OK, as some of you will know I recieved this lens yesterday after a small battle with UPS. While the lens is still fresh and new I decided to post my first impressions of it.
Why did I choose the lens
I had identified a need for a lens in that range. I have recently started doing some pet (mainly doag at the moment) photography and I was finding 28-75 a bit on the short side and 100-400 a bit on the long side. So from that you can see why I chose a 70-200 lens.
My next dilemma was which 70-200 lens.
This is where I though about usability, I would like a lens that is small enough and light enough to carry for extended periods, and that is comfortable with out without the battery grip. I take my 10D everywhere (almost) and I prefer to have a lenger lens with me.
Based on this I chose the EF 70-200 F4 L
Packaging was typical L quality, even the box felt like it was good quality! The lens was well packaged inside, so I was happy that despite a trip over the atlantic that all would be well. I let the lens warm up a little as it had been sat in a cold UPS van overnight, opportunity to have a flick through the booklet. Brief and too the point about sums it up, but that is good.
The lens is about the size and weight I expected. The weight of the lens feels about the same as the 10D body, and I would say half the weight of the 100-400L. And also being a significant amount smaller than the 100-400L it has already met two of my criteria for buying it.
On the 10D it feels good. I tried it without the grip first, and it didn't feel bad at all. The balance is fairly good, certainly much better than the 100-400L! Putting the grip on at it feels really at home. The balance is fantastic, I was able to carry the camera just with the hand strap for a while and when it came to shooting then I found the whole system to be very usable. This lens has just become my walkabout lens!
Performance is good too. For me AF speed was important, and I have found that it is about equal to my 100-400L which is great. The AF is quick and accurate, I am yet to fully test AI servo, todays experiment went wrong when our hound decided he didn't went to do his usual sprint circuit.
Sharpness and contrast are easily at the standard of my 100-400L, so very pleased there. Build quality is nice to. AF is silent, and the zoom and manual foocus are smooth.
One thing I have learned is IS makes for bad technique if you are not careful. I'm having to brush up on my technique to minimise camera shake, but for me that is a good thing!
So far, I can't believe such a good lens is such a good price, I do plan on adding more to this review as I use the lens more.