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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 25 Feb 2011 (Friday) 03:00
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I love my Canon 70-200mm f/4 USM... should I trade it though?

 
JHaegs
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Feb 25, 2011 03:00 |  #1

First off, I am still very new to DSLR's, but I am a fast learner and I'm loving it thus far! I currently have 2 lenses along with my T1i- a nifty fifty and a 70-200mm f/4L USM (non IS). I LOVE how sharp the 70-200 is, and I often find myself just staring at the lens for no reason. Never would have thought I'd be able to take such awesome pictures, BUT...

At a recent indoor soccer game, I found that an f/4 aperture just plain doesn't cut it while trying to hand hold the camera. I was able to get close enough to fill the frame, but the IQ was sub par. For the most part, I was shooting at 200mm, f/4, ISO 800 or 1600, and a shutter speed ranging from 1/100-1/200. These settings gave me the best results in that dimly lit indoor field. I wasn't trying to freeze the action as much as I was trying to catch the celebrations and mannerisms of my goofy little brother (they won 11-3), because a higher shutter speed made for very dark photos.

Any way, if I could get an even trade for a Canon 200mm f/2.8L USM Prime (mk1 or mk2), do you think that will better serve me? I have rarely used my 70-200 below its maximum 200mm focal length, and I believe the faster f/2.8 aperture will make a world of a difference. This will be my main walk around lens, so I want to make sure I have the right one.

I know 200mm is short for most sports, but hey, it's good enough for me right now. Plus, if I opt for the 200 f2.8 prime, I can easily add a TC if need be. Not sure if I would ever put a TC on my f/4 though since it's already a fairly slow aperture. How do these two lenses IQ stack up against each other? Is there any advantage the 70-200 has over the 200 prime, other than the additional range?

If there are any questions you'd like to ask, please feel free! I'd really appreciate help on this one guys. I don't have a ton of money to spend on camera stuff (wife is already about to kill me), so please don't recommend any other lenses. These two seem to be the best in my price range.

Thank you!
Jordan


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JHaegs
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Feb 25, 2011 03:21 |  #2

DANG! Just noticed I put "LIVE" and not "LOVE" in the title.... Damn iPhone keys!


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jwp721
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Feb 25, 2011 07:22 |  #3

Each lens has a purpose and apprently the 70-200mm f4 is not serving your need. If you are shooting at 200mm with the majority of your shots then a different lens would certainly serve you better.

I didn't realize the 200mm 2.8 was so well priced but it does look like a great lens.
http://www.the-digital-picture.com …l-ii-usm-lens-review.aspx (external link)
Not sure though if the 2.8 is going to give you enough light to shoot at 1/320 without still having to use ISO 1600.

John




  
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Virto
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Feb 25, 2011 10:19 |  #4

You will still need to bump is ISO if the indoor lighting is iffy, although you would certainly get better performance than you would at f/4.

I love the 70-200 f/4, but most of my shooting is outdoors or with flash.

If you think you can live with a prime at 200mm, I'd say the trade would be a fair deal.


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JeffCS
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Feb 25, 2011 10:22 as a reply to  @ jwp721's post |  #5

Jordan....

There are many options to consider. If 200mm is a good focal length for you and you don't need the versility of a zoom lens then the 200mm prime may be a good choice. If you go with the 200mm f/2.8 L lens, keep in mind that it is not an image stabilized lens, is heavier than your 70-200 f/4 and therefore not as "handholdable." The image quality of the 200mm prime is better than the 70-200 but not by much and I doubt that you could see the difference in your images. Personally, I think you would be better off trading for an image stabilized 70-200 f/2.8 either the I or II version. That lens would better serve you and if you needed more focal length, you could add a 1.4x extender and on you T1i you'd have a 448mm image stabilized f/4 which wouldn't be bad.

Good luck!


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EOS-100-10-1D
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Feb 25, 2011 10:48 |  #6

JeffCS wrote in post #11911960 (external link)
Jordan....

There are many options to consider. If 200mm is a good focal length for you and you don't need the versility of a zoom lens then the 200mm prime may be a good choice. If you go with the 200mm f/2.8 L lens, keep in mind that it is not an image stabilized lens, is heavier than your 70-200 f/4 and therefore not as "handholdable." The image quality of the 200mm prime is better than the 70-200 but not by much and I doubt that you could see the difference in your images. Personally, I think you would be better off trading for an image stabilized 70-200 f/2.8 either the I or II version. That lens would better serve you and if you needed more focal length, you could add a 1.4x extender and on you T1i you'd have a 448mm image stabilized f/4 which wouldn't be bad.

Good luck!

I agree that the 70-200 f2.8 would be Jordan's ideal solution (mine too!;). But in his OP he wrote that he would be at his top budget with the 200 f2.8 Prime & the difference in price between the Prime & Zoom 200 f2.8's is a big one. I use the 300 f4L Mk1 (Non-IS) Prime & don't have a problem with it's fixed focal Length so I think a 200 f2.8 could be a good solution for him.

Sometimes you have to stick to your Budget. I would have liked to have the 300 f2.8, but setted for the f4 because it was that or no 300mm. Same reason why my old 70-210 f3.5-4.5 soldiers on, I don't think the 70-200 f4L is enough of an upgrade to bother with & I can't afford a f2.8!


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Tommydigi
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Feb 25, 2011 10:58 |  #7

I guess its a fine idea if your always at the 200mm end of your zoom but first I would say turn the ISO up a stop and see if this really helps. If it does then I would go for it assuming your always shooting at the long end and the extra stop really makes that big a difference.

Also you say 1600 ISO but you should be able to do ok at 3200 and then use some noise reduction in post.

Ultimately, I would save for the 70-200 2.8 even if you go used. So many people who get this lens upgrade to the IS version and for sports IS has little value but the 200 2.8 prime is smaller and lighter and from what I have heard is a great lens.


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Manu2009
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Feb 25, 2011 11:04 |  #8

If the problem is that you can't freeze action, the F/2.8 would be the solution. However, if you find yourself having blurry shot because you have an hard time hold the camera still, probably the f/4 IS would do the job.

Also, if you are full of money, get the f/2.8 IS ! :P


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Craign
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Feb 25, 2011 11:20 |  #9

With everything else being the same, going from lens with f/4.0 to one with f/2.8 would allow your SS to increase to 1/200-1/400 sec. That is still very marginal for action.

Most people would disagree with this suggestion: Get a body that is good at ISO of 6400 and a program for post processing like Lightroom.


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spacetime
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Feb 25, 2011 11:33 |  #10

I've had both and since I primarily shot at 200mm I kept the 200/2.8. It is sharper than the 70-200/4 and while being slightly heavier and shorter I found that it was easier to handhold and get decent shots a 1/60. While the extra stop may help with shutter speed or ISO the smaller DOF may present problems of it's own. There's always the IS 70-200 lenses but I found that in low light sporting events they didn't provide much advantage to keep shutter speeds high enough to freeze the action.




  
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Feb 25, 2011 11:41 |  #11

I had the same problem shooting High School Football at night. I used my 70-200 F4 for the first half, and then my friend let me use his 70-200 2.8 II for the second half and the difference is HUGE...I will have the 2.8 before next season starts.


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Feb 25, 2011 12:00 |  #12

OP, If you have 500D it is no problem to get ISO to 3200-6400 and have appropriate shutter speed.
1/100-1/200 at 200 mm for fast moving objects is not so good at all, except you are not doing panning.
Why not to try it first, or you did it already?

In general, most on this forum would recommend 2.8 for indoor sports, some are also using 85 1.8, but for basketball.


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JHaegs
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Feb 25, 2011 12:15 |  #13

Thanks everyone! I'll try out everything you have mentioned before coming to a decision. I have Photoshop CS5, but I am completely lost for the most part on that thing. My PP skills (or lack of) require me to try and get the sharpest and least noisy images with my camera to be happy. I'll try boosting the ISO next time. I've got a pretty steady hand, so most of the issues aren't due to camera shake. Hopefully one day I'll be able to afford the 70-200 f2.8 and not have to worry about this decision!

Thanks,
Jordan


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Tommydigi
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Feb 25, 2011 12:18 |  #14

I don't think camera shake is an issue but shooting sports at slower then 1/400 shutter can result in subject movement which would give you softer photos.


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hollowsparks
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Feb 25, 2011 22:34 |  #15

Your walk-around lens is going to be a 200mm on a 1.6x crop cam? And here i was thinking 50mm on my full frame was a bit long!

Another option is one of the third-party 70-200 f2.8 lenses. But if you really do just need 200mm, then just go for it.




  
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I love my Canon 70-200mm f/4 USM... should I trade it though?
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