70-200mm L IS f2.8 II v f4 for bokeh

Started Mar 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Phil King Contributing Member • Posts: 588
70-200mm L IS f2.8 II v f4 for bokeh


I'm about to invest in the now relatively attractively priced 5D MK II and a couple of lenses. My interests are portraits (children mainly) where I love using shallow depth of field, and landscapes.

I am planning to buy the 24-70mm f2.8 and then a 70-200mm to cover the range. I can afford either the f2.8 or the f4 IS 70-200mm zooms but what I really need is portability and the ability to get decent bokeh. The f2.8 is a lot of glass as well as a lot of cash, whereas the f4 seems much easier to carry around.

Reading the reviews both are very well thought of in terms of sharpness, and one comment I read of the f4 was that this lens is not a poor man's f2.8. Clearly it won't be as good in low light as the f2.8 but I am thinking that at the longer focal lengths in the range, the DOF is going to be pretty shallow at f4 anyway - so do I really need the f2.8?

Using a calculator I worked out that at say 135mm focal length and the subject at 12 feet, f4 gives a DOF of 0.56ft (which my simple mind thinks of as the depth of a person!). Would that not give me good background blur?

Similarly at 200mm focal length, and the subject at 18 feet, f4 gives a similar DOF (0.56ft).

Can any of you 70-200mm f4 L IS owners out there post any comments on their experience - any example images?

Thank you.

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 Phil King's gear list:Phil King's gear list
Canon EOS 40D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
Canon EOS 5D
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