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Zoom Lens - Canon 6d

1taplay
Apprentice

Hello all,

 

I own canon 6d with the 24-105 F4L and as of now, use the camera when i go on family trips. I am looking to get a zoom lens with best overall value, i.e. best image quality vs cost. With that said here are a few zoom lenses that im evaluating:

 

  1. canon 70-200 F4L IS
  2. canon 70-200 F2.8L IS II
  3. canon 70-300 F4-5.6L IS

I have researched the 70-200's independently and know that the F2.8L II is the latest and greatest lens but as far as the image quality, the F4 and the F2.8 are identical. Additionally, the F4 is about 1/2 the cost and weight of the F2.8 so out of the two 70-200 choices, im finding it difficult to forsee the beneift of getting the F2.8 especially since i like to take pictures with everything in focus (aperture of 11). Is there something for the F2.8 II that im overlooking?

 

Apart from this, i would like to ask for people's thoughts about these lenses, espcially folks who have used the lens on a full frame body, preferably the canon 6d.

 

Thanks

17 REPLIES 17


@1taplay wrote:

Yeah, so this was my exact dilemma, the F2.8 to F4 is only 1 stop, and the 6d does seem to have good high ISO performance, as for my current 24-105 F4, i am quite amazed by the picture quality that i get, yes the lens struggles when im indoors or in low light condition, but that could be because of my aperture being set at 11 to keep everything in focus, and im not sure how the F2.8 will help in this same exact case, i assume that F2.8 at aperture 11 will struggle the same way the F4 does at aperture 11?

No. The struggling is done at maximum aperture; the lens doesn't stop down to f/11 until just before the shutter opens. So you get a one-stop advantage from the f/2.8 lens during focusing, regardless of the aperture that will be used to take the picture.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


@1taplay wrote:

Yeah, so this was my exact dilemma, the F2.8 to F4 is only 1 stop, and the 6d does seem to have good high ISO performance, as for my current 24-105 F4, i am quite amazed by the picture quality that i get, yes the lens struggles when im indoors or in low light condition, but that could be because of my aperture being set at 11 to keep everything in focus, and im not sure how the F2.8 will help in this same exact case, i assume that F2.8 at aperture 11 will struggle the same way the F4 does at aperture 11?


That is correct if you have your aperture set at f/11 it makes little difference in your photo if you are using a f/2.8 or f/4 lens.

 

The only difference you'll see is in the brightness of the viewfinder, and possibly in the focus. But, as you know the 6D has an extremely good low light center AF point.

 

"I dont think i mentioned that the F4 was sharper, based on my research, reading up on reviews and what not, most of the feedback on IQ was that the F2.8 and F4 had the same image quality. I dont know what u mean by "the f2.8 puts 18 precieved MP on the sensor while the f4 version only puts 15", i havent seen this being mentioned on any of the comparision reviews i have looked up so far."

 

It is easy to find.   The resolving power is what counts when applied to a given sensor.  You are talking 6D which is a FF sensor.  In the end the lens that can put more precieved MP's on the sensor is going to look better.  When you talk IQ, you are talking sharpness.

 

Of course it depends on how you intend on using your photos.  If it is Facebook, that the IQ from either will be unnoticeable.

Photos for grandma, unnoticeable.  More critical work or large crops,etc, you need more. You need the best. So you must decide what.

 

And remember the lens is a sum of its parts. Not simply one spec.  Don't kid yourself or mistake, the EF 70-200 f2.8L IS II is a far better, not even close, lens than the f4 version.  I own both!    The Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 (A009) is better optically, also.

Decide your goal first, than pick th elens that will accomplish that.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Um, the first thing of note.... You already have a "zoom lens". You have a 24-105mm.

 

Any lens that has a variable focal length range is a zoom lens. There are wide angle zooms, standard zooms (sometimes called "walk-around" zooms), and telephoto zooms.

 

Yes, this is just semantics.... but you'll likely get more specific feedback and more valuable info if you search for a "tele zoom", rather than just a "zoom". I understand what you're looking for is a telephoto zoom... i.e. something with more "reach".

 

Canon has offered five and currently offers four different 70-200mm. All of them are quite good, fast focusing, durable, dust and water resistant, "workhorse", L-series lenses that are very popular among pros.

 

The EF 70-200/2.8L IS USM Mark II is the latest greatest of the bunch and costs costing upwards of $2000. It is one of two models that incorporates a fluorite element (unusual among 70-200s from any manufacturer), which is probably part of what makes it one of the sharpest 70-200s from anyone... especially it's wide open performance. It also has the latest 3 to 4 stop image stabilization. It's IF or "internal focusing" and zooming, meaning it doesn't grow in length when focused or zoomed.

 

It includes a tripod mounting ring, matched lens hood (like most L-series). In addition to being fairly pricey, the "Mark II" is also fairly large. But while all 70-200/2.8s are fairly hefty lenses I wouldn't exactly call it cumbersome (I often shoot with a 70-200/2.8 on a camera all day long... and I ain't no Arnold Schwarzenegger). It is similar in size and weight to 300/4L IS USM and 100-400mm IS USM (both the original and Mk II versions), when the latter are retracted (i.e., not an IF lens).

 

The EF 70-200/2.8L IS USM "Mark I" or original version is discontinued now and was superseded by the Mark II a few years ago, but still can be found used and is an excellent lens that was sold for about 10 years. I still use this version. Differences with the current version are that the original is slightly less sharp wide open (still very usable, IMO), has an older 2- to 3-stop version of image stabilization, and doesn't work as well with teleconverters.

 

The EF 70-200/4L IS USM is the second newest model, also uses a fluorite element and is very close to the image quality and sharpness of the Mark II. Like the bigger lens, it also has 3 to 4-stop image stabilization. As others have noted, it's about 2/3 the size and weight of the f2.8 lenses.

 

One difference, both the f4 70-200s do not include a tripod mounting ring, but one can be fitted and is available separately. The f4 lenses also come with and use a more standard type of lens hood, while the f2.8 come with and use a "tulip" shaped hood.

 

Another difference... the 70-200/4 IS costs about $1200 (without the tripod ring... add $160 for the OEM ring, if you want it).

 

There are also non-stabilized version of both the f4 and f2.8 lenses offered at lower cost. The EF 70-200/4L USM sells for about  $650 and the EF 70-200/2.8L USM for $1350. The latter is the oldest Canon 70-200mm variant, dating from 1995 (when it replaced an 80-200mm), while the f4 version was introduced in 1999. These two older designs are still excellent, though neither uses a fluourite element and they have slightly lower image quality performance than the two more recent IS versions. Personally I think the IS is worth the extra cost, too. on telephotos like these it can make the difference between "getting the shot" or not.

 

I've been using the original version 70-200/2.8L IS USM for close to 15 years now. I also have and use the 70-200/4L IS USM, which I bought a few years ago as a backup lens, but find myself using quite frequently when I just don't need the larger aperture. As to background blur... While not able to blur things quite as much as an f2.8 lens, used up close and wide open the f4 lens can render pretty shallow depth of field and a fairly strong blur too...

 

So serious!

 

Some other lenses you may want to consider are:

 

EF 70-300mm IS USM has a bit more reach, yet is reasonably compact and affordable at $650t. Less of a "pro quality" build and sealing than the L-series lenses.

 

EF 70-300mm IS USM DO or "Diffractive Optics" uses special lens elements that allow it to be super compact for it's focal length range. Would be nice for travel, in particular, but at about $1400 it ain't cheap.  

 

EF 70-300L IS USM  is a premium build quality, better sealed, pro-oriented 70-300. It's bigger and heavier, mre similar to the 70-200/2.8 lenses in size and weight, and  osts about $1350.

 

EF 100-400L IS USM Mark II is a bit larger and heavier than a 70-200/2.8... but not a whole lot and is one of Canon's most recently introduced lenses. It's getting great reviews and sells for about $2200.

 

EF 100-400L IS USM "original" that was superseded by the Mark II recently, but is still widely available for about $1500 (new... a bit less used, as a lot of people are "upgrading"  to the new version) and is fairly unusual among zoom lenses today... It's a push/pull zoom that uses a single ring for both zooming and for manual focus. This makes for very fast operation and has made this lens popular for birds in flight and airshow photography, for example. Folks seem to either lover or hate push/pull zooms, though. The new Mark II version is a more standard two-ring zoom.

 

All five of the above would give you more telephoto reach than any of the 70-200s... without being particularly larger or heavier than a 70-200/2.8 (in some cases actually smaller and lighter). All five of them are variable aperture lenses.... and all are f5.6 at their longest focal length (vs. non-variable f2.8 or f4 with the 70-200s). Of them all, the two 100-400mm lenses have the least overlap with your current standard zoom, but I think also are the largest and heaviest by a small margin.

 

All these lenses have fast, accurate USM focus drive. All have very  good to excellent image quality and most have useful IS.

 

So many lenses, so little time. Smiley Wink Have fun shopping!

 

***********


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & EXPOSUREMANAGER 

 

 

"All have very  good to excellent image quality and most have useful IS."

 

While this is true, Alan, there is significant differences,  None come really close to the current specs of the EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II.  It does depend on what your final requirements are.

Very through post, brovo!

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


@ebiggs1 wrote:

"All have very  good to excellent image quality and most have useful IS."

 

While this is true, Alan, there is significant differences,  None come really close to the current specs of the EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II.  It does depend on what your final requirements are.

Very through post, brovo!


Two significant specs that the 70-200 f4L IS doesn't come close to the 70-200 f/.2.8L IS II are size and weight. Two considerations that the OP said were important. The 70-200 f/2.8L IS II weighs almost twice as much and is noticeably bigger.

 

Max. Diameter x Length, Weight

 

EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM - 3.0 x 6.8 in./76 x 172mm - 26.8 oz./760g

 

EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM - 3.5 x 7.8 in./88.8 x 199mm -  52.6 oz./1490g

 

Of course some of the weight savings of the 70-200mm f/4L IS are offset by the extra $800 you have to carry in your wallet after buying it over the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II.

 

 

Yes sir and that does make the statement, "A lens is the sum of its specs.  Not a single spec.", very true.  Doesn't it?

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

"i also try to do the same thing you do with ISO, i try to keep it as low as i possibly can to avoid that grain, regardless of how good the 6d is at high iso. Like i have mentioned in my follow up comments to others, the lens that i current have starts to show weakness at night but it could be because i keep my aperture at F11 to keep everything in focus, and with my beginner to intermediate photography skills, i am unaware of how to keep the background and foreground sharp without increasing my aperture so i assume that any lens at F11 at night would struggle?"

 

This is exactly where the faster lenses work best. If the available light conditions and shutter speed are identical and both lenses were used - if the 70-200 f4 @F11 forced an 800 ISO then the f2.8 @ f11 will be operating at a 400 ISO.  Faster lenses let in more light so you can either half your ISO, or since they are on a linear relationship, you could keep the higher ISO and double your shutter speed to capture faster moving subjects.

EOS 1DX, 5D3, 5DSr, EF 16-35mm f/4L, 24-70mm f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/2.8L, Otus 85mm f/1.4
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