Dilemma!

Which L series lens would you prefer?


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meDaniel

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Mar 31, 2009
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#1
Canon 70~200mm f/2.8 IS L USM or Canon 70~200 f/4 IS L USM?

Which would be better (lets not compare in the manner of "more expensive is much better" :)) for taking photos of pretty much every thing?

I've got a friend who told me that f/4 is good enough to take photos of moving objects. More skills is required rather then better gear. I agree with him.

So currently I'm planning on getting my first L series lens.
 

CS TAN

Senior Member
Sep 3, 2007
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#2
If you do not need the extra stop, you will get a very good L lens that is lighter and easier to carry around. Therefore, you might use it more instead of putting it in the dry cabinet most of the time.
 

Shen siung

Senior Member
May 21, 2008
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#3
I agree with CS TAN. Check a thread in Canon forum, there is someone stating the 2.8 L IS is very heavy...
 

meDaniel

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#4
It's about 1.37kg. But I think the weight is alright. The f/4 is bout 800g or so, can't remember.
 

CS TAN

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Sep 3, 2007
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#6
If you can afford it. f2.8 lens
This is the kind of attitude most people will take but because they didn't expect to carry such a heavy lens. At the end, the lens ends up in the dry cabinet more often than on the camera.

I hope people can consider carefully on the weight issue before they commit even if they can afford it.
 

Feb 2, 2009
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#7
if you can afford it, mind if you spare some cash for me and then just get the f/4 L lens instead. You don't the f2.8 and your friend is probably right.
 

Deyeno

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Jan 22, 2009
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#8
Weight plays an issue both ways. I am a big sized person, so weight is not an issue to me

I did own a 70-200 F4.0 lens, it was a very good lens except when it come to low light situations, when I was shooting, action pistol shooting events and to me felt to light and many times had to use a tripod or monopod to steady when panning when at 200mm.

I sold the F4.0 and bought the F2.8 and for me the weight is just right and are getting better action shots of what I am interested in, when panning at 200mm.

I recently when on a Canon Shoot to the Zoo, of the 20 participants, 8 were using 70-200 F2.8 IS and a few using 100-400 lens. They were all smaller than me in size, but said they had no problems with using the heavier lens.

I would go and rent both lens to test for yourself what meets your needs, before you decide to buy.

Good luck with whatever lens you buy both are very good lens.

Cheers ....
 

Dec 10, 2008
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#9
Well, it depends on what you're gonna shoot. It may sound old, but that's the truth.

If your subjects are mainly shot in ample lighting, get f4. Reputed to be one of if not the sharpest Canon zoom.

If you need to shoot indoors, then definitely the f2.8.

Depends on how comfortable you are with the lenses too
 

#10
In my opinion, the f/2.8 IS, being 1-stop faster, PLUS having IS, is a much much better choice. Today I own the f/2.8 NON-IS (unfortunately I bought it before the IS came out!), and I find it quite difficult to take shots handheld at much below 1/250s shutter at 200mm without some motion blur from my camera shake. I suspect the IS would allow you to reliably get tack sharp images down to 1/100 or 1/125 at least.

Remember that even on a sunny day, if you're taking portraits in the shade, or in a covered area, or in window light, you'll see shutter speeds right around the limit of hand-held at f/4 and a low ISO. Unless you have a steady hand, you're going to shooting your unlit portraits at ISO 400 to 800 to ensure sharpness and eliminate camera shake.

Go to the f/2.8, coupled with IS, and you're safely in at ISO 100 for nice creamy noise-free shots in equivalent situations. Of course, if you're a really steady hand, or you're accustomed to using a tripod, or you generally use reflectors to add light, or you generally shoot with strobes, then maybe this is a non-issue.

Full- and half-body shots at f/2.8 look nicer than at f/4 because of the shallower depth of field.

I would most definitely get the f/2.8 IS.
 

meDaniel

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Mar 31, 2009
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#11
This is the kind of attitude most people will take but because they didn't expect to carry such a heavy lens. At the end, the lens ends up in the dry cabinet more often than on the camera.

I hope people can consider carefully on the weight issue before they commit even if they can afford it.
I have to agree with you on this. This is the kind of recommendations I don't really need. :) Expensive stuff isn't everything and I agree with you on the weight part. And yes, I know of the weight. The weight issue doesn't really bother me. I was thinking of getting the 70~200mm lens as my "general purpose zoom" lens.

if you can afford it, mind if you spare some cash for me and then just get the f/4 L lens instead. You don't the f2.8 and your friend is probably right.
Don't really get what you mean here but I think it goes something like "If you got the spare cash, get the f/2.8 lens. If not get the f/4 lens and give me the change." :bsmilie:

Weight plays an issue both ways. I am a big sized person, so weight is not an issue to me

I did own a 70-200 F4.0 lens, it was a very good lens except when it come to low light situations, when I was shooting, action pistol shooting events and to me felt to light and many times had to use a tripod or monopod to steady when panning when at 200mm.

I sold the F4.0 and bought the F2.8 and for me the weight is just right and are getting better action shots of what I am interested in, when panning at 200mm.

I recently when on a Canon Shoot to the Zoo, of the 20 participants, 8 were using 70-200 F2.8 IS and a few using 100-400 lens. They were all smaller than me in size, but said they had no problems with using the heavier lens.

I would go and rent both lens to test for yourself what meets your needs, before you decide to buy.

Good luck with whatever lens you buy both are very good lens.

Cheers ....
Thanks for the recommendation on renting both the lens to test it out first. Will do that but any idea where I can rent it?

Well, it depends on what you're gonna shoot. It may sound old, but that's the truth.

If your subjects are mainly shot in ample lighting, get f4. Reputed to be one of if not the sharpest Canon zoom.

If you need to shoot indoors, then definitely the f2.8.

Depends on how comfortable you are with the lenses too
Yes, and I agree with you on the part about what I want to take. But is a f/4 lens good enough to take shots of moving animals? Or even moving object?

In my opinion, the f/2.8 IS, being 1-stop faster, PLUS having IS, is a much much better choice. Today I own the f/2.8 NON-IS (unfortunately I bought it before the IS came out!), and I find it quite difficult to take shots handheld at much below 1/250s shutter at 200mm without some motion blur from my camera shake. I suspect the IS would allow you to reliably get tack sharp images down to 1/100 or 1/125 at least.

Remember that even on a sunny day, if you're taking portraits in the shade, or in a covered area, or in window light, you'll see shutter speeds right around the limit of hand-held at f/4 and a low ISO. Unless you have a steady hand, you're going to shooting your unlit portraits at ISO 400 to 800 to ensure sharpness and eliminate camera shake.

Go to the f/2.8, coupled with IS, and you're safely in at ISO 100 for nice creamy noise-free shots in equivalent situations. Of course, if you're a really steady hand, or you're accustomed to using a tripod, or you generally use reflectors to add light, or you generally shoot with strobes, then maybe this is a non-issue.

Full- and half-body shots at f/2.8 look nicer than at f/4 because of the shallower depth of field.

I would most definitely get the f/2.8 IS.
My Canon 450D only allow up to ISO 200. Most of my shots are taken with a tripod, unless I'm taking shots for a group that have to move around much. (I usually go take landscape alone early in the morning.)

Thank you all for the input, especially Deyeno. I'll find a place to rent both the lens and test it out first before I purchase it.

You guys have been of great help.
 

Xiao_shin

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Sep 21, 2002
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#12
This is the kind of attitude most people will take but because they didn't expect to carry such a heavy lens. At the end, the lens ends up in the dry cabinet more often than on the camera.

I hope people can consider carefully on the weight issue before they commit even if they can afford it.
Ceteris paribus, everyone will opt for the f2.8. With f2.8, you can get all the shots a f4.

Weight, size, price and even filter size are the main differences. Normally, money is the issue.

Maybe to me 1kg + lens is not really consider heavy.
 

Dec 5, 2005
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#13
In my opinion, as some has already pointed out, what you shoot and what kind of condition you shooting in should plays an important part in your selection.
If that is gonna be your main lens or is it going to be call into action only now and then too is also a point to note.
Basically, I will go for f2.8 if needed for dim/indoor cond., action and better bokeh.
f4 if weight is the prime concern.
 

gremlin

Senior Member
Nov 15, 2002
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#14
Always get the fastest lens you can afford. You never know when the extra stop of light will make a difference between a so so image and a great one.

What a few hundred grams of weight more? Dun be a wuss!
 

Jun 19, 2009
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#15
i have the F2.8 IS and i dont need any other lens in that range. Glad i didnt get the F4
 

meDaniel

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Mar 31, 2009
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#16
Always get the fastest lens you can afford. You never know when the extra stop of light will make a difference between a so so image and a great one.

What a few hundred grams of weight more? Dun be a wuss!
Haha I agree with the "don't be a wuss!" part. :bsmilie: Will rent the lens first and see how it fares with the shots I'm gonna take.

i have the F2.8 IS and i dont need any other lens in that range. Glad i didnt get the F4
That's good to hear. But I will be testing out the lens next week. Then I'll make a decision.
 

aselley

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Sep 30, 2008
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#17
It really depends what you want to shoot, how much flexibility you want, and perhaps most importantly if you are a hobbyist, how much you can afford?

I am having the same internal debate at the moment, the 2.8 or the 4, and for the types of things I shoot the most, the 4 with an extender is just about perfect. It will let me shoot sport, nature, scenic and even dabble in portraits. Sure the Bokah will not be as perfect as some here in CS demand, but with some creative positioning and a thought to DOF its still achievable (within the limits of the lens).

I think renting/borrowing is a great way to get a feel for a lens, take it out shooting the things you want to shoot. Do it for both, try to shoot the same things, in the same environment and then critically compare.

But be honest, it will always come down to how much you can afford?
 

liarliar

Deregistered
May 13, 2007
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#18
Its actually up to individual. If you think about the possiblility of getting f2point8 at 200mm or even f4point0 at 200mm wow at times it could really make a difference.

Have you ever like held your dslr with a lens weighing alomost 1kg attached? How's the feeling like for long periods? Imagine one lens pass the 1kg mark. Just be mentally repaired if you do ever get the 2.8. I know to some it may not be significant but for those with weaker arms it will. If f4 is good enough for you at the moment go get it.
 

meDaniel

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Mar 31, 2009
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#19
It really depends what you want to shoot, how much flexibility you want, and perhaps most importantly if you are a hobbyist, how much you can afford?

I am having the same internal debate at the moment, the 2.8 or the 4, and for the types of things I shoot the most, the 4 with an extender is just about perfect. It will let me shoot sport, nature, scenic and even dabble in portraits. Sure the Bokah will not be as perfect as some here in CS demand, but with some creative positioning and a thought to DOF its still achievable (within the limits of the lens).

I think renting/borrowing is a great way to get a feel for a lens, take it out shooting the things you want to shoot. Do it for both, try to shoot the same things, in the same environment and then critically compare.

But be honest, it will always come down to how much you can afford?
Yeah, I'm going to the zoo next week so I'll be renting the f/4 first. Since my friend told me it's good enough. :) And I have to agree with you on the part that it's not the lens that makes a photographer good. It's his or her skills.

Its actually up to individual. If you think about the possiblility of getting f2point8 at 200mm or even f4point0 at 200mm wow at times it could really make a difference.

Have you ever like held your dslr with a lens weighing alomost 1kg attached? How's the feeling like for long periods? Imagine one lens pass the 1kg mark. Just be mentally repaired if you do ever get the 2.8. I know to some it may not be significant but for those with weaker arms it will. If f4 is good enough for you at the moment go get it.
I do weights do I think it's alright. :bsmilie: But mostly I think I'll be using tripod. I've come to love my tripod so much I almost slept with it at night. :bsmilie: (It's a joke.)
 

cabbySHE

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Dec 5, 2008
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#20
Do some 5kg - 8kg dumbell exercise daily/ regularly will eventually strengthen your arm muscle. It's a regime for most who need to carry heavy weight with their hand/arm for a long period e.g. tennis player, bowler, air rifle/pistol or clay pigeon shooter. After awhile, your lens will feels nothing.
 

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