Canon L series or IS?

Discussion in 'The Front Room' started by Xavier, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    Having a bit of a discussion on zoom lenses at the moment, and thought I'd test the water here to see where the general opinion lies...

    We're trying to decide between two zoom lenses, namely

    28-135mm EF lens f3.5 - f5.6 with Image Stabilisation

    70-200mm EF lens f4.0 (L-Series)

    The 28-135mm costs around £475, the 70-200mm £50 more.

    The intended camera is going to be either the Canon 300D or 10D, both of which have a 1.6x factor to bring the above lenses into 35mm terms, making the 28-135mm a 45-216mm and the 70-200mm a 112-320mm.

    For general zoom work, both lenses are going to be around the same f4 apeture, so the decision seems to be solely down to IS (Image Stabilisation) vs the leap in quality of glass that the L-Series lens brings.

    I've got the IS myself, but have had no exposure to L-Series kit as yet. Having tried it with the IS both enabled and disabled I've concluded that it definately helps me take a greater number of steady, sharp shots, but with increased battery drain from the gyroscope which spins up in the lens body.

    The L-Series on the other hand should take much sharper shots in good conditions, but as to how much sharper, and whether the chip in either camera will benefit I'm not sure...


  2. Tom

    Tom FH is my second home

    Well, the first thing I noticed is that the IS lens gives you an extra 1/2 a stop, which is always nice. You've also got a bit more flexibility because its a wider lens. 216 vs 320mm is a big difference, but there is a law of diminishing returns on image size with larger lenses, I would consider the lack of light at 320mm with the L, and what you could achieve with a slightly slower film, and cropping, if you chose the IS.

    Also, will the IS facility work with moving images, or do you have to hold the camera steady and then snap?

    If you need a longer lens, could you not consider a range extender? I'm not sure if theyre common in photography, but most broadcast tv lenses have them as standard (I've used tv lenses with 1600mm of zoom :D)
  3. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    Actually, light across the range for the L series isn't a problem, it's capable of an f4 apeture all the way through :)

    With regards to the IS, its only really ever going to help hand-held shots, I've been thinking about it this morning and it seems to be a matter of how the zoom will be used. On a stable tripod the L series glass will be nigh on unbeatable, hand-held the IS will allow consistently better shots.

    Incidentally, I had a play with an L series lens with IS today, I was almost in love til I spotted the price tag... £2500!

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