70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

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70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby ian.bertram on Tue May 08, 2012 8:52 pm

Hi all Canoners,

I have identified a problem with my old 70-300 4.5-5.6 IS-USM and am upgrading to the 70-200L (my first 'L'). I really can't afford the 2.8 IS, but I would love some input on what others think of a comparison of the 2.8 non-IS versus the 4.0 IS lens. Price-wise they are almost identical. Strengths and weaknesses as I see them would be:

2.8: full stop brighter
2.8: seems to be the choice of professionals
4.0 IS: lighter
4.0 IS: with IS may actually give more flexibility compared to the 2.8

As to which one is sharper, I have heard the 4.0 is actually sharper, but is the 4.0 IS not as good.

I'd love to hear from someone who actually owns one of these lenses to put some reality into my deliberations.

Thanks
Ian
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Re: 70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby Remorhaz on Tue May 08, 2012 10:18 pm

Suren owns the 4.0 IS
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Re: 70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby paulmac on Tue May 08, 2012 10:48 pm

G'day
I own the f4 IS, and love it.

Having not owned the 2.8, I'm only partly qualified to answer, but I reckon having the IS outweighs not being f2.8. The world literally stops moving when you half press.

I shoot with a 7D, and I'm happy with using one stop higher ISO if needed.

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Re: 70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby surenj on Tue May 08, 2012 10:57 pm

paulmac wrote:I own the f4 IS, and love it.

Ditto. It's very sharp and contrasty.

The biggest difference between these is size. You should test them out if possible. The size and weight were major factors in my decision. A lens in the cupboard doesn't take good pictures.
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Re: 70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby ian.bertram on Wed May 09, 2012 12:29 am

One thing I did like about the 70-300 with IS was the way 'the world stood still' when you half pressed. I was actually wondering what it would be like if I went with the 2.8 and lost that 'freeze'.

A friend at work who moonlights as a pro shooter also advised that I try one out by hiring it for a day. That seems like really good advice as that way I can be sure about whether I want the lower stop or the IS. I also take you point about the weight- the 2.8 is a hefty bugger (with IS it's really seriously heavy).

Anyone who has the 2.8 care to comment (as I think I'm leaning towards the 4.0 IS version).

Regards
Ian
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Re: 70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby surenj on Wed May 09, 2012 3:48 pm

ian.bertram wrote:advised that I try one out by hiring it for a day.

Best way to go I think. If you are around, I can bring my f4 IS to a meet for you to check out.
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Re: 70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby aim54x on Thu May 10, 2012 9:51 am

F4L IS - as you said, smaller/lighter and sharper, yes the non-IS F4L is a tad bit sharper, but even the F4L IS still puts the F2.8L (and the F2.8L IS - first version) to shame.
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Re: 70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby ian.bertram on Thu May 10, 2012 3:53 pm

I think I'm sold on the F4L IS.

Besides doing the normal every kind of shot in the book shots, I shoot for a group of young performers who are regularly in the local paper. Normally I would use my 2.8 100mm and 1.8 50mm primes for this work, but am hoping the 70-200 will go a long way to being the go-to lens for this work. At the moment this is mounteed on a 40D so my iso is pretty limited. Next year I may be brave and go for a 5D, but this lens would be the purchase for 2012!

Shots like this...
Image
or this
Image
or this
Image

What sort of workable shutter speed could I expect with the F4L IS hand held in these conditions (ie the kids are slow targets, but I need sharp). Im thinking that I can more than overcome the 2.8 with the IS and get my shutter speed much slower. Normally I would use the inverse rule and never shoot less than 200th of a sec.

Sorry to be a pan with all these questions, but as helpful as the shop people are, they're never going to give advice like I'm getting!!
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Re: 70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby surenj on Thu May 10, 2012 5:02 pm

Ian, for these shots you are limited by the shutter speed that you need to freeze the action. No contribution from IS unless you have super shaky hands.
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Re: 70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby Mr Darcy on Thu May 10, 2012 5:42 pm

If you check the exif on these shots, you will see you used f5, f5.6 and f2.8. The last was also 1/100s ISO800 so I imagine it was quite dark. Still the f4 will get you two out of three. I guess it depends how important the third shot is.
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Re: 70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby Chaase on Thu May 10, 2012 7:01 pm

Have a look at this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtODT5jJMHo

The f4 gets an excellent review and would be the one to go for if dollars are tight.
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Re: 70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby ozimax on Thu May 10, 2012 10:17 pm

I have just sold my 5th copy of the Canon 70-200 lens range (being the 2.8 ISii). The only one of the 4 variants I haven't owned is the 4.0IS. Any of them are stellar lens. The 2.8 non IS is a wonderful lens but like the other faster varieties, it is a lump of metal and glass to lug around.

The 4.0 non IS is also an amazing piece of glass.

You can't go wrong with either of the two you are considering. If size/weight/packability is an issue, run with the F4 model.

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Re: 70-200L 2.8 vs 4.0IS

Postby surenj on Tue May 15, 2012 12:37 am

Ian, I can't find good examples but with good technique (and without alcohol and coffee), you could probably get better results. I guess the subjects have to be still though.

This is 1/50 183mm.

Image
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