Canon-200mm-2-8L or 70-200 f4

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by sami_lahtinen, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. I have eos Xti (400D) body and I miss zoom.

    I have two options:

    either 70-200 f4

    or 200 USM L f2.8

    Would 200 be to limited in its use ( My only other lense is 17-40 L)?

  2. Only you know - what do you shoot? Do you need more than 200mm? Do you shoot birds - then you will need more than 200mm. Do you need the speed of the 2.8?
  3. well I take nature or scenery pics in general (not birds) and also portraits.

    Maybe 100 mm Macro would be still better?

    Sorry for being so uncertain
  4. I have the 400D with the 17-40 F4L and the 70-200 F4L. Both seem to be great lens. I take scenics, an occasional wedding and misc. Next up will be the 24-105 most likely. While I'd love to have 2.8 lens, between cost and weight, I am satisfied with good F4's.
  5. I decided to buy the 100 mm Macro
  6. bka


    Moi Sami,

    I do have the 200mm f/2.8L and the 100mm f/2.8 Macro (and the 17-40 f/4L). Both are quite new purchases, but already have good results with both of them. My subject is mainly the same as you described above.

    I use them equally, but for different purposes. Practically they are not limiting me in case of still subjects, I can recommend both lenses. Also consider buying the tele-extenders.

    Do you have a tripod? A tripod and a 200mm on a crop body is a good combination IMHO.
  7. Moi Gabor

    would You see quality difference between the 200 L-lense and the 100mm Macro? I am under the impression that the 100mm macro is among the sharpest of the non-L lenses?
  8. bka


    I would say that there are no real differences in image quality, but can't compare them really because of the focal length difference.

    Yes, I agree that the 100mm macro one of the sharpest non-L lenses.
  9. The zoom is much more versatile. But, if you don't mind the weight and expense, how about the 70-200 f/2.8?

    Indoors, I find my 100mm a little too long for most portraits. Having 70mm is nice.

    If you are really serious about portraits, you might want to look at a faster lens like a 50mm f/1.4 or a 85mm, as you might want the shallower DOF.

    But my general advice remains the zoom, the quality of the 70-200s is fantastic and the versatility is great.
  10. I have eos Xti (400D) body and I miss zoom.
    Uh, do you understand what a zoom is? One of those two lenses is one, the other is not. So if you are torn between the EF 200mm f/2.8 L USM and the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM IS, get the one which is a zoom lens.

    well I take nature or scenery pics in general (not birds) and also portraits.
    For portraits a portrait lens is best (i.e., fast short telephoto). On the crop-factor bodies natural choices are the faster 50mm's (highly recommended), EF 85mm f/1.8 USM and EF 100mm f/2 USM lenses. A 200mm is usually too long for portraiture, as the working distance is pretty far and the perspective too compressed to look good. For candid shots it is great, however, but for regular portraits a 50mm lens is much better suited, in my humble opinion.

    would You see quality difference between the 200 L-lense and the 100mm Macro? I am under the impression that the 100mm macro is among the sharpest of the non-L lenses?
    The EF 200mm f/2.8 L USM is breath-takingly sharp wide open (well, it is an "L" prime) with fast autofocus. The 100mm is good, too, and probably only unnoticably less sharp. But maximum sharpness is not everything. The lenses differ in handling and focal length so much, that the decision should be based on the intended application.
  11. You need to think about what you shoot and plan out your system over the next few years depending on how much cash you have.

    There is no doubt the prime is sharper although you might not notice this in normal use. What you will notice is the prime will cope better with the 1.4X and 2X TCs a lot better in IQ terms than the zoom.

    Other advantages of the prime, f2.8 obviously, higher shutter speeds more depth of field control, will retain AF with the 2X TC, about the same weight as the f4 zoom but better balanced and much lighter than the f2.8 zoom, smaller and easier to handhold than both zooms, black rather than weight, first class flair resistance, lower levels of aberration and better bokeh. A lot of this would apply comparing against the f2.8 zooms also IMHO.

    Obviously the zoom give you more focal length coverage straight off, although I have always felt a total dork using a huge slow f4 lens at the wide end; even f2.8 is slow at this focal length.

    A lot of the prime/zoom debate is really a life style choice. I have ended up with a combination of light weight fast primes and f4 zooms which gives me a lot of flexibility. In the end this is more important than the last few percent of image quality.

    Originally by lens plan called for being prime only above 40mm (17-40) with the 50/1.4, 100 f2.8 macro and 200/2.8. When the 24-105 f4L IS came out I added this mostly as a travel lens however it is very sharp as long as you correct for the chromatic aberration you tend to get with some zooms.

    So I would recommend you consider a similar plan. I don't know if you have any interests in macro photography but the 100mm macro is an incredibly flexible lens being able to focus from infinity to life size without attachments.

    So it's up to you, sit down and plan out what you need to do your photography, what weight you are prepared to lug about. What situations you are in, do they allow you to change lenses safely and in a timely fashion?


    I just noticed you got the 100mm macro, excellent choice. For the future the 200mm f2.8L is an excellent addition to that and will get you started with wildlife photography. You can extend your range by adding the 1.4X and 2X when you can afford it.
  12. "Would 200 be to limited in its use?"

    Only if you need a longer lens. :)

    Only you can answer this question - it is very much dependent on your own photographic
    practices and needs. And you really _should_ answer this for yourself before you spend a
    lot of money on lenses.

    Take care,

  13. I'd suggest starting with the EF70-200. F2.8L IS version is good if you can afford it - F4.0 IS is next best choice. Compliment that with an EF24-70mm F2.8L USM when you cn afford it, and you're pretty much set. At a later stage look at an EF16-35mm F2.8L USM II
  14. Let's see, paraphrasing:

    "I really miss zoom, should I get 70-200 or a (fixed) 200?"

    "Never mind, I'll get a 100 macro."

    and then:

    "Sorry for being so uncertain"

    No problem, you've got me chuckling ;)
  15. Since you got only one lens (17-40), go for 70-200 F4L for better coverage. I was in the same dilemma and finally went for 200 2.8L because I already have 100-300 5.6L and 28-135 IS to cover the range. You can target 100 macro as next purchase.
  16. I think the the zoom would be more versatile but the primes sharper.
    I have the 100mm macro and 200mm 2.8L both are very sharp but the 100mm is probably the sharpest lens I own.
    Fallow the link to see some photos taken with 200mm 2.8L.

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