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Old Feb 13, 2006, 3:22 PM   #1
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I'm ready to my first telephoto lens for my20D but, I'm confused on which one to buy. I narrowed my choices down to the Cannon 70-200mm f/4 L and the Cannon 70-300mm f/4-5.4with IS they are both about the same price. So if anyone has any thoughts or even better some comparison photos I would appreciate it.

Thanks

Joe
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Old Feb 13, 2006, 11:48 PM   #2
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joelet wrote:
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I'm ready to my first telephoto lens for my D20 but, I'm confused on which one to buy. I narrowed my choices down to the Cannon 70-200mm f/4 L and the Cannon 70-300mm f/4-5.4with IS they are both about the same price. So if anyone has any thoughts or even better some comparison photos I would appreciate it.

Thanks

Joe
It's a Canon 20D, not D20... and I would not start with either of these lenses.

The Canon 70-200 F4 is a great lens. That is true... The IS on the 70-300 is neat too, but doesn't help stop action.

The first question you must answer is : What Do I intend to shoot with this lens? Sports? Children? Pets? People? Airplanes? Etc...

Then, WHERE will I shoot the most. Indoors? Outdoors? VERY important.


All this said and done, I'd say go find yourself a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 EX HSM APO or DG. Why? The smaller the f-stop the more light the lens gathers. This means that you can let more light in, use a better ISO setting or higher if needed and not have to use flash ALL the time (very unflattering, unless you are bouncing a big flash and managine it, etc).


I'd also pick up a Canon 50mm 1.8 Mark I or Mark II. 50-75 bucks used/new. the 1.8 allows you to take beautiful shots indoors or out. Great price / performance lens. The cheapest lens Canon makes. The Mark II is plastic, the Mark I is a metal mount.

That's what I'd recommend.

-tlmiller10
Tim Miller Photography
http://tmillerphoto.com
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 10:13 AM   #3
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tlmiller10 wrote:
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The first question you must answer is : What Do I intend to shoot with this lens? Sports? Children? Pets? People? Airplanes? Etc...

Then, WHERE will I shoot the most. Indoors? Outdoors? VERY important.
I think this is the crux of it. Until you answer these questions and further suggestions are pointless. While the Sigma is a great lens (I have one) - it's in the same boat as the other two - it's only a great lens for YOU if it does what you need it to do. If you want to shoot wildlife 90% of the time, a 200mm lens really isn't going to be long enough. So, get specific about WHAT and WHERE you want to shoot.

It would also be helpful to know what lenses you currently have.
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Old Feb 14, 2006, 6:26 PM   #4
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Sorry about the typo a 20D it is. Over the last few years I have been upgrading my cameras starting with a simple point and shoot to the Cannon 20D which has taken me to a whole new level of photography. I shoot sports indoor (Hockey) and outdoor (Baseball, Soccer, Football) but, most of all I like nature and wild life. The last camera I had was a Fuji finepix S9000 with a fixed lens 28-300mm which worked nice. The lens I have now is a Cannon 28-135mm IS.
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Old Feb 15, 2006, 2:37 AM   #5
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That makes it easier.

In general it's indoor sports (need fast lens) v outdoor sports & wildlife (need reach).

For indoor you will really want a 2.8 if you can. For outdoor and wildlife you will probably want 400mm if you can.

So what to do?

A pretty good compromise would be the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 EX HSM.

You could combine that with a 1.4x or 2x teleconverter to give the extra range when you need it.

Choosing between the two lenses you mention is more difficult, but I would be inclined to go with the 70-300 because of the IS.

If you find that the maximum aperture of your current lens is sufficient for your requirements indoors then it becomes a no-brainer, go for the 70-300.


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Old Feb 15, 2006, 6:46 AM   #6
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I think the Sigma Peripatetic suggests is a great compromise. I've used one for the last couple years and love it. Some things to be aware of:

If any of your outdoor sports are at night, under lights - you will NOT be able to get away with using a lens slower than 2.8. I shoot HS football in the fall - almost always night games. ISO 3200, constant f2.8 and shutter speeds between 1/250-1/500 are the norm. The downside to a 70-200 solution is it really is short for both football and soccer. Especially for soccer where it isn't as easy to physically move with the action as it is in football. Now, if it's a nice sunny day then a 1.4x TC will help that out. One thing about using a f5.6 lens for sports - even in good light, though, is you won't get the great background blur unless the subjects are close. This means you'll be likely to have annoying background (fans, cars, buildings, whatever) cluttering your shots. Everything is a compromise - I wish I could afford a 400mm 2.8 but I can't. It just depends on which compromise YOU are most comfortable with. Every shooter is different.

As for wildlife - 200mm really is too short. I even found the 70-200mm with 1.4x TC to be too short. It's why I added a 100-400 to my collection. And, even that seems too short But a lot of that is due to my lack of skill at getting closer to my subjects.

Bottom line: The 70-300 or 100-400 is probably the best option for wildlife but not a great option for sports - especially indoors or low light. The 70-200 offers the ability to shoot low light but is still a little short for field sports and definitely for wildlife.

To be honest I just don't see the Canon 70-200mm f4 being a good solution for your stated purposes. It won't give you low light ability and doesn't have the reach for a good wildlife lens. It's an outstanding lens by all accounts but I think it is not well suited for your purposes.
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Old Feb 15, 2006, 3:43 PM   #7
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Wow it looks like I'm going to spend some money. My budget allows me to spend about $1000. more for equipment. I was going to get atelephoto lens and a wide angle but, with this information I think the Cannon 70-200mm f2.8 for about $800. will be a good choice for most of my indoor shooting and I could wait till I save more 100's for a longer faster lens for outdoor use and a wideangle next year. The Cannon 70-200 will serve me well for now because I really have good luck getting close to most of the wild life I shoot.

The information you guys gave is very helpful and I can't wait till I am able to help guys like me. Thanks

Joe :?
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Old Feb 15, 2006, 6:20 PM   #8
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joelet wrote:
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I was going to get atelephoto lens and a wide angle but, with this information I think the Cannon 70-200mm f2.8 for about $800. will be a good choice for most of my indoor shooting
Joe - I might have missed something about a used Canon 70-200 2.8. A NEW Canon 70-200 2.8 is around $1150. It's the Sigma 70-200 2.8 that sells for around $800. Didn't want you to get sticker shock when you looked to purchase your lens
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Old Feb 15, 2006, 10:20 PM   #9
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Well I will chime on on this if you are shooting sports have you ever watched the sidelines or where the press sits? you see a number of huge white and black lenses. If you watch them the black ones are on Nikon's and the white ones are on Canon's. So reach your own judgement there.

Yes Sigma is every bit as good as Canon, but if you need to get shots at a game as I did for a news paper its better to opt for the L series if its just for fun there isnt anything wrong with Sigma.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 1:44 PM   #10
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Imeanthe Sigma 70-200 f2.8 there are to many choices.......:-)

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