Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS vs Non-IS??

lowryelowrye Beginner grinnerPosts: 1Registered Users Beginner grinner
edited April 28, 2014 in Weddings
Hello all!
I am a portrait photographer and mainly use my 50mm. I am new to weddings and I know most wedding photogs shoot with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM. However, I can not, in no way possible fit that into my budget. I have done a handful of weddings and was able to use the 70-200mm f/4L IS and I loved it, but no longer have it. Long story short, I need to buy a 70-200mm for some weddings I have booked in a few months. I originally was just going to rent for the occasions, but I found a few Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L on craigslist that I can afford. These are not IS though. My question is, what is the big difference between IS and Non-IS. I do not have a steady hand and I know the IS reduces camera shake, but is there really that big of a difference?? Thanks!
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Comments

  • mercphotomercphoto Bill Jurasz Posts: 4,550Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 11, 2014
    Remember though, that while IS will reduce camera shake it does NOTHING for reducing subject movement while the shutter is open. Your wedding guests will probably be moving around during your shots, correct? If so you will need a fast enough shutter speed to freeze their action. No way around that. IS cannot help that situation. And if the shutter is that high, chances are reasonable its also fast enough to deal with your shaky hand. Hoping more chime in here, but I'm guessing you won't need the IS for this type of work.
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
    Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
    My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu
  • wave01wave01 Major grins Posts: 204Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 12, 2014
    if you want a 2.8 then look at the sigma 70-200os.
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 12, 2014
    lowrye wrote: »
    Hello all!
    I am a portrait photographer and mainly use my 50mm. I am new to weddings and I know most wedding photogs shoot with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM. However, I can not, in no way possible fit that into my budget. I have done a handful of weddings and was able to use the 70-200mm f/4L IS and I loved it, but no longer have it. Long story short, I need to buy a 70-200mm for some weddings I have booked in a few months. I originally was just going to rent for the occasions, but I found a few Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L on craigslist that I can afford. These are not IS though. My question is, what is the big difference between IS and Non-IS. I do not have a steady hand and I know the IS reduces camera shake, but is there really that big of a difference?? Thanks!

    Can you provide a list of the equipment, camera bodies, lenses, lighting, etc?

    How about a link to your website?

    This can assist us in providing a more comprehensive answer to your questions.

    Sam
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 12, 2014
    There is most definitely that big a difference. The f4 is a GORGEOUS lens, but not for low light. I would rent the 2.8is as you originally planned..... :)
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited February 15, 2014
    Lowrye, in my opinion if you're on such a tight budget then instead of an un-stabilized, f/4 lens I would consider hunting for used 135mm f/2.0's, or a 100mm f/2.0. It wouldn't give you as much reach as a 70-200mm, but it would be all kinds of useful in low light compared to an f/4 zoom.

    Unless, of course, you shoot mostly outdoor weddings in decent sunlight, which I'm sure is possible for some hobbyists or side-job pros.

    Either that or, hunt for a used Sigma 70-200 2.8 OS.

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • lightcatcher2014lightcatcher2014 Big grins Posts: 23Registered Users Big grins
    edited March 5, 2014
    Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 is also another option until you save for Canon f2.8 L II.

    Back to your question:

    f/4 IS is better as would allow you to go to slower shutter speed and still get sharp images. Weddings photography is rarely in bright daylight and there are lots of indoor images you need to take. Plus night time and dance parties have little available light. You will use flash of course but in a church where flash is not allowed or you want to use ambient light, you need smaller aperture than f/4.

    Hope that helps
    --
    Trifon Anguelov
    Portrait and Wedding Photographer, Mountain View, CA

    http://www.weddingphotographyblogger.com
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited March 6, 2014
    Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 is also another option until you save for Canon f2.8 L II.

    Back to your question:

    f/4 IS is better as would allow you to go to slower shutter speed and still get sharp images. Weddings photography is rarely in bright daylight and there are lots of indoor images you need to take. Plus night time and dance parties have little available light. You will use flash of course but in a church where flash is not allowed or you want to use ambient light, you need smaller aperture than f/4.

    Hope that helps
    Not sure where you're based, but here in Southern California I'm pretty sure I could get away with using a 70-200 f/4 for the volume of broad daylight ceremonies I wind up having, and then just reach for a 135 f/2 or something for low light. But then we're buying two lenses Laughing.gif...

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • David_S85David_S85 Spotter of Dgrin Spam and Oddities ChicagolandPosts: 12,330Administrators moderator
    edited March 6, 2014
    I love my f/4 IS version. A friend has the f/2.8 model and we traded for a couple weeks (he wanted to try my 400 5.6). I couldn't handle the weight of the 2.8 for more than about 15 minutes. The f/4 version is so much lighter and that alone allows me to use it as a walk around lens. The IQ on each is very similar, so unless you absolutely need the extreme narrow focusing depth or the one stop difference in lower light, I would suggest the f/4 -- and it is quite a bit less expensive. Canon rebates each of these lenses every time there's a deal going on. Like right now until March 31st. The non-IS is also on that list. I know all of these are fairly expensive, but DANG, if you can swing it somehow, they are just too sweet to shoot with.
    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • BlueSkyPhotosBlueSkyPhotos Big grins Posts: 80Registered Users Big grins
    edited March 31, 2014
    I have both versions of f/4 and they very close in quality. I use the IS version more often though. If I really need something faster I go for one of my primes, but f/4 can handle most situations.
    Jacek
    _____________________________________________
    My Site
  • mercphotomercphoto Bill Jurasz Posts: 4,550Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 7, 2014
    Glort, one thing to remember about fast glass and auto-focus is this: cameras always auto-focus and calculate exposure with the lens wide open. This means the 2.8 lens gives, literally, twice as much data to the camera during this process. And most cameras have at least some auto-focus sensors that are more sensitive with 2.8 lenses than with 4.0 lenses. This is a real benefit that is worth at least considering, even if one never shoots at f/2.8.
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
    Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
    My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited April 8, 2014
    Glort wrote: »
    I have the 2.8 IS and the plain F4. I use the F4 far more than the 2.8 IS.
    The 2.8 Is a heavy SOB that doesn't swing near as fast as the F4 and gets heavy fast. Without trying to put anyone's nose out of Joint, I don't see what the big deal is over 1 Stop of speed anyway, especially in this day and age of High ISO cameras hat you can't tell the difference between a frame shot at 100 and 1200.

    As for the IS, I agree completely with Bill. In most things I do I find the subject movement is more of a problem than camera movement. Yes, In church the IS may be an advantage but then again, I used non IS lens's for a LONG time before IS was ever thought of ( as did many others) and found ways to work around it. These days that's as simple as turning up the ISO..... Or lean against something. Few Churches are really dark enough to justify a 2.8 or there is any great benefit to them.

    In direct answer tot he question, NO, there isn't a big difference in quality or speed, but there is a hell of a difference in weight and practicality.
    Wow, finally someone who agrees with my own philosophy!!! In wedding photography this is a rare thing somehow....

    Yes, I feel that with how far technology has come, especially WRT ISO, f/2.8 is less and less necessary in a zoom lens which serves the whole purpose of practicality. Considering that we have made like, four or five stops of progress in ISO usability from the initial point of digital as a mainstream wedding tool, I'm perplexed. How is it that with each new generation of camera bodies touting another stop improvement, ...we still absolutely require the same lens that weighs like a pound more and costs a thousand bucks extra? Hmm...

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited April 8, 2014
    mercphoto wrote: »
    Glort, one thing to remember about fast glass and auto-focus is this: cameras always auto-focus and calculate exposure with the lens wide open. This means the 2.8 lens gives, literally, twice as much data to the camera during this process. And most cameras have at least some auto-focus sensors that are more sensitive with 2.8 lenses than with 4.0 lenses. This is a real benefit that is worth at least considering, even if one never shoots at f/2.8.

    Thus is a good point, however also keep in mind that the less glass, the snappier the AF motor can usually be. The f/4 constant lenses seem to be amazingly zippy as long as they have enough light to function. And again, considering that many of the newest bodies have multiple points that can focus with f/4 or even f/5.6 light, and a center point that can go down to EV-2 or -3 even, ...usually you're good to go.
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • ecphotomanecphotoman Amateur photographer Posts: 109Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 8, 2014
    IS is very important for telephoto work and for weddings even more. You have a lot of fast moving action and have to keep your shutter open often. That extra 2/3 of a stop that IS provides is crucial. I can't afford that kind of glass so I've rented as needed. I've also owned the sigma 50-200mm F4 OS, its a decent and dirt cheap piece of glass to have.

    Sent from my MB886 using Tapatalk
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 9, 2014
    As far as AF: at 16, with my first, non-digital, non-AF camera (a Pentax ME Super), I focused manually quite nicely. Beautiful bright screen. Better vision than I have now (although I was shortsighted then, it got much worse in my 20s). I actually upgraded to my first (film) EOS camera BECAUSE of autofocus - it was the feature that I knew would make the biggest difference to me.

    Now? No matter how crappy AF may be - and it sometimes is - it is ALWAYS better than what I can do manually. Even on a 5dII, not known for the best AF. Between no split-circle screen and my reduced eyesight.... no way. So, it's not always about "latest and greatest" - sometimes it' just about using the tool that works best for you and your needs :) thumb.gif

    Alll that said, I never would have given up my 70-200 f4 if I hadn't had specific needs for the 2.8 (which I do). I miss that lens - light, sharp and pretty close to perfect thumb.gif
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 9, 2014
    Glort posted:

    I'm a dinosaur and more worried about profit and keeping clients happy rather than having to have the most expensive/ impressive lens to brag about.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Maybe I'm just grumpy this morning but this statement seems to say it all for you, but there other valid philosophies.

    While your focus seems to be on high volume, print on site, good enough quality, and above all else profit, not everyone is following in your foot steps, or interested in your business model.

    I definitely read and evaluate your comments with regard to your event photography, gear, and workflow, But when it comes to quality....well who knows......you can see examples of my photography and are free to trash it all you like, yet I can't see any of your photography?

    Many here are striving to produce the best quality possible. That can mean looking at the newest technology available, and determining how that will work for them, and if it will fit into their budget.

    Not everyone has new gear to simply brag about.

    If someone has the means and inclination to buy all the newest wiz bangs, well God bless him or her.

    Like divanum my eye sight isn't good enough to use manual focus on event type photography, hence it does make sense for me to obtain a camera with the best auto focus I can afford.

    Fast glass is ether an absolute necessity, or a nice thing to have for low light work. You want to shoot at ISO 6400 at f4 and a shutter speed of 1/15, go for it. I also find IS to be a fantastic aid in obtaining the crispest images.

    You want to shoot a creative image with a shallow DOF, without fast glass? Good luck.

    There is no one way to do anything.

    Sam
  • karloznzkarloznz Major grins Posts: 126Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 11, 2014
    I have the same issue - Unless my financial sitation chnages I will be going for the - Sigma 70-200 2.8 OS
    Carl Lea Wedding and event photographer - Wellington - Web Site
  • BlurmoreBlurmore Goofy Grin Posts: 992Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 12, 2014
    I used that lens for years before I got the IS version. I'm not a fan of the 2.8 because of the weight, the price, is what it is. There is a significant difference in the actual lens elements used in the non-is and IS version, differences that I haven't noticed much in sharpness, but a lot in aberrations and fringing. The OG 70-200 f4 L was released in 1999, the infancy of digital photography, it wasn't designed for fussy CMOS censors, that being said it is very sharp and as sharp wide open as stopped down. I really like this lens for its balance and ease to handhold, I routinely used it at 1/60th at 200mm using a monopod or bracing support, it is just very easy to hand hold, it feels GOOD to hand hold. For around 500 dollars used it is a sound investment, even if you later upgrade to a IS or 2.8 or 2.8 IS.
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Posts: 21,308Administrators moderator
    edited April 16, 2014
    Sam wrote: »
    Maybe I'm just grumpy this morning but this statement seems to say it all for you, but there other valid philosophies.

    While your focus seems to be on high volume, print on site, good enough quality, and above all else profit, not everyone is following in your foot steps, or interested in your business model.

    I definitely read and evaluate your comments with regard to your event photography, gear, and workflow, But when it comes to quality....well who knows......you can see examples of my photography and are free to trash it all you like, yet I can't see any of your photography?

    Many here are striving to produce the best quality possible. That can mean looking at the newest technology available, and determining how that will work for them, and if it will fit into their budget.

    Not everyone has new gear to simply brag about.

    If someone has the means and inclination to buy all the newest wiz bangs, well God bless him or her.

    Like divanum my eye sight isn't good enough to use manual focus on event type photography, hence it does make sense for me to obtain a camera with the best auto focus I can afford.

    Fast glass is ether an absolute necessity, or a nice thing to have for low light work. You want to shoot at ISO 6400 at f4 and a shutter speed of 1/15, go for it. I also find IS to be a fantastic aid in obtaining the crispest images.

    You want to shoot a creative image with a shallow DOF, without fast glass? Good luck.

    There is no one way to do anything.

    Sam

    I think Sam brings up some important points. Especially when it comes to quality and consistency. That's what your customers expect from a pro level shooter.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,086Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 17, 2014
    The 70-200mm range is very important for what I shoot, which includes more than weddings, and I have 4 - zoom lenses in this range, including both the Canon EF 70-200mm, f2.8L (non-IS) and the Canon EF 70-200mm, f4L IS.

    For weddings, I used to take the f2.8 version just because it was more versatile overall. The extra stop often meant that I could use that lens for available light shots during the ceremony, as well as candids and portraits afterwards. The extra DOF control, versus the f4 version, and the high-precision activation of the center AF point were the deciding factors, as well as faster AF in lower light.

    Now, more often I take the Canon EF 135mm, f2L instead. It gives me better DOF control, faster shutter speeds (when I can use the larger aperture) and it's not as heavy overall. The similar-to Gaussian optics just melt the background away too. On a crop APS-C body, the 135mm FOV is similar to 200mm on a FF body.

    P.S. I see Matthew already made a similar recommendation for the Canon 135mm, f2L. thumb.gif
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Posts: 21,308Administrators moderator
    edited April 17, 2014
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    Now, more often I take the Canon EF 135mm, f2L instead. It gives me better DOF control, faster shutter speeds (when I can use the larger aperture) and it's not as heavy overall. The similar-to Gaussian optics just melt the background away too. On a crop APS-C body, the 135mm FOV is similar to 200mm on a FF body.

    P.S. I see Matthew already made a similar recommendation for the Canon 135mm, f2L. thumb.gif

    Both the 135 and 200 are very nice lenses and would be an excellent choice.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited April 18, 2014
    Sam wrote: »
    Glort posted:

    I'm a dinosaur and more worried about profit and keeping clients happy rather than having to have the most expensive/ impressive lens to brag about.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Maybe I'm just grumpy this morning but this statement seems to say it all for you, but there other valid philosophies.

    While your focus seems to be on high volume, print on site, good enough quality, and above all else profit, not everyone is following in your foot steps, or interested in your business model.

    I definitely read and evaluate your comments with regard to your event photography, gear, and workflow, But when it comes to quality....well who knows......you can see examples of my photography and are free to trash it all you like, yet I can't see any of your photography?

    Many here are striving to produce the best quality possible. That can mean looking at the newest technology available, and determining how that will work for them, and if it will fit into their budget.

    Not everyone has new gear to simply brag about.

    If someone has the means and inclination to buy all the newest wiz bangs, well God bless him or her.

    Like divanum my eye sight isn't good enough to use manual focus on event type photography, hence it does make sense for me to obtain a camera with the best auto focus I can afford.

    Fast glass is ether an absolute necessity, or a nice thing to have for low light work. You want to shoot at ISO 6400 at f4 and a shutter speed of 1/15, go for it. I also find IS to be a fantastic aid in obtaining the crispest images.

    You want to shoot a creative image with a shallow DOF, without fast glass? Good luck.

    There is no one way to do anything.

    Sam

    Sam, I respectfully believe you have completely misread Glort's post, and you were out of line with that personal attack about the quality of his work. Why was that even relevant to this discussion? I'll allow this one since you caveat at the very beginning "maybe I'm just grumpy this morning"... But for the record, it sure seemed to me like we were having a level-headed discussion with very valuable input from both ends of the advice-giving spectrum.

    You're arguing that there is no one way to do anything, and believe me I know that is very very true. You say that sometimes an f/2.8 lens is a very, very good thing to have, and that's a very valid recommendation to anyone who is getting into weddings. In fact I make that recommendation all the time.

    So that's why I was surprised and happy to find at least one other person who didn't immediately recommend the biggest and best (and most expensive) lens without hesitation, like 90% of wedding photographers seem to do these days. Again, you say that there is no one way to do anything, so why can't Glort and I discuss OUR *one* way, along with everybody else's ways?

    The bottom line is that we're talking about ONE stop of light here, but a thousand dollars or so in higher costs, plus something like a pound or more of extra weight? And yet every single generation of camera body that comes out seems to have at least one stop or more of ISO improvement. Where are all those new stops of low-light capability going? That is my question. How come with every generation of camera that has come out, so few photographers have recognized the slightly reduced necessity for $2,400 lenses in order to get a job done?

    That was my pondering, and I'm happy to hear that at least some other photographers out there agree with me. Nobody said anything in this discussion about the quality of our work, or how profits are more important than quality. All we're saying is that you can get the job done without having to rack up a credit card for the f/2.8 mk2 version of a lens, or pulling your shoulder, or whatever.

    I think that is a fair enough statement.

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited April 18, 2014
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    The 70-200mm range is very important for what I shoot, which includes more than weddings, and I have 4 - zoom lenses in this range, including both the Canon EF 70-200mm, f2.8L (non-IS) and the Canon EF 70-200mm, f4L IS.

    For weddings, I used to take the f2.8 version just because it was more versatile overall. The extra stop often meant that I could use that lens for available light shots during the ceremony, as well as candids and portraits afterwards. The extra DOF control, versus the f4 version, and the high-precision activation of the center AF point were the deciding factors, as well as faster AF in lower light.

    Now, more often I take the Canon EF 135mm, f2L instead. It gives me better DOF control, faster shutter speeds (when I can use the larger aperture) and it's not as heavy overall. The similar-to Gaussian optics just melt the background away too. On a crop APS-C body, the 135mm FOV is similar to 200mm on a FF body.

    P.S. I see Matthew already made a similar recommendation for the Canon 135mm, f2L. thumb.gif
    Yes, I've long been a fan of the 135 f/2 + 70-200 f/4 kit. In my opinion it is much more versatile than a single 70-200 2.8, with our without IS, and it doesn't break your shoulders to shoot with either of those lenses. (Of course I do understand that the combined weight and price of the 135 and 70-200 f/4 is probably up there with the price and weight of a 70-200 2.8 IS mk2, lol, and so that's something to deal with on a personal basis. The bottom line, though, is that I would rather buy either one of those lenses sooner, keep the extra $1,000 in my pocket, and save up for the other one later.

    For example if you're more of a portrait photographer, get the 135 f/2 now and save up for the 70-200 f/4 (or 200 2.8, or whatever) to buy later. Or, oppositley, if you're more of a landscape photographer (like myself) and weddings are just your day job, then get the 70-200 f/4 first, and save up for a 135 or 105 of 85 prime later.

    This, in my opinion, is a great decision for any aspiring wedding shooter to make. Obviously it's not the ONLY good option, but it's my favorite option at least...

    For the record, I personally did something similar on the Nikon side of things: Since Nikon only recently developed a 70-200 f/4, I didn't have that as an option, so I opted to stick with my Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 DC on my crop sensor camera, even after I added a full-frame camera to my arsenal. This allowed me to save money and weight for many years before saving up for the Nikon 70-200 2.8, which I still barely only use when I absolutely must. Now, I'm waiting for Nikon to develop a new 135mm f/2, and if they don't do so by the end of this season I'll probably just buy either their current 135, or the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 OS Macro, another one of my favorite lenses in this range. I think that with the Sigma 150 macro and the 50-150 2.8 on a crop sensor, I could certainly sell off my 70-200 2.8 VR and never miss it.

    But, to each their own!

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited April 18, 2014
    Glort wrote: »
    ....
    I think the one thing most realistic shooters would agree on is the F4 is a great lens that represents outstanding value for money when compared to the 2.8 IS. It will also handle the majority of jobs the 2.8 would, if not all. I also think that oneupmanship is a big factor in a lot of people having the 2.8 over the F4.
    Glort, while admittedly this does sound a little anti-elitist to say, I totally understand and can relate, having been around the industry of weddings for at least a little while. For some reason or another, wedding photographers in particular are very much into status symbols. Forget the 70-200 f/2.8's, I see some wedding shooters lugging around the 200 f/2 just because it sets them apart from their competition! IMO this is borderline crazy, but maybe I'm just jealous of their success. ;-)

    This is why I'm glad to see that we have the full spectrum of recommendations in this community. Obviously I understand that it's still a highly valid recommendation to encourage someone who wants to be professional to at least be able to afford the best. If you constantly shoot in nearly pitch black situations and need a zoom, then the 70-200 2.8 IS mk2 is a very valuable tool, and especially worth it if you don't mind the weight and aren't on a serious budget.

    Glort wrote: »
    ....For someone starting out or on a budget, You certainly wouldn't be making a mistake to buy the F4 even if you made money with it to finance the acquisition of the 2.8.

    This has also been a mantra of mine for many years now. Buy whatever you can afford TODAY, preferably without going into debt, and then use that tool to make money. That's what it comes down to. I paid my bills with a crop-sensor camera and a Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 for quite a few years before I bought a 70-200 OR a full-frame camera body, and I did just fine. Heck, I did some of my best work, and that setup is still responsible for 75% or more of my portfolio today!

    Does that make it the best choice? Not necessarily. But I did my job well, I made my clients happy, and I paid my bills and saved up until I could afford better gear.

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 18, 2014
    Sam, I respectfully believe you have completely misread Glort's post, and you were out of line with that personal attack about the quality of his work. Why was that even relevant to this discussion? I'll allow this one since you caveat at the very beginning "maybe I'm just grumpy this morning"... But for the record, it sure seemed to me like we were having a level-headed discussion with very valuable input from both ends of the advice-giving spectrum.

    You're arguing that there is no one way to do anything, and believe me I know that is very very true. You say that sometimes an f/2.8 lens is a very, very good thing to have, and that's a very valid recommendation to anyone who is getting into weddings. In fact I make that recommendation all the time.

    So that's why I was surprised and happy to find at least one other person who didn't immediately recommend the biggest and best (and most expensive) lens without hesitation, like 90% of wedding photographers seem to do these days. Again, you say that there is no one way to do anything, so why can't Glort and I discuss OUR *one* way, along with everybody else's ways?

    The bottom line is that we're talking about ONE stop of light here, but a thousand dollars or so in higher costs, plus something like a pound or more of extra weight? And yet every single generation of camera body that comes out seems to have at least one stop or more of ISO improvement. Where are all those new stops of low-light capability going? That is my question. How come with every generation of camera that has come out, so few photographers have recognized the slightly reduced necessity for $2,400 lenses in order to get a job done?

    That was my pondering, and I'm happy to hear that at least some other photographers out there agree with me. Nobody said anything in this discussion about the quality of our work, or how profits are more important than quality. All we're saying is that you can get the job done without having to rack up a credit card for the f/2.8 mk2 version of a lens, or pulling your shoulder, or whatever.

    I think that is a fair enough statement.

    =Matt=
    Matt,

    I am gobsmacked.What do you mean "you will allow it"? What are you allowing?????? Have you been elevated to deity status?

    Glort is no drongo, if he had an issue with my comments he can respond here or PM me. He ain't a shy bloke nether.:D

    Now that I have that out of the way.

    I definitely pay attention to Glort's posts, as I do yours. Yours especially for weddings and events. Glort's, when dealing with event photography and how to make money at it.

    I re-read his post and my response. I don't see anything out of line, rude, etc. I did not make any personal attack on his quality. I have never seen his quality. The comment of good enough was taken from Glort in a previous post. I am repeating what he said is part of his business model.

    Glort by his own admission isn't one to mince words.

    Glort was expressing his opinion of others motives who desire or do actually acquire exy gear in what I perceived to be derogitory and stereotyping manner.

    Stone the crows if I have a different opinion.

    Go mull it up with a bottle of plonk.:D

    Sam
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited April 21, 2014
    Sam wrote: »
    Matt,

    I am gobsmacked.What do you mean "you will allow it"? What are you allowing????
    ......

    Simply because, I got the feeling that you were randomly bringing into question the quality of someone's work, as well as their business practices. Maybe I was wrong, but it seemed like you were using a polite "there is more than one way to do this" to top off a more belittling opinion of the way other folks (including Glort and I for example) prefer to approach both gear buying decisions, and business in general. I'm sure you can understand how that might seem like a subtle insult, or at least a dismissal.

    Like I said I understand and agree with everything else you've said. In fact I frequently recommend that aspiring wedding shooters consider the f/2.8 versions of lenses, and I often keep my "meh, I can get by with f/4" personal opinion to myself because I feel like others will look down on this type of advice in the wedding industry, which is lamentable in my opinion... I was happy to see that Glort felt similarly to my own disdain for such an absolute, industry-wide recommendation, but I don't think either of us were intending to imply that other opinions or advice weren't equally valuable.

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 22, 2014
    I'm chiming back in on this for a minute, just to share my own experience in a little more detail as I think it's relevant.

    I FOUGHT FOUGHT FOUGHT against all of the 70-200s for all the reasons mentioned. Heavy, expensive, hate the obnoxious "looky me" white coating etc etc - I had a 135L which suited most of my needs and stuck with it and footzooming for quite some time. However, I then bought the f4 (nonIS) zoom for a specific shoot where I knew I'd need it, intending to sell it right away, but I liked it so much that I decided to keep it. LOVED it. Light, sharp and inexpensive.

    Roll on about a year. I rented the 70-200 2.8II for a week of shooting. It was even heavier than I had expected but the Mk II of that lens is so insanely sharp and accurate (and the IS so effective) that my keeper rate for the three shoots I did with it during the rental period was well over double anything I had ever had before.

    I had no intention of buying it - although I reckoned I would rent it from time to time as needed - but was made an offer by an acquaintance to buy theirs at a stupidly attractive price. It would have been crazy not to follow through in the circumstances, so I did. To do so, I had to sell the f4 (which I still regret), but the $ were needed to fund the purchase. Ah well....

    I still hate the weight of the 2.8is. I hate that my arms and hands feel like they've been folded, spindled and mutilated after every shoot. I hate that it's white and large. I hate that I have to worry about it being stolen (yes I'm insured). But the IMAGES it gets me are *consistently* (that's the magic word) superior to any other lens I have. The extra stop + IS has been immensely helpful for me in many of the circumstances I shoot; I wouldn't want to give up either. It stays on my 5dII 95% of the time; I do most of my headshot work with it, even in a 9x15 indoor space. I use it more than I ever have the 135L or the Sigma 35mm, both WONDERFUL lenses which I really like. But even those just aren't as consistently and accurately reliable as that damn zoom - I can rely on it 100%, and any issues are user error, rather than my gear letting me down in any way.

    My point here, is that not everybody carries that lens to look cool or because of gearlust or to have the "greatest and best" or because they "can't" manage without the extra stop (I can - it's just a bit limiting). I use The Anvil because it is so insanely reliable and gets me the shots I need. ~shrug~
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,620Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 22, 2014
    divamum wrote: »
    ... hate the obnoxious "looky me" white coating etc etc - ....I hate that it's white and large.

    You can imagine how I feel like with a 500, then :)

    My white L gear is covered with something or other to de-white and 'gunk' appearance.
    Usually a combination of rubber bands/ strips made from inner tube rubber and / or self-adhesive material (called fablon in uk)

    The rubber also helps to protect if resting gear on a wall or similar.

    pp
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited April 23, 2014
    Glort wrote: »
    .....
    When someone can explain to me the merit of over investing in equipment and materials to produce the best product that can be made which will mean I have to sell it at a price no one can afford, maybe I'll start printing everything on rag paper on a Lambda for event and other work.
    Think I might be waiting a while for that to happen though.
    .....
    !

    I will say this, however: If you want to reach the highest end clientele, you do have to invest a little bit into being "flashy". Extremely rich people are all about status symbols, and therefore anyone who wishes to be extremely rich also seems to be the same way. I've been to many weddings where the bride and groom exchanged Prada bags as gifts, or Louis Vuitton bags, or Patek Philippe watches, ...even though they were clearly "only" upper-middle class.

    So to some extent, I can understand why celebrity wedding photographers show up wearing their Armani suit and toting a 200mm f/2.0 during the ceremony. There is an element of status to that highest upper echelon of wedding photographer.

    Therefore, oppositely, I will say that some of us who just don't get on board with that mindset may struggle at times, or "bump into the ceiling" of what clientele we can attract and satisfy. I know this goes without saying and nobody would disagree, but for example we need to dress sharp, our camera bag needs to NOT be a ragged-y beat-up old case, and our car, unfortunately, can not be an old klunker from the 80's.

    Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, and I'm sure that after my above comment many others will scoff at me and say that they've done plenty of high-paying gigs where the clients didn't care at all what car you showed up in, etc. etc. That's certainly believable. However there is still a fine line SOMEWHERE, there is still a ceiling. I've showed up to extravagant, million-dollar weddings in a $1,000 car before. But if I were to be shooting such events every weekend for the rest of my career, you'd better believe that I'll be stepping it up asap! Maybe not a gold-plated bentley, but at least something that "shows" my success, because that's what some clients want to see.

    Personally, I think I'll still keep showing up toting my random hodge-podge of bodies and lenses, though. ;-)

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited April 23, 2014
    Glort wrote: »
    ....
    No where other than in photography do I see this " You have to have the very best and most expensive even though there is every chance you may never need it's capabilities and features". Anywhere else in business it's a matter of finding what will do the job to the standard required with the best reliability and features at the most affordable price. Overcapitalizing or not keeping production cost under control to maximize profit is a BIG mistake. I'll have to ask my accountant why I'm going wrong with that same philosophy? headscratch.gif
    .......
    I think another aspect of it is this:

    Wedding photography is a pretty affordable business to run. Your startup costs are almost nil, especially if someone already is a hobbyist with a decent bag of gear. Compare that to someone who wants to start their own business as an electrician or contractor, let alone a doctor or laywer. Those folks have to take out quarter-million dollar loans in order to get their business up and running!

    And yet here our industry is, complaining (sometimes) about a $1,000 difference between lenses that we just can't afford. Well, guess what? We still have it VERY EASY, compared to 99% of other self-employed careers, especially any that can prove as lucrative as weddings can.

    So, Glort, I'm just playing devil's advocate here of course. But the way I see it, it's almost OK for this industry to generally invest in the absolute best equipment money can buy, within reason. (I don't think too many wedding photographers would buy the $4,000 Zeiss Otus, not even if it had autofocus Laughing.gif.)

    To be honest, the main reason why I personally recommend that other wedding photographers consider alternatives to the likes of the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS mk2 was not so much the $1,000 difference between other options, it was actually the weight and impracticality of the lens' real-world use. I strongly dislike it, and I find that I can get the job done with "lesser" lenses. Like I said, even though it would cost about the same as a 70-200 2.8 IS mk2, I'd rather have a pair: the 70-200 f/4 IS, and then a 135 f/2, or the Sigma 150 2.8 OS Macro. Heck, I might even spend more money in the long run, if you count an 85 too. But I win when it comes to the comfort of my shoulder. I've only been shooting for 10 years, but my left shoulder is already really screwed up from hoisting a 70-200 2.8 every weekend. I will probably need some serious work in the next ~10. So whenever I can, I leave my 70-200 2.8 in the bag and I grab my 85 or something. :-)

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 23, 2014
    I'm so baffled by the responses above I'm not quite sure if I'm "implicated" or not (is mine the "alternative business model"?! Nothing I wrote was intended to imply that, but I'm entirely unclear if the responses were to me, Sam, or just in general ... lol) The point I was making, in case it wasn't clear, was that I wound up with the 2.8 not because I thought it was cool/fashionable/impressive/whatever, but because I get better pictures with it, and consistently. It's the right tool for *me* and the the job *I* do. I would never have bought it at full price (yet it has paid for itself several times over at the price I did pay for it).

    And I would agree that if one is going for the "luxury" market, one is delivering not only photographs, but all the trimmings. That's why people are paying the bigger bux. In that discussion thread on the wedding business model earlier in the year, I think it was Matt who pointed out that up to a certain price point you're simply selling photographic skill; above a certain price point, you're selling the bedside manner/customer service/peresentation.... with surprisingly similar photographs.
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