Which Tele. Lense?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dark, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    Well, Ive definately outgrown the Kit Lens that comes with the Rebel XT. I mean dont get me wrong, its good for some applications, but as far as any type of sporting even goes its impossible.

    Now My Friend has this lens here that Ive been usuing on ocassion. Its pretty good and is an affordable price.
    http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=150&modelid=7345

    Now its really hard to keep that from shaking without a tripod, as it has no image stabilizer.

    Ive been looking at this lense which to me seems to blow my friends lense away for the same price. Can you tell me how this lense compares and which would be better for Motocross Photog.

    http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=150&modelid=11922

    Thanks Alot.
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    #2
    Canon 70-300 is terrible!!!

    Dark,

    I am a professional photographer. I've used the 70-300 and for motor cross it would not be able to focus fast enough. Plus for motor cross I'm sure you would have to shoot at a high shutter speed anyway so the IS wouldn't really help you there. I would go for the faster 70-200 F4 constant aperature. Also the quality glass is poor with alot of barrell distortion and cromatic abberation. Hope this helps.

    Robert
     
  3. macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #3
    Ouch, this is a tough one. The 70-300mm is a good lens optically, and the IS is killer app for hand holding, acting more like a f2.8 in speed. BUT for fast action like the motocross, I assume you'll need a lens that is fast. BUT the f4 is only 1 stop faster at the most than the 70-300mm. AND it isn't as long.

    So it boils down to a few things, if you ONLY want to use it it in fast light situations, AND 70-200 will be a good range for it. ( I don't know how far or how much light motocross has to work with, you could always try and see how fast shutter speeds you can get with your kit lens and see if those apertures will work)
    But of the two I would generally find the 70-300 to be better in range and use ability.

    That said, perhaps you should look at an EVEN BETTER option for you. May I introduce you to my pal Sigma.

    First up, the 70-200mm f2.8 (a stop faster than you wimpy canon 70-200 f4) and costs around as much. Very good optically. Maybe add a 1.4x tele converter from like a Kenko Pro, and you'd have near a 300mm f4 with pretty good optical characteristics.
    http://sigmaphoto.com/lenses/lenses_all_details.asp?id=3306&navigator=3

    And near it in price is another VERY nice lens the Sigma 100-300mm f4. Might give you the best of both worlds between the 70-200mm f4 canon and the 70-300mm canon.
    http://sigmaphoto.com/lenses/lenses_all_details.asp?id=3273&navigator=3

    Both are gonna cost you ~150 more bucks than your current two selections, but they should be VERY serious alternatives. www.sigma4less.com is a nice place, I recently bought the VERY nice Sigma 24-70mm EX DG Macro lens from them, had to ship the first one back because it was ****, and the second one was an extreamly sharp copy. I'm talking prime sharp, I hit the jackpot.

    Maybe you were looking at a particularly flawed copy (or maybe thinking of the older 75-300mm IS which it replaced). Most places find this lens to be very nice with almost no distortion, and good IC.

    http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_70300_456is/index.htm
    http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/70300s
    http://bobatkins.photo.net/photography/reviews/ef_70_300is_review.html
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

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  5. macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #5
    Out of those, the 70-200 f/4 L. Every time.

    Here's a good site to go to so you can read up on both lenses:

    link
     
  6. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #6
    I'd choose the 70-200 mm f/4 as well. The faster it is, the better it is. Image stabalisation isn't important for motocross since everything is moving so fast. How much is your hand going to shake when the shutter speed is 1/2000 or something, right?
     
  7. -hh
    macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #7
    Agreed. I think the general problem here is that Canon makes a bunch of 70"ish" - 300mm telephoto's, at different performance/quality and accompanying prices, so its pretty easy to get them all confused. To the best of my knowledge (plus some research), the EF lenses that you might find today could include:

    1. $160 75-300 III
    2. $190 75-300 III USM
    3. {$450} 75-300 IS .............. (introduced 1995; now {discontinued})
    4. $570 70-300 IS USM .......... (introduced Oct 2005 - just four months ago)
    5. $1150 70-300 DO IS USM ... (introduced June 2004)

    I've listed #3 despite it being replaced by #4. With the very recent introduction of lens #4, I saw that there were still examples of #3 inventory still being around and offered for sale this past Christmas holiday shopping season...which was a 'Caveat Emptor' for the consumers.

    There have been performance complaints about #3, and I suspect if the same standard were applied to #1 and #2, these would probably perform around the same as well.

    Reviews on #5 and #4 did indicate that Canon did make improvements, but considering that its roughly a decade newer design and of comparable or higher prices, one would reasonably expect the bar to be raised...both of expectations as well as delivered performance.

    And in looking at the stated objective of "telephoto on fast moving subjects", I have two general guiding opinions:

    a) If I'm spending a decent chunk of change for a piece of telephoto glass, how much extra is it to get IS while I'm at it? Objective is to try to save money in the long run by not buying the same basic lens twice (or 3x).

    b) For fast-moving subjects, if I've already expressed a willingness to spend a bit more to gain a stop (from f/5.6 to f/4), am I also willing to spend a little more than that to gain another stop (from f/4 to f/2.8)?

    Yes, the direction I'm leaning is towards the 70-200mm f/2.8 with IS. It is expensive, but its a "buy it once and you're done buying" type of lens for this general focal length.

    Dark, I'm in Northern NJ, so if you want to hook up, I can let you try my 75-300 IS (#3). I also have a 70-200 f/2.8 IS too (and a 1.4x), which I'd bring along while I'm at it.


    -hh
     
  8. Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
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    #8
    Very happy with my 100-400.

    Have you considered this lens?
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #9
    Couple problems guys.
    Firstly, the Canon 70-200mm IS costs $1750 off amazon, and the 100-400mm IS costs $1430 off amazon. Does someone seeking advice really need to hear, you're lenses are no good get these that cost ~3 times as much?

    Secondly, if the speed of the 70-300mm IS is too slow for motocross, then how is the 100-400mm going to help? Its just as slow/slower at the short end.
    Plus everything I've read about that lens says its just average in terms of sharpness, http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_100400_4556_is/index.htm .

    Sounds like you guys are being elitist here and recommending canon's overpriced L glass over the nice alternatives that would actually be closer or meet his budget.

    Here is a comparison between the Canon 70-200mm IS, and Sigma 70-200mm and 50-500mm. http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/3telezooms

    If he wants range over speed, maybe he should look at..
    Sigma 80-400mm OS (Sigma's version of IS) (zoom ring slicker than canon's push pull design) $990
    Sigma 50-500mm $890

    But I still say one of my two earlier choices are probably better suited for him.
     
  10. Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #10
    Overpriced compared to what?

    I own plenty of Sigma glass, so don't try to paint me as an elitist. ;) :)
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    #11
    A lot of people are having this same problem with deciding between the f/4L and the 70-300 IS. Images from the 70-300 can be very good (look around and try several to get the best copy available) and IS is simply amazing. As for focusing speed:

    I took this picture using Mode 2 of this lens at 1/60s so focusing quickly can be achieved. If you look over at Fredmiranda you'll see lots of people getting rid of their f/4L because the difference isn't enough to outweigh the benefits of IS.

    And yes, I've used the f/4L and got rid of it because I didn't feel it was good enough for the price. But that's me.
     

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  12. macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #12
    The analogy would be something like, if a guy walks into a porsche dealership and wants a Boxter (70-300 IS) or 911 (70-200 f4)(note that they are not exactly comparable), and you cannot recommend either, so you can only say have you looked at the Ferrari we have over here, I really like it.

    He isn't asking if he should get a.. canon 100-300mm USM or a 75-300mm USM or some equally poor glass, he's inquiring about two reasonably priced good pieces of glass. And telling him to get the 70-200mm IS is just wrong unless he said he can spend upwards of $1700 bucks.

    Like I said, I think you'll find the 70-300mm IS to be a more useful lens for the money. And people won't look enviously at your big piece of whiteness. (oh and its sorta funny, but canon's page for the 100-400mm shows a motocross like picture)
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #13
    I'm also looking to get a 70-300 f4-5.6 IS or a 70-200 f4L...on B&H the price difference is only $25. I am sorta leaning toward the better glass in the L, but the pan mode on the IS sounds cool for sports.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    #14
    If you're going to use it for sports I'd say you won't use the IS. The panning mode is good for motion panning but your subject will be blurred because they're moving. Granted, the 70-200 will only get you an extra stop (actually not even since at 200 the IS model is f/5)...so actually, for shooting sports neither of these lenses is really a good choice. You kinda need an f/2.8 (maybe look at some 3rd party manufacturers: Tokina 80-200 AT-X Pro or Sigma 70-200 2.8. Both good lenses for about the same cost (actually less for the Tokina) as the f4L.
     
  15. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #15
    Just think through the the process

    Think about shooting motocross. It's a racing sport done on a track. These are easy to shoot because you can pretty much predict what's going to happen and it's repetitive. So if you want to make a image of a jump with a certain background you know where to set up and how to frame it.

    Optical distortion does not matter for this use. There are no straight lines. No one will notice. Distortion mattters for other things but not for a motorcycle on a dirt track. What DOES matter is the shutter speed. A faster lens will alow a faster shutter without having to use high ISO number. Buy the fastest lens you can afford. Other features don't matter as much as f-stop.

    You can use a tripod. I would use at least a monopod for this. You may find that you don't use autofocus. You _know_ where the peak of the jump will be so you prefocus and push the shutter button when the bike is at that distance. Yes there is variation between bikes but you see it comming when they are at the bottom of the ramp. Shoot with both eyes open. one in the view finder and one watching the action. OK maybe you are not doing jumps but you want to shoot them when they are leaned over in a turn. Same thing pick you spot and setup.

    So,.. I don't think you need conpact size, I don't think you need fast AF, I don't think you need low geometric distortion But do concider color redition and how the out of focus background wil look

    Turn on the TV watch a football game and watch what those guys with the "big white lenses" on the sidelines do. They are good. Do what they do.

    your 350D has a 1.6x "crop factor. the 200mm is going to be "way long" enough even for use with a full frame or 35mm camer 200 is pretty long. Any longer and you _really_ need a ball head tripod (andthere goes another half a grand)
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #16
    Given what you've listed here, I'd go with the EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM and a decent monopod (another $100), but that's just me. I don't care enough about IS to pay for it, but I would prefer something a little faster than f/4.

    Also, remember that the XT basically has 1.6x multiplier, so your 70-200 will basically behave like a 110-320.
     
  17. macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #17
    I think the 75-300 is a poor choice, optically that is not a very good lens. As for what someone earlier said earlier about the tokina 80-200mm, I'd kinda stay away from that lens, its an ok lens, but not really worth the money. Its an older lens design. As with most of tokina's lenses except the 12-24 they licensed from nikkor.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    #18
    You don't think it's worth $300-400 (don't buy new...just saw new it's $619) ? Granted quality isn't going to be like the 2.8L or even Sigmas 70-200 at $600, but for the price range it's pretty nice. Considering the fact that he's coming from the kit lens I don't think he needs to spend $1500 on a f/2.8 lens. My bet is that he'd be happy with a 3rd party lens. On Fredmiranda.com, it's average review is something like a 7.8...not bad for the price.

     
  19. macrumors 6502

    snap58

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    somewhere in kansas
    #19
    I'm no pro, but if it's "predictive auto-focus" you are talking about, it could have more to do with the camera you are using than the lens. Seems like all the USM lenses I've used focus pretty fast with the longer ones having a switch to limit the focus range? The IS would likely be useful since the recommended hand held rule is 1/focal?
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    #20
    The 70-300 has a different type of USM and is in fact slower than the L lenses. In any case, IS won't really help with motocross since you want to stop the action...however, like I mentioned at 200mm, the max aperture is f/5 so you're only losing somthing like 1/2 stop from the 4L and the image quality of the 70-300 IS rivals the f/4L according to everything I've read so far.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Boulder
    #21
    I agree about hte focus. I had the extreme pleasure of using a 5D for about 15 shots at a HS basket ball game (indoors). Being a digital rebel user, I was amazed at the focus. A lot of people would be quick to tell you that the 50mm 1.8 has terrible autofocus, and I would start to agree with them based on my 300D. With the 5D, it was as snappy and accurate as any USM lens I've used on my 300D in good light. That may be a slight exageration, but the camera really makes a BIG difference in focusing. The 70-300 should be pretty responsive, and by no means sluggish. It won't be as good as the USM L lens (the cmaera has up to a full stop of extra light to work woth, after all), but I wouldn't discount the lens based on that.

    Another thing to consider is the size of the lens. The L 70-200's are REALLY big IMO.
     
  22. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #22
    This has more to do with the precision of some bodies AF systems with apertures 2.8 or lower.
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Boulder
    #23
    The extra center point? I've heard of this before...

    In any case, my point remains: The focus on the 70-300 should not be an issue. The USM L with a brighter image at all times will be a bit better, but not that much.

    Also, why are people discounting 1 stop of light as unimportant or minor? The diffenece between 1 stop, esp. when you have the ISO up and are in low light situations is HUGE, regardless of post-processing.

    Has the OP considered a prime? I belive that there is are 100/2, 135/2.8, and a 200 prime (not sure on the last one) from canon that are wonderfully sharp, and are all below $400 (300-350, depending on lens and deal, i think).
     
  24. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #24
    Most mid and high level SLR's have a central focus point (or more) that have greater precision with apertures of 2.8 or lower. In this case having a lens with a 4.0 or 5.6 aperture just can't take advantage of this added capability.
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #25
    Unless you're mixing the 75-300 with the 70-300, then yes it really will be that bad, the 75-300 is a BAD lens. On all the sites I've linked to you'll find that its a pretty poor lens especially over 200mm. Specifically http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_75300_456is/index.htm at 300 it never gets resolution over 1250, and thats just plain bad. Most lenses are over 1250 when the are wide open. I wouldn't use a lens under 1500 lets put it that way.

    I've considered a prime for him, but unless he's talking maybe ~150mm then he won't find anything in his budget. The 200mm f2.8 Canon costs like $680, and the 300mm f4 costs $1200.

    The 150mm I'm speaking of is my own personal favorite for macro lenses and a nice prime the Sigma 150mm f2.8 HSM EX DG Macro. Cost you around $500.
     

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