Canon 70-200 f4 IS vs f2.8 Non-IS

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by tony_craig, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Not for pro use and I would like some advice. I do not do fast moving sports, but would like a lens that could be used indoors for school functions. Crop bodies, some wildlife, some portraits. Appreciate your input.
     
  2. If your camera body does well at high ISO, that would be a factor for indoor shooting w a 70-200. Which body will you lens go on?
     
  3. T2i and 50D
     
  4. While the f2.8 will produce superior bokeh and DOF control (especially on the crop), the benefit is arguable. Certainly many users feel their f4 IS units perform fine in those respects. To me, I find the added stop is well worth losing IS, but then I shoot a lot of portraits, and do so on FF. How much that functional loss will affect your shooting (especially indoors (limited shutter speed), and on the crop (with increased noise, and focal length)) is going to be largely determined by your technique.
    For most uses 'general purpose' uses though, I think you'd be just as well served by either, with the IS giving a less experienced shooter a distinct advantage w/ the f4 IS (vs. the 2.8 non-IS).
     
  5. Thanks Marcus. I am a less experienced shooter and lean toward the IS. Just picking the collective brain for compelling reason to get the faster lens since both are available to me.
     
  6. I have both these lenses and shoot APS-C (7D), APS-H and full frame. I find the F2.8 is great for sports - especially indoor but generally prefer the F4IS for it's lighter weight and smaller size. Real world IQ there is little to choose between them. Unless you shoot fast moving sports indoors (e.g. hockey) or want the shallow DOF for portraits I would suggest the F4 IS. In terms of handholding I really find little to choose between the two lenses and generally do not need IS on the zoom as I generally have a fast enoug shutter speed. For portrait use the 100 F2.8L Macro, 85 F1.8 and 50 F1.4 (on APS-C) will do a better job than the zoom without the size and weight.
     
  7. I own two of the 70-200 versions, but neither are the ones you're looking at! I have the 70-200 f2.8 IS and the 70-200 f4 (non IS). While both are exemplary lenses, if I don't need the additional stop or IS, I will invariably reach for the f4 lens as I much prefer using it. The size and weight are perfect for hand-holding for long periods of time, and I just prefer it ergonomically. However, when you need that extra stop and / or IS, then the f2.8 lens is essential.
    Oddly enough, if I had to keep just one I'd keep the f2.8 lens for it's extra flexibility, but I still prefer to use the f4 version when I can (which is actually most of the time). Having both is ideal and most importantly gives me much needed redundancy when away on location. I originally bought the f4 version as a back-up lens and was surprised that I liked it so much that I use it whenever possible.
     
  8. I used to have the f4 non-IS and sold it. At the time, I recall thinking I'd like it better if it had IS. I did admire that lens, which produced many good images for me. On a related note, as I age I realize I am not as able to hold my equipment as steady as when I was younger. That's the dilemma I have placed myself in...steady or speed.
    Thanks all for your input so far!
     
  9. Well they aren't mutually exclusive... you could get a 70-200mm f2.8L IS...
     
  10. I owned both versions of the 70-200 4L and greatly preferred the IS version: sharper, much more flare resistant and, of course, great IS function. The only downside to the IS version is it costs more...
    My 70-200 4L IS review:
    http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/frary/canon_ef70-200_4is.htm
     
  11. The only real advantage of the 2.8 non-IS over the 4 IS is that you can use a 2x teleconverter on the 2.8 and still use AF. General use, though, especially indoors, IS will give you more than the 1 stop you'd get from the aperture of the 2.8, which is more useful if you aren't shooting fast moving subjects.
     
  12. The weight difference is significant since you will likely be handholding this lens for extended periods of time. Check both out in a store to see what you think. If you can stretch your budget slightly you can get a used Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS version 1 for under $1500 USD.
    Depending on your specific needs an 85/1.8, 100/2 or the incredible 135/2 L could be a better fit. Buying used allows to you to maximize quality for a given budget.
     
  13. Indoors for school functions, I use either a 24-105/4 or 135/2, depending on light level and focal length needed. I think the 70-200/2.8 is going to be overkill.
     
  14. The IS on the 70-200/4.0 IS is seriously amazing. With care (and my left arm's elbow on a solid surface), I get consistently sharp images at 1/30 at all focal lengths. Which would be unthinkable at any focal length in that range. Heck, 1/60 would be hit and mostly miss. So unless you desperately need motion stopping, the f/4.0 IS lens would be my strong recommendation.
     
  15. I'm leaning toward the f4 for weight, IS and it's great IQ. I'm actually evaluating one this weekend and the weather is terrible (rain and thunderstorms) so I can't get outside to play as much as I'd hoped. Suppose it would be a good opportunity to test the indoor capabilities.
    Anyone have any suggestions for tests I should try?
     
  16. Jay and Tony - the need for an F2.8 lens depends on what you shoot. If you shoot action sports (I shoot ski racing and ice hockey) there is no need for IS as it will not help. IS helps with slow shutter speeds - for action sports you generally need shutter speeds where IS does not make any difference. If you shoot indoor sports like ice hockey and need fast shutter speeds at reasonable ISO (3200 or less) then the F2.8 lens makes a big difference over the F4 lens. For many arena sports - even with an APS-C body you need the reach of a 70-200 or even a 300mm lens.
    If you need one great lens and do not shoot portrait or indoor sports get the F4 IS
    If you do shoot portrait or indoor sports and want only one lens get the F2.8 II
    If (like me) you shoot sports but also need to carry a 70-200 for long distances then get both. In my case I don't need IS on my F2.8 lens and the F2.8 non IS was sharper than the MkI F2.8 IS but is not quite as sharp as the new F2.8 IS II
     
  17. Jay and Tony - the need for an F2.8 lens depends on what you shoot. If you shoot action sports (I shoot ski racing and ice hockey) there is no need for IS as it will not help. IS helps with slow shutter speeds - for action sports you generally need shutter speeds where IS does not make any difference. If you shoot indoor sports like ice hockey and need fast shutter speeds at reasonable ISO (3200 or less) then the F2.8 lens makes a big difference over the F4 lens. For many arena sports - even with an APS-C body you need the reach of a 70-200 or even a 300mm lens.
    If you need one great lens and do not shoot portrait or indoor sports get the F4 IS
    If you do shoot portrait or indoor sports and want only one lens get the F2.8 II
    If (like me) you shoot sports but also need to carry a 70-200 for long distances then get both. In my case I don't need IS on my F2.8 lens and the F2.8 non IS was sharper than the MkI F2.8 IS but is not quite as sharp as the new F2.8 IS II
     
  18. In evaluating the f4 IS, I continue to hear a motor running when changing the object I focus on. Is this normal?
     
  19. Asked and answered, sorry. Apparently, the IS motor on that lens is louder than any of my others. (Turned off IS and the noise halted.)
     
  20. Given the choice, I would go for the f/4 IS.
     
  21. Care to elaborate?
     
  22. My related question is whether the f2.8 lens will focus faster than the f4 version or not? I know the 2.8 focuses lightning fast, how about the f4, equally fast, or slower?
     

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