I am chasing some advice from the many people that use the Canon 70-200mm zooms. I have been going round in circles looking at the F/4 IS, F/2.8 and F/2.8IS-II and trying to work out what I should get and what is affordable.
I currently have a 15-85mm and 50mm/1.8. I have generally been stuck to indoor photos (due to new bub) but want to branch out to take a lot more stuff outdoors, down the beach etc. As the bub grows up there is obviously going to be a lot more need for a telephoto when down the park etc.
The 70-200mm range seems to be a really good fit to go with my current equipment.
Up until last week I was 100% set on the F/4 IS. My parents live in Singapore and I can get a good price from a local shop there.
Then I borrowed a friends 70-200mm F/2.8 IS and it is an awesome piece of kit. I find the flaring quite bad, but otherwise couldn't fault it. Even in average outdoor light I could get shutter speeds fast enough to not require IS. The bokeh at F/4 is almost as good as F/2.8 and for my uses not worth the extra $1k. However as soon as you step indoors it is another ball-game and you absolutely need IS or a tripod.
As you all probably know, the F/4IS and F/2.8 are comparable in price, but the F/2.8IS-II is double the cost. I am not convinced as a hobbyist that is new to the game I can justify throwing this amount down on a lens, and if I decide that is what I need I will probably wait for the price to come down (if it ever does?).
What I am after is some advice in the following realms:
> For people with the F/4IS, what situations do you find yourself wanting the extra stop?
> For people with the F/2.8, what situations do you find yourself wanting IS or needing a tripod?
> For the price, I could get either the F/4IS or F/2.8 and an 85mm 1.8 prime at a later date for indoor sports/portraiture. Is this a better all-round option, or am I skimping in the wrong place and should just save for the 2.8IS?
Some real-world experience would be helpful as reading all the reviews just confuses me, as they are generally written by serious photographers who obviously like and use the best of the best.