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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 13 Apr 2014 (Sunday) 19:38
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Lens dilemma - 70-200 f/4L IS plus fast primes, or 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II

 
munzzzzzzz
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Apr 13, 2014 19:38 |  #1

I know this topic gets debated a lot but I'm still not sure what I should do so I'm going to throw my situation out there and see what you guys think.

I currently have a 70-200 f/4L IS which is my go-to lens, and also have a 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, and 135 f/2L. I just picked up the 85 and 135 recently (used), as I wanted something faster than the 70-200 and wasn't sure which focal length I would use more. I've only played with the 135 a little but my main subjects have been (and will continue to be) my young boys and my dogs. What I found, as one would expect, is that it's an amazing lens when it's the right focal length, but when your subjects are active and moving, a zoom will get you a lot more shots.

I debated between the f/4L IS and f/2.8L IS II when I first got my 70-200 and have been second guessing myself ever since. The main issue was the weight, and that's why I thought the 135 f/2L would be a nice complement, but I just don't know how much use it's going to get. The thing is, if I end up carrying the 70-200 f/4L IS, 85, and 135 all along, I'm carrying as much if not more weight than the 2.8 anyways, though granted not all mounted to my camera at once.

My other dilemma is that my son just started youth soccer, and I'm finding that the 70-200 isn't really long enough there. I've already debated a 300 f/4L, but I don't really want to stick more money into lenses, which means I'd probably have to sell the 85 and 135 to fund it. It seems that I might be better served by either of the 70-200's and either the 1.4X or 2X TC, of course the 2X would only be an option with the 2.8.

Bottom line, my boys will always be my main subjects, but that includes formal portraits (indoors and out), candids, sports, and school events. Please help me make up my mind once and for all... stick with what I have or make the leap?


6D | 40mm f/2.8 | 50mm f/1.4 | 70-200mm f/4L IS | 580EXII | 2x PCB Einstein | Various Modifiers

  
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Jerobean
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Apr 13, 2014 20:12 |  #2

the 70-200 f4 IS is a great lens, do you need the extra stop? Unless you are shooting indoors a lot with the lens, I would imagine the f4 would be fine.

if so, and you aren't really enjoying the 135L much, I would sell the 135L.

how about the 40 and the 50? which do you use more? similar focal length, maybe you can get by without the 50?

selling these 2 lenses could put you close to a 400 5.6 or 300 f4 for soccer.


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MalVeauX
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Apr 13, 2014 20:22 |  #3

Heya,

The way you're describing things, you sound like someone who will basically always go zoom over prime, as you favor convenience. So go zoom.

Get the 70-200 F2.8 instead of all that. And get a 2.0x TC for when they're playing sports (making it an F5.6 400mm zoom). The image quality takes a hit with the TC, and you lose two stops, but you can still focus and 400mm is 400mm. If you're in the day light this should be fine. If it's indoors or something, that's more of a problem.

If money is an issue, go with the Tamron 70-200 F2.8 VC and the Kenko PRO 300 series 1.4x or 2.0x.

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munzzzzzzz
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Apr 13, 2014 20:25 |  #4

I do use both the 40 and 50. I love the 50 for indoor "candid" use and the 40 is great for travel (ie Disneyworld) as I can fit my 6D with the 40 attached inside a lenscoat body bag which is super convenient and makes it almost as convenient as a P&S.

As for the extra stop, it would obviously come in handy for indoor school events, would help me get better background separation (f/4 isn't bad at longer focal lengths) and also gives me the option of using it as a 400 5.6 with a TC. Do I need it? That is the million dollar question, isn't it? :)


6D | 40mm f/2.8 | 50mm f/1.4 | 70-200mm f/4L IS | 580EXII | 2x PCB Einstein | Various Modifiers

  
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Myboostedgst
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Apr 13, 2014 20:58 as a reply to  @ munzzzzzzz's post |  #5

The 2.8 version weighs a LOT more after a day of shooting. For a little while it doesnt seem to be much extra on you, but the longer you are out shooting, the more you will realize it.

I was a hardcore "You have to have a 70-200 2.8" guy when I was shooting Nikon, but since moving to Canon and buying a 70-200 F4 (first time using it today and man was it nice not to have to lug around a huge 2.8 tele) I will not be going back to a 2.8 lens. Sure, if I was a pro and making money/a living off of it I would, but with the high ISO capabilities of newer cameras, there is no reason to need 2.8 unless you specifically need it for the DOF. But if that is the case, then a prime like the 135L is a better option anyways. I looked at it as a 70-200 F4 IS + a used 6D would be close to just a 70-200 2.8 IS II, and then I also get the ability to use the 6D with my existing lenses. (I plan on getting a 6d this summer if I start shooting more).


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Jerobean
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Apr 13, 2014 20:59 |  #6

munzzzzzzz wrote in post #16831224 (external link)
I do use both the 40 and 50. I love the 50 for indoor "candid" use and the 40 is great for travel (ie Disneyworld) as I can fit my 6D with the 40 attached inside a lenscoat body bag which is super convenient and makes it almost as convenient as a P&S.

As for the extra stop, it would obviously come in handy for indoor school events, would help me get better background separation (f/4 isn't bad at longer focal lengths) and also gives me the option of using it as a 400 5.6 with a TC. Do I need it? That is the million dollar question, isn't it? :)

I don't have experience using a TC on lenses. but if the 70-200 can take a 2x fine, that seems like a good answer for all your needs.

you can cover indoor events and sports with 1 lens, and if you sell your current f4 IS and the 135L you are in the used price range (~1800)


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pyrojim
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Apr 13, 2014 22:52 as a reply to  @ Jerobean's post |  #7

The 70-200mm F2.8 IS2 is sharper than an 85mm, sharper than the 100mm F2, and at least as sharp as the 100mm L macro, as or sharper than the 135mm L, is sharper than the 200mm F2.8L.


And has image stabilization.


So the question is, do you want fast primes for a good reason?


The only time I've been able to extract more sharpness from a scene than my 70-200mm IS2 could deliver, I had to break out the mamiya RZ67 with a digital back...


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stang67
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Apr 14, 2014 01:56 |  #8

Myboostedgst wrote in post #16831327 (external link)
The 2.8 version weighs a LOT more after a day of shooting.

You may want to reword that :D Weight is the product of mass and the acceleration due to gravity. The sentence after that makes sense, however.

OP: Unless you NEED the benefits of 2.8 in a telephoto zoom, go for the f4 is plus primes. The f4 is is one amazing lens and has many great benefits such as lower mass, smaller volume, being cheaper etc. It is a fantastic lens for landscapes as well (not sure if you would want to carry around a heavy 70-200 2.8 for landscapes). The primes (such as 85 1.8, 135 f2) are much smaller, lighter, cheaper and faster. The 70-200 2.8 doesn't make much sense over the other option unless you need that faster aperture in the zoom for sports and weddings etc where using primes is too limiting (focal length wise) to get all the shots you want to get.

For what you have stated you shoot, honestly, the 70-200 2.8 IS II + extender(s) and the 50 1.4 sound like the better option for you. It all comes down to whether or not you think you would find the heavier 70-200 2.8 IS II (to f4) limiting to you or not. I know it will feel like you have wasted some time buying that 135 f2 and 70-200 f4 is when you could have just got the 70-200 2.8 IS II, but I think in the long run it will be the better option. I very recently had the 70-200 f4 and 135 f2 and got the 70-200 2.8 due to the fact I never used the 70-200 f4 for its limiting (to me) aperture but the 135 was restricting (not a zoom). I would love the 135 again, but I know I wouldn't use it much and if I did, I would not be able to get any better images out of it than I can of my 70-200. Hence, I am going to skip purchasing it again.

I have no experience with an 85mm lens so I cannot offer you any advice there, unfortunately.


Canon 6D - Canon 1D Mk III - 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | Σ 105mm f/2.8 | Canon 400mm f/5.6L | Σ 35mm f/1.4 | 17-40mm f/4L
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Jon_Doh
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Apr 14, 2014 08:17 |  #9

The extra stop won't make that much difference unless you are a vampire and shoot in dim light all the time. The f2.8 is much bigger and heavier and on a small body camera like the 6D creates an imbalance. Being heavy also requires good skills with handheld shots. I tried both out for my !D Mark III and the f4 just felt better on the camera and I haven't been disappointed with it at all.

Get the f4, save yourself some money and if you need a fast prime or two you'll have the extra cash.


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Nick5
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Apr 14, 2014 08:45 |  #10

Munzzzzzzzzz.
Keep lovin' that f/4 L IS. Since I have both the the f/4 and f/2.8 Mark II, yes still have both, I can tell you really like the f/4. I do as well for the reduction of weight and stellar image quality. As each year goes by, I keep reaching for the f/4 more and more.
Sure the f/2.8 Mark II is the best I own. However it's close runner up is the f/4 L IS.


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, 24-105 f/4 L IS, 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II, 70-200 f/4 L IS, 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS, 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, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, Canon 1.4 Extender III, 5 Canon 600 EX-RT, 2 Canon ST-E3 Transmitters, Canon Pixma PRO-10 Printer

  
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Hogloff
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Apr 14, 2014 09:18 |  #11
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pyrojim wrote in post #16831577 (external link)
The 70-200mm F2.8 IS2 is sharper than an 85mm, sharper than the 100mm F2, and at least as sharp as the 100mm L macro, as or sharper than the 135mm L, is sharper than the 200mm F2.8L.


And has image stabilization.


So the question is, do you want fast primes for a good reason?


The only time I've been able to extract more sharpness from a scene than my 70-200mm IS2 could deliver, I had to break out the mamiya RZ67 with a digital back...

Can you list the tests that indicate the zoom is sharper than those primes.




  
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stang67
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Apr 14, 2014 15:54 |  #12

Jon_Doh wrote in post #16832220 (external link)
The f2.8 is much bigger and heavier and on a small body camera like the 6D creates an imbalance. Being heavy also requires good skills with handheld shots. I tried both out for my !D Mark III and the f4 just felt better on the camera and I haven't been disappointed with it at all.

Agreed, although I prefer the feel of the 400 5.6 on my 6D compared to my 1D III. Strange. 70-200 definitely feels better on the 1D though.


Canon 6D - Canon 1D Mk III - 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | Σ 105mm f/2.8 | Canon 400mm f/5.6L | Σ 35mm f/1.4 | 17-40mm f/4L
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GuitarDTO
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Apr 14, 2014 20:05 |  #13

I swear I'm looking to trade for the exact combo of lenses you have lol. I have a 70-200 IS ii, and I was literally getting ready to start a thread on opinions to trade it for a 70-200 F4 is and 135L. I really want the 135, but I do love the focal length of the 70-200 for versatility so I'd like to at least have one in my bag. I don't find myself shooting with it that often as it's large and draws more attention than I'd like. I originally bought it for weddings and family photoshoots, but I've stopped doing all of that and only do my own creative thing so no longer feel the necessity for the 70-200 2.8. For the type of photography you are describing it is perfect, but it is definitely large. I second guess wanting to sell/trade it every time I take it out and shoot with it because it really does create amazing photographs.

I never see any F4 is or 135L's on Craigslist, or the F2.8 is for that matter.


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Apr 14, 2014 20:41 as a reply to  @ GuitarDTO's post |  #14

I think we are all a bunch of sheep looking at the grass on the other side of the fence here maybe way too often and yes I am included here.

I have the 85-1.8, 135/2 and 70-200/4 IS like the OP and yet I lust after the 70-200/2.8 II daily. I think maybe I would like to trade the f4 for the 2.8 II and use the 135/2 for times I want to keep it light. Other times I think about just adding the 200/2.8 II and skipping the 2.8 IS II. This would be great for the pro sports venues where lens size is limited...

Honestly I wish I were just rich enough where I could justify having all of these lenses. I am pretty sure I could put them all to use here and there.


Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8 OS, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 L IS, Σ30/1.4 EX, 50/1.8, C50/1.4, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 L IS, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 IS L, 135/2 L 580EX II, 430EX II * 2, 270EX II.

  
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Apr 14, 2014 21:21 |  #15

If it makes any difference I chose fast primes and the 120-300 2.8 for length.


A7rIII | A7III | 12-24 F4 | 16-35 GM | 28-75 2.8 | 100-400 GM | 12mm 2.8 Fisheye | 35mm 2.8 | 85mm 1.8 | 35A | 85A | 200mm L F2 IS | MC-11
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Lens dilemma - 70-200 f/4L IS plus fast primes, or 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II
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