Canon 70-200 f/4L vs. Canon 70-200 f/4L IS
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grayrider
Registered: Dec 04, 2011
Total Posts: 7
Country: United States

Hi,

I finally got the OK from the Director of Budgeting (i.e., she who must be obeyed!) to spend the money for an L lens, with the admonishment of "...don't go crazy...". As I have found that life is much easier when complying with the "Happy Wife, Happy Life", I pick and choose my battles carefully. The question before me is this - To IS or not to IS? Will I kick myself in the butt if I don't go for the IS? Most of my shooting is outside, nature, and landscapes or cityscapes. Occasionally inside with flash.

Thanks,

Fred



RobertLynn
Registered: Jan 05, 2008
Total Posts: 11506
Country: United States

F/4 is, is a phenomenal lens, and optically superiorto the non-is.



grayrider
Registered: Dec 04, 2011
Total Posts: 7
Country: United States

Robert,

Excuse my newbie questions. So, you are saying that the f4L IS lens is not just the f4L model with an IS added to it? It has a different lens set it in?

Fred



snapsy
Registered: Feb 24, 2008
Total Posts: 4404
Country: United States

grayrider wrote:
Robert,

Excuse my newbie questions. So, you are saying that the f4L IS lens is not just the f4L model with an IS added to it? It has a different lens set it in?

Fred


Yes, different optics. Here's a test I recently performed:

http://testcams.com/blog/2011/11/18/canon-70-200mm-f4l-vs-canon-70-200mm-f4l-is/



RobertLynn
Registered: Jan 05, 2008
Total Posts: 11506
Country: United States

grayrider wrote:
Robert,

Excuse my newbie questions. So, you are saying that the f4L IS lens is not just the f4L model with an IS added to it? It has a different lens set it in?

Fred

That is correct. If it just had is dropped in but the same optics, that would be one thing, but it is not the case.

For instance the non-is 70-200 is reported to be sharper than the is version (version 1). The new f2.8 is crushes all of the 70-200 variants.



Invertalon
Registered: Sep 08, 2009
Total Posts: 783
Country: United States

Get the IS version. If you don't, you will just end up buying it later.

Both are optically amazing, but IS is really, really nice.



JoshuaD.FOTO
Registered: Jul 28, 2011
Total Posts: 245
Country: United States

I agree the IS is a very very nice feature to have. I havent regretted the $4-500 extra bones. I say do it or like the gentleman above me states "you will just end up buying it later".



surf monkey
Registered: May 24, 2005
Total Posts: 2596
Country: United States

I had the non-IS before the IS version came out and it was really good. I ended up selling it to a friend and bought the new one, which is better optically, especially at f4, and the IS is very beneficial. The added sharpness wide open is very important since this isn't a fast lens. I would only opt for older one if you can afford the IS version, but even then I would probably wait and save a bit more.
As a side note, you'll either need the overpriced tripod collar or a VERY sturdy tripod setup to get the best results for landscape use. An alternative would be to use a long lens plate or macro plate on the body to get the weight more centered. It's not terribly heavy, but the length makes balance and dampening difficult.



JohnBrose
Registered: Aug 06, 2004
Total Posts: 1749
Country: United States

You could also get the original f2.8 lens for about the price of the f4 IS one, but it would be larger/heavier.



rhyx
Registered: Nov 01, 2010
Total Posts: 173
Country: United States

Get the IS.



David Baldwin
Registered: Jun 28, 2007
Total Posts: 2829
Country: United Kingdom

Do you think you will be handholding and or using at f4 much? - then get the IS. If you will mainly use the lens stopped down, on a tripod, then I doubt there is much difference optically in practice.



svassh
Registered: Mar 05, 2011
Total Posts: 659
Country: United States

You know whatever way you go it won't be the final choice. I started out thinking the F4 non IS was all I needed till I rented one. Completely unimpressed with the sharpness and speed was awful. Debated on the IS version but which is supposed to be much sharper but was concerned about the speed again. Decided to start with the 2.8L non-IS. This has been great for sports but then my auto-focus on the T2i wasn't up to par. Next came 1D IIn, this pairing is awesome for sports. But now I'm thinking the IS would be nice. Debating on selling the 2.8 and getting a 2.8 MK I. But then again I still have the MK II in my cart at Adorama at the $1974 price....That would not fly with my 'Director of Budget'.

Anyway my point being whatever you choose you will likely want something better, especially if you go the F4 non-is route. The good news is these L lenses really hold their value and you can unload it and have a 'do-over'. If you plan to shoot in any type of low light or gym or any type of sport or fast moving subject, really consider the 2.8 versions.



mirageII
Registered: Mar 07, 2008
Total Posts: 182
Country: United Kingdom

IS version is weather sealed too, subject to a filter on the front.



Bullseye5d2
Registered: Sep 24, 2011
Total Posts: 255
Country: Canada

David Baldwin wrote:
Do you think you will be handholding and or using at f4 much? - then get the IS. If you will mainly use the lens stopped down, on a tripod, then I doubt there is much difference optically in practice.



Can you clarify something? about needing IS if you're shooting at f4.... f4 means more light than stopped down, which means faster shutter speed, which means less need for IS right? Am I not getting something right?



safcraft
Registered: Nov 30, 2010
Total Posts: 528
Country: Portugal

No. David said the IS version is sharper at F4 than the non-IS.
Plus said if handholding (whatever f-stop) get the IS.



grayrider
Registered: Dec 04, 2011
Total Posts: 7
Country: United States

Hey!

Thanks for all of the input. Very helpful. Now it is a hunting we will go!

Fred



Chris Fawkes
Registered: Feb 02, 2006
Total Posts: 3794
Country: Australia

If you shoot mainly outside and inside with flash sometimes get the non IS. Some believe the non IS is the sharpest of all the 70-200 lenses.



Ralph Conway
Registered: Jul 31, 2008
Total Posts: 3829
Country: Germany

JohnBrose wrote:
You could also get the original f2.8 lens for about the price of the f4 IS one, but it would be larger/heavier.


IQ of the 4.0 IS is better than the original 2.8s is.

I was willing to buy the 4.0 when the 4.0 IS came out. I did one test and decided to buy the IS. Never had such a fine lens. It was much better than the 2.8 non and IS before Canon brought out version II.
Itīs still an excellent lens and my first choise. IQ is superb and half the weight is an great advantage if you walk around for six hours (or even only one). The IS is superb, too and gives you additional for stops at the long end I guess. It lets you get rasorsharp images at 200mm with a 30th second easily (if your motive does not move, of course). I am sure I would not be able to get any hit handhold (except for luck) at 200mm beneath a 180th second with the no IS.

Itīs not only worth the additional 400-500 $. Imo it is one of the finest lenses one can buy at cheap money compared to every else lens.

Ralph



axskkyline
Registered: Nov 09, 2011
Total Posts: 11
Country: United States

I was in such a decision earlier too, and went to try both.....to tell you the truth, having the IS help so much, especially at 70-200 focal length as you get camera shake really easily. I though I had steady hand, but IS really balance it out. And as for the sharpness, I can tell you my 70-200/4L IS is Very Very Sharp..... don't own the 2.8, so can't compare to that. But it's sharper than my 24-70L ~



Richard Nye
Registered: May 30, 2007
Total Posts: 2422
Country: United States

RobertLynn wrote:
F/4 is, is a phenomenal lens, and optically superiorto the non-is.


+1

The 70-200 f/4 IS is a great lens with amazing IQ and sharpness. It was my best zoom until I bought the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, which has only marginally better IQ. For the purposes you listed, the 70-200 f/4 IS is much better than the non-IS version (which I also owned). For landscapes, the 70-200 f/4 IS is perfect. You can stop down, slow the shutter speed and still get sharp photos because if the effectiveness of the IS. This is a new generation IS that is much more effective than the older versions.

You will not regret spending more for the IS version. Man up, and tell your wife what you need.



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