Canon EOS 7D Mark II

There’s something seductive about 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses. The combination of telephoto zoom range and ‘fast’ aperture makes them ideal for action sports and wildlife shooting, where you need to retain fast shutter speeds even under dull lighting conditions. They’re equally adept at portraiture, enabling a really tight depth of field for isolating the main subject against a creamy, blurred background.

While a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is generally the go-to tele zoom for most professional photographers, they’re not ideal for everybody. For one thing, they’re relatively heavy, weighing in at around 1.5kg. You can certainly feel the strain in prolonged periods of handheld shooting. If an f/2.8 aperture rating isn’t on your ‘must-have’ list of features, a 70-200mm f/4 lens might suit you better. Physically, they’re still as long as their f/2.8 siblings, but with a smaller diameter. This results in a more lightweight build, and a more affordable price tag, mainly because the relatively small-diameter optical elements are cheaper to manufacture. And while 70-200mm f/2.8 and f/4 ‘constant-aperture’ lenses might look quite long, at least their physical length as well as their aperture remains fixed throughout the entire zoom range.

Budget telephoto zoom lenses

While 70-200mm f/4 lenses are generally less …read more

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