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Thread: Is it worth paying the extra for IS

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    Is it worth paying the extra for IS

    Hey Everyone

    I am looking at getting a 70-200 2.8 (canon) I was thinking of getting the one through the sponsored site on here they have a IS version going cheaper due to the new model coming out. But i'm wondering is it really worth paying the extra for the IS? I think i worked out getting the standard 70-200 from a grey importer is about $650 cheaper than getting the IS price reduced one. (thats if its still available)
    I really have no idea should i spend the extra and get the image stabliser or save that money to go towards other equipemnt (as i do have a few things on my list! hehe).
    Dont get me wrong if its worth it i dont mind paying the extra..but if its not that great of a difference i think i would rather put the extra into something else.
    Any advice would be much appreciated!
    Nicole
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    I don't own any IS/VR lenses (yet)

    But I would say that it depends on what sort of shooting you do. If you do all your shooting off a tripod, the it might not be worth it... If you do any low light shooting then it wou l'd probably be worth it...

    If it was me and the difference was 'only' $500 then I would probably save for a bit longer and go with the IS version, that way there would be no regrets later.

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    Ausphotography Regular bobt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inspired View Post
    Hey Everyone

    I am looking at getting a 70-200 2.8 (canon) But i'm wondering is it really worth paying the extra for the IS?
    I bought the 70-200 but I didn't go with the IS simply because of the cost difference, and the extra weight. However, it really is an individual decision based on your own priorities. I valued a lighter lens more than I valued the IS and extra cost. I also find that it's not a lens i use a lot due to its size, and I use other lenses much more. For me - I'd put the money towards some other priority, but at the end of the day you have to remember that we each have different priorities, different shooting styles and different needs.

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    I would use it for a few different things. My otehr half races sprintcars so will use it for that and my brother-in-laws all race motorx so would use it for that also.
    But i would also use it for weddings - i have only done one! lol (and not really sure how many i will do in the future) but i remember thinking the whole time during the ceremony (i used my 24-70 which i LOVE) that i needed more length..i really wanted to get in closer without having to be apart of the action if you know what i mean?
    So could imagine myself using that for ceremony's if i did go down the weddings path, which would mean there could be alot of low light situations (if in a church) but also i would be holding it for a long period of time (so the weight would also be a factor) i will admit i struggled holding my camera with the 580ex II attached and teh 24-70 by half way through the ceremony - i have scrawny arms! lol. so may need to go into weight training!
    And i probably wouldn't really use a tripod due to needing to be flexible moving around etc.
    In one way i'm like hmm $650 is a big difference (this is for the older version - i haven't even looked at what the II is offering over the first! lol i would be saving forever...or should i keep saving!??)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobt View Post
    I bought the 70-200 but I didn't go with the IS simply because of the cost difference, and the extra weight. However, it really is an individual decision based on your own priorities. I valued a lighter lens more than I valued the IS and extra cost. I also find that it's not a lens i use a lot due to its size, and I use other lenses much more. For me - I'd put the money towards some other priority, but at the end of the day you have to remember that we each have different priorities, different shooting styles and different needs.
    When you do use it what do you use it for? Do you use it in low light? how do you find it?

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    As noted, it really depends on what use you will put it to.
    Bright light and a stabilised camera will reduce the value of IS.
    Change the scenario to lower light or add in some exercise on your behalf, and suddenly IS is very valuable. Exercise makes adrenaline, which increases any background muscle tremor and IS really helps there. You can also shoot ridiculously low shutter speeds hand-help with the new 5 stop IS lenses.
    It's important to remember that IS freezes the camera,not the subject, so the extra stops won't help with a moving subject in low light.
    As to size and weight, well that is all relative. When the 70-200 first arrived in this home, we thought it was massive. Now we have bigger lenses, it seems no bigger or more cumbersome than any basic kit lens. We think of it as the "little lens" we'll chuck on for convenience. You will see people all over hand-holding them all day without problems.

    Just read your other post that went up while I was typing.
    Given what you have said, I think you will find the IS beneficial. If you are going to shoot sprint cars though, get on the inside of the track. You don't really want a faceful of mud and gravel smashing into your nice new lens. You get much better shots from the inside of a track too.
    If you have scrawny arms, and are hand-holding at weddings for example, IS will really help. Even 2 stops turns 1/30 into 1/125. That's a big difference.
    Last edited by Mr Scrofulous; 09-04-2010 at 8:47pm.

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    Hi Nicole, I have been through this delima to the point of exhaustion. I spend two days testing with IS on and IS off as I was looking at the 70-200 f4 non is and my conclusion was this.

    95% of my shooting is open air daytime and the 70-200 has served me well to date being about 3 months now. In daylight when shutter speed can be maintained, there is limited value in IS I would suggest, I have a pretty steady hand.

    However; I have found that in poorer light such as under an arena on a cloudy day I think I could have benefited from IS with the f4 lens copy. Still shooting with my 400D which also makes it a challenge in low light as I find anything over ISO 400 to be a very weak point noise wise with the 400D.

    If I had the extra cash at the time, yes; I would buy IS, but i was on a very tight budget and the lens was an exceptional buy. Am I disappointed I did not go the extra for IS, no defantely not - but I re-iterate, 95% or even more is outside in day light.

    If you have the cash for IS, I beleive it is worth the money - more keepers. I really recommend to try and play with a lens for a bit, IS on & IS off to see if it suits your style of photograhy and skill.

    My understanding, IS will assist with camera shake but will not stop motion blur of the subject. If the shutter speed is fast enough, I don't think IS will make a heap of difference.

    There are plenty of other very experienced photographers on this site that can give value comments so allow some time for them to add there posts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Scrofulous View Post

    Just read your other post that went up while I was typing.
    Given what you have said, I think you will find the IS beneficial. If you are going to shoot sprint cars though, get on the inside of the track. You don't really want a faceful of mud and gravel smashing into your nice new lens. You get much better shots from the inside of a track too.
    If you have scrawny arms, and are hand-holding at weddings for example, IS will really help. Even 2 stops turns 1/30 into 1/125. That's a big difference.
    Will definatley be on the inside - and the action is so much more exciting on the infield! haha

    That is a big difference isn't it when you put it like that. I am willing to spend the money and make the investment. I just want to make sure its the right investment..as i'm sure you can all relate there is so many things i would like! so every cent really does count.

    Can anybody tell me what the benifits would be to get the II version instead of the one they are just phasing out. Like i said i am willing so save and make the investment and if it would be more benifical to get the newer model i'm happy to wait and pay the extra. I know its up there in the prices BUT what makes it so much better than the orignal?
    Haha i know i have kind of swayed here from saving $650 to spending like another $1000 nearly..but i really want to make an informed decision..and i do figure at least once i have it i have it!
    (and i'm lucky my other half has an expensive hobby so he cant complain what i spend on photography! hehe)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikew09 View Post
    Hi Nicole, I have been through this delima to the point of exhaustion. I spend two days testing with IS on and IS off as I was looking at the 70-200 f4 non is and my conclusion was this.

    95% of my shooting is open air daytime and the 70-200 has served me well to date being about 3 months now. In daylight when shutter speed can be maintained, there is limited value in IS I would suggest, I have a pretty steady hand.

    However; I have found that in poorer light such as under an arena on a cloudy day I think I could have benefited from IS with the f4 lens copy. Still shooting with my 400D which also makes it a challenge in low light as I find anything over ISO 400 to be a very weak point noise wise with the 400D.

    If I had the extra cash at the time, yes; I would buy IS, but i was on a very tight budget and the lens was an exceptional buy. Am I disappointed I did not go the extra for IS, no defantely not - but I re-iterate, 95% or even more is outside in day light.

    If you have the cash for IS, I beleive it is worth the money - more keepers. I really recommend to try and play with a lens for a bit, IS on & IS off to see if it suits your style of photograhy and skill.

    My understanding, IS will assist with camera shake but will not stop motion blur of the subject. If the shutter speed is fast enough, I don't think IS will make a heap of difference.

    There are plenty of other very experienced photographers on this site that can give value comments so allow some time for them to add there posts.
    Thanks Mike that is all really handy to know.
    I'm thinking 95% of my shooting will be in low/poor light. The sprintcars are at night..weddings (churches) but motorx sunny - but again can be overcast.
    I'm thinking now i am leaning towards the IS from what everyone has said and what i would be using it for.

    I guess is hard to know what you are missing until you have something to compare it with too. Today i put my tammy on..now its the first time i have had it on my camera since i for the 24-70..and i have always LOVED it thought it was the ducks nuts..and then today i was like hmm its so slow and noisy now..yet i NEVER thought that before..but in comparsion the 24-70 is so much smoother and quieter..i really was quite shocked at the difference. Of course i know they aren't in the same catergory..but i guess my point was i never new what i was missing until today!

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    if your shutter speed is over 1/200s you are wasting money, you should turn IS off anyhow
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    "Is it worth paying the extra for IS?".....in a word "YES". you can always switch the IS off, but if you don't have it you CAN'T switch it ON
    Richard
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

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    Quote Originally Posted by rwg717 View Post
    "Is it worth paying the extra for IS?".....in a word "YES". you can always switch the IS off, but if you don't have it you CAN'T switch it ON
    Richard
    hahaha i never thought of it like that!

    Kiwi thanks for that - the more i think about it the likely hood the shutter speed will be lower than that is high..so it probably would be of some use.

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    70-200 F/2.8 IS is my #1 lens and I would be lost without the IS. As stated above... Plenty of light you can do without it but if it's cloudy or in a dark church etc it's a must have... Loooove this lens. the only one I have that's better is my 135 F/2.

    Hope this helps
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    Ausphotography Regular bobt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inspired View Post
    When you do use it what do you use it for? Do you use it in low light? how do you find it?
    I use it mainly in daylight - and I don't use it in low light because it is the f4 not 2.8 version and it doesn't have IS. Personally I wouldn't use it for weddings anyway - it's too long for my liking, a wider lens is better suited. I was using it today actually, and I found the short end a bit limiting in some photos, but great for longer stuff.

    As I said, it really comes down to your individual style and preference - me, I find it too big and heavy for a lot of my photography so it doesn't actually get a huge amount of use.

    Your brand of photography sounds a bit different to mine, so you may well get a lot more use out of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMac View Post
    70-200 F/2.8 IS is my #1 lens and I would be lost without the IS. As stated above... Plenty of light you can do without it but if it's cloudy or in a dark church etc it's a must have... Loooove this lens. the only one I have that's better is my 135 F/2.

    Hope this helps
    Yes this definatley helps! Thank you!
    After what everyone has said i'm thinking i definatley need the IS and it will be well worth the extra $$.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobt View Post
    I use it mainly in daylight - and I don't use it in low light because it is the f4 not 2.8 version and it doesn't have IS. Personally I wouldn't use it for weddings anyway - it's too long for my liking, a wider lens is better suited. I was using it today actually, and I found the short end a bit limiting in some photos, but great for longer stuff.

    As I said, it really comes down to your individual style and preference - me, I find it too big and heavy for a lot of my photography so it doesn't actually get a huge amount of use.

    Your brand of photography sounds a bit different to mine, so you may well get a lot more use out of it.
    I think i would use it quite alot with the sporting it will come in handy being able to have that length. and in all honesty the thought of using it for a wedding appeals to me! lol.
    The 24-70 is great don't get me wrong but i felt i had to get in 'too close' to get the shots i wanted and therefore i did scarafice some as i didn't want to get in the way. I kinda feel with the 70-200 i can still get in there without having to actually be 'in there' within reason obviously as i dont want people obstructing the shot. Then ideally i would also like a wider lens for the shots of all the guest etc as the 24-70 isn't wide enough. However i did find the 24-70 perfect for the "formals/family' shots.

    So i'm thinking if i did end up going down the weddings path i would use the 70-200 and a wider lens (which i haven't looked into yet) for ceremony and the 24-70 for formals.
    Although i figure i would still use the 70-200 even if i dont do weddings for my personal things (eg capturing the other half racing, and the brother-in-laws etc).

    So i guess now my question is IS the II (newer model) alot better than the orignal model. (by the time i decide this one will be gone and i will have no choice! lol) but just incase..in the long run am i better off with the new improved II IS? as i don't really understand what new features it has that makes it better.

    Thank you so much to everyone who has replied i really appreciate it

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    Hi Nicole,
    I hope you stretch to the 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II. This lens focuses faster, sharper and more quietly than its predecessor. This is probably Canon's best zoom lens to date!
    As several other people have said, you can turn the IS off. However, it is great to have it as an option when shooting candids, at a reasonable distance, of relaxed,unsuspecting wedding guests or grand-children at play in lower light situations.... There are so many great opportunities for wildlife shots in the early morning or evening if using a 1.4x and IS turned on when you don't have time to set up a tripod even if you've lugged one along.
    It takes lovely mid and tight portraits on a 7D (it would on your 50D which is also a 1.6 crop factor body) or whole body portraits on a full-frame camera.
    Even though it means adding even more weight, I would consider attaching a BG-E2N battery grip. This setup feels better balanced to me and you can fire off many more rapid bursts or brackets.
    I don't know if it is important to you, but I've been told that only the IS versions of the 70-200 lenses are weather-sealed.

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    The MTF charts show the technical differences, but the older version is so good, that I doubt most of us will notice the difference.
    Remember when looking at those charts, that for most portrait or wedding stuff you will be using a shallow DOF to blur the background and pop the subject, so sharpness at the edges of the frame is totally irrelevant.
    THe best thing about the new model, is that is reduced the price of the old one.
    If you think it's expensive now, when we bought ours about 5-6 yr ago, the retail was $4K, and you could only get them from CAnon pro shops, which were few and far between. We ended up paying about $2700 as a grey import from Digital Rev. Since then, the interwebz has broken down all the old rules, and now they are very affordable.
    If you are stretched to buy it, go the IS, but don't beat yourself up to get the new one.
    It does not have to be the best, it just needs to be a good 'un !!

    Just because something has been superceded, does not mean it is worthless or useless.

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    I had the same dilema when buying my 70-200 f4.

    I eventually decided to get the IS version and really, it's been very well worth the extra bickies. I rarley use a tripod, and in low and marginal light, the having the IS on gives me shots that are just a blur without it.

    I'd say absolutely, go for the IS if possible.

    Cheers,
    Jason.
    P.S. I went with the f4 over the f2.8 as it is reputedly (correctly or not) a sharper lens.

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