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Thread: Advice for Canon lens

  1. #1

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    Advice for Canon lens

    Hi everyone!

    Still joyful after my birthday last Monday, November 14th. My lovely wife will buy a new lens for me. I just have to decide which, and this is harder to do when you know there is no unlimited budget. I just have the kit lens for my Rebel T3i, so any lens will be a huge improvement for my lens catalog.

    I though of the Canon 50mm 1.8 II. The reviews I read say it is a very good lens, but plastic made and it will probably will break. Is it so bad?

    On the other end, a telephoto lens would be nice, since I usually shoot outdoors.
    The options I'm considering are
    Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III
    Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro

    Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II
    Sigma 50-200mm F4-5.6 DC OS HSM
    Tamron AF 55-200mm F/4-5.6 Di II

    I've always had a steady hand. Is the lack of image stabilizer a huge problem?

    Any comment about your experience with the lenses listed above will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Toņo

  2. #2

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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    How unlimited is 'unlimited' Tono? I've never had more than a free meal for a birthday.

    But, depending on what you mainly shoot I would suggest Canon 28-135 IS or 70-300 IS as good quality mid price zooms.

    Although, at my own expense, I have eventually replaced them with 24-105L and 70-200L lenses, which really are excellent. And a friend recently treated himself (with permission) to the new 70-300L.

  3. #3
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    Quote Originally Posted by acsky View Post
    I though of the Canon 50mm 1.8 II. The reviews I read say it is a very good lens, but plastic made and it will probably will break. Is it so bad?
    No, it's not so bad. I've had mine for about five years with no issues. But it is a low-cost consumer-grade lens, and there are lenses with better optical quality, build quality, and usability features. If your budget really is unlimited, you might want to consider the EF 35mm f/2, EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, or the EF 85m f/1.8 USM instead.

    On the other end, a telephoto lens would be nice, since I usually shoot outdoors.
    A good idea, but again, I would caution you against some of the lenses you're looking at. They're low-cost consumer lenses, and while they're good performers, they aren't fantastic, and may not deliver as much image quality as you want. If you want to stay with a budget choice, I think the EF-S 55-250 IS is probably the best bet, but if you can afford it, going up to the EF 70-300 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (the black non-L one) or the EF 70-200 f/4L USM are likely to make you happier.

    The 70-300 III is a very old optical design, not particularly sharp at the long end, and is unstabilized, and a lot of the low-cost 70-300 third-party choices are on a par with it. They are good, but generally need to be stopped down to the f/8 to f/16 range to look critically sharp.

    I've always had a steady hand. Is the lack of image stabilizer a huge problem?
    The longer the lens you use, the more magnification you get. A very small amount of shake that may not appear in an 18-55 lens can easily appear in one that's shot at 300mm. There's a rule of thumb that you want to use a shutter speed of 1/focal_length or faster to mitigate camera shake blur. So, with an 18-55mm lens, that would be 1/55s. But with a 300mm lens, that would be 1/300s. Some folks will throw in the crop factor or double the focal length. It depends on your personal idea of what critical sharpness is and your ability to handhold. Remember that your 18-55 lens is stabilized, and is probably making you think your hands are steadier than they are. Stabilization lets you use slower shutter speeds than 1/focal_length.

    Remember, too, that most of these telephoto zooms are going to be limited to a maximum aperture of f/5.6 at the long end. So, you'd have to shoot f/5.6 and 1/300s with a 70-300, and already we're talking about jacking up your ISO or shooting only outdoors on very sunny days.

    So, in the case of a telephoto zoom, yes, stabilization is a very nice-to-have feature, if not one you need to have.

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    It's hard to recommend a lens without knowing the bugetary restrictions; so I will suggest three (actually 4) lenses in 3-general price categories...

    Budget:
    The 55-250mm f/3.5-5.6 IS ($219 US Dollars from B&H in New York USA)
    This lens is a solid performer in its price range and IMO there is probably nothing that can touch it within the price...

    Intermediate:
    I would look at either one of the two following lenses:

    Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS ($489 US Dollars from B&H in New York USA)
    Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC ($399 US Dollars from B&H in New York USA)

    Either of these lenses would be good general purpose telephotos. I have not used either but, from researching lenses for my son-in-law tp purchase, I might lean towards the Tamron. This is especially true since the Tamron is $90 less expensive and additionally is supplied with a lens hood. The only one of the three Canon lenses I have recommended which is supplied with a hood is the 70-200mm f/4L IS below:

    Go For Broke:
    Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS ($1,149 US Dollars from B&H in New York USA)
    Although priced well above the rest of the pack, this is IMO the very best general purpose lens out there...

  5. #5

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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    Thanks a lot for the input.

    I'll keep your suggestions in mind

  6. #6

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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    Is the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L worth the difference in price from the Canon 70-200 f/4.0L ?

  7. #7

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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    Quote Originally Posted by jonjdoe View Post
    Is the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L worth the difference in price from the Canon 70-200 f/4.0L ?
    It really depends on what you need it for. I use the 2.8L II version, and wouldn't want to change for the F4 version, but then again, I'm often shooting at F2.8.

  8. #8
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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    OTOH... The f4L IS (I wouldn't consider the non-IS model) is a lot lighter in weight than the f/2.8 (series) lenses. It all depends on how you want to use the lens. I like mine for general use, walk-around photography and the difference between 3.28 lb. (1.49 kg.) for the f/2.8L IS models and 1.67 lb. (760 gr.) for the f/4L IS is considerable for me. At the end of a long day (8-12 hours) of walk around shooting; every ounce feels like a pound and after two total knee replacements and extensive back surgery - the weight difference eally is important to me.

    However, if you need an f/2.8 aperture, you need the f/2.8L (series) lens. If you can live with the f/4 aperture, the f/4L IS at half the weight (and price) of the f/2.8L IS ii might suit your needs. It does mone, very well.

  9. #9

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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    One more question.

    When purchasing a new lens (at least new for you) via internet, has anyone had problems with the lens caused by the handling of the package during shipping?

    Because prices on Internet (Amazon, B&H and others) are a lot lower than those of my two local camera shops

  10. #10
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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    I have purchased everyone of my lenses, both new and used, via the Internet and have had absolutely no problems. I did not have a problem when after fixing a lens (several years ago) Canon sent it back to me by FEDEX. The FEDEX driver tossed the package over a six foot chain link fence to land on a concrete patio. No-problem, the lens worked fine.

    I would be very careful regarding just whom I would purchase the lens from on the Internet. Adorama and B&H are excellent vendors and I have had no problems with Cameta camera (AKA: cametaauctions) and 17th Street Photo.

    Generally, if a price is markedly lower that the price from B&H or Adorama, you may be dealing with a scam artist.

    Don't fall for a company packaging a cheap UV filter or set of filters with a lens and claiming that the filters are worth quite a bit of money. Additionally, the Canon "L" lenses are supplied with lens hoods from the manufacturer. Don't fall for a company trying to charge extra for the hood. None of the four vendors above engage in such deceptive sales policies. Also, don't buy "packages" that include tripod, filters, cleaning kit, etc... These are usually not very good items and are not worth the extra $$$ charged for the package.

    Finally... A Canon warranty is only good if you have an invoice proving that you have purchased the unit from a Canon authorized reseller. The warranty card packaged with a camera or lens is worthless.

  11. #11

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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    OTOH... The f4L IS (I wouldn't consider the non-IS model) is a lot lighter in weight............ If you can live with the f/4 aperture, the f/4L IS at half the weight (and price) of the f/2.8L IS ii might suit your needs. It does mone, very well.
    Thanks Richard and Colin. I have the f/2.8 ii, and it IS very heavy....I like the lens, but was wondering if it was worth the f/4 because of the weight! Thanks for your input(s).

  12. #12
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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    Quote Originally Posted by acsky View Post
    I though of the Canon 50mm 1.8 II. The reviews I read say it is a very good lens, but plastic made and it will probably will break. Is it so bad?

    On the other end, a telephoto lens would be nice, since I usually shoot outdoors.
    Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro

    I've always had a steady hand. Is the lack of image stabilizer a huge problem?

    Toņo
    I have a Canon 50 1.8 and it is... pretty darn sharp for a $100 lens! Much sharper than my 18-135 IS zoom...
    However, the bokeh is sometimes... 'harsh'. I didn't know what this meant until I owned this lens Also, my 50 1.8 has a nasty habit of front focusing, which stinks if you are shooting at the wider apertures. For example, if I were to shoot at f1.8 at my daughter's eyes, I usually get a tack sharp nose with blurry eyes From what I have read, this is not uncommon for this lens. The 'plasticky' feel is fine with me, it's very light and easy to carry around! It's not a super fast focuser either. Worth $100? I think so, but if you have more to spend, spend it on something else

    I also have the Sigma 70-300. Again, for the money, it's not bad, but since I bought a 70-200 f4L, I have never used it again. I would rather crop the 70-200 than shoot at 300 on the Sigma. I think the 70-200 is an awesome lens.

    IS is great for shooting things that aren't moving. However, when you are shooting things that are moving, you still need a fast shutter speed (well, assuming you want to freeze the action). That said, I have a couple of IS lenses, and I do absolutely prefer them.

    Personally, having been spoiled by the 70-200, I'm longing to add a 17-55 f2.8 to my camera bag Christmas is coming!

  13. #13

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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    Hi

    What about the Canon 10 - 22mm 3.5 - 4.5? I know it's the opposite end of the focal range you listed but from the reviews I've read it sounds pretty good.

    If anyone has experience with this lens I would also be interested to hear your comments on this lens.

    P

  14. #14
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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    Quote Originally Posted by psevenster View Post
    Hi

    What about the Canon 10 - 22mm 3.5 - 4.5? I know it's the opposite end of the focal range you listed but from the reviews I've read it sounds pretty good.

    If anyone has experience with this lens I would also be interested to hear your comments on this lens.

    P
    I have owned the 10-22mm 3.5 for about 2 years, right after it was first released, & I have never looked back! It is a great lens for shooting in varied places & conditions. It's great for indoor shooting when trying to get more than one or two people in the shot, & it's great outdoors when trying to get more of the entire scene in the shot. It's crisp & sharp with great color reproduction throughout, & I find that lens distortion is minimal. It's not cheap for a non-L lens, but it has similar qualities. If you can justify the cost, go for it.

    Jim
    JMK

  15. #15

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    Re: Advice for Canon lens

    Thanks Jim

    I have the kit lens and two other lenses that are of the budget variety and I find that I'm not really happy with the quality. So I will save a little longer but I will rather buy this lens than a third party lens with inferior quality.

    P

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