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Old Aug 18, 2003, 3:19 PM   #1
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Default 70-200L f2.8 questions

Hi All,

I have several questions about the IS and non-IS version of the canon 70-200L IS lens.

* B&H's description claims that the IS version is actually different than the non-IS version (other than the IS :-)). Shorter minimum focus distance and higher magnification. Is that true?

* How well does this lens work with Canon's 1.4x TC? Does the IS still work? Do I lose all my AF points except the center one on my 10D?

* Same questions, but now for the 2.0x TC.

Thanks a ton!

Barthold
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Old Aug 18, 2003, 6:09 PM   #2
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I'll answer some of my own questions :-) Here's a good discussion on the 70-200 IS and 2x II extender.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=5867723

Net seems to be it is pretty good combination, almost as good as the 100-400L. Especially if you don't shoot wide open.

Barthold
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Old Aug 18, 2003, 10:28 PM   #3
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If you are talking about the f2.8 version, you will still have IS and AF with the 1.4. With the 2xTC, you still have IS... and I believe you still have AF... f2.8->f4->f5.6 right? If so, then yes, you still have AF. Any AF lens will work correctly with the 10D if the maximum aperture is f5.6 or faster (i.e. smaller number.)

I don't know if the lenses are different. Good question. B&H is known to make mistakes in their description. I would check out:

http://www.usa.canon.com/eflenses/

That site says that they are different focusing distances:
IS -> 4.3f
non-IS -> 4.9f

The IS version is also larger in every way and heavier.

I'm surprised that the 70-200 is considered almost as good as the 100-400L with the 2x TC. I'd like to see examples of that, as I keep hearing how bad a 2x TC is on sharpness on... well, everything. It has its place, but sharpness isn't usually considered one of them.

Eric
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Old Aug 18, 2003, 11:34 PM   #4
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Hi Eric,

I was surprised too about the comparison of the 70-200 with 2x TC to the 100-400L. The link I posted does have some pictures. Note that this is with the new version II of the 2.0 TC. Apparently it is better than the original 2.0 TC from Canon.

Barthold
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Old Aug 20, 2003, 3:47 PM   #5
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While I agree that the the motorcycle examples in that dpreview thread are amazing (they weren't at 200mm x 2xTC) there are examples here which don't impress me as much:

http://www.wilcoxworld.co.uk/chester_races.htm

The detail in that grass is fairly weak.

We also don't know what type of post processing was done in any of those pictures.

Eric
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Old Aug 20, 2003, 6:29 PM   #6
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Eric,

I have read and seen other pictures where the 2x plus 70-200 combo didn't do nearly as well (as you would expect) as the 100-400L. Photozone actually has a nice database of lenses, based on peoples feedback. Here's the link to that.

http://www.photozone.de/2Equipment/lsurveyEOS.htm

They assign a numeric rating to lenses.

4.71: Canon 70-200L 2.8 IS
4.48: Canon 100-400L IS
4.15: Canon 70-200L 2.8 plus EF 1.4x TC
3.69: Canon 70-200L 2.8 plus EF 2.0x TC

However, the link to the pictures you post is not that useful. Those pictures are reduced in size quite a lot. Hard to see any detail.

After reading lots more on the subject I think that the 70-200L 2.8 and 1.4 TC (you still have a f4 lens) is a very nice combo, but with the 2x TC it becomes a bit more iffy. Still, if you only occasionally need that range then it is just fine, and still better than the majority of lenses out there!

Barthold
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Old Aug 20, 2003, 11:43 PM   #7
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I've used photozone.de before. Very nice. I wish it had MTF charts, but I'm not an expert at reading them so I guess they'd be wasted. There is another site which does have them but it hasn't been updated in many years so I don't go there any more. Missing many of the newer lenses.

Where did you see the numbers with the TCs? I missed that. Those numbers are a bit more like what I'd expect. I'd even expect the straight 70-200 to be even better.

I'm not sure I'd agee that those pictures are not that useful. I'm not sure those are reduced until they say they are (did I miss that?) The same questions can be rased for that amazing cycle example. How do we know it wasn't touched up in PS?

If rarely having 300-400mm is acceptable, then doing with the 1.4TC makes perfect sense. Its quality is good (not great) and the 70-200 is smaller, lighter & cheaper than the 100-400 (and I assume it is even with the TC, but I don't know.) Not bad.

Eric
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Old Aug 21, 2003, 1:15 AM   #8
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Hi Eric,

The numbers with TC are also on photozone. Just select Canon lenses, all lenses, sort on quality. You'll find it.

I *thought* I read in the thread that mentioned those horse pictures that they were reduced. If they aren't then of course they are a good test case.

Actually, the 70-200 f2.8 IS is a bit heavier than the 100-400L (3.2 vs 3.0 lbs) and $250 more expensive. The 1.4 TC is 0.5 lb.

Barthold
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Old Aug 21, 2003, 3:01 PM   #9
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Damn, must have read about a 70-200 with a higher fstop. Thanks for the correction.

I'll look at photozone more. I didn't see them with the TC in the chart. That will make that site even more useful!

Eric
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Old Aug 22, 2003, 1:33 AM   #10
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Here's another test, 70-200 IS with 2x extender against the 100-400L at max zoom.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re.../400v400.shtml

At f5.6 the 100-400L wins, at F11 they are identical. At F8 the 100-400L is slightly better.

I did enough reading on the subject. The 70-200 IS simply is a superb lens, sharper than the 100-400L. With 1.4x TC it still is great, with the 2x TC it can detoriate a little (some found that to be true, some didn't, it all depends on the tests).

For me, the 70-200 plus 1.4 TC seems like a great combo.

Barthold
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