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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
Thread started 15 Jul 2012 (Sunday) 11:29
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2.8 vs 4 Questions

 
magoosmc
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Jul 15, 2012 11:29 |  #1

Hopefully I can word this correctly... You have two lenses with very similar characteristics, for example a 70-200 f2.8 and a 70-200 f4. If you stop the the 2.8 lens down to f4 will the two lenses perform identically from that point on? Aside from the "light" advantage provided by being able to open up the f2.8 are there any other advantages or disadvantages over that a f2.8 lens has over a f4 lens? Make sense?


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Todd ­ Lambert
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Jul 15, 2012 11:33 |  #2

Theres no universal answer to this as lenses differ in a variety of ways.

Yes, for all intensive purposes they will be very similar, but other factors can affect things, like CA, vignetting, bokeh, shape of out of focus highlights, flaring, detail and sharpness... Etc... All can be more or less present in any combo of lenses at the same focal length and aperture.


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Nickc84
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Jul 15, 2012 11:33 |  #3

Depends on the lens if f/4 will be better on either. Every lens is different. 2.8 will get you creamier bokeh and better in low light conditions.


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jimewall
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Jul 15, 2012 11:36 |  #4

Theoretically the 2.8 should be sharper, as you've started to stop down the lens.


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dmnelson
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Jul 15, 2012 11:57 |  #5

As a general rule, it's anyone's guess. As jimewall alluded to, lenses get sharper as you stop them down -- to a point. So if the f/2.8 and f/4 were equally sharp wide open, then theoretically the 2.8 would have superior sharpness when stopped down to f/4. However one lens could be abysmally soft wide-open, and another could be near perfect wide-open and if that were the case you'd have to stop down a lot more to achieve comparable sharpness. And if there were a large enough disparity in their quality, they may not be comparable at any aperture.

As has been pointed out each lens may have different characteristics that are better or worse. So someone may choose a lens that's slightly softer because they prefer its bokeh, for example.

That said, the different iterations of the 70-200 should all be satisfactory whether they're wide open or at f/4.

In any given case your best bet is to just look up reviews or comparisons and see what others have found. It's impossible to say by looking at their specs alone.


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JeffreyG
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Jul 15, 2012 11:59 |  #6

The f/2.8 lens will provide a little brighter viewfinder, and it will generally focus faster and more accurately. The more recent Canon bodies in particular take advantage of the faster lenses by enabling more cross type and high precision points.


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artyH
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Jul 15, 2012 12:16 |  #7

I have the 70-200F4, and would have liked IS on the lens. The IS is worth the price.
Even the 70-210F4L is a sharp lens. What is your intended use, and how often will you use the lens? Is the larger aperture needed? The f2.8 long zooms are very heavy and bulky.
I tend to use shorter lenses more often. If I needed a zoom for wedding photography, I might want a larger aperture, but personally, I would rather have a lighter lens. AF speed and accuracy are always important.
For sports, Higher shutter speeds will be needed.
Take a look at the Photozene website to compare the specific lenses you are considering. You can see performance and how it varies by focal length.




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3Rotor
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Jul 15, 2012 12:19 |  #8

With optical quality covered by the members above me; you will also have to consider the size and mass of the lens as well. As lenses get faster, they also get larger in length, diameter and mass. To some it may be a deal breaker but for me I have no issues carrying heavy gear all day.


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The ­ Fox
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Jul 15, 2012 12:33 |  #9

I have all the current 70-200mm lenses from Canon and the F4L is sharper then the older F2.8/ F2.8 IS at F4. Corners are better and less CA. The F4L IS is sharper wide open then the new F2.8 IS II and they are equal at F4. I find that for what I am shooting the F4L IS is perfect. The 2.8 gets really heavy really fast when you have a 10 hour event to cover. In the studio F2.8 is useless mostly because I need the DOF and will stop it down to F8 anyways so it is not something I use a lot. I also find that 1 stop from F4 to 2.8 is never enough to stop action in low light. If I cant use strobe I will choose F2 or faster primes. 2.8 is normally too slow for stopping motion for the most part while F1.4 is fast enought. Makes my shutter speed go from 1/125th to 1/1000th while mearly going to F2.8 it goes to 1/250th.

Nick


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ed ­ rader
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Jul 15, 2012 12:51 |  #10

magoosmc wrote in post #14719378external link
Hopefully I can word this correctly... You have two lenses with very similar characteristics, for example a 70-200 f2.8 and a 70-200 f4. If you stop the the 2.8 lens down to f4 will the two lenses perform identically from that point on? Aside from the "light" advantage provided by being able to open up the f2.8 are there any other advantages or disadvantages over that a f2.8 lens has over a f4 lens? Make sense?

no.

the f2.8 is usually, but not always, sharper and will focuss faster and more accurately.

ed


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Paolo.Leviste
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Jul 15, 2012 12:58 |  #11

I'm also beginning to think having a 70-200 f4L and a 70-200f2.8IS (OS, in this case, I want that Sigma) is useful as they're two different types of lenses.

Carrying around the f4L is lighter than carrying around my 24-70. But the 2.8IS is great when you need that separation and lower light photography.


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sambarino
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Jul 15, 2012 13:31 |  #12

The 70-200 2.8 II weighs about twice as much as the 70-200 f/4 IS. It also costs twice as much. Both of those are HUGE considerations for most people. When you are talking lenses in this realm, IQ is NOT the issue; both are fantastic, I'm sure. Full disclosure: I've never shot either. My medium zoom is 70-210 f/3.5-4.5. For the price ($102.50), I am quite happy with it.




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Paolo.Leviste
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Jul 15, 2012 13:38 |  #13

sambarino wrote in post #14719866external link
The 70-200 2.8 II weighs about twice as much as the 70-200 f/4 IS. It also costs twice as much. Both of those are HUGE considerations for most people. When you are talking lenses in this realm, IQ is NOT the issue; both are fantastic, I'm sure. Full disclosure: I've never shot either. My medium zoom is 70-210 f/3.5-4.5. For the price ($102.50), I am quite happy with it.

More like 4x the price. Almost.


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jimewall
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Jul 15, 2012 14:07 |  #14

Paolo.Leviste wrote in post #14719889external link
More like 4x the price. Almost.

Where are you buying? Either you are finding the f4 IS super cheap, or way overpaying for the 2.8 IS II.


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Paolo.Leviste
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Jul 15, 2012 14:54 |  #15

jimewall wrote in post #14719994external link
Where are you buying? Either you are finding the f4 IS super cheap, or way overpaying for the 2.8 IS II.

my fault c.f. I thought you were referring to the non Is


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