Need some telephoto lens help

ipacmm

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2003
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Cincinnati, OH
I am going to be traveling a lot this summer and I am looking for a good telephoto lens, I have narrowed it down to these two:

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

vs.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

I like the 70-300 for the size but I know the 70-200 will be better...so which one do you think I should get?
 

kwajo.com

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
895
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Bay of Fundy
I know speed isn't everything, but I'd go for the f/2.8 lens. better to have a nicer photo than one that is more magnified, I mean you can always crop :)
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,613
429
Redondo Beach, California
ipacmm said:
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
You must be the same guy I met down at the Chevy dealer. He was trying to decide if he should get the "slightly used" Geo Metro or the new Corvett.

Seriouly, f/5.6 is "darn slow" You will be limited to subjects that don't move fast and are lit by sunlight. The f/2.8 lens would be suitable for indoor sports photography.

If this will be your fist lens after the kit lens think about getting a wide lens before a telephoto. It will see more use. Pictures taken up close with a wide lens always have more impact. they are also lighter for travel. a 10-20mm zoom would be really nice to have.
 

sjl

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2004
441
0
Melbourne, Australia
ipacmm said:
I am going to be traveling a lot this summer and I am looking for a good telephoto lens, I have narrowed it down to these two:

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

vs.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

I like the 70-300 for the size but I know the 70-200 will be better...so which one do you think I should get?
If it were my money, I'd go the 70-200 in a heartbeat. The optics are superb. Whack it on a 1.6 crop body, and you have a FOV equivalent to 320mm at the long end; if you need more, you can always crop the shot.

Against that, if you're going to be doing a lot of hiking, the 70-200 may be too heavy for you. You're the only one that can make that particular call. Without more information, though, I'd say that there is no decision to be made - the 70-200 wins hands down.
 

danm

macrumors member
Feb 8, 2005
43
0
Clarkston, WA
You can also throw a 1.4x on the 70-200 IS with little image degredation and have a 98-280 f/4 IS and if you figure the body crop of 1.6X you're at 157-448 :)
 

ipacmm

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2003
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Cincinnati, OH
sjl said:
Against that, if you're going to be doing a lot of hiking, the 70-200 may be too heavy for you. You're the only one that can make that particular call. Without more information, though, I'd say that there is no decision to be made - the 70-200 wins hands down.
I was all for the 70-200 but the only thing that is holding me back is the size and weight, I am going to be traveling around the world the summer and I am going to be carrying everything with me, now I don't know if I would keep the 70-200 lens with me on each photo shoot but I will bring it with me on the different trips..so I just don't know if the extra weight and length over the 70-300 is going to be really worth it for me…but I do want to buy a good telephoto lens that will last so I am willing to spend the money but I just want it to be realistic for travel.
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
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Well, the 70-300mm isn't exactly a featherweight.

I started off with the 70-300mm IS and then sold it for the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. AMAZING difference.

You can't go back around the world to retake shots easily, get the good glass -- it is SO worth it!

(I also use the 1.4x extender to get to 280mm - works like a dream)
 

ipacmm

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2003
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Cincinnati, OH
carletonmusic said:
(I also use the 1.4x extender to get to 280mm - works like a dream)
Did that end up working out good for you? I remember when you first got it you weren't sure if you should keep it.




Thanks everyone for your input, I think I am going to pick up the 70-200 now and hopefully it won't be that big/heavy for the trip.
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
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with Hamburglar.
ipacmm said:
Did that end up working out good for you? I remember when you first got it you weren't sure if you should keep it.
I returned it. Then bought it again a week later. :p I was worried about optical quality. No worries anymore!!
 

-hh

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2001
2,528
323
NJ Highlands, Earth
ipacmm said:
I am going to be traveling a lot this summer and I am looking for a good telephoto lens, I have narrowed it down to these two:

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

vs.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

I like the 70-300 for the size but I know the 70-200 will be better...so which one do you think I should get?

I think its going to come down to your "travel constraint" issues. I think that from an optical perspective, the 70-200 f/2.8 (with 1.4x when necessary) will beat the 70-300 DO IS (...it definitely stomps my 75-300 IS predecessor...) but there is a pretty hefty weight difference between the two.


Two years ago, I carried my 75-300 IS and a WA lens and body on a 20+ mile hike on the lowlands Inca Trail to Macchu Piccu ... that was a pretty reasonable upper limit. OTOH, when it comes to urban cities, I generally like to lighten up to just a point-n-shoot in a fanny pack.

I'll be packing soon for a trip to Tanzania, and we have a 33lb weight limit. Nevertheless, my 70-200 2.8 IS w/1.4x will be going, even if I'll only be able to pack a thong for clothing. Everything's trade-offs. FWIW, I did think long & hard about the 100-400 IS lens for this trip, but decided to trade some focal length for low light capability.


-hh
 

ipacmm

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2003
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Cincinnati, OH
I think I am going to pick up the 70-200...one quick questions for everyone that has the 70-200, what type of filter are you using?
 

ipacmm

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2003
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Cincinnati, OH
carletonmusic said:
Just a clear protective filter.
Would you spend the money for the polarizer glass filter or would the haze UV-1 glass filter work fine? I just want to get everything for this lens at one time before I go and find out I forgot something...
 

efoto

macrumors 68030
Nov 16, 2004
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Cloud 9 (-6)
jared_kipe said:
Why the DO? Nobody but canon likes the DO. What about the 70-300mm IS non DO? Thats a good lens and much cheaper than the 70-200mm IS.

If you can survive without IS, the Sigma 100-300mm f4 is practically a "perfect" zoom lens.
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/sigma_100300_4/index.htm
While that 100-300 f/4 is potentially a "perfect" zoom lens, you are already dropping a stop. While he does grab extra reach up to 300 (over 200) if you put a TC on that you are looking at 5.6 (I believe) whereas if you start at 2.8 you can add a 1.4TC and have a usable f/4 knowing you have a very usable, albeit shorter, f/2.8 underneath ;)

Sigma also makes a 120-300 f/2.8, if we start talking about non-IS alternatives ;). Price is higher than the 70-200 f/2.8L, but you drop 50 short and gain 100 long....if you want that.

Buddy in the photo studio downstairs has this as well as the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 and loves them both.
 

jared_kipe

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2003
2,967
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Seattle
efoto said:
Sigma also makes a 120-300 f/2.8, if we start talking about non-IS alternatives ;). Price is higher than the 70-200 f/2.8L, but you drop 50 short and gain 100 long....if you want that.

Buddy in the photo studio downstairs has this as well as the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 and loves them both.
But the 120-300mm f2.8 isn't as good of a lens as the 100-300mm f4, plus the f4 is way cheaper and smaller. The 120-300mm looks just good on paper, so maybe the ONLY comprehensive review I've seen for it got a bum copy.
 

ipacmm

macrumors 65816
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Jun 17, 2003
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I just started doing some research on the Sigma lenses...anyone know if this is a good one?

Sigma APO 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6 EX DG OS

I would like IS because it won't always be on a tripod...but I really do like the prices on these Sigma lenses.
 

jared_kipe

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2003
2,967
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Seattle
ipacmm said:
I just started doing some research on the Sigma lenses...anyone know if this is a good one?

Sigma APO 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6 EX DG OS

I would like IS because it won't always be on a tripod...but I really do like the prices on these Sigma lenses.
Its an ok lens, its very similar to the Canon 100-400mmL.
The site I linked to earlier has reviews of both. I would call both mediocre but the Sigma is better especially in the long end.

Something weird about it, the Sigma one has a conventional motor AF instead of HSM, but it still has full time manual focus. Very weird.
 

efoto

macrumors 68030
Nov 16, 2004
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jared_kipe said:
But the 120-300mm f2.8 isn't as good of a lens as the 100-300mm f4, plus the f4 is way cheaper and smaller. The 120-300mm looks just good on paper, so maybe the ONLY comprehensive review I've seen for it got a bum copy.
I admittedly have ZERO research into the lens, I'm simply stating it off of what my friend has said....he loves it. I know the shorter Sigma's have a rep for a bit of shoddy QC needing a few copies (potentially) to find a good one....the big boys may be like that too, I'm not sure.

I guess it's not unlike Canon's 70-200 f/4 being hailed as "better" than the 70-200 f/2.8 in a lot of tests....although if you stop the f/2.8 down a notch I hear they are pretty similar.
 

jared_kipe

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2003
2,967
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Seattle
efoto said:
I admittedly have ZERO research into the lens, I'm simply stating it off of what my friend has said....he loves it. I know the shorter Sigma's have a rep for a bit of shoddy QC needing a few copies (potentially) to find a good one....the big boys may be like that too, I'm not sure.

I guess it's not unlike Canon's 70-200 f/4 being hailed as "better" than the 70-200 f/2.8 in a lot of tests....although if you stop the f/2.8 down a notch I hear they are pretty similar.
Side by side the 100-300 is sharper than the 120-300 at f4 but not by a whole lot. But honestly a lens over $2000, its like splitting hairs, but I'd buy the 100-300, save $1200 and buy ... like a car with the rest. (kidding)
 

Menkar

macrumors newbie
Feb 19, 2003
9
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San Jose, CA
70-200

I have the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM and wouldn't trade it despite its heavy weight. I combine it with a Canon EF 2X extender with great results. Filters: UV (always on) and Canon's pol-c. If you are looking for slightly more tele, why not go for Canon's 100-400? Sigma makes good lenses so if you don't want/need to go Canon, this may be a good alternative.
A personal note on f2.8: this is very nice to have but the next-to-no depth-of-field may give you unpleasant surprises when you look at a picture at full size vs. in/on camera. Focussing properly is important.;)