1. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

  2. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Lens

In these tele lens which one is suitable for wedding photography? How do these two differ?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If you can afford it, go for the first one! 70-200L f2.8 MK II, in my opinion, is perfect in almost every single aspect. It's only too expensive. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pouya
    Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 9:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you looked at reviews for either? The differences are pretty well documented: the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/… \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 14:38

2 Answers 2


Lens 1. has image stabilisation and was released in 2010. Lens 2 has no IS and is considerably older, dating from 1995.

The one with image stabilisation is better as it will enable you to shoot longer shutter speeds when necessary in dim lighting conditions. It is also a more modern design with sharper optics.

If you can't afford the IS version you could get by with the non IS by attaching a monopod to the tripod collar, but you'll lose mobility with this approach.

In wedding ceremonies, people often move quite slowly, so you may get away with 1/60 or even 1/30 for some shots. The IS will let you do this hand-held; without IS its unlikely you'll be able to hold a 200mm still enough to avoid blurring much less than about 1/150 (faster on APS-C cameras). So that would let you put the ISO/aperture down two extra stops for the slow/stationary moments. At the 70mm end there's not much difference.

When people are dancing, talking, etc you'll be above 1/100 anyway, so not a huge difference.

For a handful of shots (flowers/rings — still life) IS will maybe even get you down to 1/15, so 3-stops of extra range on ISO/aperture if you want it. But the tripod/monopod would probably not be a big hassle in those shots anyway.


Wedding photography can be done in more than one way. The way that I prefer to do it includes me moving around throughout the ceremony to capture both the wedding party on the alter or ceremony front, as well as capturing the reactions and faces of guests.

I could bring a tripod and capture the wedding party using a tripod, and a 70-200mm f/4 or f/2.8 would do just fine for this. If I want to go mobile capture many different angles of the wedding party, I would have to move my tripod around and in my opinion cause quite a bit of unnecessary commotion.

The second option would be to skip the tripod, and move around to get closer to the action, be less distracting(less equipment), and get shots that aren't possible with a tripod. This also allows me to get better shots of the guests and their reactions. Shooting like this without a tripod, even though most guests and members of the wedding party are quite still - benefits a great deal with Image Stabilization.

Once you become proficient at weddings, you will learn the limits of your equipment in a typical low light church setting. IS might not be necessary with a 5D MkII and f/2.8. You still might be able to capture great shots at 1/200th with a reasonable ISO. But if you are shooting lesser equipment, many not so. My point is that IS becomes even more useful if you are really pushing the limits of your camera body. Low light churches are typically extremely difficult to capture moving subjects. No matter the IS, this will be difficult, that is why f/2.8 and great low light high ISO performance is necessary.

To directly answer your question - which is better? This type of photography is very demanding and requires nearly the best consumer grade glass available, so the lens with IS is very desirable if the budget is possible for you.


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