Zoom Lens for Rebel XT

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cwright, May 20, 2005.

  1. cwright macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 5, 2004
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    Missouri
    #1
    Hi, i got alot of good responses a while back when I posted about buying a Digital SLR, so I figured I'd come back here now that i'm ready to buy a new lens.

    I would like to start with a good quality zoom lens, probably a 70-200mm, but i'm not sure if I should go for an f/4 or f/2.8 model. The Canon 70-200 f/4 is $550 at B&H, which is pretty decent for an "L" lens I would think. However, I do alot of shooting indoors, so the f/2.8 would be a much better idea. Since both f/2.8 70-200 models from canon are over $1,000 and out of my budget, I found myself looking at the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX

    The sigma seems to have very good reviews. I'm still a little bit wary of buying non-Canon lenses, but if the price is right and its good glass, I may go for it.

    My other concern was the size and weight of these lenses. The Rebel XT is a small camera... will it be awkward using a lens this large on such a small camera? Will it be manageable when used handheld, or would I have to use it on a tripod all the time?

    I'd appreciate it if some of the pros here could give me some advice on the lenses in this range.

    Thanks!
     
  2. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    Mar 5, 2005
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    Oxford/London
    #2
    just remember the conversion factor when buying lenses for DSLR. For the Rebel i think it was 1.3 or summit (200mm on 35mm film - 260mm on DSLR)

    Edit: personally i'd always go for a manufacturer lens. They are generally built better (well, true for nikon anyway).
    What lenes do you have currently?

    Edit 2: About the size/weight thing - i shouldn't worry, the large grips on the lens will mean you just carry it by the lens more/take up more weight. Plus you could mount the lens. (The size/build of the rebel was the main thing that made me buy a D70 - it felt a lot tougher and sturdy)
     
  3. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 5, 2004
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    Missouri
    #3
    I believe the Rebel XT's conversion factor is 1.6x, making it a 320mm lens.

    I know the Canon's have reports of better build quality, but when I see reviews like this it makes me think the $1,000 for the Canon f/2.8 isn't worth the extra money
     
  4. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #4
    Whatever you do, go to a shop where you can try out the equipment yourself. There is nothing better and a hands-on experience!
     
  5. andrewkendall macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    #5
    I'd definitely go for the Canon 70-200L 2.8, you'll thank yourself in the long term. Good glass lasts a long time and although non Canon lenses are often as good optically it's the build quality that you really notice. As for size i think you'll be surprised how comfortable the larger lenses look and feel. Click here for an example :p
     
  6. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, UT
    #6
    I have a Sigma 70-300 for my digital rebel, and for the price it's a great lens. The auto focus isn't as smart as a canon lens, ie, not as fast, or overshoots the focus and misses it completely, but, it takes awesome pictures, it does a great job, I've never been disappointed with the way the pictures turn out. The lenses are good.....so, for a quick fix on lens for a good price, I think Sigma is great....it's not too bad a dent, so you can still save easily and get that Canon lens later, but for the time being have the mm length you're looking for....I have some pictures posted on my website:

    www.unculturedswine.net/wheezy

    All the Macros are done with that Sigma Lens, the wider angle done with the 18-55 that came with the Rebel.
     
  7. aznsal612 macrumors member

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    Oct 20, 2004
    #7
    If I were you I'd go with the L series just because you get a nifty red ring around the lens...ain't that the whole point? ;)

    But in all seriousness, a more bulky lens won't necessarily be a bad thing. If it's way too big, obviously, it's less mobile if you're on the go, but more weight can offset camera shake in slower than desirable situations. A little bit of weight wouldn't hurt. :p
     
  8. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    Oxford/London
    #8
    I love the way no-one but me asked what lenses you already have (i did but it was ignored) and what kinda pictures your planning to actually take. Both these things are toppermost when considering a new lens. If you are planning to have a lens for holiday/general use, i'd recommend a lens that goes down to at least 20mm.

    I have (nikon):
    18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 (genuine digital lens)
    28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 (35 lens so 42-300 effective)
    This makes my next lens choice very expensive (like a 12-14 or similar or a long zoom) unless i start getting fixed lenses (like a fisheye).
    These two lenses cover me with only slight distortion (a good test for lens distortion is taking a picture of blinds in land./port.) from 18-200.
    I am going to have to seriously analyze what kinda pictures i'm likely to take in the future when considering if I wanna spend a ton on a lens like the:
    http://www.adorama.com/NK1224AFS.html
    or even this:
    http://www.adorama.com/NK200400AFSU.html

    Look at those prices! Ouch!
    Please go to a shop to try out - it will help make your mind up.
     
  9. Sca1pel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    #9
    I would go for genuine canon, it looks etter. I curently have the 70-200mm 2.8 non IS. I had the IS version but never used the IS so I sold it and got the plane one. I think its actualy a bit sharper.
     
  10. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    #10
    Sorry James, I didnt see you ask those questions in any of your posts. Right now all I have is the 18-55mm kit lens, and since day one I've wanted a longer zoom lens. I will be shooting both indoor and outdoor. Indoor would be some weddings, high school musicals, etc. Outdoor would be potentially nature shots, landscapes, portraits, etc.

    I am by no means a pro, and at this point have no intention of becoming a pro. My business is videography (weddings and events mainly). Photography has always interested me so I finally decided to take the plunge with the Rebel XT. I have been using it recently to take good pictures to use on my DVD covers for the videos I shoot.

    I think the 70-200 range is what I need for now, since it is a very useable range and I can always add the 1.4x TC if I need to. I just have a hard time spending so much more for the Canon f/2.8 than the Sigma version when the Sigma is essentially the same lens with reports of similar build quality.

    If you look here on Fred Miranda, the Sigma 70-200 is getting excellent reviews, with many people who say its up to par with the Canon f/2.8

    If I wanted to spend $1,000... I think I would rather buy the Sigma lens and a battery grip for the Rebel, and maybe even squeeze in the Canon 50mm f/1.8. All for the price of the Canon f/2.8 lens.

    Now, I have enough money to go for the Canon f/2.8 IS lens even, but since I've just graduated high school, most of that needs to be saved for college. :(
     
  11. mcmav37 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    #11

    First off, I'm by no means a pro, so take this all with a grain of salt. I currently have the 20D and the Sigma 70-200/2.8 you are referring to (although I have used that lens with the original DRebel too) and am very happy with them. I haven't used the lens as much as I would like to, but I think it is awesome... especially for the price.

    The lens is definitely big. I have taken almost all of my shots handheld, but if I were to be carrying it around all day, my arm would get tired (and I'm not comfortable hanging $2000+ of electronics just around my neck). The one day I used my tripod, I was pleased to find out that you can unhook the tripod collar to be able to take the lens out and leave the tripod collar on the tripod for easy re-loading.

    Like others are recommending, I would say try to go a big store to hold and try the lenses you are interested in. I went to a local Wolf superstore just to be able to hold the Sigma so I wasn't completely surprised by the weight when I got it.
     
  12. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #12
    Sorry, realized that there are 2 very similar threads on this right now - getting :confused: !
    Cool, but remember the 70mm is actually a 112mm and (I think) the kit lens focal lengths are REAL digital, So you'd effectually be MISSING the 55-112 range, which is EXTREMELY useful for indoor shots where there is a large room (wedding, big event etc).
    (Even if it's not a digital focal length you're still missing the 88-112mm range)
    I like to have a slight overlap with my lenses - that way you will change them less often. My 18-70mm (actual digital range) is great for indoors.
    Changing lenses on a DSLR is crucial - read this if you haven't already:
    http://www.pbase.com/copperhill/ccd_cleaning
     
  13. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 5, 2004
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    Missouri
    #13
    Apparently, just yesterday Sigma announced a new version of the 70-200 f/2.8 lens I was considering. They say this one is optimized for digital SLRs. Here is the link to the story on dpreview.com

    I don't know much about the technical aspects of lenses, so could someone please tell me how this new model will be different/better than the one currently on the market?

    Thanks
     
  14. kbonnel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Location:
    In a nice place..
    #14
    If you are going to do a lot of indoors shooting (as you say) I would go for the 2.8 version of the Canon 70-200. If you don't feel you can pay the money, then go for the new Sigma 70-200 2.8 with the HSM. HOWEVER, Canon cameras produce super pictures at higher ISO, so I would play around with the 70-200 F4L and bump up the ISO to see if that works for ya. The weight and cost savings may be what you are looking for.

    I have 1 sigma lens, the 24-70 EX, and it is fantastic. The build it super and the pictures are great.

    I also have the Canon 70-200 F4L and the Canon 17-40 F4L, both are super lenses.

    If you are really interested in learning more about your camera and taking a lot of pictures I would go for a lens that you will use a lot. I use my 70-200 maybe 20% of the time, and the 24-70 75% of the time. The 17-40 usually comes out to play when I am doing landscape work.

    Kimo
     
  15. kbonnel macrumors 6502

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    In a nice place..
    #15
    Oh, and if you have big hands like me, I would suggest the battery grip. I find that using the 70-200 with the grip is really nice. I thinkt he XT is a little small for me, and a grip would be a must.

    Kimo
     
  16. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    #16
    thanks for the info. I'm going up to my local camera shop today to try them out.

    I've been looking at the battery grip also, and I would like to buy one... but thats even more money added to an expensive lens. Hopefully the store will have one of the grips also that I can try out.

    Also, I know that these expensive lenses tend to last forever, and hold their value extremely well. Does this only apply to Canon lenses? or would the Sigma 70-200 hold it's resale value just as well if I decide to go that route?
     
  17. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #17
    The 70-200 L is the best buy for your budget.

    Spend the extra dollars.

    If you think you will find yourself using the long end ofthe spectrum all the time, why not go for the 400mm prime?
     
  18. javiercr macrumors 6502

    javiercr

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    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #18
    depends on what you want to do

    If you're going to go to tibet and spend a month chasing wild yaks for National geographic then you need the build quality of canon L lenses (but then you would't get a Rebel!...or a digital camera), if you're going to print your pictures bigger than A3 then think of buying the canon with for that little 2% improvement, if not the sigma will do fine.

    Sigma just came out with a new 80-200 which they claim is optimized for digital (although it sounds marketing to me) http://www.dpreview.com/news/0505/05052003sigma_70-200mm.asp

    of course i'd ultimatly recomend a nikon, but that's a whole new argument :)
     
  19. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 5, 2004
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    Missouri
    #19
    Yea i saw that new Sigma lens, thats what I was asking about earleir. I'm not quite sure how the new model is different. What does the DG stand for?

    And you're right, according to your post, I don't need the build quality of the Canon L lenses. Right now I'm just a hobbyist, but i would rather buy a nice lens now than a cheap consumer lens that will need to be replaced quickly. I plan on shooting lots of indoor sports and other indoor events (think yearbook and newspaper staff in college, and other events this summer), so I really think I'll be dissapointed with the Canon 70-200 f/4. So the decision really comes down to the Sigma 70-200 or the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS. The Canon's build quality may be a bit better, but the Sigma is $350 cheaper, which would allow me to get the battery grip as well.

    But like I said, I'm going up the local camera shop today to see for myself. My big concern is if it's going to be awkward hand-holding such a big lens on a camera as small as the Rebel XT.
     
  20. Willy S macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    #20
    I would go for the Sigma if you want a bargain. The L might be a little better, but I don´t think you will feel a difference in the photos. You can´t go wrong with either.

    I own a Nikon D70 and 80-200 F2.8 and I love that lens. The Sigma is said to be very similar so I cannot imagine how you could be sorry with it.

    And I think this Sigma hold its value pretty well, at least I didn´t find any cheap ones at ebay.
     
  21. rasp macrumors regular

    rasp

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    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Easthampton, MA
    #21
    I think you have a slight misunderstanding of focal length, it is what it is, period. 18 is 18. It's just that an 18mm for the smaller format digital projects a smaller image circle. What shows up on the final picture with an 18mm digital lens and an 18mm full frame lens is exactly the same.

    So, with a 18-55 and a 70-200 the missing FL would be between 55 and 70, really I hardly ever use that FL on my rebel, but it's something each shooter needs to learn for themselves what they shoot.

    As for what lens to buy, I agree with all who have said to go to a big store and try lenses. dimensions and weight and spec really don't mean as much to me as actually using the lens.

    As for cleaning, I haven't cleaned mine yet, don't worry about it until it starts showing up on photos, most (all?) of the noise will average out in post processing

    PS: for all who want to learn about photography a great book to start with is by Ansel Adams, called The Camera Link
     
  22. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 5, 2004
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    Missouri
    #22
    well I just got back from a trip to the local Wolf Camera, and it was a complete waste of time.

    They did not have any 70-200mm zooms in stock at all. He said they can order them for me, and when i asked what they charged, he looked it up in a B&H catalog, and then added $30 to their list price... wtf? :confused:

    He also didnt believe me that canon also made an f/4 70-200mm, until he looked it up at B&H. So after all of this he just tried to sell me a Quantary 28-200 zoom :rolleyes:

    So... it looks like I'll have to order one without trying it first. If I buy from Adorama, are they easy to do returns if I so choose?
     
  23. javiercr macrumors 6502

    javiercr

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    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #23
    you can see what all the sigma codes mean here:
    http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english/lens/index.htm

    DG:
    These are large-aperture lenses with wide angles and short minimum focusing distances. With an abundance of peripheral illumination, they are ideal lenses for Digital SLR Cameras whilst retaining suitability for traditional 35mm SLRs.


    the good thing about digital is that you can go to the shop , take pictues with both and then compate the quality on your computer the same day...and then buy the day after, and if you don't want to be nice to your local shop (which you should) you can buy from adorama.com or bhphoto.com
     
  24. javiercr macrumors 6502

    javiercr

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    London
    #24
    There must be another camera shop somewhere where you can try one. I never had to return anything to Adorama but i'm sure you'll have to pay some of the shipping costs one way or another.

    Don't ever buy Quantary lens!
     
  25. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    #25
    There is another camera shop that may have them. Its about 30 minutes away though... might not be able to get down there untill next week.

    Anyway, regardless of which lens I buy, should I get a UV filter that's multi-coated, or does it matter?
     

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