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Thread: Canon lenses

  1. #1

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    Canon lenses

    Hi everyone!

    I'm trying to make a decision on a new lens to buy. I currently have a canon 550D with the EF-S 18-55mm and 55-250mm lenses. I'm going on a safari holiday in a week (close to where I live) so have some money to spend on a lens...
    I was thinking of either upgrading my 55-250mm to the 70-300mm USM (non-L version) but I was just wondering whether the IQ and extra range was worth the upgrade? Otherwise, I was considering spending some extra on the 24-105mm L which I would probably get a lot more use out of in general...
    So is the 70-300mm worth upgrading to?

  2. #2

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    Re: Canon lenses

    From my experience with the 70-300 IS it is doubtful if it would make a significant improvement on your 55-250. It is a stronger construction and if you were starting from scratch I would have recommended it above the 55-250, but probably not worth changing now - wait until you drop the 55-250 or fill it up with sand!

    The 24-105 L is a good general purpose lens but I often find it too short for the sort of things I often photograph.

    What sort of Safari are you talking about? That lens would be fine for landscapes and portraits including those general 'holiday snaps' etc but I wouldn't recommend it for wildlife; unless you are going to get rather 'friendly' with an elephant.

    As an alternative, I often use a 70-200 IS L lens (only the 'cheapie' F4 version though) which gives excellent quality and is robustly constructed. But I still wonder if it could be a bit short for wildlife etc. It will take a converter though and works excellently with my x1.4.

    However, unless you already have a converter it is extra money.

    So unless you go for something much larger (I use the Sigma 150-500 for serious wildlife work) I would think that there is little point in changing; unless you want and can afford the extra image quality that comes with an L lens.

  3. #3
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    Re: Canon lenses

    If you're going to consider the Sigma 150-500, I suppose you could also consider Sigma's 50-500 lens as well. They recently redid it and supposedly it is very nice.

    I have the 150-500 like Geoff because when I bought mine the 50-500 had not yet been redone and lacked IS. However, the new 50-500 is something like $600 more than the 150-500. That's a lot of money for 100mm, but it does make it hit your low range, providing just enough overlap with your 18-55.

    But both the 50-500 and the 150-500 are fairly large and heavy lenses.

    In truth, if money were no object, I'd go with the 70-200 (either 2.8 or 4) (new versions of either) and a 1.4x or 2x matched TC. But really... how often is money not an object?

    Another option is the 28-300L lens. I've been eye-balling that one for a while. It is pricey, and is not a fixed aperture, but it still would be a very capable everyday lens for almost all situations. I think between that and my Sigma 10-20 ultra-wide-angle, I could be quite happy. Well, and my 100mm macro. and... and... and... so much for all purpose lenses...

    - Bill
    Last edited by ktuli; 8th July 2011 at 08:36 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Canon lenses

    Just me, but have you considered renting an EF 100-400L IS USM? I think that would probably be the ideal wildlife lens. Rental wouldn't require as much outlay as purchase, and you could get a good sense of whether or not you want to save up for one. If the 55-250 IS has done great for you so far, and this is an unusual event, maybe you don't need to buy a lens for it.

  5. #5

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    Re: Canon lenses

    Thanks a lot for your input! You've given me some good suggestions

    I'm lucky enough to live in mozambique, and I tend to visit Kruger National Park every time I go home so this safari shouldn't be a one-off. That said, I'm still a (phd) student in the UK so going home is quite a rare event. I've also been shooting for a student newspaper so I kind of want a lens I can use for this purpose as well. This is why I originally thought of the 24-105mm and the 70-300mm, since I would like to get some nice pictures of friends/landscapes, plus I could use this for newspaper work (mainly sports, but who knows what else).

    I had -briefly- considered the 100-400mm lens but it is very pricey and the budget for my lens-spree is around €1500 so I'd have to spend it all on one lens... and I'm not sure how useful this lens would be for sports.

    I guess the 70-200mm f4 would be useful for wildlife as well as sports, but I think an extender would be too expensive (I think that would total at about €1500? :S). Or would the cheaper 1.4x II extender be worth getting? (as opposed to the newer/more expensive 1.4x III version)

  6. #6

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    Re: Canon lenses

    In reality, I'm nor sure what improvements have been made to the Mk III converter but I don't think they were that overwhelmingly decisive.

    I use the Mk II 1.4x and it works fine.

    In some ways, I suppose a 70-200 L would be the ideal all round lens which would be suitable for general use and portraits plus some wildlife work.

    That 70-300 option is still a reasonable lens, but the L alternative is stronger and better weather sealed. Compared side by side, the 70-200 certainly produces superior results. Although I was happy with the 70-300 until I did the comparison.

    I suppose, in some respects, your decision should be based on expected future requirements. While an L lens is an expensive investment it may well work out a lot cheaper in the long run.

    And one other possibility would be to get the much cheaper Non IS version of the 70-200. Whether IS would really be that important depends on exactly what you shoot. For faster shutter speeds, in good light, or tripod use it isn't that important. Although if you expect to do a bit of handheld shooting at say 1/200 or slower I would say IS really does matter.

  7. #7

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    Re: Canon lenses

    Give this a read http://www.canonrumors.com/reviews/e...-6l-is-review/ Ben, it might help you with your decision. I own the 70-300 standard, it's a good lens and quite possibly just a bit better than your 55-250, but not worth an upgrade. Everyone that says the 70-200L f4 IS is probably right on. Incredible lens, just got done renting one and trying to sell my kidney to buy one. However, that being said the author of the above link makes a good case for the 70-300 L.

  8. #8

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    Re: Canon lenses

    I found that the 100-400 with a 2 x extender gave good photos, but without auto focus as the effective f stop is doubled. Photo of fish eagle in Botswana (film camera)

    Canon lenses

  9. #9

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    Re: Canon lenses

    Nice to know that my Canon 70-200L is highly regarded, but the Canon lens I am really excited about is the one I just bought - a 1954 135mm M39 screw fit for my 1951 Leica IIIf rangefinder. There are tools like the Canon L series lenses and then there is 'Love' and that all chrome beauty to go along with a 5cm chrome summicron. Different world, different values

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    Re: Canon lenses

    trying to sell my kidney to buy one
    Hello,
    This week I searched the web and I came to the conclusion that for me, 70-200 f4 is my best choice. However, seems that this lens without IS is half price so I suppose that the IQ is half as good. Is that true?

  11. #11

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    Re: Canon lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by dulceza View Post
    Hello,
    This week I searched the web and I came to the conclusion that for me, 70-200 f4 is my best choice. However, seems that this lens without IS is half price so I suppose that the IQ is half as good. Is that true?
    Hi Dora,

    No - IQ isn't directly proportional to price; sorta/kinda.

    Image Stabilization (IS) allows you to compensate for camera shake - and camera shake WILL degrade image quality - but in the absence of any camera shake (ie suffifiently high shutterspeed or shot from a tripod), the IQ of the respective lenses is about the same.

    So the question really becomes "is IS worth the extra $$$". Opinions will vary - and to a degree it will depend on what you're shooting, but in my humble opinion, the answer is a resounding YES!

  12. #12
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    Re: Canon lenses

    Hi Dora

    I regularly use the 70-200 IS USM F4 L lens and can testify to its quality, a fantastic lens and reasonably priced when compared to recent Canon L lenses.
    I agree totally with Colin - Image Stabilisation is good, almost essential to have if you plan to take a lot of hand held images and worth the extra expense. If you will be using the lens on a tripod you must remember to turn IS off.

    If you plan to use the lens indoors for weddings, parties, sports event etc then you really need to consider the 70-200 F2.8 version - a lot more expensive but the increase in shutter speeds you achieve is of tremendous benefit and worth the extra expenditure.

    Good luck with your decision and don't forget to post a few of your images for us to enjoy.

    Regards

    Chris

  13. #13

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    Re: Canon lenses

    Thank you Chris and Colin, I need a good justification if I want that family committee pass the bill. This week-end I intend to rent them . I want to capture some pictures of Whirling Dervish dancers at the Turkish festival. Could you please give me some guidance on this matter?Thx

  14. #14
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    Re: Canon lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by CBImages View Post
    If you will be using the lens on a tripod you must remember to turn IS off.
    Chris

    That was the case with early IS lenses and, still, some of the 3rd party lenses. But you don't need to turn it off with the newer Canon lenses. I never turn it off on my 70 -200 f4 IS.

  15. #15

    Re: Canon lenses

    The wife got an opportunity to go to Africa and I let her take my 100-400 L w/IS and she got some great pictures but could have used a little more length. When you get to shoot lions and elephants you cannot get too close. She was shooting with the 50D and the IS did help. We had rented both the 100-400 and a 28-300 L and after a weekend using it in Smokey Mountains National Park decided it was way too heavy.

  16. #16
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    Re: Canon lenses

    The 24-105L is an absolutely superb lens and would be ideal for shooting for a student newspaper. See if you can hire a 100-400 when you go home and go the park. If and when you move back there you can purchase one.

    A tip for the 100-400 is to never use it at full stretch, when I had it I found at full extension clarity was down a tad. I always pulled it back a fraction to about 390mm. Apart from that it is a wonderful lens for wildlife and sport.

  17. #17

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    Re: Canon lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    That was the case with early IS lenses and, still, some of the 3rd party lenses. But you don't need to turn it off with the newer Canon lenses. I never turn it off on my 70 -200 f4 IS.
    It's an interesting debate actually - personally - I turn it off if I think of it, but don't lose any sleep if I forget. Canon's tech guru Chuck Westfall was kind enough to eMail me the following on the topic ...

    "Hi, Colin:

    For reasons known only to themselves, the folks who approve the instruction books in Japan usually seem to prefer leaving that section of the IS lens booklets somewhat ambiguous. I tried to get them to change the books for the IS super-telephotos (300/2.8L IS, 400/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, 600/4L IS and eventually 400/4 DO IS) 7 or 8 years ago, shortly after I stumbled upon the added capabilities of those lenses while testing them, but no dice. It looks like they are finally admitting that the "Tripod IS" mode that I described online several years ago actually exists, at least with the EF200mm f/2L IS USM lens that has just been released, but I doubt that the instructions for the older lenses will ever be rewritten.

    The IS mechanism in the EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM is effectively disabled when the lens detects that it is mounted on a tripod, as I previously described to you, but it is not as sophisticated as the ones in the IS super-telephotos because it does not correct for mirror slap or other subtle movement when the lens is mounted on a tripod. However, it is important to understand that this form of disabling is different than shutting off the IS function with the mode switch on the lens. In the latter case, the IS mechanism is centered and locked into place, whereas in the former case, the IS mechanism shifts the image downward slightly for a second or so, then stops moving. It's not moving, but it's not centered or locked, either. It's effectively on standby, so that it can resume its corrective capabilities instantly if movement is detected. Again, you can see this for yourself by looking through the viewfinder while pressing the shutter button halfway for at least several seconds, assuming the lens is mounted on a tripod and the IS switch is on.

    To my way of thinking, this is not the optimum way to use the equipment. In my opinion, if you use the EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM on a tripod, it would be best to turn off the IS mechanism via the switch on the lens, rather than depending on the tripod detection capabilities of the IS mechanism.

    Best Regards,

    Chuck Westfall
    Technical Advisor/Professional Products Marketing Division
    Consumer Imaging Group/Canon U.S.A., Inc.
    "

  18. #18
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    Re: Canon lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Canon's tech guru Chuck Westfall was kind enough to eMail me the following on the topic ...
    Well, that is fascinating and certainly gives a different twist than all the sales stuff and the instruction manuals.

    Okay - change of practice now required.

    And apologies to Chris for suggesting he wasn't up-to-date on the info. He was/is several steps ahead of me.

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    Re: Canon lenses

    I take a lot of sports pics (baseball and now football at night) and while my 100-400 has worked fine during the day I'm ready to step up to a prime. Question is 200mm f2.0 or 400mm f2.8 to go with my 5dmk2 and soon to include 7d or it's rumored upgrade?? Anyone here have them and what are your thoughts on them..

    Thanks Al

  20. #20
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    Re: Canon lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by bigfishparty2000 View Post
    I take a lot of sports pics (baseball and now football at night) and while my 100-400 has worked fine during the day I'm ready to step up to a prime. Question is 200mm f2.0 or 400mm f2.8 to go with my 5dmk2 and soon to include 7d or it's rumored upgrade?? Anyone here have them and what are your thoughts on them..

    Thanks Al
    Al a very warm welcome to CiC. Yiou should pop over and post up an introduction over here.

    Question - which focal length did you find yourself using with the 100-400?

    I would have thought you'd make more use of the 400 end of things than the 200.

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