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Thread: Would like your Opinion - lens options

  1. #1
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    Would like your Opinion - lens options

    Hello Everyone

    My father has gotten me into photography, whether this is a good thing or bad thing is another discussion, but my wallet definitely feels lighter

    In the next month or two I may have an opportunity to work abroad for a few years and therefore I am planning to start my own equipment and would greatly appreciate your opinions.

    My current plan is to buy the Canon 450D as it is quite and good camera and adequate for my current needs.

    For my primary lens I was thinking of getting:
    24-105 f/4l - This would be a general outdoor walk around lens that I think would be on the camera most of the time.

    Tamron 17-50 f/2 - For a general indoor/low light lens I was planning on either sticking with the kit lens or the tamron lens as I don't tend to take that many photos indoors.

    Finally in the future (if I don't get too impatient...)
    I was planning on the 300 f/4l IS USM for a telephoto prime.

    But after days or going around the web there seems to be a strong attraction to the 400 f/5.6l and the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6.

    I concluded against the 400mm prime due to the large minimum focal distance therefore making it hard to fill the frame with smaller animals/insects. Also the 400mm might be a bit two long although 300mm + 1.4 extension would reach this distance if I won't to take the odd snap or two of some birds.

    Using my dads 70-300mm lens I found that I very often just used the longest focal length. This is why I was planning on getting the 300mm prime over the 100-400mm. however I'm not sure how much I would miss the 100-300mm range?

    Any opinions on my plans??

    Wow just realised how much I wrote
    Many Thanks
    KC
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 24th June 2009 at 07:21 PM.

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    Re: Would like your Opinion - lens options

    Well I would consider where abroad that you are going. In some countries, having a big white L lens is like hanging a "mug me" sign around your neck, and local authorities will think your a reporter or spy and you could be detained.

    Heck some parts of the USA are like that ... hehe.

    I'd get the 300 f4L over the 400 5.6, just because its faster.

    A 100-400 L is gonna look funny on a Rebel, lol


    Get this : 24-105 f/4L
    70-200 L in any version
    300mm L f4

    But really what are you going shoot?
    and I'd get a better body. If you've got the money to spend on lots of L lenses get a serious body to match it.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 24th June 2009 at 07:24 PM.

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    Re: Would like your Opinion - lens options

    Wow quick reply!

    If it works out I shall be heading off to Beijing, where it is not a good idea to have a big white lens which is why I was planning on getting the white telephotos after I return home (England).

    Good question on what am I going to shoot, to be honest I'm not to sure, but looking over what I've taken so far there seems to be a large amount of animals from birds to insects.

    If I was wandering around town I would probably get some of buildings and things.

    Not very into portraits and landscapes though.

    Hope you can make some sense out of that

    I compared the 40D and 450D but the only major thing that would seem to interest me is the 40D's brighter larger viewfinder, however I cannot see that worth the extra 100. I seem to be alright with the 450D's burst rate and focus time, but that may be because I haven't used a better one.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 24th June 2009 at 07:50 PM.

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    Re: Would like your Opinion - lens options

    If you are intending to get any of the bigger lenses I would suggest that you seriously consider buying a 40D/50D camera instead of the 450D as it is a heavier and chunkier piece of kit which better balances a big lens. Although that extra weight has to be carried around all the time I wouldn't want to drop down from my 40D to a 450D now.

    The 24-105 is an excellent lens although not cheap. I have been tempted myself.

    The 400 prime is a very sharp useful nature lens which takes a converter well and is popular with wildlife photographers. But, as you say, the long minimum focusing distance makes it chiefly a long range lens for birds etc, using a tripod. That plus the lack of IS put me off this lens; I went for the Sigma 150-500 instead although in retrospect, I tend to use it mostly at 500mm.

    The 300 with converter is another good option which I considered although it might fall just a fraction short for serious wildlife work.

    The 100-400 will take a 1.4x converter and is a good general purpose lens although being a zoom it will never be quite as sharp as the primes, but that is the price for adaptability. On the plus side, this lens would fit in well with a 24-105 which would give you a wide range with only 2 lenses.

    If you get into serious insect photography I would recommend getting a 'proper' macro lens.

    At the end of the day, I can only advise you to think very carefully about exactly what you would want from a longer lens.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 24th June 2009 at 07:25 PM. Reason: extra items

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    Re: Would like your Opinion - lens options

    Just a couple of "food for thoughts" ...

    One of my first digital cameras was a 350D ("Grandfather" of the 450D) - I was happy with it ... until I handled a friend's 20D ("Grandfather" of the 40D). At that point I sold the 350D (at a loss) and also bought a 20D. In your situation I'd go for the 40D in a heartbeat, if for no other reason than for the improved ergonomics with the Quick Control Dial.

    Don't forget that if your using a crop-factor camera (450D or 40D) then all of your focal lengths are effectively multiplied by 1.6.

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    Re: Would like your Opinion - lens options

    yah get a 40d at the minimum.....the xsi or 450d isnt that great of a camera....imo over other rebels....plus people will laugh at you in chinese if u put an L lens on a rebel...
    i am still tossing around the idea of a 40 or 50 d....gonna definitly get one but not sure yet...
    try looking for used or refurbished 40Ds... they sell them here in the USA for about 700.00 USD...

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    Re: Would like your Opinion - lens options

    Just to give a different opinion, I have a Digital Rebel (300D) and the 400 f/5.6 L. Doesn't seem unbalanced to me. I typically try to use the tripod with this lens. It's really sharp. The other day I took some nice photos of a butterfly on a wild flower by putting the 3 Kenko extension tubes (12+20+36=68mm of extension) on the 400. For large birds the 400 is pretty good. For small ones I'm going to have to get a 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter.

    Of course, what I'd really like is the 400 f2.8L, but I'd have to sell the house or the car.

    Joe

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    Re: Would like your Opinion - lens options

    My two penneth;

    I recently got a 18-250mm zoom and it's nearly always at the 250mm end when shooting wildlife, but I do like that it close focuses.

    Not that I'm a Canon man, but I'd say "40D" too.

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    My travel and general purpose kit...

    My travel and general purpose kit is the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens and the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens along with a 1.4x teleconverter. This combination gives me an extended focal length: 17-200mm or 280mm with the TC.

    I use this on two cameras, a 30D and a 40D. I like the two camera setup because I don't like to switch lenses in the field and because it saved me once when I fell on a slippery slope in Alaska and broke one of the cameras.

    However, if you are going with one camera, I would recommend a 40D rather than a Rebel series camera. The xxD cameras are, IMO, a lot nicer to use, more sturdy and just better cameras.

    The 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L IS combination is pretty expensive. For your trip, a 40D along with a 17-50mm f/2.8 Tamron and either a 55-250mm IS lens or a 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS lens would be a great combination which would be light weight and fairly reasonable.

    I have used neither the 55-250mm nor the 70-300mm lens but, if the money were available; I would choose the 70-300mm because it has better focusing and an extra 50mm at the long end. It is also faster than the 55-250mm through much of its focal range although both are listed as f/4-5.6 variable aperture lenses.

    In a variable aperture lens, the aperture changes (gets smaller) as you increase the focal length. Just where and how the variable aperture works depends on the design of the lens. The 55-250mm lens shuts down at shorter focal lengths than does the 70-300mm lens.

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/r...ns-review.aspx

    The above link compares the 55-250mm lens with the 70-300mm lens and also provides a chart showing the apertures of these two lenses at different focal lengths.

    However, the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens stands head and shoulders above either of these two lenses. Of course, you pay a premium price for the extra quality. However, don't let the "white" lens syndrome scare you. With a round, screw-in lens hood mounted instead of the giant Canon hood; the 70-200mm lens is not all that awe inspriing. See my image of 70-200mm f/4L lenses with both round, screw-in hood and big Canon hood mounted.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Would like your Opinion - lens options

    I personally love the 24-105 4L IS zoom for vacations and travel. Paired with your current Tamron, it's a great combo for general lighting needs. Invest in lenses, not camera bodies until you mastered the in fundamentals of photography. Bodies will eventually wear out, but the lenses will stay with your from body to body.

    I find on my travels that I tend to go wide, not telephoto., and want to carry light as possible. The 100-400 mm is a favorite amongst starter wildlife photographers, and some will eventually out grow as they get more advanced. You can easily pickup a second hand one for a fraction of the cost of new at www.keh.com.

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    Re: Would like your Opinion - lens options

    I started dslr with a 350D and about 3 years later moved up to a 30D. Both were 8MP cameras but I found the 30D so much nicer to use. I definately go along with the others in recommending the 40D (which is actually better than the 50D for most applications).

    As to the choice of lens, I would be concerned about none of your choices being wide enough for urban and landscape photography. I had a Tokina 12-24 on my 30D which was very sharp and got a lot of use out of it. As Colin mentioned, keep in mind the 1.6 crop factor. However it all depends on what you plan to photograph.

  12. #12

    Re: Would like your Opinion - lens options

    the 17-50 tamrom 2.8 is a good lense and not too expensive a 24-105 has a lot of overlap with the 24-50 mm range .

    If i had to buy my glass to day i looked better on the overlap. luckly that i sold some of my most worse lense for a resonable second hand price

    so i a ma you , take a closer look and focus on lense combinations that create as minimum overlap as possible

  13. #13

    Re: Would like your Opinion - lens options

    Beijing shouldn't be too bad. As a "lao wai" you'll most likely stick to the more developed areas and they are reasonably safe. I'd invest in a good camera bag, as long as you don't flaunt it, I doubt there'd be that much problem.

    Equipment wise, I suspect it'd be rather hard for me to tempt you to the dark side (Nikon), but the 70-200mm f/4 is one of the reasons I'd jump ship, so definitely consider it. If you're thinking more of wild life stuff (which might be difficult in Beijing itself, but I guess you'll be travelling a bit too) I'd go with 300 f/4 plus a teleconverter to give you the reach you'd need.

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