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Thread: To IS or not to IS... Canon 70-200 f/2.8

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    To IS or not to IS... Canon 70-200 f/2.8

    I'm looking at the 70-200 f/2.8 lens, mainly for sports shooting. The price difference between the IS and the non IS is large ( around the $1000 mark)

    Seeing as I plan on shooting sport, thus fairly fast shutter speeds, is the IS that important? Is the $1000 worth the extra?

    cheers for any advice.
    Epicaricacy
    Canon 5Dmkiii and a variety of lenses and other bits and pieces




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    Hey there Epicaricacy!

    Are you looking at doing indoor or outdoor sports? Is the f/2.8 a must have? What about the f/4 version of the 70-200 with IS -would be an awesome pairing with your 550D in terms of IQ and weight!! A quality 2nd hand lens should sit somewhere near the $1k mark from memory.

    There are many discussions on the web about going IS vs non IS. Some people see it as a must have whereas others have learned to survive without. I suppose at the end of the day if the extra $1000 is a non-issue then why not!!

    My 2cents!
    Bodies: Panasonic Lumix GF-1, G-1 & Canon 7D
    Lenses: Lumix G 14-45mm, Lumix G 20mm, Olympus M.Zuiko ED 9-18mm, Canon EF-S 15-85mm, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L, Sigma AF 50mm f/1.4

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    I personally prefer having IS.. I know many think IS is not needed when using faster shutter speeds.. but IS can also be used for other purposes, eg panning shots.. more important if you are considering the new 70-200 f2.8L IS II.. it is the new king of 70-200 lenses regarding optical performance.. so yes, it is worth paying more for the lens..
    Last edited by NGP; 07-06-2012 at 1:58am.

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    Thanks for your thoughts paiyan. Both indoor and outdoor.... Basketball indoors, where I have found f4 to be not wide enough to give me decent shutter speeds, and outdoors for footy, so winterish, grey skies conditions often..

    NGP, is the iq that much better, for what will be basically personal photos (I'm not a pro and not selling the pics) to be worth paying around $1300 more for the ii version?

    Might have to look at second hand, saw an IS version for around 1500, but apparently the rubber gasket is knackered. at this stage with my current body that doesn't matter as much, but hopefully in the future I will get a more robust body...

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epicaricacy View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts paiyan. Both indoor and outdoor.... Basketball indoors, where I have found f4 to be not wide enough to give me decent shutter speeds, and outdoors for footy, so winterish, grey skies conditions often..
    Quick correction there. Fast. Not wide.

    Anyway in order to get decent shutter speeds you will need the f2.8. Big difference btw a stop like 1/200 to 1/400. As for IS IMO it's good to have but you should be running around with a monopod or something along those lines. Paying the extra $1300 allows you to handhold when it's really needed, and is very very useful. Since you have the 18-270 VC, try using the lens at the 200mm end without VC on. That will give you a good indication if you're able to handhold. Also do remember the f2.8 is a heavy lens... if you're purely handholding you'll notice your hands may start to tremor after a while from the strain of the weight (unless you're all sorts of fit) then IS will be a lifesaver.

    Essentially it boils back down to the f2.8 is a definite! I'd recommend the 135F2 as well for consideration, tack sharp, wonderful bokeh, 1 more stop faster and fast AF. Crop as needed. IS or not is really up to you, but a lot of sports photogs can do without it. You'll prolly use it more when you're outside and walking about without a monopod/tripod.

    As for V1 and V2. Unless you love to pixel peep, the v1 is pretty darn good. Also have you considered the 3rd party options too? They do make great lenses with IS/VC/OS and f2.8 without breaking the bank.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I got the 2.8 is ii version earlier this year and am in awe of it's performance and IQ. I regulary shoot local football and motorsport where I find the is invaluable for slow shutter speed paning. It is also very useful for wildlife and birds combined with the 2X iii extender. Re the weight, I am 68 and not all that fit but had no problems shooting all day at a recient off road event and over 2 hours at the SA day at the Adelaide Zoo, I use a Black Rapid clone double strap and find it very comfortable, I also find my cheap monopod very handy at times.
    Keith.
    Last edited by Speedway; 07-06-2012 at 11:25am.

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    Damn, really? A couple weeks ago I borrowed a 70-200 2.8 ii from a friend, and shot about 30min of handheld action with it. I started really feeling the weight after 15min, and at the end it was becoming a drag to frame.
    I'm 30, not incredibly fit but much better than average. I don't have big muscular arms though, never done any weightlifting or sport that requires much upper body power (did tennis, rollerblade, dance, ...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickv View Post
    Damn, really? A couple weeks ago I borrowed a 70-200 2.8 ii from a friend, and shot about 30min of handheld action with it. I started really feeling the weight after 15min, and at the end it was becoming a drag to frame.
    I'm 30, not incredibly fit but much better than average. I don't have big muscular arms though, never done any weightlifting or sport that requires much upper body power (did tennis, rollerblade, dance, ...)
    Could be how you are holding the lens. I make sure I support the lens barrel with my left hand and then brace my left elbow against my chest. Also sounds weird but if don't try to hold the camera so much but more just hold it gently for balance then I find it's less fatiguing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    As for V1 and V2. Unless you love to pixel peep, the v1 is pretty darn good. Also have you considered the 3rd party options too? They do make great lenses with IS/VC/OS and f2.8 without breaking the bank.
    I have owned the original 70-200 f2.8L IS and now the new 70-200 f2.8L IS II and I can tell you there is no need to pixel peep to see the difference between the two.. it is that obvious for even an unexperienced eye to tell me how much an improvement there is in IQ between the two.. which I have done on couple occasion when people asked me if it is worth upgrading.. I thought a quick shot with both lenses on would explain more than anything I could tell them..

    - - - Updated - - -

    @ Epicaricacy.. at the end it's up to you how much you feel confirmable spending on a lens.. and also ask yourself how often you will be using it.. if it will be in your bag unused most of the time or rather spend the extra money you save on other lenses, maybe the f2.8 IS II doesn't make as much sense to you.. the 70-200 f2.8L (non-IS) is still a great lens and I don't think you would be disappointed.. but if that lens will be one of your primary used lenses and used quite often, maybe considering the newer lens isn't such a bad idea.. best to go into a store or even rent both for a day or two and see what you feel will suite your needs and budget..
    Last edited by NGP; 09-06-2012 at 10:35pm.

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    Hmmm - was always on the non required IS side of the fence but over time I have changed my opinion. Remembering that IS assists camera shake and not neccessarily blur from slow shutter speeds but does assist with hand holding if the shutter is a bit slow. One thing I always notice on my 70-200 non IS is at the longer end say 200mm you can actually see the differnce it makes and you soon realise there is no way you can hold a camera still at that focal length. Combine that with say a shutter speed around 1/300 and the potential for non clear images is a real concern. Not having IS for some time has be an aid in improving hand holding techniques etc but at times I have struggled with shots at horse events when on a cloudy day under a covered arena the lighting is not great.
    If you can afford IS especially the new 70-200 do it. But if you have buget restraints, the 2.8 is a must.
    Please be honest with your Critique of my images. I may not always agree, but I will not be offended - CC assists my learning and is always appreciate

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    Canon 5D3 - Gripped, EF 70-200 L IS 2.8 MkII, , 24-105 L 4 IS MkI, 580 EX II Speedlite, 2x 430 Ex II Speedlite


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