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View Full Version : Telephoto Lens Ideas for Rebel XT




maestro55
Dec 4, 2005, 04:05 PM
My ex-yearbook advisor has asked me a few times to take photos for her with her new Rebel XT. However, she has the default (35-80mm I think) lens. The pictures have been at sporting events, me taking photos of her granddaugther. I think a telephoto lens would do wonders at getting better photos. Does anyone have any thoughts on lens that are not too expensive that would do a good job?

I have much to learn about photography before I go and pick out lenses myself.



Dark
Dec 4, 2005, 05:36 PM
Im also very interested in this. Im getting my Rebel XT for christmas with the kit lens. However, I race motocross and im always and the track and the races and im going to be doing alot of shots there in between moto's.



This is my dream lens but its like 1500+ bucks.
http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=150&modelid=7344

monkeydo_jb
Dec 5, 2005, 09:02 AM
What type of sporting events? Reason being, if it's indoors, you'll want a very fast (ie wide aperture (ie small 'f' number)) lens.

That's a problem because they are quite expensive.

What's your budget?

efoto
Dec 5, 2005, 09:11 AM
Im also very interested in this. Im getting my Rebel XT for christmas with the kit lens. However, I race motocross and im always and the track and the races and im going to be doing alot of shots there in between moto's.



This is my dream lens but its like 1500+ bucks.
http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=150&modelid=7344

You should dream about the 70-200 f2.8 IS (http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=150&modelid=7469) coupled with the 1.4x Tele Converter (Extender) (http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=154&modelid=7462), then you would have similar length (although lesser range I suppose) with a straight f4 :D, and a 3-stop IS system (which I suppose the 100-400 has too).

Anyway....for the question at hand:
Depending on how fast you require the lens to be, and how long, there are plenty of options. Sigma's 70-200 f2.8 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=384931&is=USA&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation) is an awesome lens, great reviews and awesomely sharp for $840 at most places.
Canon has a few other options too, but a pricepoint would really help the suggestions, as it's easy to suggest high but may take a little more thought to think of cost-effective options.

What's your budget?
The $1,000,000, or perhaps $5 :p question.

maestro55
Dec 5, 2005, 09:45 AM
To answer a couple of questions, I have taken photos at both football games, and basketball games. So both indoors and outdoors. As far as the budget, that is up to Ms. Cunningham. She hasn't told me how much she is willing to spend, but knowing all of what she has, I would say not to exceed $1000, and perhaps $900 might be pushing it. I mean she could afford it, but it all depends on if she wants to invest that much or not. I will send her the link to the Sigma lens, and I will see what she thinks about it. I don't know very much but if the reviewerss like the lens, then perhaps she will aswell.

efoto
Dec 5, 2005, 09:57 AM
To answer a couple of questions, I have taken photos at both football games, and basketball games. So both indoors and outdoors. As far as the budget, that is up to Ms. Cunningham. She hasn't told me how much she is willing to spend, but knowing all of what she has, I would say not to exceed $1000, and perhaps $900 might be pushing it. I mean she could afford it, but it all depends on if she wants to invest that much or not. I will send her the link to the Sigma lens, and I will see what she thinks about it. I don't know very much but if the reviewerss like the lens, then perhaps she will aswell.

If you are doing some indoor basketball games, as well as outdoor stuff, that 70-200 f2.8 will probably work for most of that. f2.8 allows pretty good light for indoor stuff (basketball is usually well lit I believe) and outdoor the f2.8 is decent, maybe even into the night games with good lighting (although you may still have to bump ISO to get freeze on the action). If she is paying for it (is it her camera and she just asks you to take pics?) then by all means get what you can....and if she isn't in the know about the differences, explain a few of them to her so she doesn't feel like you are cheating her for a better lens (assuming it's going to you and not her in the first place).

iGary
Dec 5, 2005, 10:00 AM
Im also very interested in this. Im getting my Rebel XT for christmas with the kit lens. However, I race motocross and im always and the track and the races and im going to be doing alot of shots there in between moto's.



This is my dream lens but its like 1500+ bucks.
http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=150&modelid=7344

Well worth it - an excellent, bulletproof and well-constructed lens.

maestro55
Dec 5, 2005, 11:40 AM
If you are doing some indoor basketball games, as well as outdoor stuff, that 70-200 f2.8 will probably work for most of that. f2.8 allows pretty good light for indoor stuff (basketball is usually well lit I believe) and outdoor the f2.8 is decent, maybe even into the night games with good lighting (although you may still have to bump ISO to get freeze on the action). If she is paying for it (is it her camera and she just asks you to take pics?) then by all means get what you can....and if she isn't in the know about the differences, explain a few of them to her so she doesn't feel like you are cheating her for a better lens (assuming it's going to you and not her in the first place).

No, this is her camera, and her money. I have used it for her at various different times. She uses it on its fully automatic mode, I have taken it and set up my own shutter speed, and ISO settings. That is about all I know how to do, and I really couldn't tell you the fundamentals, but rather I know what to set it to in order to get a good photo.

I have emailed her the link to the Sigma lens, and I will find out if she is interested in spending that much money or not. I suspect there are cheaper ones, but I told her that it was a matter of how good she wanted the pictures to be, and how professional looking (though $840 is far from the cost of the top of the line professional lenses) she wanted the photos.

-hh
Dec 5, 2005, 11:56 AM
You should dream about the 70-200 f2.8 IS (http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=150&modelid=7469) coupled with the 1.4x Tele Converter (Extender) (http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=154&modelid=7462), then you would have similar length (although lesser range I suppose) with a straight f4 :D, and a 3-stop IS system (which I suppose the 100-400 has too).

The 70-200 f/2.8 IS + 1.4x is what I just picked up.

To give you an idea of its (big) size, here it is next to an Elan IIe body with the (old style) 75-300mm IS telephoto:

http://www.huntzinger.com/pic/screenshot2.jpg

IIRC, the respective carry weights goes from roughly 3.5lbs to 7lbs, which really gets your attention. And IIRC, I don't think that the 100-400 f/4-5.6 IS would be all that much of an improvement on system weight.

FWIW, I went with this combination instead of the 100-400 because it allows me the option of taking the teleextender off and gaining another stop of speed in the glass for low light (sunrise/sunset) conditions. If I really, really need more reach, I could pick up a 2.0x extender and be at 400mm f/5.6 (just like the 100-400), with the caveat that as per a "400 vs 400" review I read, the word is that the 2x on the 200 would be slightly less sharp than the 100-400. It will just have to do until I'm willing to buy/carry the 400mm DO IS f/4 :)



Anyway....for the question at hand:
Depending on how fast you require the lens to be, and how long, there are plenty of options.

Plenty of options so long as you have a big, fat wallet :-)

Overall, I'd not discount the effective increase in focal length that you can get through post-production cropping: 1/4 the frame will still be a 2MP image (plenty large for emailing and viewing on a computer monitor), which will double whatever your focal length was. For example, the combination of the 70-200 + 1.4x = 1.6 dSLR = 450mm, which doubled by cropping is 900mm.

And it should still be a fast combination, since with the 1.4x its f/4, and the IS system affords another effective 2-3 stops, so you can light-gather at 1/250sec instead of 1/1000sec for hand-holding.

If you're going to trade on weight/money, I believe that the (70/75)-300 IS lenses are a pretty good choice. The first generation 75-300 IS (the one I have) has a pretty poor reputation for being 'soft' @ 300mm and opened up (f/5.6), but I've yet to shoot it on my 20D to really see it myself firsthand. But at under $500 and only ~1.6lbs, its a "light enough to carry" lens.

It does you little good to have top notch gear if you end up always leaving it at home.

-hh

efoto
Dec 5, 2005, 12:57 PM
No, this is her camera, and her money. I have used it for her at various different times. She uses it on its fully automatic mode, I have taken it and set up my own shutter speed, and ISO settings. That is about all I know how to do, and I really couldn't tell you the fundamentals, but rather I know what to set it to in order to get a good photo.

I have emailed her the link to the Sigma lens, and I will find out if she is interested in spending that much money or not. I suspect there are cheaper ones, but I told her that it was a matter of how good she wanted the pictures to be, and how professional looking (though $840 is far from the cost of the top of the line professional lenses) she wanted the photos.

Well from what I have read the Sigma is a great lens, and still is compatible with the 1.4x (and 2.0x if you choose so) Tele-extenders that Canon offers, the former taking one stop and the latter two. Apparently this particular lens has pretty good color and contrast, but the 70-200 f2.8 L does get higher marks by many, and *only* costs $1140 compared to the Sigma's $840 (difference of 300 to save you the math :p) which some argue is well worth it for the added color/contrast. The IS version is another story, as the price jumps substantially (more than double that of the Sigma at $1700) but does give you a 3-stop IS (usually good for 2 stops).

I guess telling you all that is if she wants to know I suppose, as it is her decision (funny how the person with the $$ gets to make the choices :rolleyes: )

efoto
Dec 5, 2005, 01:01 PM
The 70-200 f/2.8 IS + 1.4x is what I just picked up.

To give you an idea of its (big) size, here it is next to an Elan IIe body with the (old style) 75-300mm IS telephoto:

[img]http://www.huntzinger.com/pic/screenshot2.jpg[img]

IIRC, the respective carry weights goes from roughly 3.5lbs to 7lbs, which really gets your attention. And IIRC, I don't think that the 100-400 f/4-5.6 IS would be all that much of an improvement on system weight.

FWIW, I went with this combination instead of the 100-400 because it allows me the option of taking the teleextender off and gaining another stop of speed in the glass for low light (sunrise/sunset) conditions. If I really, really need more reach, I could pick up a 2.0x extender and be at 400mm f/5.6 (just like the 100-400), with the caveat that as per a "400 vs 400" review I read, the word is that the 2x on the 200 would be slightly less sharp than the 100-400. It will just have to do until I'm willing to buy/carry the 400mm DO IS f/4 :)

*Drool* :D

I wish I had the bank for that setup, ideal in my mind for everything that isn't a nat on the back of someone's neck at a 1/4 mile :rolleyes: I know the IS is nice, but I think I'll probably end up at the "basic" f2.8 model well before the IS....I would find it hard to justify the purchase of IS for two of those Sigma ones, especially when they get such good reviews. I will probably save up and go for the Canon 70-200 f2.8 over the Sigma, but the savings does purchase a 1.4x TC....hmm :o

njmac
Dec 5, 2005, 01:28 PM
http://www.warehouseexpress.com/Images/canon/lenses/ef200f18lusm.jpg

I read some great reviews of the Canon 200mm f1.8L (http://www.sportsshooter.com/gear_profile.html?id=83) but then I realized it is discontinued.

I was thinking that since Canon isn't making it any more it would be cheaper, but no, on ebay they're going for about $4,000. :(

iGary
Dec 5, 2005, 01:51 PM
BTW, The 75-300 IS USM (no offense to anyone, I owned one) sucks ass.

efoto
Dec 5, 2005, 02:54 PM
http://www.warehouseexpress.com/Images/canon/lenses/ef200f18lusm.jpg

I read some great reviews of the Canon 200mm f1.8L (http://www.sportsshooter.com/gear_profile.html?id=83) but then I realized it is discontinued.

I was thinking that since Canon isn't making it any more it would be cheaper, but no, on ebay they're going for about $4,000. :(

They are also going to revamp the 85 f1.2 into an updated motor and glass but are bringing it to f1.4 forcing the value of the 1.2's up nice and high ;)

If you have the cash, pick one up now. I saw comparisons between the exact same shot, same camera settings and everything off a tripod between the 85 f1.8 and the 85 f1.2....differences are astounding!!! Color and clarity is just amazing with the 1.2, almost makes the 1.8 look crappy and that is pretty good!

maestro55
Dec 5, 2005, 04:25 PM
Well from what I have read the Sigma is a great lens, and still is compatible with the 1.4x (and 2.0x if you choose so) Tele-extenders that Canon offers, the former taking one stop and the latter two. Apparently this particular lens has pretty good color and contrast, but the 70-200 f2.8 L does get higher marks by many, and *only* costs $1140 compared to the Sigma's $840 (difference of 300 to save you the math :p) which some argue is well worth it for the added color/contrast. The IS version is another story, as the price jumps substantially (more than double that of the Sigma at $1700) but does give you a 3-stop IS (usually good for 2 stops).

I guess telling you all that is if she wants to know I suppose, as it is her decision (funny how the person with the $$ gets to make the choices :rolleyes: )

Thanks for the information. The price comparison is nice, gives a way of showing that $840 is really not that much. I emailed her, but if she doesn't check it by tomorrow I will call. Gee, the lady is retired and has a very nice Powerbook with broadband internet, if I was her I don't know if you could get me away from the Powerbook for very long :).. Anyhow, hoping she does get it, because then I will have a new toy to play with the next time I use the camera.

-hh
Dec 6, 2005, 10:46 AM
BTW, The 75-300 IS USM (no offense to anyone, I owned one) sucks ass.

With the caveat that this is now a (recently) discontinued lens.

Supposedly, its replacement (70?-300 IS) is significantly better and at roughly the same price point (unlike the 75-300 DO IS version).

Overall, people thinking about "this" lens need to be aware that Canon has recently made 4 different flavors of it. From memory:

75-300 (non-IS)
75-300 IS (recently discontinued; lens discused herein)
70-300 IS (new)
75-300 DO IS

Very rough ballpark prices on these are $200, $450, $550 and $1000.


Yes, it gets very soft at 250-300mm, even when closed down. This is part of the shortcomings of the image of the Peruvian 'Cock of the Rock' bird that I posted in one of these threads somewhere (it was taken with this lens).

Now that I have the 70-200/1.4x combination, I do want to shoot the two side-by-side to get a good look at what the performance difference is. Hopefully, I'll get to it by this weekend.

-hh

efoto
Dec 6, 2005, 12:07 PM
Yes, it gets very soft at 250-300mm, even when closed down. This is part of the shortcomings of the image of the Peruvian 'Cock of the Rock' bird that I posted in one of these threads somewhere (it was taken with this lens).

Now that I have the 70-200/1.4x combination, I do want to shoot the two side-by-side to get a good look at what the performance difference is. Hopefully, I'll get to it by this weekend.

-hh

When you do test those out sbs let me know, those would be some interesting images to check out.

I was doing plenty of photographic lens testing on Sunday, trying to find the right lens. Sad when quality control is so bad that you have to test multiple lens of the same model/line and at the end of the day all three are still horrible :rolleyes:

sjl
Dec 8, 2005, 09:32 PM
http://www.warehouseexpress.com/Images/canon/lenses/ef200f18lusm.jpg

I read some great reviews of the Canon 200mm f1.8L (http://www.sportsshooter.com/gear_profile.html?id=83) but then I realized it is discontinued.

I was thinking that since Canon isn't making it any more it would be cheaper, but no, on ebay they're going for about $4,000. :(
You'll find that. Good quality glass holds its value really well. Good quality glass that's no longer been made becomes very hard to find (people want to hold onto theirs), and as a result, the price that people are willing to pay goes up.

I'm kicking myself: when I bought my EOS 30 (aka Elan 7e), I got the 50mm f/1.8. Very nice lens, but I wish I'd sprung the couple of thousand extra bucks for the f/1.0; it's now worth double what it cost new. Oh well. If you have one of those beasties, make sure you have your home and contents insurance policy properly setup to cover replacement, not purchase, cost ...

Rule of thumb with lenses: buy the best you can afford, whilst being consistent with what you want to do with them. They don't drop in value in the way that computers do, and as you grow in skill, they'll keep up with you. I'm lusting after the 100-400, and I'll very likely get the 70-200 f/2.8L as well. It's all a question of when I have the money. Until then, I'll just keep shooting with my pokey old 75-300 (non IS). (I'm also thinking seriously about a good macro lens, but that's another story.)

efoto
Dec 8, 2005, 10:04 PM
(I'm also thinking seriously about a good macro lens, but that's another story.)

Sigma's 150 and 180 macro lenses get great reviews....the 180 being f3.5 just like the Canon 180 f3.5L, save for the L ;)

Those may help you get a great lens a bit quicker than the L macros.