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08-30-2010, 02:55 AM   #1
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70-200mm 2.8 --> How critical is it? What are the options?

Hi

I am learning about photography and hoping someday I'll start making money from it.

I'd like to start with doing portraits and get into wedding photography later on.

I have a few zooms and primes:
17-50mm 2.8
28-70mm 2.8
35mm 2.0
50mm 1.7
85mm 1.4
135mm 2.8

Currently, i use 28-70mm most of the time along with the 85mm.

I reckon I am missing a long zoom.
How critical is the 70-200mm 2.8?
Can you not live without it?

What are the options? (AF lenses only please)
Sigma / Tamron 70-200 or DA 50-135?
Any other option?

Thanks.


Last edited by bodhi08; 08-30-2010 at 03:07 AM.
08-30-2010, 03:14 AM   #2
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I think you already have a good lens setup. I notice that they are all fast lenses.

I have the tamron 70-200/f2.8. It is a good lens. I prolly did not use enuf of this lens. Can i live without it? I may not like the idea but i think i can go without this lens.
08-30-2010, 03:17 AM   #3
mel
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Critical depends entirely upon your needs. I have one and I can say it's a good lens choice for some applications, overkill for others. I think it's entirely unnecessary for portraits. I use mine mainly for shooting performances in low light from a little distance away and some wedding work.
08-30-2010, 04:55 AM   #4
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Mate, you won't get better for weddings than a 50-135 or 70-200 lens, regardless of brand. Your choice of focal lengths - I've personally found it a virtue getting the extra reach of a 70-200 lens, but there are many who do just fine with a 50-135.

No other AF telezooms for Pentax rival these in any way. The zooms are simply more versatile and make your job so much easier than having to rely on a fixed-focal length lens. You could make do with your 28-70 on one camera and the 85/1.4 or 135/2.8 on the other, as I have done similarly in the past before investing in the 70-200, but you may find you miss out on some of the spontaneous shots from a distance by not having that zoom capability.

08-30-2010, 05:14 AM   #5
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I'm curious about what the 28-70mm is? The Sigma? If so, get rid of it. I've had a chance to test this lens out a couple of times and was unimpressed with the quality. Get the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 XR Di. A superior lens all around. Better flare control, more natural colour (the Sigma tends to have a yellow caste) and the Tamron is sharper. If you have the Pentax version, then it's a great lens and well worth owning.

What 85mm? If your lenses are MF, I'd seriously consider replacing these with anything you can get that is a top quality AF lens. MF is just too tough on a DSLR in low light. The screens are not bright enough and unless you have a Katz eye, there's no focus aid. Shooting portraits, MF is one thing, shooting weddinngs MF is another much tougher job.

As for the lens in question, I use a Sigma 70-200mm and it's a great lens. I wouldn't shoot a wedding without it. It's great for candid's, getting in close to the B&G without walking up to them and these days, more churches are restricting a photographers movements (too many hackers that don't respect the service). If you are stuck in the back of the church or on the sides, you must have this lens. The 50-135mm is a great option as well but I wanted longer than this. It's given me some of the best portraits/candid's of the guests from any lens.

My kit is similar to yours and the only addition is, I carry 2 bodies all the time. I have a 3rd in the car as a spare (all of equal quality). Also are 4 flash heads and battery packs with wireless triggers.

One body will have the Tamron and the other with the 70-200mm. I'll often switch the Tamron to a 16-50mm. In tougher light or depending on the situation, each camera will have a fast prime, with the zooms at the ready.
08-30-2010, 05:45 AM   #6
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Peter, are you talking from an APS-C perspective? Asking because you also have your full frame now..
08-30-2010, 06:12 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies.

QuoteOriginally posted by raider Quote
I think you already have a good lens setup. I notice that they are all fast lenses.
Thanks Raider. I tried to "invest" on lenses following the suggestions from many ppl. Buy the fast lenses so no need to upgrade later on.

QuoteOriginally posted by mel Quote
Critical depends entirely upon your needs. I have one and I can say it's a good lens choice for some applications, overkill for others. I think it's entirely unnecessary for portraits. I use mine mainly for shooting performances in low light from a little distance away and some wedding work.
Thanks Mel. That's what I'm thinking...maybe use the 70-200 for wedding.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Mate, you won't get better for weddings than a 50-135 or 70-200 lens, regardless of brand. Your choice of focal lengths - I've personally found it a virtue getting the extra reach of a 70-200 lens, but there are many who do just fine with a 50-135.

No other AF telezooms for Pentax rival these in any way. The zooms are simply more versatile and make your job so much easier than having to rely on a fixed-focal length lens. You could make do with your 28-70 on one camera and the 85/1.4 or 135/2.8 on the other, as I have done similarly in the past before investing in the 70-200, but you may find you miss out on some of the spontaneous shots from a distance by not having that zoom capability.
Thanks mate. That's exactly right...I've tried using the 85 or 135 but they are not versatile enough.

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I'm curious about what the 28-70mm is? The Sigma? If so, get rid of it. I've had a chance to test this lens out a couple of times and was unimpressed with the quality. Get the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 XR Di. A superior lens all around. Better flare control, more natural colour (the Sigma tends to have a yellow caste) and the Tamron is sharper. If you have the Pentax version, then it's a great lens and well worth owning.

What 85mm? If your lenses are MF, I'd seriously consider replacing these with anything you can get that is a top quality AF lens. MF is just too tough on a DSLR in low light. The screens are not bright enough and unless you have a Katz eye, there's no focus aid. Shooting portraits, MF is one thing, shooting weddinngs MF is another much tougher job.

As for the lens in question, I use a Sigma 70-200mm and it's a great lens. I wouldn't shoot a wedding without it. It's great for candid's, getting in close to the B&G without walking up to them and these days, more churches are restricting a photographers movements (too many hackers that don't respect the service). If you are stuck in the back of the church or on the sides, you must have this lens. The 50-135mm is a great option as well but I wanted longer than this. It's given me some of the best portraits/candid's of the guests from any lens.

My kit is similar to yours and the only addition is, I carry 2 bodies all the time. I have a 3rd in the car as a spare (all of equal quality). Also are 4 flash heads and battery packs with wireless triggers.

One body will have the Tamron and the other with the 70-200mm. I'll often switch the Tamron to a 16-50mm. In tougher light or depending on the situation, each camera will have a fast prime, with the zooms at the ready.
Peter, they are the FA 28-70 and FA 85.

I have a K7 and an *ist DS as back up (might pick up a K20D later).

What fast prime do you often use?
Do you need to use 3 bodies? 2 for zooms (17-50 and 70-200) and 1 fast prime?

I'm hoping to get a second shooter / assistant to help with weddings.


cheers

Last edited by bodhi08; 08-30-2010 at 06:21 AM.
08-30-2010, 06:55 AM   #8
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I'm speaking in terms of APSc. In fact I have the same setup in Full frame. I use the Tamron more now and on APSc I used the 16-50mm more.

As for backup, IMO you need nearly identical bodies if you choose to shoot 2 cameras. IMO you can't be switching to an inferior camera just to use a different lens. It would be better to shoot with one camera all day.

I shot with 2 K20D's for 2 reasons, 1) to avoid switching lenses during critical periods and avoid dust. 2) in case a camera had an issue when I couldn't run to the car for the spare.

In one wedding, I had the K20D/grip with flash and lens knocked out of my hands (a guest tripped and fell toward me) just as the bride was about to walk up the ailse. So I switched from that body to the one over my shoulder and continued on. More than once, I've had a camera issue that needed the spare. The 3rd body was kept in the car as the backup.

Fo primes, the favourites were an FA50mm and a Sigma 28mm f1.8. I wish the 50mm were a better lens and from all the reports of slow focus, the DA*55mm doesn't seem to be a workable option. But from f2 up, the FA50mm was just fine. If I were going to do it again, I'd get the Sigma 50mm f1.4. I had the FA*85mm and although a stunning lens, it was too long much of the time and got little use. The FOV is 127mm on APSc and it was pretty much a head shot lens at that.

I would never carry 3 bodies. 2 is sometimes too hard to deal with. The 2 bodies are used during the service and sometimes the reception. Most other shooting is done with one body (formals, pre wedding stuff etc). I wear a Lowepro F&S belt with the waterproof pouches. The lenses are easy to get at and it's not nearly as hot. I also use a Cotton carrier. No straps on the cameras. It's a great system and although you look ready for battle, it's much easier to change lenses and have the camera nearby. No dangling straps and the cameras are not getting banged around when you move quickly.


Last edited by Peter Zack; 08-30-2010 at 07:06 AM.
08-30-2010, 08:45 AM   #9
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there are a few things to point out here, with respect to a 70-200mm F2.8 lens and a camera kit in genera;.
First of all, is the need for a general purpose kit to have a range of 10mm to 200mm available, with some means of getting to 400mm for wild life. This is all part of planning your kit, which you should do.
The second is "back up bodies"
By this do you really mean true back ups or second bodies that are identical to your main body, or do you mean a second body with different functions.
I presently have 3 DSLRs, an *istD, a K20D and a K7D. they are all different, and are used differently.
the *istD has TTL flash, and therefore gets flash work on manual aperture lenses. It will soon get a split image finder as well
The K10D has a split image finder and is my main MF lens body
The K7D is for use with AF lenses principally, and is unmodified.
I do not have any duplicate bodies because I use the bodies differently, but I am sure no one would complain about images in a wedding portofolio in any of the bodies if cropped correctly at the onset.
For me, different functionality is important, and more important that a true identical back up, but for a pro shooting weddings, 2 identical bodies would be more important.
As to whether you carry 2 or 3 bodies, that is your option. I would be hard pressed to see a justification unless you had a true need to have TTL flash with a legacy lens.
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