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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Fast Lenses - a new breed?
Showing posts 1 - 11 of 11, (reverse)
01/06/2006 09:56:02 PM · #1
So I've been saving my pennies and now can buy a couple of lenses.

I'm shooting with a Sigma 28-135 3.5-5.6 right now.

I see there are now VR (IS for Canon folks) lenses that boast that I can shoot three stops below what I used to.

So my question is - is a 3.5 VR lens now as good as a 2.8 lens? Once you subtract the three stops from the 3.5 you have a pretty darn fast lens.

Any shared experience comparing a slower VR/IS lens vs the fast 2.8 lenses in quality and overall functionality would be very appreciated.

01/06/2006 10:03:45 PM · #2
VR or IS will not help stop motion, but will help in enabling you to handhold your lens at much lower shutter speeds.
01/06/2006 10:22:05 PM · #3
I have 24-85 2.8 and 24-120 3.5 VR. I find VR to be great. It helps me a lot in 2 cases. When it starts to get dark or when I'm in a deep shadow. It also helps me shoot with f11+ to get greater DOF. However I don't think my VR lens is as sharp as 2.8.

I'll never part with my VR.

01/06/2006 10:35:39 PM · #4
it wont help stop motion but that should only be the case in a indoor setting, if you really want to shoot sports go with a nikkor 70-200VR

if you are like me and just want a good walkaround lens the nikkor 18-200VR could replace your sigma since the quality is just as good as the nikon D70 kit lens

Message edited by author 2006-01-06 22:37:46.
01/06/2006 11:44:11 PM · #5
A constant aperture lens is nice cause as you zoom it the ap stays the same - if you take your current lens, open it up to 3.5 and zoom in, it will slowly close down - you may not notice but the shutter speed will drop to keep th exposure correct. Once you use a 2.8 lens you get used to this little benefit.

You also get that 2.8 at max zoom -this helps in throwing the BG out of focus.

A VR/IS lens will use more battery power.

a 2.8 lens will have a brighter field of view at all times, much more noticeable in low light. This enables the camera to focus faster and more accurately.

generally speaking, 2.8 lenses are pro-level, so you get bette build, glass and coating. Some VR/IS lenses are of similar quality, but not all.
01/07/2006 12:13:50 AM · #6
VR is not the same as a fast lens.
You do get about 3 extra stops, but you can't get the bokeh or the bright viewfinder that a fast lens offers, let along the higher shutter spedd that you can get wide opened up. Using VR won't help if your subject is moving, a fast lens can allow higher shutter speeds to freeze motion.

Atleast for the Canon versions, IS degrades optics. I assume the same goes for Nikon, althogh I haven't seen MTF graphs for VR and non VR versions of a lens.

For me, aftry having had an IS lens, I prefer a fast lens.
01/07/2006 11:53:52 AM · #7
Originally posted by yido:

Atleast for the Canon versions, IS degrades optics. I assume the same goes for Nikon, althogh I haven't seen MTF graphs for VR and non VR versions of a lens.

I guess that is why the VR is a switch that you can turn off?
01/07/2006 12:28:22 PM · #8
My view is that IS is incredibly useful on a long lens, but only of marginal use on a wide lens, unless you're shooting all static subjects.
IS does inevitably have some minimal impact on optical quality, since it requires additional elements. There is very little real-world difference between the IS and non-IS version of the Canon 70-200 though, so the impact is not a major one, perhaps less of a factor than the normal variation between different copies of the same version.
01/07/2006 12:28:42 PM · #9
Don't forget that a VR/IS lens can help with action shots to some extent. Panning, for instance, can be aided by Mode 2 (I don't know what the Nikon version of this is called). It is effectively only stabilizing in one direction, so that vertical camera shake is lessened, while not correcting for the horizontal movement of the lens.
01/07/2006 12:54:17 PM · #10
Probably the biggest negative for IS....

"Additional lens weight"
01/07/2006 02:06:08 PM · #11
Originally posted by theSaj:

Probably the biggest negative for IS....

"Additional lens weight"

Nah, your wallet's lighter ;)
It drains the battery faster too.
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