70-200 2.8L non-IS

Started May 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
mmullen
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Re: 70-200 2.8L non-IS
In reply to gdanmitchell, May 29, 2012

gdanmitchell wrote:

A few people who have mentioned in their own posts that they make significant use of the f/4 version of the 70-200mm lens. For example, Michael Frye has written that he mainly relies on two lenses - the 70-200mm f/4 and the 17-40mm f/4. I've shot with him when he was using the f/4 70-200mm to photograph birds.

As I said, I prefer the 70-200 f/4 IS to any of the f/2.8 70-200's for landscape and even action if I can achieve favorable ISO's and shutter speeds with f/4. But I'm not sure what the significance of the f/4 lens is to the discussion. The OP asked about the 70-200 f/2.8 vs. the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II.

Corner sharpness:

This is a 100% crop of the lower right corner of a low-contrast landscape subject shot with this lens.

It's good to have an example but it would be even better to also have one taken at the same time with the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II. I have to admit, that looks better than my experience with either of the earlier f/2.8 70-200's.

Again, when it comes to selecting from among the Canon 70-200mm zooms, image quality is just about the last thing to consider since all of them are very good.

Not in terms of flare and contrast of backlit subjects.

Backlit subjects:

Wow! That last one is a stunner! I don't know if you are just better at PP than I am but I could never get either of the 70-200 f/2.8 lenses I tried to look that good when the back light was so strong. Maybe you have a better copy than the ones I tried. In such a situation I will always reach for my 70-200 f/4 IS (but the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II does almost as well).

... but you forgot one of the most notable differences, especially when comparing to the much older non-IS f/2.8: Auto focus speed and accuracy. Not too important for landscapes but many of us use these lenses for fast action and wildlife.

Hard to tell where the focus is on such small images but these are precisely the type of shot I found difficult with the earlier 70-200 f/2.8's.

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Mike Mullen

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