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Author Topic: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II  (Read 5321 times)

TriGGy

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70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« on: October 21, 2012, 12:58:25 PM »
Hello everybody - this will be my first ask for help in this forum - I have seen a post similar to this but it was about a body vs. lens upgrade on the same two lenses and at page 15 I gave up looking.

Right after Christmas I will visit the country of my birth and I am determined to take the best portraits of my mother, siblings, etc. as I can (not in a studio, just outdoors). I have the knowledge and skill to do that but not the proper gear. I am limited to my 24-105 f4L ( I can't really melt the background the way I want it) and the 50 1.8 II (the pentagonal bokeh balls drive me nuts). I returned the 85mm 1.8 in my signature below to help pay for my car insurance deductible (life happens).

I would really love to have the 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II - it is my dream lens for portraiture and for many other uses. I'm sure it will be the most versatile lens I can own for a very long time. However I'm sure everyone knows here about the price that's kind of hard to swallow. The 70-200 f2.8L USM is almost 20 years old by 2015 - my question is: would it still be advisable to acquire that lens now and how does it perform optically vs. the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II?

I am thinking right now with "just" $1000 more, down the line I would probably have wished that I just went for the 70-200 IS II if I got the non-IS and that could have "saved" me money from selling off the non-IS at a loss. 

And one more question, to those who had a 135 f2L before and bought the 70-200 (IS or non-IS) later, did you still find the 135 f2L had any more use?

Thanks very much and I'm looking forward to some of your opinion.

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70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« on: October 21, 2012, 12:58:25 PM »


gjones5252

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2012, 02:19:52 PM »
I went through the exact same decision. A year ago I bought the non is 2.8 and it was good and worked great but.... I had rented the is ii for a wedding prior to buying the non is and I could never replicate the same look even with the same camera and a new camera with AFMA.  I have just sold mine for the is ii. I think if your even thinking you wanna go for it  you will always have that in the back of your head. Realize the bokeh is not any stronger. I believe it is a clearer, sharper and all together better lens. Remember that you can take pictures at slower shutter speeds now because of the is as opposed to have to up your ISO. Just my opinion.

TriGGy

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 02:47:21 PM »
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=242&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=687&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

Awesome thanks for the link - that's really helpful! The small amount of detail improvement/sharpness can mean a lot on the overall image when using the 70-200 IS II, even if it's hard to tell the difference. In the widget the difference in sharpness is eye popping. Paying for another thousand bucks for the IS I think it will pay off in the long term. I hope to get a copy a with no QA issues.  :D

TriGGy

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2012, 02:59:19 PM »
I went through the exact same decision. A year ago I bought the non is 2.8 and it was good and worked great but.... I had rented the is ii for a wedding prior to buying the non is and I could never replicate the same look even with the same camera and a new camera with AFMA.  I have just sold mine for the is ii. I think if your even thinking you wanna go for it  you will always have that in the back of your head. Realize the bokeh is not any stronger. I believe it is a clearer, sharper and all together better lens. Remember that you can take pictures at slower shutter speeds now because of the is as opposed to have to up your ISO. Just my opinion.

Yessss! Your story really applies to my situation. I had a very strong feeling I will go the same way as you down the road, wishing that I just went for the IS II and overall avoiding the hassle of selling off the non-IS (most likely at a loss).  ;D I wouldn't mind the weight at all...

Thank you very much for sharing your experience. 

JoPo

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 04:10:32 PM »
I recently sold my 70-200 2.8 for the 70-200 2.8 II IS.  I am reasonably happy with this decision.  I did not notice much difference optically - the IS II is only marginally better.  However, I was surprised that the image stabilization made a difference  even at pretty fast shutter speeds.  Please do realise that the IS is quite a bit heavier than the non IS.  Overall, I think the non IS price-wise is a real bargain.  If money is no object then get the IS II otherwise you will very happy with the non IS.

neuroanatomist

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 04:57:53 PM »
Canon 70-200/ 2,8 is mk2 is one of the best zoom lenses there are.Maybe even the best 70-200.
I have tested  MK2  against my old MK1 ..., the MK2 overall sharpness and contrast is outstanding

I agree with you.

The ever-reliable, always correct and accurate DxOMark disagrees with both of us.  They score the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS (original) higher than the MkII version of that lens, particularly for sharpness.  When called on it (see comments section of the linked page) they responded there was no mistake.

Could it possibly be that DxOMark is wrong???   :o
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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 04:57:53 PM »

gmrza

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 06:07:37 PM »
Right after Christmas I will visit the country of my birth and I am determined to take the best portraits of my mother, siblings, etc. as I can (not in a studio, just outdoors). I have the knowledge and skill to do that but not the proper gear. I am limited to my 24-105 f4L ( I can't really melt the background the way I want it) and the 50 1.8 II (the pentagonal bokeh balls drive me nuts). I returned the 85mm 1.8 in my signature below to help pay for my car insurance deductible (life happens).

What you didn't really touch on is what your constraints are in terms of luggage.  When travelling by air, I usually find we reach for the 70-200 f/4 L IS, rather than the f/2.8 IS II - purely for weight reasons.
If your requirements while travelling are mainly for portraiture, and weight is an issue, you could consider a 50 mm f/1.4 and an 85 mm f/1.8.
A 70-200 is still, overall, a more versatile lens, and if you can handle the weight in your luggage, go for it.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 06:21:41 PM »
And one more question, to those who had a 135 f2L before and bought the 70-200 (IS or non-IS) later, did you still find the 135 f2L had any more use?

I have both the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II and the 135L. The 70-200 is definitely more versatile and sees more use. I do frequently use the 135L, though - for indoor action shooting (poorly lit gym) and also for portraits where I'll have control over the situation and space to move.

One question for you, apologies if I missed it - what body, FF or APS-C?  I find the 70-200mm wonderful on FF, but awkward on APS-C, and the 135L too long for portraits on APS-C in many situations.
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Hector1970

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 06:44:56 PM »
The ISII is a great lens but it's really heavy. It would break you neck with a normal strap. You'd need a Black Rapid or something. It's great indoor. I had great success with it at a wedding. I've used the F4 70-200mm. It's really light in comparison. The F4 being the only issue with it. It's a very sharp Lens too.
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AudioGlenn

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2012, 06:51:08 PM »
Here's one more vote for the 2.8 IS II.  You're in deep enough as it is.  Why sell yourself short now and long for what you already know is out there and is better?  I purchased mine new off of eBay a few weeks ago and couldn't be happier with it.  It made me realize how much i don't really like my 24-105 and 10-22 (as far as sharpness).  They're still useful lenses but I try to shoot with my 70-200 now whenever I can...despite it's weight.  Next move for me is a full frame camera.  I don't think I can justify spending $3k on a body so I'm hoping the 6D reviews go well. 
5D mkIII  |  40 f/2.8 | 8-15 f/4L | 24-70 f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | 1.4x III TC | 600ex-rt | 430 ex ii | EOS M+22mm f/2 | EF to EF-M adapter

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2012, 07:29:44 PM »
I have the original non-IS 70-200mm f2.8, and despite what people claim it's a perfectly acceptable lens, even wide open. Sure, the corners could be sharper at f2.8, but the bokeh is good and you can stop down to f4 for landscapes....and the focus is very fast and the contrast is good.

That said, the lack of IS is a big deal. Even with this less-than-modern lens, softness from image shake is generally way more significant than softness from a lack of sharpness. The IS II will solve both these problems. Just get it and don't look back. But be prepared for a heavy lens.

That said, the original is no slouch despite its age.

neuroanatomist

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2012, 08:03:48 PM »
Interesting. That was over a year ago. I wonder if they ever did test another copy, and if so, why they did not seem to have changed their results, which remain those posted with the initial review? What does it say about DxOMark's credibility that they let results stand which are, by all other accounts and even by their own speculation, flat out wrong?
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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2012, 08:03:48 PM »

TriGGy

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 08:10:09 PM »

What you didn't really touch on is what your constraints are in terms of luggage.  When travelling by air, I usually find we reach for the 70-200 f/4 L IS, rather than the f/2.8 IS II - purely for weight reasons.
If your requirements while travelling are mainly for portraiture, and weight is an issue, you could consider a 50 mm f/1.4 and an 85 mm f/1.8.
A 70-200 is still, overall, a more versatile lens, and if you can handle the weight in your luggage, go for it.

Oh that's a good point. I would never want to include the lens in the checked luggage, and the 1.5kg lens is already half of the carry-on allowance. That made me think. Unless I'd carry a small knapsack with the lens in its pouch and an extra shirt inside I think (and hope) that would work. LOL. My Lowepro Slingshot would be my personal item. Thanks for that tip.

I have not tried the 70-200 F/4L IS for portraiture - I had borrowed one before but that was when my camera was a 60D. How is the background blur at 135mm for head/shoulder shots if you by chance have done so before? Thanks.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 08:14:40 PM by TriGGy »

TriGGy

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2012, 08:20:33 PM »

I have both the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II and the 135L. The 70-200 is definitely more versatile and sees more use. I do frequently use the 135L, though - for indoor action shooting (poorly lit gym) and also for portraits where I'll have control over the situation and space to move.

One question for you, apologies if I missed it - what body, FF or APS-C?  I find the 70-200mm wonderful on FF, but awkward on APS-C, and the 135L too long for portraits on APS-C in many situations.

Thanks for the answer - I have a 5DM3 and a 7D. At least I know once getting a 70-200 f2.8L IS II the 135mm f/2L still has its uses (well it depends on the photographer's needs). I have been considering the 135mm before, but was afraid it might become redundant once the 70-200 is acquired. Normally for adult head/shoulder shots how far can you get from the subject when using FF?

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Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2012, 08:20:33 PM »