F4 IS vs F2.8 non IS

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by cgennoe, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. cgennoe

    cgennoe TPF Noob!

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    Hey!

    I understand that Image Stabilization provides the equivalent of 2-3 stops faster exposures when hand holding shots due to the benefits of IS technology...my question pertains to faster non IS lenses:

    A F2.8 lens aperture is, of course, faster than a F4. However, if a F4 lens has IS built in, is it correct to say that that lens is 'faster' than a non IS F4 because one would be able to hand hold a shot at a slower shutter speed than one would be able to with a non IS 4F? Typically IS lenses are noted for their ability to reduce camera shake, but does that actual benefit translate into what we coin the benefit of owning a 'faster' lens with a larger aperture: specifically being able to take a longer exposure handheld?

    The reason I ask this question is because I am planning to backpack throughout Asia coming up...I had planned to take the 24-105 F4L IS and the 70-200 F4L IS b/c of knowing that I will be handholding most shots.
    I recently posted another thread about this endeavour and many responded encourging me to purchased a wide angle lens. What I am now thinking of buying is the 16-35 2.8 L and combine it with possibly the 24-70 2.8L.
    I love shooting sunsets and am wondering which would be better suited:
    an F4 with IS or a F2.8 non IS

    Thanks for your thoughtful response!!

    -Colin
     
  2. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    A lot depends on the subject matter. Remember that IS/VR helps only with camera movement. IF you're taking shots of something that either doesn't move or doesn't move significantly (like a sunset), then IS/VR is the better solution. However, IS/VR doesn't do a thing for subject movement and, for that, you need a larger aperture to support a faster shutter speed. One last complicating factor (that does not apply to sunsets) is Depth of Field. I like portrait shots with minimal DoF and, in that case, the IS/VR again does nothing. In your case, I'd say get the ID.

    I wish only that Budweiser would introduce a VR beer can!
     
  3. FidelCastrovich

    FidelCastrovich TPF Noob!

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    On a backpacking trip, stick with f4. You're not working there, so there's no reason to lug around professional equipment. The difference between f2.8 and f4, multiplied by number of lenses, can be significant when you're hiking up some mountain with 40lbs of gear.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ^^^^ what he said ^^^^

    Both are wonderful lenses. I sold my f/2.8 IS simply because of weight and taking the fun out of shooting.

    I generally go towards, light weight zooms and a set of primes for low light (both with high IQ of course). Planning ahead of time.
     
  5. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    I have not shot too many sunsets with my 70-200 f/2.8L IS but do apreciate the larger aperature and shutterspeed that it provided over my 24-105 f/4L IS. Get the larger aperature if you think you will need it. The IS part can be cured with good shooting technique or a monopod/tripod. Really down to your shooting style and subject matter as to which lens is best suited. They all provide excellent quality, but are they the right lens. If say you are shooting monks kung-fuing at Shoalin...the f/2.8 might be better suited. I had the 70-200 f/4L but the f/2.8L IS puts it to shame. Wieght is an issue, but if its maximum IQ you are after; there is no alternative to such a versatile zoom.
     
  6. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    On a strictly inage quality basis generally the 2.8 is going to be beter than the f/4. I will let you decide on the weight issue as I see others have tried to make that decision for you. Of course a 2.8 is going to be heavier but it is because the elements are larger and generally the body of the lens is better constructed.
     
  7. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would probably go for the f4 IS, one stop is only so important, and you can always boost the ISO and run it through NoiseNinja later.
     
  8. JIP, with all due respect, that info was apparently pulled straight from your butt :wink:. The f/4 lens is also one of Canon's L line, and is considered one of its flagship lenses. The f/2.8 is a very different beast with a different purpose. It has a wider aperture, that does not make it a better lens though. It may be better suited to a photographer who wants a shallow DOF, but it is certainly not better in terms of image quality. The body construction is of the same quality, material, and manufacturing style.

    70-200 f/4 IS

    70-200 f/2.8

    Colin, do not believe the hype on IS - it's definitely handy, but not a cure-all. It certainly will not compensate 2-3 stops, maybe 1 stop most of the time... which is a lot already! Think about your style of shooting, and wonder if you need it. At 200mm it helps though.
     

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