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Is f/4 The New f/2.8?

By Guest Contributor on April 12th 2015

Since the release of the Nikon D3 in 2007 and the Nikon D700 in 2008, low-light sensor technology has been improving by leaps and bounds. For many photographers, the first thing they look at when a new camera is released is the performance of the camera at high-ISOs. For many photographers, low-light capability takes a back seat to resolution, but there are those of us that photograph mostly in the dark.

Caption: Being a live music photographer means sometimes shooting in worse than ideal situations. Even with an f/4 lens I can capture relatively noise-free shots in near darkness when the ISO is pushed to the max. Nikon Df with Sigma 24-105mm f/4 Art. Exposure 1/200 at f/4, <a href=

ISO 7200 pushed 1.3 stops in LightRoom 5 (ISO equiv. 18720) ” width=”650″ height=”433″ /> Caption: Being a live music photographer means sometimes shooting in worse than ideal situations. Even with an f/4 lens, I can capture relatively noise-free shots in near darkness when the ISO is pushed to the max. Nikon Df with Sigma 24-105mm F/4 Art. Exposure 1/200 at f/4, ISO 7200 pushed 1.3 stops in Lightroom 5 (ISO equiv. 18720)

More recently, Nikon released the D4 and then the Df (with the D4 sensor), which were the apex of low-light cameras until Sony tossed their A7S into the mix, just edging the Nikon cameras out of the top place. Of course, there are other cameras that excel in low light, but these are the top three cameras as of now and listing a whole lineup would be impractical.

With this new ability to shoot at ISO 6400 with almost no noise and even get very usable images at ISO 12800 (along with the current trend of many photographers becoming aware of the weight of high-end camera gear such as professional f/2.8 lenses), I’ve noticed a trend among quite a few of my fellow photographers of switching out their flagship f/2.8 zoom lenses and replacing them with smaller, lighter, and more inexpensive f/4 zooms.

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Caption: New high-ISO options allow shooting street photography at night and maintaining enough depth of field to capture background details that are in focus. Nikon Df with Sigma 24-105mm F/4 Art. Exposure 1/40 at f/4, ISO 6400 pushed 1 stop in Lightroom 5 (ISO equiv. 12800)

I know many people are skeptical about trading their “fast pro zooms” for what were considered “kit lenses.” I was one of those photographers. I liked my beastly pro lenses; they gave me clout when I was working. I didn’t look like your typical “Uncle Bob” photo guy because I had the real pro gear.

I’m in a different place today. For years, I traveled with the “holy trinity” lenses (Nikon’s 14-24mm f/2.8G, 24-70mm f/2.8G and the 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII). I shoot concerts a lot. In the spring and summer, I may shoot up to a dozen festivals, which can range from 15-20 bands in a day. Walking or running miles a day between stages for 12-14 hours a day, lugging two pro-sized cameras with these enormous heavy zoom lenses on them and a bag with another heavy zoom and a fast prime or two, I always ended the day ragged out with an aching back and a massive headache.

In my line of work, sometimes when photographing events I need to capture the odd product placement shot in less than perfect light. Nikon Df with Sigma 24-105mm f/4 Art. Exposure 1/20 at f/4, ISO 6400

In my line of work, when photographing events, I sometimes need to capture the odd product placement shot in less than perfect light. Nikon Df with Sigma 24-105mm F/4 Art. Exposure 1/20 at f/4, ISO 6400

When I got my little Nikon Df, I was scheduled to shoot a relatively small festival in Austin, which was only a couple of miles from my house. I decided that I didn’t want to drag around all that gear, so I went to my local camera store and rented a Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VRII for the three-day ‘Fun, Fun, Fun Fest’ to see if I could manage to capture everything I needed using one camera and one lens instead of two cameras, one with a 24-70mm f/2.8 and one with a 70-200mm f/2.8. I had no concern about the lens being “only” f/4 during the day, but as night fell, I began to worry that f/4 may not be fast enough.

That evening when I got home and started editing my photos, I realized that the images were great. I used Auto-ISO and capped it at ISO 6400 (I’ve since raised the cap to ISO 8000). I shot the next two days of the festival with only the Nikon Df and the Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VRII and never missed a shot. The zoom range was perfect for the small stages as well as the main stages. Although I needed to crop at times, it wasn’t much.

That festival changed the way I viewed the need for fast f/2.8 lenses. I really didn’t need the extra stop to get my shots. I was ready to buy the Nikon lens when I went back to the shop to return the rental. Sigma had just recently released the 24-105mm f/4 Art lens so I took a look at that lens as well. I found I preferred the image quality of the Sigma so I ended up buying it. Obtaining this lens wasn’t so much about saving weight because the Sigma 24-105mm is a beast of a lens. This was about carrying only ONE camera and ONE lens with me all day, being able to capture wide crowd shots, full band shots, and close-ups without switching camera or lenses. (On a side note, not having multiple cards with the same performers made importing much quicker and easier as well).

Fig2

Gary Clark Jr. at the 2015 Austin Music Awards. Nikon Df with Sigma 24-105mm F/4 Art. Exposure 1/125 at f/4, ISO 4500

After switching my workhorse lens, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G for the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 Art, I started looking into other f/4 options and I noticed that in all other cases, the lenses were smaller, lighter, less expensive, and in many cases, the image quality was better. Now my main lens kit consists of a Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR, Sigma 24-105mm f/4, Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VRII, and an older model 300mm f/4 ED IF (which is sharp as a tack, extremely small, pro-built, and also very inexpensive).

This isn’t a Nikon only migration. One of my good friends bought a couple of Canon 1DX cameras and ended up swapping out his f/2.8 zooms for the Canon 17-40mm f/4L, 24-105mm f/4L, and a 70-200mm f/4L.

I think there’s a reason why we’re starting to see many lens manufacturers making constant f/4 zoom lenses; the need for faster zooms is as pressing as it used to be, and for extreme low light and selective focus “bokeh” shots, ultra-fast primes are readily available in many different focal lengths.

So given the great high ISO capabilities of today’s camera, you may want to take a look at your gear and consider whether or not you really need that extra stop from your lens or can you make it up in your camera by setting the ISO a stop higher without compromising image quality?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

About the Guest Contributor

J. Dennis Thomas is a professional photographer and author based out of Austin, TX. He specializes in concert and live music photography and is represented by Corbis Images and Alamy Ltd. He has written nearly two dozen Nikon Digital Field Guides for Wiley Publishing and two books for Focal Press including the highly acclaimed Concert and Live Music Photography: Pro Tips from the Pit. He’s also a frequent contributor to Digital Photo Magazine. His images have been published in many notable magazines including Rolling Stone, SPIN, Ebony, W Magazine, Thrasher Magazine, Us Weekly, People, Time, National Geographic, Premier Guitar and Modern Drummer.

Terms: #High ISO #ISO

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76 Comments

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  1. Drew Latshaw

    Just got done reading this article, and I gotta tell you that it was music to my eyes! I have been in the arts in one form or another my entire life, and most recently I have been doing more and more with photography. Not too long ago, I picked up a new D5200 and also a 18-140mm lens. I am still very green with photography and so I am trying to read and absorb as much as I can.

    I have been talking to the local baseball team, and they are a MiLB team, but still an actual team none the less. I have a press pass to use this season and I will be photographing the games. In what seems to be endless research for what lens to get for this, 2.8 is the only one anyone says anything about over and over again.

    Being as new to photography as I am, I am very curious how the f4 does at something like a pro ball game. If it is doing that good at concerts, I would imagine that a baseball game would be no where near as action packed! Which that brings up another point, I have connections at a couple concert venues back home in Cleveland and I am trying to get my foot in the door to shoot some of the concerts when I am back that way. Is there any advice you would be willing to share on that topic?

    The article was a great read, and I thank you for sharing all that you did!

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  2. Lester Terry

    Good info, thanks

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  3. Mihaela Edreva-Valkareva

    Thank you for the informative answer, Matthew!

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  4. Mihaela Edreva-Valkareva

    I have a question, I hope someone would see it :) I am starting to get more serious about shooting weddings. I have a D600 and D7000 (I almost never change it’s 35mm I love that lens). I also have Sb 910. Do you think I can add a f4 zoom? Would a D600 be ok on a higher iso? I’ve used it up to 2000 with primes on a dark wedding and I don’t have a lens with f4 to try how high it would be usable. Lens rental is difficult here. Has anyone tried D600 with high iso? Thanks!

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Mihaela,

      First, check out my D600 review here: https://www.slrlounge.com/nikon-d600-review-best-all-around-dslr-ever/

      Personally, I’d feel comfortable using the D600 professionally up to ISO 3200 any day, and maybe 6400 in a pinch, but I’d prefer to stay around 1600-3200 as much as possible. the D750 is a bit better, by the way, but I still try and avoid 6400 if I can.

      Using an f/4 zoom instead of an f/2.8 zoom is a bit risky as a wedding photographer. I do it from time to time, but only because I highly favor faster primes 90% of the time, and to be frank, “I know what I’m doing” as they say. I know when I can get away with using f/4, and I know when I need to grab an f/2.8 zoom or a prime.

      A 16-35 f/4 with stabilization is probably fine, because you can get away with such slow shutter speeds at such wide angles. A 24-XXX f/4 zoom is a bit more of a tough sell, especially on the long end. If you always shoot in great lighting conditions, or set up your own great lighting conditions, then it might not be an issue, however if you wish to trust a 24-70 range zoom in really abysmal conditions, an f/2.8 is advisable. Even moreso for 70-200mm. In decent light, even in “failing” light, a 70-200 f/4 is fine. Especially with Nikon’s new VR in the 70-200 f/4 VR, it’s incredible just how slow you can shoot and still get sharp results. If you favor an 85 or 105 or 135 prime, then yeah an f/4 zoom is probably good enough. However if you want to make 70-200 your “bread and butter” for both candids and portraits, in any kind of light, then saving up for (and then lugging around) an f/2.8 is a good idea.

      Another good bit of reading advice can be found here: https://www.slrlounge.com/school/wedding-photography-zoom-lenses-complete-guide/

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  5. Amanda Jehle

    Thanks for this! I have a few fast primes that I love for portrait photography, but have been hemming & hawing over a zoom for events. My love of portraits made me biased towards f/2.8 zooms. However, the price tags give a hobbyist pause… I will definitely have to give the f/4’s a second look!

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I’d stick with the primes for portraits. For an all around lens f/4 is great if you think your camera can handle it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  6. Martin Francis

    Oddly enough, I made a similar leap last month. I’d been browsing my 2014 images and filtering by different factors within the EXIF, and found that I almost never shot my 24-70/2.8 at f2.8, very frequently shot at the two extremes, and that I dropped my 70mm shots a lot. The 24-120/4 seemed like a logical choice, and so far I’m enjoying it a lot. I won’t dismiss the f2.8 lenses at all, but this seems like the right move for me.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      That’s the end point of the article. Assess your needs and decide what works best for you.

      I used to have the Nikon 20mm f/2.8D a long time ago, but I sold it because it wasn’t that great. When Nikon announced the 20mm f/1.8G I was all about getting one then I looked at my EXIF data using the LR5 Library filter (a most under-utilized tool in my opinion) and found I rarely shoot at 20 and 28mm. On the wide end 16mm and 24mm are my most used because they are versatile. 16mm is wide enough for an exaggerated effect and 24mm is wide enough without getting too exaggerated. 20mm falls in between too wide and not wide enough. the same the 28mm. Between 24 and 35 it’s just not great to my eye. Oddly enough when I was in my 20’s my standard lens was always the 28mm f/2.8. It was my go-to.

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  7. Miklos Nemeth

    Absolutely a brilliant writing, J. Dennis Thomas! You are not only experienced photographer, but very good in lens maths, too, unlike a number of commenters. My daughter is in the process of becoming a semi-pro photographer and she uses a manual focus push-pull Canon FD 80-200mm/f4L on her Sony A7. She has an enormous amount of jobs especially for concert low light and theater photography. The A7 is simply brilliant with F4. The FD80200L is a top performer with brilliant optics/glass in the hands of manual focus virtuoso like my daughter. She uses focus peaking while focusing on the fly shooting. For some special projects/jobs she uses FD85mm/f1.2L, OM55mm/f1.2 and MD16mm/f2.8 fish-eye. All are small no-electronics lenses with excellent optics. Her workhorse lens is absolutely the F4L, though. She doesn’t use AF at all.

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  8. Alexander Panzeri

    Good Morning,
    I want say thank you to the author for his point of view and the possibility discuss and keep mind in exercise.
    But I’m always surprise by these kind of articles (and replies) how all forget the technical part and in particular PHYSIC!!!

    There’s a reason why astronomers are building a 30[m] wide telescope and using huge cooled CCD sensor!!!
    We cannot break it!!!

    May be an Amateur can forget it and continue do wonderful pictures, but if you want be a PRO (or work as it), you must consider what PHYSIC says! A PRO cannot loose the Shot! And I think that it’s the reason why J. Dennis Thomas is keeping his fast, wide aperture lens.

    For astrophoto: big aperture means that you can see your target (star, planet) in the optical viewfinder and aim to it, with f/4 it starts to be very hard. Later thanks to ISO and long exposure, you can do your picture.
    For sport (in my case sail and aircraft): we must keep high speed t, below 1/500 I know I will not sufficient stable to shoot, also the meteo condition or shadow are so unpredictable, our eyes and brains are amazing machines, that even is a sunny bright sunrise, but in the shadow of the mountain, I must open and rise ISO above the limits (the main problem in sail is the white surface of sails, while in air-show, aircrafts are grey).

    I recall a very good tip from This Week in Photography pordcast:
    – check the statistic of your exif datas,
    – see which is the most common f/ or length you are shooting
    – you know which is the range to buy the lens you need.

    Don’t forget also that IS and autofocus, often sto to work above some f/ so you are loosing already 2-3 stops you maybe in trouble.

    If you check my profile on my homepage you can see the list of my lens: Do I like canon ef 70-200 f/2.8? yes, Do I want it? not really; Do I need it? Yes, because is waterproof and will give me some more flexibility but may be the 70-300mm DO it’s a better solution; I will never sale my canon ef 200mm f/2.8
    Do I like canon ef 200-400mm with x1.4 integrated? I love it! Do I want it? not really; Do I need it? Not but I need a 400mm, like the canon ef 400mm DO, fast, light, “small” and cheaper.
    Why I have a Sigma 17-70mm 2.8-4 ??? Because Canon doesn’t do it, I use crop sensor (boat, cars, aircraft are always in place without space or are small), I need IS (waves, hands), and as you already know I need f/2.8, it’s cheaper and lighter.

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  9. Mike Freas

    My question is with the new wave of high ISO, where would you rate the new Nikon 85mm f/4. Being a wedding photographer, whats your thoughts on the variance of the 85mm f/2.8 vs f/4?

    I keep struggling with what to go for, as I know that the f/2.8 is gold to some photographers.

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    • robert garfinkle

      Well, the Nikon 85mm 1.8 is great, not a bad price either, I think 585 somewhere in there…

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    • Mike Freas

      Im just wondering if the 1.4 vs 1.8 difference in DOF is really that great that it warrants spending the money

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    • robert garfinkle

      You know, dunno that answer.

      From what I understand, the f1.8, about 1100.00 less than the f1.4, gets rated higher in DXO score for some cameras. not by much, but the price point of the f1.8 is so good, it’s worth the investment…

      now, if you “apply” the thinking here, that the article suggests, buying a less expensive lens and achieving the same effect via ISO, then I would imagine the same thinking holds true for the f1.8 vs. f1.4.

      More so, and if one of the experts wishes to chime in here, to either support my next statement or trump my stupidity – to which I would not be offended at all by, this is about learning, yes?

      ok – so, we assume the f1.4 is just “out”, not in the cards due to price, with me so far – leaving the choice between the f1.8 and the f4.0 (assuming the f4.0 is less expensive than the f1.8).

      I’d opt to get the f1.8, why –

      If the sweet spot theory of a lens holds true, to be 2 full stops down from widest aperture, then in the case of the f1.8 we are probably in the hood of 3.2 to 4.0, yes? and the sweet spot for the 4.0 would be 6.3 or 7.1 – maybe 8.0, right? then you are forced to compensate more ISO into the equation on the f4.0 than if you were to use the f1.8, is that correct?

      Now, there is a depth of field issue here I assume, where you probably won’t get the same depth of field from 4.0 say from a 7.1 or 8.0 yes? But, I contend that you still use less ISO on the f1.8, that even if you edged toward a 5.6 / 6.3 using the f1.8 lens, a bit over the sweet spot mark, you’d still be sharper and less noisy because less ISO is being used –

      Or is my head messed up – it could be…

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @Mike: The difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 in DoF is hardly noticeable unless you put them side by side. And in any case it’s highly doubtful a client would notice.
      (as for your original post I assume you mean, f/1.8 vs. 1.4. because I know Nikon doesn’t make an 85 f/4 and the 85 f/2.8 is a PC-E lens)

      @Robert: I think you get a little overzealous on the sweet spot thing. Any decent lens regardless of what the max aperture is going to be plenty sharp at f/8-11. Don’t get so hung up on the little things my friend.

      Personally, I’d get the Nikon f/1.8G over the f/1.4G. If I HAD to get f/1.4 it would be a Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX. That lens is phenomenal. It like 3-D.

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    • robert garfinkle

      @J. Dennis Thomas –

      Thanks. Actually I used the Nikon 20mm f1.8 yesterday, and was working between f4.0 and f9.0 etc, really did not matter for the most part. Or, shall I say using aperture where appropriate – but, was sharp across all the shots…

      I actually think for the first time, 98% of my shots were dead-on-sharp crisp. My issue was under / over exposing, but even those were pretty accurate too. Then followed by appropriate framing / composing the shot.

      But, you are right, I do worry bout the details too much, sometimes, not all the time – getting better (compared to what, I don’t know :) )

      And I was totally loving the ISO 64 here…

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    • Mike Freas

      I watched the video review by “That Nikon Guy” and decided to buy it. It came yesterday while I was shooting a wedding. Me mentor who I work with has the f/1.4 so its going to be nice to compare images and see how well it came out. I hate the Camera Labs reviews. I need to see a photo to understand and see the differences. I know that I struggle at 1.4 due to having issues with camera shake. Im really thinking that a bridal portrait at f/1.8 is not going to be noticeably different than one at f/1.4 because you will loose some of the distortion. I could be wrong. I look forward to keeping this convo going. I am going to use it for an corporate event “2nd Repeat Photobooth” the next 3 days, so I will let you know how it turns out.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      For portraits the f/1.8 also helps adding a little more depth of field so you don’t get the “one eye in focus, one eye out of focus” thing.

      The other thing is size. The f/1.4 is big. It’s also built like a brick shithouse, which is great for some.

      Not too long ago I sold my my Voigtländer 35mm f/1.4 Nokton SC and got a Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 Nokton ASPH v.2. It’s only 1/3 of a stop faster, but it was 2X the price. $600 vs. $1200 and it 3X the size and weight. The out of focus areas aren’t much different and the IQ is only a bit better. I wish I’d kept the f/1.4 because for al practical purposes they look the same. But the f/1.2 is a brick. I miss the smaller lens. But if I sell the f/1.2 I’ll lose money, then I’ll have to buy another f/1.4 for more than I sold my old one for so it’s not worth switching back. Basically, my f/1.2 lens only real use is impressing people that are impressed by numbers. In practicality it’s almost the same as the cheaper smaller lens…

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      by the way, it’s “step and repeat”. :)

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    • Mike Freas

      you say tomato, I say tomato Will update after I get some images. I wonder how it would work with off camera flash, for sunset couples photos. That is always a big thing down here for weddings because of how vibrant our sunsets are.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      You can do the off-camera flash/underexposed look, but waiting until just before twilight is best because it’s darker and if you try to do it earlier the sun will overpower your flash if shooting wide open. Of course, for that kind of shot I’d prefer to stop down to get a deep focus to include the sunset. In that case it’s no problem.

      If you use a proprietary flash you can use high-speed sync to do it no problem. Newer Nikons even have a setting that allows you to use exposure compensation to only affect the background not the main flash exposure (CSM e4 on the Df). Set it to TTL-BL, exposure compensation -1 to -2 and it’s there. Pretty easy.

      Or you can do it the hard way and shoot manually using the GN/D=A method for the flash and making sure the aperture setting for the flash exposure is about one to two stops faster than the Ambient light exposure settings.

      Or you can wing it and shoot and chimp until you get it right, but your clients will probably think you don’t know what you’re doing…

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  10. Lauchlan Toal

    Good to see you guest posting here, I remember you were one of the most helpful members in the D5200 Flickr group. While f2.8 does offer that extra light and isolation, the f4 lenses are fantastic and camera bodies are able to handle the high ISO. Would f2.8 give a cleaner shot? Yeah, but as you say, f4 is lighter and less expensive. Better to have a slightly noisy shot with the 300 f4 than no shot at all because you didn’t take or couldn’t afford the 300 f2.8.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Thanks for remembering me from my D5200 group.

      Both lenses have their place on certain cameras and for certain situations, but f/4 isn’t as big of a hindrance as it used to be, if you have the right camera.

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  11. John McCosh

    The advantage of being able to trow your background totally out of focus is one huge benefit of a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. More often than not at Weddings the girls are getting their makeup and hair done in a cluttered room that’s not very photogenic. Being able to isolate your subject from the background is critical and f/4 just won’t do this the same as f/2.8 does.

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    • Andy Martin

      Answer: 85mm prime

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    • John McCosh

      Thanks Andy, yes that is one way of going but personally as a photo journalist wedding photographer I prefer the flexibility the 70-200 gives me. I shoot with two camera’s one with the 28-75 f/2.8 and the other 70-200 f/2.8 with these two I can cover just about any shot as it happens.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      The DoF difference between f/2.8-4 is far less than you’d like to imagine it is. 70mm f/2.8 @ 10ft the DoF is about 1 foot. At f/4 it’s about 1.5ft. Is 6 inches really that much?

      Reduce the distance to 3ft at 70mm the difference goes from 0.09ft (f/2.8) to 0.12 (f/4) negligible at best. At 200mm it’s even less.

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    • robert garfinkle

      Asking a newbie question here – pardon my stupidity…

      So, if I have a f2.8 lens, set at f4.0 and a natural f4.0 (set wide open) are the depths of field the same for both lenses? I’m thinking not, but this is why I ask?

      If not, to get the depth of field on the f4.0 the same as a f2.8 set at f4.0 do I have to push the f4.0 to say f6.3?

      How does this work.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @Robert:

      Depth of Field in consistent for all apertures at any given distance. So my 35mm f/1.4 lens stopped down to f/4 will give me the same depth of as my 24-104 f/4 wide open as long as you’re using the same focal length at the same distance.

      If you want to break it down a little more, technically depth of field is the same across all apertures if the subject is the same size in the frame. The only thing that changes with subject distance is the distribution of the depth of field and how fast it drops of in front of or behind the subject, but that’s a whole different can of worms and would take a whole article in and of itself to explain.

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    • Matthew Saville

      @ Robert – Depth of field will be the same, but BOKEH will never be the same. That is why people pay so much for a particular lens, including the likes of the Canon 1.2 L’s and 1.4 L’s. Because even at f/2 or f/3.5 or whatever, their bokeh is quite pleasing.

      Canon of course has the benefit of what I suspect is the largest mount size for any 35mm sensor, so their bokeh is second to none almost all across the board. Nikon and Sigma are starting to come close by really pushing the limits of what can fit into the Nikon F mount, and some very fine optical engineering, so I’m not really that envious anymore.

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    • John McCosh

      J. Dennis Thomas your comment about the difference in depth of field between f/2.8 and f/4 is correct. However if you wanted to throw the background out of focus you would use your 70-200 f2.8 lens at the 200mm end not at 70mm and at 200mm the difference between f/2.8 and f/4 can make the difference of having a distracting background in your shot or not. This reason alone I suspect the 70-200 f/2.8 lens will continue to be wedding photographers best friend.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      200mm @ f/2.8 at 10ft is 0.12 at f/4 it’s f/0.17. It even LESS of a difference

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    • John McCosh

      J. Dennis Thomas, Not sure if your agreeing with me or not but using your figures. At 70mm there is 6 inches difference in the DOF between f/2.8 and f/4 where at 200mm the difference in the DOF is reduced to .05ft or .6 inch, throwing the background more out of focus at 200mm than it would at 70mm. Also remember that your distance from camera to subject also needs to change if your shooting a head shot at 70mm you need to stand a lot closer to your subject than if you were shooting at 200mm this also needs to be factored into your calculations.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I don’t know about you guys, but personally when doing event photography, “getting everybody in focus” is usually happening when I am at 24mm or so, where depth of field is a lot more generous at both f/2.8 and f/4, but especially at f/4…

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Try filling the frame with a couple at 24mm and see what they think about how the perspective distortion makes them look.

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  12. Joe Miller

    I think the principle theme of this article is sound, but I don’t think we’re quite there yet…especially for those still wringing life out of 2-3 yr old camera bodies that don’t have the ISO performance of the models being released right now.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      My 7 year old D700 takes to f/4 lenses quite nicely. Most 2-3 year old cameras are very good up to 6400, at least if you’re a Nikon shooter. Canon was always a few steps behind Nikon in that respect.

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  13. Enzo Scorziello

    Let me wade in here. One of the big reasons companies are pushing out these F4 lenses is because of the rise in popularity of the mirrorless systems. An F1.4 lens on a mirrorless is kind of counter intuitive. I went mirrorless for the portability, which is typically the main reason people switch. Do I get the same low noise levels as with a full frame? No,nor do I expect to. One of my current favorite lenses for my Sony system is the Rokinon 85mm T1.5. However it is a heavy lens, it doubles the overall weight of my kit. However it is a beast in low light. The 85mm actually weighs more than my Canon FD 80-200mm F4.
    My guess is that in the next year or so, especially from Sony/Nikon, F stops will be fairly irrelevant in terms of noise levels. Yes you will still want a wide open lens for that shallow depth of field, but as far as image quality goes it won’t be much of an issue.

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    • Matthew Saville

      You raise a very good point, Enzo. If you compare a lens like the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art and the new Sony / Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 FE, the Sony is a mere 30 grams lighter. The Sony 70-200 f/4 FE is actually a few grams heavier than the Canon 70-200 f/4 L IS…

      The whole weight benefit of mirrorless, therefore, actually has less to do with the lack of a mirror itself, and mainly to do with a plain system re-birth. Nikon’s f/1.8 G lenses are a prime example of (no pun intended) primes that achieve amazing weight savings with or without a mirror….

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Canon was making standard f/4 L lenses before mirrorless was a “thing”. Nikon released the 16-35 f/4 when mirrorless was a joke of a system and the 24-120 before Fuji actually started making mirrorless cameras viable. Manufacturers didn’t start pushing f/4 because they got scared of mirrorless, at first a was an less expensive way to get a professional quality constant aperture lens, now it just makes sense.

      The Sigma 24-105 f/4 is by no means a light lens, and I state in the article that this isn’t all about weight, but also about versatility and portability. I also state that there is a need for fast lenses for some types of photography, but in the grand scheme of things with ISO sensitivities being what they are, f/2.8 lenses aren’t as fast enough to justify the size of the lenses. You want shallow DoF, pick up a cheap 28/35/50/85 f/1.8 prime.

      Seriously, is a lens that is twice as long , weighs and costs twice as much really worth the ONE stop advantage? An f/2.8 lens doesn’t give you a huge difference in terms of DoF wide open.

      I also talk about the advantages of a smaller aperture with better IQ at higher ISO’s because as much as your Rokinon might make your Sony a low-light “beast” (I never understood that terminology), in many cases a deeper depth of field is required. When I shoot a band sometimes I need to get the WHOLE band in focus. That ain’t happening at f/1.4

      In any case, I wasn’t addressing the mirrorless segment, because I don’t use a typical mirrorless system.

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  14. Ralph Hightower

    Last Wednesday, I went for the first time to Augusta National Golf Club for the practice round of The Masters. I chose the practice round for the ticket lottery because a) practice round tickets are probably easier to obtain and b) cameras are allowed.
    Since I didn’t want to be changing lenses, I opted to use a two camera system and shoot film (Canon F-1N) and digital (Canon EOS 5D Mk III). I rented the Canon EF 100-400mm f4-5.6L lens for the 5D and used my Canon FD 28mm f2.8 lens for the F-1. I used a shoulder harness system for carrying the 5D on the left and the F-1 on the right. I think using the harness system was a back saver instead of strapping two cameras around my neck.
    I did lose 5 pounds for The Masters by removing the battery grip from my 5D and the motor drive from the F-1 with its 12 AA batteries, but I gained two pounds switching my EF 24-105mm f4L for the 100-400 f4-5.6L
    Since I’m a camera geek, I noticed the cameras that patrons were using. I saw one Nikon guy with one DSLR with a supertelephoto hanging to his left and a shorter zoon hanging to his right. I also saw one of the media crew with Canon DSLRs with a range of lenses. But the majority of cameras that I saw were entry level DSLRs. I think that I was the only one shooting film at The Masters.

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  15. desmond chislom

    GREAT INFO

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  16. Paul Hennell

    Another vote for f4 here. 2.8 is nice sure, but that extra size / weight / cost for a 1 stop benefit seems a poor trade off, given the greater then 1 stop benefits we’ve seen in ISO, and image stabilisation etc. Not worth it unless you really need it IMO.

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  17. Uncle Bob

    I’m half of a wedding shooter team and even though we prefer primes we always make sure to have a zoom handy just in case. With high ISO performance the way it is now it no longer makes sense for us to even own any 2.8 zooms. We have the 24-70/4.0 Macro and the new 16-35/4.0, they’re both fantastic lenses… They’re lighter, more affordable and just as sharp as than their 2.8 counterparts. We shoot at 6400 regularly and our files are always clean (we use Canon 6d’s).

    We figure if we want super fast shutter speeds or shallow DOF we’re going to use a prime anyway so what’s the point of holding on to an expensive f/2.8 anchor of a lens?

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  18. Jim Johnson

    A while back, I was caught out without my best lenses. The only thing I had access to was the kit lens that came with my camera, a lens I had not touched since because it had a variable max aperture. With the auto iso capabilities of my current camera, it performed incredibly well. So well, the untrained eye would not have noticed a difference in sharpness (color was different matter, but easily correctable).

    I’m not giving up my pro glass, but I’m going to have to re-evaluate the way I select lenses now.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      You’re going to start seeing more pro glass in the f/4 range coming from Nikon. Canon has had f/4 L lenses for awhile now. Nikon’s first “gold ring” f/4 pro lens was the 16-35mm. The 24-120 is also a gold ring pro lens.

      I also think that when Nikon does a redesign on their 24-70 f/2.8 it’s going to look a lot more like the 16-35, more plastic lens magnesium.

      I do miss the build quality of the old Nikon gold ring glass though. I beat the crap out of my 17-35/28-70/80-200 f/2.8D AF-S lenses because they were built like tanks. When the new “holy trinity” came out (14-24/24-70/70-200 f/2.8G) I had to be a little more careful and they did end up at NPS more often.

      Now with the f/4 I can’t just chuck my gear around like I used to. But when comparing Sigma’s “thermal plastic composite” or whatever it’s called to Nikon’s polycarbonate it is definitely clear that the Sigma build is better. I can’t speak for Tamron or Tokina, because I gave up on them years ago (I’d be willing to test out your lenses if any reps are reading…) but Nikon “gold ring” standard isn’t as pro as it used to be.

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  19. Jason Markos

    Great article and really interesting and refreshing to hear this perspective – mostly, it’s so often about simply getting to the most expensive gear, regardless of whether you need it, or if it’s the best fit for what you need.

    The timing of this article is great for me too – having just come in to some vouchers that I’ve been considering to use on a 70-200mm for my Nikon. The 2.8 seemed like the obvious choice, simply because of the way everyone talks about it. But the f4 seems to be super sharp and is considerably lighter and smaller. The reduced weight is going to increase the chance of me having it with me and using it…

    I confess, I’m still not 100% decided though!

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Thanks. I never thought I’d have been converted to f/4 lenses. I used to laugh at the Canon guys back in the for using the 24-105 f/4, but that was because the IQ wasn’t very good. Canon really did need f/2.8 lenses for a longer time than Nikon, but they are slowly catching up. I won’t lie, the only Canon guys I see switching to f/4s are using 1DXs. I think that’s the only camera that is a viable camera to use at f/4 in lowlight.

      That Nikon 70-200 f/4 is so tiny if you go to the store and compare the two I guarantee you’ll be walking with the f/4. Your neck and back will thank you.

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  20. robert s

    2.8 for me please. thank you. and the lightness/size is not the reason I wont buy f/4.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Lightness and size isn’t the main reason I switched to f/4. As I mentioned the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 is big and heavy, but it’s more versatile in focal length. I can gain the one stop back with ISO performance and carry only one camera for most events. I mean that’s what the whole article is about.

      This is an observation piece and an opportunity to give other photographers some alternatives to think about. It’s not a manifesto against f/2.8 lenses.

      Whatever your reasons are with sticking with an f/2.8 lens are just as valid as my reasons for not using them anymore.

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    • robert s

      that sigma is stellar! if I didnt have my 2.8 zooms I think I would have gone for that myself. high iso in FF cameras is really wonderful today. I shoot my D3s at iso 8000 on the dance floor all the time.

      I want my 2.8 for the look of the short DOF just like some may argue you dont need an 85 1.4 because 1.8 is good enough. but the 85 1.4 at open aperture has a different feel altogether than the 1.8 at 1.8. like the canon 1.2 vs the 1.8. it has that little extra “something” thats what makes my portraits of the groom and bride (noticed I didnt say bride and groom,haha) stand out and look different than those who shoot at f/4. f/4 is good, but the isolation of the 2.8 stands out. the bokeh is creamier with large OOF elements. looks very dreamy.

      what I say though only applies to 70-200 (and primes) for me. in the 17-35/24-70 range f4 is fine. although with that duo, I would like the 2,8 mainly for the brighter VF. it helps when shooting in low light like the dance floor. the AF system works better as well.

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    • robert s

      idiots those guys at sigma for stopping production on that lens. it outperforms the nikon and canon and for less money. win win.

      im in awe what sigma and tamron are delivering. that 15-30 VC 2.8 shows it outperforming the 14-24 AFS. now that is no tiny feat. that lens has held its rank for so many years. but it had to happen sooner or later.

      cmon sigma bring daddy an 85 ART!

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Like I say in my article, if it’s shallow depth of field you’re after use a prime. Personally for event work I like a little more depth of field so f/4 is fine. If I’m shooting something specific I pick a specific lens, like a 35mm, 50mm or 80 f/1.4. But if I’m shooting on the fly usually “bokeh” (I hate that term) isn’t at the forefront of my mind.

      By the way, Sigma never stopped production of the 24-105mm f/4 | A. That was an unfounded rumor. I’m pretty close with the marketing people at Sigma and I asked Patrick about it and straight out said “No, we did NOT stop production of the 24-105 f/4”. That rumor popped up on Canon Rumors because Sigma sold out of the lens and it is backordered. One of the retailers had it listed as “unavailable” and the rumor spread. Sigma didn’t expect to sell as many of them as they did. They are still in production.

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  21. Dave Haynie

    I’ve had that basic formula for years, possible due to budget, too, but certainly size. I have the 24-105 f/4L and other f/4 zooms for my Canon system, along with a few f/2 or f/1.8 primes. Pretty much does the job.

    I started doing that moving to Olympus… f/1.8 to f/2.0 primes and f/3.5-f/4.0 zooms. But then I got the f/2.8 12-40 PRO, which isn’t all THAT gigantic compared to a FF lens, even the Canon 24-105. That of course got me eventually into the 40-150 f/2.8… that is about the size of my Canon 70-300 f/4, and maybe even as heavy. Meanwhile, the cheaper 40-150mm f/4-5.6 is smaller than the 12-40 and weights only 7.2oz…. with caps. So I knew I’d be shooting in lower light this weekend and brought “the beast” (well, in m43 world terms, clearly just a puppy compared to long f/2.8 Canon glass), but I’m keeping the other around for run-lite situations.

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  22. Jeff Forbes

    Ten years ago, people were happy using ISO 1600 on a crop body, or 3200, possibly occasionally 6400 in limited cases on a full frame body.

    Today, crop bodies can produce reasonable results at 6400. ISO 6400 on my 6D looks great, and it’s no A7S.

    Most photographers don’t need ISO 6400 on a regular basis.

    Second, the f/4 lenses are oftentimes as good or better than their 2.8 counterparts. The 16-35/f4 IS has only one disadvantage when compared with the f/2.8 version: aperture. It’s sharper at f/4 than the 2.8 is at 4. The 70-200/4 isn’t as good as the 2.8 II, but it’s also half the price.

    So, if f/4 has adequate low light performance, the next question is, of those that really need good low light performance, or really desire more DOF control, they can then go to prime lenses. Nikon has a nice new set of primes, Canon has a nice set of new IS primes, and Sigma has some world beating glass if size isn’t an issue.

    Would you rather have a 70-200 f/4 AND a Sigma 35mm 1.4, or a 70-200 2.8? Or perhaps a long weekend trip instead of a lens? Is that even a question? There will be some people that need 2.8, and for everyone else, if you don’t need it you don’t need it.

    On smaller formats, faster glass is more important. Look at what Fuji has done – focused on getting some nice primes for their system – it’s not loaded with f/5.6 zooms. m4/3 seems to cater to two crowds that converge a bit – the “I want good quality and tiny” crowd, and the “I want the best quality as small as possible” crowd. So you get the f/5.6 zooms that drastically outperform a P&S on one side, and on the other side, you have a series of prime lenses that is as good as anything, and compares reasonably well to zoom lenses on FX.

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  23. John Cavan

    I’ve been eying the Nikon “junior trinity” I have to admit. While the F/2.8 lenses are pretty darn awesome, the F/4 offer a great bang for the buck and show themselves not to be a slouch in the general performance front either. It’s a good tradeoff from my perspective, especially with high ISO performance so good these days.

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  24. Harry Lim

    I’m looking to switch from Canon to Sony this year. My Canon 70-200 2.8 IS is a heavy beast on the MKIII. The only Sony equivalent is an f/4. I was a little worried so on a recent shoot I kept my Canon at f/4 and you know what? It was just fine.

    Given how light the Sony version is compared to the Canon (and less expensive than the Canon version II), it’s a no-brainer. Give up one stop which you can easily get back with ISO on the A7 (especially the A7S).

    My friend has the D800 and just got the Nikon 70-200 f/4 and he loves it.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Harry, the problem here is that you’re comparing apples and oranges, bigtime.

      Canon’s 70-200 f/2.8 being heavier than Sony’s 70-200 f/4 has almost nothing to do with the fact that Sony’s mirrorless. Why do I say this? Because Canon also has a 70-200mm f/4 L IS, and it actually weighs in at a good ~3 oz LIGHTER than the Sony.

      Whoops!

      Same thing about the Canon 5D mk3. The mk3 and a Sony A7-something are simply different beasts, across the board. Trade your mk3 for a 6D, and the sony is only 6 oz lighter. Subtract the 3 oz differences from the lenses, and you’re back to 3 oz total weight savings.

      The same thing happens when you compare various other lenses that are not apples and oranges. (Trust me, lol, if you’d like send me a private message and I’ll invite you to the gigantic google spreadsheet I have that lists all kinds of random weights and facts about lenses and bodies, lol…)

      Oh, and the price difference? Canon’s “apples” actually come out WAY cheaper than Sony’s. If you get just two or three Zeiss lenses into the system, you’ll be spending one or two thousand dollars more to jump to Sony.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I’ve been utterly thrilled with the weight and size and sharpness of my Nikon D750 and Nikon 24-120 f/4 VR. For everything but the most incredibly pitch-black situations, it works fine. And even then, when the light is that bad, I fell like f/2.8 is still a compromise anyways, I’d rather have an f/2, f/1.8, or f/1.4 prime anyways.

      Especially with DX crop mode delivering ~10 megapixels on a 24 MP FX sensor, and 16 on a 36 MP FX sensor; I’ve got 24-180mm at my disposal in a single body+lens combo…

      That’s not to say I’m VERY supportive of fast lenses, when the need arises. I’m actually getting kinda sick of landscape shooters talking about how “nobody” needs f/2.8 lenses at all anymore. Sure, I’ve been saying for years that if you shoot everything at f/8-16, you’re an idiot to lug around a 2.8 lens. However plenty of us do in fact NEED f/2.8 for night landscape photography. An f/4 lens is largely useless at night, with anything dimmer than a half moon.

      So, it goes both ways. Canon has really focused on f/4’s with the past couple big L releases, but they still desperately need to either update their 16-35 2.8 L mk2, or do something entirely different to compete with the Tamron 15-30 and the Nikon 14-24… And no, the Canon 11-24 is not that lens. Not at $3K and f/4.

      =Matt=

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @Harry Lim: I *literally* just walked in the door with my friend from meeting up with someone to sell his Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS because he just picked up the new f/4.

      @Matthew Saville: I’m not saying that there’s never a need for fast lenses, sometimes you do have to have that f/1.4-f/2 range depending on what you do. Let’s face it though, the amount of people that are shooting night landscapes and astrophotography are going to buy a specific lens for that.

      If you’re going to need a fast lens for night landscapes f/2.8 really isn’t that fast, an f/1.4 prime is the better option (in my opinion) if you must go super low-light. I mean, if I was into night landscapes a 24mm f/1.4 would be top on my list before a 24-70 f/2.8 or even a 14-24 f/2.8. I mean one stop when shooting in total darkness is pretty much negligible.

      In any case, I’m not saying that getting rid of f/2.8 zoom lenses is in the future of things, but I am seeing a trend among many pros I work with that used fast zooms sizing down to f/4 zoom lenses.

      In the end, you know what you need for what you do, and if it’s an f/2.8 lens that’s cool.

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    • J. Cassario

      I am currently testing the Sony 70-200 f/4 and loving it, it is an excellent lens all around and super sharp. I own the A7II and the advantage you get in dynamic range and high ISO really make the f/4 a better option than going with the Canon version.

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    • Derek Schwartz

      I’ll add that I own the Canon 70-200 F4 IS, and its a great lens. Sharp, light, great handling, tougher than hell (or at least whatever I’ve thrown at it) and a helluva value IMO. Haven’t looked at the third party alternatives…which I guess says a lot about how much I like the lens!

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    • Dave Haynie

      The weight tracks by sensor size, maximum aperture, zoom range, and product tier — not so much by whether or not there’s a mirror. So a Sony G or Canon L or Olympus PRO or Sigma Art is going to weight more, due to weather sealing, metal construction, etc… as well as perhaps a more advanced lens design. Lower end lenses save weight using plastic elements, plastic bodies, no sealing, smaller or variable apertures, etc. Once you filter out those differences, it’s basically sensor size that’s left.

      Sony 24-70 f/4.0 weighs in at 430g. The Canon 24-70 f/4.0L is 600g, but the wider range, lower end Canon 24-105 f/3.5-5.6 is only 540g. Nikon’s 24-85 f/3.5-5.4 is only 465g. Shriking the sensor, you get the Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 at only 220g. But upgrade to the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, and you’re at 382g — wider aperture, top of the line model, constant aperture.

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  25. adam sanford

    Weight, weight, weight. f/4 zooms are gloriously light compared to f/2.8 zooms.

    Agree in principle to J Dennis’ argument here. As high ISO performance improves, photographers can afford to double their ISO with an f/4 zoom to net the same shutter speed as an f/2.8 zoom.

    And let’s not forget IS. In low light handheld — for a great deal of what we shoot — X stops of IS is usually a 1:1 conversion to X stops of speed (provide your subject isn’t moving of course).

    So, for me, it’s an 16-35 f/4 IS zoom, and 24-70 f/4 IS zoom, and an 70-200 *f/2.8* IS zoom. I still keep the 2.8 on the 70-200 for better 2x T/C usage.

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  26. robert garfinkle

    Here is a question though – we know that lenses which have a f1.4 and or f1.8 are very expensive, yes? So, moving to an f2.8 or f4 and adjusting the ISO is a reasonable choice…

    However, from the perspective of “sweet spot” an f4 lens may have to be set at f6.3 or a bit smaller, right – to get ultimate sharpness? or am I not understanding how all this works.

    The thinking is, if I get an f1.4 or f1.8, and stop down to an f4 or f5.6 I hit the sweet spot then and even if I have to pump ISO it’s not too high, or not as high as if I had a less expensive f4 in play…

    thoughts

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Lenses that are f/1.8 can be had for less than $100. But you’re also talking about primes (with the exception of the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8.

      The focus my article here is zooms for situations where you need more flexibility not necessarily ultimate sharpness.

      Also the newest zooms are almost as sharp, if not sharper than some primes. For example, the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 is sharper wide open at 24mm than the Sigma 24mm f/1.8 is stopped down to f/4 or even f/5.6.

      The bottom line is that if you are looking for a specific application, i.e., shallow depth of field or ultimate sharpness at a certain focal length then yes, primes are your best option.

      But for all around zoom lenses especially when you need to shoot wide open with the most versatility f/4 is perfectly feasible.

      I still have prime lenses for special purposes, but for my all-around event lenses I use f/4 zooms.

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    • robert garfinkle

      gotcha –

      Hey, really quick. I was either looking at getting a Nikon 300mm f4 PF (the new one) and or a zoom which could do at least 300mm or greater… This would be for solar / lunar shooting and nature based photography… Obviously the 300 PF is prime (and also has an inherent bug in it – the VR sucks at low shutter speeds) but from what I understand it’s crisp. But I like zoom options too…

      thanks

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    • Matthew Saville

      Yup, I have not seen an f/4 lens come out from Canon or Nikon in the past few generations that wasn’t insanely sharp wide open. In fact Canon’s original 70-200mm f/2.8’s were notorious for being SOFTER than their two f/4 siblings, even at f/4. Whoops…

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I haven’t used the PF lens technology yet and I’m a little skeptical about how the OoF areas are going to render with the fresnel lens. So I can comment on that. The 300 f/4 AF-S and 300 f/4 AF are phenomenal.

      Sigma has two new super-teles the 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM both a C and S version, the S version being weather sealed all around. I haven’t had a chance to to use them, but reports are very good. For lunar and solar photography that should be fast enough.

      Tamron also has a 150-600mm F5-6.3 VC lens, but I’m still not convinced they have their focus motor situation 100% figured out yet. But it gets some good reviews. (I’m a Sigma guy, so I’m a little biased)

      The Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 is phenomenal lens, but then again it’s a 13 pound beast. And defeats the purpose of what my point was with this article, but I do love that lens.

      As far as I know those are the only good options if VR/OS/VC is a must.

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    • robert garfinkle

      There are two reports about the new 300mm PF which are not good.

      One, is a specific lens flare based on the lens make up – not sure exactly what they name it but, it’s a complaint…

      The other is the VR issue at low shutter speeds up to 1/200 etc… where it defocuses – yuk..

      I am not a big fan of VR, only as it is limited use, and this lens is not the only one to see the issue. I had the 80 – 400 nikon, first edition, and it was horrible…

      Now, if I got the 300mm PF, I would not even think about using VR, even if I were handholding and shooting at 1/60 etc… and I’m not the steadiest hand in the world. And I could probably avoid the flare issue too.

      But, that 150 – 600 sounds like a nice lens. I’ve heard that.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      If your dislike of VR has come from early incarnations of it, you may want to give it a try again. Nikon’s VRII and VRIII are very good and Sigma’s OS is superb and insanely quiet and discreet (I often have to check to see if I accidentally switched it off). Tamron has always had a decent VC as well, if a little loud and “jittery”, but they have probably made some advances in that technology.

      As far as the PF lens, as soon as I saw the word “fresnel” I knew it was going to be problematic due to the inherent design. Google “Fresnel Lens” and you’ll see why.

      Fresnel lenses were popular on spotlights in early Hollywood films and George Hurrell made fantastic use of them for his iconic portraiture, but the light was going OUT not coming IN!

      We’ll just have to wait and see how the PF lenses work, they may end up being pushed out of the Nikon pro-line and into a “high-end consumer” price point. Or discontinued after the initial run. Who knows?

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    • Steve VanSickle

      I’ve also been using the Sigma f/4 Art lens and while I haven’t tested every possibility, the lens is still REALLY sharp at f/4. It’s my go-to concert lens these days with a Nikon D610.

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