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Author Topic: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms  (Read 12604 times)

elflord

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2013, 08:55:04 PM »
The standard lens requirement for shooting events/weddings seem to be a combination of 24-70/28 and 70-200/2.8, I read both are nailed to a pro's camera 90% of the time (though I have problems doing the maths :-))

A lens with a larger aperture afaik has three advantages: better af on some bodies, better subject isolation/creativity (just one eye in focus) and last not least a "fast" lens is required for "low light" shots.

My question rose when I read the great book "Captured by the Light" by David Ziser who - believe it or not - writes that f4 to f5.6 (for convenience or added safety) is his bread and butter setting for posed candid wedding flash shots, and he used the 5d2 at that time.

Saying that it's his "bread and butter setting" is different from saying that he uses it all the time.

Turning this around, what are the disadvantages of f/2.8 zooms ?

The main advantages are shallower dof (when needed,  not  necessarily on every shot) and that it helps AF performance

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2013, 08:55:04 PM »

Marsu42

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2013, 09:21:07 PM »
The standard lens requirement for shooting events/weddings seem to be a combination of 24-70/28 and 70-200/2.8, I read both are nailed to a pro's camera 90% of the time (though I have problems doing the maths :-))
I disagree with your basic presmise that  24-70 and 70-200 are "nailed" to wedding photographer's SLR's...and are "must-have" lenses. This is simply not accurate.

Well, I actually I do agree with you and have to admit that this premise was an ironic part, 90% + 90% = 180% :-)

Another is an old timer who can pick his L-lenses from his oversized bag, but what sticks out in my mind is not his lens collection...

That's what a photog also said to me, but on the other hand the "I can shoot a wedding with my iPhone" photog type is a bit suspicious to me, too - I really can't tell what's reality and what's showing off in either "top gear" or "low gear" way.

I thought that 2.8 was important for using the high precision cross type auto focus sensors.... Better and more accurate focus at 2.8, then the pics append at the aperture of choice... Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that this was how the autofocus operates....

Afaik: Yes and no. The 5d3/1dx-type af is more precise with the newest lenses (*not* necessarily the ones with the widest apertures, see lens groups in the manual), i.e. it can use all focus points, the doublecross sensor points don't degrade & the enhanced motor precision can be used (see lensrentals test on the 6d af which cannot). So that's +1 for the newest Canon f2.8 zooms.

On the other hand the camera *has* to focus more precisely when using a f2.8+ lens, and that can cost speed as a tradeoff for precision - so focusing with a "dumb" f4 lens might be faster since a little focus miss doesn't show.

And the 6d/5d2 is another matter, it has *no* cross-type af point @f2.8, but falls back to the less precise cross when the f2.8 line fails to focus - so -1 for f2.8 lenses since this af system is "anti-tuned" for it, there's a reason the Canon sample shots are made with the 17-40/4 and the kit lenses are 24-105/4 and the new 24-70/4.

Turning this around, what are the disadvantages of f/2.8 zooms ?

Um, price, bulk (scare-factor, pack-size) and weight come to mind :-p that's why I have a 70-300L and not a 70-200/2.8.

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2013, 09:26:15 PM »
The standard lens requirement for shooting events/weddings seem to be a combination of 24-70/28 and 70-200/2.8, I read both are nailed to a pro's camera 90% of the time (though I have problems doing the maths :-))

A lens with a larger aperture afaik has three advantages: better af on some bodies, better subject isolation/creativity (just one eye in focus) and last not least a "fast" lens is required for "low light" shots.

My question rose when I read the great book "Captured by the Light" by David Ziser who - believe it or not - writes that f4 to f5.6 (for convenience or added safety) is his bread and butter setting for posed candid wedding flash shots, and he used the 5d2 at that time.

Saying that it's his "bread and butter setting" is different from saying that he uses it all the time.

Turning this around, what are the disadvantages of f/2.8 zooms ?

The main advantages are shallower dof (when needed,  not  necessarily on every shot) and that it helps AF performance

I would say the weight... but in retrospect I can now handhold my 200 f/2 for the duration of a 6 hour event now and have a 2nd body + lenses no problem now. Could not do that two seasons ago when I started.

spinworkxroy

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2013, 09:30:53 PM »
Well, if you're shooting a wedding for a paying customer and with your reputation at stake, wouldn't you want to make sure you have the best of the best gears in the event you really need it?

The 24-70 and 70-200 are the best zooms in the market…and if you were to get the best, you'll get those.

Having an f2.8 zoom doesn't mean you'll shoot them at 2.8 all the time.. but it's there when you need it.

With flashes, maybe the f2.8 isn't that important..
BUT, there are many instances where flashes are NOT allowed, like in a church…that's where the 2.8 comes in handy…

srh

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2013, 09:31:48 PM »
basically having a wide aperture available is like a condom
its better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it :P

Best thing I've read all day!  ;D

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2013, 09:44:24 PM »
Faster lenses also allow you to see the image more clearly in the view finder.  You generally get better photos if you can see the composition.  The shallower depth of field enhances the distinction between what is in or out of focus making focus acquisition more precise.

Radiating

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2013, 10:03:12 PM »
The standard lens requirement for shooting events/weddings seem to be a combination of 24-70/28 and 70-200/2.8, I read both are nailed to a pro's camera 90% of the time (though I have problems doing the maths :-))

A lens with a larger aperture afaik has three advantages: better af on some bodies, better subject isolation/creativity (just one eye in focus) and last not least a "fast" lens is required for "low light" shots.

My question rose when I read the great book "Captured by the Light" by David Ziser who - believe it or not - writes that f4 to f5.6 (for convenience or added safety) is his bread and butter setting for posed candid wedding flash shots, and he used the 5d2 at that time.

Question: So according to this f2.8 is more important for available light and movement shots, but if that was case with the 5d2, I'm confused why still seems to be still valid with the 6d even though it's about 1 stop better ... either f2.8 was borderline in the past, or f2.8 - 1stop = f4 would be sufficient now - or am I missing something here?

Disclaimer: Please forgive slight traces of irony, this ia a real question because I don't entirely understand the issue, it's great people get whatever gear they like for any purpose they want.

The minimum for capturing action on what I've found to be typical indoor light is:

1Ds Mark III/5D Mark II + f/2.8

OR

5D3/6D/1DX + F/4.0

The thing is that f/2.8 on a 5D Mark 3 gives you more flexibility, you aren't at the limit, so you're more comfortable.

The zoom range let's you frame shots better, and bokeh at f/2.8 is right at the boarderline between overpowering and pleasant.


So in the end f/2.8 on a newer full frame body is the optimum setup for getting a wide range of shots. Now shooting a f/2.8 lens at f/4.0 will often deliver sharper images than going with an f/4.0 lens to begin with so there is a disadvantage  to going f/4.0 to begin with, and you have less flexibility (as you don't have the option of f/2.8).

Going to an a prime that's faster than f/2.8 limits you because there is no zoom, you want SOME zoom if however small it is just so you can get framing right.
F/2.8 tends to be a good "all around" range. You have zoom, bokeh, and a comfortable amount of motion stopping without flash.


Personally I have a collection of the following lenses:

24-70mm f/2.8 II
24-105mm f/4.0 IS (for landscapes, still life and other times where IS helps more than f/2.8 because there is no motion to stop and for when I don't want the onion bokeh or focus shift of the 2.8 II)
70-200mm f/2.8 II

Sigma 35mm 1.4
Canon 50mm 1.4
Sigma 85mm 1.4


24mm TS-E + 1.4x TC & 2x TC  (35mm TS-E & 50mm TS-E)


Ideally I'm looking to pick up a Canon 200mm 2.0 too
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 10:18:13 PM by Radiating »

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2013, 10:03:12 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2013, 10:14:07 PM »
I love it when users say "it's only one stop" when comparing lenses. One stop is a lot! That's twice as good! Some users complain they couldn't tell the difference in rendering from faster glass and then complain that everyone one else can't see the difference.

Don Haines

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2013, 10:24:22 PM »
Just get the f5.6 and f6.3 zooms.... welcome to the dark side......
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Drizzt321

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2013, 10:33:35 PM »
Faster lenses also allow you to see the image more clearly in the view finder.  You generally get better photos if you can see the composition.  The shallower depth of field enhances the distinction between what is in or out of focus making focus acquisition more precise.

Not always, I believe the stock focusing screen (at least for the 5d3) is optimized to show up to f/2 or f/2.5, and anything faster you won't really see any difference.
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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2013, 11:13:16 PM »
Anything faster is always welcome because of the availability of open-wide aperture for most low-light situations.  I think they're main disadvantage is that they're heavier and bulkier.  That's something you don't want to bear for 4-8 hours.  I think that's the main reason why primes are still very popular even if some zooms are quite as good or better than primes.  That and also the price.  If I'm not doing professional work, I prefer primes all day except for some very rare moments.  If I'm doing professional work, of course I want the fastest zoom I can afford.  This is because I want to get all possible pictures I can get at one time.  You don't want to miss some moments because you're changing lens or it's too dark for you to shoot.

agierke

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2013, 11:39:00 PM »
i primarily shoot weddings (on the 5D2 and 5DC) and the reason i went with the 2.8 zooms was primarily that i found slower glass hunted for focus in low light far too often. i am still on version 1 for both the 24-70 and 70-200. the newer lenses coupled with the 5D3 might change the circumstances but i still wouldn't ever favor an F4 glass over an F2.8 or faster glass.

i rarely ever (probably never) shoot the 24-70mm at 2.8 because when i am using that lens i am typically trying to get more than one individual in the shot. 2.8 is too shallow a depth of field to get more than a couple people in focus so i am usually at an F5.6 or F4 (if i am desperate for light) on that lens. where i have seen the 24-105 hunt for focus at times in low light on the 5D series cameras, the 24-70 never hunts for focus for me. that is why i got it.

on the other hand, i will use the 70-200 at an f2.8 because with that focal length range i am typically trying to isolate a single individual. i prefer to use it an F4 because the results tend to be a bit sharper but i will push it to a 2.8 without much concern sometimes.

both those lenses are the foundation for the days shooting at a wedding for me....but, i would hesitate to call them my bread and butter. this past year i have added a 15mm fisheye, 35mm 1.4L, and 85mm 1.8 to the lenses that i bring on weddings. the fisheye i got just to get the occasional wacky overall shot (though i have found that lens to be extremely useful to me in my architectural shots...who knew!).

the 35mm F1.4 has really become my star performer for pre ceremony shots and couple shots. at F2.0 i find i can shoot a couple, keep them in the depth of field, and maintain really nice fall off to the background that i just dont get with the 24-70. a colleague of mine that i shoot with alot has quipped on several occasions that the 24-70mm is by far the most boring lens in her bag...and i tend to agree with her. but it covers alot of ground so for me it stays in the bag.

never been a fan of the F4 lenses. i always want the maximum versatility and to me not having the 2.8 is something i cant get past.

here is some stuff i shot (mostly as a 2nd) where the 24-70 and 70-200 is primarily featured:
http://www.adamgierkephotography.com/data/pssites/PS_37/Current_Wedding_Gallery/index_12.html

and here is some more recent stuff where i have started to incorporate the 35mm a bit more:

http://www.adamgierkephotography.com/data/pssites/PS_25/Wedding_Portfolio_12/index.html
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 11:47:00 PM by agierke »
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Rocky

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2013, 01:42:08 AM »
Even you do not need to shoot at 2.8, these are the benefits of having a 2.8 lens:
1. Brighter view finder image, so you can catch th expression easier.
2. Faster focusing in dim light
3. More accurate focus after you have stopped downth lens during exposure due to increased DOF.
4. Sharper image after stopped down the len. Usually, a 2.8 lens at 4.0 is sharper than a lens wide opened at 4.0
Draw back of 2.8 lens:
1. Size and weight.
2. $$$

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2013, 01:42:08 AM »

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2013, 04:06:20 AM »
basically having a wide aperture available is like a condom
its better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it :P

f2.8 gives much nicer shallow depth of field shots than f4 but probably both eyes will be in focus the one eye in focus thing is more the domain of fast primes

typically at weddings I'll either be shooting my 85 at f2 maybe f2.8 for more people in the shot and occassionally f4 or 5.6 but really i use this lens for portraits and couple shots
I use this lens more now than i do my 70-200 f2.8 since at f2 its sharper than even the 70-200 is at f2.8

I'll shoot the 70-200 at all sorts of apertures depending on the shot.
for the bride and groom walking down the isle its much better to stop down and play it safe
since using servo and how fast it all goes off there isn't alot of time to mess around and a redo isnt an option

the 16-35 i'll shoot at everything from f2.8 to f11 depending on the shot having 2.8 on this lens is a godsend with the 5Dmk3 for receptions (same goes for walking down the isle shots with this lens, stopped down is better) and its a fantastically fast focuser in low light, really really impressive on the 5Dmk3.
+1
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Hillsilly

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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2013, 04:34:59 AM »
Hardly a pro, and a lot of the time I take group photos I often wish I had used a smaller aperture for increased DOF.  So I see where the OP is coming from.  But when I look at a good set of wedding photos, the photographer will generally have a good selection of narrow depth of field photos.  These would tend to be the less formal shots and are often the best / favourite photos of the day.  (Although, many of these are probably taken with a prime with an even wider aperture than f/2.8).
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Re: Please explain the need for f2.8 zooms
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2013, 04:34:59 AM »