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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 21 Sep 2017 (Thursday) 19:05
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EF 200mm F2.8 L IS USM II vs others

 
hxdrummerxc
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Post edited 7 months ago by hxdrummerxc.
     
Sep 21, 2017 19:05 |  #1

Hello,

I was recently gifted a very generous $500 Amazon gift card. I am looking to put it towards a new lens. My current equipment is:

Canon 6D,
- EF 24-105 F4L
- EF 50mm 1.8
- Rokinon 14mm 2.8

I mostly shoot landscape photography, but want a longer focal length lens for wildlife/landscape and the occasional portrait type stuff. With emphasis on occasional (I'm not a pro, and I don't make money off of this, it's mostly a hobby and if close family want pictures etc)

I don't really want to spend much more that a couple hundred dollars over the gift card amount.

I was eyeballing the EF 200 F2.8L IS USM. It seems like a great lens. Perfect price range for me (at $750, it will only be $250 out of pocket). I love that it's F2.8. My one fear is that I won't find it to be enough "zoom". Is 200mm going to be enough to satisfy on my full frame 6D over my current max focal length of 105mm? Reviews state that it is a nice sharp lens.

I saw the EF 300mm F4L IS USM. At a higher price point, but available "used" in the same price range as the 200 2.8L. It would obviously give some more reach, but with the loss of the much nicer F2.8 on the other lens. Is this lens as sharp as the 200 F2.8L, how does it compare image quality wise?

What would you do in the given situation?

Thanks in advance




  
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ma11rats
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Post edited 7 months ago by ma11rats. (2 edits in all)
     
Sep 21, 2017 19:20 |  #2

It'll be too short for wildlife (w/ exception of wild horse/moose sized animals). There's a lot of times where 300mm is too short. I rented the 100-400 and the 400f5.6 and almost always had the 1.4x on it for 560mm, even for birds in nearby bushes.
It really depends on how close you can get to the wildlife.

And on the flip side, 200mm for portraits requires you to stand pretty far away from your subject. If your location is loud, city, you'll be yelling at them to direct them. I do like the results at that focal length but don't expect seamless sessions.

In all honesty I'd recommend looking into the Sigma 100-400 or wait to see what the rumored Tamron 1-4 is going to be priced at. It'll sit near that $800 range, so not too much out of pocket and it'll give you WAY more reach for wildlife, give you image stabilization, and allow you to shoot some portraits in a pinch.
You'll find more uses out of the FL covered but the drawback is....not f2.8


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MalVeauX
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Post edited 7 months ago by MalVeauX.
     
Sep 21, 2017 19:52 |  #3

hxdrummerxc wrote in post #18457435 (external link)
Hello,

I was recently gifted a very generous $500 Amazon gift card. I am looking to put it towards a new lens. My current equipment is:

Canon 6D,
- EF 24-105 F4L
- EF 50mm 1.8
- Rokinon 14mm 2.8

I mostly shoot landscape photography, but want a longer focal length lens for wildlife/landscape and the occasional portrait type stuff. With emphasis on occasional (I'm not a pro, and I don't make money off of this, it's mostly a hobby and if close family want pictures etc)

I don't really want to spend much more that a couple hundred dollars over the gift card amount.

I was eyeballing the EF 200 F2.8L IS USM. It seems like a great lens. Perfect price range for me (at $750, it will only be $250 out of pocket). I love that it's F2.8. My one fear is that I won't find it to be enough "zoom". Is 200mm going to be enough to satisfy on my full frame 6D over my current max focal length of 105mm? Reviews state that it is a nice sharp lens.

I saw the EF 300mm F4L IS USM. At a higher price point, but available "used" in the same price range as the 200 2.8L. It would obviously give some more reach, but with the loss of the much nicer F2.8 on the other lens. Is this lens as sharp as the 200 F2.8L, how does it compare image quality wise?

What would you do in the given situation?

Thanks in advance

The 200mm will be very short on a full frame for wildlife.

I'd say put your $500 and a few hundred more towards a Sigma 100-400 OS or a Sigma/Tamron 150-600. That will cover wildlife even in lower light, give you supreme reach, and be excellent for all kinds of distant landscape.

Remember, Amazon has Used/Warehouse and your gift card works there too:

Tamron 150-600 VC at $700 from the Warehouse:
https://www.amazon.com …mbc?ie=UTF8&con​dition=all (external link)

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Talley
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Sep 21, 2017 20:24 |  #4

I dunno... I find the 200 would work well for zoo trips. Would work very good for portraits and also does well for landscapes. It could work. Nice and light plenty sharp and beautiful rendering.

Maybe because I own a 200 prime and it's my longest lens and I use it for anything long but I could see it working. Pickup a 2XIII and have a nice 400 5.6 lens for daytime wildlife.


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johnandbentley
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Sep 21, 2017 20:36 |  #5

If your confined to Amazon, the 200L 2.8 is a phenominal lens (though not IS). It pairs very well with the 6d for portraits and is so lightweight. I know its short for wildlife, but you can still taking it hiking and catch critters and birds on branches quite well. GO FOR IT!


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ma11rats
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Sep 21, 2017 20:40 |  #6

Talley wrote in post #18457486 (external link)
I dunno... I find the 200 would work well for zoo trips. Would work very good for portraits and also does well for landscapes. It could work. Nice and light plenty sharp and beautiful rendering.

Maybe because I own a 200 prime and it's my longest lens and I use it for anything long but I could see it working. Pickup a 2XIII and have a nice 400 5.6 lens for daytime wildlife.

2xiii adds another $325-450 used/new atop of his already out of pocket($250) and will most likely be much slower to focus with the 6d's AF.

It really depends on what type of animals in wildlife the OP is wanting to shoot. Anything the size of a dog and smaller, out in the wild, that 200 will be WAY too short FL.


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hxdrummerxc
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Post edited 7 months ago by hxdrummerxc. (2 edits in all)
     
Sep 21, 2017 20:52 |  #7

Thanks for all of the replies. Me and my wife took a trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons this past July and had a blast. Tons of good memories and pictures. But I kept thinking how cool it would have been to have a larger focal length lens. Mostly for the large animals that we seen. Bison, and bear etc. We safely seen a young grizzly from the car, and my 24-105 just wouldn't reach out enough. And it was only about 30-40 yards out I would guess. So I would guess mostly larger animals. But here in Michigan we have seen more frequent sightings of Eagles that I have thought a time or two about how a larger lens would be awesome for them too.

I once rented the 300 F4L for a vacation. Years ago, 2012 to be exact. And I kind of didn't really know what I was doing, at least not like I do now. But I remember then, thinking that it wasn't as much "zoom" as I thought that it would be. However I didn't end up seeing any wildlife except for a few elk and they were 200 yards out and couldn't really get a good feel for the lens at the time. I did get a couple cool landscape shoots of far off mountain ridges with the lens though.




  
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Talley
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Sep 21, 2017 20:59 |  #8

My buddy goes to yellowstone/tetons every year. For the driving around landscapes/wildlife he usually brings his 400 2.8 and 1.4x = 560mm on FF and he always crying for more.

I know your really digging the 2.8 but at your price level you really just need to consider the 100-400 Sigma Contemporary.

https://www.amazon.com …-2&keywords=sigma+100-400 (external link)

It's really the only lens I can think of to fit your long needs. It's a sharp lens with OS. I know it's slow but daytime wildlife in the yellowstone/teton you really need 300-400+ range.


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ma11rats
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Post edited 7 months ago by ma11rats.
     
Sep 21, 2017 21:04 |  #9

hxdrummerxc wrote in post #18457511 (external link)
Thanks for all of the replies. Me and my wife took a trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons this past July and had a blast. Tons of good memories and pictures. But I kept thinking how cool it would have been to have a larger focal length lens. Mostly for the large animals that we seen. Bison, and bear etc. We safely seen a young grizzly from the car, and my 24-105 just wouldn't reach out enough. And it was only about 30-40 yards out I would guess. So I would guess mostly larger animals. But here in Michigan we have seen more frequent sightings of Eagles that I have thought a time or two about how a larger lens would be awesome for them too.

I once rented the 300 F4L for a vacation. Years ago, 2012 to be exact. And I kind of didn't really know what I was doing, at least not like I do now. But I remember then, thinking that it wasn't as much "zoom" as I thought that it would be. However I didn't end up seeing any wildlife except for a few elk and they were 200 yards out and couldn't really get a good feel for the lens at the time. I did get a couple cool landscape shoots of far off mountain ridges with the lens though.


I think one of the lightweight 100-400 options would serve you really well. Especially if you picked up one of the their 1.4x extenders later on to get even further reach. It may benefit you to rent 1-2 lenses for a weekend. Spend $100 or so?? to give you piece of mind that you're buying the right lens for your needs...the 1st time around ahaha.
The shared image is at 560mm(896mm FOVCF). Saw him, immediately stopped walking, sat, and scooched several feet and still cropped a bit. It's hard to frame small subjects. I know the 6d well, and you can get away with a bit of cropping but you'll need a really sharp image to start with.

I loved Canon's 1-4mk2 but it's out of my price range and will most likely buy Tamron's version next year(depending on reviews).


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hxdrummerxc
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Sep 21, 2017 21:08 as a reply to  @ Talley's post |  #10

Well, I don't see us going back to the Tetons / Yellowstone anytime soon lol. It's pretty far from Michigan. But it was an example of what Im looking for.

How well does that sigma do with full frame vs crop? I'm always afraid of other brand lenses because I read good reviews, but never know if they are reviews of crop or full frame.

It is a slower lens, but the plus side is that the 6D does really well with higher ISO noise. I could always shoot higher ISO if need be. That doesn't help much with the nicer DoF of the 2.8 though.




  
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ma11rats
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Sep 21, 2017 21:11 |  #11

hxdrummerxc wrote in post #18457528 (external link)
That doesn't help much with the nicer DoF of the 2.8 though.

You'd be surprised how shallow the DOF is at 400mm depending on your distance to the subject.


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Post edited 7 months ago by MalVeauX.
     
Sep 21, 2017 21:26 |  #12

hxdrummerxc wrote in post #18457528 (external link)
That doesn't help much with the nicer DoF of the 2.8 though.

Doing that with a 200mm though requires a lot of working distance between you and the subject, and vast distance behind the subject, if you want to see that isolation due to shallow depth of field. It sounds good on paper, but in reality, being 20+ feet away from the subject for a portrait isn't always as simple or convenient. Sometimes in some situations its not even possible (assuming full body). It's a great lens. If you're mostly doing head shots & busts, it will do great for portrait. If you're doing full body and groups of full body you'll quickly find you need lots and lots of room.

I had to test my 200mm F2.8L because I wanted to see a real world example, versus a simple fast 85mm (something common like an 85mm F1.8). The 200 F2.8L should be able to create more blurry background, more isolation, etc. And it can. But it also requires specific conditions to really pull the look off. Telephoto pulls the background forward, so you really have to have your subject far from anything behind them. I tested my 200 F2.8L compared to an 85mm F1.8 with the same composition basically so that I could evaluate a real world example of the look between the two and how they render the background and out of focus area and depth of field as well as the difference between the focal lengths and how they handle pulling the background and compression:

85mm F2:

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8841/18750362361_4548a418b2_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/uyUv​tF  (external link) IMG_4218 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

200mm F2.8:

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/448/18743004082_05893d6906_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/uyfN​7N  (external link) IMG_4223 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

While I like how the 200mm handles the background, has more blur, etc, I had to place the camera very far away, over 20 feet. Not convenient at all. The more I shot with the 200 F2.8L for portrait, which it does great at, the more I didn't enjoy having to be way far away from the subject. I eventually went back to the 85~90mm focal length for portrait because I just didn't like the working distance of 200mm. You have to make your own judgement with that. While I prefer the look of longer telephoto, I do not like the distance it takes, as it changes how I can line up a shot and how I can use an area, and it's too limiting and I like to be closer with the subject. So I gave up the 200mm in favor of shorter faster glass to be closer to the subject. Again, it's personal, you have to consider what you like best. But rest assured, it's no joke at 200mm how far you have to be away from your subject for a full body shot, let alone a group.

Now, as for 400~600mm, even at F8, you will notice you can destroy a background with that.

Here's 600mm at F8 on an APS-C, it would have even been more smeared on a larger sensor with same comp:

IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2908/14046180588_4f9ce10106_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/npdm​8o  (external link) IMG_3484 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Very best,

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hxdrummerxc
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Sep 21, 2017 21:44 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #13

That makes perfect sense, I also don't do much portrait stuff. But I would like the versatility. The only fast lenses that I currently have are my nifty fifty and my Rokinon 14mm 2.8 (which kind of doesn't count being that wide, I bought it pretty much strictly for milky way/ star shots)

You guys got my gears turning a new direction for sure. Less than 12 hours ago I was almost ready to pull the trigger on the 200 2.8. Now I'm thinking that I want more. It makes sense. If I rented the 300 f4L before and didn't think that it was as much reach as I had imagined..... The 200 will probably disappoint me in the FL.

The last time I tried to get a shot of a Bald Eagle, it was in a tree only about 20 yards out maybe. And of course my 24-105 was useless. So I tried to sneak up closer to it. And ultimately scared it off. I can only imagine how awesome a 400+ would be in that scenario.

Speaking of the Sigma or Tamron 100-400 or 150-600. What is the difference between the two brands? The 150-600 looks almost like the same lens with a different name on it.

Also how do these lenses compare to canon L glass? I mean obviously I'm not shopping in the price range of canon L glass at those focal length, but how will the overall image quality/sharpness compare to say my 24-105 L? Or even the Canon 200?




  
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Sep 21, 2017 22:00 as a reply to  @ hxdrummerxc's post |  #14

400mm would be too short to frame an eagle 60' away. You're needing 900+ to fill the frame.

I suggest researching wildlife threads in the lens forums.


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Post edited 7 months ago by MalVeauX.
     
Sep 21, 2017 22:06 |  #15

I have L glass and I don't notice any real difference at this tier with my Tamron 150-600, but you can't compare a $700 lens to a $9,000 lens in a few ways, at that price point you start to mainly look at what you're willing to compromise. I'll take 3 times the reach any day for a bird. I can get really close to most of my subjects. But sometimes, you just can't get close, and that's where physical reach comes in.

In terms of quality, the glass is sharp. Color is good. Focus is good. Stabilization is good. You can get one for $700 on Amazon. They're silly good for the money.

Here's an example of distance and big crop:

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3825/13763390395_a54447ecd8_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/mYdY​sp  (external link) EagleSetup (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3690/13764052854_bf8f3c9c2a_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/mYhn​o7  (external link) IMG_9113 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

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EF 200mm F2.8 L IS USM II vs others
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