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FORUMS Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Lenses 
Thread started 04 Jan 2008 (Friday) 18:21
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Sharp, good 70-200?

Junior Member
28 posts
Joined Dec 2006
Location: Oslo
Jan 04, 2008 18:21 |  #1

I am about to buy a 70-200 2.8 IS.
I have read several stories around the web about bad, not so sharp samples.

How can I make sure I am getting a good one?
I think I will order from B&H and a friend will take it back to me, in Norway in Europe.
(This lens costs about 3000USD here.)

Will B&H take it back if I'm not satisfied?

Buy from a trusted, second hand source?

Thanks in advance.


" too much trouble"
5,219 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Jul 2007
Location: scrotumento CA, miss NC, and lived in th north east for a while, and even in the mid west for a bit.
Jan 04, 2008 18:24 |  #2

hard call.. why dont you email them and ask?

Cream of the Crop
21,947 posts
Gallery: 20 photos
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Joined Oct 2005
Location: Richmond Surrey
Jan 04, 2008 18:27 |  #3

one advantage of buying in a shop is you can take it through its paces before buying - might be worth paying a bit more for peace of mind (I did ).

Canon EOS R7, 100 L macro, MP-E65, RF 100-400
Olympus EM-1 MKII/MKIII, 60 macro, 90 macro, 12-40 PRO

Junior Member
28 posts
Joined Dec 2006
Location: Oslo
Jan 04, 2008 18:45 |  #4


I think I will contact B&H and ask them. A good idea.
I can not afford (or want to buy) a 3000USD 70-200, so buying in a shop here is not an option.


Junior Member
28 posts
Joined Dec 2006
Location: Oslo
Jan 08, 2008 13:33 |  #5

Got the answer today.

Our Answer: I am sorry, we are not aware of Canon shipping editions of their "L" series lens that will vary in "build quality" or "sharpness". You can make sure you are getting a good lens by purchasing an "L" series lens from an authorized dealer like B&H. Unfortunately we can not open and test product before it is sold to customers.

I dont expect them to check the whole stock of leses before shipping them out to geeks who wants perfect samples, but...

Does anybody have experiece with returning poor samples?
Will a poor samle be perfect after calibration?


Double ­ Negative
10,533 posts
Likes: 11
Joined Mar 2006
Location: New York, USA
Jan 08, 2008 13:43 |  #6

Your lens will be fine. Order one from B&H and go shoot. In the rare event that it isn't, you can exchange it with them.

La Vida Leica! (external link) LitPixel Galleries (external link) -- 1V-HS, 1D Mark IIn & 5D Mark IV w/BG-E20
15mm f/2.8, 14mm f/2.8L, 24mm f/1.4L II, 35mm f/1.4L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L II, 135mm f/2.0L
16-35mm f/2.8L, 24-70mm f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, Extender EF 1.4x II & 2x II

Cream of the Crop
8,601 posts
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Joined May 2005
Location: Rockford Illinois
Jan 08, 2008 13:46 |  #7

The odds are quite small that you will get a bad copy or "sample" on my opinion. I think that has to do with alot of people putting to much expectation on their new lens ,as if it is some kind of savior. All lenses that I have purchased are fine. Just my opinion and you know what people say about that .:lol::lol:

A little L goes a long way.

Canon 5D4, 7D2, 7D, 40D, gripped,16-35MM 2.8L,24-105MM F4L,70-200MM 2.8 IS USM L,500MM F4L (external link)

Man I Like to Fart
24,738 posts
Likes: 53
Joined Oct 2006
Location: NYC
Jan 11, 2008 16:34 as a reply to  @ post 4683397 |  #8

It's just a chance you are going to have to take.
Again, the chances aren't too high that you will receive a bad copy but they are out there.

Buy the lens, shoot. If something is bothering you then have Canon calibrate it for you, if that's possible.

I had a Tamron 17-50 once. I went out to shoot. Reviewed the results and noticed they were soft. I did some basic testing by lining up batteries and check for focus accuracy and found that it was pretty bad. Sent it in, and it came back tack sharp.

Senior Member
377 posts
Joined Oct 2006
Location: The Forest City, Canada
Jan 11, 2008 18:38 |  #9

George b wrote in post #4683397 (external link)
I just received my 70-200 2.8L IS and personally I find it soft...I'm very disappointed. I've been on the phone with Canon today who claim it's fine (I emailed them sample shots). Tomorrow I'm stopping by a local Canon dealer to test one they have in stock to compare. I hope I do have a bad lens because if this really is the norm for this lens it's going back.


Hi George.
Any chance of you posting a couple of the samples you sent Canon?
I'd be interested to see what the concensus opinion here would be from others who own that lens, and see if it differs from Canon's opinion.

Best wide angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the "ah-ha". - Ernst Haas

Senior Member
784 posts
Joined Nov 2007
Location: Titusville, FL
Feb 11, 2008 21:50 |  #10

For the money we pay, it's not too much to ask for performance! Thankfully mine seems to be great from the get-go.

50D | G11 | 50mm f/1.4 | 70-200 f/2.8 IS | 580exII

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Sharp, good 70-200?
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