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Author Topic: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS  (Read 17408 times)

gshocked

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Dear all,

Just looking for an opinion. I want to get my first L lens and I'm tossing between Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS. I'm looking to use it for sports photography, mainly outdoors but sometime indoors. I've heard lost of pros for both but I haven't read a review that has given me an opinion between these two lenses. I'm leaning towards the f/4 IS but would the 2.8 compensate for hot having IS?

Has anyone used or have both? Which would people choose - larger aperture or image stabilization?
Any thoughts?

(Thanks in advance!)

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vbi

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2012, 12:09:11 PM »
I have the 4 IS and the 2.8 IS II, mainly because the 4 IS balances well on my 40D/7D while the 2.8IS II seems to balance well on my 5D2 plus battery pack. But...in terms of performance I have never really seen the benefit of the f2.8 over the f4 as the difference in DF is marginal and the IS on the f4 will allow you to go down to quite slow shutter speeds.

The newer generation cameras also allow much higher ISO settings while still retaining quality, so my vote would be for the f4IS as it is one of Canon's newest lenses bar the f2.8 IS II in that range and has superb performance.

And when you travel it is noticeably lighter!
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Ryan708

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2012, 12:47:21 PM »
These two lenses have been on my wish list as well, and I would love the 2.8/IS but that it out of my price range. I have used a 2.8/IS and done a bunch of research and Im goinjg to go with the f4/IS. when i get the dough haha. the 70-200 f4/IS has the highest user ratings on cannons website of any lens, AND of any lens on amazon-dot-com, so it must make the end users happy!
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2012, 02:04:51 PM »
Which would people choose - larger aperture or image stabilization?

Depends on what you're shooting.  The benefit of IS is that it allows handholding with less light, and it does so by allowing a longer shutter speed.  That's great if your subject(s) are still, but not as useful if your subjects are moving where you need the higher shutter speed to stop action.  For general use, the f/4 IS is probably a better lens - sharper, smaller, lighter, weather sealed, etc.  For fast-moving sports, especially indoors, f/2.8 would be better than f/4.  Obviously, the f/2.8 IS II gives you the best of both worlds - IS and the extra stop to freeze action...but there's a penalty in terms of weight and cost.
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Studio1930

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2012, 02:23:23 PM »
It depends on your subject but in general f/4 indoors is not going to work very well unless it is WELL lit or if you use flash.  f/2.8 is marginal unless you have IS or a ton of light.  If your subject requires a 1/200 shutter or faster then you will benefit from f/2.8 and IS. When I shoot indoors and I don't use flash, then I use IS or a really fast lens like f/1.2.  Acceptable ISO needs to be factored in as well as usage (web only , print, large print...).

For what I shoot, I need IS and f/2.8 or my really fast f/1.2 lens.  Your mileage may vary depending on your subject and shooting style.

Shot below was a f/2.0 (or f/2.2) with IS on (mode 2) and it was shot outdoors.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 02:26:56 PM by Studio1930 »
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preppyak

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2012, 02:25:41 PM »
Just looking for an opinion. I want to get my first L lens and I'm tossing between Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS. I'm looking to use it for sports photography, mainly outdoors but sometime indoors.
Its tricky, because the common sense is that the IS isn't going to do you any good for sports since people are moving so fast, but, there are definitely times where IS is the only way you get static shots.

I love my f/4L IS, and I've never had problem with getting fast enough shutter speeds for action with it outdoors. Indoors it would be lacking, but, I'm not sure the f/2.8 would fully get you there either. You'd probably find the 85 or 135 lenses better there

KyleSTL

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 03:10:06 PM »
Its tricky, because the common sense is that the IS isn't going to do you any good for sports since people are moving so fast...
I somewhat disagree with that, because the difference between f/2.8 and f/4 is the same as just bumping up your ISO one stop, and unless you're already at the upper limit of your camera, or the upper limit of usable image quality, I think the f/4 IS is definitely a good sports lens.  Additionally, sometimes you don't want 1/250+ action-stopping shutter speed, and in that case the panning mode with the f/4 IS is more valuable than the f/2.8 non-IS.  The idea that only f/2.8 lenses are professional is becoming less true every year with the advances in digital technology.  In film days ISO 1600 looked pretty bad, now you can't buy a DSLR camera with IQ as bad as even the best ISO 1600 film (and the difference is probably a stop or two better).
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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 03:10:06 PM »

bdunbar79

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2012, 03:22:26 PM »
Its tricky, because the common sense is that the IS isn't going to do you any good for sports since people are moving so fast...
I somewhat disagree with that, because the difference between f/2.8 and f/4 is the same as just bumping up your ISO one stop, and unless you're already at the upper limit of your camera, or the upper limit of usable image quality, I think the f/4 IS is definitely a good sports lens.  Additionally, sometimes you don't want 1/250+ action-stopping shutter speed, and in that case the panning mode with the f/4 IS is more valuable than the f/2.8 non-IS.  The idea that only f/2.8 lenses are professional is becoming less true every year with the advances in digital technology.  In film days ISO 1600 looked pretty bad, now you can't buy a DSLR camera with IQ as bad as even the best ISO 1600 film (and the difference is probably a stop or two better).

You can't think just in terms of exposure for sports.  You need to think in terms of types of AF sensors that are accessable to the camera for focusing.  An f/2.8 lens MIGHT be able to use dual cross types, for instance, whereas a partcular f/4 lens cannot.  This is exactly why I have 300 f/2.8L vs. the 300 f/4L.  High action focusing in low light.
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KyleSTL

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 03:43:36 PM »
Its tricky, because the common sense is that the IS isn't going to do you any good for sports since people are moving so fast...
I somewhat disagree with that, because the difference between f/2.8 and f/4 is the same as just bumping up your ISO one stop, and unless you're already at the upper limit of your camera, or the upper limit of usable image quality, I think the f/4 IS is definitely a good sports lens.  Additionally, sometimes you don't want 1/250+ action-stopping shutter speed, and in that case the panning mode with the f/4 IS is more valuable than the f/2.8 non-IS.  The idea that only f/2.8 lenses are professional is becoming less true every year with the advances in digital technology.  In film days ISO 1600 looked pretty bad, now you can't buy a DSLR camera with IQ as bad as even the best ISO 1600 film (and the difference is probably a stop or two better).

You can't think just in terms of exposure for sports.  You need to think in terms of types of AF sensors that are accessable to the camera for focusing.  An f/2.8 lens MIGHT be able to use dual cross types, for instance, whereas a partcular f/4 lens cannot.  This is exactly why I have 300 f/2.8L vs. the 300 f/4L.  High action focusing in low light.
Fair enough.  I'm wondering though, how does the 18-year-old technology 70-200mm f/2.8L USM compare to the 6-year-old 70-200mm f/4L IS USM?  Read Roger Cicala's articles regarding Canon AF accuracy, there is a real possibility that the f/4 IS is actually more accurate without the cross, than the former is with it.

What about framing on the long end (assisted by the IS)?

I think we can all agree that the f/4 IS is sharper than the f/2.8 non-IS, so it also has that in its favor.

I'm not trying to argue, just things to consider for the OP.  I hope my my tone isn't coming through as argumentative.
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bdunbar79

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2012, 03:47:45 PM »
Okay, I agree with you there.  If it were ME, I'd certainly go 70-200 f/4 IS lens.  Because like you say, it's newer and has IS.  I agree IS has a huge advantage.
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mjardeen

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 03:53:42 PM »
F4 and don't look back. It's lighter and it is also the sharpest zoom that Canon makes. The f2.8 is only needed if you do a lot of portrait/wedding work and then you need the IS version.

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 03:55:28 PM »
Each person here will probably give different answers as to why they would choose one over another.  Only you can decide what works for you.  You may want to rent both and try them with the type of shooting you do and see which one works the best for you (if you can still rent them).
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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 04:48:46 PM »
Personally I'd get the f2.8 for that extra stop of light. Also, as studio 1930 said, rent both and decide for yourself.

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 04:48:46 PM »

HarryWintergreen

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 04:50:23 PM »
IS is simply a must. The difference in terms of the keeper rate is considerable.

ScottyP

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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 05:52:35 PM »
IS is simply a must. The difference in terms of the keeper rate is considerable.

Or look at it this way.  He wants it for sports mainly.

Well, in bright lighting sports, the f/2.8 would let you use a faster shutter, and gaining one stop of aperature (f/2.8 vs. f/4) lets you advance one stop in shutter speed (double speed), making up for one stop of image stabilization.  Does the f/4 IS really give you much more than 1 stop of IS?  And if it is really bright, then forget about IS completely.  At a very fast shutter speed (like bright daylight fast sports), Image Stabilization doesn't really do any good.  So in some situations at medium speed, the two may cancel each other out, and in others at high speed the IS is useless.

And in low lighting, like in a basketball gym, the f/4 may not be usable at all (unless you have an uber-expensive camera that is great at uber-uber-high ISO), whereas the f/2.8 is twice as bright as f/4.  And since you would want to use a monopod for that anyway, the monopod will be your image stabilization.
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Re: Opinions please: Canon 70 - 200 f/4 IS vs. 70 - 200 F2.8 non IS
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 05:52:35 PM »