What lenses should I buy?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by 4ngie, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. 4ngie

    4ngie TPF Noob!

    Apr 27, 2005
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    I'm an amateur photographer and want to expand my photo equipment to a telephoto zoom lens & a wide angel lens (for a Canon EOS 300 SLR Camera), but don't want to spend a fortune. Which brand should I buy? Sigma or Tamron? I'm thinking about the following lenses:

    - Tamron Autofocus 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD 1:2 Macro Lens
    - SIGMA LENS 28-300mm f3.5-6.3 Compact Aspherical Hyperzoom
    - SIGMA LENS 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DL Macro Super SLR Camera Lens
    - Tamron Autofocus 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Wide Angle Zoom Lens

    Which are the best ones? Or would you recommend something totally different?

    And is the "BOGEN 3021BN Manfrotto" Tripod recommandable?

  2. photoflavor

    photoflavor TPF Noob!

    Apr 26, 2005
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    from what i've seen, the sigma 70-300 is the best of the bunch you mentioned:

    do you have the kit lens? if so, you might want to consider this lens to fill in the gap:

    i've seen amazing samples, and it gets fabulous reviews.

    you should also consider this lens. in my opinion, at this price it's a must have - if you don't have any other large aperture lenses:


    bogen makes great stuff.
  3. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Jan 30, 2004
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    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
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    I have the Sigma 70-300. It's ok, good for the price. I also have that tripod. Beware, that's just a set of legs. You need a head also. I have a grip ball head for mine, can't remember the model # offhand.

    Is your camera a 300D (Digital), or film 300? What lenses do you have already?
  4. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

    Feb 1, 2005
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    Dearborn, MI
    IMHO I would stay away from the real long zooms (28-300). I use sigma and am pretty happy with them.

    That 75-300 tamron should be pretty nice also.

    As for the Bogen. I use the 3021. But that is the leg and base. You have to decide what head to use. I switched out the basic head you get with it and went to a ball head. Much easier to work with.
  5. maxxum

    maxxum TPF Noob!

    Feb 25, 2005
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    You might want to throw Tokina in that mix also. I have Tamron's 28-300mm, Sigma 70-300, and a Tokina from the AT-X line. The Tamron and Sigma both fade a little past 200mm and the Sigma's AF hunts a little. The Tokina although in the AT-X line and costs a little more it stands hips and elbows above the others. By the way I use a Minolta, so the Sigma AF might be fine with a Cannon.
  6. wburychka

    wburychka TPF Noob!

    Apr 29, 2005
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    Houston, Texas USA
    I see this question a lot. What are you wanting to do that you cannot now? I assume you have the 18-55mm kit lens. If you need wider angle, then you should be looking at a focal length shorter than 18mm. None of those in your list fit that description. You need something that at the wide end is in the 10-12mm range to get you any significant width. All the lenses in that range are going to set you back at least $600 or so. Canon's 10-22 EF-S version is excellent. Sigma has a 12-24 and will soon have a 10-22. Tamron has a new 12-24. If you are looking for really wide angle, so that you can take dramatic landscapes with big looming flowers, rocks, etc. in the foreground, then you really need 12mm or wider on your 300D with its 1.6 crop factor sensor.

    Telephoto. If 300mm is what you need, then you do have choices. The Sigma 70-300 DL should NOT be on your list. It is Sigma's cheap cheap lens. What you want is the APO version. It's a couple hundred dollars. Again, what are you trying to do with that lens? 70-300mm is a VERY popular first telephoto zoom (probably because of price), but 300mm may not be enough. If you want to shoot wildlife, especially birds, you never have enough telephoto, and take it from me, 300mm will only get you started. I have the APO version, and it is pretty sharp. The macro feature (works only above 200mm) makes it a good butterfly and other big bugs lens. Too short for most birds, though. Focus is slow and noisy, and the outer lens barrel turns to focus--just like the 18-55mm kit lens.

    Another consideration. I see you are looking for a tripod also, but are you going to mostly shoot handheld? If so, you might want to move to a Canon lens with Image Stabilization. The Canon 70-300 IS is regarded as a not very sharp lens, but if your camera is shaking, the picture is going to be no good anyway, and soft focus is still better than motion blur.

    In our house, my wife is the nature photographer. She started with the Sigma 70-300 APO Macro Super II and in very short order "ran out of millimeters". She is shooting in nearby wildlife refuges and bird sancturaries. Without the gory details, let me say that she now shoots with 500mm and a 1.4x teleconverter on her 20D. (I'm a big picture guy, so I use mostly the Canon 17-85mm IS lens.) So if birds or other small animals are your objective, then save time and interim money and go right to 500mm. Yes, the Canon 500mm F4 IS lens is over $5,000, however the Sigma 50-500mm zoom is very sharp, especially stopped down to F8 at 500mm and it works with the standard (not "Pro") Tamron 1.4x teleconvertor quite well, even retaining autofocus in most conditions. It has Sigma's HSM focus, which is really fast and quiet. No Image Stabilization, but at 500mm you should be on a very stable tripod and using a cable release anyway. You can get the Sigma 50-500 (also known as Bigma) for $800-900.

    Tripods. Spend more now and save a lot later. Get a tripod that is tall enough for you to look through the camera without hunching over and without the center column extended. Also get one that goes really low. The Manfrotto you mentioned meets the low requirement, but I don't know how tall you are, so it may or may not be tall enough.

    Tripod head. This is another place to not count pennies. A ball head is the most versatile--and less trouble than a pan and tilt head, all things considered. And get a bigger ball head than you need, because you NEED a bigger ball head than you think you need.

    Lastly, don't discount the value of your 18-55mm kit lens. Popular Photography--or maybe it was Outdoor Photograper--did a review of that lens in a recent issue, and that lens scored quite well. Amazingly well, in fact.
  7. westman

    westman TPF Noob!

    May 7, 2004
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    i had tried both 70-300 lens b4 , they work very well on tele photo
    but don't expect the macro function can save u a macro lens...the macro is suck on those lens

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