Canon 70mm - 200mm f4 Non-IS OK For Indoor Weddings?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by alex_bruce, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Hi Everyone,
    I’m a photo student and I’m just starting to pursue some professional work. I also hold a full time office job so for the time being my professional work is limited to things like portraits, events, and weddings that I can do on the weekend. I just happen to come into a little bit of money which makes purchasing a new lens a possibility, and I was looking at the Canon 70mm – 200mm f4 WITHOUT IS. I usually don’t like to make rushed buying decisions but I realized there’s an $80 rebate on it that happens to end tomorrow so if I’m going to buy it, I’d like to do so within the next 24 hours.
    Being that I’m still a student I don’t know ultimately what type of photography I will end up doing career-wise but at least for the next few years it’s going to be weddings and the like so I want my gear to be appropriate for that type of work. I was hoping I could get away with using the 70mm – 200mm f4 without IS for indoor weddings. I know either getting the IS model or the 2.8 would be ideal but I don’t have the money for that at the moment so I either get the f4 with no IS or save and get a different lens down the line. The primary reason I thought I could get away with the f4 without IS, is that I just purchased a 6D specifically for its low light capabilities. So if I compare the f2.8 lens to the f4 lens that’s only one stop difference and because the 6D is so good with low light my thought was using the f4 I could just push the ISO an extra stop if needed.
    I’d love to get everyone’s opinion, does it make sense for me to get this lens?
    As a side note, the 24mm - 70mm will probably be my next purchase but I think overall I'll get more use out of the 70mm - 20mm so I'd like to get it first.
    Thanks everyone for your help!
     
  2. I suspect you could get by with the f/4 on a 6D, but it really depends on the sanctuary. Some sanctuaries are incredibly dark, and the designated church lady might not let you pop off a flash. The next level of upgrade from there would either be a /4IS or a /2.8. Weddings aren't particularly fast-moving, so I suspect the IS would do you more good than the extra stop.
    You might also consider the 70-300 IS
     
  3. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "does it make sense for me to get this lens?"​
    More information is required and / or your needs to be clarified, but from what you have written, my opinion is: NO.
    If you really need something longer than 70mm, better to buy the 135/2L, than the 70 to 200/4L.
    If you really need something longer than 135 the better to buy the x1.4MkII EF Extender.
    ***
    > what lenses do you have already?
    > Why SPECIFICALLY (i.e. list tasks) do you think that you will get more use from the 70 to 200 compared / contrasted to the 24 to 70?
    (I understand, from what you have written that you mean that the 70 to 200 will be more useful than a 24 to 70 at (indoor) WEDDINGS. If this is your thinking then I disagree with that, but you might have some specific or other reasons - then you need to explain those).
    WW
    Addendum - Sarah - I took 'indoor Weddings' to mean, indoors 'generally' at Weddings not specifically the Church, in fact, more specifically the 'Reception' or 'Wedding Breakfast'.
     
  4. Why not try the 85/1.8 or 100/2 instead? - They would probably work. Many wedding photogs don't use a 70-200mm routinely. I do think the f4 would work, but the other lenses might be better.
     
  5. I shoot the F4IS and F2.8 non IS. While I almost never shoot weddings these days I always take the F2.8 over the F4IS
    for indoor. This is because for most human subjects there is always some movement. Depending on the church and
    your tolerance to high ISO you may be OK with the F4 non IS but as others have said you may be better with an F2 lens.
     
  6. Thanks everyone for your responses!
    what lenses do you have already?​
    I have a 28 - 105/f3.5-4.5 and i crappy old telephoto zoom...I forget the specs at the moment but I wouldn't use it on a paid job. I am upgrading from a Rebel so i have that body as a backup and a few efs lenses to go along with it.
    Why SPECIFICALLY (i.e. list tasks) do you think that you will get more use from the 70 to 200 compared / contrasted to the 24 to 70?​
    My thinking very well may be flawed but I just got my 6D and upgrading from a Rebel I'm used to the extra reach of the cropped sensor so I thought getting the 70 - 200 would give me some of that reach back. I also plan to do portrait work and this lens gives me range that would be useful for that. Frankly I assumed that during the ceremony in the church the 24 to 70 would be wider than I would want for most of it and that I'd likely use something in the wider range more at the reception. I also looked at the lens I used most on my Rebel which was the 28 - 105 which on a crop sensor looked like 44 to 168 which is relatively close to how the 70 - 200 will look on my new full frame body telling me that my general shooting style may coincide with the 70 - 200 more than the 24 - 70.
    I see many people suggesting primes and maybe that's something to look in to but I'm so used to working with zooms I'm honestly a little afraid of giving of the flexibility a zoom offers.
     
  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for the responses.
    I also plan to do portrait work and this lens gives me range that would be useful for that.​
    24 to 70/2.8 (and / or a couple of inexpensive Primes like the 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 or 100/2) is / are a good basic kit for “Portraits”.
    ***
    Frankly I assumed that during the ceremony in the church the 24 to 70 would be wider than I would want for most of it.​
    The ability to move or to make the best vantage point is usually much better, than making an increase in Focal Length.
    ***
    I also looked at the lens I used most on my Rebel which was the 28 - 105 which on a crop sensor looked like 44 to 168 which is relatively close to how the 70 - 200 will look on my new full frame body telling me that my general shooting style may coincide with the 70 - 200 more than the 24 - 70.​
    Yes understood, but was that use “covering weddings”.
    And as a minor point - what end of the '44 to 168' were you using?

    The fact that you have previously chosen that lens, from the lenses you have as the most often used lens, does not answer "what tasks" effect the choice of a 70 to 200 over a 24 to 70.
    Don't let us confuse why you did what you have done previoulsy, with reasons for what you might choose to use to address specific tasks in the future.
    ***
    I see many people suggesting primes and maybe that's something to look in to but I'm so used to working with zooms I'm honestly a little afraid of giving of the flexibility a zoom offers.​
    Well, a Prime offers much more light at a fraction of the cost of a zoom. This is basically a business choice you are making and from what I gather, the funds are tight.
    WW
     
  8. I've shot a few weddings and wouldn't even consider taking anything over 100mm. The new Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 with IS would be a wise investment and would cover just about everything providing you are prepared to use your feet occasionally.
     
  9. As an aside, do you have backup gear? A backup camera, lenses, and lighting? I wouldn't recommend doing weddings without it. If your
    gear fails, then they are without a photographer.
     
  10. I've shot a few weddings and wouldn't even consider taking anything over 100mm.​
    Jamie - Out of curiosity are you shooting on a full or cropped sensor body?
    As an aside, do you have backup gear?​
    Devon - Thanks for bringing that up; yes, I have backups for just about everything and will have at least a full set of backup gear before I start. I have a Rebel Xsi body and corresponding EFS lenses as a backup. At the moment I only have one speedlite but will probably get one or two cheapie 3rd party units to bring as a backup. I also have some studio equipment I can bring...don't know if I would ever need to but I suppose if I ever had to shoot large parties at night it might be handy.
     
  11. Jamie - Out of curiosity are you shooting on a full or cropped sensor body?​
    Full frame (5D2). If you are the official photographer at any wedding I honestly cannot see how you would need a focal length over 100mm. The only possible exception could be a longer lens for candid shots of the guests and kids outdoors but you can do that with a standard zoom most of the time.
    I don't have an f/2.8 zoom so I take my 24-105mm f/4L IS along with the 28mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.8. The new Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 could more or less do the same job as all those lenses, especially on a 6D with it's superior high ISO performance.
     
  12. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "The new Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 could more or less do the same job as all those lenses, especially on a 6D with its superior high ISO performance."​
    So could the older (and less expensive) Tamron 28 to 75 F/2.8 be used as the main working zoom.
    As well as the cost difference, consideration as to how often 24mm to 28mm is actually used and when it is used how dangerous it is to use, when shooting under the pressure of time.
    ***
    As an aside and on other subjects, including the subject of ‘Back-Up Gear’: that was also one of the reasons why I asked for a complete list of the lenses the OP has.
    Another reason for that specific question, was to address the subject of “Lenses to Purchase” in view of the fact that Alex has a DUAL FORMAT KIT - (in his Biography he mentions he has a Rebel XSi / EOS 450D - and I already knew that much, before I answered him in my first post.
    From his response to my question, I assume that "a few efs lenses to go along with it." means the two kit lenses (18 to 55 and 55 to 250) and perhaps one other EF-S lens: but, obviously, we cannot be sure.
    WW
     
  13. I wouldn't want to take anything slower than an f/2.8, personally. Yes, the 6D has excellent ISO performance, but 1) what happens if your 6D goes down and you have to finish with your Rebel? and 2) most people appreciate shallower depth of field (nice bokeh) than you will get at f/4.
     
  14. what happens if your 6D goes down and you have to finish with your Rebel?​
    James that is a FANTASTIC point and frankly one that I didn't consider. I'm not sure how much good the 2.8 would do for me in that situation though; if the f4 on my Rebel doesn't cut it then I don't know how much better the f2.8 would be given that it's only 1 stop faster. Maybe what I need to do if I go with the f4 is get a 1.4 or 1.8 prime for the Rebel in case the 6D goes out. The prime plus the 70-200 f4 combined would probably still be cheaper than the 70-200 f2.8.
    Your point about the bokeh is true, but the bokeh from the f4 still looks pretty good and the f4 with the current rebate is literally half the price of the f2.8. While the f2.8 is undeniably better I'm just not sure if it's better to the point of convincing my poor student wallet to pay double.
    I hadn't considered this but I had a photographer tell me they shoot with the f2.8 but rarely go below f4 because from certain angles it can be tricky to keep both the bride and groom in focus with the f2.8 all the way open.
     
  15. It's OK if you have a tripod/monopod. The lights at an indoor church make it necessary to open up the aperture and slow down the shutter speed, which increases the chance for blurry pictures due to the lack of DOF and the focal length of the lens. Remember that for a a lens with a focal legth of 200mm or so, your shutter speed should be at 1/250 or less. This is impossible in a dimly lit Church unless you use flash. You can shoot at a high ISO such as 3200, but anything more than that is fruitless since it would severly degrade the picture.
     
  16. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "I hadn't considered this but I had a photographer tell me they shoot with the f2.8 but rarely go below f4 because from certain angles it can be tricky to keep both the bride and groom in focus with the f2.8 all the way open."​
    Yes. DoF is DoF and is related inexorably to The Shot (the Framing).
    As a typical for example in the Ceremony: if you are situated at 45° to the B&G and are making Half Shots in Landscape Orientation of them; “Making Vows” or "Exchanging Rings, you will likely be shooting at around F/5.6 to get ONE of them in focus and the other, just ‘softly’ OoF.
    And yes, High ISO is really nice to have in those situations, especially of you are sans Flash.
    But those situations do not discount when you really need F/2.8 (or F/2 or F/1.8) to nail something because you have less light and/or you have Subject Movement and/or you are not allowed to use Flash.
    You should be able to squeeze ISO1600 out of your 450D and get ‘good quality’ 10 x 8 prints.
    WW
     
  17. So could the older (and less expensive) Tamron 28 to 75 F/2.8 be used as the main working zoom.
    As well as the cost difference, consideration as to how often 24mm to 28mm is actually used and when it is used how dangerous it is to use, when shooting under the pressure of time,​
    But with the new model having IS, it would mean lower ISOs and would also work better as a backup with the OP's 450D to avoid shooting at very high ISO. The 24mm to 28mm range may not be used much on FF but on his backup 450D it would be essential.
     
  18. Yes, it would be okay, but with IS would be better and could potentially yield sharper results if you do everything correctly. I have shot weddings with the IS version on 5DII and 5DIII bodies without flash (with at receptions), and the lens performed very well. Autofocus was fast and reliable.
    I like prime lenses, but I feel that zooms are better for events where compositional decisions have to be made quickly/instantly. Obviously, others have different opinions. I shoot at f/5.6 through most of the event unless there's a compelling reason to do otherwise. The razor thin DOF of an 85/1.4 doesn't match my vision or meet my expectations.
    I’m a photo student and I’m just starting to pursue some professional work.​
    That's another matter altogether, but you should consider a period of apprenticeship before you put someone's wedding at risk. Get some real world experience before taking a job as the primary shooter. A wedding is a once in a lifetime event. Failure is not an option.
     
  19. The f/4 will work fine with that body, but I worry about the lack of IS. You'll be at some pretty low shutter speeds and out past 100mm at times, so the IS is going to come into play more than you may expect.
     
  20. Remember that whilst IS may stabilise your lens it does not stabilise your subject. The only way to do that is by increasing your shutter speed. In low light you need all the help you can get. Large apertures and high ISO may be needed. If your shutter speed is slow all the IS in the world isn't going to help you if your subject moves.

    Personally I would go for a 50mm F1.4 and work on my camera holding technique. I shoot weddings in some very dark churches here in the UK and sometimes flash is not permitted. I reach for my fast lenses then. Not for IS.
     
  21. Remember that whilst IS may stabilise your lens it does not stabilise your subject. The only way to do that is by increasing your shutter speed. In low light you need all the help you can get. Large apertures and high ISO may be needed. If your shutter speed is slow all the IS in the world isn't going to help you if your subject moves.

    Personally I would go for a 50mm F1.4 and work on my camera holding technique. I shoot weddings in some very dark churches here in the UK and sometimes flash is not permitted. I reach for my fast lenses then. Not for IS.
     
  22. Why does someone always say that IS does not stabilize subjects? Are there photographers that don't realize that? It's hard to imagine that anyone could have even the most basic understanding of how cameras work and expect that miricle. Just saying...
     
  23. Actually I would go for the 24-105 F4 IS on a 60D this will still be a little long but will be a lot more usefull than a 70-200, which for you is a 112 - 320. Fr wedding on my Canon 30D i used the Canon 17-40 F4L because I was taking a lot of group and familly shots and a Tamtron 24-70 F2.8. For the 70-200 I went Sigma because I absolutely need F2.8 in that focal length espeacially if there is no IS. My goto lenses now for weddings are my Tamron 24-70 F2.8 VR, Tamron 7-300 F4 -5.6 and primes 28 1.8, 50 1.8 and 85 1.2L. If I need it but seldom use anymore I still have my Sigma 70-200 F2.8, but for shooting slow moving people or stationary objects I love th eVR of the Tamrons. To me F4 without IS in a long lenses you loose too much.
     
  24. it

    it

    The Canon 70mm - 200mm f4 Non-IS would be the last lens I would use indoors, especially for weddings. I have the 2.8/IS version of that lens, and I pretty much use it outdoors.
    While expensive, my 85/1.2 is awesome indoors. Even the 1.8 version is fine.
     
  25. For me it was OK. Depend on conditions of course but taking pictures in church surprisingly was OK
    00bKzE-519197584.jpg
     
  26. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "Depend on conditions of course"​
    Agreed -
    Nice shot: F/4 @ 1/200s @ ISO320 and seemingly correct exposure for skin tones.
    But that is relatively a lot of light for inside a Church as we know many Churches will be significantly darker: so it will, indeed, depend upon the lighting conditions.
    ***
    BUT also importantly:
    Can you please confirm that - the lens used to make that shot was the EF 70 to 200 F/4 L USM?
    Because, if the lens used to make that sample were the EF 70 to 200 F/4 L IS USM and the Image Stabilization were engaged, then that would really render the sample "not reasonable", for this particular discussion.
    WW
     
  27. William, Please forgive me for misleading. I reviewed EXIF and found you are right: it was IS and most likely it was ON. Please disgard my comment above and thank you for noticing.
    As per conditions, this church has big windows (see attached) The wheather was cloudy. I also reviewed other pictures taken on the same ceremony and found that ISO for them was in range 125 - 2500 while aperture f / 4 - 4.5. I used aperture priority mode and automatic ISO and the exposure time was no shorter than 1/200 but often 1/80 or like when focus length was short (of course IS was VERY helpful).
    Based on this observation I would not recommend use the lens without IS. IS is generally OK for church because on the ceremony people usually moving slowly.
    00bLRc-519539684.jpg
     
  28. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you for clarifying.
    I made no assumption that your post was ‘misleading’ and for me anyway, no apology is necessary.
    Yes - I agree that IS can become very useful for Church Ceremonies (and similar indoor events), when the shutter speed starts to wander slower than 1/180s or thereabout.
    But also, returning to the COMBINED issues of: Maximum Aperture of the Lens and Maximum ISO of the camera – it is really important to have a general idea of generally, what the Lighting Level will be – for example this is typical of the Ambient Light of many older Churches (in Europe)
    [​IMG]
    E 24 to 104 F/4 L
    F/4.5 @ 1/10s @ ISO1600 (IS-ON)
    Certainly with a 5DMkIII or a 6D behind that lens, bumping to ISO6400 would be very useful, but with an F/4 lens - still would only get me to a shutter speed of 1/50s and that can be quite a challenge with a Standing or Kneeling, Bride and Groom – as they do tend to wobble a bit.
    WW
     

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