The default f2.8 zoom answer not always be the best- or is it?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by jaomul, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When anyone asks for a recommendation here for a zoom lens and the budget will stretch to an f2.8 version of a suitable lens, the expensive (once only owned by the very few) f2.8 lens is almost always suggested. I get that on average they are of very high quality and good in low light, sharp etc. I do think though that especially for full frame camera owners now, that have ability to shoot at higher iso with less penalty than before that it may not always be the best option.

    If for example a fullframe owner wants a midrange zoom and will use it for general photography and portraits and has 1000 dollars, you can be sure some version of a (often quite large and heavy) 24-70 f2.8 will be high on the list. This is probably an excellent choice, but, would an equally excellent choice be a zoom that cost half the price, has a slightly smaller aperture, but allows the person to also purchase a good speedlight and tripod.

    Just a discussion,What do you think here- there's no right or wrong answers?


     
  2. TrolleySwag

    TrolleySwag No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's why I got the 24 105 f4. But now i can afford more, so I'm looking at a 70 200 2.8. I hated it at first, but now I've seem what it can do I'm liking it a bit more. I'll replace it soon though.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A lot depends on how much information they put in their opening post. If they only put light details and budget then they will get reduced ranges of responses. The top is often recommended because many people do desire the best and often as not the best are often, well, the best barring size, weight and price.

    Secondly don't forget that whilst ISO limits are much broader than they once were the aperture range still plays a part in depth of field. f2.8 is very comfortable aperture to use and often about the most practical widest aperture - even if you've got those f1.4 primes many times you might not use them wide open just because of that factor of razor thin depth of field (of course for some this is a must have and they want that razor thin slice).

    In the end most people do get recommended the f2.8 zooms, but they also get f4 versions, primes and others suggested too. The MOST important thing is that the person asking the question provides information and talks with those responding to guide and direct the thread toward what they need/require and can afford.
     
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  4. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you are replacing it I assume you are going for a faster f2.8, so in you're case it may have been the better option to start with.
     
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  5. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I agree 100%. The reason I asked this in the first place was if one are very experienced they'd probably know themselves what they require. Often these types of general questions (as opposed to a specific model) are asked, and more often than not, the person asking is or will not be a pro. Sometimes I think the f2.8 suggestions are a little overkill due size and weight and range value at a price point. I am interested in others thoughts
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Overkill really depends on how the person uses the camera nd sometimes you don't know its overkill till you reach that point (which is why trying things at stores/camera clubs is oft recommended). I'd happily use my 70-200mm f2.8 all day, however it would be near pointles to take it to a family gathering and chances are even my DSLR would stay in the bag then.

    Different people and different situations call for different things; if a person says they are just taking happy family snaps around the house then lighter options or even primes might be suggested over the f2.8 "monster" zooms.
     
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  7. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The best example is the Canon 70-200F2.8 V 70-200F4 i used to use the F4 version more than the F2.8
     
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  8. JacaRanda

    JacaRanda Hobbyist Birdographer

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    I never had the 2.8 version, and never missed what I dont have. My F4 is still my favorite lens. It is my first L lens. Glad I did not spend the extra 1k.
     
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  9. goodguy

    goodguy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Most of the use I get from my Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 is connected to people, event photography and portrait.
    For event my lens is stuck on f2.8 for background separation and using ISO as low as possible.
    I also do from time to time some sports and the lens is stuck to f2.8 so I can bump up shutter speed high without going too high on my ISO.
    Today modern cameras do hi ISO very well but lets not kid ourselves if I can shoot at 800ISO instead of 1600ISO I will do that and if I crop the picture and bring up exposure you will see the difference, a constant f2.8 is a powerful tool, f4 is ok but really extremely limiting.
    f4 lenses has its place of course and it depends what is your style, needs, limitations and size of pocket.
    f2.8 lenses can do everything an f4 can do and then you have so much more but it comes in a price.
    f2.8 is bigger, heavier and more expensive, its up to the individual to decide what he/she wants.
     
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  10. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have one lens that opens to f/2.8 and in the 5 years I've owned it I honestly don't think I have ever used it wide open.
     
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  11. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You can get good enough seperation with F4 this is only @100mm

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Suppose though the wide apertures help it with confident af
     

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