70-200 2.8L non-IS

Started May 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
gdanmitchell Veteran Member • Posts: 7,730
Re: 70-200 2.8L non-IS

I make very large size prints on an in-house Epson 7900, so I have a bit of experience with this. Photographs from any of the 70-200mm zooms will, depending upon the skill of the photographer, produce outstanding prints at large sizes. Your notions about large difference in "contrast and color" in "moderate sized prints" are completely unfounded.

(If you don't believe me, there are quite a few very well known and very successful photographers who shoot the f/4 versions of the lens.)

There is no question that the f/2.8 II version is a fine lens and that it measures "better" in some ways. However, here we are not talking about the difference between good and bad - we are talking about the difference between really excellent and a slightly improved version of excellent.

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. There are other significant differences among these excellent lenses that can be important to the photographer: price, IS, maximum aperture, size, bulk, and so forth.


mmullen wrote:

gdanmitchell wrote:

With that in mind, it may make no sense at all to worry about a tiny, insignificant increment of some form of "better-ness" when all of the options are great. It makes more sense to think about the things that actually are different, such as cost, maximum aperture, IS or not, weight, and so on.

The new f/2.8 II version is purportedly better than that older version of that lens. However, you will almost certainly never actually see any visible manifestations of this better-ness unless you shoot in some very particular ways and perhaps make quite large prints and then inspect them with a magnifying lens.

That is simply not true. The differences are readily apparent without a magnifying lens, even in moderate sized prints. Most noticeable is in contrast and color.

Also, for moving subjects the newer lens tracks MUCH more accurately and loses focus less often. That alone will result in a much higher percentage of useable shots.

But I agree, under static conditions, on a tripod and without back lighting, the differences are much smaller. Particularly on a FF camera. But it is not uncommon for the 70-200 to be the longest lens in a photographers bag for any given situation and, thus, the need to crop (or use a TC) when shooting at the long end is not uncommon. It doesn't take much of a crop to show the differences.

And the 70-200 f/2.8 IS is very usable with both a 1.4X and 2X TC. That alone is a major distinguishing difference.

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Mike Mullen

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