Canon 70-200 f4 Alternative

Canon 70-200mm f/4 AlternativeThere are several substitutes for the Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS II Lens, but they're not as good.
But that doesn't mean they're not good enough.

Do you think there are any Canon 70-200 f4 alternative worth mentioning? Canon loyalists would tell you no. I'll tell you yes. You can find good substitute choices rather than choosing the original, but will you be as happy.

Although most of my camera equipment is made by Canon, I think it is naïve to suggest that you should never consider substitutes for the Canon 70-200 f4. With that said, let's dive into finding out if an alternative lens is a good fit for you and your shooting style.

There are two major considerations you face. both are important to think about before you choose an alternative to the Canon EF 100-400mm lens.

1. FULL FRAME OR Crop

All of Canon's versions of the 70-200mm f/4 are EF lenses. They're built to fit full frame Canon cameras, but you can use them on full frame or  APS-C (crop) cameras.

If you have a crop camera, you can choose either EF or the smaller, more affordable EF-S lenses as alternative lenses. If you have a crop camera, remember the 1.6x Crop Factor.


2. CANON OR NON-Canon

Camera lens designs by the NON-Canon lens makers have improved quite a bit over the last 20 years. There are some really good lenses that produce high quality images.

It really depends on your standards. if you want the very best lens to go with your Canon camera, then you stick with Canon. Period.

I've listed 3 Canon alternatives first and then listed three Non-Canon lens substitutes for the 70-200 f/4 II.

Good Alternative to the Canon 70-200mm f4 - Tamron 70-300 LensGood Alternative to the Canon 70-200mm f4
The Tamron 70-300 f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC USD XLD Lens

There are substitute lenses within the extensive line of Canon lenses as well as many made by other manufacturers.  The 70-200 f4 is more appropriate for full frame sensors although you can use it with APS-C cameras like the Canon 7D and Rebel T 7i and T8i. 

If you have a full-frame sensor camera like the entire 5Dx and 1Dx series of Canon pro cameras as well as the Canon 6D.

The Canon 70-200 f2.8 is my substitute for the f4 but the f2.8 is overkill for most photographers. It's my go to lens for shooting portraits. For you, the Canon 70-200 f4 lens is such a great alternative to the bulkier and more expensive 70-200mm  f 2.8.


Canon 70-200 f4 Alternatives:

Canon 55-250 Zoom Lens
Canon 75-300 f4 - f5.6 Zoom Lens

 (APS-C)

This is a very affordable substitute lens.


(APS-C)

Bigger range of zoom settings saves time in lens changes.


 (Full-sized)

More appropriate for sports, and some wildlife photography.


Canon also makes the EF 28-300 f3.5 - f5.6 USM lens, but I don't consider it as a valid substitute due to its substantially higher price tag.


Non-Canon Alternatives

Sigma 70-300 f4-f5.6 lens
Sigma 70-200 f2.8 Canon Alternative Lens
Tamron 70-300 f4 - f5.6 Zoom Lens

Careful, there are several versions of this lens.




Much pricier.  More glass since it's the f2.8 version




In terms of appearance, the best looking alternative




Benefits to Canon 70-200 f/4 Alternatives

Saving money is the single biggest reason to buy a non-Canon lens as an equivalent. You can read the specific lens reviews to get the technical performance, but remember there are always slight variations in performance with any lens/camera combination.

You may also get a different zoom range than 70-200mm which may be more appealing to you, depending on your situation. Having the ability to micro-adjust a lens/camera combo is such a great advantage, but that's a topic for another day.


disadvantages of Canon 70-200 f/4 Alternatives

The quality of an "L' lens is difficult to match. Un-compromised optics and precision engineering make the price tag, the quality and the performance superior to consumer-grade lenses.

Canon does have a proprietary system when it comes to their EOS line of camera lenses.  Lens made by 3rd parties have to reverse engineer them to make them compatible. There are some cases, particularly with older lenses, where there is a communication breakdown between lens and camera.

There are many, substitute,  equivalent, or replacement choices for Canon telephoto zoom lenses. Some of your decision should be based on what lenses you already have.

The good thing to know is that you have many choices and you can test them.  I am a big supporter of Amazon and similar retailers who have an outstanding return policy.  They sell a ton of Canon and non-Canon equipment for a reason.

Have a blast! Shoot a Canon!

Author Bruce Lovelace
Bruce Lovelace Signature

Bruce Lovelace is the publisher of Canon Camera Geek. Read more about him on the About Page. He also publishes how to articles and camera gear reviews at the Photography Tips website.

View some of Bruce's photos on Instagram  and Flickr  Join the Tribe: YouTube. Visit the Canon Geek FaceBook Group. Bruce runs photo workshops and provides 1 on 1 digital photography coaching.

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