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Old Sep 14, 2004, 6:14 PM   #1
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For my birthday, my wife went to a local camera shop and bought a Nikon D70 based on the salesman's advice. Not to knock the camera, but I always research this type of purchase before buying so to make a long story short, I returned the camera. I started reading and talked to several professional photographers and decided to purchase the Canon 20D, this was the easy part, but the lenses to purchase are a whole different ballgame. I have been reading for several week and have narrowed the seach to the lenses below. From reading this forum I know you all will want to know what plans I have for the equipment. Well, I have a 10 y.o. girl and a 12 y.o. boy who are involved in soccer, basketball, gymnastics, boys choir, theatrical plays at large church (sanctuary sits 3500), so you can see the situations I am looking at. I also have a very tired wife. Smile. My budget is not unlimited, but I find I usually get what I paid for. The following are the lenses I feel fit the bill, please advise.


Zoom Telephoto EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS Image Price : $ 1,649.95
Very versatile and with the 1.4 extender gives sharp pictures. This lens is heavy, but the quality can't be beat for a zoom. For many, this is their mainstay




EF 1.4x II Extender Price : $ 279.95

Works great with the 70-200mm

Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Autofocus Lens

Price : $ 1,169.95
Great reviews and would complement the 70-200mm well.

Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens

Price : $ 74.95
This is a very inexpensive lens with great reviews, everyone recommends it. Great for indoor, low light areas.

The above setup would give me all I need with the exception of a wide angle on the 20D. I have read great review and some not so great on the 17-40mm. Would it be worth dropping the 24-70 for the 17-40?

Zoom Super Wide Angle EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Autofocus Lens Price : $ 689.95
This lens is on every list of recommended lenses.

Let me know what you think. I considered the new EF-S 10-22mm, but it would lock me into a 1.6 crop camera in the future. I would really like to have the wide angle as I live in the Ozarks and have beautiful landscapes. Any comments are appreciated.



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Old Sep 14, 2004, 7:09 PM   #2
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I own 3 of the5 items you have listed. I do not have the 24-70mm f/2.8. I did own the 50mm 1.8 at one time but have since sold it.

The 70-200 f/2.8 IS is a superb lens and quite heavy. Despite the IS, I still prefer to use a tripod for most of my photography. For that reason, I could probably do without the IS, but for those times that I am off-tripod, it's there and available.

The 1.4TC works well with the 70-200 (not as true for the 2.0TC) which will give you a bit longer reach without sacrificing too much light or quality. A worthwhile addition.

The 17-40mm f/4 is also a wonderful lens...very sharp throughout the range and works well for landscape photography and indoor shots.

The 50mm is one of those "why not" choices. It gives very good quality at a GREAT price. I just found that I didn't use it enough and sold it to a friend.

I do own a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 DI lens and this is often my walk about lens (although I'm really finding the 17-40 works well much of the time). It's a very good lens, a bit soft at 2.8 but I rarely shoot wide open. It's lighter than the Canon L lens and stopped down rivals it. The Canon is much better wide open. I have kicked around the idea of purchasing the Canon and selling the Tamron, but I'm not convinced it's a must do for me yet.

My feeling is that if you want sharp pictures, good glass is one part of the equation. Using a tripod whenever possible is another important part. For snapshots, you may not notice the differences between handheld and tripod mounted, but crop a picture and blow it up and notice the differences. Although a tripod is sometimes cludgy and a pain to drag around, I always try to use one. Of course, there are places and times where it isn't feasible or possible to use a tripod.

Only you know your budget, but I can assure you that the lenses you've listed will serve you well regarding quality. I would consider the 17-40 as an option if it fits your budget (or at a later date). I know there are a lot of Sigma and Tamron fans out there and many are very pleased with their choices of the better lines of those companies. It's always an option you'll need to consider if keeping your budget down is a necessity.

Good luck in your choices.


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Old Sep 15, 2004, 8:16 AM   #3
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Great comments, thank you very much! I was further reading on another forum and apparently there are quite a few people having troubles with the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Autofocus Lenswith thier digital SLRs. Mainly a focus problem, some have returned several lenses trying to get one to work properly. I hope I am not breaking a rule, but here is the link to the thread if you would like to read it http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=10242260. I would really like to have this lens, but would it be a good option to drop this lens and pick up the 17-40? Or risk getting the 24-70 and picking up a wide angle at a later date?
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Old Sep 15, 2004, 10:01 AM   #4
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My feeling on those types of comments are that the complainers are louder than those satisfied.There are far more satisfied owners of that lens than unsatisfied users. I also take complaints with a grain of salt. This is not to say that there may be people who really did get a bad copy of a lens, but I've seen TOO many individuals complain about a product when in fact it was nothing more than their lack of knowledge/experience that led to the complaint.

For landscape shots, you may find the 17-40mm a more useful range given the 1.6 crop factor. If you forgo the 24-70 lens and buy the 17-40 and 70-200, you're only losing the 40-70 range and you already mentioned the 50mm prime. It really depends on what you plan on shooting. If it were me and I had to chose between the 17-40 or the 28-70 to go with the 70-200, I'd go with the 17-40 (I enjoy landscape photos) and consider the 28-70 at a later date. As my only lens, I'd go with the 24-70 over the 17-40. Don't ya just love making these decisions? LOL
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Old Sep 15, 2004, 10:27 AM   #5
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Add the 100-400L IS and you are all set!!! (j/k)

I am surprised that you say that your budget is limited but your lenses alone are adding up to $4k. These are all very nice lenses but you should look more into what you shoot more often and start with appropriate lenses for that and then add more as you go. Do you really need 24-70 f2.8, when you are planning for 17-40 and 50 f1.8 along with 70-200?

Nothing wrong to buy all these if you got the money.
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Old Sep 15, 2004, 1:42 PM   #6
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Its funny you mention that, I have read several posters utilize the 100-400mm lens for soccer. Stating that the 70-200 is not long enough even with the 1.4x extender.As far as budget, I don't want to spend over $5,000 for camera and lenses. My goal is to get the best setup that I can for the money. So, my budget is limited in that respect. I want to get action shots of my kid on the soccer field and on stage in a theater like setting. In the past I have wasted money by getting sub par products and being disappointed.

What about this list:

50mm

17-40mm

70-200mm

100-400mm

Drop the 1.4 extender and the 24-200.

Wow, just a day ago, I thought I had it figured out.




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Old Sep 16, 2004, 11:10 AM   #7
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I have collected a 24-70 F/2.8 L USM and a 70-200 F/4 L USM similar to your lineup but I traded speed for weight on the long range zoom. I am seriously considering the Simga 12-24 to back fill the wide end of the focal range, also in consideration is the 10-22 USM EF-S.
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Old Sep 16, 2004, 11:15 AM   #8
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I have looked at that lens also. My worry now is the weight, all these lenses are heavy. What do you think about droping the 70-200 for the 100-400. The more I read, the more wide my choices become
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Old Sep 16, 2004, 11:34 PM   #9
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Philip,

I have the whole lineup of lenses you mention, and use it on a 10D. The 17-40, 24-70, 70-200IS, 1.4x extender and the 50mm. In a nutshell, each of these lenses are great in their own right. First of all, having constant aperture across the whole range of zoom is a very nice feature.

I love the 17-40 for its weight (its not heavy), the great shots it takes for landscapes. That is is 'only' F4 doesn't bother me, since typically I have enough light for landscapes, and/or a tripod. I do find it a bit short for people photography.

For that, I use my 24-70 (latest addition). Its pretty big, but boy does it take great pictures. Now the F2.8 is really nice, since indoor shots and shallow DOF make that a fun aperture to work with. The 24-70 is my walkaround lens. Note that this lens does not fit with the 1.4x extender. I did extensive focus tests with this lens (I read the same complaints as you did) and found it to be spot on, and really sharp.

The 70-200 IS is probably my favorite. Its built like a tank and you will get some comments about it, but the IS is absolutely great for handheld shots. It balances well in my hand, combined with the 10D and extra battery grip. It does great for portrait shots as well as (obviously) your typical medium telephoto shots. I do find the quality combined with the 1.4x extender to go down a bit (but I'm critical). It also gets hard to get any decent handheld shots at full zoom with the extender. Camera shake becomes a real issue, and the extremely shallow DOF at full zoom makes it easy to get blurry pictures. Use a tripod :-)

The 50mm F1.8 I don't use a lot, but it does produce great quality images. Its plastic and slow focussing, but oh well for $70....

Now, for soccer and action shots I would also look at the 300mm F4 IS, instead of the 100-400 IS. Its a prime, and that is a different way of thinking. Combined with the 1.4x extender it gets you a 420mm prime, at F5.6. That is the same F-stop as the 100-400 at 400mm. The 300mm F4 IS is the next one on my list.... Again, for action shots (especially indoors) the F2.8 is very nice to have. It allows for a higher shutter speed at lower ISO levels.

Good luck with your choice!

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Old Sep 17, 2004, 7:54 AM   #10
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Thanks for your informative reply. I have been considering the 16-35 2.8 and dropping the 17-40, 50 and 1.4x extender. That would help pay for the 16-35 and I will be better in low light situations. I had some concern about shooting soccer shots, until I read a few posters talking about using thier 70-200 on the sidelines, primarily the corners, and concentrating on shots in that1/4 of the field. Stated that it is very difficult trying to get a good shot shooting across the whole field with players running through your line of sight. The 1.4 extender will be added shortly.


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