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Old Jul 26, 2004, 3:05 PM   #1
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:? Recently I rented Studio time at Stirling Studios out in San Jose. The owner suggested I step back about 15 feet use full tele @ 200 mm and a F4 aperture.

I soon realized my lens could not do a F4 at anything past 70-100MM. So I had to drop my shutter speed thus I got really soft focus pictures. Great background blur but not the exciting sharp picture of the model I was hoping for.

I am considering upgrading to the 70-200 F4L. How much better will this lens be on my Canon Digital Rebel than the 55-200 II USM?

Is this step so minor that I should save until I can get the 70-200 F2.8L?

I primarily shoot portraits with either flash or hot lights or daytime outdoors with natuaral light.

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Old Jul 26, 2004, 11:23 PM   #2
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Going from a 55-200 to 70-200 f4L is no small step. The two lenses are not even comperable. The 55-200 is a toy- the 70-200 f4L is a true professional calibre lens. The difference in quality between a 70-200 f4 and f2.8, both in build quality and optical capabilities is virtually non-existent by comparison unless you're a pro and really need the extra stop. Owning a 55-200 right now tells me you probably do not need the f2.8 model. The Digital Rebel is capable of such good image quality at ISO 800 it's just a matter of dialing the ISO up one more notch rather than spending twice the price on the faster f2.8 model. The difference is also as great regarding the added weight you'll feel in your bag with either the f4 or f2.8 lens, so be prepared for that.
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 11:31 PM   #3
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:? I understand that hte F4L is build better metal vs plastic body, glass vs plastic lens. How much will I see in image quality difference? Is it worth the price difference 55-70 vs 70-200L ?

I have considered spending the extra money on a quatum external power pack for my 420 EX flash. Man, rechargables suck.

This is secondary, however. I am really most interested in developing business and I want to feel comfortable with the product.



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Old Jul 27, 2004, 12:07 AM   #4
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Take your camera, 55-200 and a flash card into a photo store that carries Canon products. Take a couple of shots with your lens, then ask to try a 70-200 f4L. Don't try them stopped down. Shoot your lens at 200mm and f5.6, then shoot the 70-200 f4L at f4 and 200mm. Don't just view the images on the cameras LCD- take the card home and download them on the computer and look at the images on your monitor. It won't take too many shots to convince you how much better optically the 70-200 f4L is. The beauty of digital photography. The instant ability to see the difference- it will tell you more any anyone's opinions on this site, including mine.

Then ask yourself if the difference in weight means you'll still be willing to haul the f4L around in your bag the same way you probably carry the 55-200 today. I just returned from a baseball week in Chicago with my Digital Rebel.

http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=415096

Here's another folder of mostly shots taken with the 70-200 f4L:

http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=411185

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Old Jul 27, 2004, 12:23 AM   #5
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:-)Point taken, I haven't even baught the F4L and feel more confident in my photos. It is a big jump to take for something I kind of already own. I have done the research and everybody in the world swears bythe 70-200 F4L. I can barely find any reviews on the 55-200 and many of those says its junk or a toy...

Most of the photos stores around here want let your mount lens on your camera without buying them first. And I can only reant the F2.8 models. I aleady know I will get this lens I just don't know when.

Thanks for your help and added opinion on decision. I only wish I had gone straight to the F4L and not wasted my money on the 55.

I saw the baseball shots, you are right the L series stuff is nice. Do you have any samples of shots with the F4L?


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Old Jul 27, 2004, 12:27 AM   #6
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I amended my last response after realizing most of those baseball pictures were with the 17-40. The second folder I posted was mainly shot with the 70-200 f4L.
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Old Jul 27, 2004, 12:36 AM   #7
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:|Whow, I noticed that. Than one glowing yellow flower is great IMAGE 75. I am starting to recognize the beauty of natual light. I also like image 58 the color is perfect. O.K. so I am sold. I started off thinging I would be perfectly happy with the digital rebal and a couple of cheap lens. But, I am seeing I don't have to think like that with good optics its more about the shot.



Thanks

I think... L=$$$?:roll:


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Old Jul 27, 2004, 12:48 AM   #8
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Oh yes. Lots of $$$, especially for someone like myself that mainly shoots for fun with a paying job here and there. But, the 70-200 f4L is pretty darn good value amoung the various L models. At approximately $600 it's around $400 more than what your 55-200 cost, but it's less than $200 more than a very inferior 75-300 IS zoom. That's compared to the 70-200 f2,8 that costs over $1,000 or the f2,8 version with image stabilization, that costs over $1,500.

Back when I was buying my outfit I considered going with a 10D and different lenses. I decided to go with the less expensive Digital Rebel and invested the $500 saved in the more expensive glass. Actually, I guess "Saved" isn't really a good term, as it was going to be spent one way or the other!
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Old Jul 27, 2004, 6:17 PM   #9
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:? Hey another question along the same lines. How would you compare the optic quality of the EF 50 1.8 to the 70-200 F4L? Which would you say is better for a portrait lens. I like the 70-200 F4L as an all around lens multi-purpose. But my immidate goal is to make a little money off of portraits I do at my apartment which is pretty small. I would have to use the 70-200 at the 70 end indoors with the apperture at F4. that would give me an a focal length of about 112 but I have to be at least 4 feet away because of min focus distance.

With the 50 1.8 I can stop up/down (i get them confused) to 1.8 to get blurred backround from as close as 1.5 feet. But someone told me that if you shoot too close which would be required to fill the frame in a tight headshot, I might get distorted nose and ears. Where the nose will look large and the ears small.

What do you think? does the 50 1.8 even compare to the F4L optically. And would it give me enough zoom to get good headshots in small space. Would I be better to just hold off until I can afford the F4L?
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Old Jul 27, 2004, 8:51 PM   #10
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The 50mm f1.8 is the one prime optic I currently own. At $70 it's too good and too cheap not to have. Depth of field is pretty shallow at f1.8 so you have to be careful or you can miss the right focus spot, but that's the great part of digital. Look as you take, and retake if you have to:

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=2485384

Good for group shots too, but if you don't keep the subjects within the same plane of focus, some turn out a little out of focus, like here (my girlfriend loves this shot though):

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=2485411

My favorite fun camera back when I shot film was a little Rollei 35 with a 40mm f2.8 lens. My next lens purchase for my digital camera is going to be the 28mm f1.8EF to have a lens near that same angle of view, but faster & smaller than my 17-40 when I don't want to haul the zoom around.
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