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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 23 Nov 2006 (Thursday) 06:16
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70-300f/4-5.6 IS USM vs 70-200f/4 L

 
Augiz
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Nov 23, 2006 06:16 |  #1

I need telephoto lens since I only have a 17-40L. I can't pay very much, so I think I have 2 choices:

Canon EF 70-300f/4-5.6 IS USM

or

Canon EF 70-200f/4 L USM.

L's a bit more expensive and I'm leaning towards non-L because it has extra reach of 100mm, IS and it's a bit cheaper. What would be your advice?




  
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AdamJL
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Nov 23, 2006 06:24 |  #2

Well first of all, this issue has been discussed loads on these boards, but no matter, let's start another one :D

I'm actually in the same boat, and my advice to you, first of all is to go and test them for yourself in a store (I am going tonight to a local store to do just this).
I would love to have the build quality of the L, and from what I gather, it is stupidly sharp, but then so is the 70-300. The extra reach for me is important as my intention for this lens is for travel and wildlife.

So really, figure out what you want to do with the lens, and go and test them out side by side.

It shouldn't be a hard choice if you really think about it.


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I ­ Simonius
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Nov 23, 2006 06:49 |  #3

Augiz wrote in post #2302928 (external link)
I need telephoto lens since I only have a 17-40L. I can't pay very much, so I think I have 2 choices:

Canon EF 70-300f/4-5.6 IS USM

or

Canon EF 70-200f/4 L USM.

L's a bit more expensive and I'm leaning towards non-L because it has extra reach of 100mm, IS and it's a bit cheaper. What would be your advice?

the f4L is a VERY sharp lens - get that one:D
(well you did ask):p


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Augiz
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Nov 23, 2006 06:59 as a reply to  @ I Simonius's post |  #4

Would the IQ and sharpenss of L would be really noticable alot over the non-L 70-300? Would I miss IS on 200mm? Extra 100mm and IS's pretty important for me, but so is IQ, so that's a dilemma :rolleyes: :)




  
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AdamJL
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Nov 23, 2006 07:20 |  #5

IQ on the 70-300 from what I hear is excellent. One reviewer called the lens "Canon's hidden L".
Some would say you can crop a pic from the 70-200 to get your extra range (as the lens is so sharp), but we both know that means losing pixels.
You lose out at 300m with the 70-300 with aperture size, but IS should help you bring some light back into the lens (3 stops I believe), but your DoF won't be as tight.
I'm currently leaning towards the 70-300, but I'll see after tonight.


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dmp-potn
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Nov 23, 2006 07:31 |  #6

Hello,

I have neer used the 70-300, but I would have a hard time accepting/recommending a lens that does not have full-time manual focus. These are some pretty strong recommendations though. Perhaps I should give it a try. :-)

We do have the 70-200 f/4, and it's every bit as sharp and contrasty as our f/2.8 IS at all apertures except f/4.

Neither one of these lenes are long enough for wildlife photography. For that I would minimally save up for the EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM (and a good tri-pod).


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Lightstream
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Nov 23, 2006 07:39 |  #7

Previously I would have recommended a 70-300 without a doubt, but now I am beginning to doubt that.

Imaging performance is very very good. Vs the L, which is awesome. You can tell they are close. Whether close enough to shell for awesome is up to you.

Do you NEED the image stabilizer? I opted for my 70-300 in a time before the 70-200 f/4L came out. I still feel the 70-200 f/4L IS pricing is just a bit too over the top for me to swallow.

As for the 70-200 options you can always put a teleconverter onto them.. they appear to retain their similar awesome performance even with a TC, surprisingly. Must be all that flourite....




  
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YARRO
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Nov 23, 2006 08:57 as a reply to  @ Lightstream's post |  #8

I have both lenses as you can see in my signature. Use them both mainly for shooting soccer.

The L outperforms the 70-300 just enough to make up for the shorter reach.

However, if the subject is a bit further away it's a bit more difficult to get good focus with the L, because the subject is less prominent in view. More chance of the autofocus choosing another focal point.

However that hasn't stopped me from using the L so often that I'm now thinking of selling my 70-300.


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bufferbure1
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Nov 23, 2006 09:26 |  #9

Augiz wrote in post #2303031 (external link)
Would the IQ and sharpenss of L would be really noticable alot over the non-L 70-300? Would I miss IS on 200mm? Extra 100mm and IS's pretty important for me, but so is IQ, so that's a dilemma :rolleyes: :)

Good thread since I am in the same delimma. I went to test both and I still couldn't decide. L lens for sure is a little, I mean very little, sharper than non L. Colors (indoor only) are close enough to call them even. But IS is a real plus to lower the ISO in dimmer lighting.

Keep the thread going....


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sheep ­ dog
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Nov 23, 2006 09:34 |  #10

YARRO wrote in post #2303360 (external link)
I have both lenses as you can see in my signature. Use them both mainly for shooting soccer.

The L outperforms the 70-300 just enough to make up for the shorter reach.

However, if the subject is a bit further away it's a bit more difficult to get good focus with the L, because the subject is less prominent in view. More chance of the autofocus choosing another focal point.

However that hasn't stopped me from using the L so often that I'm now thinking of selling my 70-300.


Is the 70-300 sharp throughout the zoom range wide open? Or does it have soft spots? because this is where I see the 70-200 f4's strength, the fact it dosnt appear any less sharp at f4 at any length.


  
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urbandancer
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Nov 23, 2006 10:51 |  #11

I was in the same situation. Go for the f4 L you wont be disapointed. You can get 300mm but if you are a pixel peer like me you will not like the IQ at 300 even with the IS


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crn3371
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Nov 23, 2006 11:01 |  #12

First, do a search in this forum on the subject. When the 70-300 first came out there were numerous threads on the subject, and a good head to head by LightRules. I looked at both, and ended up with the 70-200 based on feel and build quality. Frankly, you probably can't go wrong with either.




  
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Larry ­ Weinman
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Nov 23, 2006 11:09 |  #13

I own both of these lenses. They are both excellent lenses and I would not part with either of them. The 70-20L has a little better build quality but Canon really improved the build quality of the 70-300IS. There is no more lens creep or loose barrel. I have cropped to 100% on both of these lenses and you really have to strain your eyes to see any difference in image quality. People criticize the fact that the 70-300 is an f5.6 lens but it really does not become f5.6 until you go longer then 200mm. Having 300mm is a nice advantage if you are going to shoot larger wildlife. Forget about birds with either one of these. You have to be really lucky to get close enough to a bird with these focal lengths. The 70-300 performs better at 280mm then the 70-200L does with a 1.4 teleconverter. The big advantage is the IS on the 70-300. If you are going to be using long focal lengths even a little bit of camera shake becomes critical and the IS will bail you out of allot of lost shots. I think if only have one lens in the short to medium telephoto category the 70-300IS is the one to go with.


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gef
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Nov 23, 2006 11:31 |  #14

Deciding what 70-200/70-300 to get was difficult, but I eventually decided on the 70-300 IS. The IS is a real nice feature, the shots I've taken with it are sharp. The Sigma 70-200 2.8 was seriously considered too, but I really wanted the extra reach and IS. The 70-200 f/4 IS would be nice if not for the price..... Besides, as I've said before, this lens pairs up well with my Sigma 17-70 for travel, I only need two lenses and I'll have most of the range I want covered!


Greg

Canon 40D | Canon 350D | Canon 50 1.8 II | Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 | Canon 70-300mm 4-5.6 IS USM | Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 |Manfrotto 190CLB w/ 486RC2 ballhead | 580EX Speedlite | Kenko tubes

  
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Augiz
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Nov 23, 2006 12:09 |  #15

Assuming that 70-300 IQ almost equals the one of L, I really can't see why I shouldn't choose it, since build and the L name doesn't mean THAT much to me :) What about the speed of AF and what's wrong with MF as someone mentioned?




  
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70-300f/4-5.6 IS USM vs 70-200f/4 L
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