Best NON-Stabilized long zoom Atleast 200mm ?????

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by burstintoflame81, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    I wanted to see if anyone could recommend a relatively cheap ( under $500 ) long range zoom that is known to have VERY good optics/sharpness/distortion etc. I was thinking of trying to get a 70-200L f/4 NON-IS. Anything a little cheaper that would be comparible? I just want something sharp at all focal lengths. I was going to get IS, but rarely shoot in dark situations so I figured for wildlife I can just use a tripod or monopod at long distances.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Your best bet really is to go for the 70-200mm f4 L lens as you won't be getting sharper any cheaper than that (esp as you look to be pushing the long end a lot). For wildlife though I tend to find 200mm a bit to short unless you can setup a hide and feeding station (like in a garden) or have very good fieldcraft to get close. I often use my 70-200mm f2.8 with a 1.4TC for a 280mm max range which still has good image quality and I am sure that the 70-200mm f4 would work with this as well. You would end up with an f5.6 lens which is a bit slower than ideal, but still a very workable aperture and some even consider the f4 version of the lens sharper than the f2.8 when wide open.

    I don't think you will get much longer in that price range that will keep its quality and the cheap zooms in that price range that go longer tend to soften a lot once going past the 200mm mark. Sadly if you want 300mm, 400mm or more in good quality for more reach in wildlife its going to cost you a lot more- but a good 70-200mm is a solid base for any nature photographer to have and is a very versatil range to work with.
     
  3. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    Well I was planning on buying a 3x Kenko PRO teleconverter ( not one of the cheap ones ) which should give me a max of 960mm equivelent. I know it will cut down on light, but again, I am mainly worried about sharpness. I will mainly use this for outdoor wildlife in the daytime.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't go for a 3*TC even a good one. I've used my 70-200mm f2.8 with a 2*TC and optically speaking the quality takes a very noticable drop

    little birds photos test - a set on Flickr

    has some 100% crops (click on the view all sizes icon above the image before you judge). It's a fun combo and it works in a pinch when you have nothing else and some decent light/flash and I would expect similar optical performance from the f4 version, but its not highgrade sadly.
    Also with the f4 version your minimum aperture would be f8 - on canon camera bodies you lose AF after the minimum aperture on the lens becomes smaller than f5.6 so on the f4 version you will have no auto focusing at all. You can tape over the pines on the TC to try and cheat the camera into not "seeing" the teleconverter, but you still lose the light which means that the AF you do get is erratic and slower. A 3*TC would strip away (I expect) 3 whole stops of light so thats putting you with an f11 (I think) lens when wide open - that means you need a lot of light - especailly if you want to keep a low ISO and have a shutter speed fast enough for wildlife.
     
  5. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Zoom lenses, even L glass zoom lenses are not really built for use with a TC. With that said, I will say that I and several people I know get acceptable results. I do with my 70-200 f2.8L and my EF 1.4 TC II. The EF 2X TC II works outstanding on my 300 or 400 f2.8L's but on the 70-200 the image quality takes a nose dive.

    Keep in mind that a TC while magnifying the image also magnifies the flaws of it and the lens it is attached to. The more magnification the more the flaws are magnified.

    The other thing to consider with using an f4 lens and a 2X or 3X TC you will loose 2 or 3 stops, which means unless you are using a 1D or 1Ds body you will not have auto focus capabilities.
     
  6. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Don't even waste your money. I've stated in other posts that I've had decent luck with a 1.4TC on a 70-200 f/2.8, but with a 1.7 the quality falls off fast. I can't even imagine what a 3x would look like mounted on an f/4....:confused:
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    If all you want is focal length, I would definitely consider the Canon 200mm f/2.8 single focal length lens to be the better choice than any one zoom lens model. I'm not a Canon expert, but I really think you'd have better optical quality with the single focal length lens, which has basically no compromises in its optics, while all zooms have at least some compromises, since they are,well, zooms.
     
  8. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    :thumbup: +1

    I own the 200 f2.8. It is sharper than my 70-200 f2.8L at 200mm. One of Canon's real sleepers and one of their best buys for outstanding L glass.
     

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