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11-29-2012, 02:45 AM   #1
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Short f2.8 zoom for concert photograpy - What's best?

Ok, what's the best constant f2.8 short zoom for low light, active subjects? I'm after sharpness and AF speed at f2.8 because I'm often shooting in terrible light. None of this 1/250th and f4 stuff these venues.

I have the Sigma 24-70 but it's pretty soft at 2.8 and when you combine that with high iso you get even less detail so I'd like more sharpness to start with. The Sigma 17-50 seems to be considered sharper wide open than the 24-70 or the Pentax 16-50.

What are people using? I love my Sigma 85mm 1.4 and the 35mm 2.4 is good but I'll probably replace it with a faster prime. I'm generally happy shooting primes but I'd like a nice fast, sharp short zoom for those times when swapping lenses is a bad idea.

11-29-2012, 03:05 AM   #2
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if you've got the budget for it, try going for a second body and simply mount your two primes on each. No lenses need to be swapped and you'll get much better performance with faster glass as well.

If that doesn't float your boat, here's a quick question: which version of the 24-70 are you shooting? If you're shooting the older screwdrive version, try stepping up to the newer HSM 24-70 which is supposed to be sharper and focus faster. If that's out of your budget, also try checking out the tamron 28-75.

If you are shooting the older 24-70, then any normal zoom designed for APS-C (aside from sigma's 18-50) will be sharper wide open. This includes pentax's 16-50, tamron's 17-50 and sigma's 17-50.
11-29-2012, 03:39 AM   #3
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Ah, I was looking for a similar lense and decided that there wasn't a good option.

How are your images going to be used? What resolution do you need? If you are using a k5, then f2-2.8 should be great.

The (tamron?) was looking the sharpest vs dollars, but I decided to try a fast prime around 24-28mm and crop.
I used the M28/2 and it was working well and now use the sigma 30/1.4.
Provided I nail the focus (manual and needing a canon focusing screen) I can crop really tight atleast to what a fast zoom could crop. Almost all of my images are used online or in print pro-mo, so less than a few megapixels is fine.

I also use a samyang 14/2.8 If I need a superwide it can crop down heaps too as it is so super-sharp.

Good luck.

11-29-2012, 05:29 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by adpo Quote
second body and simply mount your two primes on each
+1, This is my preferred method, primes a just a stop or two faster which really make a difference.

11-29-2012, 05:53 AM   #5
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The Tamron 17-50 and 28-75 are the most highly regarded lenses on the range you mention. Primes could be a way to go, and I love shooting with primes, but in some situations a zoom is just more convenient.
11-29-2012, 05:56 AM   #6
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I probably should have said, I've got the HSM version of the Sigma 24-75.

Good suggestions. At this point in time I don't think buying a second body would be practical for me. As much as it appeals to my love of buying new stuff.

Might just stick to using primes for short distances and for the times when changing is not practical, pick the best match for the situation.

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