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Thread: 55-200mm Kit Lens verse 70-200mm F2.8 Lens

  1. #1

    55-200mm Kit Lens verse 70-200mm F2.8 Lens

    Ok, so I have rented a lens for a dance recital this weekend. I chose the 70-200mm f/2.8 Nikor. I was shocked or let's say surprised at the overall size and weight of this lens. I was wondering if anyone can tell me, in laymen terms, why is there such a huge difference in size and weight, even though the zoom starts at 70 instead of 55 like the kit lens.

    Other than the cost of this lens and the obvious aperture gain, what are some things I should be aware of that this lens can do? I only have a week rental before I have to send it back.

    I guess I was looking for some sort of easy explanation as to why the real big difference in size and so on.

    Thanks,

    Warren

  2. #2

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    Re: 55-200mm Kit Lens verse 70-200mm F2.8 Lens

    You didn't give the max aperture for the kit lens...
    Would that by any chance be around 4-5.6? Or at least 1 stop less than the F2.8 you rented.
    That would mean that the rented lens has at least 2x the lens surface (crude approximation), and the larger lenses tend to be thicker...

    Also, a quick look on amazon shows that the F2.8 lens might have more elements (and is a tad more expensive )

  3. #3

    Re: 55-200mm Kit Lens verse 70-200mm F2.8 Lens

    Revi,

    Yeah, the kit lens fstop was 5.6 I believe.

    Warren

  4. #4
    benm's Avatar
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    Re: 55-200mm Kit Lens verse 70-200mm F2.8 Lens

    The difference between 2.8 and 5.6 is 2 stops which means the 2.8 lets in 4 times as much light. The diameter then has to be double the slower lens. More glass, more weight, more metal tube to hold the glass, and maybe a bigger AF motor to move all that mass. Even the lens cap weighs 4 times as much.

  5. #5

    Re: 55-200mm Kit Lens verse 70-200mm F2.8 Lens

    Ok, so I guess that means in order to allow more light, the lens itself has to be a larger diamter. Ok, I think that was kind of what I was wondering, the science behind the why, more or less.

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: 55-200mm Kit Lens verse 70-200mm F2.8 Lens

    Simply said, this lens is faster and better built than the kit lens.

    For many photographers, the kit lens is the better choice since it is lighter in weight and certainly less expensive. It also produces very good imagery.

    However, the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is the choice of professionals and for advanced amateurs. It has a constant f/2.8 aperture and can beused in lower light levels than the kit lens (especially when hand holding). The faster lens will allow you to work creatively in using shallow depth of field. The f/2.8 lens is heavier but, better built. It will also provide a brighter viewfinder view and faster and more accurate autofocus.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 8th June 2010 at 11:39 PM.

  7. #7
    sleist's Avatar
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    Re: 55-200mm Kit Lens verse 70-200mm F2.8 Lens

    The Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 is also a fixed aperture zoom. This means that the maximum aperture is f/2.8 throughout the entire range of the zoom.
    By comparison, the kit on my D90 is a variable aperture - at 18mm the max is f/3.5, but at 105mm the max is f/5.6.

    The number and arrangement of elements required for a fixed aperture zoom also contributes to the size and weight of the lens.

  8. #8
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    Re: 55-200mm Kit Lens verse 70-200mm F2.8 Lens

    I just purchased the Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 today and can't wait to use it. I have heard and read really great things about this lens. Hope it lives up to my expectations. I will let you know.

  9. #9
    sleist's Avatar
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    Re: 55-200mm Kit Lens verse 70-200mm F2.8 Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by photolover75 View Post
    I just purchased the Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 today and can't wait to use it. I have heard and read really great things about this lens. Hope it lives up to my expectations. I will let you know.
    Don't worry. It will surpass your expectations. I have the VR1 version and I have never been so happy about spending that much money.

    Steve

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