canon lens query

I'm considering splashing out on a decent camera setup and thinking about the Canon 70-200 f4 L. It's a bit of a stretch financially and there's no way I could afford the IS version. How much of a problem would the lack of IS be for panning shots etc?

So far I'm used to using my Panasonic GF1 with a 45-200 lens (effectively a 90-400 on that sensor) which has IS, including a horizontal-only mode for panning shots.

Would the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM be a better bet? Longer reach + IS but then it lacks the image quality of the L lens, and a stop slower at the long end.

As a bit of background, I'm hoping to go for a 60D for the body and the 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM as a general-purpose lens.

Any advice gratefully received


EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Feb 25, 2015
The Netherlands
[..]Would the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM be a better bet? Longer reach + IS but then it lacks the image quality of the L lens, and a stop slower at the long end.[..]
I have used both the EF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM II and the 70-200L and there wasn't much difference in image quality between the two. The IS and extra 100mm resulted in more keepers compared to the 70-200L.

Also, on my 70-200L, the focus ring started slipping, so the 'L build quality' thing is a mixed bag.
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Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
I believe that the non is version is considered obsolete by Canon and they will not service it if it fails. With no IS, it's less likely to fail which is good.
What price are you looking at? They are usually in the $400 range while the IS version is about $50-$75 more. It think it's obsolete as well. Take that into account and make sure its returnable if its not working right or the image quality is poor.

For the $50-$75 difference between the non IS and the IS version I'd get IS. I owned the IS version and it was amazing. If you found a deal on the non is, make sure its returnable. There are a lot of internal things that can happen to a older lens that may mess up the image quality without being obvious until you test it out for focus accuract and image quality. The IS version is weather sealed as well, assuming your camera supports weather sealing.

As far as panning, the IS version does not have a panning mode so its no help for panning, you need to get a newer model.
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Dec 26, 2011
The 60D w/15-85 is a great general purpose combo. I shot that pair for years. Many consider the 15-85 as being essentially L quality - in fact on a crop body my 15-85 is clearly sharper than my 24-105 L. As to telephoto, I have not used the 70-200 L so can't help there. I have the 55-250 and the 70-300 first version. Both are plenty good for most situations and having image stabilization is definitely helpful. Admittedly the IS on the 70-300M1 isn't all that great - 2+ stops in real world. The newer version and the L version 70-300 are much better. Lately I have drifted more toward compact and light weight gear so my m43 systems get a workout while the 90D, 5DII w/100-400L, and lenses above all just cry for attention.
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CR Pro
Feb 3, 2013
I second what others have already suggested about taking a look at the 55-250 IS STM. If I was using a crop sensor camera and wasn't about to switch to full-frame, I think I would probably go for it over a 70-200, because the 55-250 IS STM is smaller, lighter, cheaper, I think the range would probably be more useful for me (particularly at the wide end), and the image quality is pretty good from what I have seen of it (my dad has one). The 70-200s have better build quality, even better image quality (although you need to ask yourself how much better you think it is) and wider maximum aperture. Obvioualy, you need to decide how important those things are to you.
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