Needing direction with lens option

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Mygixxer, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. Mygixxer

    Mygixxer TPF Noob!

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    I've been making my Canon T2i work for me for some time now and have been looking at either the 80D or a 7D Mark ii. The articulating screen of the 80 would be very beneficial for the things I'd like to do. But I'm now at a crossroads of whether i invest my money into a new camera body or a new lens to accommodate current needs.

    I'm simply a photography enthusiast and only shoot for personal interest and capturing family moments. I dont have a lot of expendable income to throw into photography (Hence why I'm still shooting on my t2i), but I really like having quality things. I'm familiar with my t2i and it produces some good enough shots. Currently using a Canon 18-135mm which has been very versatile for what I need, until recently. My young daughter is now on a traveling softball and I have enjoyed taking photos of the team during games. My son is 6 and really starting to get involved with soccer as well, so the thought of having a longer reach lens seems worthwhile to invest in. I want to get something that will do all I need and not leave me wishing I would have purchased something else.

    I was originally looking at the Canon 70-300mm USM is (First gen), then read up on reviews and realized the first gen was fairly sub par compared to the newer 2nd generation of the 70-300mm with much better quality and better nano zoom. Since I'm doing outdoor sports, the obvious thought is to go with a 70-200mm L series, but I want more reach than that and I dont want invest in an additional cost of an extender. I think the 70-300 USM ii would do me just fine, but for $550 (Or $450'ish used) I feel like I might as well spend an extra $300 on a used 100-400mm USM (1st gen).

    I've done a fair amount of research over the Canon 100-400mm USM is f4.5-5.6 (1st Gen, push pull zoom) and it seems to be mixed reviews down the middle. I REALLY like the idea of having the versatility of such a wide range in length. obviously, f4.5 isn't going to be a FAST lens which all the reviews have agreed, but I will be shooting outside and I assume the occasional dusk golden hour time frame. Part of me feels like I'm allowing myself to read too much into the professional reviews when its being compared to faster canon L series lenses. I mean, its an "L" series lens right!? I would assume it would produce better images than my 18-135mm that I've been using for the last 5 years. A lot of the images that I've been doing now aren't specific to the fast action moments, but rather the candid moments at the plate, in the dugout or outfield type shots.

    In my research I came across the Sigma 100-600mm as well as the tamron 100-600mm. Both good 3rd party options and people seem to be pretty happy with their performance considering its price point. But they dont seem to outperform the 100-400mm in most cases, from what I can understand that is.

    Since I dont have any personal experience with these larger lenses, I would love to get some feedback as to whether I'm on the right track and the 100-400mm will be just fine or if I should look into some other options of the tamron or Sigma. Really appreciate your help and time!


    Here are a couple samples of the type of images I'm shooting. Not necessarily going after the super fast action shots. Most of these shots were at 135mm and having to put my camera up and nearly sitting against the chain link fence. The reason I would love a longer reach lens would be that I could take shots in different places around the field without having to get creative in how to get close without getting yelled at lol
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  2. Frankinfuji

    Frankinfuji TPF Noob!

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    Nice shots!

    Just my view, but I think a new lens can have a greater impact than a new body. New bodies tend to be a small, evolutionary improvement over the previous one, whereas a very different focal length lens, or wider aperture, can be revolutionary.

    Have you considered a wide aperture prime over another zoom? Unless you are doing wildlife or events, do you need a longer zoom?
     
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  3. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Supporting Member

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    Okay you have a couple of questions here.

    I'll start with the camera options first. If you were to decide to upgrade your camera, based on the two options presented I would suggest the 80D. My reasoning is that overall the 80D is a better camera for your needs. Plenty of frames per second, better sensor, great auto focus and a nice tilty/flippy screen....yes that's the technical term for them.

    Now for the lenses.
    Again you mention a few.
    Your primary focus seems to be the 1st gen 100-400mm L lens. While this is a good lens I would doubt that it would stand up to the newest offerings from Tamron or Sigma. I have not tested them side by side but have seen the outcome of both in the hands of competent photographers. Is the difference huge? No. Is it noticeable? Yes.

    Now to get to your answer. Without getting into budget my answer is always going to be get the best quality lens you can without going into debt. If that means save a bit longer good. You can use this time to do my second recommendation which is, go to a brick and mortar camera shop and try out the lenses you are interested in. If the 100-400 isn't in a shop, go test the Tamron/Sigma first. Put the test photo's on your computer. Then look at the used lens and do the same, test, go home, chances are the lens will still be there for one extra day. Put the pics on the computer and compare.
    Comparison, the only question you should be asking is "Is the added performance of lens A worth the added cost over lens B?" Once this question is answered you have your purchase choice completed.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  4. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Supporting Member

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    If the OP was only upgrading one or two generations I would agree but the 80D is significantly better than the T2I.
     
  5. Mygixxer

    Mygixxer TPF Noob!

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    Thank you. Yes, I feel that having a longer zoom reach will be more beneficial at this point. I miss a lot of opportunities and am unable to get the composition I want due to not being close enough or spending time trying to figure out how to get closer. I'm almost at a limbo at this point because without a longer reach lens, I'm simply shooting the same shots due to my limitations
     
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  6. Mygixxer

    Mygixxer TPF Noob!

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    Yes this is good info and have thought about all of this. Since I am just an enthusiast, I don't feel that a ton of extra cost is worth a marginal difference. I'm not apposed to going sigma or tamron as long as the images aren't going to disappoint. As you've mentioned, the newer versions of both habe newer technology and from what I understand, better IS. If the sigma/tamron produced photos that were as good as what I'm currently shooting, I'd be happy. I know that professionals around the world would find flaw after flaw with my images above but I'm good with those shots. I just want to get those same type images without pushing through the chain link. I think the better quality photos will come along with the ability to get in better positions.
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    On baseball and softball, a 100-300 or 100-400 is often TOO long for some of the many closer shots, like at-bats from directly behind the backstop, but it is very handy from the 3rd base dugout area to 3rd base right in front of you,home plate,short,first base, and the outfield. From down along the first base line, the 100-300 is good for shooting the infield and outfield,home plate at-bats and slides into home,etc..

    The 80D is going to give you quite a bit more crop-ability on the files comareds to the older camera. Higher resolution, and a better sensor in the 80D. Still: lens first is a good idea, I think.
     
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  8. Mygixxer

    Mygixxer TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the info (again lol). Yeah I think from behind the 100-400 might be a hair long, but I will have my 18-135 for those shots and as you said, the 100-400 will be nice to have the extra reach.
     
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  9. Mygixxer

    Mygixxer TPF Noob!

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    Anyone have experience with both if not all 3 of these?

    The tamron is a f5-6.3, so does that automatically make it not of good of an option as the Canon 100-400 since the Canon has an f4.5? Canon will be faster and therfore a hand up on the tamron right? I kmow there are other things that will make a difference when comparing overall, but since it appears the biggest complaint of the Canon 100-400 is that isn't a fast lens, wouldn't that make it a concern of the tamron as well?
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yeah...an f/5~6.3 long zoom is a slooooow lens (slow meaning slow aperture, being only f/5 at wide-open, dropping fdown 1/34 stop sm,aller than f/5.6 which is f/6.3). Lenses in this aperture range are obviously best in bright light conditions, and luckily spring,summer,and fall have bright light in most places.

    I briefly had a Sigma 80-400 OS like a decade ago in Canon mount, had Optical Stabilization...it was okay. Had the Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX HSM in Nikon mount, and it was a decent baseball and track lens on a 1.5x camera, and it was pretty handy for action work, and of course it had a constant f/4, and was not too heavy a lens either.

    Some cameras do not focus all that nimbly with a lens that's slow: this is an AF module issue,mostly. With good targets, like uniforms with bright,big numbers, you can usually get decent AF as long as the light level is decent; later in the day or or cloudy dull days, and f/5~6.3 lens MIGHT or might not, focus all that well; again...the AF performance with a slowish zoom lens kind of depends on the camera. Something like a Nikon D500 or Canon 7D or 7D-II has a strong AF module, and can focus "slow" lenses; cheaper cameras, kind of not so much.

    Have you thought about perhaps Canon's 200mm f/2.8 prime lens as a sports lens option?
     
  11. Mygixxer

    Mygixxer TPF Noob!

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    Yes I've thought about it, but my thoughts are, since I already have a 135mm length, a 20mm isn't going to be that much more. My main reason for even thinking about getting a new lens is to have the ability to stand farther away and get shots hat home plate or across the field.
     

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