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Old May 12, 2004, 9:12 PM   #1
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Hi again everyone,

When I purchase my Canon 1D Mark II the sales person sold me a EF 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 USM lens. He said it was the best.

My question is, is it the best? Luckily, I can still return it if I choose. I have read other posts that talk about the 28-135 IS USM as being a great lens and very preferred. Is a lens with a image stablilizer that much better then having a lens with a greater mm? What exactly does an image stabilizerdo?

I also noticed there is a new lens on the market, the EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM. I do not know the price as of yet. I would assume this lens would be better than the one I have because it has a image stabliizer.

I seem to take more closer pictures for business and family shots. I would tend to takepictures farther away more so on vacations or special events.

Also, what does the f/3.5-5.6 mean? I see many people talk about that but I am not sure what it means.

I am just really confused to which lens is best. Any advice would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks:?

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Old May 12, 2004, 10:44 PM   #2
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Check out the link, posted right after yours titled "Next Lens - tele - suggestions please" (I sometimes can't get links to work on Steve's site since I got my Apple) which will be helpful, I think. The new Canon 28-300 IS to which you refer is a BIG & EXPENSIVE lens - almost 4 pounds &$2,400 if my memory serves me correct. It also has a push/pull focus ring, which gets mixed reviews. I use a Tamron 38-300 travel lens very small and lightweight, I'm well known in this forum for stating my positive experience using this lens. The fact is there is no one perfect lens. The 28-135 L IS does sound like a great walking around lens (I'm thinking about buying one), but you'll still have to switch out for telephoto shots, which I take frequently living out west. I don't like performing a lot of lens changes, because that means I have to carry extra lenses when I'm hiking, skiing or snowshoeing and lens changes expose the processor to dust and grit, which we have a lot of blowing around out west. My Tamron 28-300 struggles under low evening light and on wide angle landscape shots a bit, but I can generally compensate by using a monopod or tripod and in post production (I use Photo Shop Elements). There is no one right answer to this eternal question about which lenses to buy - you have to adapt many choices to your shooting style and subject matter. I hope this helps.
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Old May 12, 2004, 11:34 PM   #3
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I don't see the Canon 28-300 IS listed on adorama or B&H. So I can't comment on the price, and my favorite lens review sites don't list it or the 28-200 or 28-300. Probably too new to have them yet.

I'm a bit surprised that fporch likes the Tamron 28-300 as much as he does. The reviews that I've found rate it very badly. With an optical quality of .96 out of 5 & 1 out of 4 for AF speed (among other things.) There seem to be two different versions of this lens, and neither are well liked. Sigma makes a lens with a similar range and it's rated even worst than the Tamron.

But as with everything, quality is subjective. You don't have to spend the money and buy the best. You only need to buy what is good enough for you.

I would say it's safe to say that you can get a much better lens that what you got. The question is how much do you want to spend, how much weight are you willing to take, and how many lenses do you want to carry (and switch between)

Since you purchased one of the most expensive cameras on the market, I'll assume you are willing to spend some money. But let's answer your questions first.

Image Stabilization or IS removes motion to the camera. No one is perfectly steady (that is what a tripod is for.) While you take the picture you move slightly. This will blur the picture. The longer the telephoto lens, the more the motion blurs the picture. The slower the shutter speed, the more motion blur there is. IS puts gyros into the lens to detect the movement of the camera and shift a lens (or multiple lenses) elements inside the lens to correct for that movement. So you get sharper pictures. It works shockingly well. I have 2 IS lenses and if I have the choice (and extra cash) every lens I buy will have it.

The "f/3.5-5.6 " numbers stand for the f/stop (often written as fstop or f-stop) of the lens. It describes the largest opening the lens can be set to. Read this description for more info:

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glos...perture_01.htm

The smaller the f-stop, the more light gets to the digital sensor, so you can use higher shutter speeds if necessary. Almost without exception the lower the f-stop, the heavier the lens & the more expensive it is (more materials) but the more flexibility you have in using the lens/camera.

When 2 numbers are listed (like above) it is saying what the max fstop at the smallest and largest focal length is. So for:

EF 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 USM

At 28mm it's f3.5 and at 200mm it's f5.6 for the max apertures.f3.5 is not bad, f5.6 can be limiting.

Now lets look at what you want to photograph. What are the business photos generally? People? Buildings? Small objects? Roofs? Flood Damage? This effects what lens you will want to use. For "family" shots I assume you mean snaps of family members doing normal things; seated at a table, eating ice cream outside, birthday parties. Stuff like that. The 28-135 would do that very well. It isn't "the best lens" but it's very good and light and not that expensive (compared to others out there.) The best are probably:

Canon 28-70 f2.8 USM L

Canon 24-70 f2.8 USM L

The downside of these lenses is that their zoom range isn't that wide. This means you'll need to switch lenses more often if the one you have doesn't give you the picture you want. As a generally rule the smaller the zoom range, the better optical quality it can have. Longer zoom lenses are harder to make and generally aren't as good optically.

For further away you'll want something longer than 70mm (the human eye sees at 50mm.) Is the lens you have now "good enough" for how much it magnifies things? Does it have enough reach? If so, the best lenses that are around 200mm are:

Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 USM (4.63 out of 5)

Canon EF 70-200 f4 USM (4.58 out of 5)

Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 USM IS (4.5 out of 5)

They are so close to being the same as to not matter to all but the most discerning users. Those are some of the best zooms made.

But you have to consider how heavy and large those lenses are. They are not small and light. I would go to a store and look at them before you consider buying one… a lens that you leave at home because it's too heavy is a waste of money.

Oh, and I would find a better salesperson. I would be shocked if the lens you got was as good as those I list above… so if he said it was the best I'd be suspect of anything else he said.

Eric
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Old May 13, 2004, 1:06 AM   #4
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OK, I'll be the one to say this. It's a bit sad to see this much money being dropped on a camera by someone who apparently doesn't understand the values. It's also sad that the saleperson didn't offer this person decent advice IMO.

A professional digital SLR isnot necessarily the best choice. SLR's are appropriate for enthusiasts who are interested in the mechanics and the flexibility and in learning how to use them (and for professionals, but we don't have to worry about them...) IMHO the most suitable cameras for non-enthusists are non SLR's, and there are various interesting ways to drop a lot of money on such cameras.

Let me add that it is not my intent to be insulting, or to demonstrate jealousy. I am not. I can afford such expensive equipment myself at this time. I see that even the 300D is a bit of a waste on my (smart) wife, who shoots with a point-and-shoot for the most part because she's more comfortable with it. And I understand why -- SLR's are needed for greater flexibility and require greater knowledge, and having me around can be a bit intimidating. I also withdraw my remarks if the poster is someone who has the time and interest to learn how to photograph as a serious hobby / etc. That means learning about aperture and lenses.A forum is not the best places to learn about this.


The following article compares the 1D mkII with the Canon Pro 1, and concludes that the differences in image quality are not that high / worth the money.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...rnatives.shtml

This is a questionable conclusion IMO, because it doesn't look far enough into subtle details -- the SLR costs more in part because it gives more system flexibility, etc. I'm sure the reviewer knows that; he's just teasing the readership about not understanding value and getting carried away. I went this far only to be honest while presenting this information. The point I intended to make was that there is a demonstrable point that the Pro 1 offers image quality comparable to the 1D mkII for a fraction of the price. Another way to interpret this is that the 1D mkII offers much more than is really needed by many users.

To get back to the original poster's question. The best Canon lenses are in the L series, without doubt. The 1D mkII has a 1.3x multiplier, which means that this camera will magnify an image 30% more than a 35mm film camera would with the same lens. A 24-70 L will by itself offer plenty of useful coverage (equivalent to 31-91). Adding a 70-200 L will cover a lot of distant shots. These lenses are of the calibre of the 1D mkII (and more -- they're still going to be valuable when the ID's performance can be exceeded for half the price). Note also that the Pro 1 comes with an L lens that covers the 28-200mm film equivalent range (equivalent to 22-154 on the 1D mkII).

A17-40 L would extend the wide-angle coverage (equivalent to 22-52). It could be used as an alternative to the 24-70, or in addition.

I do apologize for the negative dimension of my post. I do not mean to insult, and I do mean to try to inform. I apologize in advance if I have misunderstood.

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Old May 13, 2004, 8:39 AM   #5
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I suggest you visit http://www.luminous-landscape.com/and peruse their section on "Understanding Series" and also http://www.photo.net/learn/ .There is a lot of very useful information available to answer many of your specific questions on general camera use. They're not camera or lens specific, but they will answer the basics.
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Old May 13, 2004, 7:47 PM   #6
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From Eric S "I'm a bit surprised that fporch likes the Tamron 28-300 as much as he does. The reviews that I've found rate it very badly. With an optical quality of .96 out of 5 & 1 out of 4 for AF speed (among other things.) There seem to be two different versions of this lens, and neither are well liked. Sigma makes a lens with a similar range and it's rated even worst than the Tamron."

Eric S - Ahhh - But reviews and real life experience are not the same thing! There are many things I would not try if I relied on reviews (like learning to ski at age 40 and being married to the same great woman for 30 years) See my web page below; the three most recent albums are mostly shot with the Tameron 28-300. It does have its limitations, but the trick with any lens is to learn to work with the limitations. This lens also only cost about $350. While I would be pleased to have all Canon L lenses, this would be very expensive (maybe one day...). To date, I've made enough selling my prints to pay for my Epson 2200 printer, DRebel, Lenses, Olympus C-730 and all the misc. gear that goes with it. Obviously my choice of equipment has worked for me. I think reviews are helpful, but you can pretty much find positive and negative reviews of all equipment in one place or another. i think what folks have to say at Forum's like Steve's is more reliable - and I recommend the Tamron 28-300 lens with the limitations noted in my earlier post. And just for the record, I don't have any affiliation with Tamron, although I am certainly open to that possibility - HA!

http://community.webshots.com/user/johnwmitchell100:-):P
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Old May 13, 2004, 11:23 PM   #7
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fporch

While I agree that reviews are not everthing (specially in many of the magazines that don't want to hurt their advertising base) I did not find a single other good review about that lens (except your comments, which I consider "a review".) When over 20 people rate something as low as that lens got rated I am just surprised that someone really likes its sharpness. (It should be noted that the reviews I saw didn't just bash it for its sharpness, but in almost every catagory.)

I should mention that maybe your skill is overcoming your equipment. People made very good pictures (and sold them for good money) with what would now be considered "not very good" equipment. Using your equipment within its limitations is required. I am rarely happy with the results when I take a picture beyond the resolving power of my lens/camera. But I know the answer; get closer or buy a bigger lens. I accept that and move on.

A quick look at your gallery bears that out. Several shots are not what I'd consider sharp, but they are good enough (I have very high standards, if you've seen my posts in the wildlife forum here.) A few show a mix of Chromatic aboration and over sharpening. But they have good composition and interesting subjects with good light. And that is what will make them sell; the average person doesn't care as much about those other things

Eric
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Old May 13, 2004, 11:38 PM   #8
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I can imagine your excitement over this new camera and I am sure you will learn into it. If you spent that much on this quality do not let yourself get talked into anything less than 'L' lenses. Why have a top quality recording device and not the rest of the system to extract top quality results.Good luck!
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Old May 14, 2004, 4:27 AM   #9
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Eric S - Thanks for the very kind words, I agree with your last post. I often find that the photos I sell are not what I would consider my technically best shots (although these do sell as well). Composition seems to be the more a driving factor for people who make that impulse decision to spend on prints. I believe I will try an L lens to evaluate the difference and report back. I have a copy of the late Galen Rowell's "Art of Adventure" (get a copy if you haven't seen it - WOW!) and he has many spectacular shots that show Chromatic aboration, grain and softness - yet he was not a fan of digital photography or computer post editing. He too seem to feel that light, composition and "having an eye" for the shot was more important. For much of the photography I do, I still feel that the trade-off in lens size and weight and minimal lens changes make the Tamron 28-300 a good choice for me - but enough. I'l try an L lens and let you know if I change my thinking. :?
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Old May 14, 2004, 4:40 AM   #10
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fporch, you don't need to buy an L lens to see the difference (although that's a good excuse). Unless you're buying it in a fully-refundable deal, buying a 50 1.8 for such a comparison would make more sense. That lens can also serve other purposes -- it's small, light, bright, usable as a decent portrait lens on a 1.6 multiplier, and so much of a steal that the market's actually pushing up its price by it being in short supply and readily available at higher prices on eBay.
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