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f/4-f/5.6 vs. f/2.8?
I posted a question a couple days ago which brings me to ask this question. If I choose to by a slower zoom lens such as the Tamron 70-300 f/4 - f/5.6 for about $150, am I sacrificing very much compared to a similar, much faster f/2.8 lens that will likely cost more than $600. On one hand I don't want to pay too little and not be happy with the quality, but on the other hand, I don't want to pay too much and not see much difference. Please help!!!!!..

Comments (12)

What kind of shooting are you planning on doing?..

Comment #1

Outside with my small children. Nothing too specific. I realized that while watching my daughter play t-ball, that I wish I could get closer but don't want to zoom in and have a real distorted or grainy picture...

Comment #2

Cjowens wrote:.

I posted a question a couple days ago which brings me to ask thisquestion. If I choose to by a slower zoom lens such as the Tamron70-300 f/4 - f/5.6 for about $150, am I sacrificing very muchcompared to a similar, much faster f/2.8 lens that will likely costmore than $600. On one hand I don't want to pay too little and not behappy with the quality, but on the other hand, I don't want to paytoo much and not see much difference. Please help!!!!!.

Well, at the very least, you are giving up 1 to 2 stops of light. This can have a great impact on telephoto lenses, since you need a fast shutterspeed at longer focal lengths..

Note, that with f2.8, you will get twice the shutterspeed vs f4, and 4x the shutterspeed vs f5.6.

Also, f2.8 zoom lenses tend to be designed for pro use and generally have better build and optics...

Comment #3

Cjowens wrote:.

Outside with my small children. Nothing too specific. I realized thatwhile watching my daughter play t-ball, that I wish I could getcloser but don't want to zoom in and have a real distorted or grainypicture..

For this purpose the f/4-f/5.6 would be fine. In daylight you won't need a wider aperture: if you find yourself wanting a very fast shutter speed you can always turn up the ISO to 200 or 400. For example even on a grey, cloudy day you can get 1/500 sec at f/5.6 using ISO 400..

The 70-200 f/2.8 lenses are big, expensive and very heavy (the Sigma weighs 1.4 kg, as against 550g for the f/4-f/5.6 version), and really needs a tripod - they are designed for things like indoors sports photography. For family pics in the garden that is a bit overkill IMO....

Best wishesMike..

Comment #4

Dave, the guy is buying a lens for his Digital Rebel XTi so he can shoot his daughter playing T-ball..

A consumer lens is fine for this consumer use...

Comment #5

An f/4-5.6 lens is fine for your shooting, I can't comment on the Tamron lens as I don't have experience with it..

Cjowens wrote:.

Outside with my small children. Nothing too specific. I realized thatwhile watching my daughter play t-ball, that I wish I could getcloser but don't want to zoom in and have a real distorted or grainypicture..

Best regards,Doughttp://pbase.com/dougj..

Comment #6

Cjowens wrote:.

I posted a question a couple days ago which brings me to ask thisquestion. If I choose to by a slower zoom lens such as the Tamron70-300 f/4 - f/5.6 for about $150, am I sacrificing very muchcompared to a similar, much faster f/2.8 lens that will likely costmore than $600..

As others have said, yours is exactly the sort of situation that these very affordable lenses are designed for. The f/2.8 lenses are terrific but not necessary for the relatively easy shooting conditions that you will have..

*BUT*.

What does matter is the ability to grab the shot quickly, and that means a lens which handles well and focuses fast. For this reason I am going to suggest that you spend a little more and look at the Canon EF 100-300 USM. I had one a few years ago, and I got some great results from it. I've also had a Canon EF 70-300 MkIII (which is very, very similar to the Tamron you mention above) and the 100-300 is better by a mile. There isn't a huge difference optically - you need to spend a great deal more for that - but the handling is excellent and it has Canon's "ring USM" focusing which is the same as their pro lenses. I would strongly recommend it..

The one slight concern I would have is that it might be a bit long (focal length) on your DSLR. (I assume you have learned about the 'crop factor' since upgrading from your film SLR?).

Here's the lens I'm referring to:.

Http://www.bhphotovideo.com/...565A003_100_300mm_f_4_5_5_6_USM_Autofocus.html.

If you are thinking you should get something better, I'll throw another suggestion into the mix. You don't need the size, cost and weight of an f/2.8 lens, but if you want to spend $600 there is a *much* better way to do it:.

Http://www.bhphotovideo.com/...on_2578A002_70_200mm_f_4_0L_USM_Autofocus.html.

The EF 70-200 f/4L is a true professional lens, and one of the best value lenses in Canon's line up. The list of advantages over the 'consumer' lenses is huge, too many to list here but search the Canon SLR Lens forum for countless discussions. This is the sort of lens you buy once and keep forever. (Well, until you upgrade to the image stabilised version at double the price.).

Is this lens necessary for what you what to do? Well, no, I couldn't claim that, but it will certainly help you to get the very best results and you will get many years of pleasure from it...

Comment #7

I am a Nikon user, but a couple of guys in my club have purchased the new Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS. It has image stabalization and still is only around $280. They are very happy with the quality and optics. For the money, I think it would be a far superior decision over the Tamron. The IS won't stop subject motion but will give you several stops advantage in low light..

If all else were equal, it would be a toss-up in many people's minds on whether IS or f2.8 would be better. F2.8 gives you 1 to 2 stops better with respect to camera shake and subject motion, whereas IS gives you 2-4 stops, but only in camera shake..

Personally, for the money, I think the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS is a no-brainer...

Comment #8

True. But it doesn't hurt to point out the differences since he did ask. He may feel that his daughter playing T-ball is worth the investment whereas you, apparently, do not..

Image quality between the consumer and pro lenses IS noticeable in most cases. How much that matters is entirely up to the user..

Personally, the difference is enough for me to carry the beastly 70-200 f2.8 whenever I feel that the images matter. The 70-300 f4-5.6 does get used a lot, mainly because it's easier to keep on the camera for those surprise moments. But when image quality matters, the pro glass gets to go to the show..

DonAvebury wrote:.

Dave, the guy is buying a lens for his Digital Rebel XTi so he canshoot his daughter playing T-ball..

A consumer lens is fine for this consumer use..

Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #9

I don't know how old your children are, but mine are 4 & 2 and I find I'm rarely at a distance to use more than my 17-85IS. I went a different route on the tele lens, sacrificing speed for size (with the 70-300DO). I rarely use it, except maybe at the Wild Animal Park or Zoo. But again, my kids are very young and not in any activity that calls for much reach in a lens..

Lately I've been contemplating the 70-200f4 or perhaps the 2.8 like you. As someone here mentioned earlier, the 70-200f4L is a professional quality lens with moderate weight and size and reasonable cost...though still high compared to the slower lenses. It seems to be the ultimate compromise lens..

While I love the size of my DO lens, the slower speed does make a difference and I find myself thinking about the 70-200f4L. It's very likely a future purchase..

I'm sure you'll find many, many examples of absolutely amazing photos taken with the f4L here on the boards...I believe Citilights has one and his work is astonishing...

Comment #10

I need a good f/2.8 lens for amounts sports actions I shoot. My thought on tarmon len ok, but my first 2.8 len was a tonkina 80-200. Now shoot sigma lens...

Comment #11

Zig, the OP said this:.

"I realized that while watching my daughter play t-ball, that I wish I could get closer but don't want to zoom in and have a real distorted or grainy picture.".

Does this sound to you like someone who is going to appreciate the difference between a professional lens and a consumer lens?.

Neither is going to offer a "real distorted or grainy picture". If he goes with a 70-300 consumer over a 70-200 pro, he'll be able to zoom in closer..

Easy call...

Comment #12

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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