Canon lenses (again!)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chris83, May 1, 2008.

  1. Chris83 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hull, UK
    #1
    As a follow up to this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=456367. Firstly I should have listened to you all!

    While the Canon 55-250mm IS is a great lens. I've been impressed with the pictures, it doesn't quite have the focal range I want and that large F5.6 at 250mm has been restrictive in low light conditions (sometimes forest area's or overcast skies, I live in the Uk after all!!) when shooting motor sports.

    I'm now considering getting a better/bigger lens and need some advise. I've been looking at the Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM for around £340. While this has the increased focal length and from what I gather a slightly better build quality of the 55-250IS it still suffers from the aperture problem.
    Another that I've been looking at is the Canon EF 70-200mm f4L USM for £390, however this doesn't have the focal range. I could always get the 1.4x extender but as I gather it would increase the F/stop one or two?

    Anyone any pointers? Other lenses to consider?
     
  2. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #2
    With a 1.4x, the f4 becomes a 5.6. If you can scrape together enough money, (and can deal with the extra weight), you will never regret the 70-200 2.8. That will give you up to 280 f4 with a 1.4 and 400 f5.6 with a 2x (obviously with a loss of some IQ). Good luck.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #3
    You're not going to get the long reach + wide aperture that you want unless you're willing to spend $5000 for it.

    I think the lens you have now is OK. The 70-200 mm f/4 is better, but it "only" goes to 200 mm.

    If I were you, I'd either go for the 70-200 mm f/2.8 and get a teleconverter of some sort to extend the focal length, or get the Sigma 100-300 mm f/4 or 120-300 f/2.8 + TC. That last suggestion will cost you a small fortune, although the Sigma 100-300 mm f/4 would be as expensive as a Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8 (also expensive).
     
  4. disdat macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #4
    It may be more expensive than you are willing to spend, but I have been using my Canon 300mm f/4 for a few weeks, and I love it. It is a good lens for birds (good not excellent) but it is also a great lens to shoot all sorts of nature.

    It was heavy at first, but I am used to it.

    Granted it is a fixed prime, but I keep my other lenses with me if I need shorter length.

    I think with the 70-300, you will be in the same boat as you are now: not happy with the speed.

    I did have the 70-200mm for about a week or so, and returned it. It wasn't as long as I wanted, plus there are issues @200mm with sharpness. If you look at my profile, you will find my prior conversations on the forum about it.

    EDIT: here is the discussion thread
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=462437

    If you want to see some 300mm photos that I took, check my flickr set:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/disdatmac/sets/72157604589273159/

    I just took a bunch more at a local cemetery yesterday, so I will have more soon.
     
  5. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #5
    In general, most sports photographers settle on a 300/2.8. It's smaller, lighter and cheaper than a 400/2.8, but gives the "best" all around performance in terms of light gathering and reach, and with a 1.4x TC, gives a 420/4. A used Canon 300/2.8 runs about $USD 3000 according to my current KEH catalog. A brand-new Sigma 300/2.8 is $2600 US- roughly 1300 quid plus a good tripod and head if you don't own one. If you're selling pictures, you'd have to sell 130 at ten pounds each to ROI the lens assuming you had the capital to invest.

    A 300/4 is roughly 500 pounds used according to KEH, it'll give you results in half the light of the plethora of f/5.6 zooms, but you're not going to get really low light performance, and a 1.4x TC would put you right at 5.6- likely with a little better IQ than the zooms.

    I'm not sure what the used market is like in the UK, or if the pricing is similar. I'd be looking at the above and deciding how serious I was and moving from there if it were me. If you're serious, the Sigma 300/2.8 will put you in the game for real.
     
  6. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #6
    Do you have the ability to rent one or two lenses for a weekend to test them?

    You might be in a position where what you will need to work with what you have now until you can drop the $$$ or £££ on an L lens, maybe looking at the 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS lens. Though it is a good step up from the F4L model (IS or not).

    Latest I saw on Amazon was ($US)
    F4L = 600
    F4L IS = 1250
    F2.8L = 1200
    F2.8L IS = 1700

    Compuwar's suggestion of the F2.8 300mm lens is definately worth a look, but with it being a fixed prime renting even for a day might be worthwhile before you commit as you could end up with something you love, but can hardly use as you get tired of swapping between the 300mm and something smaller.
     
  7. Chris83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hull, UK
    #7
    I do but after pricing them up with insurance etc it comes to well over £100, as as for the time being I'd rather be spending under £500 on a lens I couldn't really justify it.

    Thanks for all the responses and opinions, they've been quite helpful :). Guess I'll just stick with what I have right now and save a little, although I don't think I could ever justify spending much more than £700 on a single lens, which still limits me on what I want to do and I actually can do.
     
  8. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #8
    I once said that... :p
     
  9. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #9
    Sorry, don't mean to hijack this thread, but I just want to know you're opinions on the Sigma 70-300 lens vs. the Canon 70-300 lens for my 350D? I'm not a pro, although I do like taking good pictures. Is there a noticeable difference in quality with the Canon lens (for double the price of the sigma)?

    Thanks
     
  10. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #10
    You should be able to find what you are looking for in this forum, since lots of photographers post some photo samples taken with most Canon, Sigma, Tamron and other lenses for canon cameras:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=33
     
  11. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #11
    Thanks
     
  12. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #12
    I was wondering where you were hiding :)

    Chris83 I am in the looking stage for my telephoto lens, the 4 I listed are pretty much what I will select from. 3 of those lens are the same price or more than what i paid for the 40D... (not that it is hard to do) but I think you will find more use out of the expensive glass than the cheap ones. Overall you have a respectable lens for now, save up a while, use the current lens more and then make the leap of faith for the L glass.
     
  13. Chris83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hull, UK
    #13
    Cheers jbernie. The annoying thing is those prices you listed at direct exchange rates actually put the 2.8L in my price range.... just a pitty its about £900 ($1800) here.

    The main reason for considering a new lens was the fact that 90% of my shots are taken at 250mm, just wanted to look at what options I had :).

    Thanks again.
     
  14. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #14
    I have a 70-200 f/4 L which I bought second hand off eBay. I find that it's OK for track days and motor sports as long as you are willing to crop the images a bit...

    I've added a couple of examples from Brands Hatch last year...
     

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