Lens help

Viridian_Vixen

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I am still a bit of a beginner but I am looking into a new lens or too and would love some opinions. I have a canon eos rebel xt and currently only have the 2 lenses that came with the camera.
EF-S 18-55mm
EF-S 75-300mm
I am looking into renting a few to try first before I drop the cash on a new one. Right now I have mostly looked at Borrowlenses.com Anyone used them? Or know of another site you would recommend?
I do mostly racing shots (autocross, track days, and starting some rallycross soon) but am also looking into expanding.
Would love any suggestions for what to start with and what to avoid!

Thanks in advance!
 

Big Mike

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For shooting racing, you'll probably want to use fast shutter speeds, in order to freeze the action.

When you're shooting in really bright light, that is probably not a problem...but of course, you can seldom count the light to be perfect.
So when the light isn't great, you can do two things to get faster shutter speeds....turn up the ISO and/or open up the aperture. The higher the ISO, the more digital noise you get in your images, so the better option is to open up the aperture...but, the problem with that, is that lenses like the ones you have, have a fairly small maximum aperture (F4 to F5.6).

Most sports photographers are likely to use something that has a maximum aperture of F2.8 (twice as big as F4 and four times as big as F5.6)....which if course gives them faster shutter speeds for freezing the action.

But...the catch is that these lenses are often quite expensive. So what is your budget?

My recommendation would be for a 70-200mm F2.8 zoom lens. Canon has a couple models, but the best one, the 70-200mm F2.8 L IS II, is $2500. The version without IS, is much cheaper.
Sigma & Tamron also have similar models for less.
 
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Viridian_Vixen

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Budget I havent really decided yet. The beau is going in with me so I am not as worried. And honestly if I find a lens I love I will save the money and get it. But I'd like to say under $1500, although that can change.

Most of the time I end up on the track for local shots, but at national events or with other regions I tend to stay back a touch.

Although I am also looking for some ideas on some basic lenses to have. I do shoot some portraits on the rare occasion but I would love to more. And I also have a thing for buildings.
 

Ginu

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Pretty much all sports photographers will have a 70-200 2.8 without any hesitation. Also a faster camera is a necessity when it comes to sports, not just the lens; a Rebel XT is near the entry level for Canon. Not saying you will not get good pictures, because some will turn out regardless, but you will be limited by the speed of the camera.

Huge downside for sports photography is the equipment prices.
 
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Viridian_Vixen

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Thanks I've never noticed the camera being slow, but the sports I do are more about car control than speed so that may be it.
Kind of hoping to find a lens that would be good for everything, not just sports if possible. Because even though I do sell a few pictures, with it being an all amateur sport, theres not much money to be made! LOL!
 

Big Mike

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I use my 70-200mm for just about anything. Weddings, portraits, parties, kids, even landscapes. The only time I don't use it, is when I'm indoors and there isn't enough room to stand back far enough.
 
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Viridian_Vixen

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Thanks! The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS is mostly what I am leaning towards renting at least for the national events this year. Would I be totally hurting to get the first one instead of the 2nd one?
 

Big Mike

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The first one is still good (that's the one I have)...but I've heard that the new II version is spectacular....which is especially good for the modern high megapixel cameras. On your 8MP XT, I think the first one will still be really good.
 

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The 70-200 2.8 is great and works well with canon extenders also. Its a very very versatile lens IMO.
 
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Viridian_Vixen

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my only other thought is weight. I will have a tripod, but I will be out there with a camera for around 11 hours. for 2 or 3 days...
I am also looking at the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0. But not sure. I know I can usually get some decent motion shots with my kit lens that I have now. And I do prefer that in some shots. And a few reviews said this one wasnt good for that. So I dunno

On another thought has anyone done a Lens Lotto from borrowlenses? Just debating on it to play around some.
 

Big Mike

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I'm not sure how useful a tripod is for that type of shooting...a monopod would be a more common thing to use. But of course, you could use the tripod like a monopod.

If you are shooting hand held, the F2.8 is a lot bigger and heavier than the F4 version. My arm & wrist can get pretty sore after a long wedding with the 2.8.

With more modern cameras, the F4 is more attractive because you can safely use ISO 1600 or 3200...but with the XT, you may not want to go above 800...so the extra stop of light from F4 to F2.8 is more valuable.
 
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Viridian_Vixen

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yeah I had a monopod but it magically disappeared a few months back :er: so I may get a new one or may hold off. Not sure yet.

On another note: anyone know a good way to cover a mic so you dont have wind noise but can still get car noises? We have my crappy point and shoot that we attach to the car for runs, but have yet to get the noise issue worked out. I dont want to tempt him into a gopro yet because thats what I have planned for a bday present, so I am looking into a temp. fix to keep him happy until July!
 

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