A Lens To Save For

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by TheLogan, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. TheLogan

    TheLogan TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone, I don't have the money right now, but I'm wanting to save up for a new lens, something good. I currently have the Canon EF 18-55, Canon 50 f/1.8 and Tamron 70-300 f/4.0-5.6. I want something with a quicker focusing speed. I'm not really into portraits or anything, and I think the 50 fixed is suitable for that anyways. I like nature shots more than anything. oh, and price range would be about 500ish?

    Thanks for any input you might have :)
    -Logan
     
  2. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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    When you say nature, do you mean wildlife or plant-life? If its wildlife I might suggest a 70-200 f4L. A little bit faster then your current telephoto, but much better build and probably quite a bit faster focusing. I think it can be had for around 400 used, but not positive on that. Or if you want more speed at the long end something like this used Canon | Telephoto EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus | 2529A004AA
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I use a 70-200mm f2.8 IS L lens on a regular basis - and with a 1.4 teleconverter its a fantastic lens for zoos, parks and other such areas where one can get close to the animals to take shots. In the field though its just a bit too short for most wildilfe.
    Better is something like a 300mm prime lens (an f2.8 is the ideal though its price makes it rather difficult to save for for many - an f4 is a great alternative to that). That will give you a 300mm prime lens and (with a 1.4 TC) a 420mm (ish) lens with the teleconverter for when you need abit more range (f2.8 variations will also take a 2* teleconverter very well also to give a 600mm lens with good image quality)

    Sadly price rises will make things tricky - my advice is that 500 ($ £ Yen ???) might be a bit short on funds for many longer options and I would advise saving for longer (if that is an option) for a better lens - a 300mm f4 is a good price aim.
    Also you might consider the superzoom lenses - sigma make several superzooms (150-500mm 50-500mm) and canon make the 100-400mm IS L zoom lens (which tends to come out just above the sigma options in terms of optical quality).
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Keep saving your cash until you know what you want.
     
  5. kinosoo

    kinosoo TPF Noob!

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    save until you got the cash for a 70-200 f2.8 great lens then later on get a teliconverter and sell the 70-300.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am of the camp that believes that it is better to wait and save a little longer to get the best lens possible than settle for second best.
     
  7. TheLogan

    TheLogan TPF Noob!

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    is the canon 70-200 f/4L a macro lens?
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    no - even the sigma is not a macro lens - though it might say macro after the name it is purly a marketing ploy to describe a lens with a close focusing system. Sigma tend to make lenses with shorter minimum focusing distances than canon or nikon (in general) and then add macro to the lens names as well.
    True macro lenses are generally prime lenses (eg sigma 70mm macro, 150mm macro, canon 100mm macro etc...). Also some of the 50mm macro primes are also not true macro lenses without adaptors (eg canon 50mm macro) or are generally of a poorer build quality and thus aimed at the budget market (eg sigma 50mm macro)
     
  9. TheLogan

    TheLogan TPF Noob!

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    but macro lenses, such as the canon 100mm or the sigma 105mm, can be used as regular everyday lenses too, right? If so, would you recommend them?
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Macro lenses (in general) have poor AF - even the top range macro lenses have a poorer AF function. This is because of two things; firstly AF is just not used much in macro work, almost all of it is done in manual focusing since the AF tends to hunt a lot in macro distances - which you really don't want; secondly they have very fine focusing increments so there is a lot of focus distance ot move though. Most have a limiter switch so that you can cut off the closer distances and just have the AF focus for the further off ones - good for more general work.

    You are right that nearly all macro lenses can be used as an ordinary lens = infact many portrate shooters recomend a 100mm macro lens for portrate work. The only macro lens that won't work normally is the canon MPE 65mm macro which is a pure macro lens only.

    I think you have to sit down and work out really what you want out of a lens - macro lenses are generally poorer for general wildlife work as they are just too short - they are great for static subjects (as they don't go anywhere) and also for insects of course - and flowers. For birds and other things though they just lack range. The sigma 150mm is a a popular choice though for many wildilfers as it does offter the longest focal length whilst still being handholdable - so it can be used for a grabshot, but not much more.

    In the end you have to work out what you want in a lens and then work out what your options are
     
  11. TheLogan

    TheLogan TPF Noob!

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    Alright, this is exactly what I'm looking for. I think the macro lens will come later on.
    -Sharp Lens
    -Something not huge (Sigma 150-500)
    -Good for wildlife but not limited to
    -I would like a lens that doesn't require you to flip a switch to manually focus (I think they make that?)
    -Reasonably priced ($500ish)
    I hope thats not too much to ask...? Sorry if I'm wanting some Godly unheard of lens, lol :)
     
  12. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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    Usually most lenses have an autofocus with manual override function, which means it will autofocus first if you hold the shutter button, but after it focuses you can manually adjust it. See the only problem with what you want, is that a wildlife lense needs to have a long focal length, which generally makes the lenses bigger and heavier. I stick by my reccomendation of the 70-200 f4. Its not super fast, but its got a good build, and is more versatile then a long prime. Honestly there aren't any really good wildlife lenses unless you extend your budget quite a bit. I agree with the others that the best choice would be to look for a 70-200 2.8 lens used and add a telecoverter But a 70-200 used would still run around probably double your budget.
     

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