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Old Feb 27, 2004, 1:27 AM   #1
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Default canon lens issued

I own the Drebel, and so far have been using just the kit lens. I do a lot of landscapes(90%) so the kit lens has been serving me well.
A few days ago I wanted to get another lens, zoom/telephoto that would compliment my kit lens. Something that would give me that extra reach to close in on some landscapes or maybe animals once in a while. The problem was that I had a tight budget and I really couldn't afford anything over $500. That meant no 70-200 F4L. It would cost $630 including tax in NY. Can't find it used and didn't feel like buying it off of ebay.

I finally settled on the Canon 100mm F/2 USM lens for $400. I've been testing it for the yesterday and today. I find that it's fast, very fast, pictures are incredibly sharp and really like the F/2.

But after testing it for a day i realized a few things,
1.) Most of the time I'm going to be shooting higher than F2 since I'm shooting in the day and less so at nights.

2.) Even shooting at F3.5 I get pretty good background blur from the 100 F/2. Not sure about F4

3.) 100mm really isn't a whole lot of reach. As I spent a good portion of the day trying to shoot some pics of seagulls standing around. And forget about getting the seagulls that were flying, not even possible

I'm thinking about returning the lens back for the Tokina 24-200 F3.5 - 5.6 ATX I/F It's all metal construction, good weight, compact, internal focusing and it's only 279.00. More appealing than the Canon 75-300 IS. The reviews for this lens are mixed. Some say it's very sharp some say it's soft. While the 100 F/2 got amazing reviews from users at pcphotoyreview(4.95 out of 5). The Tokina got 4.14 from users. I know not exactly bad but it seems like the reviews were high because it was a good bargin lens.

So already it seems like I'm going to be trading in a great prime lens for a average to okay lens. I'm really wondering if I should do it. Secondly as nice as the tokina is, I'm only going to be using the 100mm to 200mm most of the time. As I shoot mainly landscapes, the kit lens covers most of the distance I want already. Anything over the kit lens would be just to close. Third, I don't have much access to birds or other animals. (unless I feel like starting a collection of pigeon pictures which I don't plan on). And I don't think I'm going to take pictures of seagulls in flight every single day.

So I'm wondering what I should really do. Should I just keep my prime and live with it or should I opt for the tokina and save myself a few bucks until I get better at photography, save up enough money and then get something really nice. Being a amatuer sucks. The amatuer/cheap side of me tells me that the tokina is bargin for the buck.

What should I do?
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Old Feb 27, 2004, 10:10 AM   #2
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I agree that the 100mm isn't that much reach. If its enough, is the question? What, exactly, will you use a longer lens for?

Just because the lens is an F2 doesn't mean you have to use it at F2. Most lenses get better when you stop them down a bit. So compare these two things. Imagine you had the 400 f2.8 and 400 f5.6

The 400 f2.8 will be better at f5.6 than the 400 f5.6. That is partially because effects that stopping the 400 f2.8 lens down two stops has. It also has the added bonus of being able to use used at f2.8 and f4 (which you can't do with the f5.6, of course.)

So just because you have the 100mm F2 doesn't mean you have to use it at f2.

One site rated that Tokina lens as "average" another sub-average with distortion problems.

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Old Feb 27, 2004, 5:49 PM   #3
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You want the ability to have some reach, you are not demanding from yourself absolutely perfect photos, you want as much flexibility as possible because you are not yet certain about what you want your primary focus to be, you don't wish to spend a whole lot of money. You own the 15-55 kit lens already so you do have some wide angle capability.

If you want some stretch without spending a whole pile of money and you don't wish to worry about being on the "rich" end of quality control, then I'd suggest that you find it in yourself to purchase the 70-200 F4 L. You will have some stretch and be assured of a very good lens. Yes, you may be spending a bit more than you "think" you can afford right now, but perhaps the question should be more along the lines of, "Am I willing to risk completely throwing away $500 on this, or am I willing to dig a bit deeper and spend the $630 on something that is a guaranteed winner?"

You won't be disappointed with the 70-200 F4. It's fast, sharp, light, and feels real good. Spend the few extra dollars for the guaranteed investment.
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Old Feb 28, 2004, 1:32 AM   #4
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I'm with Norm.

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