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Thread: Telezooms for Canon

  1. #1
    Nicola's Avatar
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    Telezooms for Canon

    Dear all,
    I'm quite sure to give me a "cadeaux" for Christmas... I'm looking for a new telezoom. Up to now, I'm comparing a couple of canon lenses: EF 70-200 f/4 IS L USM and EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS USM.
    this is an hard competition, I would like to listen your advices
    I exclusively use it in outdoor shooting, on what (I think) is called "travel photography": during my excursions on holidays and weekend I usually set up telezoom for capture either a "wildlife" or a portrait or a landscape. So I've excluded f/2.8 lens because too expensive, I can't use the not-IS version since I can never use a tripod.
    Reading through many tests and articles, I'm quite sure that the IS, USM and build quality are very similar between 70-200 f/4 L and 70-300 L. Aren't they?
    The most relevant difference is image resolution and focal lenght.
    All the tests I found on the web show the 70-200 f/4 is sharper than the 70-300 on borders (but in my APS-C camera that should be less relevant)
    I need the 300mm, but I can reach something similar with a 1.4x extender on th 70-200.
    the prices of 70-300 L and 70-200 f/4 + used 1.4x II are very similar

    So what you would suggest to me?
    Last edited by Nicola; 24th November 2011 at 05:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Telezooms for Canon

    Nicola

    I have never used the 70-300. But from all the reviews and comments I've read and heard, I understand that the 70-200 (which I do have) is regarded as one of the best lenses available. I would add to that by saying it is a remarkably good instrument.

    The other point about the 70-200 us that you retain f4 availability throughout the focal range.

  3. #3

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    Re: Telezooms for Canon

    But if you need to work at 300 mm then the 70-300 L makes sense.

    I was looking at this lens before it became available in the UK but finally went for the 70-200 because the UK Vat rate (sales tax) was due to increase before the 70-300 would be available.

    I agree with Donald that the 70-200 is a fine lens. However, a friend recently purchased the 70-300 L (after trying a few of my lenses) and he is delighted with it.

    However, just to 'muddy the waters' if you do a lot of work at 300 mm have you considered a 300 mm prime as an alternative? Subject to what other lenses you have to cover the shorter distances.

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Telezooms for Canon

    I searched through my images to find a hand held shot with the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens and my 1.4x TC (I use a Mk-i) and these are the only ones I found. I have not been using the 1.4x on my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens since I purchased the 300mm f/4L IS lens several years ago and my older images are not cataloged as well as they should be.

    Telezooms for Canon

    Telezooms for Canon

    Telezooms for Canon


    I love my 70-200mm f/4L IS and consider it one of the best lenses I have ever used. I use it in tandem with my 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens on a pair of 1.6x cameras and love the combination. I use it all the time in various venues including in some lower light levels such as this dance show in Xi'an, China...

    Telezooms for Canon

    See other images of this show at:
    http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/Travel/CH...71113950_Fstqr

    It is also my favorite portrait lens...

    Telezooms for Canon

    See other portraits with the 70-200mm f/4L IS at:
    http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/Portraits...44320241_7kTXJ

    I have not used the 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS lens so I cannot make any comparisons. I don't know how a shorter but slightly heavier lens would be to shoot. I would also need to find out what the variable aperture of the 70-300L is at 200mm. I often shoot with my 70-200L at 200mm and it is important to have a wide aperture in order to maintain shutter speed.

  5. #5
    Nicola's Avatar
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    Re: Telezooms for Canon

    thanks guys!

    thank Richard for the beautiful pictures too!
    I can see the 70-300 tested at f/4.5 and 200mm so i think the aperture isn't a point of significant difference.
    altough, the necessity of set up or remove the 1.4x converter all the times I need the extreme focal lenghts, could be boring...
    I have to count the percentage of shots taken beyond and below 200mm on my telezoom..

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    Re: Telezooms for Canon

    I too have been considering a telephoto and haven't made a decision yet. If you are looking for the greater reach, have you considered the 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L ? The review seem to indicate that it is an excellant lens. And you get another 100mm. The only down side, I can see, is the unique push-pull zoom.

  7. #7
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    Re: Telezooms for Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by BJ Denning View Post
    I too have been considering a telephoto and haven't made a decision yet. If you are looking for the greater reach, have you considered the 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L ? The review seem to indicate that it is an excellant lens. And you get another 100mm. The only down side, I can see, is the unique push-pull zoom.
    thanks Bryan for the feedback
    I'm not considering the 100-400 L as an option because despite its cost (about 20% more than the 70-300 L) it has some weak points:
    - I think I'll use more the 70 to 100 mm gap focal lenght than the 300 to 400mm (I've an APS-C camera, and the other lenses are 17-40, 50 and 100 macro)
    - in tthe test I saw, it performs a bit worst than the 70-300 in the MTF-50 test
    - its IS is able to "cover" 2EV stops, the 70-300's IS reach 4 EV stops (both values coming from tests)
    - a little bit heavier and bigger

    anyway thanks for the suggestion!

  8. #8
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    Re: Telezooms for Canon

    You know Nicola, I am happy with my 70-200mm well enough that I don't intend to trade it. However, if I were in the market for a zoom (and didn't have the 300mm prime), I would certainly consider the 70-300mm and do quite a bit of research on that lens.

    However, in actuality, I would like a 50-250mm f/4-5.6L IS lens even better than the 70-300mm for a 1.6x camera. I used a friends 55-250mm lens and liked the focal range quite a bit on my 1.6x cameras. I did not like the downsides: slow focus, rotating front element, etc. But the 55-250mm range was great...

  9. #9

    Re: Telezooms for Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I love my 70-200mm f/4L IS and consider it one of the best lenses I have ever used. I use it in tandem with my 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens on a pair of 1.6x cameras and love the combination. I use it all the time in various venues including in some lower light levels such as this dance show in Xi'an, China...

    I have not used the 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS lens so I cannot make any comparisons. I don't know how a shorter but slightly heavier lens would be to shoot. I would also need to find out what the variable aperture of the 70-300L is at 200mm. I often shoot with my 70-200L at 200mm and it is important to have a wide aperture in order to maintain shutter speed.
    Very nice portraits, matter of fact I noticed that lens matter when it comes to specific styles of photography? I use my 50mm lens for portraits. I was curious if telephoto lenses are a must for wedding photographers? I shoot with a canon 40D, if so what would be my best appropriate telephoto lens? Any ideas? I buy my lenses off amazon. My camera came as a kit with two lenses and tripod, cleaning kit, etc.

    I see canon has these really nice white telephoto lenses (Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras) and (Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras ) please see: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...fix=CANON+tELE

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks.

    A

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    Re: Telezooms for Canon

    Personally Anne, I wouldn't touch weddings with a 12 ft barge pole, to use a UK term.

    But I know some people specialise in this form of photography and do like a longer lens sometimes. Something around 100 mm often gets mentioned so one of the 70-200 lenses would nicely fit this area.

    But be careful before purchasing because there are a number of different versions and they don't all have IS, plus there are a couple of aperture sizes.

    The 2.8 model with IS would certainly work well for that type of shooting, but it is a little on the expensive side.

    Because I rarely need to work in reduced light, and I'm just a poor retired person, I purchased the F4 IS alternative which suits me fine.

  11. #11
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Telezooms for Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by ap.photo View Post
    Very nice portraits, matter of fact I noticed that lens matter when it comes to specific styles of photography? I use my 50mm lens for portraits. I was curious if telephoto lenses are a must for wedding photographers? I shoot with a canon 40D, if so what would be my best appropriate telephoto lens? Any ideas? I buy my lenses off amazon. My camera came as a kit with two lenses and tripod, cleaning kit, etc.

    I see canon has these really nice white telephoto lenses (Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras) and (Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras ) please see: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...fix=CANON+tELE
    A
    When I shot weddings commercially, I mostly used a single focal length; usually 75-80mm on a 6x6cm medium format camera. I was able to cover the events very much to the satisfaction of my clients and most of my business was through word of mouth referrals from previous customers. At first I used Rolleiflex twin lens reflex cameras (one for shooting and a second in reserve). Then I evolved into using a Hasselblad single lens reflex camera with the Rollei or a Mamiyaflex in reserve. I never carried more than one camera at any time. Medium format gear was just too heavy and bulky. I only owned two lenses for the Hasselblad: 80mm which I used for general coverage and 150mm which I used for formal portraits.

    Today's photographers, myself included, are abundantly supplied with equipment to a far greater degree than most film photographers. I have three 1.6x cameras and any number of top-line lenses. I always shoot with at least two DSLR cameras with a pair of lenses.

    I am far too long in the tooth to contemplate shooting weddings again but, I would have no problem using the gear that I have. Many people insist that you need an f/2.8 aperture to cover a wedding effectively. I disagree!

    Yes, you do need at least an f/2.8 aperture if you are shooting using available light but, I was quite able to cover weddings with a medium format camera using an 80mm f/2.8 lens and a 150mm f/4 lens by using flash creatively. The 70-200mm f/4L IS lens is IMO a more versatile lens than the 150mm f/4 Sonar I used with my Hasselblad.

    If I were collecting a set of digital gear strictly for weddings I would select two Canon 5Dii cameras with 24-70mm f/2.8L and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS ii lenses (a wedding only takes a couple of hours the weight of the f/2.8L would not be too excessive) with a minimum of one extra back up camera and an extra 24-105mm f/4L IS lens as backup. The 24-105L would be able to cover either the medium range shots or the telephoto shots.

    The USA prices of the above equipment would run in the area of $10,000 USD + extras like flash. Quite a chunk of change but, not really exorbitant when you consider the start up cost of virtually any business today.

    However if I should go absolutely stark raving mad and decide to shoot another wedding, I would be confident that I could shoot it with the equipment at my disposal: 40D and 7D cameras with 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses. My backup would be a 30D and 28-135mm (this is a hypothetical one time gig which will never happen). Extrapolating on the quality of my photography in various venues, I am sure that I could effectively cover a wedding with my gear. But, it would not be what I would choose for routine wedding work...

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