Help with a Cheap Zoom

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by pharmakon, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. pharmakon

    pharmakon TPF Noob!

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    So I am currently saving for the canon 100-400 f4L IS zoom (among other things), but it will probably be a good 5 months or so before I am ready to buy one. I was looking at a couple cheap zooms to hold me over in the mean time. If you have some input/experience with any of these please share.

    Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM

    Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS (no USM)

    Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro

    I know none of these are going to be "great" being that they are all sub- $300 zooms... would it be worth it to go a little higher for some thing like the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG OS? But I kinda feel at that point I am cutting into my "L" savings fund.

    Any other recommendations around the same price point?

    Would you consider IS a necessity with glass this slow?

    Would be using it for nature/animals and possibly sporting events (Ha!)
     
  2. Sep

    Sep TPF Noob!

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    I'll make a comment on the IS. If you're going for telephoto get IS, it will help with your shots as there will always be unavoidable vibrations.
     
  3. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What do you plan on shooting? I can't see you using that too much at night time, and you do live in FL - so my question would be how often are you going to use this in low light situations, where you'll be able to get an actual good shot, that you need the IS.

    Is it nice to have - sure. But if there are cheaper alternatives (there are) without the IS, look at those first.
     
  4. pharmakon

    pharmakon TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to both of you for the replies.
    Ands- Well honestly there isn't much to shoot here after sunset. And I would be using it for wildlife and travel shots. What I was concerned about was whether it would be too dark in the forest on a cloudy morning. I like to go hiking and we usually go up to NC or TN at least once a year. There are places in the nat'l park there that you can see lots of wildlife, but usually just before dawn or dusk.

    You think I could just push the ISO up a little to make the non-IS work decently in that situation?

    Sorry for all the questions I just have so little experience with all of this.
     
  5. bp4life71

    bp4life71 TPF Noob!

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    I have the Sigma 70-300. It actually performs very well. I have used it at pro football games and basketball games. I'll have to post up some pictures so you can see once I get home.

    I bought the Sigma at Adorama for $84.00 used.

    That should hold you over with decent performance.
     
  6. bp4life71

    bp4life71 TPF Noob!

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    Another thing.....the IS is only important if you are zooming far in the distance in low light. I was able to zoom to 300mm on my Sigma from the nose bleed seats at Jacksonville Jags Stadium, to the field on a partly cloudy day with perfect shots.....no IS either.

    So as long as there is decent light, you should be fine. In the forest on cloudy day, you should be absolutely fine, as you wont be zooming too much because of all the trees.

    I say go for the cheap alternative (no IS) and save more money for the lense you REALLY want.

    As far as upping the ISO, I say do it unless your going to be blowing your pictures up really large. If your just going to keep them digital, or print out just 4x6's, upping iso is a moot point.
     
  7. pharmakon

    pharmakon TPF Noob!

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    Thanks bp... I searched for shots from the sigma on flickr and I think it will do what I need it to until i'm ready to move up to pro glass.
     
  8. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Why waste you money on a crap cheap lens ? put it towards the 100-400L
     
  9. Felix0890

    Felix0890 TPF Noob!

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    I also think you should use the money you'd spend on the cheap lens and put it towards the better one. That way you'll get it sooner.
     
  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    IS will not help you in low light if the subject moves you will still get blur
     
  11. pharmakon

    pharmakon TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Felix and gsgary for the comments. I get what you are saying about subject movement and the IS not helping a bit.

    I am going to get something cheap for now because it's not that I can't afford the expensive glass as much as I can't justify the purchase at this point (to myself nor to my spouse) when I just spent over a grand on a camera that I haven't even mastered most of the basic functions on yet.

    I also think I will feel more comfortable purchasing the 100-400 L after i've had a little time with the cheap zoom to be sure it's something I will use enough to justify the big ticket. But on my good glass list I honestly will probably get a nice wide angle (say 10-20) before the 100-400. I do appreciate your opinions though.

    Thanks again!
     

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