Talk Me Out of the 70-200 2.8 IS


No longer a newbie, moving up!
May 22, 2013
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Omaha, NE
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I have my eye set on the 70-200 2.8 IS. I like to shoot our dogs at the park, I love the zoo, and I really love portraiture... nothing truly warranting the price tag because I don't do this professionally. So why buy this lens? Why not the 4.0 IS? Why not the 70-300? Somebody talk some sense into me.
The only draw back are the weight and cost. If you have no problem with that, why not?
That's the issue... Is it really worth the cost? My fear is that I'll buy the 4.0 and miss that extra stop of aperture.

It would definitely be the mk2.
BUY it

you will not regret it......

i use it for portraits ALLLL the time
And when low light situations arise,you will be glad of the 2.8. If I had that in my budget I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.
Have you considered a slight compromise with the sigma 70-200 f/2.8 IS? I have only heard good things about it, and it is half the price of its OEM counterparts.
Great suggestion above.Also about a grand or a little more cheaper as said already.
Don't buy it. Over rated, over weight, over cost and its white
Have you concidered the 2.8L NON IS version? Have fast lens, but for conciderable less money. I have that lens and can say I dont regret buying the NON-IS version. I love it.
I've read just a bit about the Sigma. What I've seen is that it holds its own despite slight color fringing and heavy vignetting at longer focal lengths. But people were concerned with the build quality. I travel quite a lot, so that concerns me. Do you have any experience with the lens? Maybe you can speak to the build quality?

@Darkshadow, you're right. It's all about the light!
Have you concidered the 2.8L NON IS version? Have fast lens, but for conciderable less money. I have that lens and can say I dont regret buying the NON-IS version. I love it.

Do you really not miss the IS? It almost doubles the price... Do you have to rely on a tripod during lower light situations?
What's your current lens (if any) that covers this focal length? What are its drawbacks/disadvantages, that make you want to change.

Have you tried out the four versions of the 70-200 in a camera shop; the 70-200 2.8 IS II is heavy, which may make it harder to live with than the lightweight 70-200 4 non-IS (though that's a very personal thing). Or, rent one for a weekend.

Make sure you have good insurance, and any Canon lens should still get you back 70+% of what you paid for it should you decide to sell it on.
Weird thing...about six years ago, I bought this lens, the 70-200/2.8 L IS USM. I normally just left the IS "on" all the time. Then one day, I switched it off. And I shot with it off for about a month on my 5D all the while, thinking it was ON! "Do'ah!" So...I discovered that I'm actually pretty steady without IS on. And, I guess also, I discovered that in normal situations, I didn't really need Image Stabilizer. Anyway. The conventional wisdom used to be that the 70-200 2.8 L, the NON-IS model, was better optically than the IS model. The newest f/4 model, the one with IS, is a lens my buddy MSW has--and it is really sweet! Light, compact, and well-balanced on either 60D or 7D, with or without battery grip. He got the 70-200 4 L IS USM for $750 off of Craigslist, and it was immaculate.
In my view the 70-200mm f2.8 L - IS (which is now not produced and only sold second hand) - and IS MII (which is the newest with the highest price tag) - all those 3 lenses are fantastic options.

They are bigger and heavier, but I'd class the weight as one that, with time and good use, you can easily come to grow used to using. And I say that as a person who is not heavily muscled in the least. As for price and if its worth it, honestly I can only say yes. It's a fantastic lens range on offer. If you want the f2.8 - if you want the IS - if you want the MII (which can take up to a 2*Teleconverter and perform on par with the 100-400mm) then by all means go for it

The f4 offer great image quality (the f4 IS is actually better than the f2.8 IS original and would be second after the new IS MII) and a much smaller more compact size. It's a good lens certainly and well worth considering - especially if size and weight are really important for you.

Try them out in a shop or ask around a local camera club to see if you can just have a feel and a look at them.

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