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Thread started 03 Jul 2018 (Tuesday) 12:25
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM

 
Marm ­ O. ­ Set
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Post edited 7 months ago by Marm O. Set.
     
Jul 03, 2018 12:25 |  #1

This lens needs its own thread now that it is available.
I just got mine and haven't really had time to do much with it but I did take it outside and fire off a few of my pooch.
these are unedited, no sharpening applied in camera or out of camera.

color, sharpness, AF speed, IS (I took a few photos inside the house) are all what I was expecting. The sharpness in particular is impressive from what I can tell; I can't wait to get some strobist work with this lens!

my favorite part? "hey, where'd the background go?!?!" The bg blur is gorgeous IMO. I was apprehensive about not getting the 2.8 but this looks fantastic to me!

200mm. Not taken at minimum focal distance but also not too far away from it. I'm assuming it was 6' away or so. I did not MFA the lens, I just slapped it on and started taking photos. I think it is very slightly front focusing based on analyzing my batch of photos.


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Marm ­ O. ­ Set
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Post edited 7 months ago by Marm O. Set. (2 edits in all)
     
Jul 03, 2018 14:37 |  #2

and two more @ 200mm and closest manual focus distance which is closer than AF will get you. The f/4 version has a little halation or some other unintended artifact. The changing light made it difficult to get a consistent exposure. Not all of the darkness you see is from vignetting.


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Marm ­ O. ­ Set
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Jul 04, 2018 14:06 |  #3

I'm doing lots of test 'n' tune stuff today.
The only bad thing I'm seeing with this new lens is the image quality takes a hit at 200mm and minimum focus distance. But as soon as you back up a little (I don't have an exact measurement) then the quality goes right back up. By the time you are 6 feet or more away (easily shorter than headshot range... 8 feet is the absolute minimum distance for a full headshot IMO) the quality is superb.
Here are a couple illustrations to show the issue:

all images below are taken wide open and at 200mm (verified with Lightroom, not just relying on the barrel markings). Focus is achieved manually in live view for consistency. These are 100% crops taken from near the center of the frame. The 70-200 has a closer focus distance which at least partially accounts for the larger image in the first comparison. I have to do more testing to see which lens' version of 200mm is framing more accurately in the second comparison.

Using 200mm at the absolute shortest distance the lens will manually focus (which is shorter than it will auto focus) this new lens has worse image quality than my cheapo 70-300 non-L version 1 lens.


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but by the time the focus is 8-ish feet away the 70-200 spanks the 70-300. The differences are very apparent when you can scroll around each of the photos.

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Marm ­ O. ­ Set
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Post edited 7 months ago by Marm O. Set.
     
Jul 04, 2018 14:56 |  #4

I also grabbed a bunch of my prime lenses to test against the new zoom. The 70-200 image quality holds up very well even wide open.
Basically speaking, by the time you stop both lenses down it is very difficult to tell which lens is which. Sometimes the primes and the zoom equal out as soon as they are both set to f/4, sometimes it takes until they are both at f/8 to equal out. The 70-200 is sharper in the lower focal lengths so by f/4 it is matching primes like 85 f/1.8, 85L f/1.2, and 100 macro. The 135L f/2 is phenomenally sharp and I had to stop the 70-200 down to f/5.6 to equal the 135L at the same aperture.


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I don't have any 200mm primes (yet :twisted: ) but my 300mm had some really interesting comparisons. If I upscaled my 200 @f/4 to match the 300 @f/4 then the images looked pretty similar. My 300 is not the sharpest lens but I still think this is a great feat for the 70-200.

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Jul 04, 2018 15:49 |  #5

Marm O. Set wrote in post #18656360 (external link)
I also grabbed a bunch of my prime lenses to test against the new zoom. The 70-200 image quality holds up very well even wide open.
Basically speaking, by the time you stop both lenses down it is very difficult to tell which lens is which. Sometimes the primes and the zoom equal out as soon as they are both set to f/4, sometimes it takes until they are both at f/8 to equal out. The 70-200 is sharper in the lower focal lengths so by f/4 it is matching primes like 85 f/1.8, 85L f/1.2, and 100 macro. The 135L f/2 is phenomenally sharp and I had to stop the 70-200 down to f/5.6 to equal the 135L at the same aperture.


I don't have any 200mm primes (yet :twisted:) but my 300mm had some really interesting comparisons. If I upscaled my 200 @f/4 to match the 300 @f/4 then the images looked pretty similar. My 300 is not the sharpest lens but I still think this is a great feat for the 70-200.



My first generation 70-200 f4 L IS, was better wide open with my Tamron 1.4x TC on it at 280mm than my 300 F4 L IS was, I had the original 300 F4 L and mine was much sharper than my IS version, wish I had kept it, sadly I had to sell it when I missed a lot of work due to an injury.




  
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Post edited 7 months ago by Marm O. Set.
     
Jul 04, 2018 16:37 |  #6

I lean on my 85L/135L heavily during weddings and portraiture. I'm definitely a fast-prime-aholic. But there are definitely times when a lightweight zoom sure would come in handy.
Here are a couple tests I did to help me make informed decisions regarding depth of field and background blur.

A few details: I use my 85mm at 5' all the time. This is a good distance for a very tight head and shoulders or loose headshot. So this first comparison tests how the background renders at that focus distance.
This isn't really a fair fight. The prime's f/1.2 vs f/4 on the zoom, both at 85mm. It's not even close. I'll choose the prime every time. The zoom is easily sharper but that isn't everything.


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But the neat thing about the zoom is that if you take a few steps back (8.3333' to be precise) and zoom in to 200mm then you get the same subject framing. The background blur is a much fairer fight now. I still prefer the 85 f/1.2 @ 1.2 because it has a wider FOV and better anchors your subject in the environment; sometimes 200mm just feels like a green screen effect. But I won't hesitate to use the zoom at weddings, at least in good light ;) Plus the zoom doesn't have all that nasty purple fringing that the 85L oozes.

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Post edited 7 months ago by Marm O. Set. (2 edits in all)
     
Jul 04, 2018 16:48 |  #7

Continuing on with the theme but swapping over to the 135L, I ran the exact same test.

I use my 135mm at 8' all the time. This is a good distance for a very tight head shot. So this first comparison tests how the background renders at that focus distance.
The difference isn't nearly as big as I thought it would be. At least not in this precise situation where the background is more than 100'/33m away.


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Once again, I stepped back to 13'4"/4m and zoomed in to 200mm to get the same framing. Just like last time I like the prime better but the zoom is definitely no slouch. Once all the dust settled and I've had time to look at all of the photos in Lightroom, I think I'd be more likely to leave the 135L at home rather than the 85L. But realistically, I'll be bringing all three to weddings and using them for specific situations. Next up I will test this lens on the C200 in 4K raw :-)

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Jul 04, 2018 16:54 as a reply to  @ Canonuser123's post |  #8

yeah, I've heard from several sources that the non-IS is sharper.
I ended up buying the IS version because 300 is a ton of mm's to keep steady in low light. Nikon updated their 300 f/4 and shrunk it down quite a bit, hopefully Canon will follow suit... right?


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Post edited 7 months ago by Marm O. Set.
     
Jul 04, 2018 18:39 |  #9

The Digital Picture.com now has this lens in their Lens Image Quality database HERE (external link).

It looks nearly identical to version 1. Version 2 is maybe slightly better here, a little worse there. I don't know that IQ is going to be a motivation for upgrade. It's still an interesting comparison, though.


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Post edited 7 months ago by Marm O. Set. (3 edits in all)
     
Jul 07, 2018 12:44 |  #10

got some random footage with the C200 this AM.
CLICK HERE (external link) to see the first thing I pulled from the session; its checking the smoothness of the AF during DPAF (AF speed is set to 0, I gotta go try the slowest speed next; 0 is smooth but too fast and abrupt for my general use)

shot on C200
4K raw, 60fps played back @ 30fps
94mm
f/4
Circular Polarizer
C-LOG 3
LUT and minor Lumetri + USM applied in Premiere


Looks fantastic to me; I can't wait to begin my first video project with the lens :)

After I finish messing with the other parts (they aren't all lockoff shots) then I will post a link in this thread.

EDIT: gotta love that dynamic range! There is TONS of range to adjust the highlights and shadows. Here it is before any LUTs were applied:


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Jul 17, 2018 13:16 |  #11

Great comparisons with the 85 and 135. Thanks for doing them.

I prefer zoom for their versatility. And now I'm thinking of selling my Tamron G2 for this lens. I had the v1 and loved it. Regret selling it. 2.8 is overrated LOL!


Canon 5D Mark IV | Tamron 24-70mm G2 | Tamron 70-200mm G2 | 85mm 1.8 | 50mm STM | 35mm f/2 IS | Powershot G9 X | iPhone 7
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Jul 26, 2018 18:45 as a reply to  @ gossamer88's post |  #12

With higher iso capable cameras you can compinsate for speed but you can't change the weight and size of a 2.8!


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Jul 27, 2018 01:38 |  #13

Marm O. Set wrote in post #18656420 (external link)
I lean on my 85L/135L heavily during weddings and portraiture. I'm definitely a fast-prime-aholic. But there are definitely times when a lightweight zoom sure would come in handy.
Here are a couple tests I did to help me make informed decisions regarding depth of field and background blur.

A few details: I use my 85mm at 5' all the time. This is a good distance for a very tight head and shoulders or loose headshot. So this first comparison tests how the background renders at that focus distance.
This isn't really a fair fight. The prime's f/1.2 vs f/4 on the zoom, both at 85mm. It's not even close. I'll choose the prime every time. The zoom is easily sharper but that isn't everything.
thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by Marm O. Set in
./showthread.php?p=186​56420&i=i107774654
forum: Lens Sample Photo Archive


But the neat thing about the zoom is that if you take a few steps back (8.3333' to be precise) and zoom in to 200mm then you get the same subject framing. The background blur is a much fairer fight now. I still prefer the 85 f/1.2 @ 1.2 because it has a wider FOV and better anchors your subject in the environment; sometimes 200mm just feels like a green screen effect. But I won't hesitate to use the zoom at weddings, at least in good light ;) Plus the zoom doesn't have all that nasty purple fringing that the 85L oozes.
thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by Marm O. Set in
./showthread.php?p=186​56420&i=i157103687
forum: Lens Sample Photo Archive

the 85mm looks more 3D to me  :p


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Marm ­ O. ­ Set
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Jul 27, 2018 03:00 |  #14

gossamer88 wrote in post #18664679 (external link)
Great comparisons with the 85 and 135. Thanks for doing them.

Hey, no prob. I did it for me and figured I would share in case someone else could get something out of it.

gossamer88 wrote in post #18664679 (external link)
I prefer zoom for their versatility. And now I'm thinking of selling my Tamron G2 for this lens. I had the v1 and loved it. Regret selling it. 2.8 is overrated LOL!

I'm a prime lens freak but a high quality, light weight zoom sure does come in handy sometimes!!!

Andy R wrote in post #18671454 (external link)
With higher iso capable cameras you can compinsate for speed but you can't change the weight and size of a 2.8!

I already carry around a ton of f/1.2 and f/1.4 lenses during weddings... 24, 35, 50, 85, 135 depending on the situation. The last thing I need is a heavy zoom adding to the weight! LOL

Ah-keong wrote in post #18671656 (external link)
the 85mm looks more 3D to me  :p

No doubt about that! One lens does not replace the other; they are complementary. Its very clear to me when I should be using one over the other. Part of the reason I never jumped on the 70-200 f/2.8 is because I have all that fast glass. But a 70-200 f/4 is much more justifiable in my lens lineup.


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Post edited 6 months ago by Marm O. Set.
     
Jul 30, 2018 10:18 |  #15

here is a shot from a recent wedding. This is the flower girl and she was standing in some decent shade waiting her turn to come out.
This lens is beautifully sharp, lightning fast and accurate focus, wonderful colors, and light enough to carry all day without even noticing it. It's a winner in my book.
Despite showing a 100% crop, this isn't the best example of how sharp the lens can be; this photo is an example of the minimum image quality you can expect assuming decent technique. I will try to load a better sharpness-specific sample later.

taken @ 200mm


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