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I Would Like Some Advice On Lens Choice.  
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4811 posts, RR: 25
Posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5022 times:
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Hello everyone,

I am now in a position to finally purchase my own lens. I have been borrowing a friends Canon EF 80-200mm lens and I have used it in addition to my Canon kit lens. Not a very good lens, but it has certainly given me the opportunity to play with, and learn my camera in the setting I will be doing the majority of my aviation photography. It is time to think about getting my own lens.

The lens that has caught my eye is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM as it is easily affordable. However, I now have some extra cash thanks to our Government (tax return) so I think it would be in my best interest to look at spending a bit more for a better version of the lens. For a comparable price, I can get the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, or the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM. So, I was wondering which I should choose? What will be most important to me? Having Image Stabilizer, or the lens aperture f/2.8? Getting the lens with both is out of the question...too pricey. So, if I had to choose, which one should I go for? Or is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM good enough to allow me to save the extra money for an additional smaller lens to add to (more like start) my collection.

Now, this might be an obvious no-brainer to many of you. As for the two lenses, I think I already know the answer anyway. But, before I spend money on a lens, I would like as much feedback as possible and get a feel for what you all think about the lenses I'm looking at based on your personal experience. Thank you.


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineWakeTurbulence From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1294 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5014 times:

I own the 70-200 f/4L and I will NEVER sell it. It is sharp. I have zero complaints about this lens. For the money it has been the best buy I have made. The others mentioned are also very good, all with high reviews on Fred Miranda, but I have not really needed IS while being only at 200mm. Good luck, out have a good problem to have.  Smile
-Matt



Jetwash Images - Feel the Heat!!!
User currently offlineAcontador From Chile, joined Jul 2005, 1421 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4990 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

The only thing I ever wanted AFTER buying my 70-200 f/4L was maybe a couple of more mm, but I certainly have very rarely missed the extra f-stop or the IS. That's of course because of the combination of my typical location + local weather, so it might be slightly different for you. I also have a couple of dusk/dawn pics in the DB shot with that lens. It's really a very sharp and fast focusing lens, and probably the best you can get for that amount of money.
But if you have the extra spare bucks, why not the 100-400? I would love to have that one, particularly because of the combo 400 mm + IS, but it's out of my budget right now.



Just sit back, relax and have a glass of Merlot...enjoy your life!
User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4986 times:

I also own the 70-200mm F/4 L and I love it! Your decision should depend on how much low light photography you do. IS is nice to have in low light conditions. That is the only time I use IS. When shooting high speed military action or airliners in action with enough light, IS goes off!

The 100-400mm is another one you should consider. If you are having issues with softness at the long end (as some people do), send it to Canon and have them fix it. I did!


User currently offlineAC773 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4979 times:

The 70-200 f/4 L is a great lens for the price and most people are rightfully thrilled with it, but if you have the cash, the 2.8 is just in a league of its own. It's generally regarded as one of Canon's sharpest, most vibrant lenses, and it's renowned for its beautiful bokeh (background blur)

Again, the f/4 is a fantastic lens, but if you can afford it, there's no reason not to go with the 2.8.



Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
User currently offlineDC10Tim From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1406 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4976 times:

For me it would be the f/2.8 L IS all the way. The f/4 lens gives excellent results from what I have seen, but for me personally (I have the 70-300mm DO IS), having the image stabilization makes a big difference, unless you're constantly shooting in bright sunlight. Perhaps I just have unsteady hands, but the difference in quality from my non-IS lenses is definitely noticeable.

Regards,

Tim.

Edit: Please forgive the self-plug, but just to show what I mean, this shot was taken at dusk. There is no way I would have been able to hold the lens still enough to get a sharp image without the IS. Ultimately, I suppose it depends on what conditions you're most likely to be shooting in.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tim Goodwin



[Edited 2007-04-25 01:50:21]


Obviously missing something....
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4811 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4939 times:
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First of all, thank you all for your help so far!

Quoting Acontador (Reply 2):
The only thing I ever wanted AFTER buying my 70-200 f/4L was maybe a couple of more mm,

I have such great access at SAN (where I do pretty much all of my aviation photography) that I really do not need more than 200mm. It would be nice, but because of the affordability of the 200mm L lenses, I will settle for 200mm, especially since the L lenses are supposed to be tack sharp all the way to 200mm. The 200mm lens I am using right now is pretty much useless past 135mm so I guess I would be gaining a few mm in a way.

Quoting Acontador (Reply 2):
That's of course because of the combination of my typical location + local weather, so it might be slightly different for you.

Well, I am shooting in San Diego. Sunny and 70 degrees most of the year.  cool 

Quoting Acontador (Reply 2):
I also have a couple of dusk/dawn pics in the DB shot with that lens.

I would love to take more of these. SAN has some great opportunities for dusk/dawn photos, especially this time of year.

Quoting Acontador (Reply 2):
But if you have the extra spare bucks, why not the 100-400? I would love to have that one, particularly because of the combo 400 mm + IS, but it's out of my budget right now.



Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 3):
The 100-400mm is another one you should consider.

Well to tell you the truth, I shoot from such a close range, that being able to go down to 70mm would be more beneficial to me than having that extra zoom. If I went for that lens, then I would definitely need another lens to fill the gap from my 18-55mm lens.

Also, another factor for me is, I do not only enjoy photographing airplanes. I like to travel, and I like to take pictures when I travel...more landscape stuff I guess So, a fast, high-zoom lens will only really be used when photographing airplanes. That is another reason the 70-200mm f/4L is attractive to me...I can save money and get another decent lens suited for other areas of photography in addition to the 200mm lens for airplanes.

Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 3):
Your decision should depend on how much low light photography you do.

Unfortunately rare photographic opportunities have been lost or ruined because of my inadequate equipment under less than ideal conditions. That is why I think, while 85% of the time I will be shooting in perfect, sunny conditions, something that can handle lower light well would be beneficial.

Quoting DC10Tim (Reply 5):
For me it would be the f/2.8 L IS all the way.

As I said in my original post, I cannot afford that lens.  Sad

My decision will involve a trade-off as most do. So, I need to decide if I need the IS, or the extra f-stop...or either. I cannot have both lol...right now at least. If anything I have just said in my replies gives you a better idea of which lens will best suit me, please offer your input. I greatly appreciate all of your help!



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineStevenL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4892 times:

I'm a Nikon user so I don't know about how sharp the lens will be, one thing that always gets me is not being able to go down to F/2.8.

Sure you will shoot around F/8 or F/10 for all your bright day airplane shots, but if you have the extra money I would get the F/2.8. That way you can use the lens for other things (God forbid right?  Wink) that don't exactly have ideal lighting.

Just my two cents...


User currently offlineAero145 From Iceland, joined Jan 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4880 times:

Silver; I own the 70-200 f/4L, and I've used the 70-200 f/4L IS quite a bit. I'd buy the non-IS and a good smaller lens or the IS, not the f/2.8, as bigger aperture will only give you more speed (and for sure the f/4L IS at f/4 is well over 70-200 f/2.8L's f/2.8 sharpness).

User currently offlineMonteycarlos From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2107 posts, RR: 28
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 4836 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Thread starter):
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

Easy, if you've got the money buy this one.

Sure, by all reports that f/4 is good, but the f/2.8 is better. Is that the answer you're looking for? Btw, f@*k the IS. You don't need it.



It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
User currently offlineAero145 From Iceland, joined Jan 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4816 times:

Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 9):
but the f/2.8 is better.

For what purpose?
I've got the 70-200 f/4L, and I hardly use the f/4, I'm usually in f/6.3-f/9. So, it's not better for my shooting. Seems not for his either:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 6):
Well, I am shooting in San Diego. Sunny and 70 degrees most of the year.


User currently offlineFergulmcc From Ireland, joined Oct 2004, 1916 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4812 times:

I own the 70-200/2.8 LIS and find it to be one of my favorite lenses. It's nearly always attached to my 1Dn. If someone was to tell me that I could only bring one lens with me it would be that one. The f4 version is also an excellent lens and well worth the investment. You will be very happy with it, trust me.

Quoting Aero145 (Reply 10):
Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 9):
but the f/2.8 is better.

For what purpose?
I've got the 70-200 f/4L, and I hardly use the f/4, I'm usually in f/6.3-f/9. So, it's not better for my shooting. Seems not for his either:

To go wide open in low light situations, it also allows more light in for the AF to react faster, i.e. lock on faster. I have both the 300/4 and the 300/2.8 and trust me that 300/2.8 is so much faster than the f4 version.

Take care

Fergul  sun 



Zambian Airways, Where the Eagles fly free!!
User currently offlineAviopic From Netherlands, joined Mar 2004, 2681 posts, RR: 41
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4796 times:

Quoting Aero145 (Reply 10):
For what purpose?
I've got the 70-200 f/4L, and I hardly use the f/4, I'm usually in f/6.3-f/9. So, it's not better for my shooting. Seems not for his either:

You use it everytime you press the shutter half way to focus  Wink
The difference is that where an F/4 can't autofocus anymore due to lack of available light an F/2.8 goes on for a while longer, should be a nice feature in Iceland.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Thread starter):
The lens that has caught my eye is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

You can get yourself a Sigma 70-200/2.8 EX HSM for about the same money.



The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
User currently offlineMonteycarlos From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2107 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4782 times:

Quoting Aero145 (Reply 10):
For what purpose?
I've got the 70-200 f/4L, and I hardly use the f/4, I'm usually in f/6.3-f/9. So, it's not better for my shooting. Seems not for his either:

See below... I think if you've never used f/4 on that lens then you don't get out enough.

Quoting Fergulmcc (Reply 11):
To go wide open in low light situations, it also allows more light in for the AF to react faster, i.e. lock on faster. I have both the 300/4 and the 300/2.8 and trust me that 300/2.8 is so much faster than the f4 version.

FWIW Aero145, I am not saying your lens is not good. But the truth of the matter is that the f/2.8 is a far better lens.



It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
User currently offlineAero145 From Iceland, joined Jan 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4768 times:

Quoting Fergulmcc (Reply 11):
and trust me that 300/2.8 is so much faster than the f4 version.

I think it's combined: f/2.8 and a faster focus motor... Big grin at least 300 f/2.8L is much better glass.

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 12):
You use it everytime you press the shutter half way to focus  Wink
The difference is that where an F/4 can't autofocus anymore due to lack of available light an F/2.8 goes on for a while longer, should be a nice feature in Iceland.

Understood.

Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 13):
But the truth of the matter is that the f/2.8 is a far better lens.

You sure "far better" isn't a little bit "over-said"? Seriously, I've tried all versions Canon make of the 70-200s and the f/4L IS was the most satisfying, image qualiy wise at least, the f/2.8L non-IS being the worst. But true is that f/2.8L IS' autofocus was the most reliable, and the fastest.


User currently offlineMonteycarlos From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2107 posts, RR: 28
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4758 times:

Quoting Aero145 (Reply 14):
Seriously, I've tried all versions Canon make of the 70-200s and the f/4L IS was the most satisfying, image qualiy wise at least, the f/2.8L non-IS being the worst. But true is that f/2.8L IS' autofocus was the most reliable, and the fastest.

So 95% of the people that used this lens were lying when they said it was better. You just can't trust reviews these days.  Yeah sure



It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9633 posts, RR: 68
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4757 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

The people pimping the f/4 are doing so because that is what they bought, it is human nature.

Take a look at what any pro uses.


User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4747 times:

Dont forget about the real lenses Royal. Canon for Canon, Nikkor for Nikon. Simple as that. Anything else, is just Passe'.  Smile

User currently offlineMonteycarlos From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2107 posts, RR: 28
Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4732 times:

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 16):
Take a look at what any pro uses.

My thoughts too.  bigthumbsup 



It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
User currently offlineAero145 From Iceland, joined Jan 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4695 times:

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 16):
Take a look at what any pro uses.

Well, there are many non-pros that use the 70-200 f/2.8L glass.  Smile

[Edited 2007-04-27 15:50:59]

User currently offlineAC773 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4659 times:

Quoting Aero145 (Reply 19):
Well, there are many non-pros that use the 70-200 f/2.8L glass.

...Because they've seen what the pros use.  Wink



Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
User currently offlineAero145 From Iceland, joined Jan 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 20
Reply 21, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4653 times:

Quoting AC773 (Reply 20):
...Because they've seen what the pros use.

...And they like to train their muscles.  Wink


User currently offlineMonteycarlos From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2107 posts, RR: 28
Reply 22, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4650 times:

Quoting Aero145 (Reply 21):
And they like to train their muscles.

And avoid camera shake.



It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
User currently offlineAcontador From Chile, joined Jul 2005, 1421 posts, RR: 30
Reply 23, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4624 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Please guys, come on!  Cool
We ALL know that the 70-200 f/2.8L is a slightly 'better' lens in terms of image quality than the 70-200 f/4L, no doubt about that (just read all reviews), but it's like comparing apples with bananas, since they are far apart in price.
So, I think we can also ALL agree that in it's price class the 70-200 f/4L is definately one of (if not the) best lenses around.
Now, if you have the budget, you can always look higher in the price segment, but, for me at least, then I would go straight to the 100-400...as Royal said,

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 16):
Take a look at what any pro uses.

 Wink



Just sit back, relax and have a glass of Merlot...enjoy your life!
User currently offlineAero145 From Iceland, joined Jan 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 20
Reply 24, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4617 times:

Quoting Acontador (Reply 23):
straight to the 100-400...as Royal said,

But 100-400 is f/4.5-5.6, so it's very, very consumer...  drool 


 stirthepot 



j/k


25 Post contains images 747438 : Thing is David, it's a lens for grown ups
26 Clickhappy : I didn't now Canon made a f/2.8 100-400. Whats the price? How much does it weigh?
27 Post contains images AC773 : They do! The Miami Observatory uses one, and they get some great shots with it. Aero145 might find it a bit difficult to handhold though.
28 Post contains images Aero145 : No, that's Royal's Canon 100-400mm f/2.8L.
29 Silver1SWA : Thanks guys. Please, read above. I really do not have much use for a lens that powerful. Most of my aviation photography will be from fairly close ran
30 Monteycarlos : Your problem is solved by this statement alone. Why would you EVER go with a less versatile lens if you had the option? Take it from the amount of pr
31 Aviopic : Borrow a Sigma 70-200/2.8 from somebody to see if it suit your needs. New price is roughly the same as the Canon F4 version and the quality pretty mu
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