Lens for wildlife photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by pazzy, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. pazzy

    pazzy TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking for a lens and i have found these two (for example)
    it is a 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM CAnon lens

    its priced at sterling 380 on that site , there is another 70-300

    70-300mm F4.5-5.6 DO IS

    at 819 Sterling ??

    Im presuming its the DO IS thats better ? what is the difference between IS USM & DO IS ?
     
  2. KhronoS

    KhronoS TPF Noob!

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    Here are a few explanations of the terms:
    DO — stands for Diffractive Optic and is used on Canon lenses which utilize a unique diffraction grating to control chromatic aberration and reduce lens size and weight.
    IS — indicates that the lens utilizes Image Stabilization, which reduces vibration as much as 3 stops, allowing hand holding of long lenses at much lower shutter speeds than would otherwise be possible.
    USM — stands for Ultrasonic Motor, a technology that uses sound waves to position the lens elements when focusing. This reduces size, weight and power consumption of the autofocus mechanism as well as increasing speed and allowing for manual override.

    If i were to choose i would choose the IS USM firstly because of the price, although, i guess that DO attenuates the chromatic aberrations which are usually met at 300mm.

    Don`t count on my opinion cause i am no expert.
     
  3. pazzy

    pazzy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!!!

    Well expert compared to me !!

    :lol:
     
  4. peterbj7

    peterbj7 TPF Noob!

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    Another lens you can consider is the 100-400L IS. I use it and am getting very good results with it. Don't know about the UK cost, but I bought mine mail-order from New York.

    I use a full frame Canon and am restricted on the lenses I can use. If you're not using full frame aren't there smaller/cheaper lenses you can use?

    If you don't need a zoom capability you should also consider getting a reflex (mirror) lens. Much lighter and probably cheaper. Years ago I bought a 500mm Sigma (I think it was) with Canon FD mount, and when I get back to England where that and all the rest of my pre-digital gear is I must see if it's possible to adapt it to use with my digital Canon. I won't get autofocussing of course, but at those focal lengths I always manually focussed anyway. The lens is fixed at f8, so if I set the camera to that I should get good auto exposure.

    It's a great shame that the focussing grid that was fitted to my old film Canon has been dropped from my new digital one. I suppose they expect people to opt for autofocussing, but there are times when I want to focus manually and without that split grid it's much harder.
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    What is a stop of vibration?
     
  6. Coldow91

    Coldow91 TPF Noob!

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    that is unnecessary, you obviously know what he means


    from my understanding the DO IS is the better lens but is not always worth the money
     
  7. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Don't be so quick to judge. I didn't have a clue what he meant. That's why I asked.
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I personally didn't like the results (image quality) I was seeing out of the DO lenses from Canon. It isn't THAT much smaller/compact that its cousins on the canon lineup. It isn't up to par with "L" lenses. Its not the only one with IS in similar config. It isn't weatherproofed.

    I just do not see a point in the 70-300mm DO IS.. I can't figure out what market or group of photogs Canon is intending to market this lens. It sits among other Canon zooms that are more purposeful:

    70-200mm f2.8L - MUCH BETTER image quality. fast with no IS at about the same cost (indoor shooter, wedding photog)
    70-200mm f4L - better image quality, 1/2 the cost, handholdable, shorter focal range (on the go, backpacker)
    70-200mm f4L IS - Same as above with IS at the same cost (on the go, backpacker who wants IS)
    70-300mm f4-5.6 IS - Bang for the buck, less than 1/2 the cost. (compact performer on a budget)
    100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS - LONG focal range. Better IQ. Slightly more cost (Wildlife, outdoors shooter)

    Honestly... I would rather go with the 100-400 at slightly more money or go with your budget and get the 70-300mm IS (non-DO)
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Basically it is canon's way of describing the capabilities of their IS technology in a way that the general public can understand/relate.

    If I can handhold 100mm focal length to a slowest shutter of 1/125 with IS OFF and obtain reasonable sharpness, a 2-stop IS lens will allow me to handhold the same 100mm focal length to a slow shutter setting of 1/30 (2 stops slower) with IS ON. Newer Canon IS lenses have "3-stop" image stabilization. Of course this is all subject to other variables including how steady the photographer can hold the lens/camera.
     
  10. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    I was not a big fan of the 70-300. i found it too slow aperature wise and soft at 300mm. Having to stop it down to f/8 or so to get sharper images, really slowed it down too much to hand-hold, even with IS. It was designed as a carry-all lens so you do not have to tote a tripod around, so it fails in that respect. Depending on your image quality demands (mine are quite high) I prefer the 70-200 f/4 L or F/2.8 L. Both are superior lenses in construction and IQ. With the f/2.8 you can add a 1.4x TC to make it a 280mm f/4 if you need more range. Dunno if the 100-400 is in your budget, but it is another lens worth mentioning. I like the 300 f/4 L IS also. A long prime that you can hand-hold and it produces incredibly sharp photos. For wildlife, I prefer something f/4 or faster due to the available light you have to work with.
     
  11. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nikon also uses "stops of vibrations" in their advertising. Their better lenses are rated as 4 stops, and the cheap ones are rated as three.

    In real practice, I have found it ranging from 4 stops on the 18-200 to 2 stops on the 55-200, and everywhere in between.

    And yes, Max, it is a darned goofy way of phrasing what VR/IS does.
     
  12. pazzy

    pazzy TPF Noob!

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    but is it not possible to shoot with the canon 70-300 IS USM at f4 ?

    hmm now after reading that im not so sure about getting it, can anyone post pics taken with it at 300 and 70 ...
    ?
     

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