Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS vs IS II

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by russell_t, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. Hey all,
    Just looking for some thoughts... I shoot a lot of sports and currently have an older sigma 70-200 f/2.8 HSM lens I use (and really like), and have been playing with upgrading to the Canon L series glass. I shoot primarily for a local adult sport and social club; it pays enough for me to buy more equipment, haha. So I was looking at the IS vs IS II lenses and was wondering if it's worth the upgrade to IS II. Shooting sports I'm never below 800 shutter speed, so the actual IS doesn't bother me... I'm looking more towards the AI-Servo tracking qualities of the IS II.
    If I should go with an IS lens, what would a fair price be for one of these? I see anywhere between $1,000 to $1,200 on eBay... some guy locally has one for $1,400 (but I wouldn't pay that much... go a little more and get the 2). What would a fair offer be if I do choose to go that way?
  2. The mk I has very fast focusing. I've used one for years, I got it before the II was introduced, and I've never been inclined to replace it. It's a good lens. I use it for low light event shooting.
    Based on reviews I've read, the mk II is improved in several ways: Notably it's sharper, it has better flare control, and it focuses closer. Personally the last two of those would matter more to me than the first. The mk I is sharp enough for my purposes. If you read mk I reviews written before the mk II was released, you'll see that nobody was complaining the mk I wasn't sharp. But does have flare problems when shooting into lights, and I'd love to be able to focus a bit closer.
    In terms of AF speed, I think they're about identical.
  3. as silly as this may sound, I think one of the best advantages to the II is the MUCH improved hood!
  4. Could you elaborate, Roger? Just based on pictures the hoods look practically identical.
  5. Focusing closer isn't a big concern of mine... considering right now I have about a 4m closest range, the mark 1 would be a vast improvement.
    Robert... couldn't I just buy the hood for the mark 2 and put it on a mark 1?
    What would be a reasonable price to offer for a mark 1? A guy locally has one for $1,400... but it's been on Craigslist for about a month.
  6. Seriously, I think for AI servo tracking capability, you'll be better off looking at an upgrade to your camera body than you will be choosing the II over the I.
    The biggest improvements are updated optics (including a flourite element), Of course the I is pretty awesome to begin with, so don't think the improvement will be night and day. Both are easy lenses to fall in love with.
  7. The hoods might not be interchangeable. They are different models.
    KEH, which is a very reliable seller of used gear, currently has a used mk I in excellent condition for $1,482. I would take that over an unknown seller at $1,400. These lenses are generally bought by pros and they take a beating over the course of their lives, so many are heavily worn.
  8. Well right now I have a 5d3 and I am planning on going to a 7d2 in the next couple months. (I used to have a 7D, and I really miss it.) But I can't justify (or afford) upgrading to the 1DX (which would only be my *real* upgrade at the moment).
  9. I don't view the 70-200 IS as a sports lens which is why I have just the 70-200 2.8 (sharp as a TACK) -- ten years in my bag now and FLAWLESS.
    You're shooting at high shutter speeds anyway so IS seems redundant and a battery hog; but then, I rarely get $$dinero$$ for sports anymore. I wouldn't trade my 70-200 for any single lens Canon makes (except for a brand new one of course).
  10. The IS f2.8 was at the top of it's game only a few years ago. Maybe only the F4 version was a little sharper. Then came the IS f2.8 II which was supposed to be an improvement. Not sure what the improvement was because the older version of that lens was pretty close to perfection already.
  11. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I don't view the 70-200 IS as a sports lens which is why I have just the 70-200 2.8 (sharp as a TACK)​
    I am of a similar opinion. I have used all three 70 to 200. When I cut over to Canon, I bought my 70 to 200/2.8 that was about ten years ago also and after using a (sports) colleague’s 70 to 200 at a swimming meet.
    My reckoning is that the 70 to 200/2.8L IS MkII is a fantastic lens and a tad superior to my 70 to 200/2.8, but not enough superior, in all aspects, for my uses to warrant me selling what I have and buying an new MkII IS. Also, IMO, the 70 to 200 F/2.8L is superior to the 70 to 200F/2.8 L IS, especially regarding the use of x1.4 and x2.0 EF Extenders MkII and MkIII
    However, I think that it is a big call to buy a NON-IS lens across that 70 to 200mm Focal Length compass: I think that if one does then it is for specific uses where IS will not ever (or exceptionally rarely) be required and I have those circumstances. Only once when I was asked to shoot a snowboarding contest did I think that IS would be useful and I borrowed a 70 to 200/2.8 IS for that job and only for a few frames, panning.
    So I think that if you do consider the 70 to 200 (without IS) you really need to ponder if this lens will ever be used outside the sporting arena and where IS will not really be a consideration.
    I have had bouts of considerations of buying a 70 to 200/4L IS as an 'alternative uses lens', but I haven't moved on that idea.
  12. So this brings up an interesting question, since I was only really interested in the Mk2 for the supposed advanced tracking capabilities. However, when comparing two similar lenses (e.g. 70-200 f/2.8 Mk1 vs Mk2), other than the USM, how will one lens help with AI Servo against the other? I always thought that would be more of a camera body distinction. Does anyone have a link that will help me understand that?
  13. I've owned the 70-200 f/2.8, f/2.8 IS, and now the f/2.8 IS II.
    The IS II lens is sharper, better contrast/color and has a better autofocus hit rate than either of the other two. It is a noticeable difference, IMHO. There's not a huge difference if you shoot a resolution chart from a tripod, but once you start shooting in the real world the differences become much more apparent.

    If you're looking at buying a used lens (what I would recommend), I think the improvements are well worth the $500 or so price difference.
  14. Actually it would help if you tell us your body. There may be hardly any point in upgrading the optics if you are using an 8MP 20D. I used the kind of lens you are using and mainly what you can hope for is some extra resolution toward the edge of the frame on 200mm. And people taking note of you because you have quite a big white lens.
  15. Russell, these are incredibly versatile lenses, yielding stunning results for macro, portrait, travel and, of course, sport and wildlife. If you'll never really use the versatility, then save money and stick with the older model; however, if you want to hand hold portraits in low light, shoot a super close up of a bee covered with pollen, shoot a bird in flight, then get the II and expand your horizons.

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