f2.8 vs f4 with today's high ISO cameras?

Wolverinepwnes

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you can never go wrong with an F/2.8!!! never!
 

robertwsimpson

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hey, what do I know, I mean I'm only talking about REAL data. I guess I should talk about other people instead of show actual information.
 

battletone

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hey, what do I know, I mean I'm only talking about REAL data. I guess I should talk about other people instead of show actual information.
Well, maybe so, but a lot of professionals use the 2.8 with great success. Numbers and specifications are all great, but if something requires charts with perfectly straight lines and other test equipment to see a ever so slight difference, then as far as I am concerned, there is no difference.
As inTempus said, it has better AF. If that is so, then I think the image quality issue is almost moot compared to cost/weight/speed/AF.
 

robertwsimpson

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well, you can't deny that the f/4 is sharper. That's all I'm saying. Maybe it's not enough to notice, maybe it is. it's probably not enough of a difference to make it anything more than personal preference, but hey, just about everything we buy is based on personal preference, so why not a camera lens?
 

inTempus

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hey, what do I know, I mean I'm only talking about REAL data. I guess I should talk about other people instead of show actual information.
Interesting site, I've looked at it many times.

The sample you've posted shows very little difference between them, IMHO. If I were taking pictures of closely spaced straight lines for a living, I would certainly want the f/4 lens. :)

Given the marginal differences (which could be differences between bodies not just designs) I don't think I would trade my f/2.8 for an f/4. My f/2.8 lens produces amazingly sharp images. That coupled with its superior AF capabilities (as I often shoot in low light), I'll keep the f/2.8 version. Heck, it's so sharp that if Canon introduces a replacement I'm going to be very reluctant to sell my copy to buy the new version.
 

Derrel

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The difference in resolving power in the example Robert linked us to is very,very slight--the resolution is in fact not the biggest difference; what the samples show is that the 70-200 f/4 is demonstrating only very marginally higher resolution, but significantly higher *contrast* than the 2.8 lens. Regardless, the 70-200 f/4 L-IS is regarded as an excellent lens. it's not like it is a second-tier, slower consumer zoom--it's a lightweight pro lens, designed for size and mobility. And, yeah....I grew up with Kodachrome 64 and Tri-X 400--today we have ISO 1600 that looks better than Tri-X at 800...and we get full-color. Kodachrome 200, introduced around 1987,looked like crap compared to an EOS 5D at ISO 800. So,yeah, f/stop has lost *some* value over the years, in one sense. But in another, it still counts.

The old expression, "a rising tide lifts all boats," might apply; with better High-ISO cameras, the better cameras get improved picture making capabilities as do the lesser-spec'd cameras. The things I liked about about the 70-200 f/4 L that I borrowed, a pre-IS model with the 67mm filter size, were how small and light is seemed compared to a bigger lens like a 70-200 2.8, Nikon 100-400, or Sigma 100-300mm f/4 HSM. The smaller Canon just felt "light and small", and I think it might draw a bit less attention on the street than those bigger lenses.

ONly you can decide for yourself if the size,weight, price, and bulk of the 70-200 in f/2.8 is worth it com pared with the f/4 version; with shorter focal length lenses, likely to be used indoors, I think the faster f/2.8 lenses offer MUCH better focusing, due to both improved light gathering, more out of focus when OOF for the phase detection system, and the opportunity to actually use the lens set to f/2.8 or f/3.2 or so, indoors or outdoors in low light. With a short lens, you can shoot at f/2.8 at 1/8 second and not get too much camera motion or subject motion, so on a 16-35 f/2.8 versus say the 17-40 f/4-L, the wider aperture of the 16-35 (or 24-70) is actually more "usable" in the real world, whereas at say 135mm, f/4 at 1/60 second is a recipe for subject motion blur,and you'll need to use flash. At least this is the way I look at it.

Recently, I went to a college football game and carried my 5D with 24-105 f/4-L and even at ISO 1250 indoors, I was unable to stop motion blur of people moving...I wish I would have carried a faster-aperture lens. At night, after the game, the shots I got outside the stadium could have really benefitted from a fast-aperture lens like an f/1.8, again, even at ISO 1250...
 

Dao

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ONly you can decide for yourself if the size,weight, price, and bulk of the 70-200 in f/2.8 is worth it com pared with the f/4 version

I agree with you Derrel. I believe OP should already know how good each lens is. And know all the facts that people present here before hand. But really, I do not think we can give you advice on which one to get since it is really a personal choice. :)

Either case, it is a great for what it gear for. Good luck.
 

wescobts

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I am fortunate enough to have the Nikon 70-200mm VR, and it's a great lens. But I find myself leaving it home sometimes when I don't feel like lugging it around, and that is a shame. I have been considering the 180mm 2.8 prime as an alternative because of the weight and size. Tough choice
 

itznfb

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I've borrowed a 180 f/2.8 as an alternative while hiking. It's a great alternative. Amazing prime lens.
 

lamergod

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Sure,you can use a f4 lens and pump the iso to 100,000ISO,the sharpness will lose to a f2 8 lens when stopped down to f4

Another thing is noise,well you could probably say that i'm alright with noise,another about high ISO is colour!The higher the ISO the less colour range you lose
 

camz

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That's a tough one Pierre. In addition to what has been mentioned I think if you are more of a natural light shooter I'd go with the 2.8(which I did). If you were a strobe or flash photographer I'd go with the f4 b/c even with the current rebate there's more then a $500 dollar difference which can go towards a good flash and a set of triggers which should even out the price between the two.

Also with the F4 if forced to shoot at a high ISO by one stop, there's also Noise Reduction software to help you along the way if the $500 difference does not justify the cost of an extra stop of light. Just a thought..
 

FrankLamont

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Solid low-noise performance comes from noise reduction, which after a while starts to soften your images.

That aside, I'd pick fast lenses until it gets to about f/1.8, which is the limit... after that, the DOF is just too thin, and a bit of shifting can mean slight out of focus.
 

iflynething

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If you can afford 2.8 glass, there is NO reason not to get it.

High ISO is there if you NEED it not just an excuse to get a "slower" lens

~Michael~
 

Garbz

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Hey man... Keeping in mind that the F2.8 lenses tend to be better optical quality as well, the actual light capabilities of the lenses aren't the only factor. Just something to consider.

Remember we are talking about an f4 L and an f2.8 L lens - both are very sharp and the "f4 is sharper than the f2.8" is not that big a difference. Infact I would argue that in most cases outside of ideal studio controled shoots you could not see much of a working difference between the two lenses (of course you would see a difference were you trying to shoot at f2.8 ;) )

Actually you can see a difference but it's not what you may expect. Nearly all lenses perform worst wide open so normally I'd side with manaheim in that the f/2.8 would be sharper than the f/4 when used at f/4.

However this is not the case. The f/4 is supremely sharper in all tests I have seen at every aperture. It's a beast of a lens. So much so that the results would be field relevant, especially at 200mm shot at f/4!
 

c.cloudwalker

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Salut Pierre

I'm looking at buying the same focal range you are but I'm not a fan of zooms. Back in the film days they were nowhere near the quality of primes. Today, they seem to have gotten much better but from what I read they are not perfect. And, the in-between focal lengths are just a few steps. Walking is the cheap man's zoom :D

From what I read, with a 70-200 your actual usable range would be something like 80-190. I have not actually checked this, just throwing a number to explain my reasoning. Also, with the more complex build of zooms, to have a fast one you have to 1/ pay quite a bit more and 2/ add on the weight.

So this is what I have decided to buy for myself.

EF 85 f1.8 Everything I've read about this lens makes it seem very good and friends who own it are quite happy with it. And, it's only 425g.

Then, the EF200 f2.8. Same thing with what I've read and been told. Very good lens. But it is not IS and 765g so that had me worried. Most people I have talked to however tell me they don't have a problem handholding it. Most of them did add that they wouldn't go to any heavier lens without the IS.

So this is what I'm looking at: faster than the fastest zoom you're thinking about and lighter for a little more than $500 savings. If you were to go with the f4, it is about the same price as my combo but slower. And all I have to do to save that money and have, I think, better lenses is to walk a bit more than you would with a zoom.

Not having a zoom does not bother me since I have never had one and that didn't keep me from getting the shots. Even when doing weddings which, as I told someone recently, I shot with one lens and a doubler.

Just something to think about.
 

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