Canon: 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM or 70-200 f/4 L?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bazooka, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. bazooka

    bazooka No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd appreciate if you guys with experience with either of these lenses would help me out. I'm debating which one I should get.

    I like the extra reach of the 300, but not if the quality turns to crap after 200mm. Would I be better off getting the L and buying an extender later on? Would the quality at the long end with an extender on the L be equivalent to the 70-300 at 300mm? Are there other options for this focal length that I haven't found?

    Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I had the same debate a few months ago.

    It comes down to what you need the lens for. I needed a new telephoto for a month trip in Australia, so I went with the extra reach and the IS of the 300. While the 200 f/4 is an amazingly sharp lens, I know my hands arent the steadiest so I went with the IS on the 300. Its also less noticable and a bit more compact/lighter me thinks.

    After the debate about IS, it was between the 70-300 or the 70-200 f/4 IS. As the f/4 was out of my price range right now,and I still had an immediate need, I went with the 300.

    There are Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 lenses that are supposed to be decent, but I never used one.

    Here is a photo I shot a few days after I got the lens at 300mm. ISO 800, 1/25, f/5.6. Minimal post processing done on the shot, slight crop of the original. Not the best shot, but I'm happy with it.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No contest for me 70-200 every time i have used it with a 1.4x but that was 5 years ago on a 10D never tried it on my 1D because i have other lenses that will do better than the 70-200 fitted with a 1.4 fitted, personally now i wouldn't use a telecoverter on a zoom i only use them on my primes now
     
  4. bazooka

    bazooka No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I guess that's one vote for each. Hehe, thanks for the input guys, I hope to get more. Big, have you at any time been a bit disappointed in the quality of images, especially at the long end? I dont' know much about lens quality issues like the different types of abberation and distortion, but I guess I probably will eventually and don't want to wake up one day and look at the photo's i've been taking with newfound knowledge and think "Wow, look at all that chromatic abberation! This lens sucks!" Ya know what I mean?
     
  5. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It should be .. Do I want extra sharpness or IS with extra reach?

    If extra sharpness is more important to you, then the L lens. If extra reach with IS is more important .... you know. ..
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The IS version is certainly the best of the many 70-300mm lenses...but most of them are pretty terrible, so it's not much of a competition.

    The 70-200mm L lenses are sometimes said to be the sharpest zoom lenses around. So if it's top end image quality that you are looking for, the 70-200mm is the way to go.

    I can't say if you would be disappointed with the 70-300 IS or not. It might be just fine for you (as long as you never compare it directly to the 70-200mm ;) )
     
  7. sinjans

    sinjans TPF Noob!

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    LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

    stands for "LOOK" i have a white lens. Go L all the way.
     
  8. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Definatly, hands down, the 70-200 is way better in terms of sharpness... its an L lens after all.

    Have I been disappointed? Well, considering I'm taken a total of about 20 shots with it, my experience is very limited.

    But I'm happy enough with what I have seen to suit my needs for my trip. A 70-200 f/4 IS is still top of my list though, and if I did not have this trip coming up, I would of picked that up over the 70-300. But immediate needs and available cash made me lean to the 70-300.

    If you don't need a lens right now, save up the cash and get the IS version of the f/4. I don't think you'll regret it. I have some friends who picked up the 70-200 f2.8 non IS and brought it back... one upped to the f/2.8 with the IS ($500 more) and the other opted for the f/4 IS (similar price to f/2.8 non IS).

    So again, if you have the cash now, get the f/4 IS with extender. If you don't have a pressing need, wait to have more money. The 70-300 is not a pro lens, the 70-200 f4 IS and non IS are pro lenses.
     
  9. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What will you be shooting with it ? if sports you don't need IS
     
  10. bazooka

    bazooka No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Tried to reply 3 times but the site seems to be having problems... thanks for the help guys. I just bought an f/4 L on adorama in E+ condition. I really don't think I need IS as I'll be doing most of my "real" shooting from a tripod.
     
  11. Tighearnach

    Tighearnach TPF Noob!

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    I have the 70-200 f/4 and its an amzing lens. I cant compare it to the other lens as i have never used it but i notice the difference in IQ between this lens and my 18-50 f/2.8 and my 50mm f/1.8. Its streets ahead. I plan on buying a 1.4 converter soon to complement it.
     
  12. RPCameraMan

    RPCameraMan TPF Noob!

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    Whatever you decide on, make sure you check for Canon Camera Deals at techbargains.com. I have used them for other camera purchases and it has saved me a bunch of money.
     

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