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70-200 2.8 vs f4

Discussion in 'Digital Photography, Home and Portable Electronics' started by sirrith, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. sirrith

    sirrith Ancient Guru

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    Just wondering if anyone has a canon 70-200 2.8 and could do a quick comparison of background blur at f2.8 vs f4? :)
     
  2. damien666

    damien666 Ancient Guru

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    sorry mate i have the F4,
     
  3. Thug

    Thug Ancient Guru

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    I have the 2.8 but it all depends on focal length and distance to subject and background etc.

    These are with the 70-200L mkII

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  4. JxL

    JxL Ancient Guru

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    Obviously there will be a difference in bokeh but more importantly its the extra stop of light, so 2.8 would be much more versatile. Saying that I have the F4 right now, its much lighter and fits in my bag nicely, good for shooting reportage outdoors and gives pretty decent background blur.

    EDIT... I guess there is also a BIG diff in price :) What are you gonna be shooting? If its commercial, and you will make considerable money back, invest in 2.8
     

  5. kanej2007

    kanej2007 Ancient Guru

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    For low light or bokeh effects go for f2.8 otherwise the f4 version is fine.
     
  6. Thug

    Thug Ancient Guru

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    There is also the weight to consider.
    The f/4 is quite a bit smaller/lighter and easier on the arms for a days shooting.
    The f2.8 is very heavy. That doesnt bother me though as i was already used to the 100-400L.

    I will try to remember to set my camera up and shoot the same photo at f/2.8 and f/4 in a couple of days when off work.
     
  7. sirrith

    sirrith Ancient Guru

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    Thanks for the help so far guys.
    JxL, I wouldnt be getting the mk II, id be getting the 2.8 non-is sine its around the same price as the f4IS. also considering the sigma 2.8 OS but for that price i think id rather get a canon.
    I'm not shooting for commercial purposes, just as a hobby, but this is going to by my first (and probably last for quite some time) really big purchase (getting myself and with my parents chipping in, a graduation present, budget is around $1000) and I've decided I want a 70-200.
    As for what I shoot, anything really, I don't use intend to use it indoors too much, but the extra stop of shutter speed I could get with the 2.8 is appealing. However, I've been in situations where IS got me the shot with my 55-250 where I'd have missed it without...
    Keeping in mind that I'm keeping the 55-250 for a light lens when I can't carry/dont want much gear, which would you go for and why (mainly outdoors), f4 IS or f2.8 non-IS?

    Kanej, ideally I want the bokeh/blur of the 2.8 in the same light package as the f4 :D

    PCthug, that would be very helpful!
     
  8. NoviceRei

    NoviceRei Ancient Guru

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    IS/VR is a big help, especially on telephoto lenses.
     
  9. Glidefan

    Glidefan Don Booze Staff Member

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    My advice is to not skip the IS. I was able to get blur less shots with my 70-200 f4 down to a really slow shutter speed hand-held.
     
  10. chiefmasterjedi

    chiefmasterjedi Master Guru

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    I think this really depends on what you're shooting. Flowers and bugs at 200mm F4 and fairly close up will give you very good backgrounds, but so will F8 if your close enough. If you're going to shoot indoor sports or other low light action then the 200 F2.8 is going to be your best bet, because IS only helps steady your own motion/shakes, it wont do a thing to stop the action. The only way to freeze action is with high shutter speeds, which in turn needs a low as possible F/stop and higher ISO. If you're going to be shooting portraits then the 2.8 is very nice to have but if you're shooting portraits using flash or strobes then the IS is a great feature because you can't sync the flash much above 1/200 second so the IS helps steady things.

    If I had to make the choice, I would most likely go for the 70-200 F2.8. Because I'm sure that the 2.8 version when stopped down to F4 is going to be sharper than the 70-200F4 (just a general rule of thumb) But on the other hand, I have 2 lenses that do F1.8, 1 lens that does F2.8 and two lenses that do F4 and 80% of my shots are taken at F5.6 - F11. It's a tough call but ultimately you need to look at what you'll be shooting the most and then buy the lens that fits your needs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

  11. Glidefan

    Glidefan Don Booze Staff Member

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    Well yeah. if he is aming at stoping moving subjects in low light then its the f2.8.
     
  12. sirrith

    sirrith Ancient Guru

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    I think the f4IS is sharper than the 2.8 stopped down to f4, but the difference is minimal, and they're both extremely sharp anyway, so I don't mind too much.
    Just a question about the f4 IS build for those of you who have it, I've been told that its made from plastic, not metal, whereas the f2.8 is metal, is this correct?
     
  13. weston

    weston Ancient Guru

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    They are both extremely sharp, so it comes down to if the extra stop of light or smoother bokeh is worth $600 extra for the 2.8

    If you are going to be using it for portraits or events where you are paid, the 2.8 would be the best option. Pictures look more dramatic and professional with a wide open aperture.
     
  14. kanej2007

    kanej2007 Ancient Guru

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    Yes, although the f2.8 will give a slightly stronger bokeh, the 70-200 f4 will still be fairly strong, especially if the picture was taken at 150mm or more.

    Even f5.6 will be quite strong, the more mm, the stronger the bokeh. 9 bladed lenses always give a better looking/buttery effect bokeh. :)

    I have myself the monstrous Sigma 120-300mm f2.8. I will go through some pics later on and post some pics, some taken at f2.8, others at f4 and you can see the difference for yourself...

    I know it's not the same lens, but it will just give you a rough idea of what you will get, bokeh wise as they will be similar.
     
  15. kanej2007

    kanej2007 Ancient Guru

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    Ok, the first set of pictures are of vultures, all taken at around 250mm @f4, you can see how strong the bokeh already is...

    The second set of pictures are f2.8, f4 & f5.6, all taken at 300mm, there is VERY little difference between them, look for yourself.

    The quality will not be that great as I heavily downsized the pics as they would take forever to post, their just 50kb but you will see the difference, take a close look at the beard area, there is a very noticable difference between f4 and f5.6...

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  16. sirrith

    sirrith Ancient Guru

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    Thanks Kanej, thats surprisingly little difference. I'm still lusting after the build quality of the 2.8 though :p
     
  17. kanej2007

    kanej2007 Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, a little bigger/heavier and also one stop less which is better for low light too...
     
  18. sirrith

    sirrith Ancient Guru

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    Well I decided to go for the F4 IS :)
    The 2.8 non IS was quite a bit more expensive after all, so in the end it was an easy decision. It just got here today, and I love it already :D
     
  19. Thug

    Thug Ancient Guru

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    Its a great lens and you will be happy with it, dont foget to get some photos up for us all to see.
     
  20. sirrith

    sirrith Ancient Guru

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