Canon L lens 70-200 - but which one?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by squizza, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. squizza

    squizza
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    Hi guys

    I am looking to replace my current telephoto lens with either of the following

    (Canon)

    70 - 200L f2.8 USM

    OR

    70 - 200L f2.8 USM IS

    or the f4 versions.

    Which one is best? And is the extra stop to 2.8 crucial, or will I be happy forever if I settle for the f4 IS version. Hope this makes sense, but there are so many variants of these lenses!!! Tis so confusing :suicide: for me anyways.

    Any advice and personal experiences with any of these lens are gratefully received.
    Kind regards

    Sarah
     
  2. jonnypb

    jonnypb
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    Depends what you want to use it for and what your budget is!

    The 70 - 200L f2.8 USM IS is expensive compared to the others but will be great for sports shots due to the constant 2.8 which will allow you to get faster shutter speeds and the IS is nice to have

    The f4 versions are quite a bit cheaper but it comes down to what you'll use it for and £££££
     
  3. squizza

    squizza
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    Hi guys

    I would be using it for sports and wildlife photos.

    Kind regards

    Sarah
     
  4. T0MAT01

    T0MAT01
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    I chose mine by a process of elimination.
    I didn't like the weight of the f/2.8 versions because they are twice as heavy as the f/4 ones and the extra stop isn't essential for me. Then I chose to get one with IS because I don't like using a tripod unless I am going for some really long exposures, so my choice was pretty obvious.

    Whether the extra stop of light is crucial depends on what you shoot.
    IS wont stop motion blur, and f/4 wont blur the background as much as f/2.8 will. So really you need to decide for yourself whether the extra stop will help you take the photos you want.
     
  5. tdodd

    tdodd
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    Here's something I wrote on another forum for a similar topic....

    Here's my take on it, assuming the f/4 non-IS as your baseline....

    What does IS give you?
    In order to shoot hand held without IS you would ideally use a shutter speed of 1/(focal length x crop factor) or faster. With your 40D that means that at the 70mm end your shutter speed should be at least 1/100 or 1/125 to be able to hand hold with a reasonable likelyhood (not a guarantee) that you avoid camera shake. At the 200mm end you would need a shutter speed of 1/320 or faster to (hopefully) avoid visible camera shake.

    If you add IS (worth 4 stops on the 70-200 f/4) then you could in principle shoot at shutter speeds 4 stops slower than the recommended minimum. i.e. at 70mm you should be able to hand hold at ~1/8 second and still get a shake free shot and at 200mm you might still get a sharp shot at 1/20 second. This is very impressive stuff, if you need to hand hold (no tripod or monopod) and your subject is static or as good as then IS can really pay dividends.

    However, I would not feel happy shooting people, even posed ones, at shutter speeds below 1/60 and I'd prefer to use higher speeds than that if possible. I'd be a lot more comfortable with 1/125 for posed subjects and twice that for wriggling kids. IS will not help freeze subject movement at all.

    If you have Mode 2 IS (panning mode) then this can offer a nice advantage when shooting action and following the movement with a pan (motorsport, runners, cyclists, birds in flight etc.), while using a relatively slow shutter speed to blur the background. Mode 2 IS will stabilise any vertical movement (wobble/shake) while allowing the lateral pan to follow the action without fighting the motion.

    If you can use a tripod or monopod then you can do without IS. If you shoot with flash as your predominant light source you can shoot without IS because your sync speed will be 1/250 and the duration of the flash itself is far shorter than the 1/320 minimum speed to handhold even at 200mm.

    What does f/2.8 give you?

    - f/2.8 allows high precision AF sensors to operate, so you get faster and more accurate AF;
    - f/2.8 gives you a brighter image in the viewfinder and may make manual focus a little easier;
    - f/2.8 gives you more options with respect to shallow depth of field;
    - f/2.8 allows you to double your shutter speed (assuming your DOF is adequate), which will help freeze subject motion, or...
    - f/2.8 allows you to halve your ISO (assuming your DOF is adequate), which will improve IQ;
    - f/2.8 costs more, weighs more and is physically bulkier and shouts "Here I am, look at me!";
    - f/2.8 lens comes with a tripod collar included, whereas the f/4 does not, so if you need one that is an extra cost for the f/4.

    FWIW I have the 70-200 f/2.8 IS, giving me all the benefits (and cons) above in one lens. I find for wedding work that I need f/2.8 and IS due to the miserable lighting and the need to capture ambient light well, with or without flash. For sport/action/portraits etc. the 70-200 f/2.8 IS has it all covered. I will not be left thinking "I wish I'd bought the ......... instead".
     
  6. Alistair

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    I love my 70-200/2.8 IS, it is a lens which is always out with me regardless of what other lens I am using, simply put, it's a workhorse and the results are excellent even wide open at f2.8 and 200mm.

    Saying that, whether it is right for you is a different matter.

    Personally I would look at either the 70-200/2.8 IS or the f4 IS version. It really comes down to a) how important a wider aperture is to you b) budget and c) weight. The IS within the f4 version is newer and therefore more effective than the f2.8 IS but most of the time unless I am shooting in low light, at these focal lengths I have IS off.

    For a general walkabout mid range lens I would recommend you get the f4 IS version, that is unless you plan to do a lot of low light shooting there you need the precision AF points and the faster shutter speed a 2.8 will give you.
     
  7. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    same here. I went into a shop to buy the f4IS, and they had the 2.8IS on the shelf. I had to try it out just in case. But it was big and more importantly, heavy. I wouldn't have been happy with that as a general lense,whereas with the f4IS I can have it in my bag all the time.
     
  8. chaz 2112

    chaz 2112
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    If you're gonna shoot sports all year round you need to go for the 2.8 imo.The winter months will push even the 2.8 to get a decent shutter speed.I normally try and stay at at least 1/500th to freeze the action.
    As to whether you need the IS I'm not so sure.At 1/500th IS isn't needed imo so it's whether you can afford the extra.IS is always handy to have.
     
  9. T0MAT01

    T0MAT01
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    There are sports and there are sports.... indoor? outdoor? floodlit? Fast action? Snooker? ;)



    You could also add to that list the ability to add tele converters to increase the reach which might be quite handy for the wildlife side of things.
     
  10. tdodd

    tdodd
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    Good point. Just to expand on that a bit more.....

    f/2.8 plus a 1.4X teleconverter will give you 98-280mm at a constant f/4 and will retain autofocus on all Canon bodies and all focus points.

    f/2.8 plus a 2X teleconverter will give you 140-400mm at a constant f/5.6 and will retain autofocus on all Canon bodies and all focus points.

    If you start out with the f/4 lens the 1.4X teleconverter will take you to f/5.6, which is fine as far as AF is concerned. However, the 2X teleconverter will take you to f/8, which means AF will only be retained with 1 series bodies and then with the centre focus point only. Of course, 400mm at f/8 might give you more problems with shutter speeds and/or ISO/noise, especially compared to 400mm @ f/5.6.
     
  11. cabanatuan

    cabanatuan
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    Just read this thread and very informative. The only issue i have with the f2,8 is the weight :(

    i am also debating whether to geta f4 or the f2.8. Anyone with teh f2,8 version, have you gone abroad with that lens? any issues with carrying it has a hand carry?
     
  12. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson
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    I'm thinking of swapping my sigma 70-200f2.8 for a canon f4L IS sometime. due to weight, and I expect to have a 400/5.6L prime for more reach (currently use a 2.0tc).

    But for sport & wildlife I'd go the canon f2.8IS if you can , and a 1.4TC. If you need more reach buy a longer lens.

    the f2.8IS L mkII willbe utterly stunning. F4IS quality , f2.8 speed. Pricey tho.
     
  13. mucca_D

    mucca_D
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    You get used to it :smashin:
    You will be fine with it in a bag, they generally dont weigh smallish carry on bags,
     
  14. cabanatuan

    cabanatuan
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    i could always ask my wife to put it inside her luis vuitton hand bag :D :)
     
  15. tdodd

    tdodd
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    It's a lens, not a pipe-bomb. So long as you are within weight and size limits there is no reason for there to be a problem taking such things on board aircraft. Indeed, the airlines would rather you took care of it in the cabin than made a claim against them for a lens that got smashed in the hold.

    I've taken two xxD bodies, a 10-22, 17-55, 100-400, 50/1.8, teleconverter, macro tubes, 580EX and a few other bits and bobs to New Zealand in a Slingshot 200 AW. The whole lot was on the 7Kg weight limit and I had no problems at all in the UK, Hong Kong, NZ or Los Angeles, which all required baggage checks on the route we took. The 100-400 is very similar in size and weight to the 70-200/2.8, which I also own. I've also taken a similar setup to Germany, on Ryanair, and had no problems with them either.

    I've never tried it myself, but shoving lenses and wotnot into pockets seems par for the course if you need to "smuggle" some heavy items through to the cabin. The constraints are on your hand baggage, not the contents of your pockets (other than fluids and pointy things). :)
     
  16. cabanatuan

    cabanatuan
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    Trouble is mate, my laptop goes hand in hand with my gear.
     
  17. mark.carline

    mark.carline
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    Answer: The most expensive one you can afford ;)
     
  18. drsuave

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    think might go for the new sigma f2.8 with IS
     
  19. mark.carline

    mark.carline
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    how much ?
     
  20. drsuave

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  21. magicmikey08

    magicmikey08
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    i dont own the lens but i did use a 70-200L 2.8 is the otherday for a few hours

    Fell in love with is

    Bit heavy tho
     

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