Am I making a mistake going with a 70 - 200mm f2.8 L?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jaimes_leggett, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. I'm new here... howdy!
    Was wondering if I could get a little advice?
    I've got a Canon 450D and looking to upgrade to the 50D or 5D MKii (... that's another question).
    I've got two Sigma lenses a 50mm (f1.4 USM) and a 18 - 200mm (f3.5 - 6.3).
    The 50mm is my latest edition and has opened my eyes to a whole new world. Love it! Off the back of this, I'm considering selling my 18 - 200mm and replacing it with the Canon 70 - 200m (f2.8 with IS).
    If I did this, will I miss the 18 - 50mm I lose by ditching the Sigma 18 - 200mm?
    The majority of the pictures I take are of people, although I'd still like the ability to shoot cityscapes.
    Is there anything else I should be considering?
    Thanks alot.
  2. You will definitely miss the focal lengths from 18-50mm. But the improvement in the 70-200 will be highly significant. You'll soon want to get something in that focal range like the 17-55 IS or the Tamron 17-50.
  3. Yes, you will miss the focal lengths, but if you go for the 70-200 f/4 instead of the f/2.8 you will propably have enough to get a 17-50 f/2.8 Tamron also + you will save some weight. I just got the 70-200mm f/4 non IS, and it is awesome.
  4. Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is not full frame
  5. This is like asking us to choose a car for you. Only you can answer that.
    • 18-50mm will allow you to take wide-ranging cityscapes and landscapes, and the top end is OK for portraits.
    • 70mm plus will allow you to take more abstractred shots of cityscapes and landscapes and more candid people shots
    Which style do you prefer? Look back at you portfolio and see which type of shots predominate - if you are in any doubt of which focal length you used then the exif data may tell you the details.
    I would say that you prefer the first set which has me wondering why buying the 50mm 1.4 is making you think about buying the 70-200. This seems a weird leap of logic especially as you said yourself that you still like the ability to take cityscapes and the first thing you are doing is removing that capability.
    So my guess is that you have the 50mm 1.4 and have realised what good glass can do for your photography, and so you want to have the best glass possible irrespective of whether you will actually use it.
    And by the way, your choice of move to 50D or 5DMkII could be significant as it will decide if you need EF-S lenses or EF lenses (or their Sigma equivalents)? Are you after technology, pixel count or out and out picture quality?
    If you really want the 70-200 f2.8 L then keep the 450D (which is a fine camera), but the 70-200 and add a decent wide angle such as the Tamron 18-70 or the Canon 17-55 IS (both constant f2.8); a bit wider is the Canon 10-22 (or the Sigma equivalent).
    If you really want the 70-200 f2.8L and the 5D then get a second-hand 5DMk1 and the 17-40L or 24-105.
    Either of these options will be cheaper than the 5DMkII body. But first decide where you want to go with your photograph or you will end up spending a whole heap of money again in 2 years' time.
  6. Correct Andrew, but Jaimes has got a 450D, and as long as you have a crop sensor body, an EF-S / non full frame lens is about the only option if you want to cover the standard walk around zoom range at a reasonable price and weight. The 17-40 f/4 exists, but it is one stop slower, not a long and costs more than the Tamron.
  7. I'd keep the 18-200. Not only for the 18-50 range but also for the times you want to go lightweight.
    Plus it will not sell for too much so the benefit vs cost of keeping it is pretty good.
    Unless you'll sell it to buy another wide zoom in which case it's probably worth more today than tomorrow...
    Regards, Matthijs.
  8. The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS is awesome lens, large upgrade from what you have. But I would definitely want more WA then just 50mm in my bag. I would consider the 17-40L, price wise it is a steal and on cropped sensor body it is sharp center to corner. You got spoiled now when you saw what you can get with really sharp optics, so I don't blame you for wanting to upgrade. Once you starting buying good glass, you won't want use anything else. Nice thing about investing in good lenses is that they don't become obsolete in few years, leaving you to want and upgrade. I have 70-200mm f/4L that I have owned for about five years and you will have to pry it away from my dead body to get it from me. One of best investments I ever made.
  9. Do you really need the 2.8 zoom? It is heavy and big! Consider the 70-200 f/4IS version instead. That will leave you money to buy another wide zoom. You will not be happy without it - trust us. Get the 17-40L, that, combined with the other lenses would cover everything, except extreme wide angle and all lenses would be compatible with a FF body, should you ever go that route.
  10. I agree with everyone that if you get a 70-200 you will still want something wider. Get a Canon 17-40 or Tamron 17-50 or even a 18-55 IS kit lens with the 70-200 for a great combo. The 70-200 is an amazing lens. I can say from experience, don't get what you think you may need later, ( full frame etc ) get the lens you want or need now.
  11. I'd like to add that I find f/4 zooms to be sufficiently fast for outdoor work, so I, too, would recommend that you get the 70-200/4 IS L over the 70-200/2.8 IS L. The 70-200 focal length range is ideal for outdoor candid portraiture. For indoor available light portraiture it's good to have an f/2.8 (or faster) lens, but 70-200 is too long for most indoor work, and you can use your 50/1.4 (or 24-70/2.8 L, if you get one) for that application. The 70-200/4 is much lighter and cheaper than the 70-200/2.8, and it's reportedly sharper.
    Another lens worth considering is the very fine 24-105/4 IS L.
    I'd also recommend that you get a 5D (or 5D Mark II, if you can afford it) over the 50D. Full frame bodies are better than crop frame bodies for portraiture and city/landscape work. They render more image detail, and give you the true focal lengths of your lenses.
  12. I just wrote about this on my blog here you may find this artical helpful
  13. FYI: Art Wolfe uses the 70-200 F4L IS and says it's just as sharp as the 2.8 IS, with much less weight. (760 grams for the F4 vs 1470 grams for the 2.8). If you've ever seen his Travels to the Edge photo series, well, I trust his judgement. Here's one of the best nature photographers out there recommending it, not some resolution test chart.
  14. Instead of a "normal" zoom (18-50mm) I'd go for a superwide like the Tokina AT-X 12-24mm. It opens up new photographic opportunities and will give you wide angle perspectives when you need them.
    And if you feel intimidated by the big white, you could also consider choosing a handful of fast primes for portraiture -- i.e., any combination of the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2 USM, EF 135mm f/2 L USM and EF 200mm f/2.8 L USM. They will probably be cheaper than the 70-200mm zoom, weight less and are faster and better to hand-hold. The primes lack IS, though.
  15. Hi All,
    Thanks for your feedback... I really appreciate your collective experience.
    The two reasons I want to upgrade my lens are:
    - Ability to shoot clean / clear shots in lower light
    - Greater IQ across the range
    Given this... would I be better to keep my current lens set-up and upgrade to a 5D MKII or would I be better to buy one or two better lenses?
    (... based on a £2k budget).
    p.s. Around 80% of the shots I take are reportage esk portraits
  16. The Canon 70-200 f2.8 L series is an awsome lens it focuses fast and locks un like other lenses that seem to hunt allot. If felt a little angry at myself for paying so much for it at first, but now I have no regrets. I like it even more than the 24-70L . It is by far one of the best built lenses in the Canon line and on the market period. The bad thing it's kind of heavy so it doesn't make a good walk around lens, it also does not have macro, but for everything else it's worth the money.
  17. You are talking about buying a 50D or 5D; one camera is a crop camera and the other is a full frame. That will make a diffenece in the lens choice. You must first decide what body you plan to buy.
  18. You are all over the map now. First lenses, now bodies. You need to decide first what your needs are. Any advice we give you is meaningless unless you decide what body you want to use these lenses on.
  19. Thanks Juergen.
    I agree... I'm more confused than I was when I started... but far better informed!
    I'm going to give it a bit more thought tonight.
    Appreciate the input.
  20. A 5D with the 24-105 kit is a nice set up for around $2500. I don't think your Sigma lenses will work on full frame so that may be something to consider.
  21. Whatever you decide, lose the SigMa super-zoom if you value image quality.
  22. if you like taking candid pics of people, then forget the 70-200 zoom lens and stick with primes. lighter, smaller, better image quality.
  23. Yes, with a 450D or other crop body, you'll miss the 18-50 range. My vote is for the very sharp Tamron 17-50 IF you stick with a crop body. If you end up getting the 5D, you may not miss the 18-50 range so much, but 50mm is still a little long for cityscapes. I shoot weddings (low light!) and portraits with the 40D and 3 lenses: 70-200 2.8L IS, Tamron 17-50 2.8 and 50mm 1.4. The first two are on my camera 95% of the time. :)
  24. I would hesitate on spending a lot of money on lenses exclusively for crop bodies, such as the Canon 17-55 IS, tamron 17-50 etc. Most likely you're going to want to upgrade to a full frame body one day, and those lenses will be useless to you. You'll be happy with the Canon L telephoto zooms. The decision on whether you need the 2.8 should be based on whether you plan on shooting in low light. If not, then the f/4 would do you well at less price.
  25. How long have you had your 450D? I'd get a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 and start shooting.
    >>> The decision on whether you need the 2.8 should be based on whether you plan on shooting in low light.
    BTW, the large 2.8 aperture is not just about use in low light. For street photography/portraits, I use mine in normal outdoor light wide open to creatively control depth of field. Something I'm not willing to give up.
  26. The 70-200 F2.8 is a great lens but it may feel rather large on the Rebel body. I suggest that you try the F4 and the F2.8 version before you buy. I use the F2.8 and find it much more useful than the F4 but I shoot film and also a lot of fast / poor light sports where I need all the light I can get. i bought the kids a Digital rebel a few years ago (300D) and I find that both the 70-200 f2.8 and 24 - 70 f2.8 lenses are too big for the body. it feels like shooting a full frame body with the 300 f2.8 attached. This is something you may want to check out as the F2.8 is a big lens and the Rebel is a small body.
  27. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I agree 100% with: Daniel Flather and Juergen Sattleru
    and I add: if you choose a 5DMkII then you also need to answer:
    Will you be keeping your 450D?
  28. The f2.8 is useful with a 2x since it will still autofocus (at 5.6) on moving things like kids and birds, etc. But if you don't need autofocus at 400mm, then the f4 will save money and weight. If you do low-light family things then the 2.8 will be better, too. The 2.8 will isolate people from their backgrounds better than the f4. The combination of 70-200 + 2x to get to 400mm is not going to be as sharp as just getting a 400mm prime, but it is a flexible tradeoff.
    I have the 2.8 and have used it (alone, with 1.4x and 2x) on my 40D more than any other lens. It's heavy, but you get used to it if you shoot regularly. Good luck.
  29. If you were to only own 1 Canon L series zoom lens the 70-200 2.8IS is probably the best you can get. Tack Sharp and built like a tank. Trouble is once you start using it you will become addicted to L series lenses! <G>

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