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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old June 18th, 2010, 03:53 PM   #1
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70-200 f4 IS vs 70-200 f2.8 non IS

Any opinions on Canon's 70-200 L lenses. My budget of $1200 gives me a choice of either the f4 with image stabilization or the f2.8 non stabilized. Since I won't use the lens hand held for video, I'm leaning towards the f2.8 non-stabilized, preferring the extra stop. I'd appreciate any counter opinions. Thanks.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 04:30 PM   #2
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There are SEVERAL threads in the 7D section that discuss aspects of this - a 10 second search pulls them up with ease. Here's one example - but you'll very easily find others.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eo...-question.html

and another...

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eo...m-without.html

This one in the 550D section discusses IS in general

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eo...372-video.html

For what it's worth, I like many others had this dilemma, and in the end I went for the Canon 70-200 F4 IS as the smaller size/half the weight was more important for me than the F2.8 capability - and also the Canon F4 IS is one of THE best telezooms ever made. It's razor sharp, something the 70-200 F2.8 is generally considered not to be in the F2.8 to F4 area, from my and others experiences (but that's more important for stills really, not video). Plenty of excellent reviews out there on the web on photography sites if you want to read the detail.

IS is VERY important for me with video (and stills) and it makes all the difference in the way I use my camera with minimal extra kit and removing those horrible micro jitters when doing hand held video - but note that on the Canon 70-200 F4 IS lens, the IS is a bit noisy (much more so than on the other Canon IS lenses I have or had on extended loan). So for video you'll need double system sound with it - which you know already I'm sure. But, if you shoot sports or in low light often, F2.8 is what you really need and, as you say, you'll use it on a tripod so the extra stop is very enticing.

I had a 70-200 F2.8 F2.8 (in my case an IS version) on extended loan from a mate/can borrow it at any time and it's a really great lens but is USUALLY too big and heavy for my typical uses (and the non IS version of that lens weights much the same).
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; June 18th, 2010 at 05:08 PM. Reason: adding T2i/550D IS thread link
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:31 PM   #3
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I have both... the biggest difference for me is the size and weight... the smaller F4 lens is the one I always carry when I travel... When the IS version of this lens first showed up there were many many
people testing them against the non-IS version.... from my experience you can get a very very slighty
more sharper image from the non-IS version... the advantage to the IS version is you get more stops
in dim lights... both are great when you add one of the Canon extenders on the lens... either the x1.4
or the x2.0 work very well, and if you have both you can stack them if you have good light.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #4
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I decided on the F4 with IS .... great value at B&H right now for $1130.

The F2.8 is twice the weight and the only reason I bought into the 7D kit was to shoot with a light kit instead of my very big EX3 kit.

The F4 is easily the best choice if you want an everyday 70-200. With great ISO on the 7D you should not have to worry about low-light anyway ... plus you would rarely use this indoors - I have fast primes for indoors and fast wide angles.

I do however think that IS is more important than th extra stops. Even though I use a tripod or monopod 90% of the time I still use IS.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #5
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I agree.

No matter how much faster a lens is it does you no good if you can't hold it still. The 7D is very sensitive to vibration, zoomed in at 200 mm on a tripod your going to have vibration if you even touch the camera or tripod without IS.

I used the 70-200 2.8 with 2X extender and IS and the footage was great. Couldn't have got those shots without IS.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 03:55 PM   #6
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Michael, the answer to your question really depends on what you need to use the lens for. If you are planning to go handheld at all, get the F4 with IS. If you're only going to be on a tripod and hands off, locked down shooting in non-breezy conditions, maybe go with the non-IS.

We faced this same decision, since purchasing several 2.8 with IS lenses was just not in the budget. We ended up going with the F4 IS. For the most part, we are on tripod with these lenses, but we still wanted the IS for those times where it is very windy, or you're getting floor vibrations, or you need to be more hands on with the tripod/camera. Also, we determined that in most instances we didn't really need the extra light and the added DoF. If anything, DoF at 2.8 can be too much trouble to keep a live event in focus, so we would likely be stopping down to F4-F8 anyways.

Like others have said, minute vibration and the 7D don't go well together, and with the rolling shutter it can look even worse. I'd say get the IS because it's going to give you more options than just getting a slightly faster lens.

Also, we're using a 2x extender sometimes, which turns our F4 into an F8, but so far that hasn't been an issue in terms of getting a well-exposed image.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the valued advice. I'm purchasing the 70-200 f4 IS from B&H. Everything I shoot will most likely be on tripod, but I'd like to have the option of hand held.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 07:42 PM   #8
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I got the non-IS version because I wanted smaller and lighter, and with the bigger one you have to use the tripod mount on the lens. With regular video cameras you can't use IS when on a tripod if you make any moves; I don't know if the same holds true for still camera lenses when shooting video.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 07:51 PM   #9
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If you use IS with Canon lenses while on a tripod, you will experience 'shifting' in the image as the stabilizer tries to work. Depending on the scene you are shooting, this shifting can be quite noticeable or barely noticeable at all. We've found that for shooting a following medium to close-up shot of the first dance at a wedding, having the IS on while on the tripod tends to look just fine, and takes out those micro-vibrations that can occur when trying to adjust focus, etc. However, for a more static shot like a medium aisle-cam shot during the ceremony, or a static shot of the couple during toasts, you can see more shifting and it can start to draw away from the image.

Strangely enough, when we were using Canon XHA1's we shot with IS on all the time and never fought with this issue.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 08:55 PM   #10
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That is odd, because if you pan with the XH A1 with IS on, you almost always get the problem. Unless it's a very slow pan, and at a wedding maybe that's what you were doing. The only time I used IS on the XH A1 was when doing wide angle hand held shots, and in situations where there was lots of vibration, like driving in a truck. The first time I used the XH A1 on a Steadicam I mistakenly had the IS on. Not good. Fortunately I figured it out before I had to do the shot for real.

By the way, I got my 70-200 f4 L day before yesterday, and it looks better than I expected. Compares very favorably with my ancient Nikkors and the 50mm Zeiss. For a zoom I wasn't expecting it to look as good as it does. A very nice lens, especially considering the price.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 11:49 AM   #11
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I came across this test video (i.e. it's not my film) ....but it shows pretty well EXACTLY why I bought a Canon 70-200 F4 with IS rather than one without (since I'm quite often out and about without a tripod but with the Canon gear in my small rucksack).

I'm certainly able to handhold 200mm with IS on and get some segments of usable video, as indeed does this guy (see the last shot in his test as a good example). No way would that be possible without IS! Anyway, watch it and make your own mind up, and yes, you can hear when the IS is on!

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Old June 26th, 2010, 01:49 PM   #12
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such a simple but effect test.

I can't imagine having a lens like this without IS.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 01:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
If you use IS with Canon lenses while on a tripod, you will experience 'shifting' in the image as the stabilizer tries to work. Depending on the scene you are shooting, this shifting can be quite noticeable or barely noticeable at all. We've found that for shooting a following medium to close-up shot of the first dance at a wedding, having the IS on while on the tripod tends to look just fine, and takes out those micro-vibrations that can occur when trying to adjust focus, etc. However, for a more static shot like a medium aisle-cam shot during the ceremony, or a static shot of the couple during toasts, you can see more shifting and it can start to draw away from the image.

Strangely enough, when we were using Canon XHA1's we shot with IS on all the time and never fought with this issue.
I call it "Surfing the IS." If I'm on a tripod with IS on I almost continually pan or tilt the camera. It doesn't take much and if I didn't tell you I was doing it you wouldn't know it was happening by watching the footage. Its kind of cool because you can actually get the IS to "trend" in a direction and then start a pan in that direction and it makes your move incredibly smooth.

This sounds odd, but after a couple of hours shooting like this it really becomes second nature.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 03:17 PM   #14
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I thought I'd add to this thread, since I didn't want to start my own. Thanks for starting the thread!

Finally got the 70-200 f2.8 IS II, and I'm sure glad I got the IS. Here's my simple test with it.

YouTube - Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Video Test

My only gripe about this lens is that it's not completely parfocal. But it's just such a slight discrepancy in focusing between the 70mm and 200mm ends, that I'm not going to complain too much. I just know that I need to fine tune focus with this telephoto of a lens and with how shallow the DOF is.

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Old September 3rd, 2010, 06:56 PM   #15
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f/4L IS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sims View Post
Any opinions on Canon's 70-200 L lenses. My budget of $1200 gives me a choice of either the f4 with image stabilization or the f2.8 non stabilized. Since I won't use the lens hand held for video, I'm leaning towards the f2.8 non-stabilized, preferring the extra stop. I'd appreciate any counter opinions. Thanks.
Hi Michael,

I had the same exact debate a few day ago. And exactly last night I made my purchase. I also found that 'IS or not' video that helped me decide.

Last, I bought from B&H the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS. Why, because of the following reasons:
* It is lighter and several people here and in the B&H comments said after a while you get really tired of holding the f/2.8.
* The f/4 supposed to have a bit sharper image.
* In my case, I am going to be using it with my 7D for film and sometimes my wife will tape me playing soccer from a distance, and the IS makes a big difference as you can see on that 'IS or not' video.

I know you won't handheld, but these were my reasons to go with the f/4 IS instead of the f/2.8 without IS.


Hope this helps...

Regards!!
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