Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: 70-200 f/4 L IS upgrade from non-IS?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dave Throgmartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    1,036

    70-200 f/4 L IS upgrade from non-IS?

    I currently own a 70-200 f/4 L USM (non-IS lens). I bought it when I shot crop. When I bought a full frame camera I struggled adapting to the focal range, but have grown to like it a lot.

    I'm considering upgrading my lens to the f/4 IS version for improved images through stabilization and the new optics and a more stable viewfinder. Primarily uses include general walk around, landscape, and the occasional portrait or sporting event.

    I don't have any interest in the f/2.8 variants due to cost/weight. I could consider the 70-300 L, but like the 70-200 f/4 form factor and appreciate the reduced weight.

    I've researched the decision fairly in depth. I have questions for anyone who can help.

    1) The 70-200 f/4 L IS is well documented in its early days of release as having greatly reduced image quality @ 200mm from distances of 6 feet on down to MFD. Do you find this to be true?
    2) It appears image quality for the IS lens versus non-IS is slightly improved. The site's tool as well as two other well respected sites each show this to be the case. Some users don't seem to notice the difference in actual use. Do you? I typically don't print larger than 11x14, but I have to admit that super sharp images on my monitor bring a smile to my face.
    3) I own a EF 1.4x II teleconverter that I use occasionally with my lens. Teleconverter performance appears to be a push. Any comments?

    Thanks! The cost is a fair amount of change for me -- any help is appreciated!

    Some of my work with the 70-200:

    2014_10_18_9132_LR_upd_16x9 by dthrog00, on Flickr

    2014_07_03_7377_LR_upd_8x10 by dthrog00, on Flickr

    2013_09_22_4006_upd by dthrog00, on Flickr

    2014_04_19_6946_upd_16x9 by dthrog00, on Flickr

    Regards
    Dave

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    448
    Dave:

    First off, nice shots!

    I have the 70-200 f4 IS and am very happy with it. I've never owned the non-is version though, so I can't make direct comparisons. I do find the IS version very sharp and have never noticed a decrease in sharpness close to MFD. I tend to use it for outdoor shots of my toddler and try to fill the frame, so a lot of shots are close to mfd.

    I also use the 1.4 II teleconverter with this lens (probably less now that I have the new 100-400 ) and find the results good. Sharpness does decrease, but definitely still acceptable. Here are a couple taken with the 70-200 and 1.4II:

    Maui_180 by Stephen, on Flickr

    Coyote_05 by Stephen, on Flickr

    Some other similar shots on Flickr with this lens combo as well as some with the 70-200 without the tele.

    Hope this helps.
    Stephen

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,156
    I started with a 70-200/2.8IS back in December 2007 (version 1, obviously). After several successful rentals, I got my wife the 70-200/4IS in June 2013 during (instant) rebate season. After "borrowing" her 70-200 on several occasions when I didn't need the extra 1.75 pounds for one stop of light, I decided to buy the 70-200/4 about 15 months ago, and use it whenever I don't need 2.8 or IS. I can't say that I've really compared shots super-closely, but I don't notice a difference between the f/4 variations. I certainly don't notice a need to avoid certain zoom/aperture/focus-distance combos; I do avoid shooting my 2.8IS at 200mm wide open if at all possible since it gets rather soft.

    (By the way, please don't tell my wife we have three 70-200s. She hasn't noticed yet...which includes the new one being in plain sight for a 7-day cruise...)
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    4,426
    I've never had either, went straight to the 70-200 f/2.8 II. But looking at TDP's IQ comparisons, you might see an improved IQ, but it seems the "IS" version is only a very little bit better. You may not see the improvement in IQ.

    So, it would get down to 3-4 stops of IS. I do find IS very helpful for tele lenses. Shooting 200 mm at 1/10-1/20, but more commonly, even getting to hand hold shutter speeds of 1/60-1/80 is very helpful. Then, you should be able to shoot 70 mm at 1/5-1/10 and still get sharp images, but having near perfect keeper rate at 1/60.

    If you are missing shots because of needing to bump ISO to get shutter speed, I'd look at the move. If not, maybe the money may be better invested elsewhere.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    5
    Hi Dave

    I had a similar situation and swapped the non IS for the IS version. To my eyes and as seen on my monitor, I experienced a noticeable improvement in IQ with the IS lens on both crop (7D) and FF (5D2).

    I also used the 1.4 (Kenko) TC with both lenses and found the IQ impact to be acceptable, although somewhat softer to be sure.

    The IS version is just a sweeter lens to use in all circumstances.

    Regards

    Jimmy

  6. #6
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    1,461
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Throgmartin View Post
    ...but I have to admit that super sharp images on my monitor bring a smile to my face.

    Regards
    Dave
    Ahhh... the syndrome that has broken many a wallet (including mine).
    5DS R, 1D X, 7D, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, 24mm f/1.4L II, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.8, 100mm Macro f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, 580EX-II
    flickr

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    1,705
    As a user of both of these lenses at one time or another, I can tell you that the IS version is sharper and takes a TC better if you plan on using it that way. Having said that, you are not going to notice much of a difference from the center of both of these lenses in real world shooting, just corners. To point out one more thing, if you print your pictures you will not notice a difference at all. This coming from someone that once had severe case of the syndrome.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dave Throgmartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    1,036
    Quote Originally Posted by conropl View Post
    Ahhh... the syndrome that has broken many a wallet (including mine).
    I won't go crazy -- promise!

    Honestly the main goal for me would be to allow slower shutter speeds and a more stable viewfinder.

    Thanks to everyone for the help. It appears to be an excellent lens, now I just need to decide if I'm willing to part with the money to gain the IS and a slightly sharper image. The 70-200 f/4 non-IS is a very good lens, but isn't worth much on the used market unfortunately.

    Dave

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    2
    I'd just throw out the 200mm f2.8 L prime for possible consideration. I absolutely love mine. It's slightly bigger than a coke can, is amazingly sharp, gets into all sporting events, and came to me for $600 on the used market. I realized with my Sigma 70-200 (sold due to soft images) that 90% of my images were at 200mm. I'm used to no zoom now, so I position myself in a way that I don't need wide. As sharpness goes, it's amazing, even at 2.8. At 2.8, the bokeh is delicious and I've yet to wish for IS. In dim lighting, the boosted ISO has given me all I need to get the shot. If weight, sharpness, and a subtle appearance (it's black) are important, it's worth considering. It's Canon's best kept secret.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    2
    I'm using it now at my son's baseball game. She's purty.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •