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Old Nov 7, 2004, 3:23 PM   #1
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After just spending £1100 on a 20D I am not in a position currently to buy a decent zoom lens.

Do you think the Canon 75-300mm Mk. III USM lens would be any good as a "starter" zoom?

The price tag of £149 almost answers my own question.
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Old Nov 7, 2004, 4:12 PM   #2
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At any price it is better than absolutely nothing at all. The version with image stabilization is little different optically but almost twice as expensive. They are both mediocre in most any review done by an unbiased party.

If you are going to go long-term with a consumer level zoom in this range the optical performance is going to be pretty much the same with any lens- OK to 200mm & pretty soft over that. I would save a little longer & get a lens with "real" USM focus, the 100-300 USM. At least the focus will be responsive.

In any case, you would have been better off looking for nicer glass first. Spending all of your funds on a high performance camera and then having to go cheap on glass, the thing that makes or breaks an image, never has made sense to me. You'll keep a good lens much longer than any digital camera. For the same money you are going to wind up spending on any tele zoom combined with what you paid for the 20D, you probably could have come close to getting a Digital Rebel/300D, really decent kit lens and 70-200 f4L- at least I know I could have here in the USA.
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Old Nov 8, 2004, 3:40 AM   #3
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My advice is to get the best you can afford.
Saying that, my first tele zoom was the 75-300 II USM and it was'nt that bad.
I paid £480 for my 70-200L and it works really well with my 20D. Worth saving that extra bit longer for.
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Old Nov 8, 2004, 10:00 PM   #4
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Having played with the 75-300 III USM in my store, I can only say... Stay Away! It is just extraordinarily slow, and the image quality is IMHO blah at best.

The less expensive Sigma 70-300 macro zoom seems to perform better. I would recommend that.

David
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Old Nov 9, 2004, 5:02 AM   #5
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The 70-200 f/4 L is a good lens, but it does not enable the higher resolution f/2.8 AF sensor on the 20D...

Also by the time you have to add the price of a tripod collar and the lens hood/shade to the 70-200 f/4 L -> you might as well buy the faster Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX which comes with everything standard including a lens case and get a nicer 'bokeh' to boot.

It's just not white (but have a very nice soft ZEN finish)! :G :G :G
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Old Nov 9, 2004, 7:46 AM   #6
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I got the 90-300 and I find that even though it's cheap it is not too bad at all. Here what I read in an unbiased report on it

"It's light and highly portable, the price is right, it focuses fast and accurately, and if you get a lens hood and keep the lens at f/8 to f/11 and below (f/5.6 to f/8 and below up to 200 mm), it'll get the job done splendidly. "

Ive had plenty of great shots at full zoom, I guess it depends on who is taking the shot and how they use the lens in the first place.
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Old Nov 9, 2004, 7:50 AM   #7
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FYI (the whole 'unbiased' report): http://www.seittipaja.fi/data/Pontif..._f4.5-5.6.html
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Old Nov 9, 2004, 8:04 PM   #8
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yes thats where I took that little bit from, I have not found the same problems as the person reporting, although the lens flare is a problem. Still this is a cheap lens and you get what you pay for. Im hoping to get something better in the future, but overall Im very happy with this lens.
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Old Nov 9, 2004, 8:50 PM   #9
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The 70-200 f/4 L comes with a hood. At least mine did, in the box. The tripod collar would be a nice addition, but I've managed to live without one (though not without a tripod). The USM focusing is so nice, that one wonders if the HD 2.8 focus sensor would give any better performance in practice.

I know for a fact thata 28 f/2.8 was outperformed in focusing by my 17-40 f/4.0 L (I returned the 28 ), but the 28/2.8is an older design and non-USM.

The 70-200 f/4 L is also about as big of a lens as I wish to add to my current set. (But I cheated and also got a 1.4x TC, so maybe I could have stood a bigger lens.)

On the original question. Is it a waste of time (money)? Probably yes if you want something better and end up getting one soon. No if you need the reach and don't want to spend more. A great thing about the 70-200 f/4.0 L is that it's not expensive for its level of performance. Getting a cheaper lensin this view only makes sense if you want something more portable, or just don't see yourself spending that much money or carrying around a large white lens.

I don't feel entiled to comment directly on the 75-300. However, I recall someone knowledgeable taking 70-200 f/4 proponents to task, saying that his 75-300 IS was much more useful (because of the IS and range), and still good quality, so much so that he sold his 70-200 f/4 L.

There was another fellow here if I recall correctly, who tried better lenses, but ended up preferring his Tamron 28-300.

I also have a Tamron 28-200. It's a usable lens. It's a lot better than nothing when you need the reach/portability. It's not free of chromatic abberation / purple fringing at the long end on certain shots to say the least, and it just doesn't have the nice build quality and focusing and brightness of the 70-200 f/4 L, but if you didn't have experience with a better quality lens, then you might not notice the difference (except for the purple fringing --- that can be glaring and require software correction).

Long lenses are said to be easier to design and make than wide lenses, so there's a good chance that you can save some money and get a usable long lens. However, by the same argument, you could spend a bit more money and get a truly great lens.
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 7:38 AM   #10
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Madwand wrote:
Quote:
The USM focusing is so nice, that one wonders if the HD 2.8 focus sensor would give any better performance in practice.
The high precision AF sensor at f/2.8 has nothing to do with USM (which HSM is similar to): http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/eos20d/
"... The high-precision center AF point is compatible with f/2.8 lenses, while the other 8 points are sensitive to f/5.6"

... and according to Steve's it achieves up to 3 times the standard focusing precision when used with lenses with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/2.8


FYI: http://konicaminolta.com/products/co...x7/ope01b.html
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