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Old Sep 7, 2007, 6:55 AM   #1
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Hello all:

I will be buying either 70-300 IS or 70-200L canon lens. I would like to know if one would be better than the other. Most shots will be landscape or portrait. I am pushing toward the L mainly because of the quality. Not sure how the IS compares to the L as far as quality..

Many thanks to any replies..


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Old Sep 7, 2007, 7:17 AM   #2
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If you'll be shooting in less than perfect light, the 70-200L is brighter than the 70-300 IS. (BTW, Canon makes two 70-200 L lenses. One is f/2.8, while the other is f/4.0. They are both very good lenses, they're both faster than the 70-300, and they're both available with IS.)

So, do you want a longer lens, or a larger maximum aperture?

If money is a factor, the 70-200 f/4.0 L IS is roughly the same as the other two without IS.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 8:37 AM   #3
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Money is a factor and reach is not a factor. I can always add a 1.4 teleconvertor later for reach. It is just that I would really like quality shots and I feel the L lens will be the one. I will be buying from B&N as they seem to be the most realiable dealer that will sell to a Canadian.. I am also planning to get the 17-85mm IS with the package..

Again thanks for the input. Gladdly needed..

Mel.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 8:55 AM   #4
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Mel:

I moved this thread to our Canon Lenses Forum so that Canon users may be more likely to see it.

The 70-200mm f/4L is an incredibly sharp lens by all accounts if you don't need the extra brightness of the f/2.8 (and the f/4 versions would be smaller and lighter and less expensive compared to the f/2.8 lenses).

But, if you plan on using a TC, you may appreciate the extra brightness of the f/2.8 versions since you lose light with a TC (and a lens with f/2.8 available would be more suitable for use in less than optimum lighting if you're shooting non-stationary subjects, too).

Hopefully, some of our Canon users will give you some thoughts on the differences.


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Old Sep 7, 2007, 2:43 PM   #5
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Love my 70-200 L (non IS version). Very sharp wide open, great saturation and contrast, very good build quality and the AF is very fast. On a small cropped body (350D/XT or 400D/XTi) the camera becomes a little front heavy, but adding a battery grip restores the balance. The grip doesn't come off my camera very often anyway :-).

If you don't need IS and F/2.8 and you don't need a longer reach of the 70-300 IS zoom - you will be very happy with this lens for a long time. My only two small cons with this lens are it's off-white colour (draws too much attention, not always wanted :-)) and it's huge ugly hood, which does a very good job anyway.

The pros far outweight the cons though, optically this lens is the same as a larger and much more expensive F/2.8 70-200 L, just one stop slower.

If you go with the 70-300 IS lens - the lens doesn't have a constant aperture, it extends during zooming and doesn't have the same build quality. You also loose a full time manual focus override which can be very handy. Optically this is also a great lens and you won't be disappointed with any of them. You can also have a look at Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 APO HSM lens for not a lot more.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 3:10 PM   #6
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smallm wrote:
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Most shots will be landscape or portrait.
Maybe I'm missing something but these seem to be strange lens choices for the stated purposes. 70mm is not wide enough for most traditional style landscape shots. A 17-55 2.8 or 16-35L or 17-40L or even 10-22 non-l are lenses more suited toward landscape work.

For portrait style work, a 70-200 can do a nice job but it really depends on what type of portraits you want to do. Studio portraits or shallow DOF portraits or outdoor portraits with deeper dof showing the background? Having an L lens doesn't guarantee quality if it's the wrong tool for the job.Very often lighting is much more important than the lens with many styles of portrait work - especially if you're nont doing shallow-dof portraits. Also for example the 70-200 can produce a nice shallow-dof portrait OUTDOORS but indoors it's too tight to extend out to 200mm and get that shallow DOF. An 85mm 1.8, 1.2 or 50mm 1.4 or 50mm 1.8 can do a much better job indoors.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 3:39 PM   #7
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Even at f/4-5.6 you don't have that much dof, it also depends on the FL and shooting distance. These were taken indoors with 350D, 70-210 f/4 L at 90-100mm from about 2m distance, at f/4 and f/5.6. The dof was about 5-6 cm:








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Old Sep 7, 2007, 4:17 PM   #8
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JohnG wrote:
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Maybe I'm missing something but these seem to be strange lens choices for the stated purposes. 70mm is not wide enough for most traditional style landscape shots. A 17-55 2.8 or 16-35L or 17-40L or even 10-22 non-l are lenses more suited toward landscape work.
I'd disagree. What is "traditional landscapes"? The scene dictates what focal length is needed for the desired result.

You may have an old country barn in one corner of an expansive corn field and want to use a longer lens to get more of it in the frame, depending on your vantage point, trying to figure out the best focus point and aperture to balance refraction issues from using smaller apertures with the need to maximize Depth of Field for the desired print/viewing size, etc.

I use my 100mm f/2 for lots of photos of the river banks early in the morning. I use the 135mm f/2.8 for that, too. Here's one recent shot using the 100mm f/2. I've got some using the 135mm f/2.8 from that same morning:

Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, Minolta 100mm f/2 at ISO 400, f/11, 1/100 second. Downsized to 720 pixels wide using Irfanview with the Lanczos Algorithm. Contrast, Sharpness, and Saturation set to +12 (on a scale that goes to 100). Otherwise, straight from the camera.

EXIF in image.

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Old Sep 7, 2007, 5:03 PM   #9
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JimC wrote:
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I'd disagree. What is "traditional landscapes"? The scene dictates what focal length is needed for the desired result.
I can't argue with you here. But it's also why I asked the question. I've used my 100-400 to take portrait shots but when someone asks for a portrait lens that certainly isn't the one I'd think to recommend first. But you may be right - the OP may be more interested in the style you suggest. I just think it's a fair question to think about before telling someone how to spend their $600
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