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Author Topic: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS  (Read 16735 times)

Picsfor

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2011, 05:20:54 PM »
If i've got this right, you should have a hand held picture of St Pauls shot at 1/20th sec @ f6.3, with lens extended to around 207mm. 5D2 at 1600 iso.

You can see why i like this lens! It's the 70-300...
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 05:57:20 PM by Picsfor »

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2011, 05:20:54 PM »

Tinnunculus

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2011, 05:58:20 PM »
In your place, I would decide between the sigma 100-300 F4 and canon 70-200 F2.8 + 1.4x extender. The 70-300´s long and dark F5.6 end is not very good for sports I think.
With the sigma 100-300 (people on the web say its fast and sharp) you would have to live with the 100mm*1.6 beginning (could be too long for portrait in a small studio). With canon you have to mount the extender for the extra reach, and it might be a bit softer with the extender too (who knows?).
So the canon gives you kind of usable 70-280 f2.8-4 combined with the extender, which is the best choice I think.
Oh and consider using a tripod or monopod, it´s less flexible when composing than IS, but fights shake effectively too.

pj1974

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2011, 09:17:03 PM »
I'll chime in with another recommendation for the Canon 70-300mm L.  My copy is tack sharp at all focal lengths, and really shines at 70mm and 300mm - even wide open. I've used and compared my 70-300mm L with various 70-200mm Ls and eg Sigma telezooms (except the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 II), and my 70-300mm L is as sharp as any of the others (eg a good 70-200mm L f/4), and sharper than most (eg 70-200mm f2.8 IS mk I). Some copies of the f2.8 mk II might be a tad sharper, as Neuroanatomist points out, and as he says - it's not much (critical pixel peeping level, I expect).

The weight, balance, accurate & fast AF, great IS, build quality and range of focal length are what convinced me to buy and keep the 70-300mm L.  And as has been pointed out in thejoyofsobe's post - it retains its aperture at a decent rate (eg still f5.0 till 228mm!)  Of course f2.8 is more glass, letting in more light, but you pay by lens weight. Anyway, I consider truly 'fast' f1.8 or more.

Maui5150, I hope that you will make a purchase that meets your needs and that you'll capture many good photos with it. As you indicated, the difference in price between the 70-200mm L f4 and 70-300mm L f4-5.6 is only $230, which I really agree isn't much for the extra mm you're getting!

Best regards

Paul
I'm not a brand-fanatic. What I do appreciate is using my 7D and 350D cameras along with a host of lenses & many accessories to capture quality photos, and share with friends.

Maui5150

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2011, 09:52:28 AM »
The Joy (or is that pain) of photography on a budget is oh so many decisions.  As my father always said... always nice to want things.  The 70-300L gives me a decent compromise and maybe in the future I step up to the 70-200 F2.8 II and then a 300 or 400 prime. 

Still very much appreciate everyone's feedback and thank you greatly for sharing your thoughts and experiences as well as some awesome photos.  Just stunning

Maui5150

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2011, 07:52:00 AM »
Just a follow-up for anyone else in the quandry...

Pulled the trigger on the 24-105 F4L.  In the end I decided that would be a solid upgrade since I use the 18-135 so much as an every day lens, and the 24-105 should be a big step up.

All the 70-200s are out of the picture because of loosing distance... Yes that on again off again debate of 5DMKII vs 7D vs 5DMKIII when ever vs 7DMKII when ever came to an end... And as alluded to, I am entering the full frame world.  Pulled the trigger on a lightly used 5DMKII... had been tempted to go new, but also had seen that the person selling it was a serious audiophile, so there is definitely a level of trust when I see people who sell $4K pieces of high end audio and the recipients are happy... Gives me a much higher degree of comfort than the listings I see when the person says their are only 2 clicks on the body, but the serial in the EOSinfo does not match the serial on the bottom of the body...

I am also looking forward to my 50 1.4 being a 50 again.  Sometimes when I shoot in a tighter room, I wish for more room, and loosing the crop factor will definitely make the lenses feel different...

So... Will be swapping out my 10-22 for a 17-40 which seems like should be even price wise... But the dilema.

Do I now consider 70-300 F4-5.6L versus the 100-400? 

My 70-200 F4 Non-IS was pretty much really a 112-320, so the 70-300 will get me a lot closer and pretty much the same reach.  Then again... If I keep my t2i as a second body, the 70-300 becomes a 112-480 on that if I need to have more reach, though give up some IQ

Good call to BrianSquib.  Really was in the 7D or what is coming out in Spring, but what made the decision in the end, I am doing some fashion shoots in the next couple of weeks, almost pulled the trigger on a 5DMKII week rental, so figured for the $200 that was going to cost me for upgraded IQ, I should be able to jump out of the 5DMKII if I really wanted to and actually be ahead of the game money wise. 

neuroanatomist

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2011, 09:05:44 AM »
Do I now consider 70-300 F4-5.6L versus the 100-400?

Depends on whether or not you need the extra 100mm.  If you plan to shoot subjects where you'll be focal length-limited, the 100-400mm is the better choice.  As a general purpose telezoom, I'd get the 70-300 L or the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II.  I have the latter, and it's an amazing lens on FF, great indoors (thanks to f/2.8) and outdoors.  The 70-300 L with it's 1-2 stops slower aperture will not be as useful indoors (unless you're using flash).

Personally, I use my 100-400mm quite a bit - but almost exclusively on my 7D for shooting birds.  I have considered getting the 70-300 L for use on my 5DII, particularly as a travel lens.  I still might, but I'll likely pick up a 24-70mm first, since I tend to prefer faster lenses and the 24-105mm, while it's a great lens, usually requires a flash for indoor ambient light shooting.
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Maui5150

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2011, 09:34:59 AM »
Majority of my indoor work is with strobes, so I think the 24-105 will be fine.  Would prefer to get faster glass, but all things in good time.  I think where I have been thinking about adding speed is maybe going for a 16-35 F2.8L version I over the 17-40 F4L.  Probably will be around a $300 investment more compared to the straight swap of EF-S 10-22.  Will take some hunting to find a decent one.

the 70-200 2.8 IS II would definitely be the preferred lens but also winds up being much more expensive.  You get what you pay for, but on a budget, I have to make some compromises


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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2011, 09:34:59 AM »

Flake

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2011, 09:43:37 AM »
Sorry Picsfor, but I'm not convinced the St Pauls shot is sharp, front to back difficult to say without a 100% crop, but if they look a bit soft then they are generally worse at 100%

I'd reccomend that you sell the 70 - 200mm f/4 and buy a Sigma 120 - 300mm F/2.8 OS, especially as you've mentioned that you plan to use the lens for sports photography.  This lens will allow four times as much light in as the 70 - 300mm f/5.6 L or alternatively a couple of Iso stops, the OS system is just as effective as the Canon IS version, and if you want to use it as a portrait lens the extra length will allow you to develop even more bokeh than the 70 - 200mm f/2.8 IS L I know at least one high end wedding photographer using this lens in preference to the 70 - 200mm.

Drawbacks - It weighs a ton and it's huge - any 300mm f/2.8 is inevitably going to be big, you'll need a monopod.  It costs more than the 100 - 400mm or the 70 - 300mm, but you can always sell the 70 - 200mm f/4 to offset this.  Filters for the 105mm lens cost a bomb!

funkboy

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2011, 10:19:40 AM »
I would add to the conversation that in this day & age, any non-IS telephoto I'd buy would have to be f/2.0 or faster unless most work was being done from a tripod.  Granted, I use a 40D so I don't have the luxury of being able to crank the camera up to ISO6400 for more shutter speed...

Something you may want to consider is that you seem to have two separate needs here:

  • portrature
  • sports

Bear in mind that the bokeh of prime lenses is usually more pleasant than zoom lenses, and very wide apertures throw the background further out of focus.  You've already got the 50mm f/1.4, which is a great starting point.  I think an 85 f/1.8 or (if your budget can swing it and you like longer/tighter portrait shots) the 135 f/2L would really be worth looking at as a way to further specialize your lens bag.  I find that the 85 is too long for indoor portraits most of the time, but for outdoors it rocks.  The 135L is amazing & really throws the background out of focus (it's also fantastic for closer general telephoto work e.g. sports where you can usually get pretty close to the action like cycling), but if your budget doesn't allow for that then the 85 f/1.8 USM is a real bargain.

Having dedicated kit for portraits would mostly alleviate the aperture requirement for your now-dedicated sports telephoto, so the question between the 70-200 f/4L IS and 70-300L IS mostly comes down to one of reach (and if you care about form factor, short/fat extending zoom vs. long skinny internal zoom).  Bear in mind that a 70-200 with a 1.4x TC is pretty much the same as having a 100-300, and the new teleconverters are supposed to be even better than the already quite good II version I use on my 135L (& used to use on my 70-20 f/4L non-IS when I had one), and the TC will work with a lot of other lenses as well (mostly not the variable aperture zooms though).  But a 70-200 f/4L with a 1.4x TC on it is pretty long so your camera won't fit in a lot of "TLZ" bags designed to hold a 70-200 + body.  Also remember that a TC isn't a perfect substitute for a zoom ring (just like IS isn't a perfect substitute for a tripod), but if you can anticipate the situation in advance well enough to know whether you'll need it or not, then it's a very nice option to have the extra reach or extra aperture as the subject dictates.

For me, the main selling point of the new 70-300L vs. similar options is that it's short & fat & therefore fits in compact bags where the 70-200 lenses won't.  If that's not a problem for you then I'd go the 70-200 f/4L IS + TC route.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 10:33:11 AM by funkboy »

funkboy

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2011, 10:36:09 AM »
I'd reccomend that you sell the 70 - 200mm f/4 and buy a Sigma 120 - 300mm F/2.8 OS, especially as you've mentioned that you plan to use the lens for sports photography.

The OP mentioned that the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS is already too pricey.  That Sigma is over 3 grand!

This f/2.8 Sigma is more in his price ballpark, but I think it's a bit too short for the kind of sports he's shooting & there are probably nicer prime alternatives for portrature.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 10:39:26 AM by funkboy »

Picsfor

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2011, 10:37:33 AM »
Sorry Picsfor, but I'm not convinced the St Pauls shot is sharp, front to back difficult to say without a 100% crop, but if they look a bit soft then they are generally worse at 100%

I think you're missing the rather important point of that picture - a shutter speed of 1/20th second hand held.
Though i don't suppose the shallow DoF from an aperture of f6.3 done the shot many favours either.
Not tripod

You have got to be some extremely special person to hold a 5D2 with a 70-300 on the front, on the South Bank in winter to get a shot as crisp as you're asking. Oh, and the 5D2 has battery grip fitted as well.

I have spent a whole day carrying round the Sigma and it's a good lens, but i do not think it was part of the equation - but i would still opt for this, because it is so much lighter to carry and no noticeable difference in IQ or sharpness.

I too know Wedding Photographers who use the Sigma, and others that hate it - because they want light and simple. It is a horses for courses - my picture was trying to give an idea of what this lens can produce at a push.

The 70-200 is now being sold - but i will not be replacing the Canon 70-300 - if anything gets replaced it will be one of the 5D2 bodies in exchange for a 1DX...

Flake

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2011, 12:10:25 PM »
Sorry Picsfor, but I'm not convinced the St Pauls shot is sharp, front to back difficult to say without a 100% crop, but if they look a bit soft then they are generally worse at 100%

I think you're missing the rather important point of that picture - a shutter speed of 1/20th second hand held.
Though i don't suppose the shallow DoF from an aperture of f6.3 done the shot many favours either.
Not tripod

You have got to be some extremely special person to hold a 5D2 with a 70-300 on the front, on the South Bank in winter to get a shot as crisp as you're asking. Oh, and the 5D2 has battery grip fitted as well.

I have spent a whole day carrying round the Sigma and it's a good lens, but i do not think it was part of the equation - but i would still opt for this, because it is so much lighter to carry and no noticeable difference in IQ or sharpness.

I too know Wedding Photographers who use the Sigma, and others that hate it - because they want light and simple. It is a horses for courses - my picture was trying to give an idea of what this lens can produce at a push.

The 70-200 is now being sold - but i will not be replacing the Canon 70-300 - if anything gets replaced it will be one of the 5D2 bodies in exchange for a 1DX...

Hopefully you don't take it as a criticism, but  I think the point needs to be that at 1/20th sec it's not producing useable images and would benefit from a tripod.  I quite like the shot - shame you weren't able to tripod it - but that's just the way it goes sometimes.

People say that you can get images from the 24 - 105mm IS L as slow as 1/6th and I have managed that, but the number of technically good images is very low, you need to take a few to get a good one!

Most of the longer lenses will now offer a 4 stop IS/OS system, apart from the 100 - 400mm L which offers just  two stops and would certainly not be useable at 1/20th

If you need a light & compact lens then the 70 - 300mm is as good a choice as any, but the OP did mention sports photography hence the f2.8 reccomend.

I think a monopod is a good reccomend for any longer lens, it might only give an extra stop, but as some have found, it makes a nice weapon when some scroat takes a fancy to your camera!

Maui5150

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2012, 08:55:06 AM »
You know... as is typical for me... The moment I start entering in the credit card information, I start re-thinking things...

Was doing some fashion shooting last week, and whether in natural light or with strobes, my 70-200 F4 Non-IS was starting to bug me a little.  Takes great shots, but I found myself wanting to blow out the back more in some cases, and since moving to the FF 5D MKII I am actually surprised how much I have been shooting the with the 70-200 indoors.

so now, what is a complete change, is I am leaning to the 2.8 IS either MK I or MK II.  Missed a few gems on the MK I at or below $1300, and though I know the II is sharper and faster, $700 is $700. 

So it comes down to a couple of days... I will likely see if I can track down a MK I 2.8 in the next day or so for under $1300, otherwise, suck it up and drop the $2K on the MK II. 

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2012, 08:55:06 AM »

D_Rochat

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2012, 11:42:50 AM »
Have you considered the 70-200 IS version I? Maybe there's a few used copies kicking aroundy your area. Ebay has a few at the moment. That would get you around the price of a new non IS mkI with 3 stops of stabalization.

Maui5150

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2012, 12:20:10 PM »
I have been hunting the I version.  Delayed on one which went for $1300 and have seen a lot go for $1500+  There of course are cherry picked ones with recent date of manufacture as well.    I have an Amazon Gift Certificate for $275, so brings the price of a II down to around $1800 currently, so at $1300 versus $1800 I can almost lean frugally to the I version and save the $500, but once it starts pushing $1500,  the $300 difference for NEW and Version II becomes negligible. 

I really wanted to stay closer to around $1300, but as it pushes closer to $1500 - $1600, hard not to go for it and go version II

********************
* UPDATE     UPDATE      *
********************

So the one I was watching on Flea-Bay pushed over $1400 as expected... Probably would have needed to go $1450, if not more...

So went Amazon route for $1800 with my Gift Cert.  A little more than I wanted to pay, but still should be a stellar lens

« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 04:45:13 PM by Maui5150 »

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Re: A tale of 3 Lenses 70-200 F4 IS vs 70-200 F2.8 vs 70-300 F4.5 IS
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2012, 12:20:10 PM »