lens but really knew that the image stabilizer would enable me to shoot better in low-light situations (like wedding ceremonies in churches.)

Please see some of the stunning photos I shot with this lens.

The high resolution image

Capture Date & Time14-JUL-2011, 16:20
LocationMunich, Germany
CameraCanon EOS-1Ds Mark III
LensCanon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Exposure1/200 sec at f/5.6
Digital Image Source FormatCanon Camera RAW (CR2)
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions2828 x 2828 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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