Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM

If you’re looking at any of Canon’s 70-200mm lenses you’re in great shape.  They’re all amazing L-series lenses – solid in your hand and built tough to survive all but the most intense weather conditions (Canon calls it partially weather sealed).  All are internal zooming, with a lightning fast Ring USM autofocus motor, and all give you the ability to capture incredible image quality in the super sweet range of 70-200mm – perfect for everything from sports to nature to portraits and candids.

Choosing one from the series might seem daunting at first – like there are too many 70-200 lenses to choose from – but actually it’s quite simple. The 70-200 comes in two different max apertures: f/4.0 and f/2.8, and for each aperture the lens is available either with or without image stabilization (IS).  That’s all you need to know.  The 2.8 IS is the most expensive and the 4.0 non-IS is the most, and weight varies directly with the price tag. The 4.0 is the lightest in the series, and it’s a good thing, because you’ll need to keep it pretty steady without IS, especially as evening starts to fall and you need to slow down your shutter. As you move up in the series, the aperture gets wider, and the lens gets heavier, but the pictures you’ll take will make it all worthwhile.

Guest photographer Max Luger has owned two different 70-200 lenses and has plenty to say on the subject:

From Canon USA:

One of the finest telephoto zoom lenses in the EF line, comparable to a single focal length lens. It has four UD-glass elements to correct chromatic aberrations. Its constant f/2.8 maximum aperture and superb image quality make it one of the most popular professional SLR lenses in the world. Compatible with Extender EF 1.4x II and 2x II.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture 70-200mm 1:2.8
Lens Construction 18 elements in 15 groups
Diagonal Angle of View 34° – 12°
Focus Adjustment Inner focusing system with USM
Closest Focusing Distance 1.5m / 4.9 ft.
Zoom System Rotating Type
Filter Size 77mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight 3.3″ x 7.6″, 2.9 lbs. / 84.6mm x 193.6mm, 1310g