looking for a zoom lens for my canon t2i (mostly for car racing)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Diddiyo, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Diddiyo macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2006
    central jersey
    i'm getting kind of tired of the 18-55mm kit lens of my canon t2i. i've been to a couple of grand-am and ALMS races, and while the shots itself aren't bad with the kit lens, most of the time i just can't get close enough to the action to get a close-up shot during the race. so i'm looking for an upgrade. a good all-around lens so i don't have to swap lenses all the time. i was hoping to find something good for say $500 - $700 if possible. i usually take panning shots free-handed. obviously a 2.8 f/stop would be great but it gets very pricey in that range...

    here are three lenses i have come up with so far.

    Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens - $495

    Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens - $674

    Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM II Macro Zoom Lens - almost $800...

    anybody input is appreciated. thanks in advance.
  2. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    None of these seems to be a bad choice. A few years back I recommended the following for a friend who is heavily in to cars.

    Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro

    He has been very happy with it. This is probably a little less quality than you are thinking of. I mention it to confirm your choice of focal length. I have the same lens. It is quite good at around f/8. It gets soft towards 300mm. It doesn't have image stabilization.
  3. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    Why not have a look at the EF-S 55-250 IS lens, whilst it's a little slow at the long end (same as the 70-300 though!) optically it's not a bad lens.
  4. dcains macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2007
    No question - the 70-200/4L will have the quickest and most accurate AF. Also the best image quality.
  5. mackmgg macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2007
    The 70-200mm f/4L has the best image quality. Plus, it's the fastest at the long end. Another great thing is that the f/4L only gets marginally sharper as you stop down, because the wide open performance is so great. With the other lenses, you'll need to be at at least f/6 or f/8 before getting the highest quality shots.
  6. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Consider buying a good sturdy tripod, the cheap Bogen/Manfrotto gimbal head and renting a 300/2.8 or hand-hold a rented 70-200 f/2.8. Spend a day or so practicing panning at a slow enough shutter speed to show wheel movement.

  7. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    I agree with compuwar that a good tripod would be helpful if not critical in the type of panning shots you are looking to use it for. I have the 70-300L f4-5.6 IS USM which is out of the price range you are looking for but which has a IS2 mode made just for panning. However, with a stable tripod and head made for panning you would not need that particular feature. so of the lenses you listed the 70-200 (coupled with the crop facto of the t2i) should do you well. I would go with the L lens over any other. If you find you need to reach for more closer action then investing in an extender/teleconvertor may may be something to think about.
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    I'd go for the 70-200 f/4. It's served me well. This was taken with mine on my old 400D.


    It's got enough reach for most tracks, is very sharp and fast enough for day-time use whilst being light enough to easily hand hold.
  9. Diddiyo thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2006
    central jersey
    thanks for all your help everybody!

    i found a gently used 70-200mm f/4L on craigslist and picked it up just now. i'm going on a short trip this weekend (detroit + cedar point) so we'll see how it goes. :)
  10. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    We still race cars here in Detroit??

    Post your picts and have a good road trip.

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