Shooting Canon’s 70-200mm f/4L USM Lens

As most of you know, I shoot regularly with Canon’s EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens and have always found it to be an incredibly sharp and versatile little lens. Sometimes however, you just need a little more “reach” than this lens provides so I turn to another of my all-time favorite telephoto zooms, the EF 70-200mm f/4L USM and it’s younger brother the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM.

I’ve always loved Canon’s telephoto zoom lenses in the “70-200mm” range and shot extensively with an old FD 70-210mm on my F-1N body in the days before digital. The EF 70-200mm lenses are both extremely sharp throughout their zoom range as you can see below in the MTF charts. I’d love to shoot the f/2.8L version of this lens but the price, size and weight convinced me to stick with the f/4 version. I also settled on the newer, image stabilized lens so I could use it for landscape and commercial (hand-held) work.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM MTF Charts

I’ve got to say that this is one impressive lens. The size and weight are just about perfect for my 5D2 body and using the “Tripod Mounting Ring A II” the combination balances effortlessly on my Gitzo tripod. This is probably the sharpest Canon zoom I’ve ever shot with and the extra “reach” really helps cover those shots I was missing before.

Lower McKinney Falls

Lower McKinney Falls – Austin, Texas
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on manual (M) using an EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 85mm, f/20 for 0.4 seconds at ISO 100. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
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No lens is perfect but this little beauty is close. My only gripes are that the image stabilization system is somewhat loud compared to my EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and my EF 300mm f/4L IS USM lenses and that the ET-74 lens hood is very narrow and deep. This makes adjusting a CP filter a bit of a pain when shooting.

And finally, the price difference between the “IS” version and “non-IS” version is just plain wrong ($1135 versus $589). The two lenses are optically very similar and I just can’t imagine that adding image stabilization could double the price. I suspect that Canon has been selling the “non-IS” version at too low a price for many years now and is trying to make up some of the profit on the “IS” version.

Other than that, Canon’s EF 70-200mm f4L lenses are absolutely superb in terms of sharpness, size/weight and value (especially the non-IS version at less than $600 USD) and I highly recommend either of these two lenses for landscape, portrait or commercial photography. You won’t be disappointed.

Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, Landscape Photography, McKinney Falls State Park, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas, Texas Hill Country, Texas Landscapes

Circle of Life?

Another landscape self portrait in a long series of shots from the great state of Texas!

Circle of Life

Circle of Life – Big Bend National Park, Texas
Copyright 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 19mm, f/14 for 1/15th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter and 2-stop graduated neutral density filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
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Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Big Bend National Park, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas, Texas Landscapes, Travel Photography, West Texas

Back on Singh-Ray’s Front Page

I’m back on the front page of Singh-Ray’s web site for a few days and you can read all about my exploits on Singh-Ray’s blog. Man, are my friends at Singh-Ray filters some of the coolest folks in the business or what! With the drought here in Texas and the overall economy, I’ll take all the free publicity I can get.

Singh-Ray Web Site

While you’re feasting your eyes, take a look at the Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer, the Galen Rowell Graduated Neutral Density Filters and the brand new Vari-N-Trio. These are three essential filters for any landscape photographer and the same three that I use again and again in the field.

No, the folks at Singh-Ray do not sponsor me. I just think the world of their products and you will too!

Filed under: Photography Tagged: Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Singh-Ray Filters, Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer, Singh-Ray Vari-N-Trio Filter, Texas, Travel Photography, West Texas

The Path We Take Through Big Bend National Park

The path you choose to explore in a place as large as Big Bend National Park is a very personal choice. Many folks drive through the park and rarely leave the comfort of their vehicle to venture forth and explore the deep desert regions of the park. Some brave souls hike countless miles throughout the back country trails in search of solitude and tranquility with only a backpack and bed roll for their comfort. Luckily, Big Bend National Park has something special to offer to almost everyone that visits. And like me, many just can’t get enough of this incredible jewel hidden in the reaches of far West Texas.

Ernst Tinaja Wash

Ernst Tinaja – Big Bend National Park, Texas
Copyright 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/14 for 1/30th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
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Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Big Bend National Park, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas, Texas Landscapes, Travel Photography, West Texas

Mule Ears Trail – Big Bend National Park, Texas

One of the favorite trails in Big Bend is from the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive to the Mule Ears outcrop just southwest of the Chicos Mountains. Most folks enjoy the scenic hike to one of the park’s best known geological features. The desert terrain and unique plant life make this a hike for everyone to enjoy!

Mules Ears Trail

Mule Ears Trail – Big Bend National Park, Texas
Copyright 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 35mm, f/16 for 1/40th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
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Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Big Bend National Park, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas, Texas Landscapes, West Texas

Heaven’s Foothills

If there’s one place in Texas that can best be described as “stunning”, it’s the view south from Grapevine Hills in Big Bend National Park. This is a spot in far west Texas I like to call “Heaven’s Foothills” and I sure hope the rest of Heaven looks this beautiful.

Heaven's Foothills

Heaven’s Foothills – Big Bend National Park, Texas
Copyright 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 28mm, f/14 for 1/30th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

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Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas, Texas Landscapes, Travel Photography, West Texas

The Splendor of Grapevine Hills

Grapevine Hills

Grapevine Hills – Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas
Copyright 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 24-105mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/14 for 1/60th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter and 2-stop graduated neutral density filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

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Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas, Texas Landscapes, West Texas