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      07-29-2009, 08:20 AM   #1
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L or 24-70mm f/2.8

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L or 24-70mm f/2.8? Which one should I get first... I just sold my 17-40f/4L because I got sick of the lack of zoom that lens provided.. Don't get me wrong, great lens and I loved it but not what I need right now... Eventually I want to get both the 70-200mm f/4L and the 24-70mm f/2.8 L but I'm trying to decide which one I should get fist..

I'm on a crop body (40D) and I've been shooting cars and landscapes and some portraits.. I really want to get into portraits and more landscape shots. Also, the 24-70 is way more expensive than the 70-200 so that is also another factor.. If I get the 70-200, I'll probably use my 18-55 (yeah I know) for shots that the 70mm would be too close for (group photos, car meets etc).. The 18-55 IMO isnt actually that bad, I've taken some decent photos in the past. Just gotta try a little harder lol.. Help me out guys!!!
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      07-29-2009, 09:03 AM   #2
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if you really want to get into portraits, you will probably want the 24-70.
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      07-29-2009, 11:01 AM   #3
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Check Amazon... I saw the 70-200 2.8 and the 24-70 both on sale for $1200 from Calumet.

It sounds like you might want to get the 24-70. 70-200 is a little long and if you don't have good bottom end, you'll probably seldom use the telephoto and be stuck with that kit lens for normal photo taking.

Or you COULD get the 70-200 f/4 L for about $600 and then also get the 17-55 2.8 IS for like $800ish and then you'd be all set. Yeah its not an L lens but its a good range and still has the f/2.8
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      07-29-2009, 11:21 AM   #4
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you should get either 24-70mm or 24-105mm before you get the 70-200mm.
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      07-29-2009, 12:12 PM   #5
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If you didn't like the zoom on the 17-40, I'm not sure if you would like the 24-70mm. If you think about it, the difference is not that much (about 3 steps or so) and you lose the wide angle end (which may or may not be important to you). If you want more zoom I would recommend the 24-105mm like Soni said. The 70-200mm is a good lens but how often will you use it? Of course if you're okay with the zoom on the 24-70mm then go for it. I personally wouldn't go for a telephoto unless you have a specific need for it (at least for now).
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      07-29-2009, 01:05 PM   #6
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Im going to pick up the 70-200 today, and I also have the 17-40 and 10-22. I'll let you know how I like it.
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      07-29-2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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24-70 is a great lense. It's definitely one of the best walk around lense for the price.
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      07-29-2009, 04:37 PM   #8
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Whatever you do, don't get the 70-200 F4. I bought it and months later, sold it to get the 2.8. IS is a must with that lens as well unless you plan to sit it on the tripod all the time.

24-70 is a great (although heavy) walk-around lens. I ended up selling mine for the 50mm 1.2. It's always nice to have a prime lens in your kit.
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      07-29-2009, 04:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantm3 View Post
Whatever you do, don't get the 70-200 F4. I bought it and months later, sold it to get the 2.8. IS is a must with that lens as well unless you plan to sit it on the tripod all the time.

24-70 is a great (although heavy) walk-around lens. I ended up selling mine for the 50mm 1.2. It's always nice to have a prime lens in your kit.
I must say, I have to agree....it's a heavy lens, and I've only had it for a couple hours. I wish I'd bought the one with IS (except for the whole $600 greater cost).
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      07-29-2009, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneintheory View Post
I must say, I have to agree....it's a heavy lens, and I've only had it for a couple hours. I wish I'd bought the one with IS (except for the whole $600 greater cost).
There are always tradeoffs. The f4 is a lot cheaper, is a sharper lens and is smaller and lighter. That being said, I got the 2.8IS because i love fast lenses and i wanted IS for dabbling in video.
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      07-29-2009, 08:26 PM   #11
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For crop sensors like yours (and mine, XSi) the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS is highly regarded.

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-EF-S-17-...8913512&sr=8-1

It has some of the same glass elements in an L lens, but Canon won't put an "L" label on the EF-S line. It's a huge improvement over the 18-55mm kit lens.
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      07-29-2009, 09:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
For crop sensors like yours (and mine, XSi) the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS is highly regarded.

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-EF-S-17-...8913512&sr=8-1

It has some of the same glass elements in an L lens, but Canon won't put an "L" label on the EF-S line. It's a huge improvement over the 18-55mm kit lens.
agreed, the 17-55 is great for crop bodies, its one of the only Non-L lenses that has same glass as an L lens, but lacks the L label because it isnt weather sealed.

if you want more range, id get the 17-55 and the 70-200 f 2.8 IS/L eventually (worth saving for)

the 24-70 is really a perfect walk around lens for a full frame..but not so ideal for a crop
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      07-30-2009, 11:01 AM   #13
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I "had" both 70-200 f4 IS and 70-200 f2.8 IS. The f2.8 is literally 2x the weight of the f4, and 80% of the time when I find myself using the 70-200, I would be outside and there is usually enough light for f4.

Also, the 70-200 f4 IS is arguably the SHARPEST zoom lens Canon offers, sharper than the f2.8 IS, at the same focal range and aperture.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

f2.8 is faster, no doubt about it, but since you have a crop CMOS body in 40D and not a 1D or 1Ds for sports photography, you dont exactly need f.2.8. (I have a crop body as well in 50D... so. )

The 17-55mm f2.8 IS is also L quality lens without the L, the best available lens at 17 or 55m at f2.8 all the way.

There was a sale on the 70-200 f2.8 and the price difference between the f4 IS and f2.8 IS is about $500 ($1200 vs 1700).

I got my f4 IS only for 1200 shipped from B&H.

So, to answer OP, if you dont have a good low end focal range lens, get the 24-70 f2.8, it is an absolutely amazing lens. I was deciding on this one or the 17-55mm f2.8 when I was deciding on my "everyday" walk around lens..

Obviousy, I chose the 17-55mm... just because I have a crop bodyand 24mm isnt wide enough for "everyday" use..

Eitherway, 70-200 f4 or f2.8 or 24-70mm f2.8 are ALL Great lens. cant go wrong on either of them, although I'd say you need BOTH eventually.

Just so you know, the 24-70mm has no IS and even though it has f2.8 aperture, it is often not fast enough in low lit situations as well and IS feature really HELPS and allow you to go even to say 1/40 without a monopod.

Bottom line: for a crop body, I highly recommend my glass 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM. Unless you're thinking going FF soon, then you should get the 24-70mm. Else, while everything is perfect, the 24mm just is not wide enough and you'll feel it if it is an "everyday" walk around lens for you.
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      07-30-2009, 02:00 PM   #14
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Never go F/4, and I can say that from experience. I'm already regretting my 17-40mm f/4 and 70-200mm f/4 IS purchases, and I desperately want the 2.8 versions but know that I can't afford them. I'm just saving up for the 24-70mm f/2.8 because I don't have a walk-around lens
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      07-30-2009, 03:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWiTCHY View Post
Never go F/4, and I can say that from experience. I'm already regretting my 17-40mm f/4 and 70-200mm f/4 IS purchases, and I desperately want the 2.8 versions but know that I can't afford them. I'm just saving up for the 24-70mm f/2.8 because I don't have a walk-around lens
Twitchy, I thought you have a 5D MkII. With the 5D2's fantastic high-ISO performance why would you regret the f/4L??? I love my 24-105 f4L IS and 70-200 f4L IS. Take some test shots at ISOs up to 3600 and you'll be amazed. In the 800-1200 ISO range it rivals most other cameras at ISO200. Use it strengths to change your life. The equivalent shots with the 2.8 will not be as sharp as with the f4.

I very seldom feel constrained by f4 with the 5D2. The OP has a little different situation with the 40D, since he will start to notice noise more as low as ISO800.

BTW, I'll pile on and echo the prior statements about the IQ of the 70-200 f/4 L. It's incredibly sharp at all aperatures and focal lengths. Also, remember that the IS gives you about 2-stops of hand holding ability.

To the OP, since you have a lesser wide angle zoom, I'd suggest the 70-200 first, then fill in with the other zoom. All the Ls are good, but the 70-200 f4L IS is a home run.

I DO quite often use a monopod, but I've always done that, thinking that it really sharpens your images.

Dave
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      07-30-2009, 03:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNF View Post
...

Also, the 70-200 f4 IS is arguably the SHARPEST zoom lens Canon offers, sharper than the f2.8 IS, at the same focal range and aperture....
Xs 2 or 3.
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      07-30-2009, 04:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNF View Post

Just so you know, the 24-70mm has no IS and even though it has f2.8 aperture, it is often not fast enough in low lit situations as well and IS feature really HELPS and allow you to go even to say 1/40 without a monopod.

Bottom line: for a crop body, I highly recommend my glass 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM. Unless you're thinking going FF soon, then you should get the 24-70mm. Else, while everything is perfect, the 24mm just is not wide enough and you'll feel it if it is an "everyday" walk around lens for you.
It's true that the 24-70mm has no IS but the faster aperture can help freeze motion (IS won't). To be honest in low light conditions even the 2.8 is inadequate a lot of times (especially with fairly fast subjects). I debated between that 24-70 and the 24-105 (reach & IS) and went with the former because I don't really care for IS and the 2.8 aperture is more important to me than the extra reach. With that being said, if you have a good camera that performs well at 3200 ISO, the f/4.0 is fine. I just really like the 2.8 for the bokeh.
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      07-30-2009, 04:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcstep View Post
Twitchy, I thought you have a 5D MkII. With the 5D2's fantastic high-ISO performance why would you regret the f/4L??? I love my 24-105 f4L IS and 70-200 f4L IS. Take some test shots at ISOs up to 3600 and you'll be amazed. In the 800-1200 ISO range it rivals most other cameras at ISO200. Use it strengths to change your life. The equivalent shots with the 2.8 will not be as sharp as with the f4.
Yeah but with NR off any ISO above 800 looks horrible depending on the lighting condition. Removing them in PS or DxO creates a smudgy texture...What's your NR setting? I'm keeping mine off because I find that it takes away too much texture detail.
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      07-30-2009, 05:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW E90 View Post
It's true that the 24-70mm has no IS but the faster aperture can help freeze motion (IS won't). To be honest in low light conditions even the 2.8 is inadequate a lot of times (especially with fairly fast subjects). I debated between that 24-70 and the 24-105 (reach & IS) and went with the former because I don't really care for IS and the 2.8 aperture is more important to me than the extra reach. With that being said, if you have a good camera that performs well at 3200 ISO, the f/4.0 is fine. I just really like the 2.8 for the bokeh.
i have to agree... I've been debating on the 2.8 or 4.0 for the 70-200mm for a few months now... really not sure what I wanna do. If I get the 4.0 I might be able to also get the lightly used 50mm 1.2L I've been lusting after, but then I'm afraid when I do concert shoots and such the f4 isn't gonna be fast enough and my 40d isn't the best in high ISO.

the downside is that the 2.8 is really fast but how often am I gonna need a 70-200mm lens for indoor concerts when I can basically walk right up to the guys I'm shooting.
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      07-30-2009, 05:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UdubBadger View Post
i have to agree... I've been debating on the 2.8 or 4.0 for the 70-200mm for a few months now... really not sure what I wanna do. If I get the 4.0 I might be able to also get the lightly used 50mm 1.2L I've been lusting after, but then I'm afraid when I do concert shoots and such the f4 isn't gonna be fast enough and my 40d isn't the best in high ISO.

the downside is that the 2.8 is really fast but how often am I gonna need a 70-200mm lens for indoor concerts when I can basically walk right up to the guys I'm shooting.
I went through the exact same thing. I ended up with the 70-200 2.8 IS for two reasons: aperture/faster and IS because it's a heavy ass lens (seriously after holding it the 24-70mm doesn't seem so bad). To best honest I got that lens because I was hoping to get into wedding photography (just for fun of course) and it seems like it would be a good combo along with the 24-70mm.

For concerts, if you can get close to the stage I would go with a prime (50mm or 85mm). Obviously you won't have the zoom ability but the speed is more important for those events. Of course if your camera has good performance at high ISO then 2.8 lenses will do just fine. I shot a few concerts before and 2.8 at 1600 was adequate for me with decent lighting. However, I sometimes wished I had a faster lens (or high ISO cus my last camera only went up to 1600-XSi).
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      07-30-2009, 07:32 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by TWiTCHY View Post
Yeah but with NR off any ISO above 800 looks horrible depending on the lighting condition. Removing them in PS or DxO creates a smudgy texture...What's your NR setting? I'm keeping mine off because I find that it takes away too much texture detail.
I leave the camera at "Standard" NR setting. Depending on the subject, I don't think that it looks "horrible" at all up to ISO 1200. I DO shoot mostly at 100, but 800 to 1200 readily comes out when I either need speed or light.

The samples at www.dpreview.com show excellent detail up above 1200. Of course, if you need the ultimate in detail, then turn off NR and shoot at ISO 50, but most subjects don't demand that much resolution.

I've attached a real world example, taken at ISO 1250, f4 and 1/25-second, handheld (helped by IS) and run through DxO, but with NR at "Standard" on the camera. There's some softness, mostly due to the slow shutter speed and, perhaps, a small amount of noise. This isn't a "perfect" image, BUT it captured a moment and the subject's mother loves it. What I'd hope is that we're not missing pictures like this because we're worried that noise will slightly diminish the potential result. This kind of shot is very effective.

A pro wedding photographer will want every advantage possible and will probably spring for the extra f-stops of a larger lens. Here, I grabbed the camera and said, "Don't take that off until I get a picture" and had the picture because I leave the 24-105 on the camera whenever I don't have a specific need for another lens. Even with a f/1.2 50mm I would have needed ISO 400 or more to get the shutter speed fast enough to hold.

Yes, I strive for technical perfection, but I don't miss shots that could be pleasing, if not perfect, if I'll just try. Even blown up on the 47" HDTV, this image has great impact. Yeah, it's not perfect, but it gets the job done.

Dave
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      07-30-2009, 08:21 PM   #22
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I like the pic, but its a smidge blurry, and im betting thats because its handheld and is limited by the F4 when the F2.8 would have been faster...but its being picky

and im not trying to argue, the F4 lens is nice...I just think in the end, that extra stop makes a big difference in terms of shots that you can get off withotu much effort or iso pumping. if price wasnt an issue, we'd all spring for the 2.8 because of the speed, so why not start with the 2.8 if you can afford it instead of getting the 4 and then later upgrading?
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