Looking for 70-300 alternative

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mainoo Regular Member • Posts: 324
Looking for 70-300 alternative

When the 70-300 appeared, I went straight out and bought it (may this year, if I recall correctly). I returned it 2 days later (the second day was a Sunday else it would have been one day later) because it produced the worst skin tones I have had to deal with. I only tested it on the one person but I have shot that same person with the same camera and under similar lighting using the same PP workflow and lots of different lenses and never had such results.

what I observed was the following:

Skin was best when it had a lot of light on it. Skin in darker areas of the photo showed different tonality completely. Not just darker but also oily looking and ruddy skin tones not rendered smoothly at all. reds in the skin appeared super-imposed as if someone had painted it on with a marker) The skin was also mottled and blotchy and the transitions from lighter to darker areas not smooth at all.

Everything else about the lens was stellar and nothing else I have seen since approaches it. I shoot environmental portraits and this lens handles clothing and the environment as well as any glass I have used (including Leica glass) - granted I only used it for a day. It rendered harsh light beautifully (turning backgrounds that contained harsh light into art); its treatment of shadow areas was nuanced (and again, art). foreground separation was wonderful. Excellent contrast and colour (except for skin, as discussed above) - punchy, good contrast and yet very natural, very smooth and not overdone. I still look at the photos it made in awe and  until I look at  the skin tones. I recalled spending well over an hour masking to isolate skin in an attempt to rescue the photos and the results still looked bad.

I am posting to ask

whether anyone else using this lens for portraits has noticed this.

what other lenses in the Fuji or  Nikon (I have the Fringer on order for use with the sigma 18-35) world might provide a comparable alternative to the 70-300. I have spent ages looking at the new AF-P FX 70-300 but it can't hold a candle to the Fuji and I would like to get close. I am also considering the XC 50-230 - I like it but have seen very few examples showing skin tones.

Thanks in advance.

mainoo

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