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Old Sep 30, 2005, 8:06 PM   #1
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I dont understand what numbers like 20mm-300mm etc etc means so I am just going to put my questions as I know (dumb)

Basically I want to take photos of aircraft at taxy, take-off, landings while standing at the outside perimeter fence like say 3-4+ blocks away.

At the same time if possible using the same lens to takegroup (people) photos etc.

I am trying to learn as much as I can but I am afraid I dont have enough time as I need a leans by oct 18th

Can someone PLEASE make a few suggestions and thoughts on this matter?

I have a 18-55 canon lens that came bundled with the camera.


Havingsharp photos is more important to me than the extreme telephoto part
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 12:28 AM   #2
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well, first thing is that given enough light, the kit lens can produce some pretty sharp pictures at f8.

to cover from something like wide-tele, you need something like the 18-200mm lens (sigma or tamron). but the optics are probably worse off than the kit lens.

what do you mean by group shots? 2-3 people? more than 10? you don't need a very wide focal length if it's something like 3 people (~30mm)

those numbers you are refering to are called focal lengths. In short, the numbers are proportional to the angle of view of the lens. The lower the focal length, the larger angle of view you get (wide end), which means you fit more of a scene in a picture (ideal for landscapes. The larger a focal length gets (tele end), the smaller the angle of view gets... ("close up" on a target)

Second of all, you never mentioned a price...

So I'm just going to point to the sigma 120-300 f/2.8 for the fun of it... that could be your tele for the airplane photography.

And the kit lens should cover your group shots... it's not a wonderful lens in low light so a flash could definitely help.
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 7:55 AM   #3
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It sounds like you need a big zoom range.

Now as you already have the kit lens, and you don't seem to have a true wide-angle requirement, I would suggest something that I wouldn't normally do for a 1.6 crop.

Something like a 28-300mm zoom; with the 1.6 multiplier it goes from the "normal" Equivalent Focal Length of ~45mm right up to a useful EFL of 480mm. That long end is about the magnification you'd get from a 10X pair of binoculars.

With such a wide zoom range you're going to be compromising on optical quality, but you gain a lot of flexibility.

If money isn't a problem I have seen a few aircraft enthusiasts using the Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM with the 20D.

Sigma have one at 1/10 the price, though obviously not in the same league quality-wise: 28-300mm F3.5-6.3 Aspherical

And in competition with the Sigma is a Tamron AF 28-300mm XR Di LD Aspherical Macro IF f3.5-6.3
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 3:33 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for the responses, I'd LIKE to stay under $600 if possible

the SIGMA 28-300mm F3.5-6.3 seems to be a very decent priced lens

but since you say its not the same in terms of quality, I am not a pro-photographer and just like to take photos of aircraft etc for personal use (please reserve your judgement lol) with someone like me it probably wont be worth spending $2000 on a lens that I may perhaps not even know how to use properly?

just trying to understand what this means "dumbed down".

so now the next question regarding "SIGMA 29-300 F3.5-6.3" -I see that there may be some different variants of each of these lenses, so maybe if you can specifically tell me the part# or exact model# i'd apprecaite it!

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Old Oct 1, 2005, 3:36 PM   #5
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how about this?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO DG?

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Old Oct 2, 2005, 5:34 AM   #6
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GhettoMax wrote:
Quote:
how about this?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO DG?
That Sigma is probably one of the most affordable 70-300 around with quite decent quality:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=65
The 70-300 APO DG is also one of the lightest long zoom (550g) and comes with some nice macro capability too:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=79
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Old Oct 3, 2005, 3:56 PM   #7
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Pictures of planes at taxi and takeoff from three or four blocks away. What are you...a terrorist?

Kidding aside, I don't know how big an airplane looks through the viewfinder at that distance, but something tells me it's pretty small. That said, and if you want to be sure the lens you get does the job, you may have to bump your budget a bit and consider the Sigma 50-500mm, aka Bigma. This lens is almost legendary as Sigma lenses go. I just saw it at sigma4less for $879. That's a bit over your budget, but the thing about needing a long lens is that you always seem to need one a bit longer than the one you bought. I've seenthat happenwith many, many photographers who jump onto the very popular 70-300mm range zooms and then find out they have a lens that is too long for portraits and too short for nature. With Bigma you should be covered. Incredible as it may seem, Bigma is a great value among long zooms.

Your kit lens will take you from 18-55mm. Then Bigma takes over with 50-500mm. If necessary, you could add a Tamron 1.4x converter ($80) and take it out to 700mm. Then add a Manfrotto 3421 gimbal tripod head for control, and you've got it covered. But be sure to carry I.D. and your membership card from your local photography club so you don't get arrested!
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Old Oct 4, 2005, 1:13 PM   #8
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wburychka wrote:
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Pictures of planes at taxi and takeoff from three or four blocks away. What are you...a terrorist?

haha!

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"no, not a terrorist but unfortunately I am one of those "aviation enthusiasts", you know the ones, while rest of the peoplearegoing nuts taking photosof theirloved ones arriving or departingat the airport, we are usually pointing our lensesoutside at the airplanes!

I try not the photograph at any US airports... usually its not a problem as I ask for permission first.

I like your suggestion as well on the Bigma... sounds appealing... I already placed order on the 70-300, i will use it for my next trip and probably sell it and get bigma when I have a little more money.

Thanks for the advice!

appreciated
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