Need Help .... shall I upgrade?

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Ken St John
I took advantage of a lens loan from Canon, and spent a while today testing out a 70-200 f2.8 as a possible replacement for my current 70-200 f4. I decided to throw caution to the wind, and ventured out to one of my favorite local spots, looking west over Puget Sound to the Olympic Mountains. I tried a few things, including some wide open plants and a landscape shot, and really can't tell much difference. If I trade up, the price delta is around $600-800 which is OK with me, budget wise, but I'm just not sure there's enough difference to justify the cost. What say you? :)

My current f4:
Test 70-200 f2.8-12.jpg
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Steilacoom Lens Test-5.jpg
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The f2.8:
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Steilacoom Lens Test-14.jpg
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I have a couple more days on my loan, so any suggestions y'all may have for a good test I'd appreciate them!! Especially if they don't violate our stay-at-home (or close by) orders!! :rolleyes:

Thanks in advance!

Ken
 
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For me, it all depends on HOW you shoot.
If you shoot LONG sessions, the lighter weight of the f/4 lens might be more important.
This was my reason for selecting the f/4 lens. The f/4 lens was HALF the weight of the f/2.8 lens.​
When shooting for 6 hours, that makes a difference in how my arms feel at the end of shoot.​
If you shoot in dim light, the larger f/2.8 aperture might be more important.
Old saying, "in DIM light, FAST glass wins."​
It could be the difference between shooting at ISO 3200 or 6400, or at 1/1000 sec or 1/500 sec.​
If you shoot LONG night games, well, then you have to make the choice, less weight or faster aperture.
 
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  • #5
For me, it all depends on HOW you shoot.
If you shoot LONG sessions, the lighter weight of the f/4 lens might be more important.
This was my reason for selecting the f/4 lens. The f/4 lens was HALF the weight of the f/2.8 lens.​
When shooting for 6 hours, that makes a difference in how my arms feel at the end of shoot.​
If you shoot in dim light, the larger f/2.8 aperture might be more important.
Old saying, "in DIM light, FAST glass wins."​
It could be the difference between shooting at ISO 3200 or 6400, or at 1/1000 sec or 1/500 sec.​
If you shoot LONG night games, well, then you have to make the choice, less weight or faster aperture.
Thanks

Good idea about weight!! I don’t haul stuff around a lot but the 2.8 is clearly more hefty!!!

Hmmmmmm.

Ken
 
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  • #7
based on the type of images you used as examples, there would be no benefit to the upgrade
Although I haven’t had the time to do a tripod/exact setup test, I did have a few minutes today to snap a couple wide open (f4 & f2.8) to see the difference in the bokeh with some tulips from our yard. Frankly, to my eye, they’re so close that I sure don’t see $ hundreds worth of difference!!
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As an aside, I’m sure that Canon & Nikon have these loaner programs as a subtle way to get folks to buy a new lens or upgrade. This is my second time To borrow something ... and on both occasions the “loaner” proved that I really did NOT need to buy something!!

Cheers!!

Ken
 
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For close up like the ones above, I actually prefer f/4 over f/2.8 because you need the DOF.

If you don't need eth extra f stops, stick with the f/4. The difference in image quality does not justify the weight and money.
 
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As said above, how often do you use f2.8? Does your work need a shallow depth of field? Do you need a wide aperture to shoot at night? Otherwise, you will not notice any difference, except your wallet will be lighter.
Look at your work for the last year. If you are using a program like lightroom you can filter based on f stop used. How often did you shoot wide open? How often was f4 too small?
Your work will tell you what you need, you just have to listen to it.
A new lens is never a bad purchase. Often it excites us, gets our juices flowing. We can use it's new capabilities to shoot in new ways. But do you need it? Your past work will tell. Good luck with the decision.
Gary
 
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Good morning Ken, what I wouldn’t give to be shooting in Kitsap or Jefferson Counties right now! I literally just helped another friend decide on this exact same issue, he’s even a canon shooter lol. Canon makes good glass and the difference between the f4 and f2.8 will all come down to how and what you shoot. If you find yourself shooting outdoors and in normal daylight all the time then there is no reason to spend more and carry more weight for the 2.8. That being said, if you want to shoot indoors or have the option to shoot indoors for weddings etc then that 1 stop of light will make a difference. If budget and weight isn’t a concern I normally always recommend to my students that “future proofing” your gear is always a good idea if you can. That way when the one off instance you NEED that one stop, it will be there for you.

-Chris
 

Butlerkid

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You don’t get a 2.8 lens to shoot it stopped down. The 70-200 2,8 is a wedding/portrait photographer’s best friend. If you’re happy with the images you’re getting with your f/4 I see no reason to upgrade.
The 2.8 is also a great lens for architectural details in dimly lit buildings!!!
 

Butlerkid

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True, But when I think about how good my Z6 is at high ISO, the difference between 6400 and 12,800 (1 stop) is not even noticeable.
But high ISOs are affecting image quality....no matter how much "better" each generation of sensors improve.....
 
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Thanks all so much for all of your comments. The loaner goes back tomorrow and I think I’ll just stay with my f4. I don’t do weddings or really much of anything that requires a lot of DOF control so the lighter weight and $$$ tell me to stick with what I have!! That plus the f4 lens I have has always been tack sharp and I have never had a complaint with my images!!

Thanks again!!!

Ken
 

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