Wednesday, May 30, 2007


After a bit of a challenge getting settled in with an excellent copy of the 70-200mm F/4L IS I've started critically examining my results from field use. This series of posts will detail my opinions regarding the lens.

I wasn't sure what to expect regarding an F/4 zoom for use in portraiture, but so far I must say I've been pleasantly surprised. The can be no argument that the lens is critically sharp when used with proper technique, but what about depth of field and subject isolation? Unless I'm trying to achieve a very specific shallow DOF effect I've found that working at F/4 really presents very little problem in most settings, not all. At 200mm at F/4 when shooting a portrait as seen above there is already so little depth of field that the back side of a subjects face is falling gracefully out of focus. The quality of the lenses OOF areas or boke is nearly exemplary for such a complex optic.

The benefits of being able to change focal length, in the range the zoom offers, during a portrait shoot should not be underestimated. I will say this though, if my primary consideration for using this lens was portraiture, I would have purchased the F/2.8L IS version. That would have gained me some subject isolation at the cost of weight and absolute sharpness. However, portraiture was not the primary motivator for using this lens. It simply works very well for that purpose though.


The lens handles very well. I've found no reason so far to lament the absence of tripod ring. It's been a beauty so far. More to come.


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