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Old Oct 20, 2006, 10:00 AM   #1
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I recently made the jump from a super zoom to the XTI, and skipped the kit lens for the 28-135 IS USM canon lens. I am pretty happy with it so far as a walk around lens. Now I am about to go on a trip to next week and I am thinking of picking up a new lens for it. The Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USMand theCanon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM seem to have both gotten really good reviews, and arnt hellishly expensive(thoght I wish they were cheeper). My question is really two parts.

1) Are these lenses worth the money? And is there something else I should be looking at instead?

2)My main use is going to be taking pictures of a little sightseeing, not much overall. And using it for a concert we are going to. There is no rules about not having a camera, but I dont know what the rules are for using flash. We have pretty good seats, 3 row on the floor, but way off to the side, and also, I dont know how far back the seats will be from the stage. So would it be better to get a wide angle or a teloscopic? I am without both ranges, and I dont have the money to really pick up both before the time of the trip.

Actually a third question then, does anyone have any experience with renting lenses? Might this be a good idea, and if it is, does anyone know of a good online, or even better, a good shop in new york city that does that?

I appreciate anyones advice, thanks,

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Old Oct 20, 2006, 11:15 AM   #2
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Both of those lenses are excellent, but I'm hesitant to say either is right for your needs. For your stated needs:

1. Sightseeing - what types of shots do you want to get that you feel the 28-135 will not allow you to get. This is important in determining whether EITHER of the lenses you're considering is a good purchase.

2. Concert - you didn't say what type of concert. For most venues, flash photography is a no-no.. Both lenses are f4, and that means that without flash they aren't likely to give you the shutter speeds you'd want. A prime lens with 2.0 aperture or better is a much better tool for the job. From your seats, something like the 85mm 1.8 sounds ideal. But again, I would question buying a lens for the sole purpose of shooting a single concert - OK, maybe the 50mm 1.8 at $70 it's a worthwhile investment - you're bound to use it enough times to get your $70 worth. In any event neither of the lenses your considering is good for this activity.

So, while both lenses are very good, you'd have to be more specific about use #1 (Sightseeing) to say whether either lens will be beneficial. It may be that the 17-40 isn't wide enough, or long enough. It may be the 70-200 isn't long enough. Or it may be that for what you want to shoot the 28-135 will cover your bases.
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 4:57 PM   #3
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The concert is for the Dixie Chicks. And I am doubtful about flash, but ya never know. As for sightseeing, well, I guess I was just worried that if I wanted to get a shot of a building or something it would be hard to get teh whole thing in the picture. Of course I do have feet and can just back up . I notice sometimes that when I am taking pictures I struggle a little to get everything I want in the picture, and that I have to back up or just replan the shot. But considering it a bit more, I could probably get away with my walk around lens just fine. My only other thought for a wide lens was that if I wanted to get the entire stage it might be a bit difficult, and I might have better luck with a wider angle. The closer seats almost working against me.

I really want a telephoto lens, I find I miss it a lot coming from my 12x zoom, I didnt realize how much I used it till now. And I thought that if I wanted to focus on a member of the band, it would get me in really close. Though I do admit, I didnt think of the aperture for it when looking at the lenses. I see there is a 2.8 version, but that is out of my price range. So you don't think, even at 4 the the 70-200 would be bright enough, even shooting at a high iso?

Huh, the 1.8 50 mm, I have heard a lot of good things about that lens. I actually almost picked it up at the same time as the camera, but decided to hold off just a bit since I didnt see a need for it. And for 70 bucks, its practically a no brainer, I am sure I could use it at some point, if not for this, so I will probably pick it up just for the heck of it. And if that would be better for this, I could hold off on the other purchases for a bit more. I heard my credit card groaning as I wrote up the original post .

Thanks, John.


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Old Oct 26, 2006, 12:59 PM   #4
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I have both lenses you mentioned. I have relegated both to outdoor daylight shooting. Both are well worth the money in sharpness and construction. You may want to consider the new f2.8 zooms from Tokina, Sigma, and Tamron. I have the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and it has become my lens of choice for most indoor shooting. Another good choice is the older Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and would give you the added range. If you can zoom with your feet the canon 85mm f1.8 would be an excellent choice. The one thing to pay attention to is DOF since at these aperatures DOF will be shallow and focusing will be critical. You should get passable results if you increase the ISO. The bad thing I see is that you are attending a "dixie :evil:chick" concert.
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Old Oct 30, 2006, 5:50 PM   #5
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I think 50mm f/1.8 is your best bet at a great price. BTW there is nothing wrong with Dixie Chicks or going to their concert. They make great music and are a patriotic bunch.Enjoy listening to music and take lots of pictures. Let us know how they turned out...:-)
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