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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 20 Aug 2014 (Wednesday) 14:13
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How important is IS? 70-200mm choices

 
sancho1983
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Aug 20, 2014 14:13 |  #1

So I've narrowed my new lens down to one of the 70-200mm lenses. F/4 non IS is out as I don't think it's worth it, F/2.8 ISii is out as it's too expensive.

That leaves either the f/4 IS or the f/2.8 non IS.

I don't do any video, so the noise of the IS isn't an issue, they are pretty much the same price, so that's not an issue. I hand hold 90% of the shots I take - either in a studio environment or on location. I like the idea of the lovely shallow depth of field and the low light abilities the 2.8 will bring, but then I'm worried that not having IS will be an issue.

Any opinions?

Thanks in advance.


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Aug 20, 2014 14:17 |  #2

Go for the 70-200 f/4 IS as its tack sharp. One of the best bang for the buck lenses you can get. I had the 70-200 f/2.8 IS and got rid of it. Never thought it was that good. Version II on the other hand is damn good.


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DutchinCLE
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Aug 20, 2014 14:20 |  #3

Personally I would take the 2.8 over the IS simply because there is no alternative for the larger aperture, while steady hands or a tripod are the alternative to IS
Eventhough you have made up your mind, have you considered Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC. 2.8 and VC for about the same $$.


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jbsg02
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Aug 20, 2014 14:40 |  #4

for a telephoto lens it's very important to me. I shoot weddings which are notorious for low light, I can shoot at 200mm and 1/50th of a second handheld and still have sharp photos!


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amfoto1
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Aug 20, 2014 14:40 |  #5

I might be the wrong person to answer, because I'm a big fan of IS on longer lenses. In fact, it's one of the main reasons I switched to Canon back in 2001, and three of the four lenses I bought initially had IS. At that time, Canon was the only game in town... the only manufacturer offering any form of stabilization. It's gotten me shots I wouldn't have been able to get without it and I'm convinced it's improved other shots as well. Len-based IS such as Canon uses helps steady the viewfinder image, too, which in turn can help when tracking and shooting moving subjects. Today I have seven IS lenses and still swear by it on longer focal lengths (I'll take it when available, but it's not a really high priority for me on shorter focal lengths or on macro lenses). When I switched from film to digital and started using my lenses on crop sensor DSLRs a lot, which amplify camera shake issues by 1.6X or 1.3X, right along with the effective focal length, IS on longer lenses became even more important to me.

So I'd get the 70-200/4 IS USM, personally. In fact I have the f4 IS, use it a lot and really like it. It's sharp enough to make your eyes bleed, as they say. I also have the 70-200/2.8 IS "Mark I", which is still a very, very good lens too. (You also might consider a used one of those, just watch out for hard-used ones like mine, it's been a popular lens among pros who typically work it pretty hard).

Other considerations are that the 70-200/2.8 non-IS is the oldest 70-200 design in the Canon line-up. Now, all of the Canon 70-200s are top quality build with great image quality, but many who have compared them more closely than me feel the IQ of the 70-200/2.8 non-IS is the weakest of the bunch. By a small margin, I'm sure. The f4 non-IS and original f2.8 IS are fairly neck in neck. Meanwhile, the 70-200/4 IS is the second-newest model in the line-up and holds it's own in image quality even against the latest and greatest 70-200/2.8 IS Mark II.

The f4 lenses are about 1/3 lighter and smaller than any of the f2.8 lenses, too. The f4 lenses use a 62mm filter, while the f2.8 lenses use 77mm, for example. Since they all are L-series, they all come with a matching lens hood (the f2.8 lenses have a "tulip" shape hood, while the f4 lenses' hood is standard design). On a long day's shoot, I'd much rather handhold the f4 lens, than any of the f2.8.

Of course, the f2.8 lenses can render a bit stronger background blur effect. But since you have a fast prime in your 85/1.8 (which can render even more background blur than the 70-200/2.8), this might be a moot point and you may be happy with the smaller/lighter lower cost 70-200/4 IS.

One reason the f2.8 lenses sell for the prices they do is that they all come with a tripod mounting ring. That's sold separately for the f4 lenses. The optional Canon tripod mounting ring for the f4s is rather pricey, but there are considerably lower cost third party "clones" of it available, which many people use instead and seem happy with.

The original f2.8 IS was rated for 2 to 3 stops worth of stabilization. The f2.8 IS Mark II and the f4 IS both have newer form of IS that's rated for 3 to 4 stops worth of stabilization. All three have "self-detecting" IS, that turns itself off if the lens is solidly locked down on a tripod (unlike some "lesser" IS lenses such as the 300/4L IS, 28-135 IS and 24-105L IS... where IS should be manually turned off if locked down on a tripod to prevent the IS from going into sort of a feedback loop where in absence of any movement it actually creates movement, rather than correcting for it.)

Both f2.8 and f4 lenses are very fast focusing in good light. Because the f2.8 lenses allow in more light for the camera's AF to work with, AF performance in challenging situations is a wee bit better with the f2.8 lenses. It's hardly noticeable though, to be fair. OTOH, most Canon cameras have at least the center AF point optimized for improved low light performance with f2.8 and faster lenses.

Dunno if this helps... Have fun shopping!


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Jaejin0417
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Aug 20, 2014 14:53 |  #6

I was in the same boat as you. It was either a V1 70-200 2.8 Canon, or a Sigma 70-200 2.8 OS.
Eventually went with the Sigma.
About two days, I started noticing a LOT of my photos being fairly blurry and my hand being more shaky than normal. Found out that my OS was turned off! :D That's when I realized Image stabilization, especially on long lens is really important.
I was also looking at the Canon 70-200 f4.. But realized that if I just the the Sigma 2.8, I could have the added benefit of the 2.8, while at f4, IQ was similar to the Canon f4.


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Jon_Doh
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Aug 20, 2014 14:53 |  #7

The f4 version is smaller and lighter and easier to handle. Plus it is very sharp. Don't worry about the extra low light performance of a 2.8 lens, with IS and high quality ISO range you won't need 2.8. I sold my non IS 2.8 on eBay and bought the f4 with IS and have never regretted it.


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MalVeauX
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Aug 20, 2014 15:02 |  #8

sancho1983 wrote in post #17107825 (external link)
So I've narrowed my new lens down to one of the 70-200mm lenses. F/4 non IS is out as I don't think it's worth it, F/2.8 ISii is out as it's too expensive.

That leaves either the f/4 IS or the f/2.8 non IS.

I don't do any video, so the noise of the IS isn't an issue, they are pretty much the same price, so that's not an issue. I hand hold 90% of the shots I take - either in a studio environment or on location. I like the idea of the lovely shallow depth of field and the low light abilities the 2.8 will bring, but then I'm worried that not having IS will be an issue.

Any opinions?

Thanks in advance.

Heya,

Between those two lenses, I'd take the 70-200 F4L IS over the F2.8L non-IS. Why? It's lighter weight, has IS, and is sharp at F4. The F2.8 is an ok lens, but it's significantly heavier, and has no IS. I find IS very useful on telephotos even for portrait. Even if I'm pushing the shutter speed fast, I'm still enjoying IS because it stabilizes the viewfinder so that I can compose more controlled and precise. That's worth it to me.

F4 vs F2.8 is just a different debate. F2.8 is a stop faster in light and more shallow depth of field. But is the depth of field at 200mm that big of a deal to you? I find F4 and F2.8 at 200mm really to not be a huge difference. But, F4 and F2.8 at 70mm does make a difference, as I don't like F4 at 70mm as much. Using F4 for the same exposure will cost you shutter speed, or a stop of ISO. I can handle the stop of ISO, so exposure isn't a problem in my opinion. So the real difference is merely depth of field difference.

Your camera can handle ISO, so again, I don't see F2.8 and F4 as a difference in your case. The difference will be weight & depth of field. The weight is significant. The depth of field difference is insignificant (it's there, mind, but it's not dramatic).

That said, in this price range, it's hard not to consider the Tamron 70-200 F2.8 VC. It's the Canon F2.8L MKII IS version, but a grand cheaper, and basically as good.

Very best,


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ceegee
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Aug 20, 2014 15:33 |  #9

I started out with a f2.8 non-IS, but ended up selling it and getting the f4 IS instead - and never regretted the decision. My reasons for disliking the f2.8 non-IS were the weight and the lack of IS. The f2.8 lens is a very large beast indeed, and I often found myself leaving it at home, just so I wouldn't have to lug it around. The f4 IS is significantly smaller and lighter, and much easier to carry. As for the lack of IS, it turned out to be an issue for me. Even in low light, my keeper rate went up with the f4 IS. I originally chose the f2.8 because I thought it would be a better "low light" lens, but this turned out not to be the case. It actually wasn't fast enough for the environments in which I'd hoped to use it (I ended up with a fast prime instead). And the IS proved to be more useful, at least to me, than the extra stop. Bottom line, having tried the experience, I would not now buy a lens in that focal range without IS.

As an aside, I've since purchased a 70-300L, and have been using it alongside my 70-200 f4 IS for a few months before deciding which to keep (I can't afford to keep both in the long term). I've finally decided to keep the 70-300L and sell the f4 IS. Tough decision, but the 70-300L is as sharp as the f4 IS, and only very slightly heavier. The deciding factor for me has been the additional 100 mm, which has been very useful for much of what I enjoy shooting.


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sancho1983
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Aug 20, 2014 15:54 |  #10

Ok, so I'd pretty much decided on the 2.8 non IS, but now am leaning towards the 4 IS.

Some excellent info in here and thanks, I appreciate it. I'd not even thought about looking at other brands, I just presumed that the Canon's would beat the equivalent at the same price brackets.

Hmmm, decisions decisions.


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gacon1
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Aug 20, 2014 16:24 |  #11

sancho1983 wrote in post #17107825 (external link)
So I've narrowed my new lens down to one of the 70-200mm lenses. F/4 non IS is out as I don't think it's worth it, F/2.8 ISii is out as it's too expensive.

That leaves either the f/4 IS or the f/2.8 non IS.

I don't do any video, so the noise of the IS isn't an issue, they are pretty much the same price, so that's not an issue. I hand hold 90% of the shots I take - either in a studio environment or on location. I like the idea of the lovely shallow depth of field and the low light abilities the 2.8 will bring, but then I'm worried that not having IS will be an issue.

Any opinions?

Thanks in advance.

Go for the F/4 IS.

Reason:

- f/4 IS at f4 ==> tack sharp picture

- f/2.8 non IS at f2.8 (on tripod) ==> soft picture




  
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Jaejin0417
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Aug 20, 2014 16:30 |  #12

sancho1983 wrote in post #17108011 (external link)
Ok, so I'd pretty much decided on the 2.8 non IS, but now am leaning towards the 4 IS.

Some excellent info in here and thanks, I appreciate it. I'd not even thought about looking at other brands, I just presumed that the Canon's would beat the equivalent at the same price brackets.

Hmmm, decisions decisions.

I would highly recommend the Tamron 70-200 2.8 VC. Look at the comparison threads between the Tamron and Canon 2.8 Mkii.
It's quite amazing at only about $100 more than the f4 IS (Used)


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Aug 24, 2014 06:43 as a reply to  @ Jaejin0417's post |  #13

vipergts831 wrote in post #17107836 (external link)
Go for the 70-200 f/4 IS as its tack sharp. One of the best bang for the buck lenses you can get. I had the 70-200 f/2.8 IS and got rid of it. Never thought it was that good. Version II on the other hand is damn good.

It wasn't good because you plain suck. ;-)a :lol:

Stick to your iPhone spandex boy. :lol:




  
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Aug 24, 2014 06:55 |  #14

I had the Tamron 70-200 VC I could handheld up to 1/10s @200mm on not moving subjects , if I want to buy 70-200 I will buy it again
f4 is very slow to shoot inside
you can compare the sharpness here:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com …omp=0&FLIComp=0​&APIComp=0 (external link)


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Aug 24, 2014 10:16 |  #15

i don't know why anyone would choose to get the non IS f2.8, when they could get a stabilized tamron or sigma, for about the same price...IQ is pretty much equal


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How important is IS? 70-200mm choices
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