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Thread: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

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    Workshop Member Joseph Ramos's Avatar
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    Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    Hello I am thinking about getting one of these two lenses, I have heard the non IS is sharper. Any thoughts?
    Thanks

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    www.photozone.de tests would seem to backup what you (and myself) have heard - especially WO or closer to it. While I'm not a personal fan of zooms in general and after using a lot of EF L glass, now use alt glass almost exclusively, I've used a fellow shooter's non-IS and it seemed very good. Nothing to write home about, but solid, especially under 200mm.

    I liked the handling and performance of the Nikon 70-200/2.8 VR better when I tested one on a D700 but that's of little value here. For low-light work, VR/IS, especially with nice ISO capabilities, does allow for what seems to be minor miracles.

    Assuming the relative PZ tests are accurate, I guess it really comes down to how much value you place on IS, whether you'll be shooting using flash/strobes (no value in IS, shooting more stopped down, etc) vs closer to WO under iffy light, ISO capabilities of camera, etc.

    If you don't mind buying used, I'd be tempted to try and find a 'sharp copy' of a non-IS first at a nice price, save some coin and see if I can live w/o IS. IS is nice, but unlike the 70-200/4, it looks like you pay a penalty in resolution for it on the 2.8. Of course on the 70-200/4 IS there are reports of 200mm performance heading south at or near MFD - so I guess there's no easy answer.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    IS uses a small gyro motor to run it. IF your lens is mounted on a tripod, the images may be slightly sharper most of the time if you turn IS OFF since there's no vibration from the gyro motor. However, when handholding, for sure IS improves sharpness (at least for me). So IMO you get the best of both worlds with the IS version, simply turning it off or on as the situation dictates.

    My .02,
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    Super Duper
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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    We've got a 70-200 IS 2.8 and it's one of our favorite 35mm lens. IS for sure when handholding just remember to turn it off when parked on a tripod.

    Don
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    Workshop Member Joseph Ramos's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    Thanks guys it sounds like I should be looking for IS version.

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    The OOF on the IS lens is superb as is the ability to hand hold in low light. I would buy it again no problem.

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    Workshop Member Joseph Ramos's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    Has anyone compared the 2.8 vs the 4?

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Ramos View Post
    Has anyone compared the 2.8 vs the 4?
    Of course!

    F4 is lighter and more compact, vignettes slightly at f4. The f2.8 version is significantly larger and heavier by almost twice, vignettes slightly at f2.8 but gone by f4. The 2.8 is slightly sharper at f4 than the f4 version, but at f5.6 you cannot tell them apart.

    For travel, the f4 version hands down. Where weight isn't too critical, the extra stop and more limited DoF of the f2.8 are very desirable. I've owned a few copies of each, and right now am back on the f2.8 version...

    My .02 only...
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    Workshop Member Joseph Ramos's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    Thanks Jack. I must admit I am liking the lighter smaller set up of the Canon vs. my MF kit.

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    I also tried both, and also have the Nikon f2.8. For Canon, I preferred the F4 IS version. It's slightly bigger than any other standard zoom lens, and IS is very effective. In any case, the gain with IS makes it better than the F2.8 non IS version IMO.
    This F4IS has become my favorite additional lens to my typical lens set when travelling. ıt fits into my bag, and I don't have to carry an additional lens bag.
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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    I hear rumblings about an update to the f/2.8 version.
    I have the f/4 IS model and I am pretty happy with it at any aperature.
    -bob

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    Have both, and they are both very finely performing lenses. The IS is very helpful and effective, the f/4 version being of a more recent generation. The smaller size and considerably lighter weight of the latter should not be discounted.

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    The way Canon auto-focus systems work you want f2.8 or better lenses only as it activate their high precision sensors. In full sun, sure F4 is fine and will hide focus errors more also.

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    Nothing new except to send you one more "vote" for the IS version.

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    Canon 70 200 2 8 IS or non IS

    rnHas anyone heard any thing about the 5D replacement. I have heard this fall and also maybe next spring. Canon is making the Nikon D700 look pretty good if they delay much longer.rn

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    Re: Canon 70 200 2 8 IS or non IS

    Quote Originally Posted by affoche09 View Post
    rnHas anyone heard any thing about the 5D replacement. I have heard this fall and also maybe next spring. Canon is making the Nikon D700 look pretty good if they delay much longer.rn
    5D replacement? The 5D2 has been out for several months now...
    Jack
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    Re: Canon 70 200 2 8 IS or non IS

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    5D replacement? The 5D2 has been out for several months now...
    Really....the 5D MarkII started shipping in November 2008.

    LJ

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    Re: Canon 70-200 2.8 IS or non IS

    0.02 worth.

    70/200 F4 non IS


    70/200 F2.8 IS (turned off)


    It's hard to tell what's what with the way these images were used, but my impression is that the F4 lens is a better lens. I just never got acceptable sharpness from the F2.8 lens wide open or close to open, where the F4 lens is very capable wide open and only gets better stopped down.

    If you really need to open up, (and these days with high ISO cameras you don't) then you can make a case for the faster lens.

    For my purposes I would use the 70 200 F4, I don't need IS.

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