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Which should I buy? A secondhand Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS or New 70-200 f4?

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by JMA989, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. JMA989

    JMA989 Member

    Which should I buy?
    A secondhand Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS for approx £600-£800 or a New Cannon 70-200 IS f4 for about £600?

    Is it worth considering a Tamron equivalent? I would love a Canon L series though
  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I have the f2.8 version. If you need the extra stop then it's worth it. Downside is that you really need one of the big pro bodies if you're going to handhold. The balance is awful on a small camera. It's fine on my 1Ds II but almost impossible to handhold with my 5D. Even fitting a battery handle to the 5D doesn't improve the situation that much.
  3. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure where they're stocking Canon 70-200 f/4 IS lenses for that price. They're around £1000. The £600 one is usually without IS.

    There are four 70-200 lenses.

    f/2.8 with IS (£1800)
    f/2.8 no IS (£1300)
    f/4 with IS (£1000)
    f/4 no IS (£600)

    There are two versions of the f/2.8 with IS, and usually, only the first model is available for the £6-800 price second hand. The ii tends to run £1100 ish.

    Make sure you know which versions and models you're looking at.
  4. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    If you don't need the speed go for the 70-200 IS f4 used, mind £600 is around the used price for this lens in the UK. Any seller showing them new at this kind of figure must be selling non-UK supplied stock, or is a scammer. There is a big difference in the weight you will have to carry between the f2.8 and f4.

    The Tamron will be okay, but if you really want the Canon you may always regret buying something else.
  5. JMA989

    JMA989 Member

    Thanks, good spot, I hadn't noted the IS.

    So a second hand 70-200 IS f2.8 or a new 70-200 IS f4. Working out similar prices but obviously one is new.

    Is there anything to watch out for with second hand lenses (apart from obvious dents/ scratches or cracks)?
  6. JMA989

    JMA989 Member

    Also, is there anywhere people would recommend going for second hand lenses? Ive looked at eBay and WEX so far.

    I'm an amateur looking at taking outdoor/ wildlife shots as well getting portraits from a distance
  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Up to you really. I have both from when I was working abroad and got fed up with the F2.8 being always in the wrong country. The F4 is more portable but doesn't come with a tripod foot (it uses the same one as the 400 F5.6). The F2.8 is faster focussing and has that extra stop. There isn't much difference in optical performance. I'd use the F2.8 if shooting at an event using a monopod and the F4 if I had to walk about. The F2.8 mk ii is supposed to be a big improvement. Like Andrew said it is a big lens OK on a 5 series but better on a 1 series camera.
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    A dealer will give a warranty, mifsuds, ffordes, LCE .. you need to handle the F2.8. It is good for portraits outdoors. For wildlife it is too short for anything outside a zoo although you could put a x2 teleconverter on it. Not done so myself. If I was buying again I'd get the 100-400 mk ii. My first "wildlife" lens was the 400 F5.6 L which used to be the best you could get for a reasonable price. The new 100-400 is supposed to match it for quality, adds 4 stop IS and of course some zoom flexibility.
  9. JMA989

    JMA989 Member

    It is going on to a 7D by the way, so a small body.
  10. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    7D or 7D2?
  11. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Actually, the 7D and 7D2 are pretty similar in size, and they're not that much smaller than the 5D3.


    Not that it really matters, I used a canon 100-400 on a 600D, you just get used to holding the lens in the right place.
  12. JMA989

    JMA989 Member

    Ok so now I am possibly thinking of a 100-400. I have a budget of £600-£1000, any suggestions/ advice?

    Like I said, its going on a 7D and I am looking for a versatile lens that can capture portraits from a distance and some nature shots.
  13. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I used a 100-400 on a 7D for some years, now I use Mk II versions of each. Balances quite nicely. If you're regularly wanting to use focal lengths over 200mm, it's the way to go. If your use of those focal lengths is less regular, the 70-200 f2.8 is worth considering.
    If you're only likely to use focal lengths of 70-300, then the 70-300 L IS is a fantastic lens worth considering.
    If you really don't think you would use them at all, the 70-200 f4 L IS is brilliant.
  14. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Or a 70-300l perhaps?
  15. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I'd look toward getting a grip for it. The heavier lenses ask more of the battery than lighter ones.
  16. JMA989

    JMA989 Member

    I've got a grip too.

    I like the sound of the 70-300L. I'm use to using th basic 18-135mm kit lens, I'm trying to work out if it will offer enough reach or whether to go for the longer 100-400
  17. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Neither the 70-300 nor the 100-400 will offer as much reach as you sometimes need, even 400mm on a crop (so x 1.6 = 640mm) will be shorted than you'd like in some situations. The image quality on the mark 1 100-400 is good, but the trombone focus can be annoying to some, the image quality on the mark 2 is apparently exceptional and the regular focus is easier to use.
  18. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It all depends on the wildlife. If you get into bird photography then 400 is minimum really. Although the crop factor of a 7D helps they are always too far away.
  19. JMA989

    JMA989 Member

    Ok I am still torn. I have used the 100-400 L IS f4-5.6 before taking photos of water birds. I liked the range but wasn't overly keen on the 'trombone' style zoom. I like the sound of the 70-300L IS but haven't used one and am concerned over the lesser reach. I'm not a wildlife photographer or anything so am just trying to make the right decision for an amateur who enjoys all aspects of photography!
  20. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Decisions, decisions. You have to try them out. For general purpose use don't forget the short end as having too much reach is as much if not more frustrating than being too far away. If the 7Dii has multiple F8 capable focus points (I've seen someone happily using one with a 500 F4 and x2 converter) you can always stick a x1.4 iii converter on the 70-300 mm if 100 mm on the other lens (fov 160) is too long for purpose.

    The main thing going for the 100-400 mk i is that so many got traded 'cos the mk ii was so much better that the used market became awash with them.

    For birds, where the lens will only ever be used at 400, then a s/h 400 F 5.6 L is the least expensive way to go. It has no IS but is very sharp and relatively light.

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