When does it make sense to choose an f/4 lens over an f/2.8 lens?


posted Monday, October 16, 2017 at 4:00 PM EST


Photographer Thomas Heaton's latest video opens up an interesting discussion about lens selection and prime lenses versus zoom lenses. The Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 has long been an important part of Heaton's gear bag, but after he purchased a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, he found that he wasn't using the Zeiss lens anymore because it wasn't worth switching lenses for the extra three millimeters of focal length.

What about when he wants a significantly wider focal length though? Enter Thomas Heaton's newest lens, the Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS USM. It's interesting to opt for the f/4 version instead of the f/2.8 version, but Heaton wanted to save not only some money, but also weight. In his case as a landscape photographer, he rarely shoots at a lens' maximum aperture, meaning that the extra weight and cost to get the f/2.8 version of the 16-35mm doesn't make sense if he can get similar performance at f/8 and f/11 with the slower f/4 version of the wide-angle zoom lens.

You can see Heaton unpack his new lens and take it out in the field in the video below. He also shares numerous tips and tricks for getting the most from a wide angle lens for landscape photography.

(Via Thomas Heaton)