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Author Topic: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS  (Read 3398 times)

bglanzbe

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70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« on: October 21, 2013, 10:49:25 PM »
I recently upgraded to a 6D and I am loving it. I purchased the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 and just received it. I am looking for a zoom lens as well and keep going back and forth between these two lenses and further, considering an extender as well.

The prices are pretty close to each other. So what would folks recommend?

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70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« on: October 21, 2013, 10:49:25 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 11:14:25 PM »
Get the f/2.8 non-IS only if you absolutely need f/2.8 (and cannot afford the 70-200/2.8L IS II). Else, the f/4 IS has better IQ, and is smaller and lighter.
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tntwit

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 12:03:15 AM »
I've been debating the same thing for one of my next lens purchases.

I currently have the much loved 75-300 IS  ::).  As much as I hate how slow it focuses and how soft it is, it can shoot at a fairly low shutter speed, well below the 1/480 (at 300 mm) of a second it would need without IS (I shoot a crop camera T3i).

With the 70-200 I would need 1/320 at 200 mm, which is going to really limit me in many lighting situations.  The f 2.8 will buy you one stop over the f4, but the IS will buy something like 3 or maybe even 4, but definitely at least 2-3.

In your case the full frame will only require 1/200 at 200 mm without IS, but the same rules apply.  The IS will buy you 1-3 stops over the f2.8.

Now the other thought is that if you plan on shooting in good light, or with a flash and what you want is that OOF background, than the f2.8 is the better choice.

For me, I am forever looking for more light, cranking the ISO with the cheap lens wide open and the shutter speed at a minimum.  I discovered the 50 mm f1.8 and now I'm addicted to fast glass.  I love the OOF and what it buys in extra stops in low light.  All of which is why I want to go full frame.  Then I can push the ISO with cleaner results and the OOF won't be hampered by the 1.6 crop factor.

Anyways, what you pick will depend on how you plan to use it.
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Matthew19

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 12:51:30 AM »
from what I understand and in my experience with all of these lenses except the non IS  it goes like this in terms of image quality : f/2.8 IS II > f/4 IS > f/2.8 IS > f/2.8 with the difference between the non IS 2.8 and the 2.8 IS being small.

My f/4 IS has way better skin tones than the 2.8 IS vI. The f/4 IS is VERY close the the expensive 2.8 IS vii, which someone accidentally shipped me via ebay when I ordered a different lens. I couldn't help myself but to test it before sending it back =)

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 02:47:57 AM »
I recently upgraded to a 6D and I am loving it. I purchased the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 and just received it. I am looking for a zoom lens as well and keep going back and forth between these two lenses and further, considering an extender as well.

The prices are pretty close to each other. So what would folks recommend?

It really depends what your needs are.

The f/4 IS is a lot lighter and more compact and nicer for general run-around. It's also a trace sharper in the center and more noticeably sharper (on FF, on APS-C it's not much different) at outer parts of the frame. It has IS which can useful in many cases with static or semi-static subjects.

OTOH f/2.8 gives just a bit better subject isolation and stops moving subjects better. If you want it mostly for sports I'd go for the 2.8.

If you plan to extend to 280mm a lot, the 70-300L does very well and would make better sense than the 70-200 f/4 IS think. I made the swap myself. The f/4 IS is amazing, but so is the 70-300L.

I originally had the 70-300 IS non-L as a light run-around lens and a 70-200 2.8 non-IS as a top quality lens and a sports lens (especially for indoor sports or night sports, but it was a bit better even for daytime sports although not by a whole lot in that case but better, at least on the aps-c cam I was using then). I stopped shooting indoor sports and sold both for some cash back plus a 70-200 f/4 IS. I made do with it as a wide field sports lens. My 300 2.8 was my main field sports lens anyway. I eventually gave the 70-300L try and wow it really was good. At the edges it did about the same on FF. In the center and both set to the widest aperture the 70-300L was capable of it actually beat the f/4 IS at 70mm, noticeably for sharpenss (although it definitely has worse lateral CA there) and just slightly beat it at 200mm. It lost at 135mm though. It was the same at 100mm and just slightly worse at 165mm. It did noticeably better than the f/4 IS +1.4x TC, less CA, sharper, more bite, more contrast and 50% faster AF in that case (both lenses bare the AF speed is basically the same).

All three are super good other than the 2.8 non-IS going a bit soft at the edges if used on FF anywhere at all near wide open.

At 200mm f/2.8 the 2.8 IS II is the best, amazing, then the 2.8 non-IS very good (other than edges on FF) and the 2.8 IS easily the worst at center frame (although not worse than the 2.8 non-IS at the edges) it had a lot less micro-contrast bite and lot more PF at 200mm f/2.8 than my 2.8 non-IS did.

at 200mm f/5 center frame I'd put them 70-200 f/2.8 II > 70-300L > 70-200 f/4 IS > 70-200 2.8 non-IS > 70-200 2.8 IS. It's not that the 2.8 IS is bad at 200mm f/5 center frame though, other than some PF, it's VERY good, the others are each just a little tiny bit better than the one below and all really beyond exceptional. The top three there are all so great at 200mm f/5 across the frame that IQ really doesn't matter, you get what you need in terms of IS, aperture, size, weight and can afford.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 02:54:27 AM by LetTheRightLensIn »

wickidwombat

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 03:09:21 AM »
I recently upgraded to a 6D and I am loving it. I purchased the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 and just received it. I am looking for a zoom lens as well and keep going back and forth between these two lenses and further, considering an extender as well.

The prices are pretty close to each other. So what would folks recommend?

i'd recommend the 135 f2L :D

seriously since i got my 85mm my useage of the 70-200 f2.8L IS II dropped alot but since i got the 135 i almost never use the 70-200 now.

Fashion and runway stuff is the reason i keep it around but when i have the ability to move around i much prefer the primes.

since you are deciding between the non is 2.8 and the f4 lens
the 135L is far better than both, its smaller lighter less conspicuous
and cheaper! :)
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bglanzbe

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 06:58:51 AM »
Does anyone have experience with the 2.8 non-IS with an extender?  How is the IQ and is it hard to get stable shots?

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 06:58:51 AM »

Don Haines

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 08:06:51 AM »
I recently upgraded to a 6D and I am loving it. I purchased the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 and just received it. I am looking for a zoom lens as well and keep going back and forth between these two lenses and further, considering an extender as well.

The prices are pretty close to each other. So what would folks recommend?

As lenses get longer, IS is more and more important. At the 200mm end of the lens it is a very nice feature.

The 70-200F4IS lens is the sharpest of the 70-200's, tied with the F2.8IS version. Both of the non-IS versions are a bit softer. The F4 versions are about half the weight of the F2.8 versions and very easy to hold/carry around with you all day.

The F2.8 non-IS lens is faster than the F4IS version, but most of the time the IS allows you to get away with shooting at slower shutter speeds with more stability. About the only case where I would pick the F2.8 non-IS over the F4IS version is for fast moving objects in low light where you can't drop the shutter speed any more... For everything else I'd take the F4IS.
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captainkanji

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 08:14:01 AM »
I have the 70-200 f/4 NON IS. It is great in most circumstances. In low light, it requires higher ISO settings than I would like. I am planning on getting the 135 f2 in Nov. The 2.8 version is just too expensive for me. $1000 is pushing it. I'm starting to enjoy prime shooting along with the savings.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 08:25:20 AM »
from what I understand and in my experience with all of these lenses except the non IS  it goes like this in terms of image quality : f/2.8 IS II > f/4 IS > f/2.8 IS > f/2.8 with the difference between the non IS 2.8 and the 2.8 IS being small.

The f/2.8 non-IS delivers better IQ (slightly) than the IS version.

Does anyone have experience with the 2.8 non-IS with an extender?  How is the IQ and is it hard to get stable shots?

The ISO 12233 crops on TDP will show you the IQ hit the non-IS takes from the extenders - it's pretty significant.  You are always better off getting the native focal length you need, rather than planning to use extenders, which are really only for occasional use (except on the super telephoto lenses).

If you think you will frequently need 300mm, and you're considering the 70-200 f/4L IS, you should also be considering the 70-300 L.  The latter has excellent IQ, a very useful zoom range (particularly on full frame) and a great IS system.
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jdramirez

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 08:44:54 AM »
 when I had the f2.8L usm I  really liked it.   it is a really great lens. I too vote for the f4  based on its reputation,  but I don't have any experience with it.

Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

AlanF

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 09:15:20 AM »
The 70-200mm f/4 IS is one of the most outstanding lenses produced by Canon. A very detailed report and comparisons are given in

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/999/cat/11

where you can see it is as sharp as most primes in the 70-200mm range.

It's my second favourite lens, after the 300mm f/2.8 II. If I were to buy an f/2.8 70-200, I would go for the very sharp IS II and not an older non-IS.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 06:15:58 PM by AlanF »
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LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 10:57:27 PM »
Does anyone have experience with the 2.8 non-IS with an extender?  How is the IQ and is it hard to get stable shots?

It's OK, but it does take a hit (FF edges are getting to be quite weak now too). 1.4x TC only, don't bother with the 2x.

it depends what conditions you shoot under a lot, IS can certainly help a good deal above 200mm for sure, although if you are doing nothing but motion stopping or shooting out under clear sun it's not that big of a deal

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 10:57:27 PM »

bglanzbe

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 08:54:04 AM »
Thanks everyone.  Looks like the f/4 IS is the front runner on this one.  I rented it once before and really liked the lens - especially when paired with the 1.4x converter.  The 70-300 lens was a bit soft for me when I rented it and was much heavier than the f/4.  Also do not like that it doesn't have a fixed f stop.  Prices online seem pretty good right now (around 1,100) so will likely make the move soon. 

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 04:04:38 PM »
Thanks everyone.  Looks like the f/4 IS is the front runner on this one.  I rented it once before and really liked the lens - especially when paired with the 1.4x converter.  The 70-300 lens was a bit soft for me when I rented it and was much heavier than the f/4.  Also do not like that it doesn't have a fixed f stop.  Prices online seem pretty good right now (around 1,100) so will likely make the move soon.

The 70-300L is definitely is heavier (although much more compact). I should also stress that any decent copy of the 70-300L is MUCH better than the 70-200 f/4 IS+ 1.4x TC combo, better contrast, color, sharpness and 50% faster AF so if you expect to go above 200mm a lot I'd way go for the 70-300L. If you rented 70-300L couldn't beat or even match the 70-200+TC combo then I think something was wrong with that copy. (It also tends to do better 70-90mm and 180-200mm, although I will agree that it doesn't do as well in the middle 135mm range, it's very good there but the 70-200 f/4 IS is truly insane there).

The constant aperture is more convenient for sports though.

Both lenses are best in class, amazing lenses that Canon did a superb job with.

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Re: 70-200 f/4 IS vs 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 04:04:38 PM »