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Old March 5th, 2011, 10:03 PM   #1
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which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

I am trying to decide which lens to buy of the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS or 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.
I mainly will be using it for video, does it really make that much of a difference between the two, I know the new one supposed to be sharper which is really not good for video it has more moire issues then the old one according to Philip Bloom.
does anyone used both and prefer one more than the other ?
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Old March 6th, 2011, 02:52 AM   #2
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

this is a glowing review for the new version:
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens Review
and a great review on the older:
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens Review

not sure you can go too wrong. i bought the older version (and a 35 2.0 with the extra cash!) and have not once wondered 'what if'? very happy except when used on my second camera, a 350D... the weight makes it a little ridiculous and it feels as though the 350D might crack in half! it feels like a toy compared to the 5D, but it still works and takes pretty decent pictures...
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Old March 6th, 2011, 04:21 AM   #3
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

First let me say I've not tried the new 70-200 F2.8 IS lens with it's upgraded Image Stabilisation system but I'm very familiar with the old version (had one on extended loan from a friend) but in the end I bought the F4 IS version which I love on my 7D because of it's greater portability and much reduced weight. Sure, this Canon 70-200mm F4 IS is a cracking lens and I'm able to get good video with it hand held more often than not (when I need to...) but too slow for some needs and does not need discussing further here.

We're talking video here and in my experience you won't be holding ANY Canon 70-200mm F2.8 for very long (at all!) before you'll want to stick it on a tripod - it's just too big and heavy - so which version of the lens with IS is really a mute point, especially as the newer version is one heck of a price hike! I believe there are still a lot of old versions around so you should be able to pick them up easily for a while, BTW. Go try one and you'll see what I mean about the weight - unless you have a good shoulder rig that is.

That being said, I do own the new Canon 100mm F2.8 Macro IS which also has the newest version of Canon's Image Stabilisation system and that is superbly effective with hand held video with my naked 7D - it's a much lighter lens of course! Wonderful! [EDIT: I suppose I should add that this lens has the Hybrid IS system]

One other thing to bear in mind, as I recall (not read those reviews for a while - and that is one of the best review sites so trust what he says) but the newer Canon 70-200mm F2.8 IS has one other BIG advantage which is critical for some video needs, especially indoor interviews etc. It has a shorter minimum focussing distance (about 4 feet instead of nearer 5 feet) which means it's much more useful in smaller rooms for getting tight head and shoulder shots with creamy bokeh without needing to have the camera and it's tripod out in the corridor! (unless you want to use short extension tubes). Doesn't sound much but it'll make the lens more flexible in some situations on a crop body for sure. You'll get better contrast too with the new version. If you have the budget, go for it!
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; March 6th, 2011 at 05:16 AM. Reason: Adding info
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Old March 6th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #4
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

Brian thank you for that link lots of information very helpful.

Andy Thank you for the long reply I think I am going to take your advice and get the new version, I realize it's a big investment but it keeps its value for years to come, I've been looking for a used one and they all seems to keep 80% of their value which is amazing.

I just sold my Canon H1 ( it has been collecting dust) and looking for a zoom lens 70-200 and a wide lens 11-16 and probably the new T3i camera. I already have the 24-70 and 50mm 1.4 , and I think I'll be all set for a while after this, unless the 5D mark III comes out :).
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Old March 9th, 2011, 01:01 AM   #5
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

save yourself a BUCKET of cash and get the Tamron 70-200 2.8. sharper then the original canon lens by a margin and comparable to the model II version. no IS, but I think IS is a waste of money. instead invest in proper camera support
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Old March 9th, 2011, 02:07 AM   #6
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

I was actually going to suggest 3rd party as well...

The Sigma is apparently only very minimally behind the old Canon for image quality, probably by such a small margin that you won't notice the difference in video mode. I've read it has excellent build quality (but no weather sealing). The Tamron has excellent image quality but the AF is not as fast as the Canon or Sigma, but that doesn't really matter if you're only using it for video.

No IS, but I always have IS turned off on a tripod anyway, and I'd never dream of shooting with a 70-200 handheld.

At less than half the price of the Canon's, 3rd party is the only thing I'll consider for the 70-200 I get a t2i shortly.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 08:16 PM   #7
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

I really think IS is very important for video, I shoot a lot of sports and I used monopod most the time when you're zoomed in at 200 and your are swaying right and left specially on a windy day IS become very important in your lens.

I even think when you are using tripod and you are zoomed in all away on a windy day (outside shoot of course) you still need IS for video on your lens.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 08:48 PM   #8
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

Yeah, I suppose on a monopod or shoulder mount IS would still be handy. Because I film alot of surfing with constant panning, I always have IS off on any camera or lens when shooting video to avoid those occasional jerky leaps.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 02:57 AM   #9
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

i also think IS is a benefit (especially if you also use your still camera for, well, PICTURES).
When i compare video hand held from a 35 2.0 (no IS) and the 24-105 4.0 IS at around 35mm, the IS footage is so much more smooth. i have even taken some decent concert footage hand held with the 70-200 IS... zoomed in! yes, sinful to not use a tripod, but i think IS opens up options for quick, run and gun usable footage...
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Old March 14th, 2011, 07:44 PM   #10
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

I choose the tamron 70-200 over all others (sigma, and all canon variations)

It was a mistake.


Not having IS is an issue.

With the tamron , on a tripod, if you so much as breathe next to it, you get shake, especially at the200 end.


Same when you adjust focus, a good 1or2seconds of shake


My advice, save and get th canon WITH IS.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 08:08 PM   #11
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

I have absolutely no problems with vibration at 200mm with a large matte box setup in front.

I have a real tripod and head ( vinten 6 ) which works fine. if you are not using a good head / tripod, then vibration can be a problem..... and the solution is proper camera support, not IS. IS can mess with your shots when panning / tilting on a tripod, causing jerky lags, especially with longer glass. then you have to switch it off... which is a waste. at best one might be able to say that shooting HH with a 70-200 is the reason for it, but you shouldn't be shooting HH with that long a lens. legs, steadicam, dolly, ect, not HH

yes I have shot outside in the wind w/o problems with this setup. I've also used my 400mm as well w/o problems.
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Old March 15th, 2011, 11:50 AM   #12
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

interesting, and with the difference in price, you could actually afford better stabilization.
In other words, the price difference is enough to get a really stable tripod
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Old March 15th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #13
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

I have to disagree with that, even if you have a good tripod and you are shooting outside any slight wind will affect your footage when you are zoomed in at 200 without IS.
In my opinion you are limiting yourself to a certain shooting style with the 70-200 with out IS, and definitely take the monopod out of the equation.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 12:57 AM   #14
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

It's sound like one of those things where you're damned if you do or damned if you don't. If you're on a tripod, you might find that IS ruins a lot of otherwise perfect panning shots. Without it, you'll see wobble when you adjust focus. Personally I've never used IS on any camera/lens combination but I've also never shot a DSLR setup at 200mm where the lens is tripod mounted and the camera hangs off the back, so I don't know if it's more solid or less sturdy than an average prosumer camcorder.

I also would never dream of shooting handheld at 70mm, let alone 200mm.

Personally I think I'll go with the Sigma in a few weeks time when I'm buying. The price difference between it and the Canon with IS is enough to cover the rest of the lenses I'm planning to buy (Tamron 17-50, Tokina 11-16, Plus a prime in the 85mm range).
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Old March 17th, 2011, 10:25 AM   #15
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Re: which lens 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the old or the new ?

I agree with those favoring IS, it can be necessary even on a tripod for some situations (wind, floor vibration). I've never owned the Tamron 70-200, but I've owned others and I think Tamron has two problems: build quality and reverse focus ring. That is, the focus ring is turned in the "Nikon" direction which is the opposite of Canon lenses. So any cost savings is not worth it to have this confusing situation when trying to keep a DSLR in focus during a live event. I had an older non-IS Sigma 70-200, the build quality was not as good as the Canon L glass, but the image was very good.

So, I can't answer the original question about the benefit of version II of Canon's 70-200 IS 2.8, but I would also place the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS into your decision process.
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