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135mm prime v 70-200 Zoom

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Andy81 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Andy81 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2020 at 11:04
Some really useful thoughts, thanks. Iím moving towards the zoom option due to the limitations of the prime, it would also allow me to sell the 70-300 to help finance it. However, Iíll experiment a bit with the 85 in crop mode first, as that may provide a temporary solution.

I wasnít aware of the Tamron, though pricing in the Uk for it isnít great at around £1,300, a fair bit more than the Sony 70-200 F4 with the current Sony cashback offer £100 off. If I was going to stretch to the Tamron, iím almost in 70-200 GM territory - trying not to tempt myself!
 



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nandbytes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2020 at 13:28
Originally posted by Andy81 Andy81 wrote:

Some really useful thoughts, thanks. Iím moving towards the zoom option due to the limitations of the prime, it would also allow me to sell the 70-300 to help finance it. However, Iíll experiment a bit with the 85 in crop mode first, as that may provide a temporary solution.

I wasnít aware of the Tamron, though pricing in the Uk for it isnít great at around £1,300, a fair bit more than the Sony 70-200 F4 with the current Sony cashback offer £100 off. If I was going to stretch to the Tamron, iím almost in 70-200 GM territory - trying not to tempt myself!


tamron is new and as such you'll be paying the early adopter premium like I have.

I wouldn't buy 70-200GM, its a great lens but a chore to carry around and maintain. Also 70-200GM even with the cashback is a good £700 more. Buying used means it will about about £100-£300 more which is very close.

All depends on how much you are willing to wait
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2020 at 19:45
Originally posted by Andy81 Andy81 wrote:

Some really useful thoughts, thanks. Iím moving towards the zoom option due to the limitations of the prime, it would also allow me to sell the 70-300 to help finance it. However, Iíll experiment a bit with the 85 in crop mode first, as that may provide a temporary solution.

I wasnít aware of the Tamron, though pricing in the Uk for it isnít great at around £1,300, a fair bit more than the Sony 70-200 F4 with the current Sony cashback offer £100 off. If I was going to stretch to the Tamron, iím almost in 70-200 GM territory - trying not to tempt myself!


Also, I use the Sigma 70-200/2.8 a good bit when I want "nice" pics but just pick up the beercan a good number of time for casual portraits during a picnic, beach trip, day trip etc. The significantly lighter weight makes up for at least some of the IQ loss. And I've gotten some very good shots with the beercan which is only a quarter the price of a bigger 70-200/2.9. Second hand, of course.

But when I do shoot something relatively more memorable, the Sigma 70-200/2.8 does deliver the goods and gives images that make my friends and family quite happy and have earned me something of a reputation as a guy who knows how to use a camera.
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nandbytes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2020 at 23:29
I have posted some samples on the tamron 70-180mm samples thread
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2020 at 09:43
Originally posted by QuietOC QuietOC wrote:

50/2 has half the background blur of a 200/4.

... at 200mm. But blur is the same at 100mm, if you're zoomed out to that as you may well be with your own child.

Okay, if you're doing other people's kids then longer may well be better ...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2020 at 09:53
Originally posted by Andy81 Andy81 wrote:

Some really useful thoughts, thanks. Iím moving towards the zoom option due to the limitations of the prime, it would also allow me to sell the 70-300 to help finance it. However, Iíll experiment a bit with the 85 in crop mode first, as that may provide a temporary solution.

Modern zooms are very good, even the cheaper Sony ones. Yes, the best primes can provide a resolution and depth of field it is impossible to match with a cheap zoom, but can you get the focus sharp enough at the right point in the child's face when he is moving about? And is the image you get really what you want?

I will say quite openly that I am really not a fan of the modern trend to tightly-cropped narrow-DOF portraits. The best children's pictures I've seen were taken by friends with quite modest lenses, and with enough background in view and clear enough to add context - IMHO it is context that makes a child's portrait valuable. Posed studio pics with no background have their place (on the bookcase, I guess) but I don't care for them. The ones I value were the ones taken in the garden or the beach, where the scene stimulates the memories.

Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2020 at 11:40
Originally posted by Miranda F Miranda F wrote:

Originally posted by QuietOC QuietOC wrote:

50/2 has half the background blur of a 200/4.

... at 200mm. But blur is the same at 100mm, if you're zoomed out to that as you may well be with your own child.

Okay, if you're doing other people's kids then longer may well be better ...
Or at double the distance.... The blur is a combination of aperture, focal length and distance. People seem to forget about distance all the time.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2020 at 12:30
not only do they forget distance but forget that both distance from lens to the subject and distance from subject to the background matters.

For example, if the background is sufficiently far away even the "bad bokeh" lenses will blow it out no problem giving a creamy look. For backgrounds that are closer to the subject it matters how good a lens' rendering and/or bokeh capabilities are, otherwise you end up with a "busy bokeh".
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Tricky01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2020 at 17:16
I have to go with the 135mm in this. I've always found with zooms that I get plenty of ok images but rarely get images I *LOVE*. This was true with my old 70-200G on a-mount, and I'm now experiencing the same (albeit different focal lengths) with the 24-105 on e-mount. I loved my 135 CZ on a-mount and the existence of the 135G was essential in me moving to e-mount. It is a fantastic lens, and perhaps it's just my style, but primes make me shoot better. It forces me to move further away and think a bit more about my shots, and as a result I end up with pictures I truly *LOVE*. I found this before being a parent, and now for the last 6 years of being a parent (have a 6yo and 2yo).

To try to demonstrate, I've had a quick look through my 2020 photos taken with the 135 and uploaded a few to my website. I think these are all unedited (a few need exposure tweaks ), but the point is the variety of images you can still get with 135. Probably the best example of the benefit of the 135 over the 70-200 is the long shot of my wife and boys on a park bench when we stopped on a bike ride. With a 70-200 there is no way I would've walked so far away to get such a wide shot at 135mm and instead would've shot at 70mm, grabbed the 'memory' shot and not ended up with such a nice composition. Perhaps I'm just lazy and a true photographer would do a decent photo regardless of the lens, and would visualise this image without being forced to it by the lens they had with them, but nonetheless it helps me be more creative

Here are the pics: https://www.simontregidgo.com/p694008861

And here's the particularly long range one (which could do with some tweaks to contrast etc.)


Also another good example is this, again, there's no way I would've run so far in front to get this with a 70-200, but then wouldn't have achieved the great separation from the other walkers in the background (due to probably using a shorter focal length like 70mm AND only getting f2.8)


EDIT: Sorry, just realised you're talking about the 135 2.8 Batis. I don't have any experience with that lens, but I would expect the same facts of a forced focal length would be true and 1.8 to 2.8 isn't a massive loss (used to love my Minolta 135 2.8 'pocket rocket').

Edited by Tricky01 - 28 June 2020 at 18:12
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2020 at 18:49
Originally posted by Tricky01 Tricky01 wrote:

but then wouldn't have achieved the great separation from the other walkers in the background (due to probably using a shorter focal length like 70mm AND only getting f2.8)


As mentioned above you are forgetting the distance from your subject also makes a difference. So for all we know there might not be much difference in the separation
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2020 at 19:19
Originally posted by nandbytes nandbytes wrote:

Originally posted by Tricky01 Tricky01 wrote:

but then wouldn't have achieved the great separation from the other walkers in the background (due to probably using a shorter focal length like 70mm AND only getting f2.8)


As mentioned above you are forgetting the distance from your subject also makes a difference. So for all we know there might not be much difference in the separation


It's a fair point Anand, but because my experience is different I've given this quite some thought! Perhaps my phrasing is wrong, or interpretation of separation is different.

On reflection I don't think it's only about depth of field, but also the field of view, so you will naturally get 'more' background in a wider shot (when keeping the subject the same size in the frame across different focal lengths). There's an interesting post comparing 85mm, 105mm, 135mm and 200m lenses whilst keeping the subject the same size in the frame here.

Notice where the following 3 are in each of 85mm and 135mm images
1) the thick stick on the bottom left corner is
2) the fallen tree trunk leaning at 30deg from the floor in the top left is
3) the thick tree trunk farthest to the right on the 85mm shot is

At 85mm the stick is probably 1/10th the way up the frame, the leaning trunk never touches the top of the frame and the farthest right tree trunk is 1/10th in from the right.

At 135 the stick is marginally lower, whilst the leaning trunk disappears at the top of the frame and the farthest tree to the right is snug to the right side of the frame.

the above will be more noticeable at 70mm. So its a combination of the narrow Dof AND the flatter field of view that helps keep the subject separate from the background (because there's less of the background to be distracted by).

For the example pics, the long shot of the family on the bench wouldn't have happened at 70mm - there wouldn't be any of the nice out of focus daisies in the foreground, even if the distant background had stayed out of focus.

Hope that makes sense?

EDIT: now with a dirty side by side screengrab of the aforementioned link. Note that the 85mm is at f1.4 and the 135mm is at 1.8 so not quite a like for like of 70mm at f4 vs 135mm at f2.8, but the situation with a wider 70mm and narrower f4 will be a more noticeable decline vs 135mm dropping to f2.8:


Edited by Tricky01 - 28 June 2020 at 19:56
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2020 at 20:17
yep makes sense

I have read the article above and there's a number of similar kind on the internet done by various photographer's reviewers. Also tried it out myself long time ago when I first got into photography.

Its for this reason I prefer 100mm to 85mm.

135mm is certainly a very nice focal length to own too.
I wish the 135GM took 1.4x TC like a-mount Zeiss 135mm did.
Probably would have stuck with if it did instead of going with the tamron 70-180mm.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 June 2020 at 12:42
Maybe I'm missing something (or several somethings, possibly), but the only significant difference I can see in the two images is the position of the forest floor relative to the lady, and you could have made that the same by going down on one knee with the 85mm.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 June 2020 at 13:30
Originally posted by Miranda F Miranda F wrote:

Maybe I'm missing something (or several somethings, possibly), but the only significant difference I can see in the two images is the position of the forest floor relative to the lady, and you could have made that the same by going down on one knee with the 85mm.


there are less trees in the 135mm shot
(there is less of the background to see, narrower angle and all)
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