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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on buying lenses???

hey guys, i was wondering if you guys could school me on what to look for when purchasing a new lens for a DSLR. the one i have is the Canon XTi. i found this on amazon...

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-75-300mm...4568717&sr=1-6

i see it goes all the way up to 300mm, which is a great zoom correct? This seems so inexpensive compared to the other lenses. i know they're all different, but geez this is under $200 for a 300mm lens. is it b/c of the f stop being at 4-5.6? i should be lower right to get the depth of field shot correct? is this a good purchase or not?

i would say that my first lens that i would like to purchase is a good zoom lens, but i don't want it to hurt my bank though. i don't want to spend and arm and a leg for a lens. i just want a good lens for an average joe photographer that just wants to take some great shots.

let me know! thanks guys!!!

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 12:45 PM
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Do NOT buy that lens. I owned it for a month before returning it. I never got one good shot out of it




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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 12:47 PM
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Save your pennies and buy this one instead. I can not even put into words on here, how much this lens is worth every penny over the other one you posted. Image quality is 10,000,000 times better

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-70-300mm...4570004&sr=8-1




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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 12:49 PM
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Buy the best you can afford.

A 4-5.6 lens is not capable of stopping any motion in an indoor environment. However, it will work very well for bright light outdoor shots. That price is normal, but a good deal for that lens.

That is a decent first lens, and you can get started with that one, but it won't do you any justice or help you take great shots. Save your money and get a good lens.

The best place to get real world feedback on any camera or lens IMHO is http://www.dpreview.com

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 12:54 PM
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also check the reviews section on fredmiranda.com

thats often where i look before buying




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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 12:57 PM
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And here is my favorite site for learning:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTony View Post
Save your pennies and buy this one instead. I can not even put into words on here, how much this lens is worth every penny over the other one you posted. Image quality is 10,000,000 times better

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-70-300mm...4570004&sr=8-1
looks like a nice lens. is that aperture ok though? shouldn't it be lower?

oh i'm definitely not buying that lens! haha!

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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and thanks brian and tony. i will definitely check out those links. i believe i have been on them before. i will check them again...

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 01:59 PM
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Just head over to Helix or Calumet Camera. Unlike where I'm at, you do have good photography stores nearby.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 02:04 PM
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CalCam is great BTW

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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That lens is perfect if you're planning on walking around outside taking nature shots or track shots. Anything dark like indoors, and it's like Wink said...pretty useless unless it's a still shot or tons of light being available.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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anyone got an example of what kind of shot that lens would take in an indoor/dark environment???

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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Quote:
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anyone got an example of what kind of shot that lens would take in an indoor/dark environment???
I've never even tried it, but to be honest, how many indoor places do you plan on taking a nice zoom lens with you? If you're talking your average party shot and the family posing, then you'll do just fine with a regular zoom lens (16-85) range, or going for something like a 17-55 f/2.8 if you really must have better indoor shots. I have a 18-70 f/3.5-4.5 which works just fine. If I really really really need quality dark indoor shots with motion then I bust out the 50mm f/1.8 which cost $100. I lack on the zoom, but don't forget that feet can do plenty of zooming too. That 50mm is also my modeling lens and used for any shots that I'm truly working on the quality and framing.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 03:00 PM
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I've never even tried it, but to be honest, how many indoor places do you plan on taking a nice zoom lens with you? If you're talking your average party shot and the family posing, then you'll do just fine with a regular zoom lens (16-85) range, or going for something like a 17-55 f/2.8 if you really must have better indoor shots. I have a 18-70 f/3.5-4.5 which works just fine. If I really really really need quality dark indoor shots with motion then I bust out the 50mm f/1.8 which cost $100. I lack on the zoom, but don't forget that feet can do plenty of zooming too. That 50mm is also my modeling lens and used for any shots that I'm truly working on the quality and framing.
That was the logic I used when I bought the cheaper one. After having to shit can 9 out of 10 images that came off that lens I finally had to suck it up and return it before i was out of my 30 day window. It's not just the IS that is missing here, the IS lens has been described in many places as L glass in disguise. Shots are bright and clear, with excellent depth of field. Even outdoor shots looked like crap 90 percent of the time with the cheaper lens.




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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 03:17 PM
 
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That was the logic I used when I bought the cheaper one. After having to shit can 9 out of 10 images that came off that lens I finally had to suck it up and return it before i was out of my 30 day window. It's not just the IS that is missing here, the IS lens has been described in many places as L glass in disguise. Shots are bright and clear, with excellent depth of field. Even outdoor shots looked like crap 90 percent of the time with the cheaper lens.
Couple things there. I guess I can only speak for Nikon experience. My 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 has VR, so in terms of getting quality shots for motion, no problems there. The Canon lens will give different results so I guess I should have cleared up that I'm on the Nikon side and judging from experience with the Nikkor lenses.

I know I've read a number of times on forums that sometimes 2 lenses with the same specs will give you different results. There's been a number of threads I've read on DPReview and at first thought odd, but have come to accept more that you might get a good or a bad lens. Now I don't doubt that sometimes you simply get a lens that doesn't quite give you the right photo's so you might be better off exchanging it and trying the same one again.

Also part of the reason I went with the D80 over the xti is the size. I can comfortably hold the D80 which is significantly bigger and better fit in my hands than the xti. I can't imagine enjoying using my 70-300 or any other good glass which will always weigh more on the xti. The day I walked around with my buddies xti, I could see how any long term use, my shots would suffer from using it. This is the last resort, but if my hands ain't comfy, then my shots ain't gonna be good either. So a simple battery extender might help there too.
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 03:19 PM
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My xti is much larger and heavier than a normal one as I have the extended battery grip on the bottom.

like I said, it's not jus about the IS, it is whole different lens. glass is just better as well.




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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 03:25 PM
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Here is the review for the 190 dollar lens
What's crazy is after reading all of that I still ordered it thinking, it cant really be THAT bad, especially in bright sunlight at the track. man was I wrong, it was that bad. That's OK Amazon has a great return policy.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/s...&cat=27&page=3

Heres the review for the lens I currently have.

Well worth the money.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/s...&cat=27&page=3




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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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Yea I was just pointing out some other possible differences that I'm guessing most would overlook but just to keep in the back of your mind. If you're shooting identical shots but one lens clearly sucks, it may not be the pro vs not difference necessarily is all. I mean for walking around and taking day to day shots I can't justify spending any more than what I did on my 70-300 but part of that is the number of times you use that zoom range too. I don't make a living off my track shots either so for me to spend a ton of money on mostly a "for fun" lens would be tough. Instead I focus on the mid range zoom and wide angle and focus my cash there.

I guess for SAQ you need to decide if having that zoom lens is priority to spend the cash like Tony has or like I have. To him, top quality shots and indoor shots are priority. For me getting solid track and nature shots but not quite pro quality and price are important and no need for indoor since that's covered by my other lenses.

So think for a while about what you'll really use the lens for and figure out your full lens lineup.
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 03:32 PM
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I would recommend the IS version over the standard 70-300, if it were me.

I bought one of those 70-300 lenses when I first got into photography. Though it can produce acceptable results, my 70-200/2.8 VR blows it out of the water. The 70-300 has just sat in the bag ever since.

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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 03:33 PM
 
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Oh yea I'd add that at that focal length that IS is a very good idea, so I'm assuming the comparison is really between 70-300 IS and a 70-200 f/2.8.
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 03:43 PM
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Biggy... Canon has a 70-300 IS and non IS...
They also have the 70-200 2.8 and 4 I believe the 4 is avail with or without IS..
I would say that is one of the stronger points canon has on nikon.. More lens choices.. and this isn't to start a canon vs nikon debate... I just know that Canon has historically had a slightly better selection when it comes to glass...
Where it counts.. they both have something ie.. nikon and canon both have great 70x200 2.8 IS/VR lenses.. (imho a great lens for motorsports.. maybe overkill.. but great)

Canon's lens overlap can be a bit tricky though.. it's more gradiant..

The different between the 70 x 300 non IS and the 70 x 200 2.8 L IS monetarily is very large...
If he is balking at dropping 600 right now on the IS version of the lens I can't imagine he is looking to spend a bit less than 2k on that L glass...

I think it goes (Internet Prices / BM will probably generally be a bit higher)

70-300 200$
70-300 IS 600$
70-200 F4 L 600$
70-200 F4 IS L 1000$
70-200 F2.8 L 1100$
70-200 F2.8 IS L 1700$

Those could be wrong... If someone wants to look and correct me.. I am putting that up from mem and while lens prices dont change must those would be old prices...

Last edited by iamnotgreg; 03-03-2008 at 04:09 PM.
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 04:14 PM
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WOW you guys just brought in a whole bunch of different lenses, lets not confuse the poor guy. I am just giving him my advice to hopefully learn from my mistakes and save him some time from struggling through what I have had to learn on my own through Trial and error and sifting through 30 page threads.

The lens he is looking at is the Canon EF 75-300 F4-5.6 III USM. Like I said I bought this one as my first lens when I got my camera. Itonly recieved a 5.5 out of 10 on Fredmiranda.com and rightfully deserves that grade. Link to review here

I was just suggesting the lens that I landed on after doing waaaaay to many jours of research and test shots, it's a totally different lens and much newer in the canon line up with much better glass, not just a IS version of the 75-300. They have an IS version of the 75-300 and it is crap as well.

The lens I am suggesting for a first zoom is the Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM. i know the model number look close, but they could not be more different in quality. On fred miranda it recieved an 8.8 out of 10 and is recommended my 91% of the reveiwers. Myself being one of those. Amazon has it for 555.00 at the moment which is a good price.

dont even bring L glass into the equation as it would get Waaaaaay to expensive for him.




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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
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WOW you guys just brought in a whole bunch of different lenses, lets not confuse the poor guy. I am just giving him my advice to hopefully learn from my mistakes and save him some time from struggling through what I have had to learn on my own through Trial and error and sifting through 30 page threads.

The lens he is looking at is the Canon EF 75-300 F4-5.6 III USM. Like I said I bought this one as my first lens when I got my camera. Itonly recieved a 5.5 out of 10 on Fredmiranda.com and rightfully deserves that grade. Link to review here

I was just suggesting the lens that I landed on after doing waaaaay to many jours of research and test shots, it's a totally different lens and much newer in the canon line up with much better glass, not just a IS version of the 75-300. They have an IS version of the 75-300 and it is crap as well.

The lens I am suggesting for a first zoom is the Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM. i know the model number look close, but they could not be more different in quality. On fred miranda it recieved an 8.8 out of 10 and is recommended my 91% of the reveiwers. Myself being one of those. Amazon has it for 555.00 at the moment which is a good price.

dont even bring L glass into the equation as it would get Waaaaaay to expensive for him.
I think I got some of my lengths in there wrong.. There are actually more.. the 70-300 and the 75-300's...

I am going to look into that lens you are talking about.. It'd be nice to have something that long (i currently just have the 28-135mm for length and a 50mm prime) (but I really really want that 70-200 2.8 IS L)

I certainly wasn't leading him towards purchasing L glass, just illustrating how many lenses there were in that segment.. and approximately what they cost.. Partly to give him an idea of his choices, and partly to substantiate my comment to biggy about the lens overlap/choices available...
crazy thing is.. for all the lenses I just listed.. There are more than that...

I feel his pain.. Every lens has its limitations.. even the expensive ones.. and if you have any budget limits at all in this hobby.. Lens selection would most likely be the place you found em.. Even if your relatively well off.. Those L lenses are gonna put a dent in most budgets
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 05:00 PM
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Yes there is a boat load of glass to choose from on the canon side of things.

the 70-300 IS that I recommend is also very nice for track shots as it has panning mode IS also, which only corrects for up or down movement when in that mode, so your panning will be smooth. then switch back to full IS for normal shots

Here is some of the most concise list of all of them with reviews that you can find. Ad still have it easily understandable to the newb and pro alike.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showcat.php?cat=27




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My head hurts and I understand all of this. TMI boyz, TMI! :

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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 05:37 PM
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My head hurts and I understand all of this. TMI boyz, TMI! :
LOL

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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 06:16 PM
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Yeah, 70-200's are a whole 'nuther ball game.

To keep it simple, I would go with the 70-300 IS and not even look at the 70-200 lenses. Especially if you own a Canon.

On a side note, honestly, why do they (Canon) need to make 4 different 70-200 lenses? I can understand why Chris is confused about what lens to buy. Canon just has too many lenses to choose from. It can drive anyone crazy. If you are in the market for one of these 70-200 lenses, just buy the 2.8 IS and call it a day.

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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by VTEC_EATER View Post
Yeah, 70-200's are a whole 'nuther ball game.

To keep it simple, I would go with the 70-300 IS and not even look at the 70-200 lenses. Especially if you own a Canon.

On a side note, honestly, why do they (Canon) need to make 4 different 70-200 lenses? I can understand why Chris is confused about what lens to buy. Canon just has too many lenses to choose from. It can drive anyone crazy. If you are in the market for one of these 70-200 lenses, just buy the 2.8 IS and call it a day.
I agree...
Apologies if I helped make it more complicated than it had to be.. I thought putting out a list of the models available and their prices would help..
Canon does tend to... Well go a bit overboard with their lenses..

I would say it is for the pro's... That said I have rarely seen a pro using anything but L glass (that said I have only seen pro's at motorsport events.. so my exp is rather limited) I have used the L lenses and I can safely say "wow, there is a difference" I cannot however say "damn, they are worth the money!" because.. there just is no reason for a few pieces of glass in a metal tube to cost that much... I think part of the reason they are so desirable IS that they are so expensive.. thus making them "special"

I am curious about that lens that Tony mentioned.. Although I wonder if I'd be better off just saving the cash and applying it towards the 2.8 IS L lens (and maybe a teleconverter)... I would also like to grab a 10-22 as the crop factor... turns my 50 into a 70mm which is a bit to much for indoors shooting IMHO


Sorry this is getting so confusing.. You picked yourself a pretty fun.. "6 of 1 half dozen of the other.." "you get what you pay for.. most of the time..." "EXPENSIVE" and "few rules are absolute" hobby
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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HOLY SHIT that's a lot of info!!! but much appreciated info guys! yeah i'm not a pro at this. it's just a hobby that i want to take up. i'm a newlywed and eventually my wife and i would like to have kids, so that's why i purchased the camera. i want to be able to take great quality pics of my kid(s) as he or she or they grow. it's also for vacations of course. i'm going to vegas soon to visit my family and i like to take nice shots of the strip at night time with all the lights and all. i'm also going on a cruise, so i'd like to take great photos there of the sunrise and sunset. pics of the beach, etc. etc. and of course i'd like to take great shots of the bike and shots of group rides with all of you. and shots from track days even though i don't take my bike on the track. i'd still like to go and watch and take pics of you guys on the track. that's mainly going to be what my camera is for. pretty much all around shooting, but at a "hobby" level, if you will. i'm definitely not a professional photographer. LOL!

so i have the lens that my camera came with and i'd like to get 1 good decent wide angle lens and 1 good decent telephoto lens. i'll look into the one that Tony had suggested. i don't know about me spending close to $1000 for a lens right now. i just bought a house so a lot of my money is going into furnishing and decorating it right now! haha!

well thanks to all of you for the input. it has helped a lot.

~~~~~~~~~~~
Chris
'11 VROD MUSCLE
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 10:23 AM
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get the one I recommended, it's 500 and change.

Then for a good carry around lens to replace the cheap one that came with the camera, get one of these. I have it and it has made me very happy.

those two lenses are all you really NEED to have in your bag. Plus some assorted filters (polarizer etc). Once you have those mastered and if you really want to get into this, hit me back up and we will talk L glass and crazy shit like that.

But those 2 lenses will take 99% of the shots you want for vacations, and your future baby with excellent clarity and are extremly user friendly.


for both of these lenses your looking at about 900 bucks total for two very high quality pieces of glass. Very cheap in the long run.




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