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Alan Maughan September 11th, 2011 06:38 AM

70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Guys,

After using a friends lens I realise I need one. My budget is tight and the option of the non IS version is attractive at around half the price. My first question is how important is IS to my video shooting?

As for taking stills I am wondering exactly how important IS again is? when shooting at 2.8 there would seem to be enough light for shutter speeds well over twice the focal length. I appreciate Cannon must have added IS for a valid reason but will I be seriously handicapped without it?

Andy Wilkinson September 11th, 2011 07:20 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Hi Alan,

personally I think the IS is terrific and of much use when shooting video hand held. I have the Canon 70-200 F4 IS. This "IS or not IS" question gets debated pretty often. If you search the 7D Forum with '70-200 IS' or similar terms (and indeed the 5DMkII and the other Canon forum) you'll quickly find a number of threads which I think you'll find very interesting to read - a couple of typical examples below that contain a lot of useful info, example videos and other related links to get you going.

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

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eo...-f2-8-non.html

Hope this helps and let us know what you decide to go for in the end!

Bill Grant September 11th, 2011 08:28 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
I'll add to that Alan, that when you're on a tripod, there are a million little micro shakes from panning or adjustment that get smoothed out with the IS. The only way to do it would be to set the shot and not touch it. Otherwise you should have IS.
Bill

Alan Maughan September 11th, 2011 11:07 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Thanks for the help guys, much appreciated.

Steve Oakley September 11th, 2011 10:12 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
IS is a WASTE of money.

when using a tripod you should turn IS off or you'll get these weird problems with starts and stops on pans.

realistically you should not be expecting to HH a 200MM lens ! maybe 70mm, but not 200.

the tamron 70-200 2.8 is 1/3 the price of the canon, yet is optically on par with the V2 model.

John Wiley September 12th, 2011 06:32 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
A "WASTE" of money might be an exaggeration, but I agree with everything else Steve said.

I've got the Tamron 70-200 and have never once felt the need to have IS. I also would never dream of attempting to hand hold a 200mm lens (or even a 70mm).

Sure, there are times when the IS might help you save the shot, but I prefer to not put myself in situations where I'll need it (ie: use proper support).

Jason McDonald September 12th, 2011 08:58 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
For shooting stills, it all depends on whether your subject is moving or not. There's plenty of IS information (Or VR for Nikon lenses) and how they function.

I'd look at the 70-200 4L IS. I can't tell the difference in sharpness between this and the 2.8.

Buba Kastorski September 12th, 2011 10:55 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason McDonald (Post 1681539)
I'd look at the 70-200 4L IS. I can't tell the difference in sharpness between this and the 2.8.

very true,
outdoors in bright light though;
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alan Maughan (Post 1681269)
My first question is how important is IS to my video shooting?

more important than for stills, without IS you will be tripod based all the time, Canon with IS on i can shoot video handheld @ 200mm, and it is not shaky, Sigma IS version half the price of Canon, has very sharp optics, but I would say that IS is practically is non existent

Ben Winter September 14th, 2011 03:58 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Oakley (Post 1681449)
IS is a WASTE of money.

when using a tripod you should turn IS off or you'll get these weird problems with starts and stops on pans.

realistically you should not be expecting to HH a 200MM lens ! maybe 70mm, but not 200.

the tamron 70-200 2.8 is 1/3 the price of the canon, yet is optically on par with the V2 model.

I handhold a 70-200mm regularly, and it's only because of IS that I get away with some really great shots.

The "weird problems with starts and stops on pans" is exactly what that stabilizer mode switch is there to correct. The manual gives a good explanation, but in general, switch to mode 2 for any panning shots.

Steve is correct that the Tamron image quality is on par, especially for video shooting. However it's more difficult to pull focus with the Tamron.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alan Maughan (Post 1681269)
My first question is how important is IS to my video shooting?

Virtually essential in my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

Best of luck.

Jonathan Shaw September 15th, 2011 01:25 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
What about looking at the new Sigma 70-200 with IS, plus it covers full frame. I have one and it's a great lens, only real draw back is that it isn't weather proofed like the Canon.

Tim Sargent September 15th, 2011 04:41 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
I bought the NON-IS version and seriously couldnt be happier.

Its awesome!

Ger Griffin September 15th, 2011 03:57 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
I started asking all these questions recently and after a long debate and struggle justifying it I realised I needed (or maybe I just wanted it) IS. I like running around grabbing quick shots with a monopod but without IS this isnt doable. Needing a tripod does hold you back.

Other things to consider: the t3i has 3x and with the 17-55 its not far off what the 70-200 does. Its surprisingly good. But not quite as good as 70-200 obviously. But so much lighter.

Anyway I figured I wanted the Canon with IS and ended up paying the extra for the new 70-200 IS II . A big purchase yes but I make my living from this so I justified it that way. But as for the quality. Wow is all I can say. I had been using the 135mmf2 prime but always found myself not ideally placed for the shot. This fixes that problem while maintaing that amazing look.

As was said, its true that IS is essential for all video except static shots. Even on a tripod when hunting for shots in a room I was missing quite alot of the 'money moments' due to jitter from not having IS. Maybe heavy duty tripod legs and head would have helped there but my stuff is pretty lightwight.

Jonathan Shaw September 15th, 2011 08:28 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
I agree IS is important for video, especially at the long end of the lens. Unless on a tripod I always use IS and it does make a difference.

Bernard Lau September 18th, 2011 10:05 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
If you had the money, I suggest you go for the IS version. It will help with steadying some shots and it's great when u use it for photos.

Though, honestly, I've never used mine with the IS turned off... So can't make give you a real comparison.

Andrew Dean September 18th, 2011 08:57 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
I often grip for other people. After using one of basically every 70/80-200 variation, i opted to buy the 70-200 2.8L II with the IS for myself. The "you should turn it off while on a tripod" and "you shouldn't be handholding at 200mm anyways" arguments that continue to crop up definitely apply to the IS on other brands of lenses. I didn't like the Tamron IS at all. Its very much like canon mode 2, which is great for stills, but horribly frustrating for video.

However, mode 1 on the canon 70-200IS is just dreamy. It does exactly what I want - to smooth out the hiccups and bobbles and shimmies, while still feeling like i'm in control. When you switch it on its like you stabilized your hands. Its not my first plan of attack, but handholding at 200 is extremely doable. In fact, its not uncommon for me at 200 with the lens in my hand generates a smoother and more useful shot than the A cameraman with a non-IS lens on some giant shoulder rig.

Its a personal preference, but I would advise strongly against taking anyone's advise on IS unless they have specifically shot on the canon 70-200 is. Every time i've encountered a sceptic on set, i've handed them my camera and said "play". On my 7d, the 200 is the eq of a 320mm lens, and yet after a few minutes (a tad longer for the stubborn) every single skeptic cameraman has come back and said "ok, yeah, thats pretty incredible. I might need to get one of those..."

For music videos, docos and things where the director wants the "organic feeling of a handheld camera", i reach for this lens with no other support gear. Its a heavy beast, but holding it like a normal dslr i find it less tiring and more useful than the "battle rig" guys with an entire transformer on their shoulder.

My 2c anyways. Some people can never get used to them, but I love it. Its a "cold dead fingers" lens for me.

Taky Cheung September 18th, 2011 10:45 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Everybody says IS should be off on tripod. I found it completely not the case. With IS off, even little shake like people walk a few feet near me, those shakiness will be recorded.

I guess the best way is to experience it yourself to see if IS is needed on tripod. IMO, IS is a must for video recording.

Jonathan Shaw September 19th, 2011 01:48 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Actually Taky I'm with you. IS on when using a long lens works well even on a tripod. I have never noticed any dodgy shifting etc etc

Dylan Couper September 19th, 2011 11:03 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Oakley (Post 1681449)
IS is a WASTE of money.

That's inaccurate unless your shooting is limited to a warm comfy studio. IS can save your shots EVEN on a tripod. You just haven't learned the hard way yet.

Alan Maughan September 21st, 2011 09:53 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Guys,

Many thanks for all the information, I certainly feel I have made a far more informed purchasing decision than many other times in my life! Ive opted for the 2.8 IS II which really has blown my budget but I feel confident this lens will help me to progress further with both video and stills.

It arrives in the morning and I feel like a kid on Christmas eve!

Andy Wilkinson September 21st, 2011 01:43 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Blummin heck! Enjoy! I'm sure you'll not regret it (long after the pain of paying for it has long gone).

James Strange September 21st, 2011 07:40 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
I had the tamron 70-200, upgraded to the canon 70-200 f/2.8 with IS ,

For me, IS is definitely worth it, even on atripod, there is a huge improvement, IS removes themicro shakes and wobles .

Im now selling my tamron if anyone is interested, its on ebay

Alan Maughan September 22nd, 2011 10:33 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
My new lens arrived this morning and Ive been out this afternoon.

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now I understand.

Monty Wentzel September 22nd, 2011 05:35 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
IS makes me think I've become a good camera man. Once it's turned off I'm depressed.

Monty

Ger Griffin September 23rd, 2011 09:36 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Congrats on the new lens Alan.The only way you'll regret that purchase is if you drop it! So don't :)

Peter Burke October 17th, 2011 03:58 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alan Maughan (Post 1683932)
My new lens arrived this morning and Ive been out this afternoon.

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now I understand.

My first experience was the very same !!!!!!!!!! wow !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Standing, balanced on top of a concrete barrier @ motor sports, smooth panning, and zooming and focussing (using a vari-ND to open up to F2.8 in broad daylight to knock out the wire fence) all at once, this len's IS is incredible.

Bill Binder October 20th, 2011 09:15 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
I'm primarily a stills shooter, but let me just add that the 70-200mm f2.8L IS II is flat out the sickest lens ever in that category. Just ABSOLUTELY KICK @SS. If you do events, I simply can't imagine not owning it, it's that good. Worth every single penny and then some, I literally would pay more for it even.

Aaron Dunlap December 29th, 2011 01:15 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Monty Wentzel (Post 1684015)
IS makes me think I've become a good camera man. Once it's turned off I'm depressed.

Monty

I'm going to go ahead and second this. I don't comment on this forum too much, but if you're a cameraman trying to decide whether or not to get an IS lens vs the non-IS (specifically the 70-200).... get the non-IS and spend the other $1000 you just saved on some decent sticks and a halfway decent head.... or a mediocre set of sticks with a head, and some sort of run-n-gun stabilizer mount as well.

If stabilization is a concern, I most certainly would not trust it to something built into my lens. (For video at least... still the 70-200 2.8 II is a very sharp lens, but I would buy the non-IS first and spend my other money elsewhere)

Just my two cents.

Scott Hayes January 2nd, 2012 02:17 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Id get the 70-200 IS II and be done. youll end up with it at somepoint, so take the hit upfront
and enjoy.

Steve Oakley January 2nd, 2012 11:57 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dylan Couper (Post 1683322)
That's inaccurate unless your shooting is limited to a warm comfy studio. IS can save your shots EVEN on a tripod. You just haven't learned the hard way yet.

I wish I did shoot in some comfy studio, but I don't. mostly location work.

what I do have is a good head & sticks that easily handles this lens with full matte box / ff setup. as some one else said, the $1k you save on the tamron vs the canon will get you into the bottom end of a decent tripod setup thats a lot more bang for the buck. you'll use it all the time for everything.

I also have a Matthews doorway dolly as well which gets a lot of location use.

I've been shooting for over 25 years now, and IS is just not a concern except when aircraft are involved.

s

Jon Fairhurst January 3rd, 2012 01:42 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Dylan and Steve,

You're both right. If your grip gear is really stable, IS isn't needed. IS costs money that could be spent on grip gear.

...however, when shooting events on squishy carpet, in the wind, or in any other real-world situation where there is ANY play in the tripod, at 200mm even on the 5D2 you will see vibrations in the footage every time you touch the pan handle. When it's a live event, you can't re-shoot, you can't go find some weights to steady your sticks, and you can't move the tripod to better footing. For live shooting, I definitely recommend IS. I shot one with the 200/2.8L and needed to hold my breath every time I needed to pan. It was stressful and the result, while good, was less than perfect. At a similar event with the 70-200/2.8L IS II, I was able to concentrate on framing without worries and the result was 100% perfect from a vibration point of view. FWIW, I was using a Vinten 3AS with a floor spreader on thick carpet. (I need to get a mid-spreader.)

For narrative, IS isn't as critical. You have time to get things right and re-shoot when there are problems. Even still, with IS you can damp out micro-vibrations that can add motion blur to your images, so it can still add benefit.

Anyway, for events and live shooting, I'd definitely recommend IS. But you need good grip gear too. Hopefully, the two aren't mutually exclusive.

Dylan Couper January 9th, 2012 05:48 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Even on $8,000 Cartoni rig, medium gusting wind at the right angle is enough to jiggle at 200mm. Been there plenty of times. IS is worth every penny if you're an outdoor shooter. Rember as well that even if you have an $8,000 tripod, life occasionaly forces you to shoot on an $800 one.

Jon Fairhurst January 10th, 2012 11:06 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Having recently received a 70-200L IS II at work, there are downsides: size, weight, and flashiness. For kicks, I put it on a handheld rig. I wouldn't want to shoot long with that. Add the hood, and it's comically long. It definitely belongs on a tripod or monopod. Even for photos, the lens is quite conspicuous. When testing it from an office cube looking out a window, a woman walked past the view of the lens and nearly screamed! (She probably thinks I'm a peeping tom now.) Out in public, people stare at the lens. I can only imagine the looks that a 400 or 600mm lens draws.

With the right support for video and at appropriate events, the lens is a gem. For a handheld or stealth shooter, it might not be the best choice.

Dylan Couper January 10th, 2012 12:28 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
The biggest annoyance with the 400mm and 600mm lenses are that everyone with a 70-200mm will come talk to you about it. :)

Nigel Barker January 16th, 2012 10:58 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst (Post 1708596)
With the right support for video and at appropriate events, the lens is a gem. For a handheld or stealth shooter, it might not be the best choice.

I do wonder why all the long Canon lenses are light grey as they are far more conspicuous than if they were black. I used to own a thirty year old 'Magic Drainpipe' the Canon EF 80-200mm F/2.8L & that was black.

Andy Wilkinson January 16th, 2012 11:12 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Black absorbs more heat in warm sunlight - so affecting the distances between lens elements as the body expands. The light colour is less absorbent. Simple physics, but I agree, they are more conspicuous and the expansion differences are probably marginal!

Taky Cheung January 16th, 2012 11:45 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
It could be just purely for marketing branding purpose. Anybody from a distance can tell those creamy red ring Canon lens are good stuff =)

Sabyasachi Patra April 20th, 2012 09:30 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
I agree that Canon long lenses attract people. Recently I was shooting in Sunderbans - worlds largest mangrove delta - and people gathered around me. I was using a Canon EF 400mm f2.8 L IS USM lens with a 2xII TC using a OConnor 1030 HDS head and tripod and people crowded around me. Not easy to focus especially my gear was lying all around me.

The Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS II USM lens is great and the image stabilisation is very good. From a moving boat the footage was appearing sharper. Much better than the Canon EF 24-70 L USM lens footage at the same 70mm focal length. My review is here: Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS II USM Review

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst (Post 1708596)
Having recently received a 70-200L IS II at work, there are downsides: size, weight, and flashiness. For kicks, I put it on a handheld rig. I wouldn't want to shoot long with that. Add the hood, and it's comically long. It definitely belongs on a tripod or monopod. Even for photos, the lens is quite conspicuous. When testing it from an office cube looking out a window, a woman walked past the view of the lens and nearly screamed! (She probably thinks I'm a peeping tom now.) Out in public, people stare at the lens. I can only imagine the looks that a 400 or 600mm lens draws.

With the right support for video and at appropriate events, the lens is a gem. For a handheld or stealth shooter, it might not be the best choice.


Jon Fairhurst April 20th, 2012 10:44 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Great review - and wonderful photos!

Of course, when shooting wildlife, you have no choice but to use a large lens that can attract a crowd.

It's good to hear that you like it with the 2x Extender II. I used to own that extender with the 200/2.8L II. For photos the autofocus is slower and the lens loses some "pop", but it's a cost effective way to get good 400mm images.

The image quality of the 70-200/2.8L IS II is fantastic. Shooters who are used to smaller, lighter lenses and who shoot handheld should think twice before buying the lens. Shooters who use tripods, need moderate length, and who are prepared to use a larger lens shouldn't hesitate.

I now use the 70-200 at work for corporate speaking events. For my personal lens, I chose to get the 100/2.8L Macro. It has all the length I need for standard narrative work, has a great IS system, and is cheaper and more comfortable to use than the zoom. But for events or outdoor work, the 70-200 is the way to go.

Nigel Barker April 21st, 2012 01:12 AM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sabyasachi Patra (Post 1728659)
I agree that Canon long lenses attract people. Recently I was shooting in Sunderbans - worlds largest mangrove delta - and people gathered around me.

It would help if they weren't that grey colour that is so distinctive. All the big Nikon lenses are black & even large Canon lenses haven't always been grey as I used to own a lovely old 80-200mm F/2.8L (the so-called Magic Drainpipe) that was black.

Sabyasachi Patra April 21st, 2012 11:30 PM

Re: 70-200 L-series 2.8
 
Hi John,
One thing I had missed in my review.

I use a 1D Mark IV with a LCDVF attached at the back and pressing the eyecup on my eye helps me handhold for normal photo clicking pose and that way the footage while clicking videos is very stable.

In wildlife, I can't carry stuff with rails and other accessories. I was seriously contemplating buying the C300. Now that the 1D C has come in, I have to evaluate it with my shooting style. So I am wondering how to use either of these two cameras handheld with a 70-200 IS II without the benefit of an additional contact point on the eye. Only if it is indispensable, then I will have to budget for a rails system with follow focus. I am planning a project where a lot of stuff will be handheld from a motor boat.

Sabyasachi


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