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Old Mar 7, 2007, 9:09 AM   #1
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I have recently bought a 400D and find my old Sigma zooms aren't realy good enough anymore. So I have been looking at either the Canon 55-200 f4 L or the Canon 70-300 IS USM. I have read in a couple places that although the L lens is better at the equivalent zoom setting it is not that much better and also because the IS in the 70-300mm lens helps reduce camera shake this could make it a better buy for me. I don't often use a tripod as I can't carry too much so IS should help a lot. I wondered what peoples opinions were of the two lenses and of my reasoning.

John
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 10:59 AM   #2
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Sorry I mean't the 70-200mm f4.0 LUSM not at I stated Canon 50-200 F4 L.

John
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 11:14 AM   #3
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What do you intend to use the lens for (yes, I know taking photos - but what types of photos). That will help determine if the added reach of the 300mm will be of benefit as well as the IS.
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 1:32 PM   #4
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The lens will be used for things like Kite/Balloon festivals, Powerboat racing, water sking plus animal, birds and butterflies. I know the IS of the 70-300 would be a great help to me but I don't want to lose out on image quality.
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 1:32 PM   #5
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One thing that is putting me off the 70-200 L a little isits colournot becauseI mind it being white but because it stands out more and where I live thats not a good thing.


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Old Mar 7, 2007, 1:56 PM   #6
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Here is my opinion:

1. Unless you're very unsteady I think you give IS too much credit. I have several IS lenses and several NON-IS lenses. For the activities you describe and the size/weight of the 70-300 I don't see IS as being a great benefit. Now, some people don't have steady hands - if you're such a person then absolutely you will benefit from IS. But for those activitties you should be getting shutter speeds easily over 1/500 so handholding the 70-300 lens or 70-200 lens would not be a problem.

2. I can't tell you whether you will find the IQ of the 70-300 acceptable.

3. I can tell you, for the uses you describe, 200mm will often be too short especially for the wildlife/birds (where 400mm can be too short).

So, I think you'll want the reach of the 70-300 over the 70-200. Now, some might say buy a 1.4x TC for the 70-200. Well that adds another $250 and I wouldn't think the 70-200 f4 plus TC has better IQ than the 70-300 (although I could easily be wrong on this).

So, bottom line is - I think you need the 300mm. The question is - is the 70-300 good enough for you? I don't have the answer for that. The next lenses up are the Sigma 100-300 f4 ($1000) or the Canon 100-400L ($1600). The sigma 50-500 is a good lens but pretty heavy/bulky).

That's just my opinion. I don't shoot those specific events, but I do a lot of sports shooting and some occasional wildlife and have a 70-200 2.8, 100-400 and Sigma 120-300 2.8 lens.So, I'm pretty comfortable saying the 200mm lens will be atoo short - particularly for powerboat racing and wildlife.
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Old Mar 10, 2007, 9:01 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies JohnG

I don't have paticularly steady hands and I am not about to carrya big tripod with me sotheIS should help. Having downloaded and printing out quite a few picture from test sites, some to A3+ size,from both the lenses from whatI can see the difference is minimal and they are all far better than the Sigma lenses I have at the moment. So I have decided to orderthe 70-300 IS USM on Monday and if I really don't like it I will return it and get the 70-200 F4L instead.

John
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 4:52 AM   #8
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I got the 70-300 IS USM a few days ago and so faram very pleased with the lens.Focusing is very quick and accurate,images are sharp at both ends of the zoom even when taken at the widest aperture, contrast is good,all in all a great lens.

Now I have to start looking for a midrange zoom of the same quality?

John


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