Canon EF 70-200 f/4L ???

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by beaminge36, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. beaminge36

    beaminge36 TPF Noob!

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    Hey, I am interested in shooting some of the sports at my college along with random wildlife and I want a longer lens for portraiture. With the fast shutter speeds for freezing action in sports and wildlife, is the IS feature really important or can I get away with the non-IS version? With the f/4L being really light compared to the f/2.8L, I feel like the "handholdability" of the lens would be very good. Basically, is the 70-200 f/4L a solid lens for the intended purposes or should I hold out for the 2.8L (which is so heavy I feel the IS version is almost needed) which would go take me from $600 to $1700. I like the range and i love quality things but I just dont htink i can justify spending the money on the 2.8L IS as a beginning hobbyist. Any thoughts are appreciated,

    Nick
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't think IS will be very useful for sports (might help for panning though)... IS will only help you with camera shake, it won't do anything for players running around.

    I have the f/4 (non-IS) model, it's a great lens. Will you be going to night games? f/4 might be too slow for that, but it should do fine in daylight.
     
  3. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think that the f/4 would be a good choice, it is a really fantastic lens. for portraits I find myself shooting between 70-100ish, so at that length and situation IS is really unnecessary, and f/4 gives plenty shallow DOF, at those focal lengths The f/4 version has exceptional sharpness wide open.

    For sports, most cases IS is not that useful, and F/4 will be fine in most lighting(don't be afraid of ISO 1600-3200[H])

    You won't be disappointed. Even if you do find yourself pushing it to its limits and want to upgrade sometime in the future, the f/4 still maintains most of its value used.

    You may not be too happy with the 70-200 f/4 for wildlife however, depending on what you want to shoot, 200 is often too short, You can use the canon teleconverters but you loose a lot of light so the 2.8 is a better candidate for that application. However it sounds like you are more interestied in casual shooting while hiking, canping or a day at the the zoo, In which case its lightweight, reasonably versital focal range and fairly compact size(compared to the 2.8, or any long telephoto prime) make it a very good choice.

    I really enjoy my 70-200 f/4 and havent looked back once, so go for it, maybe try to grab one up used if yo ucan find one cheap, I commonly see them used for around $500, but I got a steal on creigslist for $325, so sometimes you get lucky.

    Have fun and happy shooting,
    Ryan
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For the most part I agree with RyanLilly - for a casual use the f4 version of the lens if good - and it will still work well with the 1.4 teleconverter with almost no loss of quality and still autofocus. As a generalist lens its brilliant.
    Like Lilly I think you are not overly keen on the wildlife from your post - though if this is different and its a keen area for you then you do really need to aim for the f2.8 variety since 200mm is rather short. With a 1.4teleconverter its a great lens for zoos and such where distance is not a problem - out in the field its a bit more limiting at times - not impossible of course

    depends greatly on your camera body though - I know that I don't ever go above ISO 800 on my 400D because of the noise and ISO 400 is my general cap.
     
  5. beaminge36

    beaminge36 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the responses. You are all right. Wildlife is not my main priority. I just want to be able to shoot the occasional bird or other small animals at the park or an occasional trip to the zoo. I dont think going out in the field will be something I will do any time soon. By comparison in size and weight its about half of the 2.8L so I think im pretty set on the f/4L.

    As far as ISO 1600-3200 goes, not really an option. I tried some night shots of tennis players practicing (on a lit court, not well lit but still stadium lights) with my 50/1.4 and i had it at 1600 (350D) and they came out noisy. I also had the lens stopped down to 2.8 and unless the subject was in the same plane the shallow DOF was apparent. With a 70-200 i can't see myself shooting wider the f/4 so unless I get a 1D with good noise at high iso's, use a flash or go to a professional tennis match in a properly lit court i will be staying away from night shots.

    Thanks again,
    Nick
     
  6. beaminge36

    beaminge36 TPF Noob!

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    Does anyone think the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM is worth it? It goes for $800 from b&h and dpreview had a good rating. Just curious if anyone had compared the two?
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    I considered the 70-200mm F4...but I knew that if I compromized and didn't get the F2.8 or the IS...that I would regret it sooner or later...and probably every time I used the lens in less that perfect light. It was expensive, but I held out and got the 70-200mm F2.8 L IS....so know I know that I have the best tool for the job (discounting prime lenses) and I don't have to regret that I didn't get the better lens at the time.

    If you are shooting sports, then I'd recommend F2.8 above all else. If that means that you have to get the Sigma (or the new Tamron) then so be it. I do know that the Sigma is said to be pretty good but it doesn't quite stack up to the Canon L lenses...but it is half the price.
     
  8. Jon0807

    Jon0807 TPF Noob!

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    I had a hard time making the same choice but I finally decided to hold off till I have enough for the 2.8 IS. I'd be shooting quite a bit of low light/hand held shots so it was important for me to have both the 2.8 and the IS. I too loved the weight and sized of the 4 but I'm willing to sacrifice comfort for performance.
     
  9. beaminge36

    beaminge36 TPF Noob!

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    Dammit, everybody was all about the f/4L until you 2.8ers showed up and got me all screwed up again. Haha. I too feel that if I get the f4 i will regret not getting the 2.8L IS but then again i just dont think i can justify spending the 1700, at least not yet. I've only been at this for a month now (minus highschool photo class and helpin my dad when he went through his phaze over ten yrs ago). If im still as into photogaphy a year from now as I am now I'll fork over the money. Hopefully by that time i'll have a camera body that isnt 4 times lighter then the lens alone. I think this way i'll have the f/4 which is easy to carry around and take on vaca and then if im serious enough get the 2.8 for photo only outtings. Anyway, thanks for helpin me process my thoughts and vent out my frustration with choosing a lens.

    Nick
     
  10. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I am going to be another of those f2.8er's that you were complaining about. I shoot a lot of sports at the college level. Unless you plan on shooting only in daytime light you will regret not having the faster glass for sports.

    IS is virtually worthless for sports photography. The only area it can help is in panning, and with a little practice panning can be done just as well with out IS. People have been doing it for years.

    As for pushing the ISO up. You have two choices, a blurry photograph, which in sports photography is #1 Un-recoverable in post processing and #2 Unacceptable for general sports photography.

    Your second choice id to push your ISO with the understanding that #1, it is recoverable, at least to a degree in postprocessing. I prefer Noise Ninja but there are several programs out there. #2 A sharp shot with some noise is acceptable. Plus, take a noisy photo and print it out. You would be amazed how much of the visual noise does not transmit to print.

    Finally, I shoot the Canon 70-200 f2.8 and love it. I have also shot the Sigma version as a test for the store owner of my local photography shop when he started carrying it. The Sigma is sharp, responsive, with quick auto focus with the HSM motor. Plus it is around $800 new. A great lens of for the sports shooter on a budget. The Sigma I tested ended up going to a shooter in college that shoots high school sports for the state sports publication. He is quite happy wiith it. Good luck.
     
  11. Crimsonandwhite

    Crimsonandwhite TPF Noob!

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    Well you can look below and see my gear and see thay I too went through this process just about 2 months ago! I choose to go with the f/4 and this is the reason why......on eBay a used f/4 is $550, brand new it is $600 on Amazon with free shipping. IT HOLDS ITS VALUE, so when I am ready to upgrade or I have made enough money with the f/4, I will eBay it and upgrade, but there is no sense not having an extremely awesome lens like the f/4 while you save for the 2.8....get the f/4 you will not be dissappointed at all, its awesome! DO NOT WASTE your money on a Sigma, that would be a mistake of massive proportions!

    This will get you the best of both worlds....
     
  12. beaminge36

    beaminge36 TPF Noob!

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    I hear you on the pushing the ISO. Thats why I did max i out when I shot the night time practice because I'd choose noise over blur anytime. Do you find having the 2.8 wide open causing too shallow of a DOF? I mean $1000 or so I can still spend (in conjunction with gift money) without feeling too guilty but then the shear size of the thing seems like it would be ultra cumbersome and get way too tiring to hold throughout a game unless i just bring my tripod in which case size means nothing. But then when it comes to portraits, i know if i were getting my picture taken and someone puts a monster like that in front of my face I would feel a little intimidated. I guess I would just have to grow some balls and not give a sh*t what people think as long as I leave with a good photograph.
     

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