EF70-200 f/2.8 IS vs. 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by b.j._porter, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. Sometime in the next few months I will be purchasing a new telephoto.
    My old Quantarry 70-300 no longer works reliably with the new Digital
    Rebel (although it is still fine with the Elan IIe), and I have
    somehow convinced my wife that an IS L-glass lens is the way do go.
    Also an extension tube is in the cards for this lens.

    Primary photographic uses are/will be pictures of my children,
    portraits, candid photos, racing sailboats (from the water), and some
    time in the future nature/animal things & travel landscapes. We are
    planning some serious travel in a few years, and I am looking for
    something to help me document that. Taking pictures while ON a moving
    boat (albeit sail) will be a frequent occurance now, so IS has a huge
    appeal. Also zoom vs. prime here is probably a must, because it can
    be difficult to reposition a boat to frame your shot...

    Other lenses in my bag include the EF-S 18-55 kit lens, EF 50mm 1.8 Mk
    II, and an EF 28-80 f/3.5-5.6 USM (I am not counting the Quantarray
    70-300 f/4-5.6 here, since it produces Err 99's too often to use).

    I was originally leaning towards the 70-200 f/2.8 IS lens and the 2x
    extender, and still am. My question is, should I consider slower, but
    apparently more versatile 28-300 instead? I do have reasonable wide
    angle coverage, albeit with a consumer lens, not an L. It would not
    be outside of the realm of possibliity to acquire an L wide angle lens
    in the future.

    Has anyone actually gotten their hands on the 28-300 yet and taken a
    few pictures? Any guesses if the "selling price" of $2500 will equate
    to a street price around the same as the 70-200?
  2. Keep the kit lens and the 50mm and get the 70-200; sell the rest.
  3. That "selling price" is probably about $1 off. I think I'd like to have the new super zoom because I'd find it useful for event coverage, and just fun to use. But It's just TOO much money - probably best for newspapers to buy a couple for their top PJs.

    I agree - get the 70-200 IS.
  4. BJ you should be aware that ANY zoom above a 3 to 1 ratio has a lot of compromises. The 70-200 is excellent (any of the 3 F4, F2.8, F2.8IS) optically, you also could consider the 100-400F4/IS note this lens is HUGE but cheaper than the 70-200F2.8IS.

    I would recommend that you go with the F4 and a Sigma 600mm mirror lens, IS is a help but is is worth $800 over the F4?

  5. A few comments;

    1st: Canon will most definately try to get $2500 for the new 28-300. The estimated price is the same category as the estimated $4500 price on the 1D-II.

    2nd: the 28-300 undoubtedly will have some serious compromises being a 10X zoom.

    3rd: I have shot photos from sailboats. Are we talking small monohulls on the open ocean or large catamarans on the Chesepeake? Sailboats will have more slow, large motions compared than a motor boat operating at speed which has high frequency vibrations. On the water, I generally have had more than ample light to kick up the shutter speed to eliminate boat movement with my 70-200/4L, but IS definately has its charms for water applications. IS is definately desirable if you can afford it.

    4th: 200mm is a tad short if we are talking big open water. If you are talking big open stretches of water (chesepeake, NY sound, SF bay), the 200mm will find you wanting. You should consider teleconverters.

    Here is where the budget comes into play.
    For $575, you get a 70-200/4L. (Short reach, but a place to start)

    For $825, you get a 70-200/4L with 1.4TC.

    For $1700, you get a 70-200/4L and a 300/4L-IS.

    For $1950, you get a 70-200/4L, a 1.4TC, and a 300/4L-IS **or**

    For $1950, you get a 70-200/2.8LIS with a 1.4TC or 2.0TC.

    I would not worry about not having zoom between 200 and 300mm. My experience is that beyond 200mm, you simply need all the blinking lens you can get. Also, don't forget that if you *really* need precise framing, you can do some cropping.

    BTW: I have a canon 75-300 and a 70-200/4L. I personlly think enlargements from the 70-200 are comparable (maybe better) than unenlarged 75-300 images. I would expect the same when compared with the Quantary.

    BTW: The glass you are thinking about is a major step change from what you are used to seeing. The 100-300 non-L is more in line with your other lenses. I say this because after you shoot these telephotos, you are going to want a 17-40/4L or a wide prime to complement your 50/1.8.

    Your milage may vary.
  6. So what you're saying Jim is that getting my first "L" lens will be the start of another addictive and expensive habit? Like I need another one...carbon fiber racing sails are worse than lenses.

    The type of boat photography I would be doing is more closeup (for boats), shots of boats during buoy races mostly. Both mid sized boats in the 25'-45' range, and junior sailors in small dinghies (7-12'). In other case I would be on a boat "parked" near one of the rounding marks or the start, that's where most of the interesting stuff happens.

    From a IS/motion perspective, there could potentially be a lot of motion going on; I'm not sure of the viability of using a tripod on the pitching deck of a boat. Most likely when taking pictures of OPB (Other People's Boats) I'll be in a smaller, bouncier powerboat too.

    Thanks for the input; it's looking like the 70-200 IS and a TC still makes the most sense.
  7. Personally, I prefer the versatility of the 28-300/3.5-5.6L IS, especially for a DSLR where the fewer the lens changes, the better (less chance of dirtying the sensor). It sounds like you'll be shooting mostly in good light, so I don't think the faster f/2.8 is a big issue. I've traveled abroad recently with a 17-40/4L, 28-135 IS and a 70-200/4L as my main lenses. What I found was that I was switching between the 28-135 IS and the 70-200/4L quite often, that I really wished the 70-200/4L had IS, and that 200mm was just too short a lot of time. I figure I would have been much, much better off if I had a 28-300L IS, with my 17-40/4L to cover the wider angles. I would expect the 28-300L IS to be at least as good as the 28-135 IS over the same focal range (if not better) and hopefully, comparable to the 70-200/4L over the same focal range (the 28-300L IS has three UD elements, which should help)-- but with the considerable added benefit of IS. Plus, I would get more on the telephoto end!

    As for the price, hopefully the 28-300L IS USM will be about the same price as the 35-350L USM (no IS) that it is replacing. The 35-350L USM had a list price of $2500, but sold for ~$1400 at B&H. Now we have the 28-300L IS with an "announced" price of $2500, too. If it follows the price of the 35-350L, hopefully it will be about $1400-1600.
  8. <<Primary photographic uses are/will be pictures of my children, portraits, candid photos, racing sailboats (from the water), and some time in the future nature/animal things & travel landscapes. We are planning some serious travel in a few years, and I am looking for something to help me document that.>>

    I suggest rather than spending for the 28-300 you get the 70-200 and the 28-135. Reason why I say this is that the 35-350 was just a so-so lens optically, although it's built like an L and is quite a monster to lug around. In my experience it's no better optically than the 28-135 within that range, and unless the 28-300 is a whole lot better, you'd be better off with the smaller, lighter lens and a second lens, the remarkable 70-200L-IS + teleconverters for probably what the 28-300 will cost you. And you won't need to carry the 70-200 all the time. The 28-135 has held up well for me also, though I haven't tried to beat it up like a press photog.
  9. Seling price is selling price. Canon no longer have "list" prices which were typically 30-40% higher than the lenses actually sold for. They now give the price that they expect the lens to sell for on the street from reputable Canon dealers.

    The 28-300L will sell for the selling price, $2500. I assume in time that may drop, but if you expect to pick one up for the $1400 that the 35-350L currently costs, you will be disappointed to the tune of about $1100.

    I just posted a preview of this lens. See the "What's new" column on the Home page. Note I said a PREview not a REview. It's basically the Canon PR release and spec sheet.
  10. Just a comment: I wouldn't get so hung up about changing lenses unless you are talking 10 times per day, every day.

    I shoot primes on the wide end and I do not experience dust problems. Of course, there are times I don't change lenses - such as when I am exposed to water spray or in really, really bad surrondings. On the long end, I find sneaker zoom doesn't work too well but on the short end a step or two usually results in ideal framing with a prime.
  11. I'm with jay on recommending the 28-135 IS: for general travel you'll find that you use it a lot. Mine is practically bolted on my 10D, just like it was on the Elan II, Elan 7, and EOS 1n

    The 70-200 L IS has gotten rave reviews from almost everyone who's bought it. None of the (admittedly non-L) 28-300s, from any mfr., have gotten much more than lukewarm praise. I'd hold off for quite awhile and some reputable reviews before I sank that kind of $$$ into one, that is if I had any sense, when I get my tax refund I might have a report for you.
  12. I went through a similar assessment in advance of a South Pacific surf trip, and ended up taking a Canon 100-400 IS L to use with a Canon Digital Rebel. Almost all of my surf shots were taken from a small boat which was less than ideally stable, and virtually everything was taken at full zoom (effectively 640mm because of the digital body). I just got back last week, and the results were pretty amazing - a number of the surfers asked if I would be submitting to surf magazines. The quality of my shots improved as I figured out optimal tradeoffs between shutter speed and IS settings, but bottom line is that the IS really works. I'd still like to fill in the gap at the shorter focal length, and wish Canon made a 28-135 2.8L IS lens. I'll probably end up getting the 28-135 F3.5 IS.
  13. Hyper zooms are normally complete crap. Canon and their 28-300 (and 35-300) are out to prive that if you spend enough on a hyper zoom it can be pretty good. Still not anywhere near as good as the 70-200s though.

    Another suggestion, wait a while and see what how the new 75-300 DO IS turns out. It'll give you better range than the 70-200s, as well as also being small, light, and therefore easier to handle on a boat. As others have suggested adding a 28-135 IS for your wider stuff would be a great choice too.
  14. I dunno. The 75-300/DOyoubelievethIS is awfully expensive. Although smaller than the 70-200/IS, I would think that on a boat you will have the room to handle the larger 70-200/IS, and the images will probably be superior.

    Also, for portraits and whatnot, the faster speed of the 70-200 (even the 4L) would yield superior results.

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