f/4 IS vs f/2.8

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by flait111, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. flait111

    flait111 TPF Noob!

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    I am talking about the 24-70 and 24-105 - I plan on getting one of these lenses and really would like the 105s extra telephoto reach but if that comes in a real price of image quality then Id rather get the 24-70...
    The question is how much does the IS compensate for lack of a an extra stop of the 24-70? (I never used an IS lens before so I don't know how effective it is.)
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Both lenses are said to have very good image quality, after all, they are both 'L' lenses. I have heard from some photographers who have had problems with the focus accuracy on the 24-70mm and I've heard some say that the 24-105mm isn't as sharp as it could be. Unless you are comparing them to prime L lenses, I doubt that you would be unsatisfied with either.

    Image Stabilization is a great tool and it does give you a few stops of 'hand hold-ability'. It really depends on what you are shooting though. For example, IS will not help to freeze the motion of moving subjects, only a fast shutter speed can do that...and the bigger aperture on the 24-70mm will help you get a faster shutter speed.

    So if you are shooting moving subjects in lower light, the most will recommend going for the larger aperture. If you are not shooting moving subjects but wanting extra hand hold-ability then you may be OK with a max of F4 and IS.

    Weight might also be an issue. The 24-70mm is known as 'The Brick' because it's big and heavy.
     
  3. flait111

    flait111 TPF Noob!

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    'hand hold-ability' is a must in my photography --- rarely can afford to lug arround a trypod or waste time by setting it up...
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well then IS will almost certainly be a benefit to you. However, a faster shutter speed helps with freezing subject movement and camera shake at the same time, while IS only help against camera shake.

    Another factor is the Camera and it's high ISO performance. It wasn't long ago that shooting at ISO 800 was only for emergencies...but the newest DSLR cameras are pretty clean up to ISO 3200. So with a good camera, you can gain back the shutter speed that you would loose by shooting at F4 vs F2.8.
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    If you're ona full frame or film body, the 24-105IS I think would be better for your needs, otherwise the 17-55 or 17-85IS if you're on a 1.6x body.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are a few threads regarding a comparison of the 24-70 and 24-105 L lenses. Just a sample that should help give you an idea:

    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=84510
    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=76828
    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42694

    Think of it this way....
    24-70 == fast sports car with a speciality... fast aperture.
    24-105 == SUV with versatility and utility (lighter packing, wider focal range, IS)

    I've enjoyed both but 24-105L suited my needs better. For low light, I go with primes. Either is a good choice.
     
  7. flait111

    flait111 TPF Noob!

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    I think id prefer the SUV in this case although the sports car :drool: is nice but I think the :heart:IS:heart: in the end will still win me over - I do most of my photography hand held...
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When I'm traveling, I could pretty much spend the entire day shooting the 24-105L AND a 50mm f/1.4. Inside and outside. The two match up quite well for those constantly on the run.

    On the other hand, the 24-70L is the wedding photographer's bread and butta... but a wedding photog I am not... and a wedding photographer is not there to enjoy but get paid to tot around the heavier 24-70L.



    btw.. .for cropped bodies... you should look into the 17-55 EF-S as Sw1tch mentioned.
     
  9. flait111

    flait111 TPF Noob!

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    Ive been using a cropped body for some time - learning photography basics and such --- didn't really know the difference in censors back then but knowing it now an upgrade to a full frame is certainly in my future --- I thought of the 5D a lot but recently the 5D MarkII cought my eye so ill wait out till that one is on the market... Thats why i started buying into the L range...

    Ive got the 50mm 1.4 it great - spent a lot of time deciding between it and the 1.8( someone told me to buy two 1.8 instead of the 1.4 =)
     
  10. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I don't really like 50mm lenses on cropped bodies, but on full frame or film, they're incredibly useful and have a beautiful perspective. I'm actually planning on buying the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 instead of the new nikon one. The Sigma performs like it designed to be an f/1.2 lens, but was restricted to 1.4, and the bokeh on it is so smooth it's like every picturte was painted on with a roller.


    Not to mention it's insanely sharp.
     
  11. KhronoS

    KhronoS TPF Noob!

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    f/2.8, faster focusing in low light situations.

    f/4 with IS is useless for me if i shoot at 1/30 or lower shutter speed with no motion blur, but the image came out of focus, or for missing an opportunity because my lens takes ages to focus. :)

    f/2.8 i think it's good for shooting people and f/4 IS for shooting static subjects. IS cannot stabilize the movement of people. :lol:
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Except when you have several subjects like a group photo. think DOF (lack of)

    A smaller max aperture does not equate to slower autofocus. Nor does it mean the extra stop is going to stop motion blur.

    Yes IS does not freeze movement but your generalizations are just that.


    What I'm trying to say is that the choice between f/2.8 and f/4 is not as black as white as what most people want to make it out to be. From my experience shooting both lenses, the f/4L lens is a wonderful general shooter that will meet the needs of most photographers. It is easy to carry and a wonderful focal length range.

    For lowlight shooters, the 24-70L doesn't hold a candle to a good couple primes. For starters, I do not consider the stop difference a significant one compared to the 2-3 stops you get with fast primes. For lowlight shooters that must have the ability to zoom, then it is ideal BUT it is still a compromise slotted between the f/4L and fast primes.

    In my opinion, if shooting portraits and people are you goal. You are far better off learning to leverage strobes/flash lighting than to shoot at full wide aperture and not proceed further.

    In the end, static versus moving subjects is just to simplistic.
     

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