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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:55 am 
Hi everyone,

I was wondering if someone could help me with this decision. I bought a Canon Rebec T3I in August and I am learning how to pull away from the automatic mode but I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination. I would like to purchase a telephoto lens. I was looking at the 55mm-250mm with stabilizer and the 75mm-300mm without the stabilizer. Which one would be better for me? I was told on one hand that because I am not an expert with the Manual modes that the stabilizer would be better for me. Someone else mentioned that since I want to shoot dance recitals and stuff at Disney World that all move a stabilizer would be useless and that the 75mm-300mm would be better. My preference is split between the two. I like the fact that one lens goes to 300mm but then I do like the stabilizer on the other end. I would really appreciate some guidance please.

Thanks! JPLD

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:50 am
Posts: 425
Location: Sydney Australia
My personal perfference is always having Image stabilisation for a lens that is designed for telephoto.

Sometimes for a bright sunny day, IS wont be much of an issue, but if you have to start moving, or if the light starts to decrease, IS becomes more and more important.

If you still use Automatic, IS wont be an issue until the images you shoot start showing up as too dark, and the fastest way to maintain the right exposure or brightness is the lower the shutter speed and IS becomes, imo, essential.

IS obviously isnt going to save all your images, and thats when manual modes and knowing what to change and when becomes more important but if you are starting, my recomendations is to always aim to get IS lenses until you are comfortable shooting still.

The only times I dont use IS, is on a tripod and when Im looking for a particular effect.


1) Olympus OM1 [Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8]
2) Pentax MZ-60 [Sigma 28-90 & 100-300]
3) Canon 7D [EF-S 15-85 & 70-200mm f/4 IS & 50mm f1.4]
4) Leica M [50mm Summicron Pre-aspherical - Silver]

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:47 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
Posts: 755
Hey, fancy meeting you here, too!

c/p of my reply on that other board:

jpld wrote:
I want to shoot my daughters' dance recitals and stuff at Disney World with the telephoto lens that the stabilizer would be useless in this case.

It depends on how much you're zoomed in. On the wide end ("zoomed out") of those lenses, you should be fine without stabilization. But zoomed in, not so much. If you want the details: in order to freeze motion of dancer, you'd probably want to use a shutter speed of 1/200 or faster. There's also a rule of thumb that stabilization will start to factor in when your shutter speed drops below the reciprocal of your lens' focal length multiplied by your camera's crop factor (which, for your T3i, is 1.6). e.g. 1 / 100mm x 1.6 = 1/160 Since 1/200 is faster than 1/160, you should be OK without stabilization when shooting with a focal length of 100mm (or less). But since 1 / 200mm x 1.6 = 1/320 and 1/200 is slower than 1/320, you would probably see the benefit of IS when shooting with a focal length of 200mm (or more). (Or you could increase your shutter speed to 1/320 or faster and shoot without IS.)

My concern is that, at f4.0-5.6, both of those lenses are rather slow, especially for what I'm assuming will be an indoor dance recital. I would strongly recommend a lens with a max. aperture no larger than f2.8 and ideally, f2.0 But telephoto lenses with large apertures are very expensive, and if your budget is $200, you're going to have a difficult time. So I would try to get as close to the stage as possible and use a shorter lens. (e.g. 50mm f1.8 II can be had for around $100.) You're going to have a similar issue shooting either indoors or at night at Disney World. Although, outdoors in broad daylight, you should be OK increasing your shutter speed as needed to shoot without IS.

If you need more reach than 50mm and can increase your budget to around $400, you might check out the 85mm f1.8 or 100mm f2.0 (And although neither is stabilized, remember, from above, that with a shutter of 1/200, you shouldn't need stabilization for focal lengths of 100mm or less.)


{edit}To add a bit more here and make things a bit more straight forward...

I would approach an indoor dance recital by:

Setting my shutter speed to 1/200.
Setting my ISO as high as I'm comfortable with. (I would suggest 1600)
Setting my aperture wide open.

If the pics are underexposed, increase ISO (be aware that this will mean more "noise" in the pics) and/or decrease (slower) shutter (be aware that this will mean more motion blur).
If there's too much motion blur in the pics, increase both shutter (faster) and ISO (higher) in steps to maintain exposure.
If the pics are overexposed, (Yay! But not likely.) decrease ISO.

Oh, and shoot RAW (or RAW + JPEG) so you can adjust exposure and white balance in post. (Exposure because the pics will probably be underexposed, and white balance because (colored) stage lights can cause problems for auto-white balance.)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:06 am
Posts: 389
Location: Manchester (UK)
The 55-250 is optically superior to the 75-300 lens

If you need IS and 300mm look at the 70-300 IS lens

Personally I would steer clear of the 75-300 lenses.

Canon EOS 400D, EF-S 18-55mm, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 MK I, EF-S 10-22mm, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 35mm f/2 IS USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 135 f/2L USM
Canon 430EX II, Manfrotto 055CXPRO3, Arca Swiss P0
Panasonic GX1, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Olympus 45mm f/1.8
Canon EOS 30/33 and Pentax MX/ME Super
Rollei 35S


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