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Author Topic: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L  (Read 16322 times)

AECM

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EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« on: August 01, 2011, 03:10:41 PM »
Hello to everyone I'm new in this forum and i live in Portugal.  I'm an aviation spotter and i would like to buy a canon L series lenses to my Eos 500d but i need some opinions to make up my mind  ::) I started to take photos of aircrafts note so long ago and i still have much to learn so which one of this lenses would you recommend to me between the EF 70-200 F4 L IS and the EF 70-200 F2.8 L?

Best Regards

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EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« on: August 01, 2011, 03:10:41 PM »

Gothmoth

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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2011, 03:13:53 PM »
if money doesn't matter the f2.8 IS of course.  ;)

if the choice is 70-200mm f4 IS or 70-200mm f2.8 without IS i would buy the 70-200mm f4 IS for your task.
the 70-200mm f2.8 is much heavier then the f4 and for spotting i would only accept that weight when i have the IS version. but thats only me... because i would use the lens for other things too, were f2.8 an IS is very usefull.

but 200mm and plane spotting....would be a bit short for my taste.

the ef 100-400mm would be better for spotting ..imho.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 03:27:32 PM by Gothmoth »

neuroanatomist

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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2011, 03:18:24 PM »
Fundamentally, it comes down to what you need - do you need f/2.8, or do you need IS? 

For double the price, of course, you can have both.   :P

If you're shooting fast-moving action, IS doesn't help as much.  IS allows you to handhold at shutter speeds that would normally not be possible for a given focal length.  The rule of thumb is 1/focal length, adjusted for crop factor, so at 200mm with your 500D, you should get a decent keeper rate at 1/320 s (200mm x 1.6 = 320mm).  The 4-stop IS system in the 70-200mm f/4L IS would enable you to get a reasonable keeper rate down to ~1/20 s - but that's too slow to stop even a person moving, much less an airplane.  If you need a fast shutter to stop the action you're shooting, IS will not help much, but f/2.8 will help you get the faster shutter speed. 

Is 200mm going to be long enough?  For similar €, you can get a 300mm f/4L IS or a 400mm f/5.6L.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 03:58:33 PM by neuroanatomist »
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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2011, 03:22:52 PM »
If you mainly want to shoot still subjects, the f/4 L IS, but planes do not fall into that category.

I'm not sure how effective the IS is when panning, especially "upside-down".

I own the f/4 L IS, and I am extremely pleased with it. Read the reviews: It's VERY sharp. OTOH, the f/2.8 L IS is apparently even sharper, but not sure about the non-IS version of it.

The f/2.8 is about twice the mass of the f/4.

FWIW, I intend to get the current f/2.8 L IS, but not until after I've got the 85mm f/1.2 L II.

I guess for you, low light might not be an issue if you're shooting aircraft in daytime.On that basis, and that of portability, you might like the f/4 L IS. I don't regret buying mine at all; it's a joy to use.


Martin
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 03:25:08 PM by Fleetie »
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Gothmoth

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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2011, 03:24:41 PM »
Quote
If you mainly want to shoot still subjects, the f/4 L IS, but planes do not fall into that category.

well i have (let me count)... 1455 images from airplanes on the ground in my LR catalog.

Quote
I'm not sure how effective the IS is when panning, especially "upside-down".

not much for planes in flight.

Canihaspicture

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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2011, 03:32:54 PM »
On the 70-200 F/2.8 IS II the mode 2 IS is specifically for panning. I know that wasn't one of the choices... I'd go for the 2.8 simply to allow faster shutter speeds. I do agree though that 200mm is quite short for planes.

neuroanatomist

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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 03:41:31 PM »
Quote
If you mainly want to shoot still subjects, the f/4 L IS, but planes do not fall into that category.

well i have (let me count)... 1455 images from airplanes on the ground in my LR catalog.

Quote
I'm not sure how effective the IS is when panning, especially "upside-down".

not much for planes in flight.

Well, yeah - but the OP mentioned being an aviation spotter, which I took to mean photographing them actually flying.  Maybe that's incorrect?  Spotting them on the ground at an airshow would not be that difficult, and 70mm might even be too long in that case...

The 70-200mm f/4L IS has 'mode 2 IS' which is designed for panning moving subjects - great for fly-bys, but it's for linear motion so not effective for aerobatics. 
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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 03:41:31 PM »

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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2011, 03:47:18 PM »
Hello to everyone I'm new in this forum and i live in Portugal.  I'm an aviation spotter and i would like to buy a canon L series lenses to my Eos 500d but i need some opinions to make up my mind  ::) I started to take photos of aircrafts note so long ago and i still have much to learn so which one of this lenses would you recommend to me between the EF 70-200 F4 L IS and the EF 70-200 F2.8 L?

Best Regards

A favorite for airshow use is the 100-400mm L. 

IMHO, 200mm is pretty short for aircraft in flight.  I prefer the 70-200mm f/4L in good light.  the older 70-200mm L's are good, but I avoided 200mm at f/2.8 which was their weak spot.  The f/2.8 MK II is supurb.

If you have found 200mm to be enough for your photos, and cannot get the 70-200mm f/2.8 MK II, get the non IS fersion or the f/4 IS version for sharper images, but only by a small amount.

AECM

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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2011, 04:38:34 PM »
Thanks for all the answers.
At this moment i have a EFS 55-250 IS and the zoom range works fine for aircraft taxing and on take off roll, this is in my nearby airport OPO. The big disadvantage for me of the EF 70-200 f2.8 is the weight, a couple of hours with that on my arms  :o and at the moment i have a 500d so a big lenses with a small body don't know.... The IS in the lenses is useful for me to trie some new shots and because i use my camera 70% for plane-spotting and the other 30% for travel or general photos.
I'm also a big fan of the EF 100-400 L IS but its an old lenses that someday would have a replacement? I also been searching stuff about the EF 70-300 L IS and it seems to be good material, at this moment my budget its around €1100 so i'm seriously thinking about buying the EF 70-200 F4 L IS and later with more € available and a new body i would like to have a lenses like the EF 100-400 L IS and the EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS II

Best regards
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 04:40:42 PM by AECM »

7enderbender

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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2011, 05:26:07 PM »
Just to throw it out there and I'm not sure if 200 is the right range for your application: if money is an object you can get the 200 2.8LII for a lot less then the fast zoom and have (at least) the same image quality and aperture. No IS and I'm not sure how useful it is in your case.

I have that lens and love it. But it's for different use. Other than that I would second the 100-400 for what you are doing. Who cares if it's an "old" lens? There are lens designs or even actual lenses that are 30 or 50 years old and still hold their ground.
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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2011, 06:31:07 PM »
I have rented the 100-400 L lens twice.  I have used it for track meets, baseball games, and once for a High School graduation in a poorly lit arena.

Outside in good light, super sharp and focuses well.  It kept up with kids running using a 7D.  At the graduation, the range was correct, but I was trying to take shots of people walking and couldn't get the shutter speed up high enough with the poor light.  I got a few keepers but it was the wrong lens for that event.

I wouldn't worry about Canon updating the 100-400L any time soon - my guess would be at least a couple of years before something would be done.  They just released the 70-300L, which I hear is a very nice lens, very good IS, canon rumors did a review of it - perhaps that is a solution you could look at in addition to the two 70-200 lenses.

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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2011, 07:19:25 PM »
i would go for the sigma 70-200mm f2.8 non is its a massive saving

afira

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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2011, 09:00:25 PM »
If you are sticking to straight Canon lenses, I would stick to the f/4, save yourself the money on the IS and the f/2.8 if you prefer to stick to ground shots. Even on the f/4, you will still get crisp and clean shots for day aerial work. Most aerial/plane photographers are doing day shots with good light and a fair amount of warning time to worry about lighting/position when at an airport. At under $649 US, it is a bargain too.

I spent the extra on a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II because I knew that I would be looking at a FF + extender in the next two years, my shots would be focused on fast action and some early morning/night action shots without a tripod. I haven't regretted it, the lens is as sharp as a razor and it performs at every level. The weight was a significant deterrent for me, but aside from a sore neck, I don't find the weight on my APS-C 450D to be unreasonable for the quality I get.

I agree with the others though, the range isn't good enough, even on an APS-C for solid and very compact looking aerial work. I would look at the 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS, if you are not planning on upgrading the body at any point in the next three years to a FF or getting an extender. The crop would equate to a 480mm on an APS-C 500D. It has good range, has a newer design, the 67mm filters are cheaper, it is a solid performer and it is lighter and much smaller (good for travel!) than its 100-400mm companion. The drawbacks are good to look at though if you are planning on upgrades. I will probably pick it up as a general and much lighter alternative for non-technical shots and daily walk around to my 70-200.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 09:13:30 PM by afira »

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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2011, 09:00:25 PM »

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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2011, 12:32:45 AM »
Whilst everyone jumps in with the biggest most costly options, a lower cost option is the 70-300mm non L, which although isn't great in low light, works fine for me in terms of getting the occasional long shots - it has IS which helps, but for less than the price of the 70-200mm f4 and half the 70-200mm f4 IS, it's a good bargain and the picture quality is pretty good...   Plus you get the extra reach to 300mm, I've paired mine up with a 15-85mm which is on my camera most of the time.
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Re: EF 70-200 F4 L IS or 70-200 F2.8 L
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2011, 12:32:45 AM »