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Old Apr 15, 2005, 11:34 AM   #1
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I've played around with digital point-n-shoot digicams for about four years now and due to their limiting factors, I decided to upgrade to a DSLR. About a month ago, after lots of research and test driving at my local camera store, I decided to purchase the Canon 20D. Along with this fine DSLR I purchased the following:



Canon EF-S 10-22mm F3.5-4.5 USM

Canon EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS USM

Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II

Canon 580EX



I'm now shopping around for a good telephoto zoom lens. I figure that with the 1.6x factor on the 20D getting a 400-500mm reach (35mm equivalent) would be enough for my photographic use. I tried a friends Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO Super Macro II lens and was very pleased with the reach but did not find the pictures very sharp.



According to my budget, I was looking at the following two options:



Option #1:

Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

Canon Extender EF 1.4x II



Option #2:

Canon EF 70-200mm F4.0L USM

Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS USM



I was also considering the Canon EF 70-200mm F4.0L USM with the Canon Extender EF 1.4x II but this would bring the lens to F5.6 and may not be fast / bright enough for certain situations (don't want to limit myself)..



However, when I look at the lens rating on Photozone.com, the Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS USM and the Canon EF 70-200mm F4.0L USM lenses have better ratings / performance on a DSLR then the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM and the Canon 70-200mm F2.8L USM (non-IS) lenses.



Having said all this, which option would you choose? Why? Any other suggestions?
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Old Apr 16, 2005, 5:08 AM   #2
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agiaccio wrote:
Quote:
However, when I look at the lens rating on Photozone.com, the Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS USM and the Canon EF 70-200mm F4.0L USM lenses have better ratings / performance on a DSLR then the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM and the Canon 70-200mm F2.8L USM (non-IS) lenses.
Would the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM and the Canon 70-200mm F2.8L USM be as sharp or as good as the other two if you stop them down to f/4-5.6 as well?

The fact of the matter is you can't go the other way like doubling(quadrupling) up the light from an f/4-5.6 to an f/2.8 or increase their 'bokeh' :?



Quote:
I tried a friends Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO Super Macro II lens and was very pleased with the reach but did not find the pictures very sharp.
... Aren't you kidding? a $200 lens against several $1000 lenses -> at least compare it to similar lenses such as the EF-70-300/100-300 in the same price range :shock:

Quote:
Any other suggestions?
One - The Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 EX
... it can become:
o 170-420 f/4 with a 1.4x TC
o 240-600 f/5.6 with a 2x TC -> and then you'll have less equipment to carry around!!!
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...287905#p287905

BTW if you go by the same analysis as above, the Sigma 100-300 f/4 is also better than its f/2.8 (also 1/2 the price) :-)
http://www.photographyreview.com/PRD_85165_3128crx.aspx
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Old Apr 16, 2005, 1:56 PM   #3
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Both of your suggested options are excellent. I actually have the 70-200 F4 and the 1.4X extender. This combination works much better than I thought it would. The F4 lens is fantastic due to quality, size and weight. It's perfectly balanced with the camera. I've looked at the 2.8's but they weigh over twice as much as the less expensive F4. Option 3 might be a Sigma 80-400 F4.5-5.6 OS. I've not tried it but it certainly gets good reviews. I really enjoy the IS on my EF-S 17-85 but wonder how useful it will be on a lens that weighs 3.5 lbs which I consider marginal for hand held use. As for light, the 20D can compensate somewhat with ISO. Don't even think about a 2X converter.
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Old Apr 17, 2005, 10:14 AM   #4
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I have the 1D2, so my experience is based on a 1.3 factor, and not the 1.6, but, for what it's worth.... In my opinion the absolute best buy out there for the money is the Canon 70-200 f 4.0. I have the 2.8, and it is one of my favorite L lenses (I use it for practically everything - indoor sports sans flash, indoor sports with flash, portraits, etc., and it just knocks your socks off, but, the f 4 is lighter cheaper, and all you give up compared to the 2.8 is the bokeh obtained below f 4.0, and the speed. A great lens.

I have 7 L lenses, andafter a great deal of research, and much consternation, I just took the plunge into Sigma land. I agree with the writer above in regards to hisopinion on the 120-300. This (in its latest version) is a wonderful lens. I'm now in a quandry about what to do with my 300 L IS f 4.0 (I plan on keeping it for some specific needs), but after about 500 shots in the last 3 days, my 120-300 (at a constant f 2.8 capability throughout the entire zoom range) is going to stay in my inventory. Here are a couple of examples taken yesterday. Not great light. It was high overcast, but these are representative of hte other photos taken this weekend.

Here is a Robin drying off after her morning bath



And here is a pitcher on my grandson's 4th grade baseball team:


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Old Apr 17, 2005, 8:25 PM   #5
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IMO the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX is a better buy, since you're not giving up the bokeh obtained below f/4.0 nor the extra lens speed. This lens costs only a $150 more than the f/4L but is then offset by the case, tripod($120) collar and hood which are all included in the purchase price

WARNING - Shooting with the 120-300 f/2.8 EX can be very addictive. This lens hasn't come off my camera for several months :-)

... It must be the same Robin ! :G

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