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Old Mar 9, 2007, 5:18 AM   #1
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Hello, I am wondering what slr people are thinking about this new lens...
I do horse/sports photography using canon 20d with 70-200 2.8L IS USM (which is beyond incredible to me)... and my wide angle is 24-70 2.8L for lack of nothing better. This lens is great for portraits... but what I really need is a faster lens to catch the action in lower light situation, both with or without flash. Even out in the daylight it can't compare to my 70-200. I have been told it is just the nature of the beast... wide angles just aren't there yet.. can't compare to what my big lens produces.

I know a landscape/portrait photographer that has been using 16-35 2.8L for a few years now and absolutely loves it, and I have been contemplating it, but have been told it still wouldn't do what I need it to. Now the new lens is coming out and sounds fantastic... knowing the current 16-35 is awesome lens, I wonder if the things they have upgraded/updated in this lens will make the difference for low light action shots. My big lens can handle it but I need a wide angle that can too.

Currently with my 24-70 2.8L, even with flash.. the photos are not usable, not even the slower action stuff, in the indoor arenas... problem of dark dirt floor absorbing what light there is. I use 580EX flash.

Seriously considering pre-ordering this lens.

Thoughts?

Becky
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Old Mar 9, 2007, 6:30 AM   #2
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Rico1Bad wrote:
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I wonder if the things they have upgraded/updated in this lens will make the difference for low light action shots. My big lens can handle it but I need a wide angle that can too.
An f/2.8 is an f/2.8, how can you expext this new 16-35 f/2.8 to be faster than any other f/2.8?
-> A prime is what you really want for more light - they go down to f/1.4 (i.e. 2-stops faster)!

If you're referring to the extra stops that the IS gives you with the 70-200 then you might want to consider the EF_s 17-55 f/2.8 IS for the 20D - The Image Stablization will allow you to shoot still images in lower light better than any other f/2.8 without IS...

I don't understand your flash question - Your 580EX will give you more light so you don't need a faster lens here (provided you have the distance). I
-> it'll also stop the action if you use the flash properly (i.e. not in the fill or FP modes) :idea:
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Old Mar 9, 2007, 7:10 AM   #3
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I purchased the EF-s 17-55 2.8 this past year and tried it out at a horse show. I really couldn't see much of a difference in what it captured vs. the 24-70 2.8L. I did like all other types of photos it produced... but again I was stuck relying on my 70-200 for the indoor events. Also the 17-55 is not sealed and that is an issue for me with the dust factor at the shows. So I returned the lens and decided to wait until something new came out that may be a fix for this situation.

I use the flash w/battery pack, on high speed sync and with the 70-200 it does the trick.. with the other lenses, the shots are no comparison.. but I have to stay way back with the 70-200 and cant get away from red eye issues even with flash bracket. I have the perfect opportunity to photograph these horsees up close using wide angel and flash and get away from the red eye issue, but so far no lens I have tried can deliver anywhere near the image the 70-200 does. Also... can't always use a flash... some types of horses I photograph are spooky... safer to not flash.

It could be I will have to upgrade my camera to the EOS 1Ds Mark II to get past this issue... which I definately can't afford to do yet. I have tried out my EF 50mm 1.4 USM and it did slightly better than the 24-70, but still the dark dirt in the arena just ate up the light.. my photos were not usable.. making me quickly switch back to my reliable 70-200... which always comes thru. This lens has been the only one of these four I have used that cuts it for low light action arena shooting. I am picky about image quality which seems to be a thorn in my side.
Becky
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Old Mar 9, 2007, 7:33 AM   #4
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Yes I'm baffled by this as well. There are certainly differences in focus speed between various 2.8 lenses. But as to the amount of light they let in - I'd bet they're all within 1/3 stop of one another. Same thing regarding flash - a given lens doesn't work better with a flash than another lens as far as I can tell. Of course, if you're using ETTL then the framing makes a huge difference in how the flash might meter the photo.

I understand about the dirt eating up the light from your flash but again can't see why it would have LESS of an affect with the 70-200 other than the light beam is more focused with more zoom - but if both lenses were at 70mm the flash should perform the exact same and both lenses should let in about the same amount of light (within 1/3 stop).

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Old Mar 9, 2007, 9:27 AM   #5
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Rico1Bad wrote:
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I purchased the EF-s 17-55 2.8 this past year and tried it out at a horse show. I really couldn't see much of a difference in what it captured vs. the 24-70 2.8L...
This is very surprising... A lot of folks here will not agree with what you observed - The EFs 17-55 f/2.8 is a lot sharper than the 24-70 f/2.8L especially @ wide open:
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...0_28/index.htm
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...5_28/index.htm
... and according to the MTF's it'll even outscore the 70-200L f/2.8 IS:
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...28is/index.htm
-> Again at wide open this digital EFS (non-L) lens only should have higher IQ than most full-frame L :idea:

As to the dust sealing - the lens needs the body to be integral. Isn't this analoguous to putting on a space suit and only using the helmet since the 20D is not sealed?



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I use the flash w/battery pack, on high speed sync and with the 70-200 it does the trick...
Again this seems to defy logic - See page 17 of the 580EX manual (I have the same flash), 2nd item notes from the bottom of this page: "With high-speed sync, the faster the shutter speed, the shorter the effective short range will be... "
-> All I can think of is with a wide angle the flash is spread out more instead of being concentrated by the zoom built-in to the flash - IMO you're much better off using normal X-sync instead and have access to the full power of the flash
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Old Mar 9, 2007, 9:48 AM   #6
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This is starting to make more sense.. maybe this is why I have been told I am not going to get what I am after with the wide. The flash is covering too wide of an area and not lighting the subject enough. I believe this is what I am encountering. Maybe my question / dilema is more of a flash user techniques issue than which lens. I have been using high speed sync- which syncs up to 250 and get the results I want with the zoom.. with the other wide angle lenses, using flash the images were way too dark to be usable.
What I still don't understand is why, without a flash my jumping horses are able to be caught and froze in action with my 70-200 at 2.8 and shutter speed at 200 to 250 according to time of day and light entering the arena, while even if I up the iso to 1600 with any of the other lenses, I still get blurry photos that do not freeze the action and can't be used.

So, in your expertise's... the lens I am contiplating is still not the fix... it is more user knowledge.... maybe I will just go scour the flash forum for some leads to good educational books on low light and flash photography for action. But it still stumps me how I can acheive these things with the 70-200 and not the others. I am positive I have ALOT to learn here!
Thanks for the imput
Becky
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Old Mar 9, 2007, 10:03 AM   #7
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See the attached table from the 550EX (the 580EX manual do not include this table):
You're effectively reducing the flash range in half by just switching to High-Speed sync!
The higher the shutter speed -> The shorter the distance

i.e. at X-sync you should get 28m from a 24mm if you change to High-Speed sync you're only getting 14m (i.e. half the distance) instead from the same shutter speed!!!



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But it still stumps me how I can acheive these things with the 70-200 and not the others. I am positive I have ALOT to learn here
In contrast you'll get 55m (with X-sync) instead of 27.5m at the tele by not using high-speed sync at all
-> What saved you was the zoom in the flash which narrow down its beam to get double the distance :idea:
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Old Mar 9, 2007, 10:27 AM   #8
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Alright now were really getting somewhere. This is finally making sense to me. The manual that came with the flash definately didn't have this in it, thank you for posting it. Now I am anxious to try this out with my 24-70. for that matter the 70-200 too! Guess my subject ended up being sutiable for a different forum after all. So glad for all the help, this problem has really been getting under my skin!

Becky
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Old Mar 9, 2007, 11:49 AM   #9
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OK - silly question that's always bothered me:

high speed synch - if a flash burst is quicker than the duration of the shutter anyway (isn't it something like 1/10,000) why is there such a thing as synch speed. In other words what is the limiting physical factor that says 1/250 - and any shutter speed faster requires us to use less flash power (via high speed synch). I understand recycle times - but that's different.
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Old Mar 9, 2007, 11:57 AM   #10
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JohnG

The capacitor in the flash hold a fixed charge - In order for it to fire multiple times quickly (to follow the shutter slit at high speed) each pulse has less energy (i.e. the amplitude is less for each pulse)
Higher shutter speed -> More and more pulses -> less and less energy -> shorter and shorter distances

X-Synch = One BIG pulse vs several smaller (high-speed sync) ones

See here - The ampliture is not only smaller, but the pulses themselves are modulated (high-speed ON/OFF) at 40kHz:
http://www.chem.helsinki.fi/~toomas/photo/flash-discharge/hispeed.html



If the flash only fire once less say 1/10,000s and when the shutter is not open fully (at high speed) then all you're getting is just the shutter slit traveling -> i.e. partial blackout frame: :idea:
http://www.photozone.de/3Technology/flashtec5.htm
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