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Thread: CANON EF 70-200MM F 4.0 L USM or IS USM ?

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    Member David's Avatar
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    CANON EF 70-200MM F 4.0 L USM or IS USM ?

    EDIT : THE HEADING IS WRONG... I AM INQUIRING ABOUT THE 2.8 VERSION OF THE 70-200MM , NOT THE 4.0 VERSION.

    I have been looking at the 2.8 70-200mm lens options and discovered that there is several hundred dollars difference in the price of the IS v non IS versions (not to mention the new II version of the IS model which is much more expensive again).

    I have found a 2.8 USM version in the US for 980.00 US which compares favourably to the roughly 1,700 you would pay for one in Australia so I am tempted to buy it but I am wondering what people think about the IS v the non IS versions..is it worth the wait to collect enough money to buy the IS version or go with the non IS version. Context questions below:

    What body am I running it off ? the 50D with 1.6 crop.

    What do I already have in 2.8 range ? None: What do I have in IS Lenses ? 24-105mm IS USM 4.0; and other lenses in the 70-200mm range ? a 100-400mm L 4.0.

    What photography do I do most ? Landscapes> Why look for new lenses then, you already have gr8 landscape lenses with those and your 10-22mm Canon ? Well sooner rather than later I am widening my genres to nature and wildlife photography and portrait photography.

    For general walk around without tripod stuff I use the 24-105mm with the IS giving me roughly 2 stops of advantage but at times the limited focal length and 4.0 is too short or too slow so I am thinking the 2.8 70 -200mm will be longer and faster than both of my current L lenses in that range.

    The logical question then is how often do I shoot in low light conditions ? Rarely except when I am deep in a rainforest and want to shoot wiildlife moving about in there under the canopy of a deep shaded area....that is where I come unstuck with my current gear.

    Naive me is thinking that the 50D could handle a bump in ISO up 2 stops and that would help combined with the 2.8 speed to overcome any 'disadvantage' from NOT having an IS version...so I think ok, well its going to be rare and you can cover the loss in other ways.

    But now I am thinking of moving human subjects indoors and NOT using a flash but how often do you want to do unplanned happy snaps of family/friends at parties anyway and if you are doing serious portrait work a couple of flashes and lighting tricks would overcome any non IS loss of performance in that context too.

    Think I have convinced myself in my circumstances I can do without the IS version and go with the one I have found on Ebay.

    Footnote: I am aiming to get a 100mm 2.8 lens in the near future as well.

    Thoughts.. suggestions welcome
    Last edited by David; 08-06-2010 at 6:51am.
    Comments and CC welcome..

    Gear: Canon 6D & 1Ds Cameras l Canon EF 17-40mm F 4.0 L USM l Canon EF 24-105mm F4.0 L IS USM l Canon EF 70 - 200 F4.0 L USM Lenses I Manfrotto Tripods I Adobe Photoshop CS6 l Lightroom 3.0 I Lee Filters



    "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust 1871 - 1922

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    I think you've worked out what you want!
    Mic

    Photography is the art of telling stories with light.

    www.michaelgoulding.com

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    I don't trouble to remember so much about the 70-200s as that's not a focal length range I've ever desired for myself - but I do recall that the old 2.8 IS was well-regarded and the new one is apparently quite superb.

    I honestly can't imagine why anyone would have a non-IS lens when there is an IS version of the same thing available, but I guess you know your own mind.
    Tony

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    PS: I assume that you have studied The Digital Picture reviews? You can place a lot of faith in those - it's by far the best lens review site on the web. http://the-digital-picture.com/Revie...ns-Review.aspx

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    I went for the f4 IS, and using brighter primes indoors (Sigma 50/1.4 and may get 85).. Really 2.8 isn't that bright anyway for non flash use (esp without IS), I normally find I want faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joele View Post
    I went for the f4 IS, and using brighter primes indoors (Sigma 50/1.4 and may get 85).. Really 2.8 isn't that bright anyway for non flash use, I normally find I want faster.

    good man, exactly the same reason as to why I use a F4 IS for wedding work too. Most of the time even f2.8 doesnt cut it in low light for receptions and ceremonies etc, so a prime tele is invaluable.

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    David's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    PS: I assume that you have studied The Digital Picture reviews? You can place a lot of faith in those - it's by far the best lens review site on the web. http://the-digital-picture.com/Revie...ns-Review.aspx
    I have read a few reviews, another one recommended by you will be well worth a look, thanks.

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    70-200 2.8 or 4

    Hello all, I realise this is a fairly old thread, but I am getting more and more confused. I have been looking at the 70-200mm lenses for some time, but I really don't know which one would suit me best - it certainly won't be the latest model at + or - $3,000.
    My main problem is the weight of the 2.8. I have to admit that as I am over 70, this is an important issue. I don't do sports photography, and I want to be able to carry my camera gear without using a porter. Should I go for the f4 IS, as a substitute for the faster lens.
    The lens will be used on a 5D Mk.11.
    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Toni

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    well guys i just bought a second hand 70-200 f2.8 IS lens of eBay for $1900.00 and i love it. I wanted the IS for low light conditions as well as the f2.8 as I shoot in low light and don't want to use a flash if i can. Yes it is heavy so if weight is an issue then the f4 lens would be much more suited.
    I figured its better to have IS because there will be times you get a great shot and yet it will be blurry and u will be wishing you had spent the extra to get that clear shot.

    As for increasing ISO I always think its better to keep it low as possible as you can just for that sharper image.

    You mentioned to regarding buying from America, be careful you don't get stung with import tax. Most times the IS f2.8 lens sells on eBay in Australia for around 1700 to 2100, you just have to be patient to pay what you want. If your still unsure you can always hire one for a day before you shell out all yr cash.

    Sorry I forgot to say what type of photos I take, portraits, weddings, landscape, random images...Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by rafikicat View Post
    Hello all, I realise this is a fairly old thread, but I am getting more and more confused. I have been looking at the 70-200mm lenses for some time, but I really don't know which one would suit me best - it certainly won't be the latest model at + or - $3,000.
    My main problem is the weight of the 2.8. I have to admit that as I am over 70, this is an important issue. I don't do sports photography, and I want to be able to carry my camera gear without using a porter. Should I go for the f4 IS, as a substitute for the faster lens.
    The lens will be used on a 5D Mk.11.
    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Toni
    Toni, I have both at the moment. The f/2.8 definately gives more options, but for the use you've outlined,, and with regard to your age you mentioned......... you wont be getting younger, and I mean that in a nice way it sounds like the f/4 IS would suit you far better.

    Not much point going the f/2.8 if it's not going to end up on the end of your camera very often.

    Is there a retailer close by to have a hands-on with both ?

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    Thanks for the comments - I'm definitely leaning towards the lighter one. The thought of cross-country skiing with many kilos on my back, as well as lunch is not very pleasant.
    Toni
    Last edited by rafikicat; 30-07-2010 at 2:31pm. Reason: more text

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