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Old Mar 18, 2010, 7:23 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Widowmaker View Post
Agree with Mark on the sharpness of the 2.8 non IS vs IS version. As for the IS comment that any blur you get at those shutter speeds is due to subject motion.... There is no logic in that. Surely your not suggesting that movement on the camera end has no bearing on the outcome. Any movement reduced or eliminated on the camera end that does not match pace with the subjects motion "IS" beneficial.

Personally I tried the 70-200 2.8 IS and was not impressed with it but so many speak highly of it so there must be something good about it.
I'm saying that at the speeds needed for freezing action in sports then these are above those at which IS is needed. So lets take a someone playing volleyball, I want to get a minimum of 1/400s, but ideally over 1/640 to freeze the action of the arms. At these speeds IS isn't going to help and actually it is going to hinder as I need to work in both the vertical and horizontal planes to follow the player. The IS is going to try to keep the camera where I was and not let me move quick enough and likely will bounce off the limits so have to shift the lens.

Shooting a field sport like hockey, even under the lights I'm going to be looking for a similar speed so again IS isn't assisting in any way to the sharpness of the fast moving arms/stick/ball. The rest of the subject is not moving fast enough (assuming I'm panning) for any errors in my motion to be picked up as blur.

As I said previously there are times when you are trying to get motion blur with a slower shutter than mode 2 might help. Also I guess if you are shooting in terrible light and the activity isn't overly fast paced such as the balances on a gym floor routine where you might find a benefit, but again this isn't the same sort of scenario as general sports.

When I use my 70-200mm f2.8 for field or indoor sports I don't have IS turned on at all. Also when using my Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 for shooting sports I don't ever wish that I had IS on it. Now when using it to shoot non moving subjects in lower light then this is a different situation as I could then get the ISO down for a cleaner image and shoot without needing a tripod.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 8:16 AM   #12
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Personally I tried the 70-200 2.8 IS and was not impressed with it but so many speak highly of it so there must be something good about it.
I forgot to ask, what is it about the 70-200mm IS that didn't impress you?

I would certainly speak highly of this lens and it is my 2nd lens at any wedding and is often used at sports events. It is very fast to focus, very accurate, sharp wide open and very sharp if stopped down a little. I've used it on all my cameras with the highest pixel density being the 7D where it shows great resolution. Even with a 1.4x TC it does very well, and you can get away with a 2x if the need arises and you stop down a little.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 11:30 AM   #13
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Its all opinion and shooting style. Personally I have used IS for indoor volleyball and did not run into a situation where the IS hindered me getting a shot as you described. I have used it at track events where I wanted the legs and arms blurred but the torso sharp and IS did make a difference. Also racing where shooting around 1/60th and panning handheld to get wheel and background blur while keeping the body sharp.

As for the 70-200 2.8.. your idea of sharpness will be different than mine. I do not find the 70-200 2.8 IS sharp wide open. The 70-200 2.8 IS MKii on the other hand is what I would expect of wide open performance. Based on initial reviews, If I were going to get a 70-200 2.8 IS, it would be the MKii even at the extra cost.

Last edited by Widowmaker; Mar 18, 2010 at 2:21 PM.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 3:59 PM   #14
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Thought I'd jump in as an experienced sports photographer. As has been mentioned there are situations like wedding shooting where IS is beneficial. anti-shake for sports will provide almost no benefit. It isn't so much that it will hurt it's that the $600 can be spent on other equipment that will have a much greater impact on your photography. If you have every other piece of gear you need, IS isn't bad. But if you don't and your primary use for the lens would be sports you would be throwing your money away IMO.

Edit - just to clarify I'm only talking about 200mm or less here. If you were hand-holding a 300mm 2.8 then IS can be beneficial. But there is little to no benefit to IS in the 70-200 for sports use.

Last edited by JohnG; Mar 18, 2010 at 4:03 PM.
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Old Mar 20, 2010, 1:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Widowmaker View Post
As for the 70-200 2.8.. your idea of sharpness will be different than mine. I do not find the 70-200 2.8 IS sharp wide open. The 70-200 2.8 IS MKii on the other hand is what I would expect of wide open performance. Based on initial reviews, If I were going to get a 70-200 2.8 IS, it would be the MKii even at the extra cost.
I'm sure we certainly have different ideas of acceptable quality etc.

I didn't have any shots at f2.8 to hand of the IS at 200mm so took a few today from my balcony. These are further away than optimal for sharpness but hopefully they will dispell the idea that this lens isn't a good performer even wide open. Yes the non IS and certainly the reviews on the mkII show stronger figures but even so this is a perfectly usable lens.

I took these on the 7D rather than using the 5D as I wanted to put the lens in the worst situation of by having the smallest most densely packed pixels so we are getting near to the limits of detail. If I had used the 5DmkII with the larger pixels then if would have looked quite a bit sharper again.

However at this level of sharpens (shot jpg with in camera sharpness below half) I would be more than happy to print very large.

Photo 1, I didn't bother worrying about framing as I wanted the target in the centre of the frame (well almost) and was using AF Servo as they were talking. As you can see this is a log way out compared to what most of us would want to shoot with a 200mm lens at f2.8.



100% Crop



Photo 3, Similar position but a stationary target, Single Shot AF.


100% Crop



Remember these have not been sharpened, are shot a bit further away than optimal and with the highest current resolution available on an APS-C sensor to really get into what is happening and make the lens work at its hardest (and show limitations). It is known that the 70-200mm f2.8 isn't the sharpest at max settings but as can be seen these are truly usable for all printing purposes once the normal PP has been done.

If anyone is interested to see what the 5DmkII does with similar settings I will see what I can sort out tomorrow when it is daylight, this will obviously yield much better results due to the larger sensor and lower pixel pitch.
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Old Mar 20, 2010, 3:07 PM   #16
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I didn't mean the MKi lens was unusable at 2.8, its just not as sharp wide open as I would want and expect from a lens that I purchased for wide open performance. Right now Im trying out the 17-55 2.8 and while these lenses are on different ends of the field in more ways that one, I find the wide open performance on the 17-55 to be better. Also its possible I got a very soft copy of the 70-200 as you samples are slightly better that what I experienced.

Last edited by Widowmaker; Mar 20, 2010 at 4:01 PM.
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Old Mar 20, 2010, 6:01 PM   #17
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Honestly, when shooting with it at normal ranges then it is very usable at 200mm and f2.8, just not as sharp as the non IS. The pay off for me shooting weddings is getting the lower shutter speed shots that the non-IS can't do so the slight loss in sharpness is taken away as without it I would have no shot. I really wish I had some shots at f2.8 with this lens of something other than people walking past on the street. I will have to take some as I suspect that you had something up with your copy if you didn't find it sharp enough to use wide open. What body were you using it on. As it is only with the 7D that I've started to see anything noticeable in the sharpness, on the original 5D, 1DmkIII and 5DmkII it is a great performer. However with the 7D after sizing to print and PP then there is not a single issue.

BTW, I'm not saying this to cause an argument or to stick up for the glass that I use, I've had bad glass so don't mind saying where something is weak, just wouldn't want someone in the future to read this and be put off about the lens..... on the flip side, I wouldn't want them to think it is as sharp as the mkII or the mkI non-IS.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 6:54 AM   #18
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I didn't get to go anywhere with the 5D and the 70-200 but someone did kindly put a motorbike just under my balcony so a better distance to see the detail. Again with the 7D so really getting into fine detail on the lens. The shot isn't helped due to the amount of dust on the bike, but this is Egypt LOL.

As I said, I think you might have had a weak copy of the 70-200 as using a crop sensor with this resolution IMHO is more than sharp enough to be able to use the lens at f2.8 and 200mm. This is with little in camera sharpening as I always like to do that in the final stages of PP so no point the camera adding extra noise or anything first.





Not forgetting you are looking at something like 72dpi here, printing the company I use works at up to 300ppi depending on the size of print. As soon as this is the case without any additional sharpening the slight softness goes away and with some sharpening they simply pop. I've had shots using this lens from the 1DmkIII at 30" by 20" and been very happy with the results as was the client.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 7:03 AM   #19
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OK, so let's take this back to the OPs situation, and I will state again that both 70-200mm f2.8 lenses are very usable, however I would only spend the extra if you are going to be shooting in low light where IS will benefit you. If you have the cash and won't benefit from the IS (I can't answer that) then I would put it towards other useful kit that you will probably get more use out of.
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 2:31 AM   #20
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if u dont need the extra speed, i would suggest the best of the 70-200 series, the 70-200 F4 IS.

sharpest lens i have used. Way sharper than the 70-200 F2.8 i use now.. i got the f2.8 for really low light settings...
a legendary singer here -(India/Tamil Nadu) - SPB.


Last edited by nymphetamine; Mar 22, 2010 at 2:34 AM.
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