70-200 or 50-150


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May 25, 2007
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Well I have the money for the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 and was just reading some finnal reviews when I ran across this


Now my question is do you think this would make a better portrait lens than the 70-200. Or will the 70-200 do just as well? It would seem like the 50-150 would fit portrait work a little better but then you are loosing that extra 50mm on the far end? Will the 70-200 be good for portraits or will it be to big and ackward? Any thoughts?
In terms of range only, a 50-150 is better than 70-200 for portraiture work, but thats about the only place I could see the advantage. If you ever take your camera outside, the 70-200 is the better lens. What I mean by that is... the 50mm end will let you fit more people into the frame without needing to step back, where as the 70 may force you to step back further under the same conditions. If you do not have that room, well basically you are done. Outside, those extra 50mm would be missed by me personally. On my 18-200, I spend a good majority of the time above 175mm. Indoors it is always between 18-100mm at most.

In terms of quality, well thats where you will have to do your homework and findout for yourself what kinds of consistant results experienced photographers are getting with both lenses and make that choice yourself.
Honestly, I woudn't buy either lens for portrait work, especially on a cropped sensor DSLR.

The 70-200 is an excellent lens (I have never seen the 50-150 so I can't comment, although I have no reason to disrespect it), very sharp and Sigma builds them to last...


It isn't a portrait lens.

Me, I would get a shorter zoom or primes for portrait work, and get the 70-200 for shooting telephoto stuff...

If you shoot portraits with it, you are going to be always at the 70 end, and there are very few lenses that are at their sharpest on either end of the range... usually there is a sweet spot somewhere in the middle... prolly 90-160 on that lens... but I am not sure on this particular model, having only looked through it (never snapped a frame with it).

It is a beast of a lens, big and heavy and well built. I like it, but then again I don't mind carrying around beasts (I walk around with a 50-500 BigMa all the time).
Well I will be helping a wedding photog in the area as a active learning thing and so I think the 70-200 will be the better choice since I will be shooting from the outside or back of the church as the photog is up front getting everything he normally gets. I will get the 50 and 85mm prime when I upgrade my camera body for my portrates. As long as the 70-200 will work in the mean time for portraits even if it is not the best.
Gotta agree with Sabbath here on range of the 70-200/210 zooms. However, i have a really great F4 70-210 lens and though it's long-ish on my Minolta 7D i foot-zoom a bit. The telephoto aspect isn't too bad and the IQ is well worth the ocassional inconvenience. Ya gotta know yer limitations!

Also, you're right on with a 50mm prime - get one! They're cheap, easy to carry and make low-light shots easy. I have a 50mm F1.7 and the IQ is superb. While composition and all things creative may be lacking, lens performance is always up to the task!

One of the things i learned from shooting film is no matter how great my camera body is, the LENS makes the difference in the photos. Same with digital. Pro-level camera bodies are helpful in taking the shot but LENSES make the shot. You can put pro-level glass on a entry-level body and still have excellent IQ but never the otherway around (entry-level glass on a pro-level body).


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