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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎01-30-2018

EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I vs II

I've owned the 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I for close to 10 years with the predominant use case of shooting sports on a 7D Mark I.  I'm now moving to college sports and am working on generally trying to "raise my game" a few notches along the way.   I bought the 1DXII body and have been amazed by its capabilities.  It is still FAR more capable than its owner!  I shoot mostly indoor fast-action sports, accompanied by tough lighting and difficult AF Tracking situations. 

 

Having read many of the technical reviews on the 70-200mm I vs II, I was hoping to get some feedback from folks who have used both in real-world settings.  For those that have, knowing what you know now, was your upgrading from I to II a good choice in hindsight?  I understand that is a question that leads to very subjective answers, but it's that subjectivity that interests me at the moment.  

 

Thanks! 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎12-24-2013

Re: EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I vs II

[ Edited ]

I upgraded from the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I to the II when it first came out. I sold off the old one, and it still cost me about $1,000. I did not regret it as there is a noticeable improvement in Image Quality, especially wide open at f/2.8

 

I am not sure what it would cost you to upgrade today, but you will have to decide for yourself whether or not it is worth the extra money it will cost you.

 

Here is a website where you can compare the two side by side: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens Image Quality

Mike Sowsun
S110, SL1, 80D, 5D Mk III
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,608
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I vs II

I own both (I still have my version I as well as my version II).

 

The version I is still a VERY good lens (make no mistake about that).  The version II offered some improved clarity and, in particular, far away from center (the center sharpness is probably about the same ... but edges and corners of the frame are a little better).  I wouldn't characterize the original as being weak ... but the version II is better.

 

I seem to also recall (but haven't really tested this) is that the image stabilization is improved.  If you're shooting at lower speeds and rely on stabilization, you'll probably notice some benefit.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎01-30-2018

Re: EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I vs II

Thanks, Mike! 

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎01-30-2018

Re: EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I vs II

thanks, Tim.  I agree with you on the version I... not weak even in the slightest.  It's really a great lens.  One of my kids is getting into photography so I will likely keep my old version so she can use it.  The thing still seems to shoot/feel just like the day I took it out of the box. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,517
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I vs II


@coachboz68 wrote:

thanks, Tim.  I agree with you on the version I... not weak even in the slightest.  It's really a great lens.  One of my kids is getting into photography so I will likely keep my old version so she can use it.  The thing still seems to shoot/feel just like the day I took it out of the box. 


I like that idea. The Mk I version is probably beyond the age at which Canon would still repair it, so It might be hard to sell. Keeping it around as a spare with the intention of giving it to your daughter when she's ready to use it sounds like a plan.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
VIP
Posts: 9,556
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I vs II

Most people fall into the trap of IQ.  IQ is the only thing that is important.  Clearly observed here on the forum.  The 1st 70-200mil was/is a good lens.  It will always be a good lens no matter how many more upgrades Canon does to the next version.

The second version is better in all ways.  Everything. AF speed.  IS performance, Even IQ.  How that translates to the type of photography you do is a question you have to answer.

 

I had both. I have the 2nd version which I consider to be one of the best lenses made bar none.  I have all the third party offerings as well.  i even have the brand-N version which is a huge disappointment.  Especially for its price.

 

The bottom line, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens is the better lens.  Period.  Again, IMHO, you bought a 1Dx Mk II ?  I would definitely buy the new lens but that's just me.  The best deserve the best !

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with, a lot of other stuff.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎01-30-2018

Re: EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I vs II

<<>Again, IMHO, you bought a 1Dx Mk II ?  I would definitely buy the new lens but that's just me.  The best deserve the best !>>

 

We are thinking exactly alike.  I bought the 7D just a few months after it was released.  Been saving for a long time and stewing over the 1DXII.  I don't spend money on any other hobbies and I just love sports shooting.  So it was a guilty pleasure to finally pull the trigger on it.  So glad I did, though!  I enjoy it more than a vacation!  (Gotta justify it somehow, right?! :-)  

 

Now that I'm seeing how powerful it truly is, it's time to give it the lens it deserves!  :-) 

 

Thanks for kicking around the feedback! 

VIP
Posts: 9,556
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I vs II

You are a coach?  You know how the feeling  is when a player does great things and how excited they can get.  If it is a young player even more.  I teach music and photography and I get the same feeling when a person really gets it and responds so.  

 

It sounds to me that you are that person right now!  You have the best camera made and looking at the best lens made, what not to like.  Now do go out out make some great shots. I have been stuck in this profession and hobby for as long as I can remember and it still fascinates me.  I can't wait to get the camera out again the next time.

 

If you will, show us some of those 'great' shots.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with, a lot of other stuff.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎01-30-2018

Re: EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS I vs II

[ Edited ]

Yeah, was a scholarship football player in college, then a high school football coach for quite a long time.  Now I have a daughter who just got a scholarship for gymnastics, which is the sport that was created to test my patience with fast-action photography in horrible light!  :-) .  She's starting in a few months and the college gyms are WAY better lit than the "club level" competitions, but it's still a challenge.

 

I also have been doing volunteer shooting for high school sports events, in particular when our school plays disadvantaged programs I'll take a bunch of shots for the other team.  I want to do more of that.  And I'm thinking about doing some volunteer shooting for things like high school graduations or special occassions for inner city schools, but I'll need to do some learning on lighting for portrait photography.  I don't have the "eye" for that like I do sports. 

 

I've been blessed with a good career in the software industry (always coached "paraprofessionally" while I was doing full-time software development) so I am able to spend a bit more on this hobby than I probably should (e.g. 1DXII).  But I think quality photography can be a real gift for people who are only used to the world of phone pics.  

 

Thanks to everyone in this forum who contributes so unselfishly!  I love reading all the feedback.  

 

FWIW... here's one from years ago that's one of my favorites.  The school in white is basically a reformatory where they use football as one of the last-ditch efforts to reach these kids.  They brought precisely ZERO fans to the game.  So our fans split in half and went on their side to cheer for them.  That, plus some of these pics, made the kids feel like people cared, at least for one night.  

 

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