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Old Dec 29, 2004, 4:51 PM   #1
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I'm looking for some advice on adding a lens to my collection. I currently have a 17-40mm, 50mm and a 28-135mm. I'll be using the lens with a digital rebel (1.6x multiplier), but would like to take into consideration that I intend the keep the lens long term and in the long run, I don't believe that 1.6x multiplier will continue to be an issue.

My use for the lens will be, by order of priority:
1. Sports, outdoor, mostly my son playing football
2. Kids, indoors, school plays and such (limited lighting and flash effectiveness - I have a 420ex)
3. Sports, indoor, assumed future need for kids doing something!
4. Occasional outdoor nature shots

A Canon lens is a preference for me because of interoperability issues, resale value and brand trust. I would prefer an "L" quality lens for longevity of ownership.

I suspect it's reasonable to target 200mm for these uses. On my digital rebel, that's about a 320mm equivelent. On some future full frame body, I can add a 1.4x extender to hit about 280mm.

As I see it, there's 4 options available to me to reach this focal length: 200mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/4, 70-200mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 IS. The 75-300mm does not apeal to me because of quality/sharpness/speed concerns. Here's the pros and cons of each as I see them (quality seems to be great on all of them from reviews I've read):

Canon 200mm f/2.8, $650
Pros - very fast, reasonable cost, lowest size and weight
Cons - fixed length, less conspicuous, could have to change lenses if action gets too close - potential to miss shots. No IS

Canon 70-200mm f/4, $570
Pros - faster than a f/5.6, zoom capability, reasonable cost
Cons - medium size and weight (but still pretty big). somewhat conspicuous. It's not as fast as the others - potential to miss some indoor shots due to lighting or camera shake. No IS.

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8, $1,120
Pros - very fast, zoom capability, no missed shots indoors.
Cons - Large and heavy, conspicuous, expensive. No IS. May require tripod/monopod

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS, $1,610
Pros - very fast, zoom capability, best combination of features, IS
Cons - largest and heaviest, very conspicuous, very expensive

Should I seriously consider the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX at $670? What would it's pros and cons be? What about the Tokina 80-200 f/2.8 at $610?

Am I missing any consideration? What has worked for you?

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Old Dec 29, 2004, 5:10 PM   #2
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I've been looking into a similar question, although my budget seems to be morerestrictive than yours. You seem to have picked an excellent selection of lenses and, as you'll read, the sigma seems to be very well thought of too. The only thing I can add, and this is purely based on internet research rather than personal experience, is that the Tokina is a lens to be avoided. The price is competitive, although only marginally cheaper than the Sigma, but, apparrently, is un-usably soft at f/2.8 and is very prone to lens flare.

Good luck with your eventual purchase - I'll be very interested to hear what you decide.
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 9:09 PM   #3
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My humble two cents:

The f4 will be too slow for indoors, and for some football shots under the lights so I would rank it at the bottom of your list. The sigma compares very favorably to it's canon counterpart and is $400 less. It is also a little less noticeable than the canon's bright white. The 70-200 IS is TWICE the cost of the sigma. Given your preferences I don't see how spending 800 just to get IS is worth it - but that is a personal decision. I have not done indoor sports, but just pass this on from research I've done and people I've chatted with - most people shooting basketball or volleyball prefer a faster prime lense - either the 85mm 1.8 or 50mm 1.4 (I have heard some indications the 50mm 1.8 is a liittle too slow focusing but still a very inexpensive lense and very high quality for $70).
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 11:53 PM   #4
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I'd never say don't get a good F2.8 lens, there are always times you might need the extra stop. :-)
But other thing to consider is how ofter you will be able to use the lens at its MAX f2.8.

A 200mm at f2.8 is not too bad on DOF compared to long telephoto lenses,
and you do get more DOF the farther away the focus point is, but then you need a longer lens to get an acceptable image size which cuts down the DOF. Catch22. :?

For instance a
200mm @F2.8 has a DOF of .72 feet focused at 30 feet, and at F4 DOF is 1.2 feet.
300mm @F2.8 has a DOF of.32 feet focused at 30 feet, and at F4 DOF is .45 feet.
400mm @F2.8 has a DOF of .18 feet focused at 30 feet, and at F4 DOF is .25 feet.

You can use DOFMaster to work out your working depth of field for different lens/Fstop settings.

EDIT: One other point1/3 of yourDOF is in frontof your focus point, 2/3 isbehind it.

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