Help! 70/200mm f/4 IS OR 70/200mm f/2.8 IS II

what lens should I buy? (don't just vote for the more expensive one)


  • Total voters
    7
  • Poll closed .
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DavidM

Guest
I am currently looking at purchasing either the 70/200mm f/4 IS or 70/200mm f/2.8 IS II lens. I need some help in deciding the following:

1. my budget is tight and the f/2.8 would be a big stretch for my budget
2. I work as a wedding/events photographer indoor and outdoor

I heard that the f/2.8 is really heavy and not easy to carry around in that case it put me off a bit buying it as there's over $1000 difference between the 2 lenses. Basically the f/4 would be a lot more affordable for me but with a lot of effort I could purchase the f/2.8.

I also don't want to look back and say, "why didn't I spend a bit more and get the f/2.8 version" which has been rated one of the best lenses and kick myself because I didn't invest a bit more in my collection of glass which lasts me a life time. At the same time the reviews on b&h website about the f/4 have been incredible... some people even saying that they had both and sold the f/2.8 because it was too heavy etc.

Your practical help and opinion would be appreciated!
 

pwp

EOS R6
Oct 25, 2010
2,530
23
Hi David,

There's a current thread that will probably be completely relevant for you...
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,2232.msg48232/topicseen.html#new

and this one...
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,2230.0.html

Paul Wright
 

kirispupis

EOS RP
Oct 4, 2011
467
35
www.calevphoto.com
I used to own the 70-200/4 IS and sold it to buy the 70-200/2.8 II. I briefly had both of them and did a few comparisons. The 2.8 II is a bit sharper but both are very sharp lenses. The main difference is the 2.8. Given that you are a wedding photographer, however, I would think the 2.8 would be worth it. The bokeh on his lens is wonderful and there is a big difference between 2.8 and F4.
 
T

terrellcwoods

Guest
You've sort of answered your own question. Indoor wedding photographer. In all practicality you will need that 2.8 in the low light situations/no flash constraints sometimes imposed on you guys. Outdoor shooting and controllable light the 4 is awesome. I have never used the 2.8 non IS..maybe that's an option depending on what rig you shoot with and how it handles the higher ISO settings
 

PeterJ

EOS RP
Aug 6, 2011
335
0
I'm only an amateur but have done a few weddings, I've got a few tight-wad friends that like my beer / wine / food / wedding present payment plan ::). Anyway I've got a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II and a good many of the best shots have been taken at f/2.8 for the best bokeh. I use a crop so you'd get a narrower field with full-frame for the same composition, but having said that there are a few shots where I would have liked a bit more.

Are you using a crop or FF? For crop I'd say you'll definitely want the 2.8, for FF maybe f/4 would do the job, but then you'd have to consider the difference in AF speed when the light is not so good. They're not a light lens but I find it well balanced with a 7D with a grip. I suffer from a bit of arthritis and joint problems but don't find it too bad, for something like a wedding where the action is fairly slow moving but over a longer period I just zoom and then brace with my elbow while using AF / shooting.
 
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briansquibb

Guest
If you have plenty of flash then the F/4 will be fine. At weddings I always use 2 flash lighting, indoors and outside. I find that a 24-105 on the 5DII is the ideal lens in those circumstances.

It does depend on the space at the location
 

pwp

EOS R6
Oct 25, 2010
2,530
23
Either lens will do the job for you and probably be completely satisfying, though for somewhat different reasons.
But the fact you have said weddings is where you'll be setting this lens to work, F/2.8 and IS is a totally compelling combination. You may growl about the weight of the f/2.8 from time to time, but you'll never find fault with the performance and flexibility.

As I suggested in another similar thread, do a search on this list and see if you can find a single case of buyers regret from anyone who has bought a 70-200 f/2.8 isII.

Paul Wright
 
Z

Zuuyi

Guest
70-200/2.8

Easy question. If you make your living/good amount of money from photography pay for the better lens. The quality of the images will probably get you an extra job or two and pay for itself.

You didn't say your camera situation; if it's a crop camera like the 7d or 60d did you try a 24-70/2.8 or 24-105/4. Because 116mm (70*1.6) is really tight indoors and when that is as wide as you get that will be interesting.

I suggest a two camera setup one with an ultra fast prime Crop - Sigma 30/1.4 & FF - 50/1.4 or faster. The other with a 2.8 zoom lens depending on preference and camera anywhere between a 17-55(crop only), 24-70, or 70-200.
 

gmrza

EOS RP
Jan 21, 2011
522
1
pwp said:
Either lens will do the job for you and probably be completely satisfying, though for somewhat different reasons.
But the fact you have said weddings is where you'll be setting this lens to work, F/2.8 and IS is a totally compelling combination. You may growl about the weight of the f/2.8 from time to time, but you'll never find fault with the performance and flexibility.

As I suggested in another similar thread, do a search on this list and see if you can find a single case of buyers regret from anyone who has bought a 70-200 f/2.8 isII.

Paul Wright

My wife has recently done some jobs which involved shooting for an entire week with the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II. She had stiff shoulders on the first day, but would not consider taking the f/4 even though we have both. I believe for weddings you would find the f/2.8 almost a must - the f/4 may not collect enough light to get some shots.
I have to admit for daytime outdoor "walkabout" type shooting, the f/4 is more than adequate.

I doubt you will find cases of buyers remorse with either lens, but I think you will find a lot of people who started with the f/4 IS, and then bought the f/2.8 IS II, and then have kept both! (That said, we may consider replacing the f/4 with a 70-300.)
 
S

Steve Campbell

Guest
These are two different lenses with the same focal range really. For indoor work that you are getting paid for, the 2.8 is the way to go. That being said, it weighs twice as much and costs twice as much. I have rented the 2.8 II and own a f4. Both are very sharp and very useful lenses on both full frame and crop. On full frame it's a better everyday lens. The f4 is lighter, smaller, more compact. The f2.8 is more of a profesional piece of kit but it comes at a price in dollars and weight. But if you need 2.8..........
 
I

Isaac

Guest
Keeping in mind that you are a wedding photographer and lighting at these types of events are normally low, I'd say go with the 70/200 f/2.8 IS II. Yes it's heavier but it's not as heavy and terrible as people make it out to be.

Everyone I know who has it says that the quality is amazing. When investing in glass remember that it's with you forever and that your 70/200 f/2.8 may be used on your 5D2, 5D3 all the way through to 5D10 and onwards ;D

Happy decision making and enjoy!
 
A

adventurer

Guest
I currently own the 70-200/2.8 L IS II and previously owned the 70-200/4 L IS.

I have to say that both are very sharp lenses. The IQ on the 2.8 is certainly excellent but something I am shocked about is that with a 2X extender, the autofocus is far SLOWER on the F2.8 than on the F4. I often shoot in low light and I miss my old F4's faster autofocusing. In very low light though, both fail to autofocus on my 1D IV.

Having had the F2.8 for a couple of months now I'm not sure there's much there to justify the extra cost and weight over the F4, only that one could autofocus with it using a 2X extender on a non pro body.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
24,814
2,505
DavidM said:
2. I work as a wedding/events photographer indoor

It's been said already, but +1. Indoor events means you want f/2.8.

adventurer said:
I have to say that both are very sharp lenses. The IQ on the 2.8 is certainly excellent but something I am shocked about is that with a 2X extender, the autofocus is far SLOWER on the F2.8 than on the F4.

That's intentional. Canon slows down the AF by 25% with a 1.4x TC and by 50% with a 2x TC, to increase focus accuracy.
 
B

briansquibb

Guest
I do indoor weddings and even on the 5DII the 24-105 is far better as the 70-200 restricts you to mostly head and shoulders shots.

That said the 70-200F2.8 II is a fabulous lens on the 5DII - the bokeh is a dream
 

K-amps

EOS 5D Mark IV
Aug 8, 2011
1,790
2
Indianapolis
+1 to all these guys giving good advice.

It usually starts with the budget constraints making you rationalize about getting the f4 instead, but as with others, I had the F4, but now am a happy owner of the f2.8 mk.II. It just makes some pictures out out alive, it is almost magical... I cannot explain it.... the word "dreamy" comes to mind perhaps...

You should not be comparing the 2 lenses based on cold hard facts of F4 vs F2.8 etc ... the f2.8 mk.II has something special... it cannot be quantified... It is heavy yes... but it should not matter unless you have health issues... you will build the required muscles quickly ;)

Wait for Dec 6th? and if you are lucky, Canon announces the 24-70 f2.8 IS or mk.II without IS... if not the 24-105 f4 IS is a great lens for wider shots..
 
D

DavidM

Guest
neuroanatomist said:
DavidM said:
2. I work as a wedding/events photographer indoor

It's been said already, but +1. Indoor events means you want f/2.8.

sorry neuro, I don't understand what you mean that "it's been said already"? can you explain?
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
24,814
2,505
DavidM said:
neuroanatomist said:
DavidM said:
2. I work as a wedding/events photographer indoor

It's been said already, but +1. Indoor events means you want f/2.8.

sorry neuro, I don't understand what you mean that "it's been said already"? can you explain?

Just that at least 3 posts before mine stated for indoor events the extra stop of the f/2.8 is important/necessary.
 
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DavidM

Guest
can someone please explain (in detail) the weight factor of the f/2.8?

it looks like I am going to probably purchase the f/2.8 based on all of your help (thanks) however I am nervous about carrying this very heavy lens around.

please advise!
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
24,814
2,505
The f/4L IS is 29 oz, the f2.8L non-IS is 51 oz, and the f/2.8L IS II is 60 oz. Those are in-use values, heavier than Canon specs because the f/4 includes the hood and the f/2.8's include good and tripod collar.
 

TW

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Jun 2, 2011
76
5
East Tennessee, USA
Posts like this reek of laziness. I say do your own homework, give it some thought, then make up your own mind, instead of asking everyone else to do it for you.
 
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