Help Selecting a Lens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by udontno, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. udontno macrumors regular

    udontno

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    Jul 19, 2011
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    VA, USA
    #1
    I have a Canon Rebel t3. I am interested in sports photography and would love to get a better lens. I'm not really up to par on tech specs or anything. I've had my camera about 5 years and mainly shoot things on sports mode; I don't get into messing with the manual settings because I don't want to miss my shot.

    I am looking at this lens. What do you guys think? Do you think this will suffice my needs? I have been reading reviews and looking up information.
     
  2. koilvr macrumors 6502

    koilvr

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    #2
    I would go with something closer to 300mm for sports depending on where u are shooting from and what sport are u shooting. is it football, baseball or basketball with some soccer? Maybe horse jumping? gymnastics?
     
  3. udontno thread starter macrumors regular

    udontno

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    #3
    I shoot soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball, with the occasional tennis and cross country. Do you have a link to any suggested lens?
     
  4. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #4
    I don't see how a person can justify a new lens if they don't understand basic operation of the camera body. Get off the JPEG automatic modes and explore the semi-auto Tv, Av, and the Manual mode. Learn the relationship between shutter speed, aperture value, and ISO. Six months after you feel comfortable working manually or in Tv mode look for a new lens. You aren't anywhere near ready to improve your work through new equipment.
     
  5. udontno thread starter macrumors regular

    udontno

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    #5
    I shoot in manual modes for other things (like nature photography); I just don't do that nearly as often as I do sports photos. I have been learning more since I have decided I want a better lens.
     
  6. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    #6
    What do you hope to achieve by buying a new lens? What is your current equipment not doing for you?
     
  7. udontno thread starter macrumors regular

    udontno

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    #7
    I want to be able to get closer up shots. I have a 55-250mm lens that I like and works well, but I really want to be able to get some better shots from further away. I work at a college (in admissions) and take sports photos to help out the sports information director occasionally. Not often, since I travel for work. I mainly do it as a hobby now, but I did do it as a work study when I was a student. We are a small private college with limited resources and a small budget, so my amateur work seemed to suit her needs.
     
  8. mollyc macrumors 6502

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    Aug 18, 2016
    #8
    Ordinarily I would agree with that, but it's hard to shoot sports without a long lens; one is simply too far away from the action. And if someone can afford the gear, then who cares.

    I had the lens that @udontno linked when I shot Canon. It's a good lens and great for sports if they are in the daylight. But if you are shooting in lower light (dusk/under lights) you won't have enough light to keep your shutter speed up with the f/4.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 6, 2016 ---
    Well the L 70-200 lens is a step up from the 55-250 you have now in terms of image quality, but overall it's shorter by 50mm, so you won't get anything "closer" from the 70-200.
     
  9. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #9
    A 200mm focal length will not get you closer than the 250mm focal length you already have (250mm > 200mm).

    You say you understand Manual mode, but I think you still have some things to learn about the mechanics of photography before you consider new equipment.

    The 55-250mm is a great starter lens from what I hear. It also has IS. The lens you want to buy doesn't. If you don't understand why IS is so important on long focal lengths, again, you aren't ready for new equipment, IMO.
     
  10. lvar macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2015
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    NL
    #10
    The 70-200 you suggested is an awesome lens and much better than your 55-250; I have one (and I would even rate it sharper than my 70-200 2.8 ISII). However if you want to get more close up shots it will not do you any good as the focal length (70-200) falls within the focal length you already have (55-250). If you need to get closer you need to look at longer focal lengths. A fixed 300 or 400mm would be really nice, but expensive. I'm also not sure if you want a fixed focal length. It takes a bit getting used to for some. Have a look at Sigma as well, they offer some pretty decent to good zoom lenses that go over 250mm.
     
  11. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #11
    She has a long lens. 400mm equivalent.

    If the goal is to become a better photographer, to generate better photographs, buying new equipment is not a solution here. I think she needs to learn the fundamentals better. Tv is "sport" mode for people who understand photography. There is no good reason a person serious about photography needs to use the automatic JPEG modes. Those are for civilians on holiday.
     
  12. udontno thread starter macrumors regular

    udontno

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    #12
    Something I overlooked. *facepalm* Do you have any suggestions that would give me what I'm looking for? I never shoot in low light or under lights--we just don't have them.

    Will consider that.
     
  13. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    #13
    Sigma lenses are a decent, but they lack really great autofocus system. Autofocus is going to be very important in shooting movement. I wouldn't consider anything that wasn't Canon for these uses. Very inexpensive Canon lenses can perform much better in the category of AF, than much more expensive Sigma lenses.
     
  14. mollyc macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Yes, I posted before she gave her existing lens.

    No of course buying gear doesn't make one a better photographer. But I also think she came here asking for legitimate help, and banging on her about not knowing full manual isn't particularly helpful, either.

    She has a specific need she is trying to fill - shoot at a longer focal length on a crop body, and for that particular need, the actual mode of shooting doesn't change her need for a longer focal length.

    Now that she has stated her camera and existing lens, people can make appropriate recommendations.

    I shoot Nikon now, and have for the past 5+ years and don't know the Canon lens line up anymore.
     
  15. lvar macrumors newbie

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    NL
    #15
    is it possible that it depends on the lens? I have to say I personally only shot with two Sigma lenses and both were higher end (120-300 2.8 and 50 1.4 art) but i didn't notice a speed difference really.
     
  16. bent christian, Sep 6, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016

    bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    #16
    Full Manual is not a a requirement. I would never say it is. Full Manual would get in the way shooting movement, no doubt.

    A photographer who is shooting "sport" mode over Tv has work to do in leaning the mechanics. I guarantee that. There is no advantage to a person who understands how modern cameras work. It tells me the user doesn't fully understand the camera and should probably work on technique to produce better work. Getting closer can be as simple as using one's feet.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 6, 2016 ---
    Sure, lenses all vary to some degree due to differing production tolerances. AF speeds and accuracy is something Sigma will likely never match Canon on, as they have to reverse engineer the AF system for each lens they make. My 30mm 1.4 has it uses, but AF speeds and accuracy are no match for even the cheap canon kit lens I got with my first SLR. I don't have micro-adjustment on any go my camera bodies, so peoples' experiences will be different on fancier bodies.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 6, 2016 ---
    When you are ready, something like this lens is probably more appropriate.
     
  17. udontno thread starter macrumors regular

    udontno

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    #17
    How would that stack up compared to Sigma's 70-300mm? Sigma's is significantly less expensive, but that doesn't always mean better.
     
  18. lvar macrumors newbie

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    #18
    One thing to consider is budget; how much can you & do you want to spend?

    The suggestions in this thread already go from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.

    Once you narrowed it down to one or two I would suggest you rent the lens(es) for a day or two so you they can be used in the way/situation they will be used for.
    We can suggest plenty of options but if they don't fall within your budget or don't do what you expect them to do the suggestions will be useless.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 6, 2016 ---
    Optically it (Sigma) should beat the canon. Not sure about autofocus and other factors.
     
  19. udontno thread starter macrumors regular

    udontno

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    #19
    I can spend around $600 now, would be willing to save up and spend around $1000.
     
  20. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #20
    Have you considered the Canon 70-300 IS USM? it is about £350 here in the UK. A great lens, has more reach than the 70-200 L, is very well regarded, has IS and USM. I think bang for buck it is a good choice.

    I too would recommend learning to come off auto and shoot more advanced modes.

    Hope this helps.
     
  21. udontno thread starter macrumors regular

    udontno

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    #21
    That's one of the lens that we have discussed in this thread. I was wondering how it compares to Sigma's 70-300... do you have any thoughts on that?
     
  22. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #22
    I am not familiar with either of those lenses. Any judgement from me would be based purely on specs. I would avoid Sigma for any focus-critical shooting. You can pose a portrait subject 100 times if need be. You only get that one shot when movement is being captured. My personal experience and the experience of others I have read leads me to believe that Sigma tends to be less reliable where AF is concerned.
     
  23. lvar macrumors newbie

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    NL
    #23
    If it were me, I would save up to $1000 or more. Another option would be a 400mm (fixed) 5.6 (just over 1000 new). It is doesn't have a really wide aperture, but otherwise is a great lens.

    In general I would rather spend more on a lens if you can, especially if you are not 100% sure it is the lens for you, because a better/more expensive lens generally holds it value better in case you want to sell it again. But that is me, not you.
    Whatever you do, it needs to fit in your situation.
     
  24. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #24
    I agree with this. Extenders can be bought to experiment with focal length in the meantime. You might find the difference between 250mm and 300mm is not as important as you thought. Try to zoom with your feet. Try shooing RAW and cropping. Be creative with technique subsitutions.
     
  25. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #25
    Not a Canon shooter, so can't give specific advice, but if you need extra reach look at either a TC (teleconvertor) or why not hire a lens to see if it works for you?
     

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