Telephoto Zoom for 5D MKII

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by josh_kilinc, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. I'm looking for a sharp, reasonably fast telephoto zoom. I want to be able to reach around the 200mm mark, so I've been looking at 70-200mm lenses at the moment.
    Lowlight performance is a plus if not a must, as I would like to get out and take some nightlife photography once I get a decent flash. But it's main use will be candid street photography and local wildlife (i.e. birds, reptiles, rodents) on bush-walks and in rain-forests.
    Currently looking at the Canon 70-200mm EF f/4L IS USM and the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 APO EX DG OS HSM.
    It really comes down to what is the better value. The image stabilization on the Canon and claimed image quality superiority or the wide aperture of the Sigma.
    Are there any other high performance, good value lenses I've missed? Obviously I'd like the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 with IS, but, at $3000 it's a little out of my price range. AU$2000 is my absolute maximum.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. The Canon 70-200 in any form is hard to beat. The 70-200 2.8 IS II is the gold standard for that range of zoom... I personally would not get the Sigma 2.8... get the Canon f4... or save up for the 2.8.
    Disclaimer: I've never touched a sigma lens and I am a self admitted Canon snob...
  3. I'm not sure if I'm reading that site right, but by mousing over it... The Canon appears to be DRAMATICALLY sharper.
    Again though, I've never actually used a comparison like that before. So I could be reversing the lenses or just not know what to look for.
  4. Again though, I've never actually used a comparison like that before. So I could be reversing the lenses or just not know what to look for.​
    Watch the little arrow above the image. It points (left or right) towards the lens it's currently showing.
    I have the Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS, first gen. I'm not sure exactly how it's the "gold" standard, LOL. Maybe because of it's weight? It can double as a dumbell.
    If I was making the choice now I'd be strongly considering Canon's f4 IS version as well. It's almost exactly half the weight, an inch shorter, smaller outside diameter, and a fair bit cheaper.
    Negatives, comparing to the f2.8 version: slightly odd-ball 67mm filter size (most of my L's are 77), and tripod ring mount not included in the price.
  5. I was reading it right then. The Sigma was definitely a lot blurrier. I guess the Canon it is.
    The Tamron seems to be pretty close according to those comparisons however. Is that at all worth considering?
  6. Try to find the first generation Canon 70-200LIS lens. It was one of the best prior to the arival of the version II model. It is a good bit cheaper also. I have it and it works great.
  7. The EF 70-200/4 L IS is the lens I use by far for walking about with my 5DII, 50D, or 1V. As you've discovered, Josh, it delivers prime level image quality in a relatively light and compact lens body (contrary to the f/2.8 zooms).
    But if you think you need a faster aperture, and don't mind staying at 200mm and not having IS, the EF 200/2.8 L is worth considering. It weighs the same as the f/4 zoom, and pairs nicely with the superb 135/2 L.
  8. Josh, taken with the original Canon 70-200 f/4 IS at ISO 800, 176mm, f/8,1/1600 sec. This is about 1/4 of the original frame. At 100% this is so sharp you can see the iris muscles in the eye.
  9. Richards link is to the wrong lens - A completely different lens -- The digital picture doesn't HAVE a comparison w/ the OS version (but, for a generation closer, and a more relevant comparison -- here is the digital pictures comparison w/ the Sig mk2 --
    I don't have a copy (currently) of either lens, but I've shot with both, and my (albeit unscientific) comparison was that the Sig was virtually identical at f4, but had the added advantage of f stops 2.8 -> f3.5 (which is very important to me personally, but of little importance to others) and penalty of a distinct increase in weight and size. Bottom line (IMHO) was that if you only had $1300, need f2.8 speed, and OS, the Sigma 70-200/2.8 OS is a better buy than the Canon 70-200/4 IS (duh!) -- Of course if you can find a 70-200/2.8 IS L used for that price (assuming it hasn't been kicked around) -- get it! I think your probably as likely to get a bad copy as you are to get a bad one of the Sig, only you won't get a warranty.
  10. Obviously I'd like the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 with IS, but, at $3000 it's a little out of my price range. AU$2000 is my absolute maximum.
    You might be able to find a used Canon 70-200/2.8 L IS mk1 for under $2k.
  11. I have the 70-200 f4 IS and the 70-200 F2.8 (non IS) and have extensively tested two copies of the 70-200 F2.8 IS (Mark I) - I have not used the F2.8 MkII IS or either of the Sigmas. For my money the F4IS is the one to go for unless you plan to shoot sports - if you shoot indoor sports then you need an F2.8 lens. If you do need the F2.8 lens for sport I would buy a Canon as the AF tends to be faster and better than off brand lenses. If you want one lens for all occasions and need F2.8 then get an IS version - perhaps the F2.8 IS MkI used. If you need F2.8 but mainly use it for sports get the F2.8 non IS - this is a very sharp lens (sharper than the MkI IS) and is a lot cheaper without the IS. The problem with all of the F2.8 lenses is weight and size - when you need a 70-200 for general use the F4 IS is very hard to beat. It is half the weight of the F2.8 lenses and quite a bit more compact. The IQ is as good as the F2.8 non IS (slightly better than the F2.8 IS MkI) and the Is is the latest four stop version. You should basically ask yourself the following questions:
    Do I really need F2.8? (perhaps for portrait use and certainly for indoor sport / concert etc... and probably for weddings)
    Do I need IS on my F2.8 lens? (for most sports use you do not but if you shoot theatre / fashion shows / concerts you do)
    Do I want a smaller more portable lens? (if you carry it then yes)
    For me I find that I only take my F2.8 lens when i know I need F2.8 and that the rest of the time I go with the F4 IS. The F4 IS is an amazing bargain and has staggering IQ coupled with the latest IS. It would be my choice unless I was planning to shoot ice hockey or weddings (I mainly use my F2.8 lens for ice hockey and ski racing - in both cases you do not need IS but you do need F2.8). having been burnt by Sigma once on AF compatibility I tend to avoid their lenses - the only Sigma lens I have bought in the last 10 years is the 8mm F3.5 as there is was alternative until the 8-15 Canon zoom. You will also find that the resale on the Canon 70-200s is very good - my old F2.8 non IS will sell for more than I paid for it.
  12. At 200mm f/4, the Sigma doesn't do so well at the edges, in comparison to the Canon f/4 lens:
  13. I have had the 70-200 L 4 IS since it came out and as an owner of several L lenses, this lens is one of the sharpest in my bag. I have had to sell many lenses to buy others, but I can say with certainty that I will never let this lens go. My site has many examples of this lens. (link)
  14. Forgot to mention: 70-200 f4.0 is sharper than the f2.8. You can check it out on that same site: The-Digital-Picture. They're both very sharp though, I've got no sharpness complaints with my f2.8, apart from occasional sharp back pains, LOL.
  15. The IS is worth a couple of stops ON YOUR END of the camera. Flash is another equalizer. Also, your 5DII has quite good low light capability at high ISOs (I- who used to use GAF 500 slide film- would say superb, but that's me).
    I shoot lots of non-stabilized classic lenses, but I would not buy a modern lens without IS if there were any way to stretch to IS versions.
  16. Thanks for all the input. I've decided to go for the Canon f/4 with IS, unless the first gen f2.8 with IS comes up second hand within a couple of weeks. Thanks for putting my mind at ease. This community is just great.

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