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Author Topic: Questions About The Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS Lens  (Read 9117 times)
Killer Angel
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« on: December 25, 2006, 06:30:59 AM »
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I am posting a few questions here in regards to the Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS lens as I am thinking of getting one for myself.You see,I have heard that the NON-IS version of this lens shoots sharper images than the IS version.Is this true?If yes,what if I turned off the IS mode of my IS version of the 70-200 F2.8L lens,would it shoot as sharp pictures as the NON-IS version?Also,for sports photography or any action shots,should I turn on the IS mode or Turn it off?In what shooting scenarios should I use the IS feature and in what shooting scenarios should I turn the IS feature off?Please forgive my ignorance as I am still very new to photography.
THANKYOU Very Much.

Killer Angel
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2006, 07:53:32 AM »
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I am posting a few questions here in regards to the Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS lens as I am thinking of getting one for myself.You see,I have heard that the NON-IS version of this lens shoots sharper images than the IS version.Is this true?If yes,what if I turned off the IS mode of my IS version of the 70-200 F2.8L lens,would it shoot as sharp pictures as the NON-IS version?Also,for sports photography or any action shots,should I turn on the IS mode or Turn it off?In what shooting scenarios should I use the IS feature and in what shooting scenarios should I turn the IS feature off?Please forgive my ignorance as I am still very new to photography.
THANKYOU Very Much.

Killer Angel
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=92240\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
This topic has been discussed many times here and on other forums. My experience is that in the real world, the difference is quite small and sample variation may change test results. Please, note that I didn't perform scientific tests, just a few shots.

To answer your question about turning IS OFF, both versions of the 70-200 f/2.8 lens  do not share the same optical contruction (elements and groups) so turning the IS off will not transform the IS lens into the non IS.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2006, 10:55:48 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2006, 09:33:53 AM »
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IMO, sample variation is greater than the difference between the IS and non-IS versions. I've seen claims the non-IS is sharper, and the other way around as well. But the benefits of IS are great enough that even a slight loss of sharpness would be more than compensated for by the benefits of IS.

IS reduces the blur caused by camera shake, mirror slap, tripod vibration, etc. but does not reduce blur caused by subject motion. IS can help you pan more smoothly, which can benefit panned shots of moving subjects like passing race cars. IS makes it easier to get the car sharp and smoothly blur the background.
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francois
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2006, 11:07:45 AM »
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Although non-IS versions are cheaper, I always purchased IS lenses as I could never find much difference in sharpness between non-IS & IS on a tripod and in ideal conditions.

IS adds some much to the usability of these lenses that it becomes difficult - for me - to buy the non-IS ones (if one can afford it).
« Last Edit: December 25, 2006, 11:09:11 AM by francois » Logged

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Sune Wendelboe
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2006, 08:26:45 AM »
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I can't imagine a shaper zoom than my 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, I've had similar concerns choosing between the 300 f/4 IS / non IS but I'd not hesitate one moment in getting the 70-200 IS over the non IS.

Together with my 85mm f/1.2L it's the lens I use most often but for a much broader variety of images.

Sincerely
Sune Wendelboe, Copenhagen, Denmark

www.globalphotographic.net
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Killer Angel
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2006, 05:19:10 AM »
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I can't imagine a shaper zoom than my 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, I've had similar concerns choosing between the 300 f/4 IS / non IS but I'd not hesitate one moment in getting the 70-200 IS over the non IS.

Together with my 85mm f/1.2L it's the lens I use most often but for a much broader variety of images.

Sincerely
Sune Wendelboe, Copenhagen, Denmark

www.globalphotographic.net
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How about for action sports photography,would it be better to use the IS or not?
Thanks.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 07:29:27 AM by Killer Angel » Logged
Chris_Brown
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2006, 06:48:10 AM »
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I am posting a few questions here in regards to the Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS lens as I am thinking of getting one for myself.You see,I have heard that the NON-IS version of this lens shoots sharper images than the IS version.Is this true?If yes,what if I turned off the IS mode of my IS version of the 70-200 F2.8L lens,would it shoot as sharp pictures as the NON-IS version?Also,for sports photography or any action shots,should I turn on the IS mode or Turn it off?In what shooting scenarios should I use the IS feature and in what shooting scenarios should I turn the IS feature off?Please forgive my ignorance as I am still very new to photography.
THANKYOU Very Much.[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If you prefer handholding the camera most of the time, go IS. You won't regret it. The technology works unbeleivably well. However, if you're more of a tripod guy, save $600 and buy the non-IS. Even in Canon's 70-200 IS manual it clearly states to turn off the IS function.

As for sharpness, if your content is killer, no one will notice a few slurred pixels. If you're curious, [a href=\"http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/70_200/index.htm]here's a decent test[/url] using a Canon 1Ds.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2006, 07:08:20 AM by Chris_Brown » Logged

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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2007, 10:23:35 AM »
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If you prefer handholding the camera most of the time, go IS. You won't regret it. The technology works unbeleivably well. However, if you're more of a tripod guy, save $600 and buy the non-IS. Even in Canon's 70-200 IS manual it clearly states to turn off the IS function.

You're wrong here; the IS mechanism in the 70-200 is perfectly at home on a tripod. I shoot that way all the time when there is wind, and the IS dampens out the wind vibrations just fine. There are some older IS lenses that have tripod problems, but the 70-200 is definitely not one of them.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2007, 11:16:05 AM »
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You're wrong here;[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I'm not wrong. My manual clearly states to turn off IS when the lens is mounted on a tripod. How you choose to use your equipment is a different topic.

According to the [a href=\"http://www.photodo.com/topic_167.html]Canon press release for the 70-200 f4L IS,[/url] the IS function "switches off automatically when the camera is mounted on a tripod, thus preventing feedback loops between the IS sensor and internal motor vibrations."
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2007, 03:35:03 AM »
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You are both wrong, and willfully ignorant. According to Canon, the 70-200/2.8L IS switches to a "tripod mode" when mounted on a tripod (which prevents the twitching behavior observed when tripod-mounting a 100-400 or certain other older lenses with IS active), but the IS mechanism remains active, and does an excellent job of dampening out wind and other vibrations. This can be easily verified by listening for the whirring noise the IS mechanism makes and looking through the viewfinder while tapping the lens barrel with your finger. With IS on, the whirring noise is present, and the amount of vibration seen in the viewfinder when tapping the lens is much less than what is observed with IS switched off.

Some 70-200 lenses shipped with an instruction sheet that incorrectly stated that IS must be turned off when tripod-mounted, but that was an error that was later fixed. My instruction sheet has no such warning. But regardless, the practical real-world experience of someone who has shot tens of thousands of frames with the 70-200/2.8L IS ought to be weighed a bit more credibly than an instruction sheet misprint.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2007, 12:23:28 PM »
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According to Canon, the 70-200/2.8L IS switches to a "tripod mode" when mounted on a tripod (which prevents the twitching behavior observed when tripod-mounting a 100-400 or certain other older lenses with IS active), but the IS mechanism remains active...
Do you have a link to prove your statement?
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2007, 12:59:05 PM »
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Do you have a link to prove your statement?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Jonathan is correct.

I know that somewhere there is official documention from Canon which details the capabilities of the different generations of IS.  I can't put my hands on it at the moment, but here is an excerpt from Michael's review of the 70-200 f/2.8 L IS:

"As with their other recent high-end IS lenses, the IS does not need to be disabled when the lens is tripod mounted."

[a href=\"http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/70-200is.shtml]http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/.../70-200is.shtml[/url]

Update: here's a list (somewhat out of date) from Canon's Chuck Westfall with those IS lenses which do and do not support "tripod IS:"

The EF Image Stabilizer lenses listed below support "tripod IS." The IS switch may be left in the on position when using these lenses on tripod.

EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM
EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM
EF400mm f/2.8L IS USM
EF400mm f/4 DO IS USM
EF500mm f/4L IS USM
EF600mm f/4L IS USM
 
The EF Image Stabilizer lenses listed below do not support "tripod IS." The IS switch should be in the off position when using these lenses on a tripod.

EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
EF300mm f/4L IS USM

Paul
« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 01:26:11 PM by PaulS » Logged

Chris_Brown
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2007, 01:22:18 PM »
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Jonathan is correct.
Not regarding first generation IS lenses, such as the one I have.
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2007, 01:30:07 PM »
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Not regarding first generation IS lenses, such as the one I have.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=93321\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, you WERE asking specifically about the 70-200 f/2.8 L IS, which uses second generation IS.

See my updated message above with a list of IS lenses which do and do not support "tripod IS."

Paul
« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 01:38:46 PM by PaulS » Logged

SCOR
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2007, 12:16:58 AM »
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Actually you are all sort of right and sort of wrong.

There are three distinct levels of functionality for IS lenses when mounted on a tripod:

1. The oldest IS lenses actually increase blur during long exposures if the IS system is turned on while the lens is being used on a tripod. The list of such lenses includes:

EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM (discontinued last year)
EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
EF300mm f/4L IS USM
EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

2. The IS super-telephoto lenses can detect and compensate for mirror slap during long exposures on a tripod. The list of such lenses is limited specifically to the following:

EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM
EF400mm f/2.8L IS USM
EF400mm f/4 DO IS USM
EF500mm f/4L IS USM
EF600mm f/4L IS USM

3. All other IS lenses released to date behave as follows. When mounted on a tripod, they shut off their stabilizers automatically when the degree of motion falls below a certain threshold. They don't add blur like the older IS lenses, but they don't do anything to correct camera movement caused by mirror slap, either. The list of such lenses includes:

EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
EF-S17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM
EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
EF70-200mm f.2.8L IS USM
EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM
EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

So you don't have to turn off IS when using the 70-200 f/2.8L IS on a tripod, but it will provide no benefit on a stable platform.  "Tripod mode" is nothing more than an automatic shut-off.  So the 70-200 f/2.8L IS does not correct for mirror slap.

Hope that clears things up
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Killer Angel
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2007, 07:13:59 AM »
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For those of you who have tried both the first generation and second generation of the 70-200 F2.8L IS lenses,is there a big difference between the two when it comes to picture quality?How much faster is the focussing of the second generation lens than the first generation lens?If I already have the first generation lens,would it be worth it to upgrade to the second generation lens?
THANKS.

Killer Angel
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2007, 08:08:06 AM »
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All of the 70-200 IS lenses have "second generation" IS. And "tripod mode" is NOT the same as an "off switch". When on a tripod, the IS mechanism will still activate (you can hear the whirring sound) and vibrations transmitted through the tripod, such as from wind gusts or the camera being bumped, are significantly reduced. There is a definite benefit to leaving IS on, even when mounted to a tripod. You can easily see the difference through the viewfinder, and the difference is also apparent in the images.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2007, 09:57:09 AM »
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All of the 70-200 IS lenses have "second generation" IS. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94300\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Then how do you explain the difference between these two 70-200 IS lenses?
[attachment=1487:attachment]
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2007, 11:16:50 AM »
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Then how do you explain the difference between these two 70-200 IS lenses?
[attachment=1487:attachment]
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Chris,

The difference is that the lens on the right is the earlier 70-200 L WITHOUT image stabilization (IS).

Review/picture of 70-200 without IS

[a href=\"http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=13&sort=7&cat=27&page=2]http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showpro...7&cat=27&page=2[/url]

Review/picture of 70-200 *with* IS:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/.../70-200is.shtml

Notice the difference in the button configuration on the lens barrel.

Paul
« Last Edit: January 07, 2007, 11:28:07 AM by PaulS » Logged

Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2007, 12:44:34 PM »
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Then how do you explain the difference between these two 70-200 IS lenses?

The lens on the right is the non-IS 70-200, which AFAIK Canon still makes. Note that it only has 2 switches for AF on/off and AF minimum focus distance, and is missing the IS on/off and IS mode switches, which are present on all IS lenses.
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