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Thread: 70 - 200mm Canon Non IS F4

  1. #1
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    70 - 200mm Canon Non IS F4

    Hi all,

    Can I please get some opinions on this lens? I was looking at getting into portrait work and have been told this lens is great for it (I'd also like to do wildlife stuff in future) but I've also been told I should go for the 2.8 version instead (unfortunately this is double the price). The price has been cut on these lenses from $1100 to $629 for a few weeks so I'm wondering if it's a worthy buy.

    Current lenses are 60mm macro and L series 24-105

  2. #2
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    The prices you list look the f/4 IS vs. non-IS prices to me (and to photoprice's price history graphs). It's looking like it might be $50 less than usual about now, not $500 less, so there's no need to rush into this.

    The non-IS is around similar sharpness to the 24-105mm (at 100, going by Bryan's ISO charts). The IS gives IS, but also a newer design with a sharper image. It may even be the first of Canon's recent lineup of super sharp zoom lenses. If you find yourself cropping a lot, or wanting crisp clean high-contrast edges, for text, or something like blue-merle dog fur you may want to save your pennies for the IS version. If you want more background blur for subject isolation, and don't want a prime like the fantastic 135mm f/2 or 200mm f/2.8, then you may want to save your pennies for the f/2.8. If you won the lottery, perhaps the f/2.8 IS II.

    If you do consider one of the other lenses, you'll also have to throw the 70-300mm f/4-5.6L in the mix, for a little bit more. The f/5.6 aperture is only past the 200mm limit of the other lenses. The only downside is f/5.0 from 155-200mm+. Under 155mm you're looking at f/4 or 4.5, which is pretty much the same aperture as the 70-200mm f/4L. If you can deal with being 2/3s of a stop slower as you near 200mm, you can get a bonus 100mm.

    If the $700 mark is about the limit of your spending and you don't need IS or modern uber-sharpness, regular sharp is good enough for you, the 70-200 f/4L USM will make you very happy.

  3. #3
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    Sorry, should have mentioned I'm in Australia. The usual price is $1100 for non IS or so, but it's on sale for $629. The IS version is usually roughly $1800 or so ($1850US or so).

    I'd love uber-sharpness

  4. #4
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    The thing is that wildlife and portraits have slightly different requirements, somewhat overlapping though. For the former you lots of mm, for the latter moderately long and wide aperture. The 70-200 f/2.8 has both but not to the extreme, and is expensive, the IS II even more. The f/4 versions are not as wide but less expensive. Choosing two different lenses is something to consider: a longer lens for the wildlife like the 70-300L that Dave suggested, or the 100-400L, and then a 85mm f/1.8 or 100 f/2 for portraits (and low light). You wouldn't have to spend all at once, but will spend more altogether, and get better lenses for the two purposes in return.
    I went with the 85 f/1.8 and the 70-300L and am happy with both, but sometimes I wish I had the extra reach of the 100-400.
    If portraiture is more important (you mentioned it first) I would start with the 85mm and save money towards a longer zoom. 200 is not very long, even on a crop camera.
    Arnt

  5. #5
    Senior Member iND's Avatar
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    They are very similar lenses.
    I have NON IS of both 2.8 and 4.0
    Technically the 2.8 is a better lens,
    but I got the 4.0 before I could afford the 2.8

    For now
    I use the 4.0 when I travel and am going to be outdoors. It is much lighter and easier to travel with.
    the 2.8 takes up way too much room.

    I use the 2.8 for most everything else.

    IQ is really close to equal.
    I have amazing shots with both, I really got the 2.8 when I need the extra stop for indoor sports, even then it was not great, so i switched to the 135 2.0 when I had a fixed distance and have some really good photos with that also.

    All said I still use the 4.0 because of its smaller size and equal IQ outdoors.

  6. #6
    Junior Member kingscurate's Avatar
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    What about the 200 2.8 prime lens, with personal experience superb lens. A much unconsidered lens. I owned it, sold to raise money, a mistake in hindsight. Later i got 70-200 F4 non is(your enquiry) although good i dont get the same feel as the 200 2.8. Sorry if i throw a spanner in the works!
    I aint a pro

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