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Old 11-29-2014, 07:38 PM   #1
disneymath
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Question Lens Advice for Canon 70D

I have a Canon 70D with Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II and EFS 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM lenses. While I like both lenses, each has its limitations when shooting distant subjects in poorly lit places.

I’m thinking about buying a Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM ($2200 CAD) or Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD ($1500 CAD) for these types of situations. The general online advice seems to be “if you can afford the Canon, get it; if cost is an issue, the Tamron is a good choice”. I can afford the Canon, but either lens will cost more than I spent for the camera body and kit lens combined – which is new territory.

Have I overlooked any options that might work better at indoor hockey games / amateur theatre productions? The Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM ($400 CAD) and EF 100mm F2 USM ($550 CAD) seem like much less costly possibilities, with the advantage of F1.8 or 2 and the disadvantage of being non-zoom. I know both 70-200s are weather sealed and image stabilized and thus more versatile.

I’ve used Canon DSLRs for over 10 years, but would still classify myself as an “intermediate to advanced amateur” – my vision limits my ability to adjust camera settings manually or super quickly. That said, I’ve had some success with “Creative Auto” and AV mode since getting the 70D.

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:40 PM   #2
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If it's the cost that's stopping you, and admittedly it's a high cost if you're not using that lens to make money, you might consider a used 70-200 f/2.8 (the first version). It's about half the cost of the II from KEH.com and IMO has better IQ than the third party options. The Canon 70-200 f/4 is also an outstanding lens (and what I've got) but it might fall short on the 70D when it comes to shooting hockey, depending on how picky you are about noise.
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneymath View Post
I have a Canon 70D with Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II and EFS 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM lenses. While I like both lenses, each has its limitations when shooting distant subjects in poorly lit places.

I’m thinking about buying a Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM ($2200 CAD) or Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD ($1500 CAD) for these types of situations. The general online advice seems to be “if you can afford the Canon, get it; if cost is an issue, the Tamron is a good choice”. I can afford the Canon, but either lens will cost more than I spent for the camera body and kit lens combined – which is new territory.

Have I overlooked any options that might work better at indoor hockey games / amateur theatre productions? The Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM ($400 CAD) and EF 100mm F2 USM ($550 CAD) seem like much less costly possibilities, with the advantage of F1.8 or 2 and the disadvantage of being non-zoom. I know both 70-200s are weather sealed and image stabilized and thus more versatile.

I’ve used Canon DSLRs for over 10 years, but would still classify myself as an “intermediate to advanced amateur” – my vision limits my ability to adjust camera settings manually or super quickly. That said, I’ve had some success with “Creative Auto” and AV mode since getting the 70D.

Thanks in advance for any input.
Personally, if it was my money, I'd go for the Canon 70-200mm, it's a fantastic lens. I really don't think you'll regret the purchase, I feel it'll offer you the most flexibility. Think of the lens as an investment, it will surely be with you for more than one body, it's tough as nails and will last a long, long time.

The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II has 3 stops of compensation, so you can use slower shutter speeds than you would with even the f/2 lens. The problem with the IS is it won't help you freeze motion, it'll only reduce camera shake, and let you use lower shutter speeds on stationary objects.

I don't think 100mm is long enough for Hockey.
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Old 11-29-2014, 09:58 PM   #4
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I'm a prime guy myself. My first L lens was the 70-200 f4 lowest level one and I did love it. I have never shot with any of the other 70-200 lenses, but I know they are great and if you want a single lens that does just about everything, it is worth renting to see if you like it.

However, I think the biggest bang for the buck is the one you mentioned:

Quote:
The Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM ($400 CAD)
I love this lens for indoor sports and theater. This lens and the 200 f2.8 L Prime lens together would be less expensive than the 70-200.

Here are some I recently shot with this lens.

IMG_6616 by msf61, on Flickr

IMG_6681b by msf61, on Flickr
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneymath View Post
I have a Canon 70D with Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II and EFS 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM lenses. While I like both lenses, each has its limitations when shooting distant subjects in poorly lit places.

I’m thinking about buying a Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM ($2200 CAD) or Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD ($1500 CAD) for these types of situations. The general online advice seems to be “if you can afford the Canon, get it; if cost is an issue, the Tamron is a good choice”. I can afford the Canon, but either lens will cost more than I spent for the camera body and kit lens combined – which is new territory.

Have I overlooked any options that might work better at indoor hockey games / amateur theatre productions? The Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM ($400 CAD) and EF 100mm F2 USM ($550 CAD) seem like much less costly possibilities, with the advantage of F1.8 or 2 and the disadvantage of being non-zoom. I know both 70-200s are weather sealed and image stabilized and thus more versatile.

I’ve used Canon DSLRs for over 10 years, but would still classify myself as an “intermediate to advanced amateur” – my vision limits my ability to adjust camera settings manually or super quickly. That said, I’ve had some success with “Creative Auto” and AV mode since getting the 70D.

Thanks in advance for any input.
I agree with others, the Canon 70-200 will be better if you can handle the cost. The 85mm 1.8 is good for shooting stage productions (look at used) but too short for hockey. That's the problem with shooting indoor or night time sports, it's tough accepting that the lens will probably cost more than camera
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
If it's the cost that's stopping you, and admittedly it's a high cost if you're not using that lens to make money, you might consider a used 70-200 f/2.8 (the first version). It's about half the cost of the II from KEH.com and IMO has better IQ than the third party options. The Canon 70-200 f/4 is also an outstanding lens (and what I've got) but it might fall short on the 70D when it comes to shooting hockey, depending on how picky you are about noise.
That's exactly what I did for exactly those reasons and I couldn't be happier.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneymath View Post
’m thinking about buying a Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM ($2200 CAD) or Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD ($1500 CAD) for these types of situations. The general online advice seems to be “if you can afford the Canon, get it; if cost is an issue, the Tamron is a good choice”. I can afford the Canon, but either lens will cost more than I spent for the camera body and kit lens combined – which is new territory.

Have I overlooked any options that might work better at indoor hockey games / amateur theatre productions?
The moment I see Tamron.... I say zoom the lens out the test the autofocus in low light. On the Tamron 28-300mm I sold it so quickly when it would not auto-focus when extended at 300mm.
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Old 11-30-2014, 01:39 PM   #8
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Have you held or carried one of the 2.8 zooms? They are very heavy. For me, the weight was my jumping off point. I rented the Canon for each of my son's high school graduations, and while it was nice for that, it really was more than I thought I'd want to carry around very often.
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Old 11-30-2014, 03:51 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input everyone.

I was leaning towards the Canon 70-200 IS II and your comments only helped to confirm my choice.

Just finished placing my order online (the lens isn't available anywhere locally). Suffering a little bit of sticker shock, but considering the versatility of this lens, I think it will turn out to be a great investment.

mom2rtk ... I also shoot a high school graduation each year, so one more place to use the 70-200 that I hadn't originally thought about.

xlxo ... thanks for the comment about AF at 200mm on the Tamron, one of the negatives that came up more than once online regarded this.

Frantasmic, your shots from the 85mm USM did give me a few moments pause, especially at its price point, but it won't have the reach needed for hockey games. (If I find the 20-700 just too heavy to use for an entire school production, there's a good chance it will become the next addition to my lens collection.)
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:45 PM   #10
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For the two situations you mentioned in your first post, the 70-200 f2.8 is the lens. I don't know of a pro sports photographer that does not have one in his/her bag. Mine is almost permanently attached to one of my cameras!
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2rtk View Post
Have you held or carried one of the 2.8 zooms? They are very heavy. For me, the weight was my jumping off point. I rented the Canon for each of my son's high school graduations, and while it was nice for that, it really was more than I thought I'd want to carry around very often.
The weight was the biggest reason I went with the 70-200 f/4. But with my 6D I can get by with the higher ISO settings when shooting dance. I don't know if I'd have made the trade off with a different body. I do rent the 70-200 f/2.8 on rare occasions when I need the aperture but even the non-IS version is darn heavy for me. Especially when my RA is giving me problems.
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:29 PM   #12
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The weight was the biggest reason I went with the 70-200 f/4. But with my 6D I can get by with the higher ISO settings when shooting dance. I don't know if I'd have made the trade off with a different body. I do rent the 70-200 f/2.8 on rare occasions when I need the aperture but even the non-IS version is darn heavy for me. Especially when my RA is giving me problems.
I went with the Canon 70-200 f/4 IS. Even with IS it's remarkably light.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:54 PM   #13
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I am by no means an expert in cameras but in ready this thread I would be concern that the lenses being discussed do not give you enough low end flexibility. Using a 70mm, at the low end, will not allow you to take close up pictures without changing lenses. Would it not be better, in order to get maximum flexibility and to use only one lens to get a lens 18 -200. I am sure you will pay for this range but this would give you a one use lens while at WDW.

Does this make any sense??
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:33 PM   #14
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I am by no means an expert in cameras but in ready this thread I would be concern that the lenses being discussed do not give you enough low end flexibility. Using a 70mm, at the low end, will not allow you to take close up pictures without changing lenses. Would it not be better, in order to get maximum flexibility and to use only one lens to get a lens 18 -200. I am sure you will pay for this range but this would give you a one use lens while at WDW.

Does this make any sense??
Nope. There is a reason dSLRs have interchangeable lenses instead of a permanent 16-300. The "all in one lenses" make a lot of trade offs in the name of convenience. The lenses tend to be less sharp, with greater distortion and the key in this thread: the op was asking about a better lens for low light. A lens like a 18-200 has a slower aperture and is worse in low light.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbarker View Post
I am by no means an expert in cameras but in ready this thread I would be concern that the lenses being discussed do not give you enough low end flexibility. Using a 70mm, at the low end, will not allow you to take close up pictures without changing lenses. Would it not be better, in order to get maximum flexibility and to use only one lens to get a lens 18 -200. I am sure you will pay for this range but this would give you a one use lens while at WDW.

Does this make any sense??
a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L or f/4L will beat the pants off when it comes to IQ in comparison to one of the super zooms.
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