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

jaomul

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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?
 

TrolleySwag

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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.
 

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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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jaomul

jaomul

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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.

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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jaomul

jaomul

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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.

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
 

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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.
 

gsgary

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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?

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

JacaRanda

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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.
 

goodguy

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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.
 

gsgary

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

Image00049-L.jpg
 
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jaomul

jaomul

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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.

Suppose though the wide apertures help it with confident af
 

SCraig

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Suppose though the wide apertures help it with confident af
Perhaps, but seldom in my case. Virtually everything I shoot is in daylight. Very, very seldom anything that would be construed as "Low Light", I seldom use teleconverters, and I seldom have issues with AF hunting except on subjects with low contrast.

Personally I purchase lenses based on focal length, maximum aperture is of little interest to me.
 

IronMaskDuval

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I like the f4 lenses, and if I need faster, I'll slap on a prime. I use to have the holy trinity, but the size and weight were just too cumbersome, leading me to sell out and move to mft. Now that I'm back to full frame, the kit lens for my sony is ample for a zoom lens since I have no need to reach out and grab more. Although, I will be adding a 135 prime to my kit.

For dx however, nikon makes that beautiful 2.8 for their dx camera that isn't really that big. The 17-55. For me, it's about comfort and not looking like a photo Swiss army knife. These days, I'll move my feet before I carry a big zoom again.
 

PaulWog

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The slowest I ever want to be limited to on a lens is f4. Ideally I want to be able to shoot at f2.8. The two reasons are pretty obvious: Better flexibility in low light, and increased control over depth of field.

I have owned the 16-85 f3.5-f5.6 VR. I have owned the f4-5.6 10-20 Sigma. I have owned the 18-35 Sigma 1.8 Art. I got rid of the 16-85 because I kept using it like a prime, switching to my 35 1.8 or 50 1.8 too often. I got rid of the 10-20 Sigma because I had switched to full frame, but it also limited me in low light. Here is the thing: I only got rid of the Sigma 18-35 Art because it had focus accuracy issues, and the focus ring jiggled (defect) just a tiny bit and that annoyed me a lot. With the Sigma 18-35 Art, I found myself leaving primes at home more often.

To me, a slow zoom is like a prime. I will frequently switch between that zoom and a prime. That defeats the purpose of the zoom. When I switch for a prime, I should be wanting superior bokeh, an aperture faster than f2.8, greater sharpness, a more compact/lighter lens, or a combination of those four things.

That's my opinion anyways.
 

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