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Thread: What zoom (up to 300 or so) would you choose?

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    What zoom (up to 300 or so) would you choose?

    Hi all!

    I am in need of a zoom lens as my kit lens is giving me the ....!

    What would you suggest? I have looked at the Sigma and the Tamron and if I can get a good deal, the Canon!

    What's your favourite and the cost?
    Monika
    Equipment: Canon 60D, Nikon FE, Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens, Fancier FT-662A tripod, 18-55mm kit lens, 55-250mm kit lens, 30mm 1.4 Sigma lens, LR4, PS Elements
    Check out my Flickr photos ... http://www.flickr.com/photos/missmonny/
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Sigma 70-200 f2.8 with VR (IS/OS- whatever it each brand calls it). The Siggy 70-200 is a very nice lens. Eglobal have it for under $1K : http://www.eglobaldigitalcameras.com...sm-lenses.html. My dog photos are taken with it Monika
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    Excellent! I thought they were but didn't check back to see! I like my Sigma 30mm as that is very sharp.
    Thanks Rick!

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    Nothing wrong with the Canon 70-200mm L f/4 either I have the IS USM model.
    Its nice and light and you can always add an extender later if you want, I use the 1.4 with it for a Birding lens its lovely and sharp.
    Its also takes a good Portrait .. The price no idea but I bet its a lot cheaper now than what I paid for mine a few years back.

    I shoot with Canon And Olympus Cameras



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    What is your budget looking like? The Canon 100-400 is well worth throwing into the mix here. $1700. for that you get an effective length of 640 and a great lens that is going to last at least 10 years.......$170 a year
    Last edited by fess67; 28-09-2012 at 8:44pm.

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    Your budget would help?
    Fitting your request, zoom up to 300mm, the Sigma 120-300 is unbeatable unless size/weight is an issue for you.
    Next best would be the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II and 1.4 teleconverter
    Both work well on a crop, and even better if you decide to go full frame later.

    Either of the above will cost $2400 - $3400 depending where you shop

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    The lens that is on my 7D most of the time is a Tamron SP AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD (the SP stands for special, I think).

    For its price ($399 at DWI) and weight (765gm) it is an amazing lens. I don't know why it is so cheap because it performs way above its price. It focuses relatively quickly, and accurately, is sharp and has a nice bokeh (sounds like a fine wine)

    All three of my POTW wins were with this lens.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms Monny View Post
    ......

    I am in need of a zoom lens as my kit lens is giving me the ....!

    .....
    Of course there will be many and varied educated guesses as to which lens fits the bill best, and even your own will be not much better than our guesses, as it may be that you are unsure of what it is you want and possibly why you want it.

    Firstly be decisive on the second point.(how much more convoluted can you get6 than what I just said!!?? )

    OK, how much do you want to spend? Obviously less is better, but I'm assuming that price will be a major consideration.

    Then decide on what you want it for.
    i.e. is it for playing around in the yard chasing stuff? ... is it for the purpose of capturing that elusive Walkley image that you seem to be having trouble currently achieving?
    is it for bettering your work, if you are doing any paid photography work?

    so a deciding point on which lens will best suit you will incorporate the need component .. if you have a need for using the item in a professional manner, then the more professional Canon lenses will be of benefit .. knowing full well that they'll cost you close to 3x the price!!

    Also, a 70-200/f.2.8 with optical stabilisation will be a thing of burden. They weigh in at 1.5kg, and while the weight is not all that much in real terms, it's the balance that has impact. All of the weight is forward of the camera, so it feels heavier than it really is .. like a pendulum effect. If you're used to it, then it's not a bother, but coming from a kit lens .. it will feel different.

    The Tammy 70-300mm VC lens suggestion is a good one, except for one small detail .. it's not all that much different than your current kit lens, as so won't really offer up any real advantage.
    It may well be sharper than the kit lens(or it may not) .. but you probably wont' really notice that aspect so much.

    A much faster aperture(F/2.8) 200mm lens may offer the advantage of the much faster aperture, and therefore concomitant shutter speed advantage, which on the surface appears to be ideal.
    But it may become part of the problem itself (due to weight) and possibly degrade your handholding technique to the point where the shutter speed advantage is not as great as originally hoped for.

    So work out your needs in terms of priority. That is to say, prioritise what your requirements are .. cost or usefulness, or usability, or features!! .. etc. and then you will have a better idea of what you want and we can then help more accurately with our suggestions.

    As it stands, I'm with Rick .. I reckon of all the tele photo lenses currently out there, the best value for money is the Sigma 70-200/2.8 OS.
    Of course if you have particular features or needs that you want, then my suggestion may also change.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Firstly, thank you all. I am on my phone typing this, so apologies for not being able to cut and paste your replies with my answers!!!

    Okay, price...if I want it now, cheaper please. If I am a very good girl, up to about $1000 or so i can ask Santa!!

    I am disappointed in the 'softness' of my current lens. I use it for flora photography and for footy. The 250 on it is a bit short for the footy, so I am thinking the 200 will obviously be worse. Regarding the weight, well, I guess it is something I have to get use to except you are probably right, Arthur, that the extra aperture will make my stability unstable and I will be worse off!! But the extra aperture would be so good for the footy too!

    I know I am going to have to go into a shop and TRY these all out, but was hoping to narrow the field down a bit.

    Does that help? Probably not! Most of the images that I take atm is general things, landscapes, architecture, fauna and flora, portraits later on. Yes, it would be brilliant to have one to put on the full frame camera later on and to have a lens that is very crisp and sharp as I am hoping to sell images later on!

    So, what I wrote probably hasn't helped at all! Thanks for your replies and I will take them all into consideration!

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    I was going to suggest the Canon 70-200 f4L IS until I realised you were looking for something LONGER.
    I have had this lens for a few years now and the build and image quality is stunning.
    I have used the Canon 100-400 and it may well suit your needs for the football.
    The only thing I wasn't sure of with this lens was the push-pull zoom mechanism, but I soon got used to it and thinking back it was the same mechanism used on all my film zooms from the 80s.
    If I add another lens to my kit it will almost certainly be the Canon 100-400 for sport and wildlife.
    As far as flora goes, have you thought about a macro and getting in close?
    Mark

    Canon 70D w/Grip l Canon 60D w/Grip l EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS USM l EF 70-200 f4L IS USM l EF-S 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM l EF 100 f2.8 USM Macro l EF-S 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS STM l EF 50 f1.8 II l Canon EF-S 10-22 f3.5-4.5 USM l 430 EX II Flash l Rode Stereo VideoMic l Manfrotto 055XPROB + 498RC2 Tripod l Benro MP-96 M8 Monopod l Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack l Lowepro Pro Runner 300 AW Backpack l PS CS5 Extended l Lightroom 4.3

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    200mm on a crop body will be ok for footy.
    My wife uses the 7D with the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II and covers the came well.
    I shoot with the same length 5DIII 300mm, I was using the 300 on 7D, but now prefer the 5DIII and crop if needed.

    300mm on a crop is a little better, but its not a must. I shoot side line/dead ball and move ends.

    My wife hand holds the 70-200 with out any hassle, a lot of people say its heavy, but its really not to bad.
    The above is going to be double your budget, but having sharp f/2.8 is very worth it for footy.

    With in you budget, may be the 70-200 f/4, or Sigma would suit. I haven't used a sigma, my advice is to check to ensure it is sharp at f/2.8, this is important IMO. IS or VR is not needed, you will shoot at +/- 1/1600s
    I used Canon 70-200 Version 1 for 5 years also, but it is not sharp below f/4, so its better to get the f/4.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    OK.. you mentioned footy, so the best option is definitely the Sigma OS lens.
    Don't worry too much about the weight, as you can easily purchase a cheap monopod to assist you in supporting it(if you don't already have one).

    You'd definitely be better off with a shorter focal length faster aperture lens for footy as the issue of sharpness can be overcome with stopping down by up to one stop.
    So lets say the lens gives very sharp images at f/3.2 or f/3.5, you've already stopped down by a bit to give better sharpness, but you're still way ahead in terms of shutter speed compared to any f/5.6(max) lens.
    Usually, stopping down by up to 1 aperture stop on a fast lens will increase IQ more dramatically than the same aperture adjustment on a slower lens will produce.
    With that in mind, you can easily crop to high heaven and still have decent looking images.(of course cropping heavily subsequently diminished the ability to print large!)

    Those 100-400mm l type lenses, of which there are at least two that I know of that will fit your camera .. even tho they sound ideal they still have the issue of slow aperture values and therefore slower shutter speed.
    This is why you need to be able to endure the weight and portability of a fast sports lens.

    Think of it this way: at f/5.6 and 250mm you may be shooting in dim light at say 1/100s or so. We know that this shutter speed is very marginal for footy, if not completely unsatisfactory.
    A 100-400 type lens may give you f/5 at 200mm and a slow 70-300mm lens may give you approximately f/5.3, so the difference in max aperture is really insignificant.

    at 200mm a fast sports lens will give you 1/400s shutter speed to begin with and if you want razor sharp imagery and you want to stop down a touch, you still have 1/200s at f/4.

    With good technique I'm sure you can achieve some good images at shutter speeds of 1/200s at the footy if you try hard.
    All those values are just hypothetical, and we know that footy is usually played in brighter conditions, but the point is still important ...

    .. that f/2.8 lens allows you up to 4x the shutter speed that you are limited too with those slower lenses!!

    the optical stabilisation may not be important for footy, but it's damned handy to have for most other situations!
    I'll be upgrading my non stabilised 70-200/2.8 lens soon to a stabilised version soon as well.

    If it were my money, I'd always go with the faster lens option. And if I wanted extra reach, a high quality teleconverter for those times when a fast aperture isn't important.

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    Thanks again! Looks like I am sold on the faster lens at 200mm! Just need to move more around the oval instead of relying on the loooong lens to get the action.

    Arthur, your mini-tutorial on this has been valuable. Thank you! A monopod is on my list anyway. I've heard some people regard a monopod as not useful in stability, but I think it is up to the individual. My son will be playing footy next year again, and I know I can offer my photos to the junior footy as they usually take their photos with their phones, even their end of year group photo!!

    So, the Siggy 200mm 2.8 looks appealing right now! I don't think I can afford a dedicated Canon lens with that aperture. Maybe down the track, but if Rick likes it, it really can't be that bad!

    I am not familiar with teleconverters, so a bit of research is needed.

    Regarding flora photos...a macro is a good idea, but at the moment not a priority. After the zoom, I need an of-camera flash and a wide angle lens. I am quite happy with the 18-55 kit lens, so that upgrade can wait for a while!!

    Thanks again everyone! Now to start checking out prices!

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    Monika,
    I have the 70-200 Siggi stabilized and use it to get night hockey shots on a monopod. On the monopod it is great. When I have it walking around though it is very cumbersome on my small bodied 550D. I look now with envy at the Canon 70-200 without stabilization because it looks so light and dainty. I'm 6'2" and notice the size and weight. My 15 year old son doesn't use it because of the weight. Although much is to be gained hand held with stabilization, I will consider carefully the size and weight of any future lens purchase since I do it for enjoyment only, so the equipment needs to be easily managed. If your real purpose is the footy and only after that other things then you can get away without the stabilization since you will be on monopod. Save weight and dollars. The f2.8 option is definitely worth having though
    Cheers Kieran

    Tamron 90 macro, Sigma 70-200 f2.8, Tokina 11-16 f2.8, Cannon 50 f1.8, Cannon 18-55. Cannon 550D

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    Thanks Kieran. I will try both Sigma and Canon and see what feels better. Footy is the main reason, but I find I use it for quite a few other things (even Architecture if I can get far enough away!!!).

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    Monika, Monika, Monika... Finally decided to upgrade. Many good points above. Whatever your decision, a monopod is a must. Special for sport as a mum in the crowd.
    Glad you hubby has relented, and allowed a few bob to further your hobby, and you wont regret it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffsta View Post
    Monika, Monika, Monika... Finally decided to upgrade. Many good points above. Whatever your decision, a monopod is a must. Special for sport as a mum in the crowd.
    Glad you hubby has relented, and allowed a few bob to further your hobby, and you wont regret it.
    I'd disagree, a mono pod is not must, I'd put every dollar into getting the best lens you can, it will give you better results than a monpod will.
    Here is how my wife does it, I take the tripod mount off myself and support the lens at the zoom ring

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    Ha! Geoff!! Yeah, I think he is just happy to shut me up!

    Problem is I am short...with short arms and I can't have my arms down on my side while holding the camera, so stability is already compromised!! I've tried to change the way of holding but can't do much with these shorties!!! Does anyone have other ideas on how to shoot with a long lens and being stable at the same time, taking into count my share arms if monopod aren't used?

    The zoom ring looks interesting. Maybe I could handle that??

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedL View Post
    I'd disagree, a mono pod is not must, I'd put every dollar into getting the best lens you can, it will give you better results than a monpod will.
    Here is how my wife does it, I take the tripod mount off myself and support the lens at the zoom ring
    RedL.
    I was of the same opinion 12 months ago, with a Siggy 150-500mm on the D90. It wasn't until I was at a rodeo for a full day with a siggy 120-300 f/2.8 on a d700 (Combined weight well over 4Kg) that I realized that the monopod was a blessing. I went from a 20% keeper rate, to about 90% with a monopod. And if birding, they are quicker and more accurate than a tripod. That's my opinion. Others might think differently.
    Sitting on a deck chair, watching the kids play footy wouldn't be much different. And as for walking around, it's like using a walking stick. Imagine trying to be in the position your wife is in for 4 hours while a game is on. Not very comfortable.

    You can get a decent monopod on fleabay for about $30
    Last edited by geoffsta; 29-09-2012 at 6:07pm.

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    I also use a monopod on my Sigma 120-300 every time I use it, but never on the 70-200.
    Like you say, get a cheapy and see what works.

    My wife has the option, she chooses to not use it. She only shoots the one game, 2 x 30min halves. Your not holding it to the eye for 4 hours straight.

    I use a monopod to give my arm a rest, I have it short, and I move about a bit, no sitting. When the play is close I am hand held with the monpod of the ground. I often only shoot one game, but have shot a few full days this year.
    Last edited by RedL; 29-09-2012 at 6:38pm.

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