Lens Decision

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Big10, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Big10

    Big10 TPF Noob!

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    Hello all, I have been lurking here for while now gathering all the knowledge I can about photography. I own a Canon 40D that I have used over the past 7 months. I feel that the kit lens that it came with is really holding me back. So I am looking for a new lens. What my general interest are when it comes to photography is outdoors, wildlife, indoor soccer and aircraft.

    I am thinking about buying the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L with IS lens.

    What would be some of the forum members suggestions when it comes to this lens.

    Also, I have read that the lens is heavy, so what would be a good tri-pod at a decent price to support my lens and camera.
    Thanks for looking.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I am similar in my photographic tastes and have this to say.
    I opted for this lens for wildlife use as I currently do a lot of closer work (zoos, enclosures and such) and so getting insane reach is not a big concern at the moment - but I can use the 1.4 and 2* teleconverters on the 70-200 f2.8 to good effect to boost my range up to 400mm. Now its not the best L at 400mm granted, but it is still good.
    The only other lens I considered was the canon 100-400mm which has a good focal range and is better at at greater apertures (lower f numbers) than the 70-200 with 2*teleconverter, but down to f8 they both give very similar results. I chose the 70-200mm because I intend to go for the canon 300mm f2.8L to cover my longer focal ranges and so did not feel the need to go for the 100-400 and instead opted for a lens that would deliver better optical performance at the lower end of the focal range.
    For you the indoor soccer would benefit very well from the f2.8 - the 100-400mm might not deliver as well in such a situation due to the limited lighting indoors.
    As for wildlife and aircraft the 70-200 I would say is good and if you use the teleconverters you can get a little more out of this lens.
    ps - this is second hand research - I don't have the 70-200 yet - oh so close I am I can feel it! 0 but Lost Prophet (member on this side) uses the 70-200mm and 300mm f2.8 to good effect with wildlife and aircraft shots

    As for a tripod well you could go for a manfrotto 055XPROB which will not only go down to about 10cm off the ground and is also sturdy and strong - though it does have a weight to it. There is a carbon fibre version that is lighter, but costs about double the price
    After that you would need a head for the tripod (the top end ones don't have a head and won't directly connect to a camera) I use the manfrotto 322RC2 head, and I would think that it or a good proper ball head would be best for you - allowing you to track moving targets with ease

    edit - link to a thread which you might find useful
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=121428
     
  3. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    You might want to consider something like the 70-300 IS lens instead for about $500. That'll give you stabilization and additional reach for wildlife, general outdoors, and aircraft. For indoor soccer, you could probably go with the 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS, or a fast prime like the 135mm f/2. Or just get the 70-200 f/2.8 IS and then add a tele-converter. You'll have to lug the thing around all the time though, and the 70-300IS lens may very well be sharper at 300mm than the 70-200 is with a 1.4x teleconverter. There's lots of different ways to accomplish the same thing so there's not really a right or wrong answer.
     
  4. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    For indoor soccer every stop is needed, there is not a lot of light in there. I know, the IS on the 70-300 supposedly gives you more stops, but the L is just amazing quality that will out-do the former in virtually every area...except for 300mm. 40D w/ 70-200 is one of the best sport setups.
     
  5. uplander

    uplander TPF Noob!

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    The Ef 70 -200 f/2.8 IS USM is a great lens and is very sharp does an incredible job in low light situations, It is heavy but not that bad but you might get tired if carrying it all day. I used mine once with a 2X TC and the results were very good but not as good as a 400mm, be it a EF 100-400 L or the super sharp EF 400 f/2.8 L. The manfrotto 055XPROB is a good choice for a tripod and the RC 322 head works well too and is very versatileas shown in the photos below. Thje charm of the EF 70-200 with IS is that is does an outstanding job handheld and the extra weight goes a long way in steadying the camera lens combo

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    70-200 f/2.8L IS will be awesome for indoor soccer.

    "wildlife, aircraft" - 200mm is not long enough for me. I'm assuming you are not talking "zoo" when you say wildlife. Even with the x1.4 tc I can never seem to sneak close enough to birds - probably work better if I threw the 70-200 then take closeup of knocked out bird (it's HEAVY) :)

    A lens I've been watching for "wildlife" is the Sigma 150-500 which goes for less then $1000. It is f/5.6 or something slower so you will have probs using this indoors without a lot of lighting.
     
  7. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :lmao: Yes, 200mm is way to short for wild....wild life :confused:, but I don't rekon you'll be able to use it that second way either, unless of course you are an olympic shotput :D
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    True the 70-200 is a little short for proper wildlife - but you can use a 2*teleconverter to get up to 400mm - granted its not going to beat the quality of a 400mm prime, but restults are not far of those achived with the 100-400mm and it will double up as an indoor lens.
     
  9. Big10

    Big10 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.

    This is going to be a tough decision. Here are a few that I am looking at. My budget is max at $1,500.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/129188-GREY/Canon_2530A004_Telephoto_EF_300mm_f_4_0L.html
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/162616-USA/Canon_2577A002_100_400mm_f_4_5_5_6L_IS_USM.html
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/234444-USA/Canon_7042A002_70_200mm_f_2_8L_IS_USM.html

    So if I get the 200 F2.8, will I get the feeling that I should have gotten one with more zoom.

    What is the converter you are talking about?

    Also, another thing that I like to do is scale modeling. Will I still be about to take good picture of my models with one of these lens? I read somewhere where you can make one of these lens's into a macro? Is this true. By using a tube set.

    Here are some pics of my work. I have horrible lighting for my pics, But I am working on that.
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]


    I'm still way armature when it comes to photography, but I do wish to get better.

    Thanks again.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A teleconverter is a small lens that fits between the camera and the lens proper and increases the focal length of the lens by a factor = either 1.4* or 2*, so with a 70-200mm and a 2*teleconverter you would infact have a 140-400mm lens on the camera. The downside of course is that as there is now more glass between the camera sensor and the subject you get less light in so the number of stops you can go down to decreases. Not only that but you also get a reduction in overall image quality.
    Canon made their teleconverters to work with their L range of lenses and the 1.4 works very well with pretty much the entire range with minimal loss of quality. The 2* is a different beast and works better with some than with others - it does not work that well on the 100-400mm for example but you can get decent results from the 70-200mm - though in the end its down to personal opinion as to how much quality is lost.
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/400v400.shtml
    is a comparision of the two lenses.

    Also I belive that the 70-200 can work well as a pesuado macro lens by using extension tubes. These fit in like the teleconverters, but don't have any glass in them - just air (so you can go with 3rd party cheaper models without worries - canon own brand are very expensive) That should let you get closer up work with the 70--200 but I am unsure of specifics of how close you can get
     
  11. Big10

    Big10 TPF Noob!

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    Well, I at least have the tripod ordered. That was an easy decision. Thanks for the suggestion with the tripod. Looks like a very nice setup.
     
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think uplander should get commissions for selling that tripod and head setup - third person on this site that I know has gone for it after seeing it (including myself)
    ps - bottom right hand corner of photos 1 and 2 a hiding L lens case - its like Where's Wally? - but with Llenses ;):)
     

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