Looking at a Telephoto Lens

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by xjrrrdx, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. xjrrrdx

    xjrrrdx TPF Noob!

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    Right now I have 3 lenses, a Tamron | 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Lens for Can | AF016C700 a
    Sigma | 150mm f/2.8 EX APO Macro EX DG HSM Autofocus | 104101
    and the Canon 50mm f/1.8. I enjoy all 3 but I am wanting a zoom telephoto. The Sigma is fun for distance, and is razor sharp but it is slow focusing and lacks zoom obviously. I am looking for zoom like a 70-200mm, I like the Canon 70-200mm f/4L, and is supposedly 86% lighter than the 70-200mm f/2.8L. Both lack a Macro. Then there is the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 which is less expensive, and has macro.

    My overall goal is to cover a good focal range, and have some fast lenses. If I could get a telephoto with macro that would be perfect, since I love my Sigma. I just don't want to get an over abundance of lenses and then not use them or overlap focal ranges since we all know they can get pricey.

    I am just looking for some advice on good fast zoom.
     
  2. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    DOn't let SIgma's "macro" designation fool you. Sigma's 70-200 is not a true macro lens. It may allow closer focusing then the Canon version, but that is nothing that an extension tube cannot fix. And extension tubes are cheap and do not degrade image quality as they are just an empty coupling.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    True you could use an extension tube to make a lens (in this case a 70-200mm) focus closer, but remember that in doing so you lose infinity focus on that lens and thus your maximum focusing distance can be anything from a few feet down to only a few inches (or even into millimeters).
    There is also some image degradation (since the light is no longer hitting the camera sensor at its optimum position) but in all honesty its going to be pretty neglagable in effect and other factors such as lighting and shooting style will have far more contribution to the overall image quality.

    The 70-200mm f2.8 IS is a heavy lens but honestly its not "that" heavy that its unusable and the IS is a good helping hand when working handheld. I must say whilst the close focusing of the sigma is an attractive feature, I have not had much big call with my 70-200mm for close focusing needs and when I have tubes or switching to the sigma macro have sufficed.
    The added bonus of the f2.8 versions is also that you can use a 1.4teleconverter to get a little more reach with only a tiny bit of image quality loss (you could get a sigma 1.4TC which has pretty much the same image quality as the canon and use it on both your 150mm macro and your 70-200mm lens of choice).

    In the end I decided to "go for the best" and I got the canon version - the added bonus of having a weather sealed lens is also an important feature for me since I tend to be outside most of the time when shooting and a weathersealed setup is my intended aim (just gotta upgrade that 400D......).
    Oh and if you do get a big white lens, make sure you get a welly sock too:
    Snug as a Lens in a Sock on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
     
  4. xjrrrdx

    xjrrrdx TPF Noob!

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    As far as extension tubes, I did a little research and lets see if I got this down correctly.

    True macro is a 1-to-1 magnification of the subject. Extension tubes I found a pack by Kenco (sp) of 12mm, 20mm, and 36mm. Now here is where I was getting a little confused so I read it a second time.

    It seems like a lot of these extension tubes were made more towards a 50mm lens to get a more 1-to-1 magnification. The formula given was size of extension tube / focal length of lens = amount of magnification.

    So for a 70mm-200mm it isn't truly macro, it is just allowing you to get closer to your subject as well as slightly magnify. I think I got it down, I may give that a try. Thanks for the tip on the extension tubes, as well as the loss of focusing to infinity.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yep you got it right - and the Kenko tubes are the best to go for based on price and build quality. Make sure you get the AF tubes since those will retain the electrical contacts with the lens (important for control over the aperture blades when shooting); there are very cheap tubes on the market, which whilst offering the same image quality (distance and air are equal no matter which tubes you use) the lack of contacts means that you have to shoot wide open all the time (canon do have the trick of closing the blades but then you have to shoot with the blades closed all the time which is not easy).

    On a 70-200mm lens, typically the tubes will let you get close up shots and things like flowers, butterflies and dragonflies are typical examples for this type of useage - whilst if you want proper macro; shorter lenses are better or a (idealy) a dedicated macro lens.
     
  6. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Since you already have the 150mm macro lens, do you want something longer such as the 180mm? Or you want something shorter such as around 100mm?

    Otherwise, no need to worry about if the telephoto zoom lens has "Macro" or not. Just my 2 cents.
     
  7. xjrrrdx

    xjrrrdx TPF Noob!

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    I was just looking for a more "all in one" lens if that existed, a zoom to get me further than my 17-50, but keep the close up ability. But it doesn't look like it, I was just trying to stay away from (for me) excessive amounts of lenses.
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think its important to realise that if you want quality and versatility out of a DSLR setup then having lots of different lenses for things is going to end up being what you have. Though of course then you can end up with more gear than you can take with you for every trip. I would say then is the time to add a good bridge camera to your collection - it covers the all in one feature and is light enough to be travel friendly.
    Thus giving you a light versatile setup as well as a heavier and more specialised (and better quality) setup
     

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