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View Full Version : 70-200 f4 is / 70-200 2.8



Shelley
14-04-2010, 1:55pm
I am looking at my next purchase of a lens and I think I have narrowed it down to either of these two.

I would use this lens for outside portraits of people and maybe some wildlife shots/zoo's etc. I would also use inside for portrait shots as well.

What is the weight difference between the two? I know the F4 is light and I am thinking it might suit me, with IS for low light, but I am drawn to the 2.8. Both lenses are around the same price. Which would be better for low light shots? I have concluded the 2.8 IS is just way to expensive for me to buy - was my original choice.

I am really interested in your thoughts and do realise it is ultimately my call, but would appreciate some for/against thoughts.

Wayne
14-04-2010, 2:39pm
I would think that if low light is something you may be doing, the f4 is perhaps better than the non-IS f2.8.

Even with one extra stop of light from the 2.8, shutter speeds may still be too low for sharp hand held in low light, where the f4 will probably give sharp shots 2-3 shutter speeds slower than the 2.8, which you would most notice at the long end of the zoom range.

Whisky_Mac
14-04-2010, 2:43pm
I have the 70-200mm f4 and it is great but if low light is your think then faster is better. I have hand held the f4 @ 200s and seems OK.

JM Tran
14-04-2010, 2:50pm
I have the 70-200mm f4 and it is great but if low light is your think then faster is better. I have hand held the f4 @ 200s and seems OK.

she is talking about low light static work, such as portraits, faster aperture with no IS can be countered by 1 stop less of light with IS because -

the F4 IS will beat the f2.8 for wayyyy better hand held shots, u can compensate for the extra stop of light by reducing the shutter speed to match - try getting a crisp sharp shot at 200mm at 1/30th or 1/20th with the f2.8 without bracing against a wall a wall or something......1 in 50 shots might make it.

SRR33
14-04-2010, 3:25pm
Agree with jackie.

I would buy the f4 IS. You wont be dissapointed with image quality.. Its light and easy to handheld. I use it all the time for outdoors. With the money you saving, buy a 85 f1.8 :)

kwokask
14-04-2010, 4:04pm
I have the 70-200mm f4 and it is great but if low light is your think then faster is better. I have hand held the f4 @ 200s and seems OK.

200s :eek:

Shelley
14-04-2010, 4:51pm
The F4 is sounding like a good option. The 2.8 I was thinking of is non IS by the way. I know both these lenses will give a good sharp image.

Thanks so far for your input - it all helps when trying to decide. :)

tomtom1
14-04-2010, 6:35pm
As others have said, it really depends what you're planning on shooting, and whether handheld...

Static things - f4 is
Moving things - f2.8

f4 IS is probably a bit sharper if you're a pixel peeper. You can always up the iso a bit as well.

I used to own a 2.8 is which was great for shooting the tennis, but a bugger to carry around on a trip to morocco. I have since gone to a f4 is which is significantly lighter and more discreet. I plan on doing more travel than sports shooting, which is why I have changed.

Shelley
15-04-2010, 7:01pm
Well, I have been speaking with my husband and he was surprised that I was even considering the F4. He felt I was settling for 2nd best. I have been bugging him about my next lens for about um ages - since I got my last lens.

I have always wanted the F2.8 IS, but I was trying to be sensible as the Mk1 is just about gone and Mk2 is so expensive.

I do love photography action type photography and this is reflected in my BIF shots of birds. So I am really not sure what to go for. I think deep down I want the 2.8 and I can live with weight issue.

mrDooba
15-04-2010, 8:02pm
I have the f/4 IS and I regret not buy the f/2.8 IS. I love shallow DOF and really wish I could open my f/4 up a little more. I say wait a little longer, keep saving and then get the f/2.8 IS. It sounds like you might also regret getting anything else.
I love my f/4 IS but I'm gonna get the f/2.8 IS after I've collected a few other lenses that I don't already have :)

Atlas
15-04-2010, 8:11pm
Hi Shelley,

I have a non IS F4 and it really is a great lens.. Not so good for low light though...

But remember... Especially doing portraits if you need to open up to 2.8 because of the light the DOF will be so tiny...

For instance, if you were doing portraits as you suggest at 2.8, if you focussed on the nose for instance, the eyes would not be sharp, and vice versa.

But with the F4 IS lens, you have a better DOF for such things, but cna slow th eshutter speed right down... :)

Shelley
15-04-2010, 8:22pm
Hi Shelley,

I have a non IS F4 and it really is a great lens.. Not so good for low light though...

But remember... Especially doing portraits if you need to open up to 2.8 because of the light the DOF will be so tiny...

For instance, if you were doing portraits as you suggest at 2.8, if you focussed on the nose for instance, the eyes would not be sharp, and vice versa.

But with the F4 IS lens, you have a better DOF for such things, but cna slow th eshutter speed right down... :)

Thanks for that point - if I go 2.8 now it would include the IS, but like you said the DOF is an issue. I have decided that I will get IS either on the F4 or 2.8 lens. Just trying to get my head around the cost of 2.8 IS.

wattsgallery
15-04-2010, 8:54pm
Whether you will really carry around a lens the size of the 70-200 2.8 is a real consideration.

It was the deciding factor for me and I was looking for the 70-200 f4 IS when I came across a 200 2.8L at a price I couldn't resist as it was not heavy, its very sharp and is relatively small. I may ultimately go for the 70-200 f4 IS for the versatility - so size was the determining factor - no point having it if you always leave it at home.

Good luck
Josh

David
15-04-2010, 9:03pm
I had the 4.0 70-200mm and it was a beauty: light, versatile and rarely let me down in most light conditions. Now Julieanne has the 2.8 70-200mm and it feels heavier and more awkward hand held than the 4.0. Its going to be a tough call for you but if you can afford the 2.8 IS version you have the best available and can make the weight work hand held with practice I suppose.

Shelley
15-04-2010, 9:05pm
Whether you will really carry around a lens the size of the 70-200 2.8 is a real consideration.

It was the deciding factor for me and I was looking for the 70-200 f4 IS when I came across a 200 2.8L at a price I couldn't resist as it was not heavy, its very sharp and is relatively small. I may ultimately go for the 70-200 f4 IS for the versatility - so size was the determining factor - no point having it if you always leave it at home.

Good luck
Josh

Thanks Josh. I did lug around the BIGMA birding for hours at a time - what got to me was that I didn't get sharp pics when hand held, needed lots of light (i like the option of hand held at times) and could not do BIF cause of slow focusing.

I think the IS would solve the hand held issue (but, I would use tripod as required). So I don't think I would leave it at home because it was heavy, but you never know do you until you use it regularly.

I haven't entirely dismissed the F4 IS, I have been reading reviews etc. I think I will need to go and hold them both - maybe even rent them if I can.

David
15-04-2010, 9:14pm
Thanks Josh. I did lug around the BIGMA birding for hours at a time - what got to me was that I didn't get sharp pics when hand held, needed lots of light (i like the option of hand held at times) and could not do BIF cause of slow focusing.

I think the IS would solve the hand held issue (but, I would use tripod as required). So I don't think I would leave it at home because it was heavy, but you never know do you until you use it regularly.

I haven't entirely dismissed the F4 IS, I have been reading reviews etc. I think I will need to go and hold them both - maybe even rent them if I can.

You wouldn't be the first to rent and try before you buy: Ive done that before and it certainly fixed my mind on which one suited me pretty quickly.

Shelley
15-04-2010, 9:15pm
I had the 4.0 70-200mm and it was a beauty: light, versatile and rarely let me down in most light conditions. Now Julieanne has the 2.8 70-200mm and it feels heavier and more awkward hand held than the 4.0. Its going to be a tough call for you but if you can afford the 2.8 IS version you have the best available and can make the weight work hand held with practice I suppose.

Hmm, hand held would be difficult you are saying - i definitely want the option to hand hold if required.

You no longer have the F4 70-200?

Its not easy - the obvious solution is to buy both - but I don't think Kelvin would let me somehow...:D

I think I need to use the 2.8 IS before I buy or make a decision.

carrg1954
15-04-2010, 9:27pm
Hi, I have the f4IS and is it sharp as can be. You need to decide inside or outside.
As you are wanting portraits then its the 2.8. You will get used to the weight .
As the 2.8 mk 2 IS is coming on stock now there are a few more excellent mk1 versions to be had
best of luck

kwokask
15-04-2010, 9:35pm
I have the f/4 IS and have considered swapping over to the f/2.8 IS many times when I found one in good condition at a bargain price. Every time I stop myself for two main reasons - the weight would mean I would never carry it around and the difference in DOF between 2.8 and 4 is not that great. Remember it's only one stop difference - I find in low light conditions, one stop advantage is not enough anyway.

The last time I considered was a couple days ago when I stopped myself from getting one off ebay for $1550 - I realised it would be too heavy to bring on my trip to Tasmania and so would just sit at home.

David
15-04-2010, 10:07pm
Hmm, hand held would be difficult you are saying - i definitely want the option to hand hold if required.

You no longer have the F4 70-200?

Its not easy - the obvious solution is to buy both - but I don't think Kelvin would let me somehow...:D

I think I need to use the 2.8 IS before I buy or make a decision.

Im saying if you can handle a birding lens you can handle the 2.8 and I sold my 70-200mm under protest at the time....wish I still had it now.

fairy bombs
16-04-2010, 3:57pm
Depends on your use for the lens purchased. I bought the F2.8 non IS.

Its a heavy lens,but SHARP!,nobody has mentioned BOKEH,and this is where is lens

really shines,I use like to use it around sunset for portait/people work,I have never had

issues with blurry-ness,

I would say if I was on the move a bit more,ie travelling etc,I'd get the F4 version

regards Chris

dulvariprestige
16-04-2010, 10:24pm
It's not L glass, but it might be worth holding off and waiting to see what Sigma's new 70-200 OS version is like, I've compared some of my shots with my Sigma and a Canon 2.8 IS that I hired for a weekend, and sure, the Canon was a bit sharper at 2.8, but it was really only noticeable when zooming in 100%, but from 3.5 they were pretty much on par.

NGP
17-04-2010, 4:46pm
from someone who shoots people for a living (with the camera of course :)).. I'd recommend to go with the 70-200 f/2.8 (IS) as swell, this is the perfect portrait zoom lens due to the faster aperture (eg. shallow DOF) you can achieve..

Shelley
18-04-2010, 2:33pm
from someone who shoots people for a living (with the camera of course :)).. I'd recommend to go with the 70-200 f/2.8 (IS) as swell, this is the perfect portrait zoom lens due to the faster aperture (eg. shallow DOF) you can achieve..

Thank you. I think I have decided to save a few more pennies and get the 2.8 IS as my hubby doesn't seem to mind me spending that much on one lens. I do a bit of people photography at work when requested, so it would be utilised for sure.

joneda
19-04-2010, 1:39pm
Hi,
Dirt Cheap Cameras and DigiDirect have both posted prices in the low $1800 range for the new Sigma 70-200 OS. I rang them and was told a few weeks until stock arrives but will believe it when I see them on the shelves. CR Kennedy is still saying June for Canon and Nikon mount versions.

R1titan
19-04-2010, 2:51pm
After owning 3 of the 4 L variants in this focal range, the 2.8 IS is the only one i now still have.
If you want to save money just get the f4 version, not worth the price hike for IS imo.
But as it now seems you're leanings towards the best version (albeit the Mk II). This will give you the versatility to do it all including action, portraits etc.
I'ld even upgrade mine to the Mk II version when prices drop from the ridiculous new premium.

JimD
19-04-2010, 4:18pm
f4 IS is probably a bit sharper

Except at f/2.8 :D

exmrblonde
20-04-2010, 6:13pm
I've also decided on the f4 IS.
Just need to find a well priced one now. 2nd hand will be fine for these beauties..

I @ M
20-04-2010, 6:44pm
Well, I'm not a Canon owner but if the Photozone tests on full frame (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/510-canon_70200_2is28) and cropped sensor (http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/512-canon_70200_28is2_50d) cameras are anything to go by ( I reckon they are ) the new version of the 2.8 is the ants pants. Get the credit card out boys and girls. :D

Shelley
20-04-2010, 7:29pm
I've also decided on the f4 IS.
Just need to find a well priced one now. 2nd hand will be fine for these beauties..
Good luck with finding it - it is a good lens.


Well, I'm not a Canon owner but if the Photozone tests on full frame (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/510-canon_70200_2is28) and cropped sensor (http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/512-canon_70200_28is2_50d) cameras are anything to go by ( I reckon they are ) the new version of the 2.8 is the ants pants. Get the credit card out boys and girls. :D

Yes indeed - my credit card is certainly calling :o

emma
20-04-2010, 7:38pm
Well, I've just been on the hunt for a 2nd hand Canon 70-200L f2.8 IS lens. Couldn't find anyone wanting to give one up.

So I went and bought a brand new Sigma 2.8. It's not IS -cause I can't wait that long :)

However, one thing I noticed in all of these threads is people saying that the f4 is not as shallow as the 2.8. That maybe so, but you can still set your 2.8 @ f4

By purchasing the 2.8 you are giving yourself more options. And adding a IS into the mix, gives you even more.

And the weight is really not that much. The sigma I own is 1.5 kg and I can hand hold it for a quite a while - I rented a canon one which is the same weight and ran up and down a football ground sideline with it for the whole match. I left my monopod too near the sydney football team and they chucked it under their water table for the match! So I had no choice - and I was fine.

And I don't even have big muscles!

I think if you can, go for the 2.8 IS and if you can hold out for a couple of months - go for the Sigma - there is not much difference at all from the Canon - especially on the crop sensors.

Shelley
20-04-2010, 7:52pm
Well, I've just been on the hunt for a 2nd hand Canon 70-200L f2.8 IS lens. Couldn't find anyone wanting to give one up.

So I went and bought a brand new Sigma 2.8. It's not IS -cause I can't wait that long :)

However, one thing I noticed in all of these threads is people saying that the f4 is not as shallow as the 2.8. That maybe so, but you can still set your 2.8 @ f4

By purchasing the 2.8 you are giving yourself more options. And adding a IS into the mix, gives you even more.

And the weight is really not that much. The sigma I own is 1.5 kg and I can hand hold it for a quite a while - I rented a canon one which is the same weight and ran up and down a football ground sideline with it for the whole match. I left my monopod too near the sydney football team and they chucked it under their water table for the match! So I had no choice - and I was fine.

And I don't even have big muscles!

I think if you can, go for the 2.8 IS and if you can hold out for a couple of months - go for the Sigma - there is not much difference at all from the Canon - especially on the crop sensors.

Some good points Emma - I too don't have muscles, but can imagine I would hand hold at times.

Thanks for making comment, I found your information useful. Fortunately I can and prepared to wait for the 2.8 IS.

exmrblonde
21-04-2010, 8:36pm
Good luck with finding it - it is a good lens.

I'll need it now - as you can see, the post count hasn't been too great for the amount of time I've been registered, so I'll no longer be counting on finding one here...

I WILL find one though - the household Financial Controller has finally signed off on it.

dulvariprestige
21-04-2010, 9:04pm
I'll need it now - as you can see, the post count hasn't been too great for the amount of time I've been registered, so I'll no longer be counting on finding one here...

I WILL find one though - the household Financial Controller has finally signed off on it.
When I was looking at this lens, second hand ones were still fetching good money, usually only $200-300 less than a new one "grey import", personally I'd rather spend the extra and buy new.

glenysj
22-04-2010, 1:39pm
Hi, Shelly,

If you are interested in bird photography, may I recommend you check out the 100-400L IS. I am sure you will already have other lenses that are great for portraits, but I sold my 70-200 f4 IS as I found it was rarely suitable for bird photography (the birds didn't like me climbing a ladder to get close enough). If you have a look at my nankeen kestrel thread, you will see what you can do with the 400mm. If you are using a crop camera, that is even bigger, and it works really well hand held. Cheers, Glenys