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| p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Is the new Canon 70-200 2.8 II L too heavy as a walk around Lens |
My wife and I travel throughout the world. I was thinking of selling my 70-200 f4L, which is very light, and purchasing of the new new 70-200 2.8L lens. But this lens weighs 1490 grams, which is 3 lbs 4oz. I have a 1ds Mark III camera. Is this lens too heavy as a walk-around lens?
I feel that you really need to think about how you'll use such a lens, what it does and does not gain for you, what alternatives you might have.
Yes, the f/2.8 70-200mm F2.8 IS is reportedly a dynamite lens - excellent in just about every way. However, the f/4 70-200mm IS is also an outstanding performer. (So are the non-IS versions of both lenses.) While it is possible to describe some difference among them on the basis of test bench measured performance and careful pixel peeping... all of them produce really excellent results.
A simple way to frame this might be to ask what objective advantages you'll see from the f/2.8 lens versus what costs there are to using it for the kind of photography you will do. Will you see any differences in the quality of your photographs? Unlikely. The f/4 lenses are very sharp optics. I have shot the non-IS f/4 for some time and I currently own the IS version of the same lens, and the IQ is such that I can reliably produce very large prints. (I print in-house to 24 x 36 inches.) Any image quality differences that can be measured are almost completely impossible to see even in quite large prints. If you don't regularly make such large prints - or of you always shoot hand-held, etc. - then the promise of better image quality is almost certain to be unrealized in any visible way.
What about the additional stop on the f/2.8 lens. This could be an advantage in some marginal lighting situations - those in which f/4 is not quite enough but one stop larger at f/2.8 is. (It won't be any advantage in this regard in the larger number of situations in which either both will work or neither will.) So, the additional single stop, while potentially of some use, can be balanced against the price and weight/bulk difference. You'll have to play that one out for yourself! (Keep in mind that another alternative can be to carry one or two small non-L primes for those situations in which really large apertures are useful, say for very small DOF. The cost and bulk/weight might be about the same.)
To those who will state, often in somewhat macho terms, that the weight of the f/2.8 lens isn't that much, consider that its weight/bulk is typically only one element in the total load that one carries. For example, I do a lot of backpacking photography. I carry one of the f/4 zooms. One might argue the the weight difference between the lenses is small. However, it is part of a difference in the weigh of my overall kit that is not small at all - by the time I apply the "lighter" philosophy to three lenses, my tripod, and my ballhead... it adds up to something quite significant when I'm schlepping a full pack across a 12,000' pass in the middle of a weeklong trip!
When is the f/2.8 lens a fine choice? Certainly when you do a lot of low light handheld work, cannot afford to shift to primes when you need a significantly larger aperture, and when weight and portability are less of a concern. It is a great lens for, say, wedding and event photography, vehicle supported landscape and nature work, and so on.
Edited on Dec 18, 2011 at 11:21 PM · View previous versions