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Old Oct 21, 2007, 3:03 PM   #1
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Hello all,

I am a newbie from the point and shoot world.... i got great deal on a Rebel XT... here is my dliemma...



I know that I will probably buy more lenses later, but I dont want to limit myself early.... I am shooting family vacations (Disneyland, Monterey, etc) and my two daughters in competitive cheerleading...... in the cheerleading, they my be indoors and rarely outdoors....yesterday I borrowed a Quantaray 75-300 lens and used my kit lens (18-55).. I am trying to get some group shots and some "closer" shots of my daughters individually



I had to switch from the kit lens for group shots and the Quantaray for individual shots....this is a 2 1/2 minute routine so I am trying to find something that will serve well... also, sometimes we can be closer to the routing and sometimes further...

I got good shots individually yesterday but I couldnt get wide enough for group type shots... SO

I am going to buy the 430EX speedlite then I need lens ..I am between

Tamron 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 AF Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Lens

Sigma AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS (Optical Stabilizer) Zoom Lens

Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

Yes, I know that there is a pretty wide range there...the 70-200 might be to high a number as the 70 might not be able to get wide enough shots... I also had a freind with a wide angle adapter out on the end of his lens..cant find much out about those....



any good input as I am trying to buy this today or tomorrow for our disneyland trip? thanks in advance...
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 9:21 PM   #2
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ubaisore wrote:
Quote:
Hello all,

I am a newbie from the point and shoot world.... i got great deal on a Rebel XT... here is my dliemma...



I know that I will probably buy more lenses later, but I dont want to limit myself early.... I am shooting family vacations (Disneyland, Monterey, etc) and my two daughters in competitive cheerleading...... in the cheerleading, they my be indoors and rarely outdoors....yesterday I borrowed a Quantaray 75-300 lens and used my kit lens (18-55).. I am trying to get some group shots and some "closer" shots of my daughters individually



I had to switch from the kit lens for group shots and the Quantaray for individual shots....this is a 2 1/2 minute routine
Quote:
Why TWO AND HALF minutes????? Should take no more than 12.5 seconds....
Quote:
so I am trying to find something that will serve well... also, sometimes we can be closer to the routing and sometimes further..
Quote:
The Sigma 55-200 will take up were the 18-55 ends....very compact, good for traveling...costs about $100.
Quote:
I got good shots individually yesterday but I couldnt get wide enough for group type shots... SO
Quote:
Nothing wider than the 18-55 for under $3-400
Quote:
I am going to buy the 430EX speedlite then I need lens ..I am between

Tamron 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 AF Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Lens

Sigma AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS (Optical Stabilizer) Zoom Lens

Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

Yes, I know that there is a pretty wide range there...the 70-200 might be to high a number as the 70 might not be able to get wide enough shots... I also had a freind with a wide angle adapter out on the end of his lens..cant find much out about those....

AVOID the adapters...the 70-200 is the sharpest ofthe above.

any good input as I am trying to buy this today or tomorrow for our disneyland trip? thanks in advance...
Quote:
Enjoy your trip...
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 10:54 PM   #3
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Hi and thanks for the reply....



I reread my post and it wasnt totally clear... the cheer routine is 2 1/2 minutes of frnzied action....changing the lens during that would be problematic at best

and i am willing to spend up to $500 or so.... I am leaning towards the Sigma 18-200 OS for the image stabilizing.... the Tamron had 18-250 but no IS....


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Old Oct 23, 2007, 5:56 AM   #4
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none of the above.

None of the lenses you are considering are going to doa good job unless you use external flash or strobes.

None will focus well in the low light conditions you'll be operating in. And certainly none of them will provide you with fast enough shutter speeds to freeze motion. A 2.8 aperture lens will allow you to freeze SOME motion but not all. Generally you want at least 1/400 to freeze motion. For tumbling it's more like 1/640. To get 1/400 in HS level gyms (while still getting a proper exposure - i.e. not underexposed) you'd have to shoot at ISO 3200 - not an option on the XT. So at ISO 1600 you'll get around 1/200 with 2.8. Enough to freeze a girl at the peak of a throw but not enough to freeze hand/feet blur and certainly not enough to freeze tumbles.

So that's the first part of the bad news.

The second part is you can use a fast prime for individual shots, BUT it won't work well for the group shots. First, if it's long enough for individual shots it's too long for group. Second, your depth-of-field will be shallow so gymnasts will be out of focus.

A pro would use strobe lights - it's the only way to both freeze action, AND, get the depth of field necessary for group shots.

Since it's unlikely you'll want to use, much less be allowed to use a strobe setup, there isn't a great answer.

Now - before you buy the speedlight, be aware - first validate you'll be allowed to use it. Some places have a no-flash policy. They tend to let people with digicams go because it's such a tiny light source. But a speelight is another animal. THAT will get peoples' attention. So make sure there are no flash restrictions before planning on using it.

Were you plannin on using the flash for individual as well? It's the only way you'll get decent results out of the lenses you're considering IMO - you'll need the focus assist as well as the flash to freeze the action.
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Old Oct 23, 2007, 9:13 AM   #5
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Thanks for replying, it really helps me learn...



I woudl definitely check before using the speedlite... i was going to buy it for general use with the camera anyway....

they usually have photograpers there that take pics to sell you (like $18 each) so i am hoping thatlighing wont be as big a problem as i am worried about... most compteitions will let you move closer and for the big nationals event I was going to rent a much better lens than i am willing to buy at this point....



it is the light where i am at with the camera or the lighting on the stage that matters?
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Old Oct 23, 2007, 11:02 AM   #6
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lighting where the subject is not where you are.
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Old Oct 23, 2007, 11:09 AM   #7
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then i am not terribly worried about light as they always light the stage very well at these competitions...... (they should with what i pay to enter my daughters LOL)
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 12:10 AM   #8
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ubaisore wrote:
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then i am not terribly worried about light as they always light the stage very well at these competitions...... (they should with what i pay to enter my daughters LOL)
I think you might consider a 135/2.8 either the Canon AF or a MF Nikkor (w/ adapter it's under $100)...they'll give you much more image quality/sharpness than a zoom andthe wider widest aperture will allow you to shoot a faster shutter speed for even more crisp images...and both will allow you to "zoom" via enlarging for very high quality...
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Old Oct 31, 2007, 3:47 AM   #9
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ubaisore,

I am in the same situation as you. I have been researching and asking camera people for a couple of years now if an "IS" lens is going to be worth the expense for this situation and the answer that I get is basically "NO". Of course having "IS" in the lens is better than not, but not really worth the money. My daughter cheers for Memphis Elite and I use the rebel xt. I have the sigma lenses and found that at nationals (in Orlando) it was best to use the 70-300 lens on a monopod and not zoom in much. ie. approx half the floor, then later when editing pic on the computer, do your crop and zoom then. Always save the original under a name and then resave your adjusted pics at a different but similar name. you can just add a "1" or and "a" after the origninal name. It is amazing how you can correct and adjust pics on the computer. I use corel paint shop photo, it is a pretty powerful program that you can find on sale every now and then for less than $50. Your not suppose to be allowed to even take pics at nationals but alot (including me) do. Also I have my son video. Also remember that when and if you do use the comp. to adjust pics, you do lose overall quality each time you do something to the pic. That is the big reason for saving the changes under diff. names, you can always delete that pics that you don't want. I am in no way a professional photo guy, this is just what I have learned from experience at trying different settings, zoom, and such. Have the camera set up so that the focus is the center of the lens always during the routine, if you let it chose itmay focus onsome other point instead of where you are probrably wanting. It is hard to take the pics and watch the competion at the same time, so if you are zoomed out to half the floor or even the entire floor you can snap alot of pics easier and actually see some of the routine. On a nice sunny day when you are at the MGM stage outside the pics are alot nicer then when inside at Wide World of Sports. The competitions, even though they may look like it, do not offer enough light for us to take absolute perfect pics. You see the pros next to the floor, they have thousand +++ dollar lenses with "IS" built in, also they are right ontop of the action, where we are a bit further away. If you, or anyone else, find anything better that doesn't cost an arm and leg, or know of any better way for us, please let me know.

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Old Nov 5, 2007, 10:47 PM   #10
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JP,

I noticed you are from Memphis. Me too. You may want to check out Lensrentals.com. The folks there are awesome to deal with and you can rent a lens that you could never "afford" and pick it up locally. I did this recently and found out that I "had to have" the 100-400 L. I also rented some others, though, and determined that the 100-400 was the lens for me.

Next time you are going to a competition, it is something you should consider.
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