300mm Lens for a broke mofo

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Hooker771, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. Hooker771

    Hooker771 TPF Noob!

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    I have the Canon XS and am going to get a 300 lens for myself soon. If you only had 200-300 dollars or so which lens would you buy? I have found the sigma 28-300 3.5-6.3 in my price range as well as the Canon 75-300 4.5-5.6.

    I guess this is just for an all around lens, I have no specific needs other than wanting more distance. The only lenses I have right now are the kit 18-55 and the 50 prime. I have a tamron 28-80 3.5-5.6 but its a POS. Its way too dark and doesnt focus. Anyway, which lens would you choose or would you choose a different one entirely? Can you ACTUALLY use either for macro, that would be awesome too.
     
  2. brianyi

    brianyi TPF Noob!

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    the canon 75-300 would be the best option for a cheap fix. but let me tell you, it feels cheap and looks cheap. you get what you pay for. but it does the job. I ended up buying the 70-300 f/4-5.6 USM. and i think your you get 4-5.6 on the canon not, 4.5-5.6. i could be wrong.
     
  3. JayCanon

    JayCanon TPF Noob!

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    I have the Canon 75-300mm f4-5.6.

    It's currently the longest zoom I have and I use it quite a bit. For the relatively inexpensive price tag, I think it's a good lens. It's not the sharpest lens out there, but it's adequate. The AF is also a bit slow, even though it does have the Ultrasonic Motor. The optical quality is comparable to your kit 18-55mm lens, so if you're happy with that, you should be happy with the 75-300.

    Since you have the kit lens, I'd suggest you steer clear of the Sigma superzoom. You'd be much better off from a quality standpoint if you use both the kit lens and a separate longer zoom as opposed to one "jack of all trades" lens. Yeah, switching lenses is not as convenient, but we're not using DSLR's for convenience, we use them for control and quality.

    I have the Canon 28-200mm lens. It has a big price tag and less than stellar image quality. It suffers from some distortion, and it's soft on the long end. It does have it's place in my bag - I do use it from time to time. But I get much better results usiing my 18-55 and 55-200 than I do with just the 28-200. My point is that 2 lenses with shorter focal lengths are going outperform one "do it all" lens.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009
  4. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The Canon 55-250 is decent for $200. I used it the most until I got the 100mm Macro. That's my favorite.
     
  5. Hooker771

    Hooker771 TPF Noob!

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    Yo"u have all been "thanked". Ill probably squash both. How much do you think a 100mm would run?
     
  6. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    $500

    Get the 55-250mm, or whatever first.
    You will love it. Pay attention to how you use it to determine your next (higher quality) lens. Start saving for that next lens now, too. That way, by the time you are ready, you can get a good one, instead of a decent one.

    I have the XSi, 50mm (rarely use it), Kit 18-55mm, Kit(quality) 55-250mm, and the 100mm 2.8.
    I'll say I use the 100mm most simply because it take very sharp pictures. I adjusted my shooting style to use it more.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009
  7. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Have you considered checking out older/used lens that doesn't have IS or AF? Make sure it's compatible too.
     
  8. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  9. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just throwing this out there... I'm not a fan of "temporary" lenses. They're investments. I'd save your pennies for the lens you really want.
     
  10. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 TPF Noob!

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    I simply do not understand keeping and using lenses that are not sharp, have distortion, etc. I would throw in a box and forget. Then use only your lenses that are sharp and produce quality. Also, then save your pennies until you can buy quality lenses of the other focal lengths you want.
    With the advances in technology and optics, your last premise is debatable these days.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think JayCanon's point is that whilst there are good and sharp options for every focal length out there, there are also times when image quality is not the paramount requirement of the lens. 18-200mm and 28-200 type lenses are popular even with people who have high quality glass like 70-200mm f2.8 and 24-70mm f2.8 lenses
    Why?
    Because when on holidy with the family or just out for a day with friends its often good to have a single lens and leave it at that - no changing, no holding people up - just a happy snappers lens for the happy snaps - letting you focus on being with friends/family as opposed to being the photographer.
     
  12. JayCanon

    JayCanon TPF Noob!

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    The lenses I mentioned that I have were all bought years ago when I was on a budget and new to DSLR's. The 18-55 was part of the kit for my original Digital Rebel. I bought the 55-200 shortly after. Soon after that, being naive, I thought I could essentially replace both those with the 28-200. I was wrong. But the reason why I still use it is because it's my "I only want to carry one lens and I'm shooting in an environment I've never shot in before and don't know what to expect" lens. If I'm in a situation where I'm not sure if I'm going to need a wide angle or telephoto, but only want to carry one lens and I'm not overly concerned in getting the absolute best possible image quality, I use that lens. With that being the case, no, I don't use it often, but I feel better knowing I'm not selling it for a loss and it wasn't a complete waste of money. Since I already have it, I use it. But it's not a lens I'm going to recommend to anyone.
    For not-so-serious shooting, it's a decent lens, and mated to my XTi it's still 1000x better than any point-and-shoot. But if I could do it all over again, I would have skipped that lens entirely. Surely many people have bought a lens that they either regret buying, or became obsolete though other glass upgrades or setting their standards higher for quality as they evolve.

    I do agree with you 100% about saving pennies and getting a purchase right the first time. It's much better in the long run to hold out for quality glass that you're not going to want to replace than it is to buy a "budget" lens that's only going to see use until a better lens can be purchased. Lenses that fall into that category can often sit unused or are sold for a loss, or delay someone longer from getting the lens they really want.
    Actually, buying the 28-200 was what made me wake up and decide that I wasn't going to waste money on a lower quality lens again.
    But at the same time, realistically, not everyone has - or ever will have - the budget to buy any lens they want.

    Sure, my last comment is debatable. Keep in mind though that the "do it all" lens I was referring to was the Sigma 28-300 specifically mentioned by the OP. I find it hard to believe that lens would be equal or better than two Canon lenses covering the same focal length. You're right to say that lens technology keeps advancing, and maybe one day this will be a non-issue, but it seems to me lenses that have such a massive focal length range come with their share of compromises.

    This is just my opinion, FWIW, if anything....

    EDIT: Excellent point by Overread.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009

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