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Old Feb 18, 2007, 4:49 AM   #1
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I will be back shooting reptiles in the bush in a few months time, last visit 5 years ago I had an older canonfilm camerawith kit lens upto 55mm lens, as this did a pretty good job of pictures it wasnt suitable for close ups of small lizards you cant get close to them without them running off so I got my self a Canon 350D and now I need a lens I've done some practice shots with the kit lens 17-55mm to try and ascertain what lens I will need shooting snakes isn't a issue but3 inch lizard 4-5 meters away and fill the frameis what I really need the lens for - some places Ill be shooting will be darkish shadded forest, some extremly bright sand dunes- and I will have not tripod, I don't want action shots just close ups, and I dont think ill need super fast focusing?!?

I thought of getting a Canon 70-300 IS and then found that sigma are to launch the 18-200mm OS in a couple of months if its before I go! the only other thing "is what everyone wants" would be nice to have only one lens toleave on thebody, so I started considering Canon 28-135mm IS ???!? See my budget is like up to$700

I thought I had it all sorted again and again I read reviews and forums then im lost again! - If you can help much appreciated suggestions arereally needed.
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 6:21 AM   #2
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I'd suggest getting the 70-300 (careful here: NOT the 75-300 which is a different lens) now rather than waiting to see if your other option arrives in time. You should never buy a new piece of equipment and leave on an important shoot without having a chance to use it first. This is not a matter of testing the gear but a matter of you getting practice in using it and learning how to make it do what you want it to do. Take 1000 pictures that mean nothing to you before you come up against a shot that really is important and you are more likely to get the desired result.

Under $700 you could also get the Canon 70-200 f/4L which I have and like or the Canon 200mm f/2.8L prime which I wish I had instead of my zoom. I find I am shooting at 200mm enough of the time that I could lose the 70-199 options in favor of the f/stop gain. Your shooting may be different. The 70-300 has IS which would be good for lizards sunning on a rock. Running lizards are too fast to shoot anyway so you need to find them posing. The new 70-200 f/4L IS and 70-200 f/2.8L IS are both over your price limit but would be fine if you are ready to spend more.

Opinion: One lens that will do everything generally does nothing particularly well. Take your kit lens for 'normal' shots and be willing to change to the lizard lens when chasing nature.
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 3:25 PM   #3
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thanks dougsmityou make a good point about spending time to learn the equiptment before its really needed.

I hadn'tconsidered a non stabalizing lens its just I cant help but wonder how clear would an image be without it! can images over a 200m really be taken without a tripod, i have a steady hand but it that it - this is where I get confused with the 70-200 4L and 70-300 IS which would be best as you can get 70-200 with IS - also looks huge to carry

Also all in all i need to reaching at least200mm

back to the thought process :sad:
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 4:00 PM   #4
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200mm handhold pretty well at 1/500 or higher but if you are shooting lizards, IS really strikes me as the answer. They are sitting there and you have a few seconds at best to squeeze off the shots. It is not a perfect situation to have to be very conscious about holding steady and IS will help this down to a slow enough speed that you can stop down the lens for depth of field (get the whole critter sharp) or shoot in the shadows up to a point. The 70-200 f/4L IS is not all that big but costs enough more that I would buy the 70-200 IS (not DO) for this use.

L lenses are good wide open and easily beat out economy models. Stopped down, there is less difference. Those who never shoot stopped down really like L's. Those who have IS can match quality more easily by using up their IS advantage by stoping down. Which is sharper the 70-200 f/4L at 200mm, 1/400and f/4 with a crop or the 70-300 IS at 300mm, 1/100and f/8 full image? Good question. Add in the additional depth of field from the smaller aperture and revisit the same question.
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 4:57 AM   #5
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Very interesting, thanks for the break down even with all the reading still wasnt clear what would help me andI was getting a little lost but I think its all clicking into place... slowly!


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Old Feb 19, 2007, 10:30 AM   #6
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for somewhere around $800 - $900 there is the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 macro lens. has a macrro magnification of 1:3.8 has hsm and is supposed to be a fairly good lens. closest focus is about 3.3 ft. so you still don't have to get right on top of things to get a large image. I don't know (maybe some of you sigma guys/gals can help here) if it will take a TC well or not. This will allow you to have a fast, relatively sharp normal telezoom and macro for other types of shots as you find them in the bush. my 2 cents.

dennis

p.s. I don't have this lens but I have the sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro lens and love it!!
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 11:11 AM   #7
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thanks djb,

just checked out some info, looks a good lens by lots of reviews one test against the canon with IS here
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...ad.php?t=22421
its interesting but still leaves me questions about this stabalisation as even that review said was from a tripod, mine will never be off a tripod I have one but wont be carrying it! I just wonder if it will be possible to take great shots on my budgetand no tripod without some electromic help such as IS - if anyone knows ...
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 1:59 PM   #8
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yes you can some great shots without IS. search for some of NHL's shots in the Wildlife forum. The ones he used his sigma 120-300 with TC's all handheld. Some are really amazing. Remember before IS there were fantastic photos made with out, on tripod and off.

dennis
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 3:29 AM   #9
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Yea, nice pics, youre right silly thing to say -the days before electronic stabalised lenses :roll:- I read loads of reviews on the 70-300 canon IS and everyone said how favourable it was apart from thebuild quality but for price looks like my be option
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Old Apr 9, 2007, 5:47 AM   #10
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Hi all FYI...

Ok I did it I took the plunge, I optted for a 70-200 IS f4 Canon lens and its a beauty!!! ok its pretty big the wife dont want to even use the camera now, ok by me! so I brought here a point and shoot funny cos the point of buying a nice camera wasnt to use a point and shoot still never mind.....

the lens is quite pricy I know but I went into jessops and they had a non IS version for £500GBP saving £100GBP I had a go with it and the images were great so started wondering would the IS be any better... the shop owner said yes but youll pay for it £1000GBP!!! so little research on the net I gota deal from ebay to pay no import tax which is a killer and a bargin price of £600GBP!!! big difference so I went with it ordered friday night arrived in my hand monday morning!

so im trying to say I paid £100GBP extra for IS according to our highstreet price which I stretch for but for hand held shooting of still subjects its a dream.

I very nearly got a sigma 70-200 2.8 but weight of 1.4kg put me off carrying through the bush!!!

I love the lens, had some practice, I need to get out in to the bush and get some reptile shots... here I come!!! wish me luck!
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