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Old Dec 19, 2003, 10:30 AM   #1
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Default Lens Choice on Drebel

I know that variations of this question have been posed before, but not necessarily this choice:
Preface: I have the drebel kit (w/lens)
I am now looking for my "other" lens.
Reading some posts here and other forums, I was thinking of either:

Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-200mm f/2.8 EX APO IF HSM

or

Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM Autofocus

At this stage I have no specific venue where I would consider using these lenses, but just want an additional lense for longer shots and shots with less depth for effect. I know the Sigma is quicker, but with my lack of experience, I don't know whether it is worth paying up for this. Any general thoughts on the relative merits of each lense would be appreciated. I am open to any suggestions.

Justin
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Old Dec 19, 2003, 10:52 AM   #2
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Justin,

The difference between 2.8 and 4.0 is one f/stop, which basically means that you have twice as much light entering with each stop. This is also true when you talk about going from 1/60 sec to 1/30 sec. One stop difference. Also the difference between 100 ISO and 200 ISO is one stop.

I can't comment on personal experience between the two lenses as I haven't had my hands on either of them, but there are plenty of reviews to give you that information.

What you need to decide is the type of pictures you're going to be taking. Also, how often will you take pictures at the wide open setting of 2.8? If you find yourself taking a lot of low light shots, then the 2.8 may be attractive. However, remember that we're talking one stop here, so if you increase your ISO to 200, you can take a picture at the same shutter speed at f/4.0 as you would with ISO 100 and f/2.8 with negligible noise problems.

My personal thought is to go with the fastest lens you can afford, but keep it in perspective to your shooting style and options. The 2.8 is generally a heavier lens than a 4.0 lens, so the question of handholding the lens becomes an issue. On a tripod, you don't really care that much about the speed of the lens unless you're taking pictures of moving objects.

I realize now that after this rambling, I have probably only given you even more to think about, so I'll just stop! LOL

Good luck in your decision and keep us informed with a feedback report on how you like your new lens -- whichever one you choose
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Old Dec 19, 2003, 10:58 AM   #3
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thanks for the quick response. The types of shots that I will be taking will probably be a mix of still shots (without tripod) and some shots over the next few years of my 16mth son. Actually, come to think of it, about 85% of all my shots are either of my son or wife. The other shots are more like Autumn leaves.
I recently, with the drebel, also really come to appreciate gaining the least depth of field for very effective facial shots. That is while I am looking at a longer lense. Some of that shooting will be indoors. I could also go a shorter lense as I am not sure if I need great distances.

On that note, I was also looking at the
Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

As you can see I don't really have a solid idea of my needs. The thing is, though, I don't have much or really no opportunity to speak with any other authoritative people on cameras other than here as none of my circle of friends have any real views on the matter.
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Old Dec 19, 2003, 11:14 AM   #4
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If most of your shots are going to be indoors or pictures of your family, you might consider the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di lens (around $350US). This will give you a significantly faster lens that will cover most of your normal shots, a bit wider on the zoom end. Most indoor portraits on the DRebel are probably going to do best about the 50mm range. On the kit lens, that length gives you a f/5.6 which is a full 2 stops difference over the Di lens!

I have the Di lens and love it. I keep the kit lens for those times when I might need a wider lens than the 28mm.

Another option for indoor shots would be the Canon 50mm f/1.8 for around $70 US. It is a single focal length but pretty much an ideal length for portraits indoors (1.6 factor gives you the effect of using a 80 mm focal length).

One option that you didn't mention, but will be invaluable if you do a lot of indoor pictures is an external flash. The 420 EX works well in most situations, but if you want more power and better options, go with the 550EX
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Old Dec 19, 2003, 12:04 PM   #5
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Does it make sense to get a little more long end and go with the
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS ?
That way I could use the lense outside for more general shots with a bit more length. What do you think?
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Old Dec 19, 2003, 12:43 PM   #6
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Again follow ohenry advice @ 135mm it's two stops (f/5.6). As long as what you shoot is static, the IS will compensate for your handheld shakiness... in low light.

An f/2.8 will get you the extra two stops in shutter speed for the same ISO, which might make a difference in freezing an action (which is usually further away) or if you can not reach with a flash. Beside it'll give you "the least depth of field for very effective facial shots" over a smaller f/5.6 aperture. The only downside is a constant f/2.8 is usually heavier because of the larger glass...

The EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is a good lens, I have one but since I already have other lenses with larger aperture the f/5.6 is tolerable for me, but your mileage may varies...
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Old Dec 19, 2003, 10:35 PM   #7
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I bought a 28mm-300mm Tamron travel lens (which I like) and a 50 mm 1.4 Canon for my 300D. See the Virginia Album at my web site for the Tamron lens shots; I just started shooting with the 50mm, will post some photos soon. Hope this helps.

http://community.webshots.com/user/johnwmitchell100
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Old Dec 20, 2003, 4:43 AM   #8
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I just purchased the Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens for the DReb and could not believe what an improvement it is over the kit lens. I also have a Canon 75-300mm USM (non IS) lens that isn't near as good as the IS lens. If you are going to do a lot of hand held shots, I recommend getting an IS lens.
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Old Dec 20, 2003, 11:24 PM   #9
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If you take a lot of pictures indoors of people, get the $70 50mm / F1.8 lens. It is really good optically, it is light and fast (f-stop wise). I have the 420 EX flash, and combined with the 50mm F 1.8 I can take some very nice indoor shots. The head on the flash swivels from left to right and up and down, thus you can get some nice bouncing off ceilings and walls.

I don't really use the 28-135 indoors on my 14 month old (outdoors I do). The IS is not that useful since my kid moves too fast. The higher f-stop of the 28-135 makes for slower shutter speeds, and with moving subjects you still get a blurry image even with IS. I found that using my 70-200 F2.8L IS indoors works much better, but even 70mm indoors is a lot of zoom. You'll have to be pretty far away from the people you're shooting (plus 70 mm compresses the perspective), thus I use the 50mm F 1.8 most often.

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Old Dec 21, 2003, 10:08 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the responses. It would seem that I have a lot of choices. I think the fixed 50MM seems to make sense for what I am doing right now.

I also like the idea of the 28-135 for general outdoor use, although I am a little bit hesitant since it would seem that if you have other more specific shot lenses, it doesn't get used.

So, it would seem that if I wanted to set myself up with the lenses I should "have" in my bag, I need 3 lenses if you include a 70-200. Still not sure which one is better on that count though. I guess it comes down to weight tradeoffs with the Canon IS versus the quicker Sigma lense. If they are both optically similiar, I probably should be able to cope with the slower lense.
All food for thought.
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