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Thread: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

  1. #1

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    Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Hi,

    I have just put some new lenses up for sale as i would like to purchase a Canon 70-200mm lens for pet portraiture. However is the price increase to get the IS worth it for the 2.8 L or should i save money and purchase the 2.8 without the IS or go for the F4 with IS? Or is there another alternative i havent thought of? Experienced advice would be great, thank you. xx

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
    I have just put some new lenses up for sale as i would like to purchase a Canon 70-200mm lens for pet portraiture. However is the price increase to get the IS worth it for the 2.8 L or should i save money and purchase the 2.8 without the IS or go for the F4 with IS?

    Are your sure that the uses for this lens will be solely for “portraiture”? But if this is the case, then to answer question directly, you will not necessarily require an IS lens, for Portraiture.

    The rationale:

    • If you use Flash you should not usually require IS – as essentially the Flash Exposure will arrest the Subject Movement and generally the Ambient Light level will be low enough for the image not to inherit a blur if you ue the Maximum Flash Sync speed of the camera.
    • If you use Available Light and use a monopod or a tripod then usually the Tv (Shutter Speed) necessary to arrest Subject Movement will also be fast enough to arrest Camera Movement (of a supported camera and lens – i.e. NOT Hand Held)



    In Addition - for ‘Portraiture’ the DIFFERENTIAL of F/2.8 and F/4 in the possible Shallow Depth of Field effect is actually minimal and virtually nonexistent at many, close Framings.

    So (assuming the 70mm to 200mm FL range is what you are after) - the EF 70 to 200F/4 USM would be a suitable choice for the job.

    HOWEVER, returning to my first point – are you absolutely sure that the lens will not be used for other purposes which require the more likely use of Image Stabilization?

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
    Or is there another alternative i havent thought of? Experienced advice would be great, thank you. xx
    There are likely to be many -

    What camera(s) do you have?
    What lens(es) do you have?
    Please outline the general shooting situation(s) for these ‘portraits’.

    WW

  3. #3

    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    The 70-200 2.8 with IS is a lovely lens, I love mine, but ultimately it is down to what you can afford/need. Save money on that lens and can spend it on something else. Ultimately I think it will depend on how important shallow DoF will be to your shooting style. Also will you shoot formal portraits with a tripod or move around and hand hold?

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Are your sure that the uses for this lens will be solely for “portraiture”? But if this is the case, then to answer question directly, you will not necessarily require an IS lens, for Portraiture.

    The rationale:

    • If you use Flash you should not usually require IS – as essentially the Flash Exposure will arrest the Subject Movement and generally the Ambient Light level will be low enough for the image not to inherit a blur if you ue the Maximum Flash Sync speed of the camera.
    • If you use Available Light and use a monopod or a tripod then usually the Tv (Shutter Speed) necessary to arrest Subject Movement will also be fast enough to arrest Camera Movement (of a supported camera and lens – i.e. NOT Hand Held)



    In Addition - for ‘Portraiture’ the DIFFERENTIAL of F/2.8 and F/4 in the possible Shallow Depth of Field effect is actually minimal and virtually nonexistent at many, close Framings.

    So (assuming the 70mm to 200mm FL range is what you are after) - the EF 70 to 200F/4 USM would be a suitable choice for the job.

    HOWEVER, returning to my first point – are you absolutely sure that the lens will not be used for other purposes which require the more likely use of Image Stabilization?

    ***



    There are likely to be many -

    What camera(s) do you have?
    What lens(es) do you have?
    Please outline the general shooting situation(s) for these ‘portraits’.

    WW
    I have a Canon 7D, and currently own a 50mm 1.4, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, and a Sigma 8-16mm. I was thinking to replace the 100mm with the 70-200 for more range and eventually want to take pet portraits, animals & landscapes.

  5. #5

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    I normally hand hold unless capturing a landscape or doing some macro. I was wanting to replace my 100mm 2.8L so it gives more range and zoom capability.

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Fiona,

    none of the 70-200 lenses is a substitute for the 100, if you want to do real macro. They are not macro lenses and don't come anywhere close to 1:1 magnification.

    Keep in mind that the 2.8 lenses cost about twice as much and weigh about twice as much as the corresponding f/4 lenses.

    If you really need the extra stop, either for narrower DOF or for faster focusing in low light, then the question is whether you are going to be hand-holding the lens. If so, and if your subject does not require fast shutter speeds, then IS will give you a lot more flexibility.

    So, it all depends on your uses. For my uses, I decided that the best option was the f/4 IS. I wanted IS, did not need the shallower DOF, and did not want to lug around the huge 2.8, or pay for it. For other people, shooting other things, the best choice is different.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Thanks for answering my questions.

    Just considering your first post and in it you wrote you want to get the 70 to 200 because you want to use it for pet portraits – what I am wondering how often you would use 70 to 200 on a 7D FOR pet portraits. I would have thought a 50 Prime and a 100 Prime would both be good for that job (on a 7D). There is a fellow here (Mr Crowe) who is very experienced in this type of ‘portraiture’ I hope he comments on that point (and your thread generally).

    Anyway as to other options, you do not have a standard zoom, and I would have thought that would have been more useful generally and also (if you got one with a bit longer reach) useful also for the portraiture). Something like the EF-S 15 to 85, maybe. Or the 24 to 105L. Or for more money the excellent EF-S 17 to 55/2.8 – note that all these lenses have IS

    But IF you want a longer lens for OTHER purposes, and budget is a constraint, then the 70 to 200/4 IS would be a very good lens for lots of purposes.

    I’ll reiterate that the differential in Shallow Depth of Field is minimal between F/2.8 and F/4 for mostly all portraiture work

    The bottom line is, that Image Stabilization, is very useful for many shooting situations.

    Also the 100/2.8 L IS Macro is a fine lens: IF you are not using it then it is well worth considering selling it – but it is a fine lens, nonetheless.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 15th February 2013 at 06:11 PM.

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    I use the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens for pet portraiture usually on my 7D camera... This is my favorite all around lens. I like to shoot my dogs with focal lengths over 70mm on my 7D because this prevents the dogs nose from looking exceptionally long due to the perspective from shooting up close. However, I also like my people portraits at focal lengths over 70mm and my 70-200mm f/4L IS is my favorite people lens...

    Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    If you notice in the portrait above, the subject's eyes and nose are in focus while her ears are beginning to drop out of focus. That is a narrow enough DOF for my tastes...

    Dog photography can include formal type portraits such as...

    Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Portraits of bigger dogs...

    Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Or more informal shots...

    Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Despite the maximum aperture being f/4. The f/4L IS can still produce very acceptable selective DOF and the BOKEH (because of its rounded aperture blades) is extremely smooth.

    Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    This lens can capture a fast moving dog for action shots...

    Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Of course, I don't use this lens only for dog photography. It is one-half of my "go-to" lens combination with the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens on a 7D and a 40D for all my travel and general photography. Like in the old American Express Card television commercials, "I never leave home without it!"

    I can carry the f/4L IS with the extra 40D body at the same weight as carrying the 70-200mm f/2.8L (series) lens alone. The f/2.8L series are great lenses but when I carry my 300mm f/4L IS for a day of shooting on a second camera along with the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; that weight wears me down and the weight of th 300mm f/4L IS is very similar to the f/2.8L (series) lenses. Of course, other photographers might be more rugged, I know that I was when I was younger.

    BTW: I can hand hold in lower light conditions using the f/4L IS lens than I can with the f/2.8L. non-IS. A lot is said about IS not being able to stop subject motion. However when the entire image is fuzzy due to camera motion, subject motion is a moot point. I can hand hold at 1/60 second using 200mm with the IS turned on and expect to get 100% sharp images. I could not expect 100% sharp images shooting at 200mm using 1/120 second without IS. I can shoot with my f/4L IS lens at 1/30 second and get a respectable percentage of keepers. I could get no keepers hand-held using 1/60 second at f/2.8 with the lens zoomed to 200mm...

    The 70-200mm f/4L IS is a better lens than its non-IS sibling. It provides a bit better IQ, is better weather-proofed and, as I mentioned above has rounded aperture blades producing very smooth Bokeh.

    BTW: I have done some pretty fair dog portraits usng the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens...
    Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    I do like a zoom lens, especially for non-formal shoting because dogs tend to range far and wide and it is easier to frame them using a zoom. I don't really like the 50mm focal length but, quite often 100mm is too long. The 70mm side of the 70-200mm lens splits the difference. The 70-200mm f/4L IS lens also works relatively well with a 1.4x TC but, that is true for all the 70-200mm L cousins. But, I have never shot portraits (human or canine) with the 1.4x TC attached...

    Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Finally, IMO, all of the 70-200mm "L" lenses produce very-good to excellent image quality. Although the f/2.8L IS ii is the IQ king of the 70-200mm zooms, closely followed by the f/4L IS; I don't think that I would be able to tell which 70-200mm lens shot which image if I were shown a selection of real-life images shot by all five of those lenses...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 15th February 2013 at 08:26 PM.

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Thanks Richard.

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Well nothing like an expert on this but here are my thoughts:

    Since you own the 50 1.4 and the 100 2.8 the only reason I can imagine why you should buy the 70-200 2.8L IS is to combine it with an 2x extender while traveling if you also need a longer lens but don't have enough room.

    Unless if you really don't care about money but even in that case as others mentioned it's much heavier than the 70-200L 4L IS and that is often a huge drawback i you shoot handhold.

    I repeat I am not an experts, just few thoughts.

  11. #11

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    A f/2.8 is twice the cost and twice the weight of the F/4.0. From the DOF calculator the DOF at 2.8 at 10 m is 2.3m and at f/4.0 is 3.33m. In practice, how often will you be using minimal f stop, as when taking images as if you get down to closest focusing then the difference is negligible. I have the f4.0 IS and normally will be using higher f stops to get better results. The IS is good when you are working at low light, but again will you be using the lens wide open?
    I am looking at buying a 100 f/2.8 IS macro to replace the old Sigma that I have.

  12. #12

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Thanks for answering my questions.

    Just considering your first post and in it you wrote you want to get the 70 to 200 because you want to use it for pet portraits – what I am wondering how often you would use 70 to 200 on a 7D FOR pet portraits. I would have thought a 50 Prime and a 100 Prime would both be good for that job (on a 7D). There is a fellow here (Mr Crowe) who is very experienced in this type of ‘portraiture’ I hope he comments on that point (and your thread generally).

    Anyway as to other options, you do not have a standard zoom, and I would have thought that would have been more useful generally and also (if you got one with a bit longer reach) useful also for the portraiture). Something like the EF-S 15 to 85, maybe. Or the 24 to 105L. Or for more money the excellent EF-S 17 to 55/2.8 – note that all these lenses have IS

    But IF you want a longer lens for OTHER purposes, and budget is a constraint, then the 70 to 200/4 IS would be a very good lens for lots of purposes.

    I’ll reiterate that the differential in Shallow Depth of Field is minimal between F/2.8 and F/4 for mostly all portraiture work

    The bottom line is, that Image Stabilization, is very useful for many shooting situations.

    Also the 100/2.8 L IS Macro is a fine lens: IF you are not using it then it is well worth considering selling it – but it is a fine lens, nonetheless.

    WW
    Thank you for your advice - I am now considering not switching from my prime lenses (due to the fact someone mentioned zoom lenses are easier to work when shooting portraits, weddings etc) and if I do purchase in the future it will be the less expensive F4 with IS.

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Thank you for all the advice - I definatley think I will stick with my prime 50mm & 100mm lenses for now as I do love them and if i find a great need for getting a 70-200 it will be the f4 with IS when I have saved up.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 L or?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
    I am now considering not switching from my prime lenses (due to the fact someone mentioned zoom lenses are easier to work when shooting portraits, weddings etc) and if I do purchase in the future it will be the less expensive F4 with IS.
    Pursuant to ‘weddings’ specifically: I do know more about that topic than ‘pet portraiture’ . . .
    A lens such as the EF-S 17 to 55 F/2.8 IS USM would be more valuable and more used to most Wedding Photographers, than a 70 to 200 (on a 7D).
    For Portraits (of People) using a 7D, I would generally use a Prime Lens, such as a 50, 85 or 100 I use quite often.
    I have the 100/2.8 macro and it makes a fine Portrait Lens.

    For Weddings - The use of a 70 to 200 zoom on an APS-C Camera is often talked about on many forums - and it is often mentioned as a “must have” lens. I would investigate the sources of this advice and question carefully how often the lens is used during the Wedding Coverage, and compare that usage to how often the FL range of 17 to 55 is used.

    In any case - for WEDDINGS – when considering a telephoto or telephoto zoom - it would be advisable to seriously consider the value of a FASTER lens, NOT so much for the shallow Depth of Field, but to arrest SUBJECT MOTION, if you have to shoot sans flash.

    In this case I would suggest that a fast 135 (eg EF135/2L) is a better purchase because, generally the cases where longer than 85mm is required (on a 7D) is for a long shot in available light at the Church where Flash might nit be allowed.

    The idea of using a 70 to 200 (on a 7D) and standing back and ‘sniping’ at a Wedding needs to be considered with great caution.

    WW

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