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Help deciding on 70-200mm lens


I'm interested in buying a 70-200mm lens for the EF mount as i have an m50 mark II and the new R8. I don't want to spend more than $1300 for it and I'm debating which one to get. I'll list the 3 i have in mind and the reasons why i like them . I know ultimately the choice is mine but want to know from you guys that may have used any of these lenses and have experience with them

Tamron 70-200G2: brand new this lens cost 1199 on Amazon and comes with a 6 year warranty. All the reviews I've seen on YouTube say it's a great lens irrespective of the cost. There's also a used one on Amazon for 858 in "Good" condition with some dust and scratches but no warranty and with the pricing so close i might as well buy new

Sigma 70-200: brand new on Amazon is 1400. A lot of people swear by it and i have a 16mm sigma lens for my M50 MARK II so i know the quality will be top notch. Downside is that the mounting collar can't be removed from the lens and also at that price point, i can buy a renewed canon 70-200mm.

Canon 70-200 III: brand new this lens is $2000 and i would rather not spend that much on a lens that i might not end up using that much. A lot of reviews I've seen say that it's a beast of a lens but i can't justify paying that price if a similar lens can do the same thing at a better price point.



The 70-200 f2.8 is an incredibly versatile focal length/aperture combination and for many of us it is our most used lens.  So it is one worth getting in high quality.

I bought a 70-200 f2.8 with my first 1 series Canon back in 2005 and I currently used the III version with a 1DX III.  It is a wonderful lens, not quite as sharp as my 200, 300, and 400mm primes, but you would have to pixel peep to tell the difference in most cases.

I have a couple of Sigma lenses that I really like, their 50 f1.4 Art series that I prefer to the Canon 50 1.4 and I bought a Sigma 150-600 last year, primarily for hiking, and it is far more impressive than I expected.  So I do like the Sigma quality in recent years.  But the Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 III is in a class by itself.

My view on glass is that is where you go for the most quality because if you buy the best, you will be using it long after you upgrade your current bodies.

But there is a bit of a wrinkle for you since you are using mirrorless bodies so you need to think seriously about investing instead in native RF glass.  The EF lenses are excellent, they should be after decades of evolution and most of the new RF products are simply evolved EF products, so there is nothing wrong with them.  I have tried and despise mirrorless for my primary use (sports) but I will probably at least look at the R1 when it comes out.  If I make the switch, I would consider going RF native but at this point for my use nothing about mirrorless fits my needs better than DSLR architecture.  It will take MAJOR gains elsewhere to get me to give up the performance of a true optical viewfinder along with the glitch free reliability I have had from 1 series DSLR bodies since I bought my first in 2005.


EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Excellent post Rodger.  

@lucas08.  One other conundrum for you to consider.  


R8 = RF

An EF lens will need to be adapted to both body's and just one adapter probably won't work.  The is because of flange distance.

I'm sure you are aware you will lose the compactness of the M50 mkII by adapting any of the lenses above to it.

My choice would be a Canon lens.  Take a look.




Rodger's last (and excellent) point.  Consider an RF mount lens.  We are sensitive and aware of budgets, but I'd like to point out the following.  Weight.  EF 3.2 lbs, RF 2.3 lbs.  The EF is metal and is a tank, the RF is composite. 

I don't know that I can recommend buying used from Amazon.  If you go this route, stick with a Canon Refurb, or the used depts at KEH, B&H , Adorama, etc.  These are people who are in the best positions to evaluate camera equipment, more so than a market place seller who is trying to make a buck.

Buying new from Amazon is fine, as long as it states "Ships from and sold by Amazon".  They are an authorized Canon Reseller where a market place store is not.  EF lenses are not going anywhere for the immediate future, but RF is the industry standard.

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3rd party lenses may or may not be compatible with your camera even when adapted. Only Canon can ensure that there lenses will work correctly. Even though the price maybe in budget there is always that chance that the lens isn't compatible.


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D & Sigma 17-50mm F/2.8 EX DC OS HSM


Agree with everyone concerning the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS III lens.

"similar lens can do the same thing at a better price point."

The II version of the 70-200 lens is optically the same as the III. The newer model has different lens coatings (easier to clean the front element) and a "whiter" paint finish. Any of the used lenses from Keh would address your criterion in my opinion.

Screenshot 2023-04-22 082118.jpg

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


IMHO, if my cameras were the M50 Mk II and a new R8, I would forget the M50 Mk II and buy all new RF series lenses. The RF 70-200mm f2.8L is essentially the same lens as the EF version equally and perhaps even better.

Since you mentioned the trio of the Tamron, Sigma and Canon of which I own all three, I would put the Tamron next in line to the Canon. But the Canon rests solely on top by a huge margin. It is the best 70-200mm made today bar none. Although not asked, I would put the Tamron 150-600mm G2 as a very slightly better lens than the Sigma offering.

The only other Sigma lens I put on top is my 35mm f1.4 Art. I believe it is the sharpest lens made again bar none.

Here is a point to consider besides IQ which is the main most spec people care about but shouldn't is build quality. Nobody builds more durable lenses than Canon does in its L series of lenses. If that is important which I gather it is  since you mentioned the 6 year warranty. Canon is your only choice.

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