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

Started May 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP Phil Geusebroek Contributing Member • Posts: 582
Re: Do I need a 70-200mm f2.8L IS II?

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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