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Author Topic: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?  (Read 10268 times)

garflee

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70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« on: August 14, 2012, 12:54:22 PM »
Hello All - looking for some help deciding on my next lens.  I'm shooting with a 5D Mark III and have the 40mm, 85 1.8 and 24-105L.  I'm looking for something with more reach but to also provide me with versatility as well.  I want to be able to shoot my kid's soccer games, but want the ability to use the lens for more than just outdoor sports.  I would certainly like the extra reach of the 70-300, but I'm afraid it won't be as versatile with the smaller max aperature.  The 70-200 2.8 IS II is nice and fast, but it's expensive and won't reach quite as far.  Canon's current lens rebates help for sure - so both are in budget.

Suggestions?

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70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« on: August 14, 2012, 12:54:22 PM »

K-amps

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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2012, 01:24:26 PM »
I have owned both....

Get the 70-200 mk. ii if you are worried about light loss. It is "the best" zoom made to date on either the canon or Nikon side of the pond.

You can add a 1.4x or 2x mk.iii converter to it and get the reach and still mantain AF. the mk.iii's are optically much better than the mk.ii TC's.

This is not to say the 70-300L is a slouch... it has great sharpness (on par with the f2.8 mk.ii) and contrast and color, and is cheaper and lighter.

But considering everthing, I went with the 70-200 mk.ii with a TC and am happy.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 02:33:37 PM by K-amps »
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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2012, 02:21:43 PM »
The 70-300L seems better if weight is an concern for hand-holding or travelling. Also it's considerably cheaper without the TC.

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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2012, 04:05:08 PM »
I have both lenses- the one question I would ask to make this decision is whether you'll be shooting majority OUTDOORS or INDOORS. If OUTDOORS, go with the 70-300 because it is (much!) lighter, and there is plenty of light available so the variable aperture isn't really a problem. If INDOORS, go with the 70-200 because the extra stop(s) will be extremely valuable, especially if you dislike shooting w/flash (like myself).

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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2012, 04:18:11 PM »
I have the 70-300L and love it, very sharp, light weight, IS is great.  Not a bad lens even indoor when paired with the 5D3. You can bump the ISO up a stop or so to compensate for the smaller aperture (I think it is F5 at 200mm) and the IS allows you to shoot at reasonably low speed.  and it is shorter (when retracted) and cheaper too.  The draw back is it does not accept the TCs whereas you can add TCs on the 70-200 to reach up to 400mm.
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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 04:23:52 PM »
I never own 70-300, so no comment.

However, 70-200 f2.8 IS II this is amust have lens if you Canon shooter, especially with FF. This lens is sharp even at 2.8. You can always crop the pix in PP.
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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2012, 04:37:22 PM »
I have both the 70-300 f4/5.6 L and the 70-200 f2.8 mk 2. Had them out with the sigma 85mm 1.4. I'm no tetchy pixel peeper so I'll tell you what each is like on the streets. Attached to a 1D4 and 1Ds3. The 300 is smallish, light handles great, the colours and tones are outstanding. Autofocus is rapid, it's very well built and the IS really is 4 stops. On a crop body like mine it's almost like a 100/400 only loads better. It's only draw back is the aperture but that depends on what you shoot. Its fine for wildlife mostly, the new cameras high ISO shooting, counters the lack of a wide appeture. Ok the bokeh isn't so hot rather it's ok.  So all in all, it's amazing for the price. Oh and it's as sharp as the 70-200.

The 200 is as well built, bit heavier, same weather sealing, same sharpness, same beautifully colours and tones hell it's almost the same.  The weights a bit of a disadvantage as I prefer the lightness of the 300. The range it covers is ok but it's a bit short on a full frame at the long end and a extender slows it down. But for everything up to 200 mm it's the best zoom lens ever. The wide appeture the super fast autofocus etc etc. it's amazing and worth every penny. But...it's short as a telephoto. If you can do without the extra light, buy the 300 it matches the 200 for everything. If you need the light buy the 200.

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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2012, 04:37:22 PM »

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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2012, 04:59:52 PM »
70-200 II.  It excels at sports and portraits.  For games under the lights, the max aperture advantage over the 70-300L is significant when you're trying to freeze action in low light situations.  The 70-200 performs OK with the 1.4x III:  IQ degrades slightly and AF speed takes a hit but gets you to 280mm at f/4, which is still a stop faster than the 70-300L.  The 2x III makes it notably soft (viewing at 100%) and AF speed takes another hit as well, so I wouldn't recommend using it with the 2x unless you really have to.

The 70-300L is good when there is enough light.  It's more compact and weighs less (~1 lb less if although it still weighs about 2.5 lb), which makes it a better choice for places like zoos or day trips.  If you're ok with the weight and cost of the 70-200 II, then get the 70-200 II.  The 70-300L is a great choice if you're budget limited or travel a lot and like to travel light because one lens can cover most of your telephoto range. 

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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2012, 05:01:44 PM »
70-200 II.  It excels at sports and portraits.  For games under the lights, the max aperture advantage over the 70-300L is significant when you're trying to freeze action in low light situations.  The 70-200 performs OK with the 1.4x III:  IQ degrades slightly and AF speed takes a hit but gets you to 280mm at f/4, which is still a stop faster than the 70-300L.  The 2x III makes it notably soft (viewing at 100%) and AF speed takes another hit as well, so I wouldn't recommend using it with the 2x unless you really have to.

The 70-300L is good when there is enough light.  It's more compact and weighs less (~1 lb less if although it still weighs about 2.5 lb), which makes it a better choice for places like zoos or day trips.  If you're ok with the weight and cost of the 70-200 II, then get the 70-200 II.  The 70-300L is a great choice if you're budget limited or travel a lot and like to travel light because one lens can cover most of your telephoto range.

Most importantly, you get access to more AF sensor points with the 70-200L II IS lens on the 1D4 and 1DX.  You can shoot sports very easily with the 70-200 whereas the 70-300 performs rather poorly due to lack of AF sensor type access.
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sleepnever

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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2012, 05:09:59 PM »
I've used both in varying situations and lighting on my T2i. Both are really well built and give great images, even with moving targets. As others have said, the high ISO ability of the newer cameras really makes me think I will spend almost half the money on the 70-300L as I upgrade my camera body this year. Its also so much lighter than the 70-200L.

Two things that are a bummer on the 70-300L though...
1) is how fast it falls off from f/4 to f/5.6 on the long end. You don't get f/4 for very long.
2) it is not compatible with Canon teleconverters if you care

The 70-200L you lose some reach, but you're always at whatever f/stop you choose which is great. The 70-200 being a prime will also give you a slight edge on sharpness.

I say if you have not already, rent both via LensRentals or BorrowLenses or whomever locally and try them out. I've borrowed each of them twice now from a local shop for $35 a day. I constantly struggle with what I'm going to shell out for. =)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 05:17:12 PM by sleepnever »
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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2012, 06:08:42 PM »
I'm a hobbiest and own both.  I'd have to day that the 70-300 is sharper than the 70-200, though not by a substantial margin.  That, along with the weight, make it my first choice if I'm able to use it.  Its sharp enough to crop photos substantially for more zoom.  Phenomenal lens, hands down (read the review of it in Africa on this site).

However, it falls short for low light.  If you are shooting stills on a tripod, it can be okay, but still has a harder time auto-focusing (compared both shooting colorado wildfires this summer at night).  Night sports outdoors (tried a rodeo), indoor kids programs, etc. - the 70-200 shines.  The auto-focus is definitely faster, even in good light.  So, you might find the 70-300L frustrating at a soccer game even at high noon.

One other option to consider... maybe pick up a used 70-200 2.8 non-IS and a 70-300L for about the same a a bit more money?

FWIW, I've been shooting these lenses with a 60D.  With a FF, you may really want the extra reach.  The clean high-ISO of the Mark III might make the 70-300L work for you.

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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2012, 07:11:40 PM »
How's the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM compared to the 70-300L? Obviously it's not going to be built quite like the L lenses, but otherwise does it compare well?
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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2012, 09:34:05 PM »
I'm a hobbiest and own both.  I'd have to day that the 70-300 is sharper than the 70-200, though not by a substantial margin.  That, along with the weight, make it my first choice if I'm able to use it.  Its sharp enough to crop photos substantially for more zoom.  Phenomenal lens, hands down (read the review of it in Africa on this site).

However, it falls short for low light.  If you are shooting stills on a tripod, it can be okay, but still has a harder time auto-focusing (compared both shooting colorado wildfires this summer at night).  Night sports outdoors (tried a rodeo), indoor kids programs, etc. - the 70-200 shines.  The auto-focus is definitely faster, even in good light.  So, you might find the 70-300L frustrating at a soccer game even at high noon.

One other option to consider... maybe pick up a used 70-200 2.8 non-IS and a 70-300L for about the same a a bit more money?

FWIW, I've been shooting these lenses with a 60D.  With a FF, you may really want the extra reach.  The clean high-ISO of the Mark III might make the 70-300L work for you.

Ummm no.  The 70-200L II IS is sharper than the 70-300L. 
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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2012, 09:34:05 PM »

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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2012, 09:40:25 PM »
How's the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM compared to the 70-300L? Obviously it's not going to be built quite like the L lenses, but otherwise does it compare well?

Optically inferior, by a substantial margin.

...the 70-300 is sharper than the 70-200
Ummm no.  The 70-200L II IS is sharper than the 70-300L. 

+1.  When I read comments like that, my first question is, have you properly AF microadjusted both lenses?  Usually, the answer is no.
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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2012, 09:57:52 PM »

Ummm no.  The 70-200L II IS is sharper than the 70-300L.

+1 +1 70-200L is the sharpest tool in that shed.
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Re: 70-300L or 70-200 2.8 IS II?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2012, 09:57:52 PM »