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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 17 Oct 2011 (Monday) 12:12
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70-200 II has me torn...

 
jpjaybird2011
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Oct 17, 2011 12:12 |  #1

I will start off by saying that I love what my 70-200 II puts out image-wise. But using it this weekend for some fall park family pics was met with some frustration that has been occupying my thoughts today. My wife continuously complains about its weight, size, etc and can't understand how the high image quality that the lens is capable of is enough to offset those physical factors (she used the word "bazooka"). I try to tune out its bulk + weight when using it but still cannot deny that it is pretty obtrusive at times.

This weekend, I kept finding myself too close for the 1.2m minimum focus distance. I suppose because the most interesting spots at this park had some tightness to them due to narrower walkways, people, uneven ground, etc. A few times, I had framed what would have been good shots of my wife + kid but they were lost because I was too close.

I have looked at shots I have taken with it during my brief 70-200 ownership so far (about 4 mos), and focal-length wise I tend to shoot at the wide-to-mid portion of range (80-120). This with full-frame 5D. So, I rarely use the 120-200mm range.

Has anyone else with a 70-200 found themselves in a similar situation, wondering if it is a good fit? It just seems that my vision is more normal-to-mild telephoto, probably because most of my early learning was with 50-85mm primes. As a result, I have programmed myself to GET closer (with primes) rather than zoom closer and I keep catching myself doing this with the 70-200, forgetting about the zoom ring.

Now I am wondering about the 100L IS Macro lens. This would give me a little extra focal length than my 85 along with close focusing distance of under 12". Physically it is 5" long and 1.4 lb vs the 70-200 at 8" long and 3.3 lb. I would still keep the 85 with its extra 1.33 stops of light-gathering ability.

Am I making a big mistake, considering getting rid of the 70-200 and gaining a 100L? I wish I would have taken a 70-200 for an extended test drive (I borrowed my cousin's for a couple of days about a year ago) and look past the awesome IQ capability to consider more about how it fit with my style. On the other hand, I can't help thinking that I may really regret it in the future.

Appreciate any thoughts you guys/gals may have...




  
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gonzogolf
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Oct 17, 2011 12:21 |  #2

I think you might be making a mistake for a couple of reasons. If you worry about the size, weight, and color over the output you have your priorities in the wrong place IMHO. The second is controlling perspective. You complain about being too close to focus, but working at those shorter distances with the lens at 70mm I think you will find your images less pleasing than those taken with longer focal lengths. Take a look at the images you've taken with the longer focal lengths and compare them to those taken with the wider end and see if you dont notice a difference.




  
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Invertalon
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Oct 17, 2011 12:34 |  #3

One thing I love about the 70-200 is the fact people are scared of it. When I shoot in public at amusement parks and such, people will stop and wait for me to say "OK thanks!" before they will walk-by. People clear your image path like royalty. The size and mass is useful as a weapon if need be, without looking suspicious (like a baseball bat). The fact it is a lens is even better!

Seriously though, if you feel that you are not using it as much as you thought, go for the switch! I sold my 70-200 f/4 IS I had for the 135L and 300L combo, and was very happy with my decision for months. Then the 70-200 II came out and sold both to fund it. I recently got back my 135L though, as nothing renders images like it, it is simply amazing! And the MFD is just awesome. But the 70-200 II is just so versatile and is why I don’t think I can easily go without it. There may be a day I do, but for now it is just nice to slap that lens on and have prime like IQ from 70mm to 200mm wide open.

Another option though is to sell the f/2.8 II and buy a f/4 IS model, and pick up a 100L or 135L for your closer MFD needs. It would cost about the same as f/2.8 II you have now, but give you even more versatility. The zoom when you need it, and the macro when you need the MFD.


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bobbyz
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Oct 17, 2011 12:53 |  #4

You need to use the right lens for the right job. Can't expect 70-200mm to focus real close and shoot in small qtrs. And for family outing in the park, carry some small prime and stop compaining about weight of the zoom.

I love what this lens does at 200mm. I just used it this weekend for my 7 month old daughter's picture indoors at around 135mm. I tried a week before with 50mm and I just too close.


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huntersdad
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Oct 17, 2011 12:53 |  #5

Sounds like you followed your own advice too closely. You said several shots were out of focus because they were within the MFD. Well, take a step BACK. The camera will tell you if focus is achieved. Then use sufficient DoF.

I have gone through this same debate about going to the f/4 IS, but just can't seem to do it. If you never need the 2.8, then go for. But, for me, I would prefer stick with what I have.


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rick_reno
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Oct 17, 2011 12:58 |  #6

I've got a 70-200 2.8L here and the 100mm L macro. For me, the 100mm L seems 30x time on the camera my 70-200 does. It might be what I shoot, even this weekend I was using it for some fall landscape shots. It's a great little lens.
Clearly, if you're not happy with what you've got - move on. If you're not happy with what you're using, it's time to change. It's easy to sell, and there is no way your wife will complain about the size/wt. of the 100mm L.




  
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huntersdad
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Oct 17, 2011 13:06 |  #7

rick_reno wrote in post #13262213 (external link)
and there is no way your wife will complain about the size/wt. of the 100mm L.

Not true. They can complain about anything. She may complain that it's not white, therefore she can't see the lens and doesn't know where to look for the picture.

Not specifically geared towards the OP's wife.


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tats
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Oct 17, 2011 13:21 |  #8

jpjaybird2011 wrote in post #13262006 (external link)
I have looked at shots I have taken with it during my brief 70-200 ownership so far (about 4 mos), and focal-length wise I tend to shoot at the wide-to-mid portion of range (80-120). This with full-frame 5D. So, I rarely use the 120-200mm range.

If you aren't using it then maybe you are right. Get something that fits the focal lengths you use. I think one of the true strong points of the 70-200 is its quality at the long end, and if you aren't using it maybe a 135L is better for you (even though it looks a bit over your FL range)


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Tommydigi
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Oct 17, 2011 13:29 |  #9

The MFD was an issue for me too ( besides the weight ) but I had the 70-200 2.8 non IS which I believe is a little worse. For me, I realized indoors I rarely if ever needed 200mm indoors so I sold mine for the 70-300L. ( outdoors the slower aperture is fine for me and its a smaller, lighter package that I am really happy with )

IMO the 100L is one of Canons best and if you have any interest at all in macro its a lens well worth owning.

The 70-200 is certainly not for everyone but generally speaking its one great lens, I had a hard time parting with my non IS version so I can only imagine how good the newer one is.


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jpjaybird2011
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Oct 17, 2011 14:06 as a reply to  @ Tommydigi's post |  #10

Thanks everyone for the quick responses and input. I think one of my lessons learned here is to bring at least a couple of lenses for such an outting. I only brought the 70-200 thinking park => plenty of space => what can possibly go wrong. It didn't help that a kid bonked his head against it while going the opposite direction (wife was carrying at the time and I got "the look" after the bonk). I personally have no trouble carrying it all day - the grin never leaves my face knowing that I have such a gem.

When I got the green light to buy this lens in June, I wanted her to share my enjoyment of it. So far, she has not been impressed (aside from the output of MY use), which has kind of dragged me down about it, and got me over-evaluating my use of it. I had thought about getting a lighter zoom for her to use (~Tamron 28-75 maybe) since she won't really zoom with her feet when there is a prime mounted on it (ie I have countless / useless 50mm kid shots from 15 feet away). But I don't want to constantly be changing lenses whenever we exchange the camera - that just seems silly. I offer her the P&S since she doesn't want to fiddle with SLR settings anyway but she keeps saying "but I want to learn". I would buy a second SLR just for her but she is dis-interested just enough that I can't justify it.

Bottom line is...I have some more thinking to do!

Thanks again.




  
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tats
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Oct 17, 2011 14:18 |  #11

Depending on what you paid for it, you could probably unload that thing in about 3 hours here, if you decide to go down that road. I posted a wanted thread and got 5-6 PM's from people who thought I was selling one, so the interest is out there, and coupled with the fact that the refurbs from Canon sell out in ~30 min the market is still hot for them.

This might be too far from your reality but think about the f4 non IS (or IS if the budget is bigger) coupled with a Rebel - she will be able to get better results than from a P&S then f/4 is AMAZINGLY lighter and she can still have an SLR to play with.

If you do decide to go that route I know an amazing photographer/great guy who is selling a mint xsi :)


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rick_reno
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Oct 17, 2011 14:29 |  #12

Yep, you could sell it and pick the 100L and the (light) 70-200 f4 and life would be nearing perfection.




  
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Nathan
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Oct 17, 2011 14:43 |  #13

jpjaybird2011 wrote in post #13262006 (external link)
I suppose because the most interesting spots at this park had some tightness to them due to narrower walkways, people, uneven ground, etc. A few times, I had framed what would have been good shots of my wife + kid but they were lost because I was too close.

If I were you, I would have pulled out the 17-40. Better yet, sell the 17-40 and get a 24-70. Has anyone suggested that to you, yet?

Does the wife use the 70-200 regularly? Is this your hobby or hers? I'm having some trouble understanding why her complaints about the lens should be factored into this discussion. My wife picks up my camera, says it's too big, and that's it. She never touches it again. I got her an S95 for her use. Depending on the skill level that your wife possesses... perhaps pick a suitable p&s for her.


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Daan37
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Oct 17, 2011 14:57 |  #14

Nathan wrote in post #13262725 (external link)
Does the wife use the 70-200 regularly? Is this your hobby or hers? I'm having some trouble understanding why her complaints about the lens should be factored into this discussion. My wife picks up my camera, says it's too big, and that's it. She never touches it again. I got her an S95 for her use. Depending on the skill level that your wife possesses... perhaps pick a suitable p&s for her.

Yes, buy your wife something small.


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bomzai
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Oct 17, 2011 15:17 as a reply to  @ Daan37's post |  #15

24-105 IS F4 is as wife-friendly lens as they get ;)

Then again you're certainly lucky that she doesn't complain about DSLR itself in the first place.


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EOS 5D mkII, 20D, S100, EF 24-70mm f2.8 L, EF 24-105mm IS f4.0 L, EF 70-200mm IS f4.0 L, EF-S 18-200mm IS, EF 100mm f2.8 macro
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70-200 II has me torn...
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