70-200mm Telephoto Lens Debate

I have been debating between various versions of Canon’s apparently excellent 70-200 lenses. I have the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM and frankly don’t think I could do without Image Stabilization. After using it for a period I decided that I would likely get IS in any future lens of mine that offered it. I have also been used to some fairly fast lenses in the past few years – the 50mm 1.4 most notably though the 100mm macro is also f/2.8 throughout. So this really all comes down to the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS and the Canon EF 70-200 f/4 L IS. The f/2.8 would be nice to have again with IS. The f/4 version is almost half the price (in Canada) and about half the weight ( 760g vs 1470g). While one more stop would be great do I want to 1) pay almost twice as much for it and 2) lug around a lens thats twice as heavy? Both are reported to be fantastic lenses, and everyone who asks me what I shoot immediately suggests the f/4 would be best. I also will likely add an extender (probably the Canon Extender EF 1.4X II) at some point in the future. I will lose about 1 stop doing this – so f/2.8 again looks interesting – though on both versions of the lens the effective length (on my crop sensor 30D) would be 450mm.

I just don’t know…

JUST so this isn’t entirely boring text here is a quick panorama I did at Chilliwack Lake on the weekend. Snow is starting to show on the mountains!

8 exposures stitched, Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM @ 20mm.

mt redoubt chilliwack lake