70-200mm canon lens

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  James Staddon 2 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #19574

    Allison
    Participant

    I am looking into getting the 70-200mm lens. Is the IS worth the extra $600?
    Thanks!

    #19575

    Austin Vinar
    Participant

    Are you thinking the f/4 or the f/2.8?
    Another thing to consider would be the 55-250 IS STM. It has a wider focal range and is basicly as sharp as the 70-200mm f/4 IS USM. I just bought one for $130 refurbished although if you go new they are $300. The IS works well and the autofocus is fast and silent.

    #19576

    Allison
    Participant

    I was looking at the f/2.8. Will the smaller aperture make a huge difference? I’m looking for a good zoom lens to use for portraits.

    #19577

    Austin Vinar
    Participant

    OK, if you are planning to use it for portraits, I would advise the f/2.8 over the f/4.
    Although the f/2.8 is not any sharper than the 55-250mm, the f/2.8 would be a great advantage. But the f/2.8 costs $1700 more than the 55-250m!!!
    A lens is kind of the deal where you get what you pay for. If you want the wider aperture, it may cost you an extra $1500-$1700.

    #19578

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    The 55-250 will be a little smaller and a lot lighter. It also has a bigger zoom range; both wider and longer. Of course the downside is that it’s “slower”, it’s f/4-f/5.6 instead of a constant f/2.8 That’s anywhere from a 1 stop to 2 stop difference, depending on the focal length.

    Whether it’s a $1700 difference or not, that’s the question. 🙂

    If you do use the 55-250 for portraits, the best case usage scenario would be close-ups (as opposed to full-body shots). The more you zoom in, the better background blur, (pretty bokeh) you’ll get. You would probably be surprised how well it can do portraits, for the price difference!

    Of course, if you’re going to spend over $1,000 you want to be sure that you’re getting something that’s worth that much! One other consideration would be to try third party 70-200 lenses, like Tamron or Sigma.

    #19579

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    FWIW, I believe that @jamesstaddon has the 70-200 f/4 if I’m not mistaken. He’ll have to confirm that for sure. Obviously it will work for portraits, it just won’t give the $1800 “look” that the f/2.8 version does. 🙂

    #19725

    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    Yes! I do have the 70-200mm f/4 IS! It has worked very well for me, and have used it very successfully for portraiture. I mainly use it for event photography, for getting in close to those candid actions or expressions coupled with that beautiful background blur. I’ve attached a recent example taken with the f/4. It’s obviously not as good as the f/2.8, but it works well.

    The main reason I have the f/4 instead of the f/2.8 is because of weight. I use it a lot hiking in the outdoors where weight is a big deal, and where I seldom want anything less than f/4 anyway.

    However, I’m thinking about purchasing a f/2.8 for use at events like weddings and conferences where there is a lot of indoor shooting. Every time I shoot an event I wish I had a smaller aperture than f/4 at 200mm. That’s why I would never consider the 55-250.

    But, back to the real question . . . about IS. I would say, yes, it is worth paying extra for it. Lenses will last a long time if you take good care of them and if there are no accidents. With IS and my steady hand I feel comfortable shooting at 1/80th, and even 1/60th sometimes at 200mm. If I didn’t have IS, I’d feel pretty limited to 1/200th, maybe 1/160th (see attached). But then again, most of the time I’m being paid to shoot these events so I am much more willing to invest in equipment that will allow me to shoot in darker and darker situations, thus providing better, less grainy shots for my clients.

    Attachments:
    #19729

    Austin Vinar
    Participant

    How many stops of stabilization does the f/4 have. The 55-250mm has 3.5 and I will shoot handheld at 1/40 at 250mm. But then maybe that is taking a chance I shouldn’t… =)

    #19736

    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    “I am getting an average of 3-4 stops of assistance from this implementation of IS.” http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-70-200mm-f-4.0-L-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

    #19739

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    @austinvinar, IS can be helpful for stabilizing the camera side of motion blur, but it can’t compensate for subject motion blur. That’s where more light (larger aperture) is more useful than IS. If the subject is moving, and you’re shooting at 1/40, you could take a dozen pictures and not one of them be sharp. However, if you have a wide enough aperture that you can move the shutter speed up to 1/100 or 1/125, then you’ve got a much better chance to get a blur-free photo.

    #19748

    kepcrewphotography
    Participant

    Allison,
    Canon’s 70-200, 2.8 IS zoom is my “go-to” lens because it is SO versatile in the sense you can get great shots in a wide variety of situations and in my mind, the newer IS version is far superior. I shoot a lot of live ballet which mandates high speed, long distance and very low light and I almost always use this lens. However, if I’m asked to take a quick promotional portrait, I can also get a fantastic shot without switching lenses. Considering the price, if you’re ONLY interested in studio type portraits, you can accomplish that cheaper without this lens but if you’re interested in anything else as well, you can’t go wrong with it. Hope this helps.

    #19766

    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    it is SO versatile

    Well said.

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