Which Canon 70-200 L?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Razeus, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    Can't decide on which long range to get from the 70-200 set:

    f/4 L USM
    f/4 L IS USM
    f/2.8 L USM
    f/2.8 L IS USM

    I'm leaning towards f/4 because I don't think I'll need the low light capabilities of the 2.8, but I can't decide if I want IS on the f/4 or not. Especially since the IS feature seems to damn near double the price of the lens.


    (btw - I'm passing on the 17-40 L and looking for something a little wider like a 16-35, but that's for another thread)
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    If you can afford the IS, get it. Longer shots at 200mm will appreciate it if you are shooting at f/4.
  3. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    I've got the 2.8 non-IS. The IS wasn't worth the upgrade to me, plus I have a decent monopod to use in the few cases I find myself in marginal light.

    If you go for the f/4, definitely get the IS version. It doesn't take much for f/4 to find itself in marginal light.
  4. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    Without going into great detail about the specifics of what kind of photography you do and what kind of situations you regularly find yourself in, it's impossible for anyone here to give a meaningful recommendation of which lens to get.
  5. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    You shouldn't discount Sigma's 50-150 mm f/2.8 and Tokina's 50-135 mm f/2.8. Both offer focal lengths that are comparable to 70/80-200 mm on full frame. I own an 80-200 mm Nikkor and I really wish the lens would start at 50 mm instead.

    If I had to choose between the different Canons, I'd also say that there is no replacement for having f/2.8. The f/4 with IS is a lot more expensive than the one without IS.

    The f/4 weighs about the same as the Tokina and the Sigma -- which is half than the f/2.8 tele zooms. This is definitely a big (well, heavy) factor and shouldn't be underestimated.
  6. Razeus thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    Understandable. However I plan on using the lens for Zoo Photography. I have (had) a 55-250 for those kinds of shots. I have a membership at the Zoo now so I can go whenever I want for free, so I plan on getting a TON of shots over the next year.
  7. Razeus thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    That's what I'm thinking. If I go:

    The f/4 would have to have IS
    The f/2.8 I'm not worrying about IS
  8. Brien macrumors 68030


    Aug 11, 2008
    You're probably going to want the IS either way at the long end. Especially handheld.
  9. Razeus thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    Well, wouldn't that be alleviated if I'm shooting at 1/200 or greater?
  10. Acsom macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2009
    If cost wasn't an issue, you'd get the 2.8/IS, wouldn't you?

    Then you should ignore the cost (I know, easy for me to say) and get the 2.8/IS.

    My reasoning goes like this: 3 years from now, you'll probably never be saying, "I wish I had that extra $600 I spent on that lens." But you'll probably have found yourself in a few situations where the extra stop and the IS would have come in handy. And, you can think of the money as "in the bank" rather than spent; the resale value on the lens is around 85%+, last I checked.

    When faced with the same decision, I did just as you are doing now; I asked around, considered the responses, then sucked up and got the 2.8/IS. I've never looked back, and never regretted it.

    Another consideration is that if you get the multipliers, you only lose 1 stop on the 1.4x, and it will still autofocus on the APS-C bodies.
  11. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    You probably won't need f/2.8 often then. Unless you will be shooting lizards or something in indoor cages.

    I owned both f/4L IS and non-IS (sold non-IS when IS came out). I thought about stretching my budget for f/2.8 IS, then tried one in person. It's much heavier and larger lens. In addition, f/4L IS is widely considered better performer overall (from f/4 and narrower of course), tilting my choice towards it in the end.

    f/4L IS has several advantages over non-IS counterpart, such as better optics (sharper, less vignetting), 4-stop image stabilizer, weather sealing, and more pleasing bokeh (circular blades whereas old wasn't). All while weighing and measuring about the same as non-IS.

    That said, non-IS is still a very good performer. Unless I crop significantly or pixel peep, there isn't much to complain. But I am not super steady at hand holding (much more difficult to handheld towards 200mm). While IS won't stop motion, it still works incredibly well in many situations.

    f/4L isn't cheap, and you should minimally wait for Canon's bi-annual rebate that starts in mid-October. Last rebate was $75 off for f/4L IS, $40 for non-IS, and $200 off for f/2.8L IS (none was offered for f/2.8 non-IS).
  12. Razeus thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    Insightful, thanks. Sure helps explain the large jump in price for the IS.
  13. Kronie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2008
    If you dont need the 2.8 or the extra weight and size then get the F4. I strongly recommend the IS version over the older non IS. I have the F4 IS.

    Also unless your leaning towards full frame someday, just get the 10-22 EF-S.
  14. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    Pretty much yes, IS is fine unless your subject is moving then it's not so good.

    I have the none IS f/4 and have no problems with it (IS version wasn't out when I got mine). I also have the EF300mm f/4 L IS and find I generally have IS switched off most of the time
  15. Stig McNasty macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2007
    DoF + Creativity = 2.8

    Don't discount the hugely shallower Depth of Field that you'd get with the 2.8L. In my mind I'd sacrifice the IS and go with the 70-200 2.8 L, it'll help your creativity, and give you more options when the light is less than good. I don't find the weight a huge issue, just get your technique right and brace your supporting arm against your body.
  16. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    Since you said you're mainly going to be using the lens for zoo photography, you definitely should cross both f/2.8's off the list. I'm guessing most of the animals are outdoors and thus you will have no need for the extra stop over the f/4.

    As far as IS vs. non-IS, that one is easy also. Depending in your preferred ISO setting, if you will ever have to take shots slower than 1/200th second shutter speed, get the IS. Otherwise, non-IS.
  17. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I'm also surprised nobody has mentioned Sigma's and Tamron's 70-200 mm f/2.8 lenses which cost less than Canon's f/4 IS.
  18. Razeus thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    Well I've taken many suggestions in consideration. Taking price into consideration and the fact that I won't be using the lens a whole lot (maybe 2-3 times a month) and will most likely while shooting with the light outside is good, I'm going with the f/4 non-IS. Certainly will offer me the best value in relation to the usage.
  19. sziehr macrumors 6502a

    Jun 11, 2009
    I have a F4 version of this lens. I love it.
    I do not shoot indoors with it and normaly outside in the day and sun and i am stopping F4 and higher and it is laser sharp and light weight for that size lens.
  20. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    So within the space of a week you have purchased the 24-105, the 17-40, and now the 70-200? :eek: I suppose your next thread will be about really big camera bags. ;)
  21. Razeus thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    I'm not sure where you are getting your information. I only have the 24-105 and now considering the 70-200 for my extended range lens.
  22. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    From your 17-40 thread:

    But perhaps "it" refers to something else.

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