Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Got IS?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by 35mmdelux, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens any good without IS? I'd like to buy a zoom lens to take pix of my son's sports. Mostly outside sports; occasionally inside but well lit.
    Going to put it on 5dMKII.
    The IS model cost twice as much. Thanks - Paul
  2. Welll you wont have any trouble outside with the camera your using, I shoot at around 1200 shutter speed with the f4 stop,as far as inside
    ,i havent had a ton of luck for real large group action,but shooting at 800 or maybe 1000 with a 580ex forcing the flash to be in manual
    zoom mode and pick your average distance ,you should have some very nice shots,I dont selll any of those shots but they are veey
    useable for most other personal photos,
  3. Any good? Yes, it's good. Not as good as the IS version, but still good. There's always the Tamron 70-300 VR USD too
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Yes good lens.
    What outdoor sport?
    Asking because 200mm on a 5D, is not a lot of reach for many outdoors sports, at typical Shooting Distances.
  5. Hi William,
    Shooting football right now. Other zoom suggestion? Thanks -
  6. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Can you run the sideline? that's a big consideration.
    Also how big is the field (especially the width if you are on the sideline) - American Football? Soccer? Rugby? or is it a mini field for younger players?
    If the Budget is tight: a quality (second hand) EF70 to 200 F/2.8L and the x2.0MkII EF Canon Tele - Extender would be worth consideration - that would probably be more than a new EF 70 to 200F/4, (I guess?)
    I shoot quite a lot of Hockey (Field Hockey) - If I were shooting with one camera I would like 140mm to 400mm on a 5D, rather than 70mm to 200mm.
    The particular lens (70 to 200 F/2.8) and the x2.0MkII would do a good job on a 5DMkII.
    A (second hand) EF300F/4 IS would be worth a look also - you can crop quite a bit out of a 5DMkII's image in post production.
  7. William has a good point about the reach with the 200mm on a 5D, the 300mm f4 IS is a great lens, but it is more than the 70-200f4IS and close to the price of a 70-200mm f2.8L. If cost is an issue I would get the 200mmf2.8L prime, because with football you will be at 200mm most of the time any way, and it is one stop faster.
    Here is my ranking (considering price):
    200mm f2.8L
    70-200mm f4L
    70-200mm f2.8L
    300mm f4L IS
    All are outstanding lenses, I've owned them all, my 70-200's are IS but IS is not needed for sports at 200mm. The 300mm is my favorite (probably the sharpest of the bunch) but it is the least versatile so I put it last. If you already had one of the shorter lenses on this list I would put it first.
  8. Thank you for your great suggestions. I'm leaning towards the faster 200/2.8 as I would probably be shooting at the outer limit of the 70-200mm as Dave suggested and its 1 step faster when moving indoors. I mainly shoot fast 35/50 on my Leica. Longer lenses and sports are new to me. My son is 10 years old and loves sports. Ideally I'd like not to carry more than 2 lens sports kit.
    Thanks again -- Paul
  9. 200/2.8L is a great lens: I use it for indoor and outdoor sports myself.
  10. Paul, the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 OS - which I chose over the Canon f/4 and f/2.8 - is a fantastic lens, and it compares absolutely with my shooting partner's new Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 IS II: the Canon might be a tiny bit faster-focusing, but not meaningfully so in any way, and in IQ terms it wants for nothing.
  11. I've taken tens of thousands of shots with my EF 70-200mm f/4L IS. I looked through them to see how often I really made use of the IS and it was probably less than 10% of the time. That's increasing a bit now that I'm using it with a 2.0X TC as a 400mm lens on my 5D MkIII (you can't do that with your MkII, but you may buy a MkIII one day).
    Here's a type of shot where it paid off:
  12. IS do not stop movement, it's usefullnes very limited with fast moving subjects. Canon 70-200/2.8 without IS much better for sport, price the same as 70-200/4 IS and camera focusing way better with 2.8 lenses, more crosstype sensors active.
  13. IS do not stop movement, it's usefullnes very limited with fast moving subjects.​
    Y'know, I read that a lot, and it's just not true. IS is potentially very useful with fast moving subjects, especially if you're handholding.
    For example, it makes placing the AF point exactly where it needs to be, much easier.
    And - self-evidently - anything which makes for a more stable platform provides an advantage, regardless of how fast the subject is moving.
    In particular, if you're panning with fast-moving subjects and using a slow shutter speed, IS is worth its weight in gold.
  14. Nick said:
    IS do not stop movement, it's usefullnes very limited with fast moving subjects.​
    Well duh! Why does someone always chime in with this redundent comment? IS allows lower SS, exactly the opposite of what you need to stop action.
    People say no IS is better for sport, I call BS. I shoot some sport, but mainly wildlife, and IS is invaluable when shooting animals in early morning light. My SS will often be up at 1,000-sec, but the stabilization makes it easier for me to keep the AF point on the subject's eye. With the latest generation of lenses, hand holding a shot of the moon at 1/40-second is now very doable. Here's 1,000mm at 1/40-sec.:
    I say, get IS if you can afford it. It makes for a much more flexible and useful lens. If you're only going to use the lens at high SS, then maybe you don't need it, but I suggest you think about why you're limiting yourself artificially. Cost is a justifiable reason. These things aren't cheap, but they are good and really do work as advertised.
  15. Another point about IS for fast-moving subjects: most stabilised lenses include a panning mode specifically for the kind of slow shutter speed/fast subject imaging that is so prevalent in motor sport photography - it couldn't be clearer that at a fundamental design level, IS is intended to provide value in "fast subject matter" situations.
    I shoot aircraft too: IS makes it an order of magnitude easier to get sharp aircraft and prop blur at the kind of low shutter speeds that are needed for prop blur.
  16. I've got the 70-200/4 non IS, I think it's excellent. Image quality is what you would expect for an L and it's very light too.
    I like mine so much that when I bought the 2.8 IS, I kept the f4 as a lightweight travelling lens.
    My 2p
  17. I was shooting 1D 3 with Tamron 70-300 VC , fast shutter speed , 10 frames per second rate bursts, more out of focus images when IS is on. It is my personal experience.
    So I dig internet on subject of IS, found interesting article from Tom Hogan, who is stating that IS benefits are highly overrated and most of sport shooters turning it off. His conclusion is simple: turn it on only when you really need it.
  18. The latest generation of Canons (5D MkIII and 1D X) don't have the problem that you cite Nick.
  19. Nick, Thom Hogan doesn't shoot fast subject matter - he can be an interesting read, but I have absolutely no faith in his opinion of the value of stabilisation for that kind of photography.
    I haven't experienced any problems with OOF shots at high frame rates from my 7D/Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 OS or 120-300mm f/2.8 OS combos - I expect, and get, sharp, in-focus images when I shoot bursts.
    IS is on all the time when I shoot: there is never a case, in my view, for not using it when shooting handheld. It is completely illogical to suggest that anything which provides stability is not a good idea at all times - it's certainly possible to get visible camera shake even at high shutter speeds (I often shoot in pretty strong winds which knock the big Sigma lens around), and IS goes a long way to removing that risk from the equation.
    A good friend of mine is a UK pro called Nigel Blake. As well as being a superb bird photographer, he's pretty much the no. 1 guy in the UK for fast military jet photography:
    He does much of this work handheld, and he uses stabilisation at all times too.
    If it works for him, it's self-evidently worth doing: this is Nigel's bread and butter, and he doesn't do anything that might diminish his ability to get saleable images. So if he's using IS, it's because he has decided that it's a good idea.
  20. I love the 70-200 focal length. If you
    know that you will enjoy it, spring for
    the IS. Yes it's twice expensive, but you
    will get more twice the use out of it. I
    shoot some low light stuff at 1/15! I
    had the non IS first and eventually sold
    it (for a profit) and got a decent deal on
    the IS model.

  21. There's one reason that I just remembered that some people may have trouble with IS. It actually takes a fraction of a second to spool up. It's really noticeable on my 500mm. Also, while it's spooling up, it can shake the lens. I can see this by putting my 500mm on a tripod, aiming it at the moon, going to 10X live view and then pressing the remote release half way down, then releasing, then pressing. When I initially press the release half way down, the image shakes, then quickly stabilizes. If you focus, either half-way down or back button, then release and then grab the shot without any wait for the IS to stabilize, then you might compromise IQ. It's a fraction of a second. My litle test is very easy to do and you'll learn a little more about your lenses.
    I'm sorry that I forgot to mention this earlier. I tend to shoot moving birds in AI Servo mode, so I've got the IS humming all the time. It's become so ingrained to my technique that I forgot that it's an adjustment that I made for IS. A noob to IS should be aware of this and use IS accordingly.
  22. Good point, David - and again, one where experience trumps internet memes: using back button focusing my IS is spinning all the time too - it's one of the reasons I use the back button.
  23. I think that everyone that does any action shooting should try back-button AF for themselves. I did, but had shot so many thousands of shots with half-shutter that I didn't see a benefit. It's one less thing for my thumb to do while it's also steering AF points, adjusting EV, etc., all on the fly. I suppose if my half-button experience wasn't already ingrained at the spinal level, then I might have taken more positively to back-button.
  24. Oh yeah, we should use what works for us, David - but the point is still well made that if you know what you're doing, there's no obvious downside to IS under any circumstances (non-sensing IS on a tripod notwithstanding).
  25. Exactly Keith. I just wanted to make it clear that some might actually see degradation with IS and there's at least one explanation that I've seen personally. Once you know it, the "problem" is resolved. However, many don't seem to know this.
    Good point about the non-sensing IS on tripod. I've read that this is a big problem with many Nikon lenses and, some older Canons can have this problem. Once again, the ole 10x live view test will confirm whether or not it could be an issue for your lens/camera/tripod combination. If the image doesn't quickly settle down, then turn off IS.
  26. Unless you're always shooting from a tripod, it just doesn't make any sense not to have IS on longer lenses if it's available. Keith and David are spot on in their analyses, and their posts are well worth reading by anyone debating the IS vs. non-IS question.
  27. I have the non-IS version and I use it a lot for outdoor soccer (full size fields). I shoot from the endzone. It's usually on a 1ds2. I have the 300f4 IS on a 1d2 which generally gets more use. I've had the 300 for about 6 years, I've never used the IS for any sports, and only for a handful of outdoor scenic type shot.
    I also have the 200 2.8 and it's fantastic wide open.
  28. I am surprised no one has mentioned the canon 70-300 L IS. Agreed it is not cheap and may be more than the OP wants to spend since it is priced higher than the 70-200 f/4 IS, but it is a great lens.
    I bought it on a recommendation from a friend even though I already have the 70-200 f/4 IS I have not regretted it and use it far more than I ever expected. It is heavier and a bit slower but the image quality is great and now I find that I use the 70-200 only when traveling/trekking where the weight really matters.

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