70-200 2.8 IS Best Choice?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by john_kennedy|1, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. I own the canon 70-300 IS lens on a 40D and found it difficult to photograph my son's baseball games at dusk even when cranking up the ISO (too slow a shutter speed). I was considering the 70-200 2.8 IS. I thought it would help and would be a good lens for any indoor sports/school activities. I would consider myself an amateur and am having a tough time "pulling the trigger" on this expensive lens. I probably should have bought that lens in the beginning instead of the 70-300.
     
  2. The IS won't help you freeze action, it will just help with camera shake. The 2.8 will help.
    So if you went with the 2.8 non IS you would save a few hundred.
     
  3. An used one will save another few hundred bucks. For less pain, sell the 70-300 IS first before buying. Do that after the all stars / summer league games first before you buy, then you won't miss anything. Hey may be there will be fall rebate then.
     
  4. Also, Tamron and Sigma both make 70-200/2.8 lenses. I haven't used either, but most reviews I've seen say that optically they're quite good. Both are much less expensive than Canon's. Neither one has IS, but that shouldn't matter much for sports.
     
  5. If you can afford to buy the 70-200 f/2.8IS, do so. It's one of the best lenses Canon has ever made and one of the best zooms any company has ever made. I've used mine for several years on my 1vHS, my 20D when I used that camera, and now on my 30D, all with outstanding results. It's a lens you'll be very glad you purchased.
     
  6. I'm also a non-professional and got the 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS version for shooting my son's baseball games and daughter's gymnastics meets (indoors). I had originally bought the f/4 version thinking it would suffice, but nope. Traded it in for the 2.8 and have not regretted it since. At 1/1000 sec, I have not needed IS.
     
  7. I have both the 70-300 IS and the 70-200 f/2.8 IS. I use them both, for different purposes. I use the 2.8L when performance and IQ matters (over weight and bulk). The L lens focuses very fast and accurately on my 40D in good light and bad. It even works well (for my purposes) with a 1.4x teleconverter. Just be aware it is big and heavy (and conspicuous), hence I also have the 70-300IS. BTW the 100-400L might be worth investigating. Also the IS on the 70-200 f/2.8 can be used for panning moving subjects.
    Cheers, Bob
     
  8. I have both the IS and the non-IS versions of the 70-200 2.8. The above comments are accurate. These lenses will help you, but maybe not as much as you expect. I strongly recommend the IS, but not for sports! It is only marginally better than the non IS in that arena. But I would get IS anyway because you want to be able to freeze faces for those players who are standing still. IS will help where camera shake is a dominant issue, not subject movement. Ultimately, better technique will be your solution, regardless of what equipment you can afford. Get closer, let nature show you well-lit opportunities, and position yourself to take advantage of that. Use a monopod. Look for photo opportunities close to you so you don't need to work at the long end of your lens. When light fades, put the camera on your lap and enjoy the game.
    Also, have a look at Noise Ninja for post processing -- it will give you more confidence that you will end up with usable images despite high ISO.
    Dave
     
  9. Hi John, I think the problem you have is lighting or the lack of it so 2.8 is the way to go. If you can afford it IS is worth the extra money. Maybe not when you're cranked up at 1/1000th but there are going to be lots of times when you are at f2.8 and 1/100th and that big heavy lens is not easy to hold steady. Bob mentioned the 100-400, and while the zoom range is ideal it is no better at gathering light than your existing 70-300. I have an early Sigma 70-200. It's sharp but a difficult to hold steady, I find I have to rest it on something or else go to the rule of thumb (1/focal lengthx2.5=shutter speed).
    Before you spring big $$$s on the 70-200LIS take along a cheap fast lens, say the 50mm 1.8, and see how that copes with the light at 2.8. If that has probems I think you're snookered.
     
  10. Hi, the closest thing I use this lens for that is comparable is for drag racing. The finals are at the end of the day when the light is fading fast. This lens and a fast wide are essential. The IS is like an insurance policy plus it does let you extend into the marginal zone. With Non-IS I would get down to maybe 1/125 @200mm and no further if I was trying very hard to be still by leaning on things. The IS lets you get down to 1/30 - 1/40 @200mm. For pro work I would say it is essential to have IS and it will pay for itself in your keeper rate. It lets me shoot much longer, therefore makes more money. For me I couldn't afford not to have it.
    For amateur work it's just a toss up if you want to spend that much extra. Things like Baseball where it's a constantly dynamic field with people moving all the time then perhaps the IS won't be as valuable so you could save a fair bit by omitting it. Whatever the choice 2.8 is a must for marginal lit scenes.
     
  11. You should consider getting a monopod when you decide on which zoom to get. It will not be a direct help under the conditions you describe (as you will need semi fast shutter speeds to freeze action any way), but it take some weight of your shoulders. And, in addition, it will give you that split second advantage of not having to raise the camera for the shot.
     
  12. Another option... If you are close enough to the action, consider the 50mm f1.8 (very affordable). If you are not as close, the 85mm f1.8 (excellent for low light photography and also very nice portrait lens). Either of these lenses will help give you achieve superior focusing and enable you to shoot at faster shutter speeds with the lowest ISOs possible. If 85mm is still not close enough, you will need to spring for the 70-200mm.
    These options may also fit into your budget better and allow you to keep your current lens.
     
  13. 100/2, 135/2 are also faster options.
    However you'll probably want a zoom.
    Do you have a fast prime? Try setting it at F2.8 for some testshots to see whether F2.8 is fast enough or whether you'll need more drastic measures. (Get more light/flash or get better high ISO performing body...)
     
  14. Try the Canon 200 f/2.8. It's about $750 USD currently - less than 1/2 the cost of the 70-200 f/2.8 IS. And it's black, relatively small and relatively light.
    I have the 70-300 IS (same as yours). For 90% of my needs, it works fine. For dance recitals and dimly lit school plays, yes I rent the 2.8 IS and it makes a huge difference. But I'd rather spend the $30 a weekend once or twice a year to rent the more expensive lens than buy it unless I have other regular needs for it. Personally I'd spend the extra $1,000 (over the 200 f/2.8) toward a used 5D (but that would not really solve your problem).
    Are you going to shoot all of the baseball games or just one or two a year? Do you have planned uses for the white lens that the 70-300 won't satisfy? I do think you will miss the extra reach of the 70-300 (unless you are going to keep that too) and, while buying an extender is an option, that brings a very large expense to the table just to get a few good shots of the little league game.
    Don't underestimate the attention the large professional white lens will draw to yourself from the other parents - if that bothers you (it doesn't bother me - I get that all the time at the recitals).
    Don't get me wrong, the 2.8 IS is a wonderful lens and worth every penny but you hve other options to achieve the photo you want. Consider zooming with your feet (within the baselines) with the 200 f/2.8.
     
  15. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "I was considering the 70-200 2.8 IS. I thought it would help and would be a good lens for any indoor sports/school activities."

    I have the 70 to 200F2.8L (not IS) and use it extensively for indoor sport on an APS-C Body (20D): http://www.photo.net/photo/9193571 (20D+70to200: 130mm @ F/4.5 @ 1/1250s @ ISO1600 HH)
    It is an excellent lens.
    It also performs well in an emergency, with an EFx2.0MkII teleconverter: http://www.photo.net/photo/9193632 (20D+70to200+x2.0: 400mm @ F5.6 @ 1/800s @ ISO1600 HH)
    It is very acceptable used with the EFx1.4MkII
    I expect you will get better performance at ISO 1600 (and 3200) out of your 40D, than I get from my 20D.
    Even though those two shots in my portfolio were hand held, I do use a monopod most of the time: it is a valuable assistant for this lens.

    ***
    If you do buy a 70 to 200, I strongly suggest you buy the IS version - because it is very rare that one will buy a lens only to use it to freeze athletes moving or similar purposes. Even though you list this as you purpose, it is very, very likely you WILL use the IS because you WILL use the lens for other purposes in low light where subject movement is slow or still.

    There will be times (especially inside) and depending upon the sport or activity, that F/2.8 will NOT allow you to pull the Tv required to freeze the action, even at your maximum ISO . . . I have found the EF85F/1.8 a life saver on many occasions; second to its usage, is my 50F/1.4 – though the 50F/1.8MkII works admirable also.

    I rarely use the 135F/2 for sport, inside, because I can usually move closer or crop a shot taken with the 85 and I tend to work lightweight, mobile and close to the action – two cameras and two lenses, maybe three lenses tops.

    Personally, I do not view the 100F/2 as a “useful” addition to a kit, if one already owns an 85 - and I like the 85 for other uses (portraits) over a 100mm prime.

    WW
     
  16. Thanks to everyone for their advice. I will try my 50mm 1.8 and see if I can get the fast shutter speeds I'm looking for. I realize that the IS is not necessary for this kind of photography. I figured if I was going to spend that much for a lens I may as well add the IS to make it more useful in other sitiuations.
     
  17. The Sigma EX 70-200 2.8 is a nice alternative as well. You can get it for about 750.00 online which might make the switch a little easier. It is a good lens too.
     
  18. I have a 70-200 2.8 that is 10 years old and still takes sharp images. I use it for wild life and auto racing with a 1 DS canon. They lens has a million miles and a lot of rough use but you can't beat the images it makes. Spend the money on the canon it is worth the extra bucks, you won't regret it. Here is a shot at a local track from Friday night. Ed
     
  19. I have a 70-200 2.8 that is 10 years old and still takes sharp images. I use it for wild life and auto racing with a 1 DS canon. They lens has a million miles and a lot of rough use but you can't beat the images it makes. Spend the money on the canon it is worth the extra bucks, you won't regret it. Here is a shot at a local track from Friday night. Ed
     
  20. I have a 70-200 2.8 that is 10 years old and still takes sharp images. I use it for wild life and auto racing with a 1 DS canon. They lens has a million miles and a lot of rough use but you can't beat the images it makes. Spend the money on the canon it is worth the extra bucks, you won't regret it. Here is a shot at a local track from Friday night. Ed
    00Tn0n-149159584.jpg
     
  21. If I'd be forced to make do with just one tele, the 70-200/2.8 IS would certainly be it. Then again, as the beauty of DSLR is the ability to change lenses I use my 60/2.8, 135/2 and 300/4 IS much more often so most of the time it just collects dust. :-(
    Happy shooting,
    Yakim.
     
  22. Canon 70-200/2.8 IS the best lens in that range in my openion. From another angle, It's not easy to carry while you are going arround.
     
  23. It's the lens that all pros regardless of their feild have in their kit.That say's alot
     

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