So I usually do not really go for zooms. I most definitely consider myself a prime man. However in the not too distant future I have some jobs coming up where I have to shoot some wedding videos for friends. I occurred to me that maybe some zooms may be good for this, so I have gone about collecting a few different types to try. I have collected some fast ones like this f2.8 to see if the speed is desirable and some constant aperture ones to see if that is more desirable. Over the coming weeks I will be testing these lenses and putting them through their paces. My first initial test is of my recently acquired Quantaray 70-200 f2.8-3.5 manual focus push pull zoom.
(as usual click on images to see full size.)
Iso 100, f4, 1/125, 70mm
Through doing some research I have come across many reports stating that Quantaray was the re-branding name used by Ritz camera stores through Europe. Apparently all of their lenses are re-branded sigma lenses except for the 400mm and 500mm lenses which are believed to be re-branded Opteka’s.
So this lens is in fact the Sigma 70-200 f2.8, a well respected lens and good performer. I believe this lens is a bit of a sleeper at the moment, but the word will surely soon be out about this gem of a zoom.
It is acceptably sharp from wide open with some slight blue CA, which is easily correctable in LR, however it is very sharp and all CA is gone by f4.
Iso 400, f2.8, 1/2500, 200mm (the light was fluctuating a little as the sun went in and out from behind the clouds)
Iso 400, f3.5, 1/3200, 200mm (the light was fluctuating a little as the sun went in and out from behind the clouds)
Iso 400, f4, 1/4000, 200mm (the light was fluctuating a little as the sun went in and out from behind the clouds)
I found the bokeh to be quite pleasing wide open, getting busier as you stopped it down which is to be expected. The lens feels light but well made, although the plastic aperture ring is a bit fiddly and I found it a little easy to go past your desired aperture then have to come back, so there was a little back and forth going on to get my desired aperture. Not a deal breaker, but worthy of being noted.
This next test was done about half way through the zoom range. It does have a little more CA around high contrast subjects like this white rose, but gone by f4, and like I said before easily corrected.
Iso 400, f2.8, 1/3200
Iso 400, f3.5, 1/3200
Iso 400, f4, 1/2000
Overall I find it produces a rather pleasing image with good colour and contrast and even a decent pop to the shots. I need to do more testing but I think this was a good cheap pick-up that will be a handy a versatile general shooter to have in my kit when some versatility is desired.
Iso400, f2.8, 1/2000, 200mm
Iso400, f4, 1/2000, 200mm, converted to b&w using DXO film pack 3
Iso400, f4, 1/1600, 70-90mm area, converted to b&w with DXO film pack 3