F4 is not F2.8...some thoughts

Started Oct 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
Astrophotographer 10 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,643
Re: F4 is not F2.8...some thoughts

Interesting points. I have 14-24 24-70 and a bunch of primes. I hesitated on the 70-200 F2.8 VR11 mainly because of cost but also because of size and weight. But I do love to have lenses capable of at least 2.8. It definitely gives more flexibility.

In my case I opted for now, to use some oldie but goldie primes in that region, 85mm F1.8g (new not old), 105 F2.5 AIS, 180mm F2.8 ED. I also got a cheap 70-210 F4. Its a nice lense and quite sharp at 200mm but lacks the sharpness, punch of the primes. There is still considerable bokeh/blurred background at F4 and higher zoom focal lengths though so a nice blurred background also comes from using a higher focal length for the shot.

Here is an example I shot 2 weeks ago with $188 Nikkor 70-210mm at around F4 on a D800E using a monopod, mirror lockup, RAW:


Pretty good value for $188 wouldn't you say? It autofocuses as well.

My conclusion is the using full frame cameras, F4 on a 70-200 would still have plenty of nice blurred backgrounds under the right conditions - close or zoomed in at F4. F2.8 I believe you are right gives more flexibility in getting that nice blur but its still available at F4.

I am still not 100% sure which I would prefer the F2.8 version or the new lighter F4 version with the super VR. Lens shake is an issue with 200mm, it is hard to hold it still even with a monopod so the VR111 is appealling to me for many shots. I'd really have to use both lenses one after the other to know.



 Astrophotographer 10's gear list:Astrophotographer 10's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8 Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 +1 more
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