Well-liked by professional photographers all over the world, the 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom has turned into a ‘must-have’ lens.
It combines good telephoto reach with an easy and constant aperture, perfect not merely for freezing the activity with quick shutter speeds, but also for giving a good depth of industry. Supremely versatile, this course of the telephoto zoom lens is often used for shooting everything from sports and wildlife to portraiture, along with wedding and event photography.
The 70-200mm f/2.8 is a mainstay of the lens line-up for every manufacturer of full-frame cameras, including Canon, Nikon and Sony. The serious competition also comes from independent lens manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron, keen to get in on the actions.
You can also use a 70-200mm lens on APS-C format bodies. The effective zoom range gets bumped up to 105-300mm (112-320mm for Canon) – great if you need more zoom reach, with the added benefit of pro-grade development, handling and optical overall performance.
The only real downside to 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses is their size and weight. They’re not unduly heavy, typically weighing in at around 1.5kg, but if you’re already carrying a full-frame DSLR and 24-70mm f/2.8 lens in your camera bag, along with a few other camera accessories, the weight can soon mount up.
Many manufacturers, therefore, offer a 70-200mm f/4 alternative. Naturally, these lenses are a f/quit ‘slower’, so you can’t maintain such fast shutter speeds or gain quite such a tight depth of field, but they’re noticeably smaller and tend to be only about half the excess weight (and price), while usually maintaining excellent image quality.
Let’s take a look at the best 70-200mm telephoto lenses for Canon and Nikon DSLRs, along with Sony FE-mount mirrorless cameras.