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Thread: 70-200 f2.8 non IS or 70-200 f2.8 IS version I for weddings/portraits

  1. #1
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    70-200 f2.8 non IS or 70-200 f2.8 IS version I for weddings/portraits

    Hi all,

    I'm in a big dilemma for choosing my telephoto lens. For weddings, I usually rent the 70-200 f2.8 IS version II. However, I would want to buy a lens in stead of renting it.
    - I already took the decision of choosing a zoom lens for flexibility at a wedding
    - The 70-200 f2.8 IS II is too expensive for me
    - I like the look of small DOF, so 2.8 it has to be

    Which leaves me with the choice between the 70-200 f2.8 non IS or the 70-200 f2.8 IS version I.
    In my country, the non IS costs new 1080 EUR, while the IS version 1 costs 2nd hand approx 1300 EUR.
    When checking the ISO 12233 charts here, the IS version 1 seems to be beter at corner sharpness, while in general the non-IS is sharper in the center and wide-open at f2.8...

    It seems like in a studio setting one is a bit better than the other on on aspect, while on another aspect the other lens is better.
    Therefore my question which lens of these do you guys and girls think would fit my needs best?

    Big big thank you for reading and responding!

    Regards, Dennis
    5D | 24-70 f2.8 | 50 f1.8 | 580EXII | 55-200

  2. #2
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    I'd pick the IS version I because it has weather sealing, whereas the f/2.8 non-IS doesn't. Could be make or break during a wedding downpour.

    Also... sometimes during weddings you're struggling to get 1/60sec at a reasonable ISO. At 200mm you're going to be in blur city without IS at 1/60sec or even 1/100sec.

  3. #3
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Overall, the non-IS version will deliver a bit better IQ. But...a shot blurred by camera shake will have bad IQ. So...how important is IS? You've rented the 70-200 II before - I'd say look over your EXIF of shots with that lens, with an eye to shutter speed. If you're often shooting slower than 1/200 s at 200mm, etc., then you're benefiting from IS and the original IS version of the lens is likely a better choice for you.

    As for weather sealing, the 5D isn't a sealed body so unless you're planning on moving to a 5DIII that's a lesser consideration. Still, I suspect the IS lens will be a better option for you.

  4. #4
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    I'd agree that the IS version is likely a better fit for your needs--image stabilization is huge help when trying to hand-hold a camera in dimly lit churches. That said, you could get the same benefit by using a monopod with the non-IS version, but your mobility would suffer.

  5. #5
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    @w349: indeed weather sealing, didn't think of before but very, very useful

    @neuroanatomist: when the 5D3 becomes less expensive, I'm indeed planning on buying it.

    Does anyone have experience with these lenses in the field (or with both of them). I really love the IQ from the IS version II, but I can't compare it to the two lenses mentioned here, which are said to have a lower IQ. Should I be afraid I will be dissappointed or just go for it ??
    5D | 24-70 f2.8 | 50 f1.8 | 580EXII | 55-200

  6. #6
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    I have a 70-200mm 2.8 IS (not a II) that I bought used a couple years ago and it is a pretty damn good all purpose lens aside from close shots. If shooting weddings I would definately go with the IS version, but you should probably do some comparisons between the I and II versions to see if you think it's worth the extra $$$

  7. #7
    Senior Member FastGass's Avatar
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    I wouldn't think twice about the IS version. Overall you will be better off with IS than not. Another point is the IS version is supposed to focus up to twice as fast as the non-IS version. And weather sealing just seals the deal for me...

    John.
    Amateurs worry about gear, pros about the pay, masters about the light, and I just take pictures!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dave Throgmartin's Avatar
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    Sorry for posting in an old thread, but this seemed relevant. Does anyone on the forum use the 70-200 f/2.8 L USM anymore? I have the 70-200 f/4 L USM, but have pretty much concluded I'm an aperture junky. f/4 even on full frame sometimes cannot produce the desired blurwhere f/2.8 gives more of the look I'm going for.

    The II IS zoom is way out of my price range and if I parted with the f/4 version I could pick up the f/2.8 and would likely go the used or refurbished route.

    I tried the 2.8 zoom last week on a rental and greatly enjoyed it. The ISO charts here don't look that great, but real world IQ seemed quite good.

    Thanks
    Dave

  9. #9
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    I use an EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS (version 1) and have since 2006 or so. It loses a little contrast toward 200mm, but other than that the image quality is quite good. I'm afraid I don't have any real-world experience with the non-IS lens, though.

  10. #10
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    If your shutter speeds are in the 8/EFL to 1/EFL range, you would benefit from IS. If they're slower than 8/EFL, you need IS and more aperture, a camera with better/higher ISO capability, a tripod, or a combination of the above. If they're faster than 1/EFL, you won't benefit from IS.

    I have the old model 2.8 IS. When I zoom to 200, I almost always drop to f/4 so I don't get the mushy corners.

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