Comparing the 2.8 70-200 zoom vs. 2.0 200 fixed? Aside from the larger maximum aperture (2.0 vs. 2.8), does the 2.0 200 offer better image quality, performance, etc. than the 70-200 zoom. I've been pleased so far with the 70-200 zoom, using it for sports as well as portrait and environmental photos. But have always wondered -- with all lenses -- whether there is an inherent comprise with a zoom lens.
The short answer is primes are sharper, BUT.., maybe not by enough depending on your intended uses. The simplest reason is a prime has less glass to distort the light. The 70-200 has 21 glass elements in 16 groups. By comparison, the 200 prime has only 13 elements in 9 groups. One way to think about this is that there's a lot less glass doing things like correction and the lens is zoomed. A prime will typically focus faster too.That said, advances in lens design and construction have made the difference much less noticable than say, 20 or 30 years ago. It is even possible for a zoom to outperform a prime, but in my opinion, these cases are still outliers. With specific regard to the 200, I can tell you it is (by far) the sharpest lens I have ever owned that shoots at 200mm (zoom or prime). I am very glad I purchased it. It is a bit heavy and chubby , but it takes incredible shots. Even wide open at f/2. I did a recent comp card for a friend (actor) using the 200 f/2 and we were both very satisfied with the results. Auto-focus is lightning fast. Downright impressive. And of course, VR-II. I should also mention that (for me, at least), this is about as large and heavy a lens as I would want to carry all-day on a walkabout.Now, all that said: I must also say that my Tamron 28-300 probably spends the most time on my camera - and it's a zoom, obviously. When you're just out doing walkabout, having zoom capabilies is really nice. Otherwise, you get to zoom with your feet, which isn't always possible or convenient. Like they say: You only live once. So try one out, rent or borrow one, and if you're as impressed as I think you migth be, then go for it. The 200 f/2 is a bit pricey (i.e., investment), but it's not one you're apt to part with once you acquire it. You will be shooting with it the rest of your life. Hope this helps, and Happy Shooting!
Date published: 2021-01-10