Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
Phil Geusebroek
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Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
7 months ago

Thinking a long time on this but keep backing off. I have the F4 IS and it's wonderful. Am I missing something really special in not trying a lens most working pros consider a given?

VA-ArtG
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Phil Geusebroek, 7 months ago

Do you need it for your photography?

Can you afford it?

What (other than low light) can it do for you over your current lens?

Do you enjoy weight?

Now, if have honestly answered the above questions - you now have your answer.

Use and enjoy the lens most suited to your photographic interest.

Art

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Al Downie
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Phil Geusebroek, 7 months ago

It's a professional tool - in other words, it's the kind of thing you carry to a job because you'll be paid for doing so. In my opinion it's far too heavy for everyday, carry-about use.

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kevindar
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Phil Geusebroek, 7 months ago

I own both. I am a hobbyist. The 2.8II gets far more use. I dont see how you have to be a "Professional" to use it, whatever that means. the 600 f4L is several times the size and weight, not to mention the price, and is used by hobbyist wildlife photographers all the time.

do you have the money? do you not mind the weight, are the two questions. You will use the 2.8, I will assure you of that, unless you are shooting landscape, or in studio group/product shots at f8.  then the 70-200 f4 non IS is perfectly fine, as is the 70-300L.

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Sports Shooter
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Al Downie, 7 months ago

Al Downie wrote:

It's a professional tool - in other words, it's the kind of thing you carry to a job because you'll be paid for doing so. In my opinion it's far too heavy for everyday, carry-about use.

Should a Ferrari road car be driven by formula 1 drivers only?

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Al Downie
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Sports Shooter, 7 months ago

Sports Shooter wrote:

Al Downie wrote:

It's a professional tool - in other words, it's the kind of thing you carry to a job because you'll be paid for doing so. In my opinion it's far too heavy for everyday, carry-about use.

Should a Ferrari road car be driven by formula 1 drivers only?

Sorry - that's not what I meant! I meant that professionals will tolerate the weight because they're being paid to do so!

But.. I do question your suggestion that the 70-200L is a Ferrari! It's a very good quality zoom, for sure, and it's remarkable because it's as good as many primes, but there are also many primes in that range which are better lenses. In some folks' eyes, the zoom has a legendary, holy-grail-like status and they believe that EVERYONE should aspire to own one, but given its weight and bulk I'd argue that it's a specialist tool for professionals who have to work fast in tight, unpredictable spaces. I used to own one, and I hope I never have to carry one ever again.

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fishywisht
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Phil Geusebroek, 7 months ago

You signed up for an account 13 years ago and now you ask a question like this?

Are you sure you know which way round to put your battery in?

If you have an APS-C body and don't shoot with anything wider than f4 it could be easy to be ignorant of what subject isolation can do for your photos.

If you just want to get noticed with a white Lens, don't worry. Most people are too ignorant to realise the f4 L is a lightweight.

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rebel99
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Phil Geusebroek, 7 months ago

Phil Geusebroek wrote:

Thinking a long time on this but keep backing off. I have the F4 IS and it's wonderful. Am I missing something really special in not trying a lens most working pros consider a given?

only you know the answer to your question

cheerz.

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Phil Geusebroek
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to fishywisht, 7 months ago

fishywisht wrote:

You signed up for an account 13 years ago and now you ask a question like this?

You're assuming a lot about me.

Are you sure you know which way round to put your battery in?

Wow.  Wait: 

If you have an APS-C body and don't shoot with anything wider than f4 it could be easy to be ignorant of what subject isolation can do for your photos.

Really?  Why would you even go there?

If you just want to get noticed with a white Lens, don't worry. Most people are too ignorant to realise the f4 L is a lightweight.

One of the reasons I haven't bought the f2.8L yet is *because* it's large and white.  I would even have preferred a black option on the f4L.

To the contrary:  Most people buy the f4L IS **because** they realize it is a lightweight.  So give me a reason to hump the f2.8L around.

On telephotos and experience:

My first kit was an AE-1 with a 28mm, 50mm, and 70-210 f4 that a friend sold me for $105.

I've had non-IS FD 70-210mm f4, FD 80-200mm F4L, EF 70-200mm F4L.  I've used FD gear including AE1, AE1 Program, F1N, T90 with all manner of primes and zooms **except an 80-200mm f2.8**. With EF, I've been working with 100mm f2.8 Macro, 135mm f2L, 200mm f2.8L ii and 300mm f4L IS. I've had the 70-200mm f4L and now the f4L IS, **but never any generation of 70-200mm f2.8L**.  I've found the f4 zooms too slow unless I had a tripod, but didn't want to hump the weight of the f2.8 along with wide, normal, macro and 300mm.

So enlighten me:  What am missing about the 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II  that makes it a lens that most working pros consider a given?  What have I been missing all these years?  Explain the situations and places where the f2.8L lens comes into its own.

If the intent of your post was drama, then congrats: you've won the internets...

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Abu Mahendra
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Phil Geusebroek, 7 months ago

I have the need for speed...I too have the same debate with myself. You gain one stop of light/blur at the expense of weight, size and cost. Weather sealing might be better though I am not sure.

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Great Bustard
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"Need" is a strong word.
In reply to Phil Geusebroek, 7 months ago

Phil Geusebroek wrote:

Thinking a long time on this but keep backing off. I have the F4 IS and it's wonderful. Am I missing something really special in not trying a lens most working pros consider a given?

Do you "need" the more shallow DOF of f/2.8 over f/4?  Do you "need" the lower noise of, say, ISO 1600 over ISO 3200?  Do you "need" whatever resolution increase the f/2.8L II IS offers over the f/4L IS?  Do you "need" AF with a 2x TC (unless you have a camera that will AF at f/8, where the f/4L IS will also AF with a 2x TC)?

Or do you just want it, and it's worth the size, weight, and price?

No one can answer those questions but you.

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Phil Geusebroek
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Phil Geusebroek, 7 months ago

Thanks to everyone who posted:

- I don't think I strictly need it for the landscapes and travel stuff I mostly shoot, but do shoot the odd bit of wildlife that wanders in. Maybe the lens would have application for zooming composition with a 1.4x or 2x extender, but wonder about the image quality with the latter and it wouldn't outreach my 300mm f4 IS.

- I don't shoot weddings, sports or events on a regular basis. Once in awhile I'll bring the 135L or 200 f2.8L for informal stuff.

- I can afford it.

- the 2x extender thing might be useful for composition, but if it's an emergency-use-only kind of thing I'd be better off starting with a longer focal length.  The 200-400mm is $12K, so there must be a reason they can sell that.

- I do mind the weight and the colour, but will try it if I'm missing out on something very useful. I've bought lenses not knowing their utility before and discovered things about them I really liked, and they became mainstays. This is why I'm asking what I might be overlooking in this lens.

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diness
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Phil Geusebroek, 7 months ago

Phil Geusebroek wrote:

Thanks to everyone who posted:

- I don't think I strictly need it for the landscapes and travel stuff I mostly shoot, but do shoot the odd bit of wildlife that wanders in. Maybe the lens would have application for zooming composition with a 1.4x or 2x extender, but wonder about the image quality with the latter and it wouldn't outreach my 300mm f4 IS.

- I don't shoot weddings, sports or events on a regular basis. Once in awhile I'll bring the 135L or 200 f2.8L for informal stuff.

- I can afford it.

- I do mind the weight and the colour, but will try it if I'm missing out on something very useful. I've bought lenses not knowing their utility before and discovered things about them I really liked, and they became mainstays. This is why I'm asking what I might be overlooking in this lens.

Based on these things, I wouldn't bother with it.  Sounds like weight is an issue for you and so is the size and color...   Since you already have a 135L and a 200L which are both very sharp and are smaller and black... I would use those when you wanted 2.8 or larger aperture and didn't want the white color.  Then when you want the flexibility of the zoom you can use the 70-200 f4L IS.  Those three lenses you have area all incredibly good lenses and if they're less sharp than the 70-200 2.8 II it's not by much.  I would say keep what you have and enjoy it!  (or give them to me...)

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Phil Geusebroek
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to diness, 7 months ago

diness wrote:

Phil Geusebroek wrote:

Thanks to everyone who posted:

- I don't think I strictly need it for the landscapes and travel stuff I mostly shoot, but do shoot the odd bit of wildlife that wanders in. Maybe the lens would have application for zooming composition with a 1.4x or 2x extender, but wonder about the image quality with the latter and it wouldn't outreach my 300mm f4 IS.

- I don't shoot weddings, sports or events on a regular basis. Once in awhile I'll bring the 135L or 200 f2.8L for informal stuff.

- I can afford it.

- I do mind the weight and the colour, but will try it if I'm missing out on something very useful. I've bought lenses not knowing their utility before and discovered things about them I really liked, and they became mainstays. This is why I'm asking what I might be overlooking in this lens.

Based on these things, I wouldn't bother with it. Sounds like weight is an issue for you and so is the size and color... Since you already have a 135L and a 200L which are both very sharp and are smaller and black... I would use those when you wanted 2.8 or larger aperture and didn't want the white color. Then when you want the flexibility of the zoom you can use the 70-200 f4L IS. Those three lenses you have area all incredibly good lenses and if they're less sharp than the 70-200 2.8 II it's not by much. I would say keep what you have and enjoy it! (or give them to me...)

Thanks, you and others are leading me to again decide I don't need it. I used to argue that the 100 macro was a better choice than the 70-200mm because it's in the middle of the angle of view, small, black, sharper and more unobtrusive: people didn't feel like you were aiming a bazooka at them. But every pro seems to swear by that lens and I've never owned one, so began to wonder...

The 135mm f2L is pure joy at f/2, and people hardly notice you sneaking around with no flash. I suspect the 100mm f2.8L IS will be really handy as a low light portrait lens as well, but haven't tried it yet.

I like lightweight kit.

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Jorrit
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Phil Geusebroek, 7 months ago

Thinking a long time on this but keep backing off. I have the F4 IS and it's wonderful. Am I missing something really special in not trying a lens most working pros consider a given?

You're not giving us a lot of info. Why do you think you might need one?

The IQ is said to be nigh identical at the same apertures. You get an extra stop in trade for pretty much twice the weight and twice the volume.

Do you feel you need the extra stop for some reason? Do you photograph inside a lot? Or outside in darker conditions without flash? Do you need the extra subject isolation? Do you suffer from G.A.S.? Then this lens may be for you. If not, then maybe not.

I've always found the 2.8 rather heavy and bulky. It has its uses - and of course the IQ is terrific - but in most situations you'll see me grabbing the 70-300L or 100-400L instead of the 70-200L 2.8 IS II (with or without 1.4x) if I need reach, and a 50 1.4 or 100L 2.8 if I need speed. Only if IQ is of the utmost importance and/or I need the long end *and* fast speed will I suffer dragging it along. Consider me a weakling, but the weight/bulk for me is often a deciding factor if I go out for fun (most of my shooting) and need/want to be mobile - no, I don't handhold the 600mm!

Then again, if I were doing paid portrait work with it rather than frolicking around, I would definitely prefer it over the 4 IS because you can do 2.8 stuff, which will probably help pay the bills. I'd probably still be using the 135L instead whenever I could, though.

In the end, it's just 2.8 instead of your current 4 and significantly more to lug around. I've never been blown away by this lens and it certainly doesn't provide the same level of entertainment value as say the 100L 2.8 Macro or the 100-400L do. So figure out why you might need it, if at all, then decide. If the feeling of missing out is all there is - then just move on, there is nothing to see here.

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Phil Geusebroek
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Jorrit, 7 months ago

Jorrit wrote:

Thinking a long time on this but keep backing off. I have the F4 IS and it's wonderful. Am I missing something really special in not trying a lens most working pros consider a given?

You're not giving us a lot of info. Why do you think you might need one?

I've elaborated above, but you pretty much addressed it below. I don't think I need the lens for my current purposes and like you, find it a little heavy and bulky. I agree that the 100 macro is entertaining: 100 macro is one of my favourite lenses along with 24mm and 35mm.

The IQ is said to be nigh identical at the same apertures. You get an extra stop in trade for pretty much twice the weight and twice the volume.

Do you feel you need the extra stop for some reason? Do you photograph inside a lot? Or outside in darker conditions without flash? Do you need the extra subject isolation? Do you suffer from G.A.S.? Then this lens may be for you. If not, then maybe not.

G.A.S is a factor, no doubt, as is a current sale price bringing the opportunity to purchase it. I do photograph inside a lot but think that fast (especially with IS) primes work very well so far. The 135mm f2L has done an excellent job so far, but I'm usually pretty close to my subjects. The 200mm f2.8 could use IS as it's slower and longer, so I need need all the speed I can get with that one. IS would help but only to the point where subject movement scraps it. I bet that 200mm f2 IS would be a giant killer in this regard, but too expensive for me.

I've always found the 2.8 rather heavy and bulky. It has its uses - and of course the IQ is terrific - but in most situations you'll see me grabbing the 70-300L or 100-400L instead of the 70-200L 2.8 IS II (with or without 1.4x) if I need reach, and a 50 1.4 or 100L 2.8 if I need speed. Only if IQ is of the utmost importance and/or I need the long end *and* fast speed will I suffer dragging it along. Consider me a weakling, but the weight/bulk for me is often a deciding factor if I go out for fun (most of my shooting) and need/want to be mobile - no, I don't handhold the 600mm!

I could use the extra stop with the zoom when stuck for movement in dim places, but that hasn't happened much at all.

Then again, if I were doing paid portrait work with it rather than frolicking around, I would definitely prefer it over the 4 IS because you can do 2.8 stuff, which will probably help pay the bills. I'd probably still be using the 135L instead whenever I could, though.

Maybe that's the deciding factor: if people paid me to get the composition perfect, and every gig was a one-shot deal, I might cover all my bases with the 70-200mmm f2.8 IS. I'm not half bad at concerts and find them a lot of fun. Musicians liked my work, but I haven't pursued that angle in a while.

In the end, it's just 2.8 instead of your current 4 and significantly more to lug around. I've never been blown away by this lens and it certainly doesn't provide the same level of entertainment value as say the 100L 2.8 Macro or the 100-400L do. So figure out why you might need it, if at all, then decide. If the feeling of missing out is all there is - then just move on, there is nothing to see here.

Thanks. That helps. I think I'll hold off and see how things go.

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ZX11
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Sports Shooter, 7 months ago

Sports Shooter wrote:

Al Downie wrote:

It's a professional tool - in other words, it's the kind of thing you carry to a job because you'll be paid for doing so. In my opinion it's far too heavy for everyday, carry-about use.

Should a Ferrari road car be driven by formula 1 drivers only?

Yes, in most cases.  You are getting a handful of downsides just to have an edge in performance you can't use or exploit.  Horrible cost benefit ratios.

But if you have the extra money, can put up with the downsides, and are happy just looking cool, then drive the Ferrari or buy the 70-200mm f2.8 IS II.

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ZX11
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Phil Geusebroek, 7 months ago

Rent it for the day, weekend, or week.  See if it is something you need or not.

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grammieb14
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to ZX11, 7 months ago

I have the 4 & the 2.8.  I tend to grab the 2.8 even though it is heavy & I am 67.  I love what I get from this lens.   I love the 100 macro is too.  Did I need it? No.  Do I love it? Yes.  Bab--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28700476@N08/

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RogerZoul
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Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?
In reply to Phil Geusebroek, 7 months ago

Phil Geusebroek wrote:

Thinking a long time on this but keep backing off. I have the F4 IS and it's wonderful. Am I missing something really special in not trying a lens most working pros consider a given?

Based on what you have written here I see no compelling reason for buying the 2.8. You're happy with the F4 IS.  You've answered your own question, my friend.

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