Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)

Started Apr 2, 2013 | Discussions
karl722
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Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
Apr 2, 2013

I bought a refurb NEX-3 a few years ago and fell in love with it.  I bought the NEX-6 when it came out and love it even more.  I've been slowly selling off my Canon DSLR gear.

I have the SEL55210 and have been really enjoying it.  It's a really good lens, especially for the money.  But there are many situations where I want the f2.8.  I still have my Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS.  So, I've been considering a few options:

-Buying an electronic (including AF) Canon EF to E-mount adaptor.

  • Disadvantage: slow AF, may be hard to use huge lens on a mirrorless body, especially switching between focus ring and zoom ring (I'm assuming I'll want to manually focus much of the time).
  • Advantage: This may be a good kit to "tide me over" until a possible similar native E-mount lens comes out (which may never happen).  This would also allow me to use my 17-55 f2.8, which may be interesting?
  • Cost: $225

-Selling the Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS for about $1300 and buying an LA-EA2 + Sigma 70-200 f2.8 OS.

  • Disadvantage: I think this gear would hold is value less well than the Canon gear, which may be a disadvantage if I need to sell it if a similar E-mount lens were ever made.  It also would be big on a mirrorless body, but since it would have good autofocus and I won't have to move my hands between zoom/focus rings as much, this may be less of an issue.  The reviews of the Sigma lens are less positive about its sharpness, which concerns me.  Lastly, I really like IS/OS/VR, but there are relatively few stabilized lenses for the A-mount (which makes the LA-EA2 less useful to me)
  • Advantage: great autofocus
  • Cost: around $225

-Selling the Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS and buying an a37 or a57 + the Tamron 70-200 f2.8

  • Disadvantage: potentially slowish/noisy AF.  Gear may not hold its value as well.  Carrying a second body some of the time?
  • Advantage: (sensor) Stabilized, plus other lenses I get for it would be stabilized.  Sharpness of this lens seems pretty good.  A bigger body should make it easier to handle a bigger lens.
  • Cost: Negative, would actually get to keep around $250 from the deal.

Related questions/notes:

  • I have experimented with FD telephoto primes.  The IQ can vary wildly but is never great (sharpness/color/contrast) when wide open.  I just think I need a more modern lens.
  • Will anyone ever make an E-mount 70-200 f2.8?  It seems clear that Sony never will.  I thought had read that short-flange-distance-makes-for-smaller-lenses advantage applies less for telephoto lenses.  If this is true, then we may never see such a beast.
  • Can anyone comment more on the usability of such huge lenses on an NEX body?  I've seen a few comments here and there, but would like to hear more.
  • The Metabones speedbooster looks very interesting, of course.  But the vignetting on telephoto lenses concerns me, and I just don't see spending $600 on this.

So, thoughts?  Anything I'm missing?  Sorry for the long post!

Sony Alpha NEX-3 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony SLT-A37 Sony SLT-A57
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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
In reply to karl722, Apr 2, 2013

Here is my solution: Minolta 200mm f/2.8 G APO HS + LA-EA2. The lens is compact and lighter. It works beautifully via LA-EA2 on my NEX-3. IMO, this prime lens is a better match for NEX than the bigger and heavier zoom.

As far as E-mount version is concerned, the primary issue would be: Cost and Size. While it may be possible to shrink the lens a teeny bit for E-mount compared to A-mount, there are a few issues:

-Should it be built for APS-C, or FF? But, either way, 70-200 will be 70-200. Downsizing advantage with APS-C would come into play only if field of view is matched (70-200 FF would be 45-135mm APS-C).

-If 70-200, could be built f/4 to make it lighter and smaller.

-If it is indeed built, and costs considerably more than the typical telephoto zoom it will be difficult to justify the price if AF speed cannot keep up for optimal use limiting its use mostly to slow moving or non-moving subjects, if at all whereas 70-200/2.8 and like are primarily marketed for action and they can command the price for it.

Some of these are points I’d discussed with others elsewhere, regarding need for such fast telephoto. IMO, it will be far easy to market such lens if hybrid AF system in NEX can handle it. Until then, I would say, EA2 is your option. Also look into Sigma 50-150/2.8, also via EA2. It is an APS-C lens (and translates to 75-225mm equivalent FL).

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blue_skies
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Re: Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, Apr 2, 2013

I would wait for the Sony announcements regarding zoom lenses. Their high-IQ zoom lens may very well be f/2.8 (wide) to f/4.0 (tele).

Meanwhile, I would invest as little as possible, with the intent to upgrade it.

You can consider some legacy 100/2.8 and 135/2.8 primes - they are small and compact.

Do you need 200mm at f/2.8? It is rather bulky.

The EA2 gives you AF, but usually no OS - perhaps with the Sigma it does, I don't know.

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karl722
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Re: Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, Apr 2, 2013

Thanks for reply.  The Minolta 200mm f2.8 does look like a very nice lens!  Nice and small.  But for the price, without zoom or OS/IS/VR it's a non-starter for me.

A 70-200 f2.8 may not sell well without a hypersonic-type focus, these days.. not sure.  But they used to sell before this type of focus came along.

I had considered the Sigma 50-150 f2.8, but I'm really used to a 70-200 on an APS-C camera.  I know "you can just crop", but I sometimes crop on the 70-200 anyway.

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Dennis
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Re: Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
In reply to karl722, Apr 2, 2013

I'd just pick up a Canon body for use with the 70-200/2.8 ... and use NEX for everything else.  (Why buy a Sony SLT and a 3rd party lens when you have such a great Canon lens already ?)

I could probably convince myself to switch primarily to an ILC system, but I still do a lot with a 70-200/2.8.  Enough that I opted against getting an LA-EA2 and haven't regretted that decision.  Now I actually have an RX100 that's taking the place of the NEX, which was only ever intended as a compact alternative to the DSLR.  But the DSLR doesn't seem to get much use these days, except with the 70-200/2.8.  One day, when I'm no longer shooting kids sports & plays & concerts & talent shows & dance recitals, I'll probably shop around for a state of the art compact system.

- Dennis

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
In reply to karl722, Apr 2, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

The EA2 gives you AF, but usually no OS - perhaps with the Sigma it does, I don't know.

karl722 wrote:

Thanks for reply.  The Minolta 200mm f2.8 does look like a very nice lens!  Nice and small.  But for the price, without zoom or OS/IS/VR it's a non-starter for me.

It really depends on the intent of the lens. I take out my 200mm/2.8 only for action/sports photography when OS doesn't really help. In fact, pretty much 100% of my photography with NEX uses no OS. I find OS/IS more useful with medium range FL (50-135mm) with static objects. However, a 70-200 zoom would cover that range.

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karl722
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Re: Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
In reply to blue_skies, Apr 2, 2013

Most people seem to think that the new high-IQ zoom lens will be an e-mount version of the SAL1680Z, which makes sense to me.

There's also a "mid-range zoom" on the e-mount timeline for this year.  Though, since it's not supposed to be a "Zeiss" or "G series", it seems doubtful that it'd be a fast(er) telephoto zoom.. but it may be worthwhile waiting.

I have tried legacy primes, FD mainly.  I've not been happy with the IQ when wide open, though.  The FDn 85 f1.8 is the best that I've tried.  The FD 200 2.8 is fairly poor when wide open.  The Takumar 135mm f2.5 is so-so.  I have tons of legacy glass though, not really looking to buy anymore.

My research shows that the LA-EA2 *does* support OS on the Sigma lenses that provide it.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
In reply to karl722, Apr 2, 2013

karl722 wrote:

My research shows that the LA-EA2 *does* support OS on the Sigma lenses that provide it.

I can vouch for it. I could use my Sigma 18-250 HSM OS on my NEX-3 w/EA2 and OS works (having tested it good for 4-stops, virtually no difference from the same lens on my A55 with its IBIS turned off but using OS).

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nzmacro
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Re: Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
In reply to karl722, Apr 2, 2013

karl722 wrote:

I bought a refurb NEX-3 a few years ago and fell in love with it.  I bought the NEX-6 when it came out and love it even more.  I've been slowly selling off my Canon DSLR gear.

I have the SEL55210 and have been really enjoying it.  It's a really good lens, especially for the money.  But there are many situations where I want the f2.8.  I still have my Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS.  So, I've been considering a few options:

-Buying an electronic (including AF) Canon EF to E-mount adaptor.

  • Disadvantage: slow AF, may be hard to use huge lens on a mirrorless body, especially switching between focus ring and zoom ring (I'm assuming I'll want to manually focus much of the time).
  • Advantage: This may be a good kit to "tide me over" until a possible similar native E-mount lens comes out (which may never happen).  This would also allow me to use my 17-55 f2.8, which may be interesting?
  • Cost: $225

-Selling the Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS for about $1300 and buying an LA-EA2 + Sigma 70-200 f2.8 OS.

  • Disadvantage: I think this gear would hold is value less well than the Canon gear, which may be a disadvantage if I need to sell it if a similar E-mount lens were ever made.  It also would be big on a mirrorless body, but since it would have good autofocus and I won't have to move my hands between zoom/focus rings as much, this may be less of an issue.  The reviews of the Sigma lens are less positive about its sharpness, which concerns me.  Lastly, I really like IS/OS/VR, but there are relatively few stabilized lenses for the A-mount (which makes the LA-EA2 less useful to me)
  • Advantage: great autofocus
  • Cost: around $225

-Selling the Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS and buying an a37 or a57 + the Tamron 70-200 f2.8

  • Disadvantage: potentially slowish/noisy AF.  Gear may not hold its value as well.  Carrying a second body some of the time?
  • Advantage: (sensor) Stabilized, plus other lenses I get for it would be stabilized.  Sharpness of this lens seems pretty good.  A bigger body should make it easier to handle a bigger lens.
  • Cost: Negative, would actually get to keep around $250 from the deal.

Related questions/notes:

  • I have experimented with FD telephoto primes.  The IQ can vary wildly but is never great (sharpness/color/contrast) when wide open.  I just think I need a more modern lens.
  • Will anyone ever make an E-mount 70-200 f2.8?  It seems clear that Sony never will.  I thought had read that short-flange-distance-makes-for-smaller-lenses advantage applies less for telephoto lenses.  If this is true, then we may never see such a beast.
  • Can anyone comment more on the usability of such huge lenses on an NEX body?  I've seen a few comments here and there, but would like to hear more.
  • The Metabones speedbooster looks very interesting, of course.  But the vignetting on telephoto lenses concerns me, and I just don't see spending $600 on this.

So, thoughts?  Anything I'm missing?  Sorry for the long post!

Canon FD "L" tele lenses, plenty of contrast and sharp as a tack all wide open. With the tele lenses anyway. Might sound snobbish, but the Fluorite element in the "L" lenses makes a massive difference. Mind you, you pay for it as well, same as any top lenses.

Non "L" and its a different ball game with FD lenses. Told you it sounds snobbish As good as any new tele lenses out there optically.

Canon never made a decent FD 200, 400 or 600mm, none with Fluorite and they would tend to suffer from CA. They did make decent 300, 500 and 800. Problem is, now days you have to pay high prices for them and IMO, they are worth it if you are serious about it.

Zooms are just not me although I do have a Canon 100-300 F/5.6L which shows no CA at all wide open and is pretty sharp. Problem is, its F/5.6. So I use that for macro with the Raynox only.

All the best Karl and FD "L" tele lenses is all I use.

Danny.

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karl722
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Re: Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
In reply to nzmacro, Apr 2, 2013

I'm sure that's true.. plus it gets pricey! (especially to buy 2-3 of them).  I'd be better to stick with any of these zoom solutions, I'm sure (for my purposes).

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karl722
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Re: Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
In reply to Dennis, Apr 2, 2013

Well, this is a pricy solution.  There's also many reasons I left Canon, not least of all the abysmal live-view AF.  I'd much rather have focus peaking and MF.

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Shiroa
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Re: Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
In reply to karl722, Apr 3, 2013

I just wish sony had a 70-300mm of variable aperture (hopefully 3.5 or 4 to 5.6 min!) on E mount roadmap 2013, I had a taste of 70-300VR when I used D90 and it was a bliss, fast AF motor, sharp all around and contrasty unlike 55-200VR, but 55-200VR is already really good and CHEAP! So COME ON SONY!!!! 

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saintz
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Re: Missing the 70-200 f2.8 (warning, long post)
In reply to karl722, Apr 3, 2013

I would go with option 2, a AF adapter and A mount lens.

Really depends what you shoot. Do you just need reach, or also AF?

I have a 85 f1.4 and 200 f2.8 manual lenses. The lack of AF would make sports more difficult to shoot, but probably not impossible. For pure reach, they work pretty well. You can also find manual 80-200 f2.8 lenses pretty easily.

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