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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 26 Aug 2012 (Sunday) 05:47
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Canon 70-200 f/4L IS v non IS

31 posts
Joined Jul 2012
Location: Cairns, Australia
Aug 26, 2012 05:47 |  #1

Hey guys, so I am going to be purchasing the canon 70-200 lens very soon, and I am wondering, is the IS really worth it?

Pretty much the same specs between the two, apart from the IS...and almost $300 in price haha
Has anyone used either of these lenses? and if so is there a need for the IS?

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Cream of the Crop
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Joined Nov 2010
Location: Hong Kong
Aug 26, 2012 06:22 |  #2

I've used both, and I kept the non-IS, because IQ is virtually identical, and IS to me is not worth double the price (not sure about prices in australia, but elsewhere the IS costs twice the amount the non-IS does).

Personally I don't need IS, its handy when I have it, but I'm not going to pay as much as a good tripod for it on one lens when there are few other benefits that come with the inflated price.

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Joined Mar 2007
Location: Philadelphia Suburbs
Aug 26, 2012 07:03 |  #3

For me, "When in doubt......IS".
This is one of Canon's best lenses for sharpness and ease of use. The Image Stabilzation really shines on this lens. You can always turn off IS, but you can't turn it on if you don't have it.

Canon 5D Mark III (x2), BG-E11 Grips, 7D (x2) BG-E7 Grips, Canon Lenses 16-35 f/4 L IS, 17-40 f/4 L, 24-70 f/4 L IS, 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II, 70-200 f/4 L IS, 70-200 f/4 L IS Version II, 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS Version II, TS-E 24 f/3.5 L II, 100 f/2.8 L Macro IS, 10-22 f3.5-4.5, 17-55 f/2.8 L IS, 85 f/1.8, Canon 1.4 Extender III, 5 Canon 600 EX-RT, 2 Canon ST-E3 Transmitters, Canon Pixma PRO-10 Printer

2,099 posts
Joined Aug 2012
Location: Bourbon, Indiana
Aug 26, 2012 07:14 |  #4
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I am well past 50. I need IS to get to 1/FL. It is worth it to me at 200mm and longer. I wish the IS on the 100-400 were a stop or so better!

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Joined Aug 2009
Location: Moscow
Aug 26, 2012 07:18 |  #5

If it were a choice between a 70-200 f/2.8 and f/4 IS... but since it's f/4 IS vs. non, so definitely go for the IS version, the f/4 aperture is really going to need it, esp. at 200mm. The great thing about the plain 70-200 f/4 is that it's Canon's cheapest L-series lens, a super choice if you're totally broke, but absolutely need something with a red ring on it.

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Talley Whacker
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Joined Dec 2011
Location: Houston
Aug 26, 2012 07:32 |  #6

I had both and now I have the 2.8 sigma OS version. I never really needed the IS but I wanted it for videoing. Yes I've been able to get some nice shots with the IS but the canon I was never really able to get below 1/60 reliably enough vs. the sigma I can get down to 1/10 easily

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Chopped liver
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Joined Dec 2008
Location: Just South of Ballard
Aug 26, 2012 07:36 |  #7

It's hard to argue with somebody that has had both and then opts for one or the other. All I'll have to say is that IS is well worth the extra $'s for me and that the 70-200 F4IS is an outstanding lens.

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92 posts
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Joined Oct 2011
Location: SE Texas
Aug 26, 2012 07:55 |  #8

I had the f/4 non-IS for six months. Traded it in for the f/2.8 IS.
The IS can be very helpful under lower light conditions. (the 2.8 helped too)

1,469 posts
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Joined Jul 2011
Location: Lincoln, Uk
Aug 26, 2012 08:09 |  #9

Like Skul, I started with the f4 non IS and got some great photos with it outdoors, however I eventually sold it and got the 2.8 IS MkI which was much better. The IS was a very welcome addition as was the extra stop, but it wasn't as sharp as the f4 wide open. When stopped down to f3.5 it was a lot better though. I recently sold the MkI to put the money towards a MkII and the MkII blows the rest away. The MkII is sharper at f2.8 than the MkI was at f4 and the IS is fantastic as well. It's worth starting with the f4 if you are planning to upgrade at all because the price of the f4 doesn't seem to be going any lower than it is already and is great to start with.

EOS 5D MkIII, EOS 70D, EOS 650D, EOS M, Canon 24-70 f2.8L MkII, Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS MkII, Canon 100 f2.8L Macro, Canon 17-40 f4L IS, Canon 24-105 f4L IS, Canon 300 f4L IS, Canon 85 f1.8, Canon 50 f1.4, Canon 40 f2.8 STM, Canon 35 f2, Sigma 150-500 OS, Tamron 18-270 PZD, Tamron 28-300 VC, 580EX II Flash, Nissin Di866 MkII Flash, Sigma EM 140 Macro Flash and other bits.

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Joined Jun 2011
Location: New Jersey USA
Aug 26, 2012 08:33 as a reply to  @ modchild's post |  #10

Got the non IS and keep for almost a month before sending it back. No question......spend the extra cash and get the IS model. It is much more usful in lower light conditions.

Canon 5D3, 60D, 70-200 L f4 IS, 17-40L,16-35f4, 24-105L,100 f2.8, 85 f/1.8, 55-250 IS, 400 f/5.6, Ziess 21 2.8, canon 1.4, 430EX​maggiesguy (external link), http://charles-aitken.artistwebsites.​com (external link)

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Joined Aug 2005
Location: Belmont, CA
Aug 26, 2012 19:00 |  #11

I don't know the price differential for IS in Australia, but in the USA it is typically about $500 more for IS (except in lower end consumer lenses like the 18-55 vs. 18-55 IS) For $500 more, it certainly is well worth it. I owned the 70-200 f/4L before the IS lens came out, then bought the 70-200 f/4L IS.

The IS really helps with the hand holdability of the 70-200 in lower light. Consider that on APS-C the usual lower shutter speed for hand holding 200mm is 1/320. Being able to hand hold 200mm to 1/80 (or even 1/40) is really valuable, especially if your subject is not moving that rapidly or continuously.

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Joined Aug 2012
Aug 26, 2012 23:49 |  #12

Definitely the IS, for me that is. I have handheld F4L IS to 1/20 at 200mm. I had slight movement but IS took care of that and the images turned out sharp. It gives you an additional stop just because you can drop the shutter speed to 1/40 or 1/20.

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1,198 posts
Likes: 5
Joined Feb 2012
Location: Dallas, TX
Aug 27, 2012 00:10 |  #13

IS is a huge thing, I can go down to 1/30 at 200 on a crop body, makes it usable before sunset for out door´╝î or low light portrait.

Fly me away.

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Joined Sep 2011
Location: Logan County, CO
Aug 27, 2012 08:20 as a reply to  @ Judsonzhao's post |  #14

IS? Yes. I find it almost indispensible. Unless you shoot a lot of fast moving subjects, the f4 IS is one of the best deals going.

Another advantage to the IS version is if you do like I did and add a 1.4x II teleconverter. Now you are talking a 280mm at the far end and handolding that without IS is going to be a bit dicey.

I have a nice tripod, but I really don't use it that often. I prefer to handhold, so my long lenses need IS. Even with my 17-55 the IS is useful. I've taken photos at 1/13 second, zoomed to 35mm, handheld with perfect sharpness.

6D Mark II - EF 17-40 f4 L -- EF 100mm f2.8 L IS Macro -- EF 70-200 f4 L IS w/1.4 II TC

4,533 posts
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Joined Aug 2008
Aug 27, 2012 08:56 |  #15

The specs are NOT the same between the 2. Check out the reviews on each. The IS version has the better IQ.

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Canon 70-200 f/4L IS v non IS
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