Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 review

According provided by lens Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 huge thanks to Dmitry Gladky.

Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 review

Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 review

Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 - one of the first autofocus telezoom Canon EF lenses, was introduced back in 1987. In 1990 it was replaced by the Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 3.5-4.5 USM.

Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 is Canon's only 70-210 / 4 class autofocus lens. Nikon produced a similar lens in the same period - Nikon AF Nikkor 70-210mm 1: 4. In the future, neither Nikon nor Canon had other 70-210 / 4 class lenses, which is a pity.

Canon EF 70-210 / 4 - weighs a little over 600 grams and has a fairly compact size (when focused at infinity and the zoom is set to 70 mm). The lens was made in Japan, the build quality is not bad (after all, the copy from my review has survived to this day), but still, I want to note that the focusing ring and trunk of this copy have a backlash.

Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4, 210 mm, focus on MDF

Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4, 210 mm, focus on MDF

The lens has an old piston design - to change the focal length you should pull the zoom ring, for this there are two wide and large rubber inserts on it. Maximum focal length Available when the 'piston' is pushed forward. It is a pity that the 'piston' constantly slides into extreme positions. When you change the focal length, the rear lens remains motionless, but, nevertheless, the other insides of the lens significantly push air from the bayonet side (I see this for the first time).

Anon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 view from the bayonet side

View of the Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 from the bayonet side

The lens has an AF / M focus mode switch, which simultaneously serves as a focusing distance limiter, since AF mode is divided into two sub-modes: 'Macro-∞' and '1.5m-∞'. Auto focus is very noisy, not really fast (even at '1.5m-∞' position). In the 'Macro-∞' position, the focus motor spends a lot of time focusing from MDF to infinity and back. The closest focusing distance is 1.2 meters and the maximum zoom ratio for macro is 1: 4. The lens holds the subject quite tenaciously, refocusing is possible, but rarely happens.

The lens has a focus distance scale and three tags for working in the infrared spectrum. When focusing, the trunk of the lens rotates and drives forward. The focus ring is rubberized and rotates 220 degrees. During auto focus, the focus ring is turned off and does not affect focusing; accordingly, the lens does not have an FTM focus mode.

Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 Labels

Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 Labels

The aperture consists of 8 blades and closes to F / 32, over the entire range of focal lengths. Canon EF 70-210 / 4 uses filters with a diameter of 58 mm.

On Canon APS-C cameras EGF lens is 112-336 mm, on Canon APS-H cameras - 91-273 mm. This range is often in demand, especially for portraiture, sports photography, etc. Nowadays, such a lens is inexpensive and, given the not the worst maximum aperture F / 4 is often used specifically for portraiture.

Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 on the Canon EOS 350D Digital

Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 on Canon EOS 350D Digital

The lens noticeably suffers from aberrations on open apertures, vignetting (especially 210 mm), it can catch a few glare. If you don’t really find fault with the results obtained with 210 mm and F / 4, then we can say that the lens does a very good job, but personally it seemed to me a little weak.

Here link to the archive with the originals - 1 GB, 82 .CR2 (RAW) photos from Canon 5D camera. Some photos were captured using Nikon SB-900. Special thanks to Milena for a good mood.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.


Surprisingly, the old Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4 can still please us with its work. Of course, the lens is noisy, without internal focusing, stabilizer, FTM mode with an old piston design. But then he creates pictures of decent quality, easy and cheap, and even with a constant maximum relative aperture :). Well suited as a portrait lens.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 45, on the topic: Review of Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-210mm 1: 4

  • anonym

    so small, but already a model)))

  • Dmitriy

    Logically, we can assume that in the crop the situation with vignetting and sharpness will be better.

    • anonym

      Where is the logic for sharpness on small pixels of crop will only get worse.

  • Pastor

    I wonder if he loses 70-200 4l much? Everything seems to be similar in parameters. I am tormented by the choice between 70-200 4L with and without a stub. And then there’s such an option. I’ll be completely confused on what to change my 55-250is.

    • Dmitriy

      For me, the deciding factor in choosing this lens was, of course, its price. Although I met a lot of opinions where, by the quality of the picture, it is close to L-ki. If we can persuade a friend to give Arkady a test of 70-200 f / 2.8 L, then we'll see))

      • Alexey

        I think these lenses are very different. And the Canon EF 70-210mm 1: 4 has a low resolution.

      • Pastor

        There is little doubt about 70-200 2.8, especially about the stable version :) But will there be a difference from 70-200 4L without a stub? I don’t want to overpay for unstable glass. Okay 70-200 4IS, everything is clear there - a stub often saves, no need to carry a tripod with you. But if you take an unstable one, it can stop at 70-210, instead of 70-200 4 liters.

  • Konstantin

    I will return the dialogue to the photo channel :)
    I have experience shooting with a similar instance.
    As for the elongation, it depends very much on the specimen, I have come across one that is still well tight (and this for more than 20 years !!).
    Sharpness, as for the zoom, is quite acceptable, although of course it does not reach the L series (but this is if you find fault).
    From myself, I can add that there are still problems with the XA on it, and the color rendering could be better, BUT when it comes to the price, everything changes radically - for this money with a constant aperture on such focal lengths, there are no competitors.
    Conclusion: If you can find it in good condition, it can bring a lot of good impressions.

  • anonym

    The price difference between the 70-200f4 elkoy and this lens is about three times. Elka will be flawless - quiet, fast, dust and moisture resistant, with internal focusing, with a spectacular design. The pictures will be very similar and difficult to distinguish. And the price is three times.

    • Dmitriy

      Well dear, the difference is three times - you bent it)) Elechka 70-200 with a hole 4 is cheaper than for 7300 UAH. I need to look hard, but this one cost me 1300, so the difference is 5,6 times like from a bush))

      • anonym

        Maybe. I took an elka 70-200 f4 bu for 4500, and then 70-210 then went for 1500. Three years have passed since then, probably the elks have risen in price (because they are tied to the dollar), and the old people go at the same price. A good lens, I once considered it myself to take it.

  • Dmitriy

    What to choose for a crop - a lens from the review or 55-250?

    • Oleg

      At 55-250, the focal lengths are more comfortable on the crop. Here are some photos taken by him . But for shooting portraits, this lens is more advantageous because of its aperture ratio, and if you take into account that it is better to take portlets from 85, not 50. Although this is not very convenient on crop, the victory is with this lens. And although 55-250 is a very successful lens in Kenon, I would probably choose 70-210. But remember, these FRs are difficult to shoot indoors. Thanks to Arkady for working in such a difficult time.

  • anonym

    Nikonovsky 70-210 will be better and the assembly and picture and focus

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Dear readers, the off topic was mercilessly cut out of the comments.

      • Ivan

        It is really necessary!
        Thank you.

    • wildebeest

      And the elephant has more trunk. So now let's discuss the elephant? it's not about Nikon's optics, expert !!!

  • Yuriy75

    He began to master Potoshp Lihtroom, so it seemed that today the quality of optics is uncritical. Although with a good lens, a picture requires less dancing with a tambourine. And for fans, the cost of optics is a very critical parameter. :(

    • Dmitry K

      lightroom and photoshop are a good thing, but not omnipotent, pull the colors faded, sharpness never. In the darkness of the hole 5.6, do not remove anything without a flash. Anyone due to ISO is also able to take pictures of a vicious scheme, or there will be noise of about 5 kopecks or the camera needs a D3s type. With the straightening of barrels of all sorts, too, not everything is good, although it can be fixed programmatically, but the sharpness will suffer. Therefore, for quality, only fixes for a reasonable price. 35 1.8,50 1.8d are generally low. A 85 1.8d is acceptable. On the crop, only a wide angle is not covered by the budget, but here you can use 18-55, at 18 there and the sharpness of the norms and the hole is acceptable. One trouble infuriates all this rearrange

  • Roman

    70-200 on a full frame to put it mildly not universal ..
    his lot is large territories. With a high degree of probability, it will roll around for most amateurs, especially on the crop. For photography, it is short even on the crop, portraits only in nature from a long distance. Conclusion - do not regret 1500 UAH for the experiment, 7400 is expensive for this. Well, if you understand what fits, save money for a normal glass. You will always sell this one for 1300. Good pictures, everyone!

    • Aleks

      “70-200 full frame is not a universal, to put it mildly.
      his lot is large territories "

      If there is more space than room 3 by 3, then by universality 5+.
      On the crop a couple of steps further and everything is fine

  • anonym

    I saw pictures from 5D Mark III and was surprised that the resolution allows. Color reproduction and bokeh are excellent. Aberrations and vignetting are now successfully corrected in any editor.

    • anonym

      Good, what to say ...
      Canon EOS 70D
      EF70-210mm f / 4

      • anonym

        exip 6.3

        • Igor_K

          Wonderful photo! Upon permission - the feeling that el-coy, at least, was filmed. Is 70 better than a penny? So now believe in the legends about the “omnivorousness” of large-pixel full-frame matrices!

      • Vyacheslav

        Great shot! I have 30D, I want to buy ...

  • Berdibek

    Hello! I recently bought CANON-70-210mm. For film cameras. When I bought it, they claimed that when you insert it into a digital camera, the lens focus increases to 330 mm. But I don’t really understand in optics. But if I would like to know how it turns out? Explain, please!!! Thank you in advance with respect to you Berdibek Sultamuratov

  • anonym

    The angle of view of the lens will be equal to the size of the matrix. Put a kenon camera on the crop - it is cropped, i.e. narrows by 1.6.

  • Vyacheslav

    I bought it in 2007 from a famous photographer in our city for 6000r. I took it because of the constant aperture ratio of 4 and from poverty :) The photographer claimed that he cleaned everything, serviced everything / ideally ... In the process, he saw that he did not deceive - the lens is adjusted to razor sharpness, it does not fall down even when walking, the colors are beautiful, blur. But he still didn't take him seriously. Now I started taking pictures again, and I realized that I won't sell / I won't give it away :) And 350d too :) The lens is heavy, buzzing loudly, it focuses so slowly and interestingly :)

  • Alexander

    Good afternoon, Arkady. Tell me, is the Canon 70-210 f4 so optically superior to Minolt's Beer Can that the price difference for used lenses is 2 times? (ON OLH 2500 on average Canon versus 1300-1500 Minolta)

    • Trueash

      I think the point is also that the demand for a "beer can" is much lower. It can only be mounted on old cameras with a-mount, which Aunt Sonya buried safely. Nearby lies a "Tamron" with such a bayonet mount as a suitcase without a handle.

      • Alexander

        Thank you. Perhaps this is really the case. I just wanted an inexpensive DSLR for myself, so I hesitate between the Canon 40d and Sonya SLT A55 / 37. In Sonya, the availability of Minoltov’s optics is attractive, and on 40d Kenon I used to take a picture, and I liked it.
        So I’m torn, like that Buridanov donkey between two stacks))))

        • NICHOLAS

          WANT PROBLEMS, take the sleepyhead, and the price of the lenses is cloudy for the sleepyhead too.

        • Trueash

          I shot with a37 for quite a long time, I can't say anything bad. The camera is good enough and the kit lens is not bad (which is 18-55, not 18-70). I'm sorry I sold. The only thing, he is not friendly with bad light - 1600 conditionally suitable, and 3200 - options are possible :)

          • Michael

            To each his own) I wanted to say that it is more likely not a demand, but a rarity of a dying system. Pentax looked ... stunned ... and agreed))

    • kotofei

      Judging by the examples from here and from the piper pixel, as well as personal experience with the bonk, the bank is better, and better in all aspects. And on alpha, it automatically becomes stunned.

  • Alexander

    Good day! Does anyone know if it is possible to determine the year of release of a particular lens?

  • Dmitry Kostin

    If someone was the owner of the EF 70-210mm 1: 4, please write how much worse it is than the EF 70-200 / 4 L USM (not L IS).
    In short - I am slowly looking for an inexpensive, lightweight, sharp telephoto camera for Canon, which is not a pity if something happens to him.
    While the choice is between:
    1) Tokina AT-X AF SD 80-200mm 2.8 (severe heavy fittings)
    2) Canon EF 70-200mm f / 4L USM (expensive, even without a stub)
    3) Legendary Canon 80-200 2.8L (too legendary, museum and it is simply a pity to drown it in the Fontanka or Moika, moreover, it often suffers from clouding / fungus)
    4) Sigma 70-210mm 1: 2.8 AF zoom APO (heavy bandura, although if something dies nifig it's not a pity, but Sigma is usually unpretentious)
    5) Canon EF 70-210mm f \ 4.0 (the trombone (for me it is +) seems to be light and small, but suffers from fungus, turbidity and is a bit soapy).
    I plan to use some of this on a film EOS3 (it is plastic and with a large heavy glass - the body breathes) and possibly on the old One.

    • Dmitry Kostin

      Another question is how old glasses (especially not native ones) will work on 1Ds_mk2 / 3?
      Is there any incompatibility?

    • Aleksey68

      sigma 70-210 2.8 will not work on DSLR without alteration, or rather, will not work on new cameras. on film and on old DSLRs - will be.

  • Nicholas

    I bought a 70-210 F4 in 2020, tried it on the very first 1D.
    The number was 1988 Utsunomiya
    Even on a 4MP matrix, I did not see the desired result.
    My personal opinion is a terrible lens, up to 5.6 did not see any clarity.
    Pass this lens.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Bought recently. Slowly I will gain impressions.

  • Lev

    Naturally, I took it second-hand, received it today and immediately tested it. I was very pleasantly surprised by the picture that I received in rather difficult conditions (indoors in low light). For the little money for which I got it - it's just a gift!

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