I've narrowed down my lenses, now I have a dumb question...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by tedelaney, May 21, 2009.

  1. tedelaney macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2009
    Since I haven't been able to buy any lenses for an SLR, well... ever I want to make sure I get the best one for me. I posted for opinions earlier and thanks to all the advice I got, I have decided on a 70-300. The only problem is, I am idiot about this and I don't understand all the differences between three I found.

    The camera is the Rebel T1i, just FYI.

    First there is the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR
    (If I understand, its the cheapest one, but with no IS)

    Next there is the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR (this one is cheaper, but bigger than the next one, but what is the dif. between the 4-5.6 of this one and the 4.5-5.6 of the next one??)

    and finally the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Lens for Canon EOS (the most spendy, but smaller than the above one)

    Sorry for my dumbness and thanks to anyone who has an explanation!!
  2. gangzoom macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
  3. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    DO means the unique Diffractive Optics technology from Canon to make lenses smaller. This didn't really catch on, with people in general preferring the image quality of normal construction.

    I'm on Nikon, and personally I think that is an option that is missing.

    I might prefer one of the Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 to all this, unless you really need 200mm and up.
  4. GT41 macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't know which is "BEST FOR YOU", but I have the Canon 70-300 IS. The price was right and it is one of my favorite lenses. It has really nice reach on the crop body and it has produced great images. I really think the IS is almost a must at the 300mm end unless you use a tripod.
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    DG means it will fit on any SLR, film or digital crop. APO is Apochromatic, which corrects for chromatic aberrations (think it was). macro, in this sense, just means closer-focusing, and not 1:1 magnification. f/4-5.6 means at 70mm the widest f-stop is f/4, and at 300mm the widest is f/5.6.

    the f/stops are exactly the same. however, it has USM (ultrasonic motor), which means it's silent, and in this lens it is also faster. it also has IS (image stabilization), which will give you an extra couple stops of hand-holding under the 1/(focal length * 1.6) rule.

    the Sigma equivalents to the above are HSM (hypersonic motor) and OS (optical stabilization).

    DO is diffractive optics, which was Canon's attempt to combine high-quality glass and build into a smaller package. they failed for the 70-300, and did ok with the 400 DO.

    out of those, get the 70-300 IS, though i'd still suggest the 55-250 over that
  6. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    I say this to everyone considering a lens of this focal length, and I know you've already asked for opinions, but: skip all of these and save your pennies until you can afford a 70-200 f/4L. It really is that much better than the rest of these lenses. Plus, it's a stop faster than any of the lenses you mention at the long end, which is where you need the aperture size anyway.

    It sounds snobby, but once you've seen how good L glass is, you'll never want anything else. And despite its relatively low price, the 70-200 f/4L is one of the best in the L series (its only downside is the slow max aperture, but optically it's wonderful).

    Of the lenses you mentioned, I'd go with the Sigma. It seems like the best lens for the money; the Canon DO lens makes nice pictures, but not as nice as the f/4L, and its expensive. But I'd really think hard about the 70-200, if I were you.
  7. jdesign macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2008
    The three of lenses are about the same.
    • the sigma one would provide more speed but don't have the IS ( image stabilizer )
    • the canon although less speed it compensate the speed with image stabilizer, meaning on slower speed it stabilize the shake movement.

    although i think the lens you've chosen is only useful outdoor. Probably look for sigma 24-70mm f2.8 or if you got bucks buy the canon 24-70mm f2.8

    The reason i'm saying this your zoom lens would be useless indoor no way it will generate good quality of pics with slow speed with focal length above 70mm . :)
  8. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    I agree with another poster in that a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM (no IS) would be the way to go for now. It's quite a nice lens, and at least takes you at f/4 all the way to the end. It's fast, sharp, has L glass, and not too expensive considering how good it is. It doesn't have IS, but it costs around $600.00. However, like the lenses you have mentioned above, the 70-200 L is not very good for low-light shooting.

    Take a look at the f/4 with IS, and the f/4 USM:

    I have a Sigma 70-300 (the same one you mentioned above). It does fine, but IQ of the EF 70-200 if far superior. I have the Sigma somewhere around the house, but I have decided that instead of wasting several hundred bucks on cheap lenses, I can just take my time and buy better glass.
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You listed three lenses that differ only in small details. Do you really need a 300mm f/5.6 lens? Really? Why? What are you going to shoot with it? Can you make a written list? I ask this because if you can't list many subjects that an f/5.6 300mm lens is good for then you don't need it and the money would be better spent on a better quality lens of more reasonable length.

    For most of the subjects that people shoot even 200mm is rather a bit long.

    Oh, and about the difference between f/4 and f/4.5, that answer is "very little, less then a third of a stop.

    If budget is an issue look at used lenses. You might be able to get used a pro-quality lens for not much more than one of the cheap consumer level f/5.6 zooms. Lenses un-like SLR bodies last "forever" so it's worth putting some money into it if you are going to use it for 20 years
  10. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    Another vote for a 70-200. The pictures you can get really do look that much better through canon's 70-200's. For the occasions where you need the extra reach, you can crop the picture. Most of the time I suspect you won't miss the 200-300 mm range.

    btw, the lenses with variable f-stop (all the ones in your list) generally reach their upper limit quite quickly (I think my 17-85 f4-5.6 is at 5.6 max by the time I get to 40mm or so, I only have f4 from 17-25 or so. That means that I basically have an f 5.6 lens for any shot where I touch the zoom). the 70-200 will buy you the extra light from probably something like 100mm to 200mm (could be wrong here, just guessing where those lenses start to lose light) for almost anything I shoot, light is everything and I am always pushing to get more.

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