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Old Sep 25, 2007, 8:47 AM   #1
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Needing advice. I've just sold my olympus gear and made the switch to Canon. I got the XTi body rather than a "pro grade" body. I figured I'd rather sink that money into lenses at this point. The only lens I currently have is the kit lens. I've got about 1200-1400 to spend, but if I didn't have to spend that much that woudl be great too. I'll be shooting mainly "snapshots", portraits of the little one, some sports, wildlife. My photos can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/7914635...7600184096259/

Here's what I'm thinking my options are:

1. Canon 70-200 2.8 and 1.4x converter

2. Canon 70-200 f4 IS and 1.4x converter

3. Canon 100-400

4. Sigma 70-200 2.8 and 1.4x converter

5. Canon 70-300 IS

Are there any other options out there? I rented the 100-400 this past weekend and shot some football pics that can be seen in the link above. I did notice that as the sun went down, even at ISO 1600 I needed faster shutter speeds. While the 400mm was nice, I don't think it was "needed". Nice to have but not "needed". I probably would have been better off using the 2.8 and being able to double my shutter speed and drop ISO to 800 once the sun went down.

I'm thinking with the first three choices, there is no "wrong" answer. I'm thinking if I bought the 100-400, I'll soon be looking for a low aperature prime to take pictures of the little one. If I go with the the 70-200, I could probably use that to do portraits of the little one.

I know the 70-300 is in a different class than the others, but throwing it in as an option.

Anyone got any ideas? If you need more clarificationfrom me, let me know.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 9:26 AM   #2
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Somehow the Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX is always left out...
-> Sharper than any 70-200 f/2.8 + TC combo if you don't need the f/2.8 and is plenty fast

A compromise I guess but with a 1.4x it can give the 100-400L a run for the money as well
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 10:17 AM   #3
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It depends how much wildlife and sports work you want to do.

The 70-200 f4 is probably the best bang for the buck on your list. It's extremely sharp, moderately priced and light. Of all the lenses being discussed (including 100-300 f4 from Sigma) this is the probably the best value and it's weight makes it easier to carry around all day.

But, 200mm is short and f4 isn't very good for low light action.

Looking at your photos, it doesn't appear you do enough sports or challenging wildlife where the 400mm of the 100-400 would come into play. So I'm inclined to think you'd be in the 100-200mm range far too often - which makes the $1400 price tag of the 100-400 a poor investment.

But, you also have to ask yourself when considering the 70-200 f4 how much will YOU require IS. Canon rakes you over the coals to get it - and it's $350-400 that could be spent on other things IF you don't really need IS. Some people do and I don't want to start the debate here. Everyone is different. And yes you can always turn it off - but you have to PAY FOR IT (for instance that money could go towards an 85mm 1.8 a fantastic low light and portrait lens or for a tripod - but it could also go towards IS if that's a feature YOU use).

A 70-200 2.8 is a fantastic lens - as long as you are OK with the size/weight. That lens with a 1.4x TC gives you enormous flexibility - as long as the size/weight isn't an issue. The lens will do you no good if you leave it at home.

The 70-300 is a nice inexpensive option for wildlife and some sports but optically not on the same level as the others - so given what you take photos of I'm not seeing it as being a great solution for you.
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 12:32 PM   #4
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NHL, I looked at the sigma, but left it out due to its cost compared to lacking IS (or OS as Sigma calls it). I was thinking 70-200 2.8 is what I'd normally use. I'd only grab the teleconverter if I needed a bit moreUMPH. I also compared the sigma to the Canon 100-400. If I did throw on a teleconverter, I'd get an effective FL of 672mm. So I'd need a pretty high shutter speed to eliminate shake. Still, the value is good. Thanks for clouding the water more.:-)



JohnG,

Good point on carrying it around. As can be seen from the pictures I linked to, I tend to carry the camera around a fair amount. A lens like the 2.8 or the 100-400 or the sigma would probably be more likely to be left at home unless I "knew" I was going to be needing them.

I've never paid a ton of attention to exif data to see what I "could have done if" I'd had a longer lens, larger aperature, image stabilization, etc. Going back and looking at the photos from the game this weekend has helped some. I was able to see that even with the flexibility of going to 400mm, I rarely did it. I could have gotten tighter shots if I did, but I could have also walked a little farther to get a tighter shot.

Many of the pictures were blurry. That's what pulls me towards the 2.8. I could have quadrupled my shutter speed for many of the photos this past weekend which would have stopped the action. An f4 would have allowed me to double my shutter speed which would have stopped the action on most shots, though.
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Old Sep 26, 2007, 9:36 PM   #5
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One other question. How often does Canon come out with new lenses? I see that the 100-400 was released about 10 years back. I"m not trying to get an rumors started, but isn't it about time foran updated one? How long do they typically wait between releasing new lenses?
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Old Sep 26, 2007, 11:10 PM   #6
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Hmmm new lenses never seem to really get the rumour monkeys out, well not in the same way as the new bodies do. I've not personally heard anything on a replacement 100-400 and if you look at some of the other lenses in the Canon lineup they are even older. I guess it goes back to the if it ain't broke don't fix it situation. People don't change lenses like they do bodies and I think Canon would need to bring out a brighter option of the lens if they were to make a valuable addition. If they didn't then there would be little reason for the current users to migrate and with the lens currently it does sit quite nicely in the range giving good zoom and from my experience nice results.

I would put another vote in for the Sigma 100-300 as it is a lovely lens, stunning results and medium weight, the lack of IS is something only you can answer if it is essential or not.
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Old Sep 27, 2007, 7:48 AM   #7
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I agree - If you're thinking about a 1.4x already on the 70-200 that mean you already think it's not long enough. A 400mm is a minimum for wildlife and the 70-200 f/4 will not get you there - An f/2.8 will but the IQ will suffer with a 2xTC and very likely the AF will slow down...

IMO the Sigma 100-300 f/4 with a 1.4x (140-420 f/5.6) competes extremely well with the 100-400L
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