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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: J.R. on July 11, 2013, 05:34:04 AM

Title: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: J.R. on July 11, 2013, 05:34:04 AM
Hi guys,

I'm interested in both lenses but just curious about the difference in IQ @ 200mm between the prime and the zoom. How do these lenses stack up at 200mm?

I could get the prime and a 16-35 II for the same amount of money as the 70-200.

IS is not a deal breaker coz I'm old school type, shooting from a tripod.

Cheers ... J.R.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: nubu on July 11, 2013, 06:28:22 AM
I have both the new 70-200/28 IS II and the 200/2.8 and the sharpness is very similar even tested on stars. The transmission as well as the bukeh of the prime is better because of the smaller number of lenses. Autofocus is not as fast for the prime - verything tested on a 5DIII. If you only work on tripod or bright daylight and don't need the flexibility of a zoom go for the prime, its a steal like the 135/2 compared to all the other offerings!
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: nubu on July 11, 2013, 06:30:12 AM
Sorry forgot to add that the I and II version of the 200mm prime are optically identical and only differ by the sunshade and barrel design!  So maybe you have a look for a used one which are often quite cheap ...
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: dstppy on July 11, 2013, 08:47:17 AM
Sorry, not much to add about the 70-200, but the 200mm is my go-to lens for almost everything these days.

I find using primes focuses me on framing the image right, nobody looks at me twice with the black lens . . . and the keeper rate is exceptionally high.

I proselytize about primes and the 200mm every chance I get  ;D
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: neuroanatomist on July 11, 2013, 08:50:20 AM
Optically quite similar for IQ, the zoom is slightly better but not a major real-world difference.  I sold my 200/2.8L II after getting the 70-200/2.8L IS II.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: sdsr on July 11, 2013, 09:00:09 AM
I have used both (owned the prime and rented the zoom, but there was no overlap, so I couldn't do direct comparisons) and found them very similar - in bright light, hand held, I got some extremely sharp photos with the prime and superb, smooth bokeh, smoother than the zoom's - probably every bit as good as the 135L's.  Had I not mainly wanted to use it in low light, and thus preferring to have IS, I would certainly have kept it.

Roger Cicala's brief comment may help:

http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/telephoto/canon-200mm-f2.8l-ii (http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/telephoto/canon-200mm-f2.8l-ii)
 
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: Cory on July 11, 2013, 09:31:53 AM
Have had both and now only have the 200 2.8II.  I'd say the prime for indoor sports where high shutter speed is at hand or the zoom for all types of indoor events/situations where the IS might come into play.  All things being equal they're fairly equal with a very minor IQ nod to the prime.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: Dylan777 on July 11, 2013, 09:39:52 AM
No comment on the prime.

70-200 f2.8 IS II is a SUPER LENS. I thought 135L could replace this lens due to tack sharp @ wide open and gain extra f-stop, I was wrong. Be able to zoom between 70-200 is a great option, not to mention tack sharp through out focal lenght. No problem peforming @ f2.8.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: neuroanatomist on July 11, 2013, 09:42:20 AM
Have had both and now only have the 200 2.8II.  I'd say the prime for indoor sports where high shutter speed is at hand or the zoom for all types of indoor events/situations where the IS might come into play. 
IMO, the only reasons to choose prime over zoom in this case are cost and weight.  The 70-200 II offers a lot more flexibilty in framing (which can be important depending on the sport), and no sacrifice of IQ.

All things being equal they're fairly equal with a very minor IQ nod to the prime.
FWIW, both the TDP ISO 12233 crops (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=687&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=3&API=0&LensComp=245&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0) and the Photozone reviews for the prime (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/580-canon_200_28_ff?start=1) vs. zoom (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/510-canon_70200_2is28?start=1) come to the opposite conclusion - the zoom has the edge.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: Cory on July 11, 2013, 10:34:49 AM
Have had both and now only have the 200 2.8II.  I'd say the prime for indoor sports where high shutter speed is at hand or the zoom for all types of indoor events/situations where the IS might come into play. 
IMO, the only reasons to choose prime over zoom in this case are cost and weight.  The 70-200 II offers a lot more flexibilty in framing (which can be important depending on the sport), and no sacrifice of IQ.

All things being equal they're fairly equal with a very minor IQ nod to the prime.
FWIW, both the TDP ISO 12233 crops (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=687&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=3&API=0&LensComp=245&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0) and the Photozone reviews for the prime (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/580-canon_200_28_ff?start=1) vs. zoom (http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/510-canon_70200_2is28?start=1) come to the opposite conclusion - the zoom has the edge.
For some reason the prime performed significantly better for indoor sports than did the zoom (with both the IS on and off), but the zoom was ridiculously flawless for an indoor event that I did.  Can't imagine anything better than either.  Disclaimer - I don't necessarily know what I'm talking about.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: retina on July 11, 2013, 02:08:05 PM
prime:
+ great optics, very sharp wide open
+ fast AF
+ cheap
+ inconspicuous
+ light
- not flexible like the zoom

zoom (f/2.8 II IS):
+ amazing optics, very sharp wide open
+ fast AF
+ very effective IS
+ flexible (especially for sports)
- expensive
- heavy (but you get free tripod collar)
- attracts a lot of attention

for events and sports, zoom would be my choice.
for anything else, prime is hard to beat at that price.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: RLPhoto on July 11, 2013, 02:43:37 PM
Ones a Prime, and the other is a zoom. IQ is nearly identical, pick your poison.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: East Wind Photography on July 11, 2013, 04:17:07 PM
I haven't compared these two spcifically but I definitely notice a difference in light transmittance to the sensor using a prime vs a zoom.  Same F ratio but you may get a slightly faster shutter speed using the  prime in the same shooting conditions.
 
Someone who has both should be able to easily report the delta.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: helpful on July 11, 2013, 05:03:10 PM
It is definitely not possible to say that one of these lenses has an absolute advantage over the other one, but there are some really good things about the 200 mm prime. For the kind of photography that a few people do, that makes the prime incredibly wonderful. For most others, the zoom is more useful.         

As someone else pointed out, Roger Cicala has this to say:

Quote
Roger's Take
Roger Cicala
President of LensRentals.com
For years now, I think I’m the only person who likes this lens, and I can’t understand why. It’s sharper than the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II zoom and a third of the size and cost. It’s inconspicuous and great for spontaneous photography. People who start posing when they see a big white lens never look twice at a camera with this mounted. My personal favorite use is at events that won’t allow “professional” lenses in the stands— security won’t let me in with a big white lens but never look twice at the 200mm.
March, 2013

http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/telephoto/canon-200mm-f2.8l-ii (http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/telephoto/canon-200mm-f2.8l-ii)

Reasons for picking the 70-200 II are versatility and high performance over its whole focal length. It also has a huge advantage with image stabilization for stationary subjects.

Reasons for picking the 200 f/2.8 are

Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: Frodo on July 11, 2013, 05:07:04 PM
IMO, the only reasons to choose prime over zoom in this case are cost and weight.  The 70-200 II offers a lot more flexibilty in framing (which can be important depending on the sport), and no sacrifice of IQ.

Don't underestimate the size and discrete black colour.  I'm travelling through Europe now with a 5DII, 24-105, 200 f/2.8, and 50mm macro - they all fit easily in a Crumpler 5 million dollar home.  And I felt quite discrete this evening walking around a festival in northern Germany with the 200.  even my old 70-200 f/4 was larger and more conspicuous.

And I love how sharp it is wide open.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: Andy_Hodapp on July 11, 2013, 05:36:23 PM
While I have never used the 70-200, I do own the 200mm and love it.  It's the fastest lens to focus I have on my 5D MKII and delivers amazing quality.  It's the only one of my lenses that I am trusting to be sharp enough for a 5 by 2 feet panorama for one of my clients. 
Here are some of my favorite shots I've taken with the lens and a gallery of all the photos I've taken with it


(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8519/8614590743_7c27020081_k.jpg)


(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8380/8595468285_603ce55c8d_k.jpg)


(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2842/9203869717_1a1e91bbd6_k.jpg)


http://www.flickr.com/photos/66627224@N02/sets/72157633769187671/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/66627224@N02/sets/72157633769187671/)
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: Sporgon on July 11, 2013, 05:43:08 PM
Yes the 200 f2.8 has always lived in the shadow of the 135 f2, yet for me the former is by far the more useful lens.

It offers the IQ of the fabled 70-200 f2.8 at a third of the price, size and weight.

I would also say it has more of the tradition film era contrast - a little bit more abrupt to high and low lights. This can be desirable or undesirable depending on your circumstances.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: bholliman on July 11, 2013, 06:10:43 PM
Here are some of my favorite shots I've taken with the lens and a gallery of all the photos I've taken with it

Excellent pictures, I really like the horse shot!

Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: Halfrack on July 11, 2013, 07:12:22 PM
Both lenses are great for different reasons.  Based on your sig, I take it you'd be upgrading your nonIS 70-400 f4 lens with this decision.  If you're old school, the non-IS 2.8 is really fun, and would allow for the 16-35 or 17-40.

Oh the options...
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: eli72 on July 11, 2013, 07:19:12 PM
If you're going to be in a venue where you'd be racked out to 200mm all the time anyway, the 200 f2.8 is much easier to use and much less obtrusive. And since it measures about 6", you can get it into a lot of venues that have limits on lens size.
Pictures are as good as the 70-200 f2.8L II, IMHO.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: daveyboy on July 11, 2013, 08:33:50 PM
I love my 70-200 from the first few shots I was blow away by the image, it is heavy and big but so worth it.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: jdramirez on July 11, 2013, 08:52:48 PM
Why don't you buy both used, see which one you like better and then sell the lens you don't prefer.  I have a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS mkii and I'm quite fond of it. 

Why don't you check lightroom to see which aperture you shoot at when you take the 70-200mm f/4L out on the town.  If it is 200mm 90% of the time... save the cash and buy the prime. If you are constantly adjusting the focal length... then you have your answer. 
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: J.R. on July 12, 2013, 12:37:43 AM
Thanks for the replies. It is good to know that the IQ is pretty similar for both lenses so now my decision making becomes a bit easier.

There is a deal going down locally where a used 200 prime in excellent condition is available for about $ 500 - $ 600. I think I'll get that and it'll be useful when I need to carry less weight on my hiking / biking trips.

I'll see if I need the zoom once I use this lens. I don't think I could lose too much money if I were to sell it again :)

Cheers ... J.R.
Title: Re: 200mm f/2.8 II vs. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
Post by: castillophotodesign on July 14, 2013, 06:22:25 PM
I love my 70-200 IS II. I used it on the 5d III and i am very pleased with the results. Here is a sample photo

to see more photos from this shoot visit my page

https://www.facebook.com/CastilloPhotoDesign?hc_location=timeline (https://www.facebook.com/CastilloPhotoDesign?hc_location=timeline)