Time for a new lens and recommendations appreciated, zoom or wide

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mdhwoods, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. mdhwoods macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #1
    I currently have a Canon 50D and the 28-70 f2.8 l lens. I am an amateur photographer who likes to take nice pictures when out with the family, whether on vacation or at the park. Well I call them nice, but pros might think different. :)

    I am now in the market for a 2nd lens. I have rented the 70-200 f4 L IS when I went on a cruise last year and really enjoyed it. I think I am ok with the slightly slower glass for the decrease in weight. My 28-70 is heavy enough. If price and weight were not an option I might consider the 70-200 f2.8.

    I am also looking at the canon 10-22 f3.5-4.5. Which seems to have some good reviews and appears to be the best choice for a wide angle lens on a cropped body.

    While i understand you guys cannot predict what I will be taking pictures of, I was hoping with your expertise you can advise as to which I would get more use with.

    My kids are 8-11 so taking picture of them doing what 8 and 11 year olds do is important.

    I would hate to buy the wide angle and find myself always using the 28-70 because situations didn't arise often to use the 10-22, or wishing I had the 70-200. Or vice verse.

    I know each photographer is different, but I am hoping there are some other parents or pros on here that can give me a little nudge. Both are expensive investments.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. kyzen macrumors regular

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    Feb 8, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    With kids, I imagine the zoom might be more useful for capturing some great memories of them. A wide angle lens won't be quite as useful at, say, soccer games, school plays, etc.
     
  3. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #3
    I think people who are buying an ultra-wide lens usually have a fairly specific idea of what they want to shoot with it. I agree with the previous poster - go for the telephoto zoom.

    I also think the f/4 glass should be fine. You can look at your existing photos and see how often you shoot below that aperture - I'm guessing it won't be much if at all (If I were a Canon shooter I'd probably have covered the 24-xxx range with f/4 myself, but that's water under the bridge).
     
  4. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #4
    I'm just getting back into SLR's after a long hiatus and here are my thoughts (with the caveat that I don't have a lot of current experience)...

    For me, the ideal lens combo on a crop-body would be... in this order of priority...

    - 17-55 f2.8 IS (much more versatile on a crop body than the 24-70 f2.8)
    - 70-200 f4 L IS (or f2.8 if you have a money tree)
    - 10-22 (for occasional creative wide-angle shooting)

    I actually purchased a 70-300 f4-5.6 IS for my telephoto zoom for now. For the amount I'm using it, it's fine but I will upgrade to one of the L telephoto's eventually.
     
  5. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #5
    It doesn't solve the weight issue, but you might want to look at the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8, the price point is good and the extra stop will let you shoot in half the light of an f/4 lens.

    Paul
     
  6. nws0291 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2006
    #6
    If you go wide angle seriously look at the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8. It's wide, fast, and very sharp.
     
  7. mdhwoods thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #7
    how does it compare to Canons f2.8 l series IS? Quite a difference in price.

    And btw, thanks for all the input so far. My gut said get the zoom but my head kept tossing me back and forth.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    Most reviews have them very close- much closer than the price gap would indicate. Lensrentals.com seems to have the Sigma for $59/week insured, though for your usage I doubt it's really all that necessary to rent first...

    Paul
     
  9. kyzen macrumors regular

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    Feb 8, 2010
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    Colorado
    #9
    Worth pointing out that the Sigma is not stabilized - the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L non-IS is about the same price as the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS, while the Sigma (and the marginally cheaper Tamron) 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses fall somewhere between the Canon 70-200mm f/4L and Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS.

    Don't know how image quality varies across all those lenses though.

    Also, I'm not saying IS is or isn't important; some people around here seem to refuse to buy a lens without it, while others get by just fine.
     
  10. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #10
    get a 70-200. ultra-wides are specialty lenses.

    you should also consider selling/trading your 28-70 for something wider, like a 17-55 or 15-85. as it is now, you have no wide angles at all, and having an APS-C standard zoom may negate the need for something like a 10-22.
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #11
    It is worth mentioning. My philosophy has always been that I'll use a tripod or a monopod if photographer movement is an issue, and I'll always go for a stop of light over stabilization because if my subject's moving at all, halving the shutter speed is going to result in a better picture- for instance, if my choice for a moving subject is 1/60th or 1/125th, I'll always take 1/125th. If I shot lots of static subjects where I couldn't get away with a tripod or monopod, I'd have a different opinion.

    Paul
     
  12. mdhwoods thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #12
    Its funny that you mention that, when i saw the price of the 17-55 the thought crossed my mind about selling my 28-70 2.8 and picking up that lens. The problem is i do not want to regret it. My 28-70 takes such fantastic pictures that i would hate to sacrifice L series quality for a non L series lens. I wish there was a 17-55 L series lens as i would be all over it.

    In my head it seems a step backwards even though i do get more on the wide side.
     
  13. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #13
    now you're just getting hung up on marketing. there is nothing consumer about the 17-55's optics, except maybe its vulnerability to veiling flare. at the same time, it outresolves the 24-70 and has better bokeh and less distortion than the 24-105.

    the 15-85 reputedly (I've never used one) closes the gap even further, with construction closer to L-grade and high-quality optics. the only thing it seems to lack is a constant f-ratio.

    you should try one or both out sometime, instead of writing them off since they aren't labeled as professional.
     
  14. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #14
    Almost any review that I've come across rates the 17-55 as a hidden gem possessing "L" quality without the "L" badge (presumably because Canon reserves that moniker for EF lenses and the 17-55 is an EF-S).
     
  15. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

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    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #15
    This will probably be the case, it's not the type of lens to be walking around with unless you're after something specific as said earlier. If you try to use it generally you'll soon become frustrated when you try to zoom in.

    Also keep in mind that you don't only see more in the frame, objects start appearing father away than they really are as you zoom out, so when using an ultra-wide focal length you need to get closer to things (sometimes very close).
    Having key subjects or other objects of interest suddenly fall to the background can be undesirable in "every day" situations and you may be better off zooming out with your feet with your 28-70mm, depending on what you like to shoot.

    I have a 12-24mm lens that I use for certain landscapes all the time (for that it's perfect :)), but for general purpose I find it too impractical to use most of the time.
     
  16. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

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    Oct 15, 2007
    #16

    The 17-55 is according to almost all reviews around L quality glass. The only differences between it and a "real" L are the casing, the lens hood, the case, and the all-important red ring. That's why its so highly priced as well. What you are getting by getting the 17-55 is both a wider angle to negate the need for a 10-22 for most purposes aside from creative shots and, more importantly IS at a lesser weight. I don't own one (yet) but I've heard that you can basically hand-hold it in a dark room and you can still get good sharpness. It's an awesome lens.
     
  17. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #17
    I have had the 10-22mm before, and now I currently have the Sigma 10-20mm. I actually think the Sigma is sharper than the 10-22mm. I may have gotten lucky on my copy (and price, paid $200!), but it really is a gem of a lens. Also, I really cannot say enough about the 55-250mm lens. I haven't used the 70-200, but my copy of the 55-250 is pretty sharp. For the price, you cannot beat it.

    As far as reach, i even find the 250 too short. I would even try to get an EF 100-300mmL. They are discontinued, but supposed to be great lenses. It is slower at f/5.6, and has a push pull type zoom..
     
  18. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    SLC
    #18
    Also, it is faster than the 10-22mm. I really wish it was a 10-55mm. That 7mm on the wide side really makes a difference..
     
  19. Troglodyte macrumors member

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    Jul 2, 2009
    #19
    I actually have this combo and the 17-55 is the lens I use most. It is simply stunning optically, The build could be better but it's good enough - it would cost even more if it was a proper L.

    The other two lenses I use much less often. The 70-200 is less useful on a crop than it would be on a full frame but I find myself trying to find uses for it as it is simply that good. The 10-22 is the weakest optically although that's only because the other two are incredible. I generally find I use it more than the 70-200 but that's mostly because I do a lot of landscape stuff and I think I see wide opportunities more readily. If I didn't have the 17-22 range covered by the midrange zoom (like the OP) I would definitely use the 10-22 a lot of the time.
     
  20. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

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    SF Bay area
    #20
    I use the Canon 10-22 on a 40D body. I like it a lot. I is useful for outdoor shots but I find I use it as often indoors for family events. Group shots, dinners and such when I want to include lots of people and I can't back up 20 ft and use a longer lens. That said you need lighting and a tripod. (Drives me nuts as my mom likes to have rather dim mood lighting for her gatherings but then she likes me to document the event photographically.)
     
  21. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #21
    You could also have a look at third-party 70-200 mm f/2.8 lenses (Sigma and Tamron). Be aware that with f/2.8, getting the focus right is not always easy as the depth of field is very thin (10s of mm). Going for a faster lens gives you more creative leeway. On dpreview, the Tamron has received praise for its optics.

    On the other hand, the 70-200 mm f/4 (non-IS) is relatively cheap, optically excellent and light compared to its faster counterparts.

    Additionally, I would have a look at 50-135/150 mm f/2.8 lenses by Tokina and Sigma. The focal length range is much better suited to crop sensors. Personally, I have an 80-200 mm f/2.8 Nikkor and I wish I had more reach on the low end. Plus, these lenses are lighter (they weigh about the same as the slower f/4 Canon).

    I would go for one of the 50-135/150 mm lenses, but that's just my preference.
    That's IMO not the best choice: have a look into Tokina's 11-16 mm f/2.8 or the 12-24 mm f/4. I have the latter and the built quality as well as optics are at least on par if not better.
    From my own experience, an ultrawide angle is special: you shouldn't overuse the effect. As a matter of fact, that's why I went for the 12-24 mm lens: on my Nikon, 24 mm is equivalent to 35 mm on full frame which is a wide angle/normal lens.

    For kids, I would probably get a telezoom -- also because that's more my style. You can snipe your children from afar without them noticing that much that you're taking pictures of them.
     
  22. mdhwoods thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #22
    Your absolutely right, we can thank canon for that :). I will take a hard look at the 17-55 as a swap for my 24-70. My local camera shop is currently in some dispute with canon and they have no canon glass, so i will have to see if i can find one to look at. Does b&h buy used glass that is in new shape? It would be nice to deal with one place and maybe even come out ahead a few bucks.

    Regardless of what i do with my 24-70 I will be buying a 70-200 of some sort. The consensus seems to direct me that way.

    You guys are great and I appreciate all the help.

    Mike

    Edit: just looked on b&h's web site and their trade in is insulting at best. $600.00 for a like new 24-70 f2.8 l lens.
     
  23. jeporter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 12, 2009
    #23
    My Take

    I currently have the Canon 10-22 and the Canon 70-200L f4 IS. The 24-105L F4 IS is on the way (bought yesterday). I use the 10-22 extensively for landscapes and interiors and love it. I had rented it for an interior shoot and my wife told me that I needed to get that lens. She liked it so much that she got it for me for Xmas in '08. If you knew my wife you'd realize what a nice lens that is.

    I've had the 70-200 for several years. I shot an outdoor wedding in Yellowstone shortly after getting it and the results were magnificent. Weight was the primary consideration (I travel a lot) over the 2.8 and I've never regretted it.

    The 24-105 will become my primary walk-about lens. I am completely happy with this kit.

    BTW: I also have the 50mm 1.8. The absolute best value for your dollars, takes GREAT shots at all light levels.

    Jp
     
  24. mdhwoods thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #24
    Thanks guys,

    I have decided on either the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 or the canon 70-200 f4 is. I took a look at the Tamaron at my local camera shop today and didn't like it. I was not overly impressed with its focusing speed. Unfortunately they didn't have the sigma nor the canon for me to see. I rented the canon before so I really wanted to check out the Sigma.

    That's what chapter 11 does for you and hence why they have no Canon equipment right now.

    Now to figure out if I would get more use out of an F4 with IS or and f2.8 without.

    Once I can get my hands on looking at that 17-55 I just might sell my 24-70. I totally agree that having a bit more on wide side would be nice and that just might be the way to go. I will deal with that once I take care of my 70-200.

    Mike
     

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