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Which 70-200 f/2.8 (or f/4) ?

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by IvorETower, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    I suppose that the next lens I buy ought to be a fast 70-200, but new or used, and f/2.8 or f/4?
    My budget will not run to a nice shiny new Nikon with VR in either f/2.8 or f/4 specifications, nor will it run to a new Sigma or Tamron G2. I could however be tempted to buy used for around £650 to £700, but that then opens up the possibility of a new Tamron 70-210 f/4. Having just held the 2 Tamrons side-by-side at a photo event over the week-end, I can fully appreciate the lightness and ease of handling that the f/4 version offers, for basically half the price of the f/2.8.

    But f/4 is only a stop faster than my 70-300VR (maybe even less that a stop at 200mm), so should I rule it out?

    Has anyone experience of using a 70-200 of 70-210 f/4 and how this "suffers" in relation to using an f/2.8 version?
  2. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Not in NIkon but I do possess a Sigma 70-210 f2.8 in Canon and a Canon 70-200F4L (and I used to have an old Canon 20-210 f4 as well). When it comes to suffering I'll take the f4 over the f2.8 when it comes to portability. The f2.8 is very heavy and over the course of a day that weight really tells...:rolleyes: If you intend to use the lens mostly from a fixed position, possibly with a tripod, then the weight of the F2.8 is less likely to be an issue but if you like to walk around a lot then unless you are Mr Schwarzenegger or a masochist I'd suggest the f4 version is a better bet.

    IQ wise it probably depends on the lenses, my f4 Canon has better IQ than the Sigma f2.8 but it is more modern and an 'L' grade lens to boot. In Canon land the F2.8 version are reckoned to a bit better than the the F4 IQ wise but probably only at the limits, ef the 2.8 at f4 is probably a bit sharper than the f4 is at the same aperture but this is only likely to be obvious at large print sizes.

    The f2.8 types are perhaps more advantageous in low light of when you want to maximise separation from the background but unless you really like weight training I wouldn't bother....
  3. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I would suggest comparing the weight of the lenses and their filter size (a useful indication of lens size, and likely cost of filters).
    As El Sid suggests: how much weight do you want to carry? Or for how long?

    Perhaps the size and weight of your camera body is relevant too, but you haven't said which one you have.
  4. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Do the f/2.8 lenses under consideration have faster and/or more accurate AF than a f/4 when paired with your camera?

    On my Canon 7D I'd expect slower lenses to hunt in more situations and be less responsive to subject movement.

    Weight? Get fitter?
  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I think you will be very unlikely to find a good Nikon 70-200 f2.8 AFS VR at your budget, unfortunately the same applies to the 70-200 f4. There are Sigma 70-200 f2.8 OS lenses under £700 if you are prepared to accept the known/potential problems of Sigma interfacing with Nikon. Optically the Sigma lenses are good, we have a couple of older ones but I've not tried them with a newer body than a D300.

    I think it is going to be a case of seeing what you can find in a local dealer's stock and trying it with your camera.
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I basically agree with Nigel #2. I have both F2.8 and F4 versions of the Canon 70-200 L IS. If I'm going to be stood in one place and can use a monopod then the F2.8 is fine, if rather noisy, otherwise I'll use the F4 because it is lighter. I'd say the AF is not as quick as the F2.8 but that is subjective, I haven't tried to measure it. It could be illusion because the shallow dof on the F2.8 makes focussing seem "snappier" somehow.
  7. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    It could, however the autofocus system on your cameras will have more information to work with with the f/2.8 lens - it will have a brighter image and be able to detect smaller changes in focus distance due to the way phase detect works so it should feel snappier and more precise.
  8. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I have a Nikon 70-200 f4, it was actually bought to replace an 80-200 f2.8, which was so heavy I tended to leave it behind. It was sub-£800 at the time, partly offset by selling the f2.8. Pros and cons, slightly less bright finder image, faster autofocus and the VR, less robust build, then again I don't normally batter equipment around. Even the 70-200 f4 sees little use now as my camera of choice much of the time is my Fuji CSC. Iirc there is also a Tokina 70-200 f4.

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