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  1. #1
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    Lense recommendation

    I've recently stepped up to a DLSR (canon rebel w/18-55mm lense).

    Previous cameras were all point and shoot - last one was a olympus c730.

    Anyhow, I like to do outdoor night photography mostly. I'm a causal photographer...
    something I do maybe a few times a month tops.

    I need a recommendation for a decent telephoto lense - something like 70-200mm
    range and under say $300. I don't do enough shooting at this point to drop another
    grand on a lense - if I find I get in to it more, I've got no problem spending the money
    however.

    I'm thinking about a lense thats a f2.8 with the above specs.. mostly because I think
    it'll help my night shooting more so then the usual 3.8-5.6 telephotos.

    Any suggestions as to brand or specs would be greatly appreciated.

    Here's a link to a recent shot with my c730 of the santa monica sky line (show from malibu) to give you an idea of the shooting I like to do:

    http://edamon.com/740/skyline2.jpg

    -d

  2. #2
    nature/wildlife co-moderator paulnj's Avatar
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    "something like 70-200mm range and under say $300"

    "I'm thinking about a lense thats a f2.8 with the above specs.. mostly because I think
    it'll help my night shooting more so then the usual 3.8-5.6 telephotos. "

    the skyline shot had DOF well beyond the f5.6 @200mm range firstly

    your budget of $300 will have you searching long and hard for a used 3rd party lens in that range with f2.8 constant

    my suggestion in that range is a canon 70-200f4L( but nearly twice your budget)
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=183198&is=USA

    a sigma 70-200 f2.8 is just over $700
    a canon is $1100
    a tokina is $539 after rebate(my second suggestion)

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=101948&is=USA

    depending on your uses of the files and if you've factored in the 1.6x crop of your camera's sensor..

    maybe a lens in the 24-135ish range with a 3.5-4.5 range(or even 70-300 f3.5-5.6) will better suit your needs and budget

    Paul
    Last edited by paulnj; 02-03-2004 at 10:15 AM.
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    BIRD NERD O'CANON

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  3. #3
    Member ustein's Avatar
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    >"something like 70-200mm range and under say $300"

    Even at f/4 this will be hard. Don't save too much on lenses.

    Uwe
    www.outbackphoto.com
    www.colors-by-nature.com

  4. #4
    Member yaronsh's Avatar
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    Question wide-telephoto zooms

    [copied from another thread]

    > >What about one of those 28-200 (or 35-200 or somesuch) pieces?
    > >Is that pushing the limits of zoom lense quality?

    > I very much think so. 3-4x zooms can be pretty good.

    Uwe, I'm not sure how to interpret your response - does that mean you'd recommend a getting a 28-200 over a 28-80 and a 70-200? Or are you neutral about it?
    Maybe my question wasn't really clear - by "pushing the limits of ... quality" I meant, does it start getting into that borderline quality area, not bad but not very good?

    - Yaron

  5. #5
    Member ustein's Avatar
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    > 28-200

    I would try to stay away from 28-200 in most cases as it is stretching the limits (especially for 35mm).

    Just think:

    - best are primes
    - then top 3x zooms
    - then the rest

    Uwe
    www.outbackphoto.com
    www.colors-by-nature.com

  6. #6
    Member yaronsh's Avatar
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    So, to make sure I read you correctly, you're saying that long lenses (e.g., 200mm) are generally of lower quality than shorter lenses, and so, by getting a 28-200mm one sacrifices the quality of the wide/normal end due to the necessary shortcomings of the tele end... - and so you'd recommend getting two zoom lenses, one up to about 70 and one for longer lengths? - Yaron

    > - best are primes
    > - then top 3x zooms
    > - then the rest

  7. #7
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Some zoom theory

    yaronsh-
    Photography is a universe of compromises. If lens quality was our number one concern, we'd all be using only prime lenses. And in the past, to be blunt, zoom lenses sucked. No serious photographer used them until about 15 years ago.

    There are some very, very good zooms available now, though - for a price. But the longer the zoom range gets, the more optical compromises need to be made. Buying a super long zoom for under $1000 is a recipe for disaster. A lot of photographers would say buying any long zoom is a mistake. If a photographer is at all disctiminating, he or she will end up replacing the lens. Better to make your compromise in the form of a shorter zoom and sacrifice range for quality.

    To clarify, by "long", we mean the zoom ratio, not the actual focal length. You'll notice that for the most part, pro zooms come in a few common lengths - 70-200mm, 28-80mm, 17-35mm, etc. Those three are actually the most common pro zoom lengths. There are some specialized zooms for people who don't have the luxury of time to change lenses, or need to sacrifice quality for compactness and weight. An example of this is the 100-400mm or 70-300mm zoom range. Optically those won't be as good as the smaller ratio zoom lenses, but for some sports photographers, wildlife photographers, and photojournalists, they're the best compromise.

    So if you are going to buy a zoom, and most people do use zoom lenses these days, make it a short one if you can. And if you're considering a longer zoom, be aware that you're making a compromise. And absolutely don't buy cheap, long zooms if you care about image quality. You'll end up unhappy and spend more money because you tried to save money. It's always best to save money on the body and splurge on the lens. That's an old photography rule.
    Photo-John

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  8. #8
    Member ustein's Avatar
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    >So, to make sure I read you correctly, you're saying that long lenses (e.g., 200mm) are generally of lower quality than shorter lenses,

    Not at all. I say that making a huge range (7x) in a zoom is a problem. Already a 28mm prime is not that easy to make well. I love all my 70/80-200 lenses (Nikon/Canon top zooms).

    Uwe
    www.outbackphoto.com
    www.colors-by-nature.com

  9. #9
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    thanks for the replies.

    After looking online at lense prices that $300 bucks was a fairy tale, less the vivitar line,
    but the reviews on them are junk from what I've read.

    So I think I'll step up to the $750-$800 range

    However, now i'm a little confused as to what to get. Is the 70-200mm too much range
    for one lense?

    I've done a fair amount of reading in the past two days on lenses, and it's a bit of
    information overload.. never looked much into it before, as I was never into 35mm cameras.
    The digitals are what got me started in it.
    -d

  10. #10
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    I've been following your posts on this issue and I agree with what you've been told so far. I also agree with your decision to increase your budget as what you were looking for just wasn't possible in the range you first stated without looking at something that was well used/abused. I think you will find a number of people here, me included, have the Canon 70-200 f/4L lense and really love it. Unless you need the faster 2.8 version, I think you will find this lense to be very nice and well within your budget. I've had mine for well over a year now and use it as my primary lens for mostly travel/landscape/general shots. When I first got it, I did test shots using it and a 28-80 both at 70mm f/8 mounted on a tripod and using a shutter release. Even viewing prints, my non-photographer wife readily noticed the difference in the shots as far as sharpness and "pop" of the images.

    An option in your range if you wanted a prime lense would be the Canon 200 f/2.8L. It would be about $50 more than the 70-200. While I don't have this lense, it is very highly rated.

    Good luck in your search
    Terry

  11. #11
    Liz
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    Smile Canon 200mm/f2.8L lens

    is an EXCELLENT lens which I have. My first L lens! I was going for the 70-200mm/f4 and actually tried one for a weekend. However, I found the 200mm/f2.8 was the better choice for me. I didn't need the zoom as much as I wanted that extra light. I always get excellent results with this lens. It's awesome and well worth the $ IMO. BTW, I did get good results from the zoom, but again, I preferred the 2.8 over the zoom option.

    These are difficult decisions when we're spending so much money. I went to B&HPhoto and tried out the 200mm first. I put it on my Rebel 300D and did some shooting instore, then took home the images on my CF card. I paid $629 for the 200mm/2.8 at B&H.

    Good luck.

    Liz

    Quote Originally Posted by p220sigmans
    I've been following your posts on this issue and I agree with what you've been told so far. I also agree with your decision to increase your budget as what you were looking for just wasn't possible in the range you first stated without looking at something that was well used/abused. I think you will find a number of people here, me included, have the Canon 70-200 f/4L lense and really love it. Unless you need the faster 2.8 version, I think you will find this lense to be very nice and well within your budget. I've had mine for well over a year now and use it as my primary lens for mostly travel/landscape/general shots. When I first got it, I did test shots using it and a 28-80 both at 70mm f/8 mounted on a tripod and using a shutter release. Even viewing prints, my non-photographer wife readily noticed the difference in the shots as far as sharpness and "pop" of the images.

    An option in your range if you wanted a prime lense would be the Canon 200 f/2.8L. It would be about $50 more than the 70-200. While I don't have this lense, it is very highly rated.

    Good luck in your search
    Terry
    Last edited by Liz; 02-04-2004 at 06:53 AM. Reason: added a comment

  12. #12
    Liz
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    Photo taken with 200mm/f2.8.....

    and it was handheld. I was shooting a clock in a tower when I first got the lens a couple of months ago. All of a sudden this wonderful hawk landed on top of the tower. I was so nervous that my hands were shaking, but I leaned against a pole and he/she stayed around while I took a few shots. Here is one. Remember, the bird was FAR up and away from me. This was cropped, brought closer x6.

    Liz
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Lense recommendation-bird1-2538.jpg  

  13. #13
    nature/wildlife co-moderator paulnj's Avatar
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    and your redtailed hawk (buteo jamaicensis) is still sharp!!!

    and you say you shake alot and need IS???????
    CAMERA BIRD NERD #1




    BIRD NERD O'CANON

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  14. #14
    Member ustein's Avatar
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    IS helps you to stay in low ISO. Otherwise the 70-200 f/4 seems to be an excellent lens.

    The new EF 70-300mm 4~5.6 DO IS (out sood) could also be a bigtime player. Slightly out of your budget. I personally feel better using IS and the 70-200 f/2.8 IS is probably my most used lens.

    Uwe
    www.outbackphoto.com
    www.colors-by-nature.com

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by p220sigmans
    I've been following your posts on this issue and I agree with what you've been told so far. I also agree with your decision to increase your budget as what you were looking for just wasn't possible in the range you first stated without looking at something that was well used/abused. I think you will find a number of people here, me included, have the Canon 70-200 f/4L lense and really love it. Unless you need the faster 2.8 version, I think you will find this lense to be very nice and well within your budget. I've had mine for well over a year now and use it as my primary lens for mostly travel/landscape/general shots. When I first got it, I did test shots using it and a 28-80 both at 70mm f/8 mounted on a tripod and using a shutter release. Even viewing prints, my non-photographer wife readily noticed the difference in the shots as far as sharpness and "pop" of the images.

    An option in your range if you wanted a prime lense would be the Canon 200 f/2.8L. It would be about $50 more than the 70-200. While I don't have this lense, it is very highly rated.

    Good luck in your search
    Terry
    guessing by your nickname on here, you've got good taste in guns, haha, so I think
    I'll trust your suggestion on the lense.

    -d

  16. #16
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    Choosing guns is easy, lenses are more difficult. I do suggest that if you can, go to a store and try a number of lenses. Unlike guns, in most cases, you can shoot a little in the store.

    Terry

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