Which Canon zoom lens to get?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mac mac mac, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. mac mac mac macrumors regular

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    #1
    Canon is having rebates on a lot of the lenses, and i think it's a good tIme to upgrade my EF-S 55-250 lens. At first I was thinking about the 100-400mm L, but I wanted better IS, and better weather sealing. So I narrowed down to these two lenses:

    1. Canon 70-200L II f/2.8 - $1,979
    2. Canon 70-300L f/4-4.5 - $1,369

    I like to shoot landscapes mostly but I think having a fast lens maybe useful on a cloudy day or shooting indoors. But I also like like the extra 100mm, and the fact that the 70-300 is a pound lighter. Which lens do you think it fits me better? I have a 7D, and a Canon 15-85mm as my walk around. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. rebby macrumors 6502

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    #2
    I like faster lenses so I'd go w/the 70-200 myself (actually, that's what I did). The 70-200 is a fantastic lens and the constant 2.8 is really nice to have. If you want more reach you can always add a 1.4x, or even a 2.0x later. With the 1.4 you'll only be dropping to f4 too so you'll still have a faster lens than the 70-300 can offer.

    Then again, if you're just shooting landscapes, you probably hang out around f8 quite a bit anyway. Maybe the additional speed isn't something that you'd make use of?

    I think that it all comes down to speed. What apertures to you like the most? If you find that you don't need or wouldn't use the faster apertures, than the 70-300 offers quite a bit of upside.
     
  3. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

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    #3
    Forget the 70-300 lens. The 70-200 f/2.8 L lens is one of the best Canon makes. If you can swing it, the IS II version of the lens is about $500 more. That's the lens I'm currently drooling over at the moment. It's speed and image IQ are superb (from what I hear) and the build quality on it is great. The 70-300L gets decent/mixed reviews however the 70-200 always gets great reviews. The 15-85 is a nice walk around lens as well and the 70-200 would compliment that lens perfectly. Virtually any of the 70-200L lenses (there are 5 of them I think) are excellent choices. As you're looking for an upgrade, might as well get the best out there as it should last you for quite some time.
     
  4. mac mac mac thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Thanks for the inputs. I mostly shoot at f/8 or f/11 when shooting landscapes, but I do shoot wide open when I shoot birds or wildlife. I like the creamy blurry background. If the 1.4x converter is only slowing it down to f/4, I guess I should go with the 70-200 f/2.8 then. What about the 2x converter? I've never used a converter before, will it degrade the image in any way?

    Actually $1,979 is for the Mk II version, and it's brand new. That's why it makes me want to buy it because it's such a great deal! I don't think the price has ever been this low before so I don't want to miss out.

    I think I'll pull the trigger on the 70-200 f/2.8 II. Btw, is it comfortable to shoot handheld, or do I really need to use a tripod for it since it's more than 3 pounds? Thanks again for all of your help.
     
  5. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #5
    From what I've read/seen you won't notice any difference in quality between these two lenses unless you pixel peep or print billboards. The glass in the 70-300L is pretty damn good. As a point of reference, at least a few Canon users on the POTN forums previously using a 70-200 f2.8 with a 1.4x converter have traded for the 70-300L without regret.

    I own the 70-300L and these are the things that I weighed in making my decision.

    - Reach vs. Speed (that extra 100mm of reach can be extremely nice but so can that extra couple of stops of light)
    - Cost (what else could you do with the $600 price difference - maybe your photography would benefit from a better walk around lens or an ultra wide angle than it would from a more expensive zoom?)
    - Portability (the 70-300L is very compact and easy to bag... the 70-200L not so much)

    You have to consider your own priorities.
     
  6. flatpicknut macrumors newbie

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    Jul 8, 2011
    #6
    I wouldn't have thought of the 70-200 or 70-300 as landscape lenses, but then I don't shoot landscapes. I just got a 70-200 2.8 IS II yesterday - I shoot no-flash high school theatre, some portraits, and have this year been been shooting softball and indoor basketball and volleyball on request. I was worried about the weight of the 70-200, but to me it really doesn't feel all that different from my 70-300 when shooting. Obviously I haven't shot much with it yet, but so far the extra weight seems like a non-issue for me. (The only real hassle has been getting used to having the tripod foot in my way.)
     
  7. Vudoo macrumors 6502a

    Vudoo

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    #7
    I would get choice #1. Shooting with fast glass is always nice, although heavy to carry. If you need reach, a teleconverter would do the job.
     
  8. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    #8
    Definitely the 70-200 2.8, get IS if you can.
     
  9. The Mad Kiwi macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I'd get the 70-300, it'll just be easier to carry around and if you mostly shoot landscapes then you have no need for fast glass.
    I've never liked the 70-200 2.8s, they're just too big to be called versatile which is what a good zoom should be and not fast enough to be called really fast.
    If you want fast glass primes are the way to go anyway.
     
  10. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #10
    I use the Canon 70-200L II f/2.8 almost everyday. Its a great lens with beautiful results. Always sharp.
     
  11. mac mac mac thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    The damage is done. I just ordered the 70-200L II f/2.8 from B&H for $1,974 new. It'll get here Friday :D

    I do like the 70-300 for its extra reach, but I just think that the 70-200 f/2.8 would give me more flexibility with the 1.4x or 2x converter. I can't make the 70-300L shoot any faster, and I can't use a converter on this lens. I'm sure both lenses will give me top notch image quality, but it's the f/2.8 that wins me over.

    When I get it, I'll test it out to see if I can deal with the heft. If not, I'll reconsider the 70-300L. Friday cannot come any sooner. Thanks for all of your help.
     
  12. stevendphoto macrumors member

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    Jul 9, 2011
    #12
    Mac3, you made the correct choice, I have the 70-200 and it is a great Lens, they were selling for $2k last year when I bought mine, but they went up to $2.5 for a while, so you got a great deal.

    You will keep this Lens for many years, I use the 1.4x with it and it works fine, I had a 2.0x years ago and it was not very good, I am not sure about the newest vesion, but at $400 (or whatever it now sells for), I am not going to take a chance...
     
  13. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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  14. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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  15. mac mac mac thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Thank you. I'll try it out this weekend, hopefully the weather will cooperate. You know how much rain we can get here in Seattle :)
     
  16. designguy79 macrumors 6502

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    Michigan
    #16
    Maybe 2.0 or 1.8? :D

    Sorry, couldn't resist...

    I wish Canon would make a 16 - 400 1.8. That would be sweet.
     
  17. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a

    macjonny1

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    #17
    There is no such thing as a fast zoom. F/2.8 is slow.
    Get a prime if you want real quality. Zooms are for noobs.
     
  18. mac mac mac thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Hey guys, do you think I should get a filter for this lens too? Normally I'm not a big fan of filters, but I was reading some of the reviews online, and some people suggest to get the B+W 77mm UV MRC filter as a way to protect the front element and provide complete weather sealing. The filter is $70. What do you guys think? Thank you.
     
  19. fitshaced macrumors 68000

    fitshaced

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    #19
    You could, or you could go without a filter and just get use a hood. Adding glass onto your lens affects the image quality. I dont use UV filters. I do use an ND filter and polarizer but only when I need them.
     
  20. mac mac mac thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Ok I'm going to pass on the filter then. The only reason I brought this up is that someone mentioned about putting a filter on in order to complete with the weather sealing. Is it true? I thought the lens itself is already weather sealed?
     
  21. fitshaced macrumors 68000

    fitshaced

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    Jul 2, 2011
    #21
    A 70-20mm 2.8 ii IS is weather sealed but the point of the filter is to protect from scratches. Makes sense. But a hood should do that too, keeping the frotn element away from things that could damage it. If you do end up getting a UV filter, dont get a cheap one. Cheap glass on expensive glass gives you cheap glass.
     
  22. mac mac mac thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Thank you fitshaced. I'll just use the hood for now. Maybe I'll get a B+W polarizer when I shoot near the water. I have that on the 15-85, and it really does cut down on the glare and enhances contrast.
     
  23. rebby macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I agree. The 70-200 f/2.8L IS is a FANTASTIC lens. As I mentioned the 1.4x will drop it to f/4 and doesn't really affect IQ in any way. There are quite a few comparison type reviews online. I haven't seen it mentioned yet but the 2.0x will drop it to f/5.6 which is as low as you can go while still maintaining your AF (which doesn't really matter for landscapes, MF is easy enough). With a 2.0x though, you've instantly got a 140-400 f/5.6, that's pretty sweet if you ask me.
     
  24. fitshaced macrumors 68000

    fitshaced

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    Jul 2, 2011
    #24
    I got the x2 TC mk iii and hardly every use it. I'm more inclined to shoot at 200mm or lower as it is just so much sharper. But, the TC is a handy to have.
     
  25. Vudoo macrumors 6502a

    Vudoo

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    #25
    F/2.8 is a fast zoom and most of the time, that's all it takes. Some zooms are as sharp as prime lenses, so thinking that a prime lens or nothing is no longer valid. And there are plenty of professionals who use zoom lenses.

    I have two filters. A Heliopan UV that I only use in conditions where there is a chance of flying debris like at the beach where sand is blowing around. The other filter is a B+W circular polarizer which is good for anything that has a reflective surface be it water or cars.
     

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