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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Canon 70-200 4.0L with or without IS?
Showing posts 1 - 23 of 23, (reverse)
07/16/2009 11:15:51 PM · #1
I have decided to buy Canon's 70-200 m.m. 4.0L lens. My big problem is, that I don't know if the IS version is worth the extra money or if I will need it. I know that IS is always nice, but is it really worth almost the double price? (4.0L - $600 / 4.0L IS - $1025)

I mainly shoot outdoor sports and portraits.

I hope you people can help me before I go to B&H Photo and spend my money.
07/16/2009 11:18:17 PM · #2
Do you shoot mostly hand held, or tripod?

IS doesn't do anything for tripod work. If you shoot hand held at slower speeds it comes in handy.
07/16/2009 11:46:23 PM · #3
Well I shoot mostly handheld, but if I e.g. shoot at night I use my tripod.
07/17/2009 12:00:11 AM · #4
I used to think IS was a must have. Lately, I've realized I hardly use it because it's not on the lenses I use mostly and I always shoot handheld. I also never use a flash and use whatever light is available so when twilight comes it can be a little disappointing to have to bump up the ISO but I've gotten used to it. I know, this is a very rare thing for people to do but I like not having to worry about a flash and/or tripod.
07/17/2009 04:33:30 AM · #5
I find IS very useful for wedding work - it just allows me to up that shutter speed a wee bit during church ceremonies, speeches etc - I am not a lover of flash so having the little extra bit of comfort from IS is nice - its just it bumps up the price a bit whic isn`t so nice.
07/17/2009 05:09:45 AM · #6
I have this lens with IS, and I love it. Sharp as a tack. I have never been disappointed with IS - I would rather have it than not, but that's a personal choice. I'm just letting you know it's an awesome lens! :)
07/17/2009 06:39:07 AM · #7
have you thought about the 200mm 2.8 L prime?

When I owned the 70-200mm f4 L I realized I was almost always at 200mm anyway, and I always needed more light - so the 2.8 prime was the obvious choice. Admittedly, though, I'm a prime guy. I don't own a zoom at all anymore.
07/17/2009 07:44:51 AM · #8
If you can afoord it, go with

I have the 300mm f 4 IS and it makes a BIG difference when it's on.
07/17/2009 07:48:59 AM · #9
This is the first time I've had an IS lens, and I love it. Often, I don't get the opportunity to shoot until later in the evening, when the light is fading, and I hate ending a shoot early just because the light went away. Also, it is great for indoors pictures. It sure does not solve everything, but it helps salvage otherwise marginal shoots. As for is it worth the extra $$$? I haven't made up my mind on that one yet. It is a lot of extra money.
07/17/2009 07:49:55 AM · #10
Thanks for all your replies. I will think about it for a couple of days more and then I will buy one of them (probably the IS version).

07/17/2009 08:10:52 AM · #11
Have you thought of saving the money and just shoot in burst mode. This is a "poor man's" IS. At the 40D's frame rate you are bound to get a shot that is sharp. Just a suggestion.
07/17/2009 10:51:57 AM · #12
At that price I might consider the 70-200f/2.8 non IS. I seem to always want a larger aperture and smoother bokeh than my f/4 gives me. But I have to say that the f/4.0 non IS is an amazing lens. You could save some money or get 2 lenses.

Edit to add: here is what I'd do... Get the non IS f/4.0 and get the 10-22. Two awesome lenses at nearly the same price as the IS.

Message edited by author 2009-07-17 10:54:36.
07/17/2009 11:04:36 AM · #13
Originally posted by hopper:

have you thought about the 200mm 2.8 L prime?

When I owned the 70-200mm f4 L I realized I was almost always at 200mm anyway, and I always needed more light - so the 2.8 prime was the obvious choice. Admittedly, though, I'm a prime guy. I don't own a zoom at all anymore.

I'll second that. When I have my 70-200 F4, it's at 200 most of the time.

If you need the zoom, I'd spend the money on the F2.8 instead of IS. The IS helps with your hand holding, but it won't get you more light. The F2.8 will give you more light.

Or, IS will freeze you not the subject. The F2.8 will help freeze the subject.
07/17/2009 11:07:29 AM · #14
Looks like you are getting mixed advice. Perhaps you should rent the IS version for 1 day, and use it with IS on and off to see how big a difference it makes for the type of stuff you actually do.
07/17/2009 11:12:14 AM · #15
Erik gives some good avice. Possibly renting is a good idea. If you are buying local the shop may be willing to loan you one since you are potentially buying such a big ticket item.

My guess is the IS isn't as important for the portrait stuff, but may be quite important for the sports. No, you can't freeze motion with IS, but you can pan horizontally better and you can also handhold at speeds which may reasonably freeze motion (say 1/125th) if a evening event requires it.

In the end, I bet you get more use out of the extra stop (2.8 vs. 4.0) and consider the IS as an extra bonus.
07/17/2009 04:29:36 PM · #16
I have the 70-200L f/2.8 with IS and specifically chose the IS feature. I have IS on all my lenses with the exception of my EF-S 10-22 lens.

Here's the way I looked at it. I knew there would be times where I would want to capture subjects in handheld mode in not-so-brightly lit environments (outside during the golden hours) or in an auditorium/building. I won't always be using my tripod/monopod. It's times like these that I don't want to be second-guessing myself as to why I didn't get IS.

I also bought the 1.4x extender, so when the extender is being used, the lens' maximum aperture goes to f/4. In darker environments with that smaller aperture, IS becomes even more important (when handheld).

By the way, like many of my lenses, I rented them a few times before I bought. With this particular lens, I've rented both IS and non-IS. I preferred the IS. The only time I used the non-IS was in bright sunlight with a very fast shutter speed (photographing a soccer match).

If you are anywhere near a Samy's Camera store, you can rent from them and when you decide to buy the lens, they will apply the rental fees toward the new lens. It's a good deal.

Message edited by author 2009-07-17 16:33:00.
07/17/2009 07:44:32 PM · #17
70-200mm f4L IS. Had a non IS version then got the new IS version, Love it!. Not only the IS but the glass quality is better. It is more than just a IS add on. The lens is very sharp.
07/19/2009 07:06:20 PM · #18
Hi you people

Thanks for all your inputs. Many very good points and it has made my choice a bit easier. I thinks I will go for the IS version. One of my good friends who is a photographer also said, that the 4.0 IS theoretically would be the best lens among the four 70-200s - something about a 4.0 lens always would be sharper than 2.8, but I don't know, so don't kill me if it is wrong.

My choice will probably be to spend the money and get the IS version. Also because I do a bit of portraits and weddings which of course often are indoor.

How well does the 4.0 work for portraits? Will I get the blurred background at 70-90 mm?


07/19/2009 09:26:43 PM · #19

I have owned both the IS and non IS of the f/4. The reason to own the f/4 over the f/2.8 is the ability to hand hold (and maybe price). There is no doubt in my mind that at all but super high shutter speeds, the IS is consistently sharper. This lens has Canon's latest IS verion which is good for 3-4 stops. That means the ability to hand hold and shoot as low as 1/50th. Also as an added bonus, the IS version is weather sealed and the non-IS is not.
07/20/2009 12:37:11 AM · #20
IM only going to say this, there are some here that dont need an IS lens as they shoot with tripods and in good light but IMHO I would rather have the IS and not need it than not have it and wished I did have it... the cool thing about the IS versions is you can turn the IS OFF if you really dont "need" it ;)
07/20/2009 06:46:24 PM · #21
Originally posted by thomasjessen:

How well does the 4.0 work for portraits? Will I get the blurred background at 70-90 mm?

It depends on a few variables--the distance between the camera and the subject, as well as the aperture. Let's stipulate that the aperture is at f/4 and the focal length is at 70mm. Given that, then the closer you are to the subjects, the smaller the depth-of-field (blurrier background) you will see. The further distance between the camera and the subject, the less blur you'll have (greater depth-of-field).

With your 40D, you can use the depth-of-field preview button to see the blurry background (or lack thereof) before you take the shot, and make the necessary adjustments to gain the effect you want.

For example, if you are at 70mm, f/4, and 20 feet (6 meters), objects 2.06 feet (63 cm) behind and beyond the subject will be blurry. Similarly, objects 1.7 feet (52 cm) in front and closer to the camera will also be blurry.

Perform your own calculations.

Message edited by author 2009-07-20 23:31:22.
07/20/2009 09:02:13 PM · #22
Thanks "AperturePriority". You live up to your nick name :-)
07/20/2009 11:30:10 PM · #23
Originally posted by thomasjessen:

Thanks "AperturePriority". You live up to your nick name :-)

You are very welcome.

I do need to change my name since I shoot in full manual mode about 90% of the time. :-)

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