New Telephoto Lens for XTi

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by disdat, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. disdat macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #1
    Hello all,

    I am wanting a new telephoto lens for my XTi. I am looking to take more nature shots outdoors - birds, bird feeder, berries, flowers, bees, etc, and if indoors, it will probably be on a tripod if needed.

    I don't print much as of yet, mostly web stuff, and I like to crop down my shots to get closer.

    Right now, I have:
    Canon Nifty Fifty f/1.8
    Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro
    Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8

    So after weighing my options, I am leaning toward the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 II USM - About $660 at B&H. it is fast, fairly light weight, and the reviews are great. Plus I can add a tele-converter later for closer shots. The negatives are that it isn't IS, but the lens is so fast, I hopefully can keep it on a higher shutter speed.

    And my other option is to save a ton of cash and get the new Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS - Cheap at $300. It has okay reviews, and does have IS, which should help with the slowness of the lens, but I am afraid I will be disappointed with the quality of the shots. But with the money I save, I could also consider a nice wide angle lens (sigma 10-20mm).

    And then last but not least, the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - $550. It has IS, is cheaper than the 200mm prime, but it's approximately the same size as the prime. This lens also has good reviews. This lens was the front runner for months, but then I really looked closer at the 200mm prime.

    I am really not considering the Canon 70-200mm f/4 USM - I don't see any features that top the 200mm prime. It is larger and doesn't have IS anyway.

    Okay, so now that I have written my long over-detailed post, does anyone have any advise?
    Thanks!!
     
  2. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #2
    The only lens on that list I could comment on is the 70-200 f/4 L but as you are not considering it I won't mention I was stunned how good the lens is, how crisp the images are, how fast it is at focusing and how easy it is to carry around. The fact it doesn't have IS has not been an issue for me.

    Oh and as for reviews, not sure if you have looked but The Digital Picture is a great site for reviews of Canon kit.
     
  3. disdat thread starter macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #3
    Thank you Scott. Your post helped.

    If you didn't miss IS on your lens, then perhaps it would be fine for me on the prime @200mm

    And thanks for the remind about that Canon web site. I have visited in the past, but I don't believe I read these articles. It helped!!!
     
  4. zdobson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #4
    I would say get the 200mm f/2.8. I highly doubt that IS is of much use when shooting birds. The IS only helps prevent hand-shake, so you'll still need to shoot a fast shutter. You'd get much better photos shooting at 1/250 f/2.8 than at 1/60 f/5.6.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    If you are working off a tripod why would you care about IS. You would likely have IS turned off.

    The f/2.8 lens will allow you to shoot with a shutter speed 1/2 wha you'd use with the f/4 lens. If freezing motion is important as I suspect it would be with birds. Also you might like the smaller DOF you get a f/2.8.

    Another option would be to look at a used lens. What does a used Canon 70-200 f/2.8 Sell for? With Nikon they go for as low as $400.
     
  6. disdat thread starter macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #6
    I wouldn't be using the tripod that often with outdoor shots, probably only with indoor shots.

    Hmm, I don't know about used. I think I would rather stick with new, but I have seen a few used on B&H's site.

    Thanks for the advise everyone!
     
  7. davem7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #7
    Of your choices, I would only consider the 200L and the 70-200L. The other two are 'okay' but making an investment in better glass now will save you selling stuff later on to upgrade :) I have the 200L and if you can do without the IS then it's a great little lens. Optically very sharp and (of course) fast at f/2.8.

    One thing you might want to bear in mind is that 200mm probably isn't enough to get in there with the birds and you'll probably find yourself wanting some more reach. I have the 100-400 and half the time that isn't enough. So you might also want to invest in a teleconverter.

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #8
    Don't get either of the two cheap zooms (70-300 and 55-200), they're not worth the money IMO. I also think the most interesting choices are missing from your list: Tokina's 2.8/50-135 and Sigma's 2.8/50-150. They have a much more appealing viewing angle range on crop sensors, they have the right aperture, 2.8, and they're lighter than big 2.8/70-200 zooms. Other than that, if you insist on Canon, I'd go for the much acclaimed 4/70-200 zoom which you kinda ruled out, but you should reconsider.
     
  9. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #9
    How has the Sigma 50-150 rated anyway? It has a much more appealing length on a crop sensor since I'll be using a telephoto for portraits.
     
  10. disdat thread starter macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #10
    Yes, it does help, thank you. I am definitely considering the tele-converter, but for now the 200mm will give me double what I already have, and I think it will make a big difference in my "bird feeder" shots.

    I already have the 100mm lens, so 135mm wouldn't give me much extra.

    I think I have ruled out the 4/70-200 because it isn't as fast as the 200 prime, and I really think I would be using at 200mm for most situations anyway.

    The teleconverter on the 200 will work nicely, and give me up to 400mm if I choose to add it later.

    Thank you everyone, I appreciate your responses! It's been very helpful!
     
  11. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #11
    Have a look here. Overall, it's about on par with the Tokina, depending on where you put your preference (built quality, low CA, resolution, etc.). Overall, both are a good buy. Plus, there really is no alternative to them, I wish both, Canon and Nikon would understand that they have a glaring omission in their respective lens lineups.
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #12
    Then the choice is clear anyway, isn't it? By the way, 2x teleconverters usually degrade image quality considerably.

    We're all just mentioning the 4/70-200 because its image quality is a lot, lot better than that of the two consumer lenses you have listed. And the advantage it has is, well, that it's a zoom.

    What do you plan to shoot anyway (other than birds)? If you want to do any portraits, that prime is going to be useless.
     
  13. disdat thread starter macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #13
    No, not many portraits. I have the 50mm for that.

    I might consider taking more candid portraits, but the more focal length the better for that I suppose.

    I am still thinking, and I might sound terribly indecisive now, but I am actually now possibly considering other options like the 300 prime or the 100-400, but I am afraid of the size and weight.

    The 200mm seemed to be a manageable size for me.

    I guess I am not ready to make any concrete decisions, but all of your posts have helped.

    I do this all the time, so don't mind me. I analyze until I can't think straight, and then I finally make a decision. I guess it's the Libra in me.
     
  14. IC3D macrumors regular

    IC3D

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Location:
    Fairfield County, CT
    #14
    I still need a telephoto lens. Maybe when I see some shots of yours I'll buy the same. Do update! :)
     
  15. disdat thread starter macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #15
    I will be happy to post again when I finally decide!
     
  16. disdat thread starter macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #16
    Well after some extra thought, I decided to break the bank and consider the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS and the 300mm f/4L IS.

    I stopped in at a local camera store to check them out, and OMG, I almost fainted when I saw the 100-400 come out of the box (in the included padded case) . I was instantly intimidated!

    But once I held it, it didn't seem that bad, until a few minutes later when my wrist/arm started to slightly ache. I am a wimp.

    I did like the lens in general, and the reviews have been very good. I think I could get used to the weight (maybe I should start using weights to bulk up! :eek: )

    They also had a used 300mm prime, and I liked that too. Don't know if I want to buy used though.

    I know some of you have no problems with "used", but I am still such a newbie, I don't know if I would be able to tell a good from a bad one, and I don't want to end up with a lemon.

    Anyway, I just wanted to post an update on where I am now. I am still reading lots of reviews online, and if anyone wants to chime in, that would be great.

    who knows by next week, I will want another lens. I am soooo indecisive!

    Thanks!
     
  17. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #17

    Some Canon lenses have dual-mode IS....

    Mode 1 - Effective in horizontal AND vertical axis ... used for reducing camera shake on still items in low light situations where flash is not an option.

    Mode 2 - Effective for reducing camera shake when panning and tracking of moving objects. Sport, vehicle racing, and the like.


    I do believe there may be some differences on how Mode 2 functions with certain lens/camera combinations.

    I use Mode 2 on a 70-300 lens when photographing Remote Controlled Aircraft in flight. Of course the setup can vary from handheld panning to panning on a tripod.

    I am not playing with a new lens and experimenting with it on a Canon 30D and 5D. It is the 70-200 f2.8L IS lens. So far the lens has performed flawlessly.
     
  18. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #18
    The 300mm f/4 IS is amazing, as is the 200mm f/2.8 -- can't go wrong with either one.

    Some of the long zooms have issues at the wide and long ends with quality. Primes are almost always tack sharp all the way through.
     
  19. disdat thread starter macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #19
    Yay! I ordered my lens! It will be here tomorrow!

    After reading tons of reviews & comments and looking at a lot of photos, I FINALLY made a decision. (drum roll)

    Don't laugh, but I decided on the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS.

    I decided that although it won't be the "best" for long nature shots, it will do fine for my bird feeder, plus give me a lot of other options. And I can always add the 1.4 extender to give me more range.

    The lens offers new optics and the newer IS, and everyone seems to love this lens. The photos I have seen have been stunning.

    I was very close to getting the 300mm prime, but I feel this one is lighter and smaller, and I can always upgrade later if I find the range is just not acceptable, plus as I said the extender will help some.

    so that is my story!! Thanks to everyone who helped me. You all have been a great help in my decision!

    I will post some photos soon!
     
  20. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #20
    When you say 70-200 f/4 IS, is it the L version?

    I bought the 70-200 f/4 L (without IS) and I'm so pleased with it.


    Enjoy your new lens...
     
  21. disdat thread starter macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #21
    Oh yeah, it is the L. My first L.

    (I edited my post to reflect the red L.)
     
  22. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #22
    Congratulations on your first L lens. Sure you'll find it worth every penny.
     

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