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Author Topic: varying aperture zoom lenses  (Read 3352 times)

untitled10

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varying aperture zoom lenses
« on: May 18, 2012, 05:59:36 PM »
I'm just going to go straight out, I hate lenses that vary their apertures through out the zoom range, I can't stand it.
A while ago there was a suggestion the the 17-40 f/4 would be upgraded to a 17-40 f/2.8-4, if this happened I would stick to the f/4 edition because I wouldn't be able to get around having to change exposure (I shoot mostly manual and inside) every time I zoom, is this just me, or do other people get irritated by this down fall?

(not looking for a flame war, just expressing views)

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varying aperture zoom lenses
« on: May 18, 2012, 05:59:36 PM »

RC

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 06:43:25 PM »
One of the reasons I sold my 15-85

paul13walnut5

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2012, 07:12:20 PM »
Absolutely agree.  Tokina 11-16 f2.8, Sigma 18-50 f2.8, Canon 70-200 f2.8.

I shoot video so I need my lenses to stay (theoretically) as bright across each individual lenses zoom range as possible for shot matching.

I always get amazed at folk who buy 7D's and 1D's and put lenses with f-fdrop on them. Or even dare I say f4's!  Not just for the effect on exposure (ISO or shutter) but also the effect on AF performance. 

There are some cheap lenses that perform really really well in terms of resolution, fringing, vignetting etc, but try and use them indoors, or worse, indoors at the far end...  Oucha!

Act444

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2012, 07:30:40 PM »
Amen.

The ONE exception I've since allowed is the 70-300 f4-5.6 L, and that's because of what I'm using it for (outdoor concerts & events, animal & bird shots around the immediate area)- and I'm almost always using f5.6-f11 for these shots anyway.

sleepnever

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2012, 08:12:41 PM »
I use a 24-70L almost exclusively on my camera as a carry around. I like the constant aperture and a low one at that, because then I can choose to go up or down and stay at each one as needed.

I'm going to try out the 70-300L f/4-5.6 this weekend and see how I like it compared to the 70-200L mk2 f/2.8
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rumorzmonger

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2012, 09:06:10 PM »
The variable aperture doesn't bother me, since I have a modern camera that maintains the set f/stop when I zoom, except of course for the rare times I'm shooting wide open.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2012, 09:33:45 PM »
Doesn't bother me.  Most of my zooms are constant aperture - the two I have with variable apertures (28-300L and 100-400L) are lenses for which a constant aperture isn't practical (unless it was f/5.6, but I'll take the extra at the wide end, thanks).
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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2012, 09:33:45 PM »

Marsu42

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2012, 09:51:23 PM »
The variable aperture doesn't bother me, since I have a modern camera that maintains the set f/stop when I zoom, except of course for the rare times I'm shooting wide open.

Me, too - I've got no problem with my var aperture zooms, esp. since the digital bodies remember what the min. aperture was and go back if I zoom back. When shooting in very low light it's a bit of a hassle to set my 70-300L to the longest f4.5 or f5.0 setting, but I'm even used to this since I have got these zoom types for a long time.

If you want a f4-5.6 zoom act as a fixed f lens, just set it to f5.6...  actually, I don't understand why people have a problem at all with this, I don't see these zooms as loosing on the long end but gaining extra f-stops on the wide one. If e.g. the 24-70/2.8 wasn't fixed, maybe it would could be a 24-70/2.0-2.8 with the same iq?

I'm going to try out the 70-300L f/4-5.6 this weekend and see how I like it compared to the 70-200L mk2 f/2.8

As with all lenses, there's a compromise - the 70-300L hasn't got a fixed aperture (nor an internal zoom mechanism), but gains shorter build and due to not having f2.8 less weight and much smaller price tag, so I got it because for me the 70-200 is too short for a tele, the f2.8 dof is extremely thin and its a total overkill as a walkaround. But there are many good threads comparing these, and I'd exchange my 70-300L for a 70-200L anytime for free because of the better af @f2.8 :-)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 09:52:55 PM by Marsu42 »

AJ

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2012, 11:35:14 PM »
I'll take the extra at the wide end, thanks

Yup, me too

keithfullermusic

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2012, 12:32:07 AM »
love my 100-400.  if it was going to be 4.5 all the way around i'm sure it would be a billion dollars more and require a suitcase to carry it.  besides, it's usually at the 400 end @ f/7.1.

of course everyone would want their lens to be as fast as possible at all lengths, but cost, size, & weight starting getting to be too much.  so sometimes a compromise is a good thing.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 12:35:30 AM by keithfullermusic »
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AmbientLight

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2012, 08:56:55 AM »
Actually I avoid variable aperture lenses completely. There are so many good fixed aperture zooms out there that I think I shouldn't even bother looking at anything with variable apertures. It looks somewhat like a bad compromise in engineering a lens to me. Well, perhaps that is just me.

neuroanatomist

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2012, 09:28:30 AM »
Actually I avoid variable aperture lenses completely. There are so many good fixed aperture zooms out there that I think I shouldn't even bother looking at anything with variable apertures. It looks somewhat like a bad compromise in engineering a lens to me. Well, perhaps that is just me.

100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, variable aperture, costs $1600.  200-400mm f/4L, constant aperture, costs $11,000.  Reasonable compromise, IMO.
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RLPhoto

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2012, 10:11:32 AM »
If your going to use variable aperture lenses, you may want to take a fast 50mm or 35mm along. They're small, light, and fast! They can complement your slow zooms well.
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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2012, 10:11:32 AM »

lol

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2012, 12:04:08 PM »
Alternative perspective: primes are the fastest lenses, but don't zoom. If you going to zoom, the more zoom ratio there is, the slower the aperture tends to get unless you throw a LOT of money at it. To me, if you need a zoom, adequate range is the priority before considering aperture. If you need aperture, look to primes. f/2.8 constant aperture zooms are kinda stuck between. Not so long, not so fast. Constant f/4 is even worse.

For a lot of what I do, a shorter faster lens is a disadvantage over a longer slower zoom lens. I struggle for enough depth of field. So on crop sensor anyway, I find little need for a f/2.8 zoom. However, this turns around on full frame, where a f/2.8 zoom on FF is comparable to a budget prime on crop, so you do have a prime like speed with zoom. Obviously that's for very different uses.
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keithfullermusic

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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2012, 12:36:23 PM »
its funny that some people seem to think that it is poor engineering on canon's part for making variable aperture lenses.  its actually a really good thing.  if not, there would be no zooms that are even close to affordable.

the larger the aperture, the larger the lens, the larger the price.  the size is something i think plenty of people could deal with, but not the price.  this is because the price jump isn't a smooth linear price curve - it's an exponential jump.  neuroanatomist pointed out the 100-400 price compare to the 200-400 price ($1,600 - $11,000).  unless you are a saudi prince, that's a ton of money.  is $9,400 dollars worth not having to deal with variable aperture?  not in my case.

think if canon didn't offer any of those variable aperture lenses - people would be screaming bloody murder about there not being any affordable lenses.  look at the 5Diii price jump.  half of this forum had a heart attack.  all people were hootin' and hollarin' about was the fact that they wanted an affordable FF.  i'm sure that when canon does release one people will complain about that not having all the features of the 5Diii or 1DX.

i think a lot of people take for granted the amount of work/cost that goes into these lenses.  they look at the f number and think, "that's stupid.  it should go lower.  how hard can that be?!?!? 4, not 1.2 - it's just 2.8 smaller?!?!? what, it's not a constant number!?!?!?  canon is stupid!!!  if i ran canon every lens would be 1.2 constant, and i'd sell it for really cheap, and we'd sell so many that we would make tons of cash!!!"  sorry guys.  doesn't work like that.  the poor man like myself applauds the variable aperture lens because it is something that i can realistically hope for.
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Re: varying aperture zoom lenses
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2012, 12:36:23 PM »