Which Lens

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Tighearnach, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. Tighearnach

    Tighearnach TPF Noob!

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    Hi. I am currently looking to invest in a new lense but cant make my mind up on which one. It is between the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 USM and the 70-200mm f/4 IS USM.
    Because of the focal range I am hoping to use this lense for a range of things but especially for portraits and surfing photography. I live in Ireland and the surfing season takes place in the winter so it can be overcast and dark frequently. Also because I need as much length as possible I am also considering purchasing either the 1.4X or 2X extender and I know these bring the lens down by 1 or 2 stops which has me leaning towards the faster 2.8 lens.
    What I don’t know very much about is this Image Stabilisation. Is it worth buying the slower lense for image quality and will it offer better pics in low light situations when fast shutter speeds are necessary.

    Any help, advice on either lens, the multipliers or any lens I might not have thought of would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Tighearnach
     
  2. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    I would think the bigger aperature would outweigh the image stabilization. Put it on a tripod and IS is moot, at least for portraiture. For surfing you'll want reasonably fast shutter speeds for which the IS is again moot.

    Dave
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Both are fantastic lenses...no doubt about that.

    Having IS, is a great feature. I would certainly rather have it, than not. And if you buy a lens without IS, you will surely run into situations where you will wish that you did have it.

    It should be make clear that IS will not help to freeze subject motion. It will only help to reduce the effects of camera shake. A larger aperture, on the other hand, allows for a faster shutter speed which will help to freeze the action as well as fight camera shake blur.

    What camera do you have? The newer cameras are very good at high ISO...so you could use F4 and crank the ISO up to 1600, to get your shutter speed.

    Really, my honest advice would be to stretch your budget and get the 70-200 F2.8 L IS...and have the best of both worlds.
     
  4. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The trade off would seem to be an extra stop of DOF control vs. an extra stop of hand holdability. For sports, I would opt for the extras stop of speed since hand holdability doesn't do anything to help capture motion any better. Doesn't Canon make an f2.8 model with IS? That would give you the best of both worlds.
     
  5. Viperjet

    Viperjet TPF Noob!

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    I own the Tamron 70-300 f/4 (ish?) lens. I really like it, and if you can cope with the slightly high aperture for a telephoto, and without having IS, then it might be a good choice. It's only $150 and it has a pretty nifty "macro" function. It's not really true macro, but you can get pretty darn close to what you want to shoot.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    If I'm not mistaken, that lens is F4-5.6...which would mean that the max aperture at the long end of the zoom is F5.6....which lets in 4 times less light than F2.8...that's a big difference.
     
  7. Tighearnach

    Tighearnach TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I have a Sigma 70-300mm f/4(ish!) lens already also with token macro capabilities. Have to say quite happy with lens for price. But like Mike said 2.8 to 5.6 is a huge difference plus the image quality is supposed to be a step up from that price bracket lens.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    A step or two...the Canon 70-200 lenses are some of the best zoom lenses avaliable, in term of image quality. The 70-300 cheap lenses are inferior by a wide margin.
     
  9. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 2.8 is always the way to go. The IS will pretty much bring the F/4 up to the F/2.8 as far as shutter speed/holdability but inherently the 2.8 is going to be the sharper lens and whatever you gain with the IS you will make up with the speed of the 2.8.
     
  10. mylegacy412

    mylegacy412 TPF Noob!

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    get the 2.8
     
  11. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    get the 2.8 for sure. In sports photography, IS is much less useful than faster shutter speed.
     

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