Group test

Digital Photograper - - Contents -

Think­ing of up­grad­ing to a 70-200mm f2.8 lens? We test four lead­ing op­tions and give our ver­dict

Up­grade to a 70-200mm f2.8 lens for premium build qual­ity and top-level per­for­mance. Here are

the lead­ing fab four op­tions for DSLRs

For ex­tend­ing the tele­photo reach of DSLRS, 70-300mm are of­ten the pre­ferred bud­get op­tion. They tend to be rea­son­ably priced, fairly light­weight and eas­ily man­age­able. But they don’t quite cut it with dis­cern­ing en­thu­si­ast and pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phers. Im­age qual­ity tends to be good rather than great and aut­o­fo­cus speed can be a bit pedes­trian. Worse still, the widest avail­able aper­ture at the long end of the zoom range usu­ally shrinks to a dis­ap­point­ing f5.6, so you can be left feel­ing the need for speed.

step up to a 70-200mm f2.8 lens and you’ll get a much brighter viewfinder im­age for greater clar­ity when com­pos­ing shots. You’ll also be able to use faster shut­ter speeds for freez­ing mo­tion, with less need to bump up your ISO set­ting un­der dull light­ing con­di­tions. This is es­pe­cially use­ful in sports and wildlife pho­tog­ra­phy, for which these lenses are ideal. An ex­tra bonus is that the com­bi­na­tion of a 200mm fo­cal length and f2.8 aper­ture gives you a tight depth of field, per­fect for iso­lat­ing the main sub­ject in a com­po­si­tion against a blurred back­ground. In­deed, these lenses are of­ten favoured for tight head-and-shoul­ders por­trai­ture at wed­dings and other events.

nat­u­rally, a 70-200mm lens won’t give you as much out­right tele­photo reach as a 70300mm. How­ever, all of the lenses on test are com­pat­i­ble with 2x tele­con­vert­ers, en­abling an even greater max­i­mum fo­cal length of 400mm. There’s a con­sid­er­able dif­fer­ence in pur­chase prices for our four con­tenders, so let’s see what each one has to of­fer.

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