70-200mm f/2.8 IS Question

I AM THE MAN

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 10, 2011
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Hey everyone! Just had a question on the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens. I'm gradually getting into Freelance Photography and I'm looking forward to buying a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS. The thing I'm stuck between is whether to buy the first version of the lens or the newest version (II version).

I can find the I version for about $1450 while I know someone selling the II version for $2000. Both lenses are "like new."

As far as budget goes, I'm not really on a budget as I can afford both lenses in a month's time but I'm not sure if it's worth spending the extra $550 for the II version. Any thoughts on the situation?

I currently have the 70-200mm f/4 NON IS version and I love the lens but I want something with a wider aperture so I can actually use for indoor parties, etc.


Thanks for all the help in advance.
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
I will point out that with the current instant rebate you can get the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM for $2200 from your choice of several reputable dealers. And then you will be getting it with a full Canon warranty.
 

I AM THE MAN

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 10, 2011
291
0
I will point out that with the current instant rebate you can get the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM for $2200 from your choice of several reputable dealers. And then you will be getting it with a full Canon warranty.
That is true, but I'm just not sure if it is justifiable in spending that extra money to buy a II version.
 

AxisOfBeagles

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2008
421
1
East of Shangrila
Can't speak to the I, but I've rented and used the II twice now - and am in love with it, especially for action photography. I'm choosing to save up and spend the extra bucks for the II, simply because I know how good it is.
 

DesterWallaboo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2003
518
724
Western USA
The Mark I has issues with back focusing... this is one of the big things they fixed in the Mark II. There are other enhancements as well, but that was the big one that everyone complained about.
 

I AM THE MAN

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 10, 2011
291
0
Can't speak to the I, but I've rented and used the II twice now - and am in love with it, especially for action photography. I'm choosing to save up and spend the extra bucks for the II, simply because I know how good it is.
Nice! Hopefully I can make my mind up I'm going crazy on deciding haha!

The Mark I has issues with back focusing... this is one of the big things they fixed in the Mark II. There are other enhancements as well, but that was the big one that everyone complained about.
Oh ok! I mean my 70-200 f/4 has the back focusing problem and every once in awhile I do miss a few good shots because of it. Do you know any other?

Also, does anyone know how the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 is?
 

OreoCookie

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2001
2,681
69
Sendai, Japan
Why don't you keep the f/4 and get one or two good primes instead? They're at least one stop faster (f/1.8 or f/2) than either of the f/2.8 zooms and they complement your kit. They're also lighter.
 

Prodo123

macrumors 68020
Nov 18, 2010
2,326
9
Mark I is not as sharp as the Mark II, and flares a lot more.
Mark II has quieter, less jittery IS with one more stop of stabilization.

If you don't mind its weight, and by the looks of it you won't, the Mark II is what one would call a perfect lens. It's very hard to find any flaws about it. If you nitpick, you'll find subtle shortcomings with the Mark I but for its price I'd say it's worth it still.

In the end it's whether you're prepared to compromise.
 

scottgoh

macrumors member
Oct 23, 2012
75
126
i got the mark 2 because i do not have to get another prime 200L 2.8 as the mark 2 is sharp at 200 at 2.8.
 

/"\/oo\/"\

macrumors regular
Jan 7, 2007
138
0
The short list from I to II has been covered- no back focus issue, improved IS and improved sharpness...I'll add to that the mark II works very nicely with either of the mark III teleconverters if you see yourself needing something in that range.

If you can afford it comfortably and you're making money from it, I'd go for the II...it's a fantastic lens.
 

I AM THE MAN

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 10, 2011
291
0
Why don't you keep the f/4 and get one or two good primes instead? They're at least one stop faster (f/1.8 or f/2) than either of the f/2.8 zooms and they complement your kit. They're also lighter.
Honestly I already a 50mm f/1.4 and that does me enough justice for now.

Mark I is not as sharp as the Mark II, and flares a lot more.
Mark II has quieter, less jittery IS with one more stop of stabilization.

If you don't mind its weight, and by the looks of it you won't, the Mark II is what one would call a perfect lens. It's very hard to find any flaws about it. If you nitpick, you'll find subtle shortcomings with the Mark I but for its price I'd say it's worth it still.

In the end it's whether you're prepared to compromise.
I see thank you! Do you know anything about the Tamron 70-200? Looks like a great lens from the reviews I've heard and it's much cheaper.

i got the mark 2 because i do not have to get another prime 200L 2.8 as the mark 2 is sharp at 200 at 2.8.
/"\/oo\/"\;17295399 said:
The short list from I to II has been covered- no back focus issue, improved IS and improved sharpness...I'll add to that the mark II works very nicely with either of the mark III teleconverters if you see yourself needing something in that range.

If you can afford it comfortably and you're making money from it, I'd go for the II...it's a fantastic lens.
I do want to make money in the upcoming months. As far as affordability goes, it definitely wouldn't be "comfortable" spending $600 extra dollars but if the features aren't really that improved. However, I do think the back-focusing fix is a huge plus. It's just soo hard to decide haha but thank you very much for your output!
 

mtbdudex

macrumors 68000
Aug 28, 2007
1,780
149
SE Michigan
What I love about my f2.8 70-200 MkII is the ability to use TC's!

Need the occasional 400mm shot at f5.6? Put a 2xTC on it.
Need more aperture? Then f4 at 280 via 1.4TC.
Heck, 560mm with 8.0 f stop ain't so bad either if you stack a 1.4 and 2.0 TC

I've used the above combos for bird watching, dolphin watching, etc.

Of course the 70-200 f2.8 for sports, indoor/outdoor is great also.

btw, what camera body are you shooting with?
(Hint, I've seen you here long enough, put your gear in your signature )
I've had my T1i since Oct-2009 and am looking a FF as next step, either a 6D or 5D.
Obvious benefits being low light/high ISO ability, which may suit your needs.
 

I AM THE MAN

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 10, 2011
291
0
What I love about my f2.8 70-200 MkII is the ability to use TC's!

Need the occasional 400mm shot at f5.6? Put a 2xTC on it.
Need more aperture? Then f4 at 280 via 1.4TC.
Heck, 560mm with 8.0 f stop ain't so bad either if you stack a 1.4 and 2.0 TC

I've used the above combos for bird watching, dolphin watching, etc.

Of course the 70-200 f2.8 for sports, indoor/outdoor is great also.

btw, what camera body are you shooting with?
(Hint, I've seen you here long enough, put your gear in your signature )
I've had my T1i since Oct-2009 and am looking a FF as next step, either a 6D or 5D.
Obvious benefits being low light/high ISO ability, which may suit your needs.
Haha it's a small world! And I'm planning on using the 70-200 with a 5D Mark 2. Never actually knew you could stack up on TCc btw (I'm still an amateur).
 

steveash

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2008
489
212
UK
From a purely business point of view, the Mark 1 lens will be fine and your clients won't notice the difference.

From a photographers point of view, the Mark 2 has considerable improvements and is generally considered one of the best lenses money can buy. If you don't get it you may well regret it in the future. But as I said, don't expect your clients to notice the difference!
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,542
413
Atlanta
5DIII does AF at F8 with latest firmware upgrade. I can shoot my 5dIII with 100-400 at 400 with 1.4TC with a total length of 560. The AF will use the center point which is fine for me with shooting wildlife. While it is not as good a 500 prime or one of the new 200-400, it is a cost effective option.
 

I AM THE MAN

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 10, 2011
291
0
From a purely business point of view, the Mark 1 lens will be fine and your clients won't notice the difference.

From a photographers point of view, the Mark 2 has considerable improvements and is generally considered one of the best lenses money can buy. If you don't get it you may well regret it in the future. But as I said, don't expect your clients to notice the difference!
Thank you very much for the advice!

Don't expect the camera to autofocus if you stack TC's (unless you have a 1D)
Haha alright thank you!

A 85 mm or 135 mm prime would not be a replacement for a 50 mm prime whereas you propose to exchange one 70-200 mm lens for another.
5DIII does AF at F8 with latest firmware upgrade. I can shoot my 5dIII with 100-400 at 400 with 1.4TC with a total length of 560. The AF will use the center point which is fine for me with shooting wildlife. While it is not as good a 500 prime or one of the new 200-400, it is a cost effective option.
Sorry for bringing up another question, but does anyone have any experience with the 70-200mm f/2.8 NON IS? I found a guy who is willing to trade his f/2.8 NON IS for my f/4 NON IS and $450. Is it a good deal? Is it too good of a deal? Anything I should be on the lookout for?

I'm thinking I could go for the f/2.8 NON IS for now then eventually upgrade to the IS version (maybe even a MKII). Any insight on this idea?

Thank you very much once again for all your answers!
 

OreoCookie

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2001
2,681
69
Sendai, Japan
Sorry for bringing up another question, but does anyone have any experience with the 70-200mm f/2.8 NON IS? I found a guy who is willing to trade his f/2.8 NON IS for my f/4 NON IS and $450. Is it a good deal? Is it too good of a deal?
I think you're really overthinking this, I get the impression that you think that your livelihood will depend on getting the Mark II once you make the hobby into your profession. This is completely false. In truth, none of your clients will care whether you use a Mark I or a Mark II -- or whether you opt for a Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 instead. What matters is whether the lens has the capabilities you need for you to make the shot. The Mark I was and is a great lens, but of course, the natural enemy of the good is the better. That doesn't meant you won't be able to make good shots with something other than the Mark II.

Honestly, I think you should decide for yourself whether you need the additional f-stop, and you can do that by taking shots with your existing f/4 wide open. There are a few aspects that haven't been mentioned but that are IMHO very important. (For the record, I'm a Nikon shooter, but I do own a 80-200 mm f/2.8 for 6 years.)
(1) Weight: the f/2.8 version weighs about twice as much as your f/4. For that reason alone, I often prefer primes indoors.
(2) Depth of field: towards the longer end, your depth of field will be in the range of <+/- 3 cm, and you may have to stop down because otherwise only one eye is in focus and the other is not.
(3) Choice of focus sensor: Initially I used the 80-200 mm on my D80 (I have since upgraded to a D7000), and in dim lighting, I could often only use the center AF point for reliable focussing. Given that you have a 5D Mark II with a similarly ancient AF system, this is also a concern. Keep in mind that it's much easier to nail focus on an f/4 lens than on a f/2.8 lens (smaller depth of field means it is harder to achieve focus). (I don't want to start an old discussion again about the quality of the AF module of the 5D Mark II, I'm just speaking from my own experience here.)

For these reasons, I recommended having a look at keeping the f/4 and getting two additional prime lenses instead (e. g. the 85 mm f/1.8 and the 135 mm f/2 or a Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 and a 100 mm macro). Alternatively, you can also make the trade for the f/2.8 non-IS and purchase additional lenses instead from the money that you have saved. I don't think you need the Mark II for now, getting one now is not a sensible business decision in my opinion. Lenses retain value incredibly well, so you can always sell the non-IS f/2.8 later and upgrade to the Mark III when it comes out ;)
 

I AM THE MAN

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 10, 2011
291
0
Some extreme TC stacking, 4368mm ..300mm f2.8 x 2TC x 2TC x 2TC x 1.4TC x 1.3 APS-H.. (not mine)
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/39779646
Image

Here is my 560mm stacking:
Image
Haha both look incredible.

I think you're really overthinking this, I get the impression that you think that your livelihood will depend on getting the Mark II once you make the hobby into your profession. This is completely false. In truth, none of your clients will care whether you use a Mark I or a Mark II -- or whether you opt for a Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 instead. What matters is whether the lens has the capabilities you need for you to make the shot. The Mark I was and is a great lens, but of course, the natural enemy of the good is the better. That doesn't meant you won't be able to make good shots with something other than the Mark II.

Honestly, I think you should decide for yourself whether you need the additional f-stop, and you can do that by taking shots with your existing f/4 wide open. There are a few aspects that haven't been mentioned but that are IMHO very important. (For the record, I'm a Nikon shooter, but I do own a 80-200 mm f/2.8 for 6 years.)
(1) Weight: the f/2.8 version weighs about twice as much as your f/4. For that reason alone, I often prefer primes indoors.
(2) Depth of field: towards the longer end, your depth of field will be in the range of <+/- 3 cm, and you may have to stop down because otherwise only one eye is in focus and the other is not.
(3) Choice of focus sensor: Initially I used the 80-200 mm on my D80 (I have since upgraded to a D7000), and in dim lighting, I could often only use the center AF point for reliable focussing. Given that you have a 5D Mark II with a similarly ancient AF system, this is also a concern. Keep in mind that it's much easier to nail focus on an f/4 lens than on a f/2.8 lens (smaller depth of field means it is harder to achieve focus). (I don't want to start an old discussion again about the quality of the AF module of the 5D Mark II, I'm just speaking from my own experience here.)

For these reasons, I recommended having a look at keeping the f/4 and getting two additional prime lenses instead (e. g. the 85 mm f/1.8 and the 135 mm f/2 or a Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 and a 100 mm macro). Alternatively, you can also make the trade for the f/2.8 non-IS and purchase additional lenses instead from the money that you have saved. I don't think you need the Mark II for now, getting one now is not a sensible business decision in my opinion. Lenses retain value incredibly well, so you can always sell the non-IS f/2.8 later and upgrade to the Mark III when it comes out ;)

Wow thank you very much. This actually gave me soo much more insight on what to purchase! I think for now I'll trade my f/4 for the 2.8 NON IS and then purchase the 24-70 f/2.8. When you say lens hold their value, I agree but I find it such a hard time to sell them (maybe because no one wants to buy a f/4 NON IS 70-200 :O ) Anyways once again thank you very much!


Thank you to everyone for the answers!
 

ocabj

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2009
545
183

ctyhntr

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2010
301
0
Other options I would consider, such as taking a getting a refurb direct from Canon. They're around $1700. Also, have you looked Tamron and Sigma's70-200 f1.8 offerings? When Sigma came out with IS on their new 70-200 f2.8, Canon supposedly sued them.
 

cocky jeremy

macrumors 601
Jul 12, 2008
4,200
1,789
Columbus, OH
Mark II for sure. Sharper, more contrast, less CA. The 70-200 II is one of the nicest lenses Canon makes. Probably behind the 300 f/2.8 II and maybe a few others.


Very hard to beat Tamron's SP (top line) 24-70 and 70-200 that are F2.8 with Vibration Control. Those are much less expense than Canon L lenses and as good. Read the reviews you can find on the net and magazines..


http://photo.net/equipment/tamron/70-200vc
I've seen comparisons, and the Tamron doesn't touch the Canon.