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Rumors => Lenses => Topic started by: heidi.nelson on March 18, 2013, 11:33:09 AM

Title: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: heidi.nelson on March 18, 2013, 11:33:09 AM
I want to add a zoom lens to my lenses for my 5d Mark iii - mainly for family portraits, candids, and occasional landscape photography.  I currently have 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8 lenses --  I am considering the 70-200mm f/4L (that does not have IS but is an L-lens) or the 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM IS (that has IS but is not an L-lens) -- any suggestions or other lenses you would recommend would be great appreciated.  I am adding equipment as I expand my business and would really like to add a zoom lens as I currently have only primes.
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: RS2021 on March 18, 2013, 12:05:12 PM
I have a part-time photography business that I started about a year ago (mainly portraits of families and children, but I occasionally shoot some landscape photography).  I want to add a zoom lens to my lenses.  I just recently bought a Canon 5D Mark iii so obviously my old EF-S lenses are obsolete for my new camera.  The lenses I currently have are the 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8 --  I am considering the 70-200mm f/4L (that does not have IS but is an L-lens) or the 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM IS (that has IS but is not an L-lens) -- any suggestions or other lenses you would recommend would be great appreciated.  I am adding equipment as I expand my business and would really like to add a zoom lens as I currently have only primes.

Welcome Heidi.

This is not an uncommon question on CR... I would strongly suggest you also consider the 70-300L even though 70-200 f/4 is an excellent lens...the trade offs with 70-300L is the one stop reduction over ~100mm focal length ....but you gain marginally extra reach with the newer zoom up to 300mm. Probably will cost a couple of hundred more than the 70-200 f/4 but shop second hand and you may find a good deal...it is well worth it and will pair very well with the new 5D3. Also, the 5D3 will show up flaws in the non L variety which I hear is no match to the L-sibling.

IS on this zoom is also notably good and the images are wonderful be it on a crop or FF...take a look at the gallery pictures below:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=285.15 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=285.15)

It is almost universally a well-loved zoom by its owners.
Cheers!
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: heidi.nelson on March 18, 2013, 12:18:42 PM
Thank you so much for your quick response -- budget is a concern, but I will definitely also look into a used 70-300 L quality lens also -- how important would IS be for this lens...I know it adds a lot to the price...I was used to my EF-S zoom lenses with IS but have not used a lens with IS as of yet with my new Mark iii -- Again, thank you so much for the response.  I have been purchasing equipment as I go... :)
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: J.R. on March 18, 2013, 12:37:30 PM
You are unlikely to get a better value for money lens than the 70-200 f/4 (non-IS). It was my first L lens and since then I've purchased only Ls ... It's addictive.
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: RS2021 on March 18, 2013, 12:50:22 PM
Thank you so much for your quick response -- budget is a concern, but I will definitely also look into a used 70-300 L quality lens also -- how important would IS be for this lens...I know it adds a lot to the price...I was used to my EF-S zoom lenses with IS but have not used a lens with IS as of yet with my new Mark iii -- Again, thank you so much for the response.  I have been purchasing equipment as I go... :)

I see you actually specify the non-IS and I was working in my head with the IS version of 70-200L..in that case the difference is a couple of hundred between it and 70-300L... with the non-IS version the difference is more like $600 or so...almost twice the budget. I won't do it.

In this case the 70-200L non-IS is the best option; it can be had for ~$550 if you time the purchase well...it is a sharp lens and a great value. You won't miss anything other than the IS part in regular use.
Good luck!
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: heidi.nelson on March 18, 2013, 01:06:54 PM
Thanks for the responses -- Of course, I'd love to get an IS version (why I was looking at possibly the cheaper 70-300 USM version, etc.), but it's that darn budget issue -- I could always wait to purchase until I have more $$ for the IS version, but I am hoping to use it this summer...decisions, decisions.  After hearing both our your comments, I am definitely leaning towards the L lens.  This feedback is helping a lot -- I have never owned an L lens before so I don't yet know what I am missing.  With that being said, I would love to have one if I can still achieve sharpness/image quality without the IS, without a tripod, etc. I know there are so many variables.  I loved the IS on a past EF-S lens of mine, so I just get a little nervous on whether it is a must-have or not for nice, sharp portraits (I have a fairly steady hand, but I am often taking photos of children...and we live in a wooded area with lots of wildlife, too. :)  Thanks so much for the feedback.
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: unfocused on March 18, 2013, 01:47:44 PM
If you are in the U.S., I'd suggest renting for a week or so. Both of these lenses are inexpensive to rent from LensRentals.com. Maybe offer one of your past customers a free photo shoot, then take the lenses out and try them to judge for yourself.

The 70-200 L, in both IS and non-IS versions, shows up quite a bit on the Canon Refurbished site (again, assuming you are in the U.S.) Unfortunately, it seems like whenever they have one of the 15% off sales the lenses disappear, but if you act quickly, you may score one.

I'd also suggest you take a look through "Roger's Takes" on the LensRentals.com site for various lenses. His opinions are short and to the point. I'm not personally familiar with either of these lenses, but from what I have read the 70-300 non "L" is not as sharp as either the Canon 55-250 EF-S or the Tamron 70-300 VC, both of which are cheaper. I did own the Tamron, and had no complaints about it, but found myself lusting after the 70-300 L and ended up buying that one on a special sale about a year ago. It's obviously a much better lens, but then it's about three times as expensive too.
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: wickidwombat on March 21, 2013, 12:50:33 AM
do you need the zoom or the reach?
considered just picking up a 200 f2.8L
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/A0475-Canon-EF-200mm-f-2-8-L-II-USM-Lens-F2-8L-Gt-5Wt-/390340094258?pt=AU_Lenses&hash=item5ae2152932 (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/A0475-Canon-EF-200mm-f-2-8-L-II-USM-Lens-F2-8L-Gt-5Wt-/390340094258?pt=AU_Lenses&hash=item5ae2152932)

no IS either but it is a stop faster and is smaller and less conspicuous
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: greger on March 21, 2013, 05:44:26 AM
I have the 70-200 F4 IS USM and really like it. I have taken some pics that I am proud to show to friends. If you look at
online retailers used lenses you might find one for $979.95.00 US.
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: heidi.nelson on March 21, 2013, 09:36:07 AM
@shashinkaman, in defense the timing was right for me to purchase a new camera -- it will be something I will have for at least the next 5 years if not longer (my hope)...I am now working on adding to my lenses.  This has all been within the last few months.  I know it sounds backwards but I had a Rebel T1i before this camera...I've taken some beautiful photos from this camera, but the shutter speed was annoying at times as well as other features I did not have.  I take a lot of photos of babies and toddlers, and wanted a super fast shutter speed -- yes I could have bought a 7d or less, but I wanted a full-frame for various reasons...I looked extensively at the mark ii and 6D, but decided if I was going to make the purchase, this is what I wanted with the features that it came with, etc.  Everyone is different, but this is the route I decided to go.  I am now looking at adding lenses to my equipment and in time I will have some nice lenses (I would argue that although cheaper, the 85mm 1.8 does take some beautiful photos), and I have learned in this forum to wait for the one I want with IS.  Originally, I was wondering what people thought of the 70-200 f/4L without the IS as it would be nice to have for outdoor portraits and also to be able to use for the occasional nature photo.  Everyone is different and everyone needs to start from somewhere...this is the route I decided to go.  I am also highly considering the 24-105 and waiting on the 70-200 with or without IS. 
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: applecider on March 21, 2013, 11:15:12 AM
Have you read the digital picture take on this? http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-70-300mm-f-4-5.6-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx. (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-70-300mm-f-4-5.6-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx.) I'd recommend it.

You stipulated somewhere that you wanted to be able to avoid a tripod.  Going from 85 to 200 to 300 I think you'll find that either is or support will help get crisp pictures.  In general I've found that the l lenses are worth the long term investment.

Good luck with either decision.
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: RGF on March 21, 2013, 02:42:10 PM
Both the 70-200 L f4 and 70-300 L are excellent lenses.  My vote goes to the 70-300L, I would avoid the non-L version  Yes the L version cost more than the non-L version but in the end you will most likely (I can see it my crystal ball  ;) ) will upgrade to the L version.  I have the 70-200 F4 IS and recently got the 70-300 L since I was always wanted that extra bit of reach.  I am very pleased with the lens, I am considering selling the 70-200 F4 since I use it so little.

You mentioned landscapes but your widest lens is 50.  Might I suggest a 24-105?  If you decide to got this routine, you might decide to sell the 50 (unless you need a fast prime) to offset part of the cost.
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: EOBeav on March 21, 2013, 02:50:31 PM
You are unlikely to get a better value for money lens than the 70-200 f/4 (non-IS). It was my first L lens and since then I've purchased only Ls ... It's addictive.

+1

Also, if you need more aperture for about the same price, you might consider the 135mm f/2 L.  I've only rented it, but it's awesome glass.
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: shashinkaman on March 21, 2013, 08:24:45 PM
PS: don't wait for something that might/ might not appear in the future! That is a very silly and quite frankly annoying habit many of the CR people here have (and again proves most of them DO NOT take many picture and CERTAINLY are NOT PRO's...!
If you really are serious about your photography get what is available NOW (new or second hand if you have to) and go out and shoot! This 'wondering what Father X'mas will bring next year" attitude is silly... Don't start copying that!!
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: tntwit on March 21, 2013, 10:52:10 PM
had a Rebel T1i before this camera...I've taken some beautiful photos from this camera, but the shutter speed was annoying at times as well as other features I did not have.  I take a lot of photos of babies and toddlers, and wanted a super fast shutter speed   

Not sure I understand this.  I have the T3i and up until last year I had the 300D.  I have a 4 and 6 year old son and daughter and now a 1 1/2 year old super energetic dog.  I have yet to find the shutter speed to be a limitation.  Buffer depth in RAW, noise when I push the ISO and constantly fighting for more light (and pushing the ISO) yes, shutter speed, no.  I have the opposite problem.  It all depends on the type of photos your shooting, which brings me to my point.

Take a look at what you are shoot and what you want to be shooting.  If you are routinely shooting at high shutter speeds, then the IS won't be of much benefit.  You need to be 1 over the focal length on FF, so with the 70-200 F4 non IS, that would be 1/200 of a sec on the long end.  If your needs will be at or above that, technically you should be fine without IS.  The beauty of the 5DIII is that you can push the ISO higher than I can and get favorable results if you do find yourself in lower light.

No doubt the IS is better (the 70-200 f2.8 IS is even better, but it's $2200), it's what I want.  But I have lower ISO capabilities until I upgrade (lenses first for me) and I am routinely in low light when I use longer glass.  In your situation you may not need it.  Besides, the $600 you'll save is a good chuck toward a 24-105 and if you do decide later to get the IS, the non IS will hold most of it's value.  Just check used prices on them.

The other thought is that if you do decide on the 70-300L, the slower aperture won' t be an issue with the high ISO capability of the 5DIII and what sounds like good lighting that you are shooting in.

With such a snazzy camera, it would be almost criminal to saddle it with a 70-300 non L, but if your so inclined I have the highly coveted  ::) 75-300 IS that I would gladly trade for your 85 1.8.   :)
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: georgecpappas on March 23, 2013, 12:07:02 PM
Heidi,

A couple of points to the very fine comments already.  Your choice really depends on how you prioritize your use for this lens.

A previous poster explained that IS is less important than fast/good autofocus; when it comes to photographing children, I totally agree.  If this is important to you then the 70-300L becomes a stronger choice because it has newer, more advanced AF electronics that work better with your 5D3.  Roger at Lensrentals has documented this in abundance; look for his blog entries on autofocus.  With the 70-300L and your 5D3, you can shoot at higher ISO/higher shutter speed and have better autofocus response.  It is also a very compact lens that is very versatile for landscapes, etc.  While some may quibble with its optical performance compared to other canon L lenses, I find it to be excellent and functionally equivalent.  I own a 135 F2.0L and 200 F2.8L and find the images from the 70-300L are equally usable in terms of sharpness and overall image quality.

If portraits are really your thing, then consider a 135 f2.0L the extra lens speed and handling will be a better fit for portrait situations.  If you are looking for longer reach, then consider a 200 F2.8L - this lens is superb.

Probably the best advice you received is to rent one or more of these and try it for yourself.  Lensrentals makes it easy with good selection and fair prices (no I don't work for them but have rented from them)...The tradeoffs in the answer to your question are subtle enough that all of our recommendations on this forum will only take you so far...you have to experience them for yourself.

Best of luck in your decision.

Regards,
George Pappas
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: DJD on March 23, 2013, 02:47:46 PM
DO NOT buy the 70-300 IS USM (non-L) It is really quite bad.

If you are looking for a low-cost 70-300, get the Tamron 70-300 VC.

You may also want to look at the 70-200 Tamron lenses.

I'm not going to tell you what lens to buy because everyone's use case and budget is different. But I'm tired of blanket statements about how terrible certain lenses are when it's just not true. Here are two examples of pictures taken with the 70-300mm IS (non-L) lens. They are not "quite bad".
Cheers,
DJD

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-XX0d-7GUzz0/T--MyXBnTXI/AAAAAAAAFSg/I2NTAIgOZwQ/s2048/IMG_5906.jpg)
Model: Canon EOS 7D
ISO: 800
Exposure: 1/500 sec
Aperture: 7.1
Focal Length: 300mm

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-A6bEDa4rEnk/S_TLBZp3ueI/AAAAAAAACiM/GkIFBYgh2o8/s2048/Meet%2520Zippy.JPG)
Model: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/50 sec
Aperture: 5.6
Focal Length: 300mm
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: j1jenkins on March 23, 2013, 04:04:42 PM
You are unlikely to get a better value for money lens than the 70-200 f/4 (non-IS). It was my first L lens and since then I've purchased only Ls ... It's addictive.

+1

I have the 70-200 2.8IS and I have borrowed the F4 version for comparison.  The L series glass is great and I highly suggest it.  If you need the additional reach, you could pick up the 1.4 Teleconverter when you have the budget and get out to 280 @ f5 which is pretty close to 300 f5.6.
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: tntwit on March 24, 2013, 12:49:14 AM
+1

I have the 70-200 2.8IS and I have borrowed the F4 version for comparison.  The L series glass is great and I highly suggest it.  If you need the additional reach, you could pick up the 1.4 Teleconverter when you have the budget and get out to 280 @ f5 which is pretty close to 300 f5.6.

Wouldn't it be 280 @ f5.6 (f4 x 1.4 = f5.6)? 
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: Don Haines on March 26, 2013, 09:09:41 PM
Any of the 70-200's are fine lenses.... you pay a lot more for IS and going to 2.8, and the resolution of the lens is marginally better.

The 70-200 F4 no IS has to be the best value in a medium telephoto. It is a fantastic lens and has the added benefit of being fairly light, so your camera gear remains easy to carry.
Title: Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
Post by: preppyak on March 27, 2013, 11:38:37 AM
do you need the zoom or the reach?
considered just picking up a 200 f2.8L

no IS either but it is a stop faster and is smaller and less conspicuous
Well, for shooting portraits and candids, the reach may be really useful. Likewise the IS in a lower light scenario. I went from the 70-200 f/4L IS to the 200 f/2.8 because it was faster and I shot a lot of action (and used it mostly at 200mm anyway). So, IS didn't help me, but the extra stop does.

Considering you already have a 50mm and 85mm prime, then I'd say a tele-zoom is probably a nice accompaniment to that. The 70-200's are both great, and the suggestion for the 70-300L is good too. If you want it now, the non-IS lens is a great value, and your 5dIII will allow you to get away wiht pretty high ISO's. If you can wait, both the L IS lenses are pretty stunning