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Old Jul 2, 2007, 8:27 PM   #1
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I am wanting a lens for getting close up shots indoors and outdoors, not macro, i want to be able to stand at a distance and get a decent picture.

First I am a dummy when it comes to lenses and new at this but I have the canon digital rebelt XT. What do the numbers stand for in say a 70-300mm lens?

These are the 3 lens I am looking at and have no clue which to get. I would love the 70-200 but way out of my budget for now!

1. Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras . $204.52

2.Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras . $170.59

3.Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras . $119.99

Can anyone help me out here what the diff in these lens in a nut shell. Or maybe you can suggest a diff one to meet my needs.

Also if you would I need a slave flash to fit this camera for indoors sports.

any help would be appreciated. Thanks


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Old Jul 2, 2007, 9:36 PM   #2
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Close ups of what? People? If that's the case these lenses are probably too telephoto for indoor use.

The 70-300mm refers to focal length. The larger the number the more telephoto. 28 to 35mm would be a normal perspective. Anything larger telephoto, anything smaller wide angle. For portraits you want something around 50mm to 80mm max, for groups even wider. You should try the lens out in the store. Stand back from someone about the distance you think is right and see how close up you can get.

The 4-5.6 refers to the f/stop (aperture) the smaller the number the more light the lens lets in. there are two numbers because these lenses let in less light at the long end of the zoom than they do at the short end. For out doors in good light or with flash 4-5.6 would work fine. For lower light levels you would want larger apertures (smaller numbers) also a large aperture decreases the depth of field allowing you to blur distracting backgrounds and isolate your subject. Zooms with larger apertures would be quite expensive however. You might want to look for a god prime lens (non-zoom) say a 50mm f/1.4

The alphabetical soup used by lens makers ie. APO, EF, USM etc. is another story these all have different meanings and all lens makers have their own set. Sigma's APO for instance means "Apochromatic" Which according to Sigma just means better quality.
I'm not a Canon user but I believe the "EF" just refers to the lens mount type for current Canon cameras.
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Old Jul 2, 2007, 10:05 PM   #3
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I wanted telephoto indoors for youth sports such as wrestling, I am sometimes 10 feet away from the mat sometimes clser sometimes further.

What is a good exteranl flash?

I have two lenses EFS 18-55 and EF 50mm 1:1.8 II. Neither get me close enough.

I also take outdoor shots youth baseball and misc.
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Old Jul 3, 2007, 5:18 AM   #4
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Whatever you do, don't touch either of the Canon lenses mentioned they are weak in comparison to the Sigma. For indoors a lens of this brightness is going to have a more difficult time focusing than a f2.8 lens. Most people with Canon shooting wrestling will have either the Canon or Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 however these are not cheap.... they will also be using an external flash 90% of the time as lighting often creates nasty shadows.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"As the price is a lot higher you probably won't be looking at one of those for now so the Sigma is looking probable. Outdoors in good light you will be fine and if you get something like the Canon 580 or Sigma 500 Super flash you will be OK. You can get the Canon 430 however it is a little slow to recycle for my liking (this is my backup flash to the 580).
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Old Jul 3, 2007, 8:48 AM   #5
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Mark is correct. Actually none of the three lenses you're considering will be useful for wrestling. You'll want an external flash and you'll want a 70-200 2.8. Here's the thing - you don't want to rely on the flash for your only source of light - you just want it to remove shadows (because so often faces are down toward the mat). And, even with a flash and it's assist beam the three lenses you're considering will be horribly slow to focus. A 100mm 2.0 might also be an option - for around $380 I think.

For baseball, of the 3 lenses you have listed, the Sigma will do the best although it is a bit slow to focus and soft (i.e. does not produce very sharp photos) from 200mm - 300mm. The Canon 70-300 IS USM (not the 75s you have listed but the 70) for $560 is a much better lens - but more than twice the cost. If money is an issue, go with the sigma lens it's the best of the lot. But for wrestling you're in trouble without being able to spend some more money.
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