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Which lens would you recomend?
EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM 8%  8%  [ 1 ]
EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM 69%  69%  [ 9 ]
EF 70-200mm f/4L USM (ring) 23%  23%  [ 3 ]
Other (please comment) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 13
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:40 am 
I finaly got my DSLR (posted questions here a couple months ago): I actually was able to pick up a used Canon 20D from a pro photographer friend that is in mint condition and fresh back from Canon to clean and check it out. (Got it for $425 US too!) He's long ago moved on to a 30D and 5D and it was sitting on his shelf! Score!

Back on topic:
I've been using a cheap, EF-S 18-55 USM on it and my wife is complaining that it's focal range not long enough for our 6 year old's T-Ball games.
Here's an example pic taken from the stands (forgive the chain link fence, she wasn't alowed into the dugout):
Image
Click for more details and other resolutions

(My son is in the center - I'm the coach behind and to the right... which is why I'm not the photographer)

I'm debating between the EF 28-135 IS USM and the EF 70-300 IS USM.

  • The 70-300 would definitely give us the zoom, even if he was playing in the outfield, but I'm worried that the 70mm end would be too long for spontaneous close up shots or when trying to get the whole field in.
  • The 28-135 would give us a nice all-around lens for pictures of the whole field but I'm wondering if the 135 (216 after x1.6 APS-C adjustment) would be enough to get close to him.
  • One other option, in the same price range, I can step up to an L lens: the EF 70-200 F/4L. It doesn't have the image stabilizer, but it's an L lens, has a consistent f/4 stop and has ring USM, which is nice when chain link fence is messing with the AF. Since it is missing "IS" and is 100mm shorter than the 70-300, I'm leaning away from this one unless someone can convince me otherwise.


Thanks for any advice!
-Eric


PS: I know a lot of people on these boards aren't in the U.S. so, in case you are wondering, T-Ball is just like American baseball, but the kids hit the ball off a tall, rubber tee and the field is much smaller. My son is in a league just for 6 year olds and younger.


Last edited by eric_n_dfw on Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:56 am 
Hello Eirc welcome to Cameralabs forums,

I haven't used Canon in a long time, so I'm kinda outdated, but I can still help you.
The EF 28-135mm is great general purpose zoom, with effective IS
The EF 70-300mm is excellent buget telephoto lens with effective IS
The EF 70-200 f/4L is probably very durable, bright aperture, professtional optics from Canon, and you get a lens hood (important to reduce lens flare)

You should also highly consider watching one of Gordan's excellent reveiws
Here:
http://www.cameralabs.com/features/Canon400D_lens_upgrade/

B.T.W The Canon 17-85mm or the Canon 55-250mm is also something to consider

Hope this helps! :D


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 Post subject: Budget
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:59 am 
Thanks - as you can probably tell, I definitely am looking in the "budget" lens range. Trying to stay at or under $500 US.

I just noticed, in the first page of Gordon's 40D review, the new 55-350 IS lens and am definitely intrigued. In a few minutes of searching, it appears that it's not yet available in the U.S. - any idea what price range it will be going for?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:56 pm 
Well the Canon 18-55 IS USM is $199 Euro and $199 in the US, so I'm guessing when it's shipped, it's $249 Euro so I'm guessing it will be $249 USD

If I where you, I'd get the 17-85mm IS and the 70-300mm IS (try to get the DO version if you can) and the 18-55, and you'll be covered and ready to go.

When I was at the florida gators game, I used a Nikon 18-200mm VR and a 85mm Prime.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:05 pm 
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Hi Eric,

the above photo was shot at 55mm. Now you can easily calculate the focal length needed to have your son at full picture-height:
at 55m your son is approx. 1/6 pic-height, so you'd need a 55x6=330mm lens to capture him in full :shock:
So under these circumstances I'd look at the 70-300 IS!

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:15 pm 
Voted for the 70-200/4 before I saw it was the non-IS version. But I would probably buy that anyway 'cause of it's L-quality - sharp images is "priceless" but that also depends on IS, hmmm :). How much a step up in price is the IS version?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:17 pm 
Rune Laugesen wrote:
Voted for the 70-200/4 before I saw it was the non-IS version. But I would probably buy that anyway 'cause of it's L-quality - sharp images is "priceless" but that also depends on IS, hmmm :). How much a step up in price is the IS version?


Here in the US the non-IS is $600 USD, the IS-version is $1100 USD (f/4 version).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:47 pm 
tombomba2 wrote:
Hi Eric,

the above photo was shot at 55mm. Now you can easily calculate the focal length needed to have your son at full picture-height:
at 55m your son is approx. 1/6 pic-height, so you'd need a 55x6=330mm lens to capture him in full :shock:
So under these circumstances I'd look at the 70-300 IS!


Wow, thanks - that simple little math has made my decision a lot simpler.

A co-worker of mine has that lens and said I could borrow it for a weekend if she's not needing it - so maybe I'll do that next week to try it out. (Some of her recent soccer shots: http://flickr.com/photos/kitykity/sets/ ... 922583929/ )

Thanks again!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 3:09 pm 
Bokeh could be better IMHO. I have tried the DO version of the 70-300mm and that too has not so smooth bokeh. But that's a matter of personal taste, you could try the 70-200/4 at a store and see if it matters for you :).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:32 pm 
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I can tell you the 70-200mm f4L is really great quality, although while some people like the prestige of the white barrel, others may think it indiscreet!

Ultimately I think I'd go for the extra reach of a 70-300mm for this kind of thing, but auto focus speed will be very important for sports. Canon has produced several versions of this lens (or similar focal lengths), so watch out for ones without USM focusing - you will definitely want USM for sports photography.

Even then some Canon USM lenses are faster than others, so if at all possible, try this lens or another telephoto zoom from your friend to see not only if the focal range is right, but also if the AF speed is acceptable. Going back to the 70-200mm f4L, it can certainly focus quickly... The 70-300mm DO IS USM is also a quick focuser, but it aint cheap.

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:26 pm 
Gordon Laing wrote:
The 70-300mm DO IS USM is also a quick focuser, but it aint cheap.


Very true indeed. The DO verison is lighter and smaller, so I meant if you have the money, and can put up with not getting a lens hood while paying for the same price as the 70-200 f/4L USM then go for it. (sarcasm) :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:46 pm 
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In a direct test of the 70-300mmDO against the normal 70-300 in ColorFoto (German magazine) from August 2007 it turned out that the "normal" lens got consistently higher ratings at all focal lengths. They complained that the corners of the DO-lens were worse at open aperture than of the normal-lens (tested on EOS 20D)!
Sharpness/contrast were measured as follows:
70-300mmDO: @70mm: 28/37, @175mm: 26.5/33.5, @300mm: 25.5/29.5
70-300mm....: @70mm: 29/37, @120mm: 28.5/36.0, @300mm: 27.0/33.0
The Do-lens they tested suffered from 15/15/11% decentering at the above focal lengths and the normal lens had 7/3/11% decentering defect. So perhaps the sharpness-result was a little influenced by this.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Last edited by Thomas on Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:39 pm 
I have a 70-300is adn I am very pleased with it.

It seems to focus fast and the IS is a must for me.

With kids sports the extra reach of the 300 end will be invauable for you.

Glenn


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 2:45 am 
I think it pretty clear that the 70-300 IS is probably the best fit for my needs and budget.

My friend is loaning hers to me this weekend or next - I'll post some pic's and my "review" afterwards.

Thanks for all the input - especially tombomba2 - now I just need to find that $500 in the budget! :o) (and next month I'll probably be wanting something else!)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:55 pm 
Bought the 70-300 is usm a few months back for family snaps and the occasional airshow. I think it's good value for money and gives good results - very sharp except at the extreme 300 end where it is reasonably sharp. IS (two modes - stationary and moving objects) works well.


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