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07-26-2010, 04:12 PM   #1
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70(80)-200mm users: what focus range do you use more often with it?

Hi, gents.

I'm stuck at... Well, I'm stuck here
I've been hunting for Tokina AT-X PRO 828AF (80-200/2.8, the one with AF and the golden ring) but with no luck so far. I even started thinking of trying Tamron 70-200/2.8 that is widely available brand new but the main idea is that there is a theory that all those zooms are mostly used at 200mm and thus there's no need for me to keep on looking for that Tokina or scratching my head thinking of Tamron: go with DA*200!

I think I'm sorta going to agree with this theory when sorting out the pictures taken with my Tokina ATX PRO 280 (28-80/2.8): most of them are taken either at 28mm or smth about 35mm or 50-60mm or extreme 80mm when I-just-need-to-get-there - I mean to say that I don't use the entire range but mostly some certain focus lengths, I wasn't able to find a single shot made e.g. at 40mm or 32mm or 65mm and so on. Just checked my album of pictures taken with 50-200DA (sold after 2 months, it was build with too much plastic for me) and... yes, mostly 200mm: 66% go for 200mm and 25% go for 50mm and a few bits go for other focus ranges. So I suppose that when I need a long end I just need a long end and fixed 200mm lens should work for me.

So what do you think, do you really use entirely all the range or mostly tele-end only? What's the percentage of 200mm shots taken with your 70-200 (or 80-200) zoom comparing to all other shots you've made with it?

TIA,
Zig

P.S.
Just in case: I do know that there's a sweet spot of 105-125 effective mm (70-82mm for our x1.5 crop factor) when making portraits but I'm not that big portrait guy, I don't shoot portraits. And if I decide to go to portraits I'll buy 70-ish or 77-ish Lim or a such instead of zoom.


Last edited by Siegfried; 07-26-2010 at 04:58 PM. Reason: grammatics
07-26-2010, 04:25 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Siegfried Quote
there is a theory that all those zooms are mostly used at 200mm
Might be true shooting wildlife or certain other subjects, but no way would I take a 200 prime over a 70-200 for concerts, weddings, or other indoor events. Actually, though, I'd prefer a 50-135 for most of those settings. So withuot knowing your intended use of the lens, it's hard to advise.
07-26-2010, 04:41 PM   #3
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200mm a tually
07-26-2010, 04:48 PM   #4
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Marc,
thanks for your input. The question here isn't about the intended use... Though on a second thought it may be correlated with intended use: e.g. somebody says 'I do wildlife shooting and yes, I use it mostly at 200mm' while another says smth like 'as a wedding photographer I use it at some certain ranges: xxx-xxx mm for these shots, yyy-yyy mm for these shots and zzz-zzz mm for those ones'.


Ok-ok, you got me, I'm ready to confess that most probably the intended use for tele-lens in my case gonna be hand-held girl-spotting and wild photography. But my background tells me 'never say never again' - I mean not to say for sure that I'll only do this and never ever gonna do that, I do know the flexibility of zoom lens vs prime ones. But I would like not to make this thread another 'prime vs zoom' discussion. It's only a question or even sorta poll about favor f/d's for pricey and heavy tele-zooms.

Thanks,
Zig

07-26-2010, 05:35 PM   #5
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I have the 1st generation Sigma 70-200

Before I have it, I was playing with my primes: 77, 100, 135, 150 and 200

In a way, I already know what to expect from these focus ranges before I handle the 70-200

I love the 70-200 because I no longer need to change lenses out in the field within the range

Initially, I find myself changing focus length intentionally to achieve the effects I need and the Sigma 70-200 never disappoints

Now, I just let my imagination flows and uses the full range of 70-200 at will :ugh:
07-26-2010, 09:09 PM   #6
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I believe it is natural for both ends of a zoom to see most of the action.
07-27-2010, 12:15 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Siegfried Quote
I'm stuck at... Well, I'm stuck here
I've been hunting for Tokina AT-X PRO 828AF (80-200/2.8, the one with AF and the golden ring) but with no luck so far. I even started thinking of trying Tamron 70-200/2.8 that is widely available brand new but the main idea is that there is a theory that all those zooms are mostly used at 200mm and thus there's no need for me to keep on looking for that Tokina or scratching my head thinking of Tamron: go with DA*200!
Hi Siegfried, I had a chance to try out the Tokina recently and was very impressed by the excellent build quality. Unfortunately, the IQ did not live up to expectations.

Quick test of the Tokina 80-200/2.8 vs. Sigma 70-200/2.8 APO EX (I): Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Unless you have a strong desire to get the Tokina, I would suggest getting the Tamron or the older Sigma instead.
07-27-2010, 03:30 AM   #8
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First of a grammatical kind of question: isn't it focal length or range? Focus has nothing to do with the zoom setting.

On topic: As you can see I own the Sigma named 70-200 II APO EX DG Macro (HSM). And no, I don't mostly use it at 200mm. Its mostly used at 100 or 135mm. For group shots of course the shortest possible (that's where 50mm would be nice).
I try to avoid 200mm just because of its weakness there - it's not bad but worse than at 135mm. But if you do wildlife stuff then even 200mm may be too short. For sports a prime lens would be too limiting for me - last time I shot a volleyball game with it and used everything between 80mm and 200mm.
Info: the Sigma does 1:3.1 - used at f/4-f/8 results are great. Wide open it highly depends on the situation.

About its focus performance: I would not call it faster than my 16-50 but generally more consistent (which may have to do with the narrower FOV).

07-27-2010, 05:22 AM   #9
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I'm with SpecialK on this one.

I always found I shot at either the 200 or 80mm end when I used a zoom of that focal range. As a result, I bought a 200/2.5 and the DA 70/2.4 and got better results from the primes. Come to think of it I bought a bunch of other primes to fill in the holes in the middle.

Tom G
07-27-2010, 05:37 AM   #10
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I have to say I use mostly either 200 or 80, but when I look at the pics I would never be without everything in between when shooting weddings and concerts where I can't move a whole lot. Because of the size of telephotos I tend to put the camera on a tripod and that's when the zoom comes in handy. And I'm usually a prime guy investing in limitedprimes. But for me, telephotolenses just get too big for me to be primes. Especially at low-light concerts.
07-27-2010, 07:31 AM   #11
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Egg,
yep, fast blind typing leads to some gramma issues, I really meant to say focal lengths, not focus distances.

Well, so far I see that some users really use the whole range while there are others that could trade their big and heavy black cans for smaller primes (77, 135 or 200mm).


photogerald,
thanks a lot for that review. Yep, I've got Tokina AT-X PRO 280 (28-80/2.8) as well as older AF270 (ATX but not PRO) and I do know what Tokina lens is like. Boy, you really love owning them, but they require that you learn how to use them. Also I can send a purchased copy to Japan for service that will possibly fix some issues - like lens misalignment that can cause excessive CA's.

But the question remains being the same: I am not really sure whether I need tele-zoom and I'm looking for your experience on this if you guys really use the whole range or some focal lengths only.

Looking fwd to seeing new replies here,
Zig

Last edited by Siegfried; 07-27-2010 at 09:45 AM. Reason: update on another post
07-27-2010, 12:54 PM   #12
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just acquired the 1st generation sig 70-200 f2.8 apo lens..... i suppose my primary focus (no pun intended) is wildlife, which given my outward beauty, scares them off when i get too close...
so 200mm for this lens will most likely comprise the vast majority of shots... but... the more i use/experiment with this.... it may become a continuously variable prime lens...
some pics just taken yesterday ...https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/108733-nature-female-car...g-pass-me.html
07-27-2010, 07:57 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Siegfried Quote
photogerald,
thanks a lot for that review. Yep, I've got Tokina AT-X PRO 280 (28-80/2.8) as well as older AF270 (ATX but not PRO) and I do know what Tokina lens is like. Boy, you really love owning them, but they require that you learn how to use them. Also I can send a purchased copy to Japan for service that will possibly fix some issues - like lens misalignment that can cause excessive CA's.

But the question remains being the same: I am not really sure whether I need tele-zoom and I'm looking for your experience on this if you guys really use the whole range or some focal lengths only.

Looking fwd to seeing new replies here,
Zig
Zig, sorry I missed answering your original question.

In short, I would say "yes" to getting a zoom in the 70/80-200 range.

I already had primes in that range (FA*200, A*135) but I discovered that I really needed the flexibility of a zoom - sometimes your subject just won't wait around while you change lenses. That's why I recently acquired a copy of the 1st gen Sigma EX 70-200/2.8. IQ-wise, I have no complaints - in some respects it is better than the FA*200 (though it cannot touch my A*135 - that lens is just out of this world). The only downside is size and weight, although my fast primes put together weigh just as much and take up more space in the photo bag.

I also got the DA70 Ltd, for those times when I want to take portraits but don't feel like lugging around the big zoom.

I hope you find this helpful, and good luck!
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