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Author Topic: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?  (Read 5942 times)

heidi.nelson

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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.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 12:07:54 PM by heidi.nelson »

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RS2021

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #1 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

It is almost universally a well-loved zoom by its owners.
Cheers!
“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

heidi.nelson

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #2 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... :)

J.R.

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #3 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.
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RS2021

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #4 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!
“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

heidi.nelson

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #5 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.

unfocused

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #6 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.
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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 01:47:44 PM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #7 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

no IS either but it is a stop faster and is smaller and less conspicuous
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greger

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #8 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.
Canon 7D | EFS 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - EF 50mm f/1.8 Mark l - EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM Macro - EF 70-200mm   f/4 L IS USM- EF 100-400    f4.5-5.6 IS USM - 1.4 ll and 2X ll Extenders

heidi.nelson

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #9 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. 

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #10 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. 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.
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RGF

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #11 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.

EOBeav

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #12 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.
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2013, 02:50:31 PM »

shashinkaman

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #13 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!!
Don't be such a Pixel Peeper!

tntwit

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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #14 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.   :)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 10:56:11 PM by tntwit »
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Re: Canon 70-200mm F/4L or Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM or other suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2013, 10:52:10 PM »