To IS f/4 or no IS f/2.8?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by GrfxGuru, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. GrfxGuru

    GrfxGuru TPF Noob!

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    OK folks here is my dilema,

    I have a Canon EF 70-200 f/4L and love the lense, but as you can imagine in less than great light and slow shutter speeds hand held is a forget it, however I have found a mono-pod helps my cause without too much hassle.

    I also use a 24-104 f/4L IS and have to say I'm liking the IS on there, saved many a shot for me.

    But now I have reached a point of should I / shouldn't I with the 70-200. I am considering replacing it with either the f4 IS version or 2.8 non-IS (can't justify the 2.8 IS price). 2.8 I have heard can get heavy real fast, but the f4 with IS would weigh less and maybe give me back those slower stops. Opinions on this please...?

    And just to throw in the mix, is it even worth me considering replacing the f4? My local shop has offered a horrible trade in price for it so is the expense of the other lenses gonna give me something I can say "yeah thats where the money went" or just stay as I am and get used to the mono-pod? Gonna be used on a 30D b.t.w.

    Many thanks for any advice, comments, slaps in the face :)

    Regards,
    Peter Witham
     
  2. -spam-

    -spam- TPF Noob!

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    What do you plan to shoot with it?

    If you are going to shoot static things in low light, then get the f4 IS

    If you are going to shoot moving things in low light, get the f2.8 non IS
     
  3. aaronrider

    aaronrider TPF Noob!

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    If the decision is between the Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS and the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 non-IS then I would DEFINITELY go with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8.

    First off, if your shooting in low light, having a bright f/2.8 would totally make up for not having the IS like on the f/4. With the f/4 you will be working with slower shutter speeds in low light. With the f/2.8 you will get a lot more light through, thus, making up for not having IS.

    Second, you will be able to freeze motion in low light much better. You cant do that will the f/4. IS only helps with holding the lens steady, not with freezing motion.

    The f/2.8 will give you a better image. The f/4 is good, but the 2.8 is better. Overall you will be much better off with the f/2.8. Its an amazing lens.

    Its bigger than the f/4 of course, but it isnt all that bad. I shoot motocross and hand hold my large 1D MK 2 and the 2.8 for many hours at a time. You will love the 2.8.
     
  4. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Either way, if your local shop offered you a horrible trade-in price... go somewhere else :) or sell it on a forum or a certain auction site where you will almost certainly get more money for it which you can put towards the new lens.
     
  5. Stretch Armstrong

    Stretch Armstrong TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I agree. Don't trade it in. They will screw you. Consider selling it on ebay. Put the time in writing up a good ad.

    I watch ebay all the time especially looking at glass. I am constantly amazed at what used lenses go for, especially the L glass.

    I frequently see L lenses sell for more than what Amazon or B&H sell them for new. Go figure.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've been dealing with camera equipment for well over a decade. Each time I here a generalized statement like this, I just simply shake my head.

    I just posted this in another thread yesterday which is applicable here:

    -- START --
    The Canon 70-200mm f4L (IS or non-IS) is a wonderfully sharp lens and very compact. This is a good walk around lens. Its main advantage over the Canon 70-200mm f2.8L as well as the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 is its size and weight. The Canon 70-200mm f4L is practically half the weight 2/3rds the size. The f2.8 zooms (1310g and 1380g) are pretty darn heavy if you plan on packing them for long periods of time.... not enjoyable at all if it sits at home or on your aching back.

    If low-light is your concern, you are far better off with a fast prime with a max aperture of f1.4 or f1.8 (even a wide angle 35mm f2 is pretty darn easy to hand hold in low loight). The advantage is the fast aperture, compact size, and relatively low prices. You can pack both the 70-200 f4L (non-IS) AND 50mm f1.4 (I prefer 35mm on full frame) for about the same cost as the sigma.

    I like shooting low light.... f2.8 in a telephoto zoom is still pretty darn limiting.
    -- END --

    Btw... I own the 70-200mm f2.8 IS USM. Wonderful lens and one of the best in the Canon lineup for wedding photographers. I thoroughly enjoy the images it produces. Unfortunately for me, most of my shooting is done outdoors on foot for hours... days. Taking that lens means leaving more than just 1 other piece behind (size and weight).. a sacrifice I can't afford. For the weight and price the focal length is also kinda short. In low light, I'm better off with fast f1.8 or f1.4 primes. As a result, this lens stays home most of the time.

    My cousin shoots primarily portraits with the 70-200mm f4L. No doubt about it, it is significantly more packable and thus useable. It is every bit as sharp as the 70-200mm f2.8 at an aperture of f/4. The f/4's optics are known to maintain quality even at max aperture. The IS version of the f/4L is 4-stop which is a big advantage but only at static subjects. On the other hand, he has borrowed my lens on more than one occasion... mainly for his daughter's indoor sports events.
     
  7. GrfxGuru

    GrfxGuru TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for the advice, I very much appreciate you taking the time. I have to say I am leaning towards the 2.8. I have no plans for fast motion sports but would appreciate the possibility for fast subjects (cuz ya know some day you wish you had the extra speed) and low light can happen upon you when you least expect or desire it. However most low light I find myself in is not in a controlled environment when a tripod and low shutter are an option.

    And something that I forgot to consider was the brightness of the view finder and the AF speed from the extra light.

    Many thanks again, I suspect I will be looking to privately sell my current lens :)

    Regards,
    Peter Witham

    I find it most interesting that
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you do decide to dump the f4 and go to the f2.8, do not trade in. You will most likely not get a good return as most shops keep 20%. The L lens has a pretty good market out there and selling it yourself should be relatively painless.

    Since you mentioned that you like the IS on your 24-105mm f4L, perhaps the best option that fits your style of shooting is the 70-200 f4L IS.

    as a side note:
    The popular 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM is also a wonderful companion to the 24-105mm f4 L lens as well.
     
  9. GrfxGuru

    GrfxGuru TPF Noob!

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    usayit,

    Thanks for the pointers and suggestions, I can appreciate the primes as I have a 50mm that works just great but I really need a 70-200 to cover the range and hopefully leave me with two in the bag to cover most situations. With the 2.8 weight is certainly something that created the indecision, although I have to say I got used to the 24-105 which amazed me at how heavy it was (due to IS I guess).

    Maybe I'll try and hire the 2.8 and wander with it for a day or two and see how it settles with my less than bench pressed arms and back lol.

    Thanks again, all very valuable advice worthy of consideration.

    Regards,
    Peter Witham
     
  10. GrfxGuru

    GrfxGuru TPF Noob!

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    100-400mm f4.5-5.6L good point, I had not considered that, although is that not falling into the too slow category? IS I know would help correct my hand but too slow for "general" photography, say less than fast sports more than still scenes?

    Regards,
    Peter Witham
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The reason why I bring it up is that it is an extremely versatile lens in use... and you've been shooting just fine with your 24-105 at a max aperture of f/4. About the same cost as the lenses you mentioned but you have 2x the focal length as a major advantage. I have shot outdoor sports events with it on a monopod with no issues. Now I'm not saying that it is a low-light performer... just another option depending on what you shoot. For wildlife and sports, the 200mm focal length is a bit short. In most situations I consider low light, anything over 150mm is going to be a bit difficult to shoot even at f2.8.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you think 24-105 is heavy, you should feel the 24-70mm f2.8 which is the companion to the 70-200mm f2.8. Its heavier by about (300g) and shorter in focal length... hell.. the 70-200mm f2.8 is going to be a wake up call for you. Your lens is 705g, the 70-200mm f2.8L is 1310g, and the 70-200mm f2.8L IS is a heafty 1590g.

    renting on would be a great idea.

    No problem... advice is what we are here for.


    Speaking of primes... you should rent the 135mm f2L for a day. It is the fastest prime in that focal area and OMG.. the image quality is absolutely stunning... it will put most zooms in that focal length to shame...
     

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