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Author Topic: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS  (Read 7285 times)

mjbehnke

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Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« on: November 25, 2011, 06:15:31 PM »
Please give me your thoughts on which you think is a better lens for about the same price.

I use a 60D and currently only have my old, old ef-s 18-55 from my Reble XT and an old ef 28-105.

I have done alot of senior photo shoots with a borrowed 17-50 tamron F2.8 and it works well, but I seem to always be at 50mm. I am thinking of shooting a little bit of High School Sports, and enjoy shooting landscape.

I just got back from the Rockies in August and rented the 70-200 F4 IS, and it was a treat! So, is the IS more important for what I tend to do over the speed? I do handhold for senior photos and do most of that outside on locations. Sports? might use my Mono-Pod and I have a nice tripod for landscape. Is one really sharper than the other? Is it a noticable difference when you blow the photos up to 24x30 for printing?

Thanks for all your input.....

Matthew
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Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« on: November 25, 2011, 06:15:31 PM »

handsomerob

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2011, 06:36:12 PM »
IS won't do you any good for sports. You also don't really need a monopod (only if you find the lens too heavy) since you need shutter speeds high enough to stop the action (around 1/1000) and this eliminates the camera shake automatically. And as you said yourself, tripod is all you need for landscape.

70-200 f/4 IS is among Canon's sharpest lenses, but for sports shooting I would always pick a faster lens, in this case 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS (which is also a very sharp lens). You should maybe also consider if you wanna carry around a f/2.8 zoom, since it will be significantly heavier than the f/4 counterpart.

As in your case IS won't be necessary for sports and landscape shooting, you should also consider 70-200 f/4 non-IS for half the price ;) But again, I would pick a faster lens :D

Good luck with your decision.

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2011, 07:33:47 PM »
I've got the f4 IS and use it primarily for sports, motor racing and other action activities.  In good daylight, even at ISO 100, I'm often shooting at around 1/1000 of a second, which is fast enough for an action stopping photo.  If the speed starts to dip, I just bump the ISO up.  The image stabilization also works great.  If you are shooting a static subject, this helps you to keep a low ISO when handholding.

Of course, the f2.8 will allow a faster shutter speed.  This can be invaluable in low light conditions.  It also has the ability to blur the background a bit more which helps to highlight the subject better.  But it is a lot bigger and weighs more.

I don't there is a clear winner between the two as they both have pros and negatives.   I went with the f4 for its portability (I do a bit of travel) and the IS.  I love its sharpness and the images it produces.  But there are occasions when I long for something a bit faster.
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RC

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2011, 08:17:37 PM »
I ended up going with the F4 IS version after considering both the 2.8 and F4.  Ultimately it came down to size and weight since I like to backpack and travel with my gear.  Also my shooting with this lens has been in daylight so speed has not been a significant factor--at least yet.  I figure if speed does becomes an issue, I can always sell it and go for the 2.8 someday.

Not ideal for fast sports but OK.  I have done some outdoor (and indoor) MLB shooting in which I have to jack up the ISO if I want to freeze those fast pitches.

Since you have a crop camera like myself, I would definitely go with the IS version since this lens is 112- 320 FF equivalent--unless of course you are always going to be on a mono/tripod.

This was my first L lens and I was blow away by the sharpness.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 08:23:22 PM by RC »

mjbehnke

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2011, 08:20:13 PM »
I've got the f4 IS and use it primarily for sports, motor racing and other action activities.  In good daylight, even at ISO 100, I'm often shooting at around 1/1000 of a second, which is fast enough for an action stopping photo.  If the speed starts to dip, I just bump the ISO up.  The image stabilization also works great.  If you are shooting a static subject, this helps you to keep a low ISO when handholding.

Of course, the f2.8 will allow a faster shutter speed.  This can be invaluable in low light conditions.  It also has the ability to blur the background a bit more which helps to highlight the subject better.  But it is a lot bigger and weighs more.


Do you think the F4 IS will do good with night time football games? I have not really shot much above ISO 2000 and with the ancient lenses I have, they turn out pretty bad! I really loved the IQ of the F4 IS I rented for my trip, but will it blur the background enough when shooting senior photos? I normally borrow my brothers Tamron 17-50 F2.8 when I do those.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 08:22:59 PM by mjbehnke »
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Hillsilly

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2011, 01:16:39 AM »
Once the sun starts to set, I really struggle with the f4 to get a sharp picture if the subject is moving.  I just can't get a shutter speed fast enough.  But I'm either using film or a 30D and am limited with ISOs.  A better photographer or a newer camera might produce better results. But, in my opinion, its not the answer if you're shooting night time football games.  But in day time - no problem.  Currently, I use a 50mm lens at night, but its too short and I'm thinking about picking up a 135/f2.  Sadly the 200/f2 is a bit expensive....   

For evening sports the 70-200 f2.8 would be better, but even this might struggle in low light to produce a lot of keepers.
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NormanBates

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2011, 06:48:24 AM »
I looked into this just last week

my findings:
* the f/4L non-IS is not an option: too soft
* the f/2.8L non-IS loses sharpness wide open; if you're going to set at f/4 for it to be sharp, it may make no sense to go for a lens that has no IS and is double the weight
* the f/4L IS is quite sharp; the f/2.8L non-IS is sharper at f/4 at some specific focal lengths, but not in general
* the f/4L IS has great bokeh, nicer than the f/2.8L non-IS... but it has less of it; this can be an issue on APS-C, not so much on full-frame

my conclusions:
* for full frame, I'd go for the f/4L IS
* for APS-C, it's quite a tricky decision: f/4 is too deep DoF on APS-C for many portrait situations, f/2.8L-nonIS is not as sharp as it could be wide open and its bokeh is not stellar, and f/2.8L-IS is so expensive it makes no sense (you may just go for the f/4L IS and upgrade to a 5D2!!)

my sources:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=404&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=0&LensComp=242&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=2
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=242&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=0&LensComp=242&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=2
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/431-canon_70200_4is_5d?start=1
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/669-canon70200f28ff?start=1

edit: as you see, I'm portrait-oriented, not sports-oriented
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 06:53:04 AM by NormanBates »

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2011, 06:48:24 AM »

TexPhoto

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2011, 07:22:46 AM »
I have the 70-200 f2.8IS II.  Wonderful lens, but it's a brick in my camera bag.

A friend has the f4.  Wonderful little lens, gorgeous photos, and a delight to carry vs the 2.8s.

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2011, 07:33:47 AM »
Do you think the F4 IS will do good with night time football games?

No.  Night time NFL games, probably - but high school night games aren't that well lit.  I'd say f/2.8, minimum, if not the 135mm f/2L.

For the portraits, the f/4 will not blur the background as much as the f/2.8 lens you borrow. Practically speaking, aperture determines DoF.
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danski0224

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2011, 10:14:07 AM »
Do you think the F4 IS will do good with night time football games?

If the difference between f1.4 and f2.8 is anything like the difference between f2.8 and f4... I would say no.

Renting the lens(es) would be one way to find out.
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mjbehnke

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2011, 01:22:38 PM »
OK, Thanks for all the suggestions. I think renting a 2.8F Non-IS might be what I need to do. I've used the F4 IS and I really loved the IQ it produced. I'll do the rental and see what looks the best.

Thanks very much!
Matthew
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7enderbender

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2011, 08:29:39 PM »
Please give me your thoughts on which you think is a better lens for about the same price.

I use a 60D and currently only have my old, old ef-s 18-55 from my Reble XT and an old ef 28-105.

I have done alot of senior photo shoots with a borrowed 17-50 tamron F2.8 and it works well, but I seem to always be at 50mm. I am thinking of shooting a little bit of High School Sports, and enjoy shooting landscape.

I just got back from the Rockies in August and rented the 70-200 F4 IS, and it was a treat! So, is the IS more important for what I tend to do over the speed? I do handhold for senior photos and do most of that outside on locations. Sports? might use my Mono-Pod and I have a nice tripod for landscape. Is one really sharper than the other? Is it a noticable difference when you blow the photos up to 24x30 for printing?

Thanks for all your input.....

Matthew

I'd go with which one is optically better. If there isn't a big difference then price and weight may be an issue. And of course the 2.8 aperture which is great if the lens is any good otherwise and affordable for you. I personally don't see any value in IS and would always prefer the lens that comes without. Just another thing that'll break.

When I looked at the options in that range I ended up buying the 200 2.8LII prime and haven't looked back.

In the end I'm pretty sure that you can't really go wrong. I tested the 70-200 4L non-IS at some point. Takes great pictures as well.



« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 01:39:22 PM by 7enderbender »
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eos650

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2011, 12:48:02 AM »
For football, I think you will really struggle, with the f4, once the sun goes down. I've shot a lot of night time high school football and shoot from the sidelines. Some fields are better lit than others, but none of them are lit well. I primarily use the 70-200 f2.8. Early in the season, when the days are longer, I've had some success using the 1.4 extender on the 70-200, but once the sun starts to set the extender comes off. Under the high school lights at f2.8, I'm usually shooting iso 3200 with a shutter between 250 and 320. On a number of occasions, I've tried using 135mm f2, but the lack of zoom means having to reposition too much for my taste.

I did have the opportunity to shoot a high school football game at a professional soccer stadium. Those were some of my best pictures. I took two cameras, one with the 70-200 f2.8 and one with an 18-200 kit lens. They both did well, but the pictures from the 70-200 were incredible.

I also shoot high school basketball. I find myself using the 24-70mm f2.8 and the 85mm 1.8 on my 60D. I get more keepers with the 24-70, due to the flexibility in zooming, but when one hits on the 85mm, watch out.

I think you could get away with the 70-200 f4 in the gym, but that extra stop is nice. I'm usually shooting iso 1600 with a shutter around 320. All else being equal, you would need to shoot iso 3200 with the f4.

I primarily use the 60D for sports due to the faster frame rates, but occasionally I take my 5D Mark II.  On the 5D,  for basketball, I prefer the 70-200 f2.8.

One other thing I should mention is that a lot high school football fields and basketball gyms are better lit in the middle, then they are on the ends. This is an issue, since the scoring happens at the ends. You should plan on a difference of one to two stops, between the middle and the ends.

Good luck with your decision!

Do you think the F4 IS will do good with night time football games? I have not really shot much above ISO 2000 and with the ancient lenses I have, they turn out pretty bad! I really loved the IQ of the F4 IS I rented for my trip, but will it blur the background enough when shooting senior photos? I normally borrow my brothers Tamron 17-50 F2.8 when I do those.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 02:44:34 AM by eos650 »

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2011, 12:48:02 AM »

pwp

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2011, 05:14:15 AM »
They're both brilliant lenses. I have the 70-200F/2.8IIis which is far and away my most used lens. It's big & heavy but really delivers. I simply wouldn't be without this lens, IS or no IS.

Recently I borrowed a 70-200F/4is for a week. What an eye opener. It was great to use them more or less simultaneously on commissioned corporate projects.

At the end of the day there is basically nothing to separate them in terms of IQ, just slightly different characteristics, and a huge difference in weight and bulk.

For the sort of work I do, nothing could tear me away from a 2.8 or faster lens. But if I was walking miles with a 70-200, the F/4 would be the walk up winner. Personally, after a week with both lenses I can see a solid argument to have both lenses.

But if it was just one, is has to be the F/2.8. If you are a 90 pound weakling, still get the F/2.8 and think of it as a portable gym.

Paul Wright

willrobb

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2011, 01:11:33 AM »
Good idea to rent and see what suits you best, if you are shooting in no so great light sometimes though the f2.8 will probably suit your needs better.

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Re: Looking at 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 Non-IS
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2011, 01:11:33 AM »