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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: Kcray85 on November 26, 2012, 12:30:35 PM

Title: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: Kcray85 on November 26, 2012, 12:30:35 PM
I have just begun to get hooked on DSLRs over the past yr.  My wife had an XSi that I learned on before purchasing the T4i in June.  I am looking to spend between $800 -$1200 on a new lens.  I currently have the EF-S 55-250 IS, EF-S 18-55 IS and a 40mm STM.  I mostly take pictures at sporting events, choir concerts (indoors with lower lighting), family events (holidays, weddings, graduations, etc.) and city landscapes. 

I am currently looking at the 70-200 f2.8L non-IS, 70-200 f4L IS, 135 f2L.  I am looking for a lense that would be good enough off a tripod/monopod as well as handheld.
 
With my lack of experience in photography, I want to make sure that I am considering all options, but want to rely on the expertise of people with much more experience than I.

All suggestions on other lenses are appreciated as well.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: K-amps on November 26, 2012, 12:41:03 PM
Looks like you have enough focal range coverage with your current set-up, so what you need is a fast lens... The 135 f2L fits the bill for indoor sports / portraits/ family events... up your alley in the price department too..
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: papa-razzi on November 26, 2012, 01:28:29 PM
I disagree with the recommendation for the 135 f/2 - excellent lens, but on a crop it will be a bit long on occasion and it would burn up your entire budget.  Instead I would recommend the folowing.

- Purchase the EF 85 f/1.8 ($359 today at B&H) - this will cover most of your fast lens indoor needs, and has excellent focus, and is very sharp.  The AF will keep up with your sports and give you a fast lens for low light events like choir concerts where you might need the range.
- Purchase a flash - I recommend the 430 EX II  ($245 today at B&H).  This will give you the ability to take excellent pictures indoors with your kit lens, and introduces you to the world of lighting.
- Sell your 55-250, and purchase the EF 70-200 f/4L (non IS) $629 today at B&H.  For outdoor sports, wildlife, etc.  You don't need IS for sports because your shutter speed will need to be approx 1/500 and at that point IS isn't going to add value.  This is one of the best value L lenses and one of the sharpest 70-200 lenses.
- Buy a tripod (buy the best one you can with the money you have left).  You will want this for your landscape shooting.

You can get all of the above for what you wanted to spend on one lens (after selling the 55-250).  Plus, with the above gear your photography will advance much further.

My 2 cents.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: Kcray85 on November 26, 2012, 01:59:55 PM
Sorry, i forgot to mention that i have a 430 EX flash and Manfrotto 190xprob
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: Botts on November 26, 2012, 02:04:04 PM
- Sell your 55-250, and purchase the EF 70-200 f/4L (non IS) $629 today at B&H.  For outdoor sports, wildlife, etc.  You don't need IS for sports because your shutter speed will need to be approx 1/500 and at that point IS isn't going to add value.  This is one of the best value L lenses and one of the sharpest 70-200 lenses.
- Buy a tripod (buy the best one you can with the money you have left).  You will want this for your landscape shooting.

You can get all of the above for what you wanted to spend on one lens (after selling the 55-250).  Plus, with the above gear your photography will advance much further.

My 2 cents.

Agreed.  I'd consider a used 70-200 f/4 IS instead of the 70-200 f/4 non-IS.  The IS version is sharper, and way more versatile due to IS.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: Chosenbydestiny on November 26, 2012, 02:06:14 PM
I'd probably leave the 70-200mm f4 IS out of the list, despite it being a very sharp and useful lens.... It just doesn't stop action indoors well enough. You're better off with the 70-200 2.8 with monopod, but personally I'd pick the 135mm f2 for indoor sports (I shot a lot of basketball) because with 85mm I'd always feel like I needed to be closer but couldn't because I didn't want to interrupt the game. But if you can get close enough the 85mm is a really good bang for the buck lens for your situation. Also, with my copies of both I'm very comfortable shooting the 135mm at f2, although when i had the 85mm 1.8 I had a tendency to stop it down to 2.2 or smaller a lot in order to equal the average amount of keepers on my 135L. Again, these were just my copies of those lenses.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: awinphoto on November 26, 2012, 02:22:27 PM
For what it's worth... if F4 isn't enough to stop action, F2.8 likely wont either, and then you have even small DOF and focus will be that much more critical, and quite frankly, the 9 pt Af from the rebel likely wont be able to keep up...  If you had a 7d or 5d3 or something like that, then sure...  But otherwise, F4 should suffice... I cannot recommend the 135 as you would likely need 1/200 just to freeze camera shake... It's a sharp lens when on a tripod in ideal situations... but the distance and lack of IS is a dealbreaker... I had a second shooter with the 5d and 135.... Camera shake was so bad almost no interior shots were acceptable...  I told him to use a monopod and he assured me he was good...  Anyways...  70-200 F4 IS is a great lens... 70-200 F2.8 IS is even better but double the price and even more razor thin AF..  Perhaps the 100mm L is something to consider... You got a quality macro... quality AF and IS...  It is a great portrait lens and gives a lot of options...  Plus gives you the 2.8 if you need it. 
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: Jesse on November 26, 2012, 02:26:46 PM
Everyone always forgets about the 100 f/2....
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: Chosenbydestiny on November 26, 2012, 02:53:45 PM
Everyone always forgets about the 100 f/2....

It's just so similar to the 85mm in every way =P people go for the 85mm because of popularity and it's been very popular as a focal length, for decades. An extra 15mm... Not that big of a deal in the short telephoto range. I remember this from comparing 85mm and 100mm shots from my 70-200 before. Actually, 85mm vs 135mm isn't that big of a difference on crop either when looking through the viewfinder, but only if you can walk back and forth to compensate distance. 100mm is like 85mm to me when shooting closer to infinity. Just my honest opinion.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: nonac on November 26, 2012, 03:18:29 PM
I have a 70-200 f2.8L II which I bought to primarily shoot indoor sports, ie volleyball, basketball, wrestling, etc..  While it is ok in some situations, it is not fast enough in most.  I recently purchased the 135 f/2 and wow, what a difference that extra full stop makes. I am shooting on a full frame body; however, in your case you will have a little more reach. That is easily solved by moving around until you find the best shot to shoot from. I take shots from various locations in the gym every time I shoot.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: Eli on November 26, 2012, 03:45:55 PM
What focal length range do you find most of your photos fall in?
If I were you I'd sell the 18-55 and get the 17-55 f2.8 is and keep the 55-250.
The 17-55 is a great all rounder lens. I found the focal length of the 70-200 a bit too tight on crop for me, might be useful for indoor sports depending on how big the place is, but then you're left with the 18-55 for general purpose / family event stuff. And also the 55-250 isn't too bad either.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: Hesbehindyou on November 26, 2012, 04:04:03 PM
I have just begun to get hooked on DSLRs over the past yr.  My wife had an XSi that I learned on before purchasing the T4i in June.  I am looking to spend between $800 -$1200 on a new lens.  I currently have the EF-S 55-250 IS, EF-S 18-55 IS and a 40mm STM.  I mostly take pictures at sporting events, choir concerts (indoors with lower lighting), family events (holidays, weddings, graduations, etc.) and city landscapes. 

70-200 f4 is a strong contender, though you'll want to consider the f2.8.  Downside is that it likely won't be quite fast enough for indoor sports; for that I'd get the 100 f2 or 85 f1.8 (assuming you're on a budget).

I've an f4 lens (Sigma 100-300 f4) and it's good but an f2.8 aperture is missed for it's ability to blur distracting backgrounds a little more than the f4 lens and provide very high shutter speeds for sport etc.

I don't find the size of the 100-300 f4 (comparable with the 70-200 f2.8) a problem, especially since the 55-250  can be brought along instead. The 70-200 f4 is a good lens but it's still fairly sizeable & weighty.

I looked at the suggestions to get a 135 f2 for indoor sports. Problem with that is that the 70-200 nails it for all but one of your uses; the 135 nails just indoor sports and means you're compromising with everything else by having the f4 lens; background blur moving from f5.6 to f2.8 is significant, the intermediate step to f4 is not so impressive.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: Kcray85 on November 26, 2012, 04:14:50 PM
What focal length range do you find most of your photos fall in?
If I were you I'd sell the 18-55 and get the 17-55 f2.8 is and keep the 55-250.
The 17-55 is a great all rounder lens. I found the focal length of the 70-200 a bit too tight on crop for me, might be useful for indoor sports depending on how big the place is, but then you're left with the 18-55 for general purpose / family event stuff. And also the 55-250 isn't too bad either.
I tend to find myself using the 55-250 about 75% or more of the time. when using that lens most shots fall between 116-250.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: dhofmann on November 26, 2012, 04:53:37 PM
If you can afford $1,600, I'd get a refurbished 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM (http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_275764_-1). While it won't stop action as well as the 135mm f/2 lens except at 190-200mm, it's much more versatile and almost as sharp. Also consider the 100-400mm (http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_282320_-1) ($1,087) and the 300mm f/4L (http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_275770_-1) ($927) lenses, if reach and/or price is more important to you than aperture.

The next step up from these lenses is the 200mm f/2L lens ($6,000).
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: canon_convert on November 26, 2012, 06:10:59 PM
If you can afford $1,600, I'd get a refurbished 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM (http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_275764_-1). While it won't stop action as well as the 135mm f/2 lens except at 190-200mm, it's much more versatile and almost as sharp. Also consider the 100-400mm (http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_282320_-1) ($1,087) and the 300mm f/4L (http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_275770_-1) ($927) lenses, if reach and/or price is more important to you than aperture.

The next step up from these lenses is the 200mm f/2L lens ($6,000).

It's 1750 after taxes unless you are assuming that he doesn't have to pay tax. 100L would be the way to go considering his budget
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: IIIHobbs on November 27, 2012, 10:38:38 AM
I disagree with the recommendation for the 135 f/2 - excellent lens, but on a crop it will be a bit long on occasion and it would burn up your entire budget.  Instead ...

- Purchase the EF 85 f/1.8 ($359 today at B&H) - this will cover most of your fast lens indoor needs, and has excellent focus, and is very sharp.  The AF will keep up with your sports and give you a fast lens for low light events like choir concerts where you might need the range.
- Purchase the EF 70-200 f/4L (non IS) $629 today at B&H.  For outdoor sports, wildlife, etc.  You don't need IS for sports because your shutter speed will need to be approx 1/500 and at that point IS isn't going to add value.  This is one of the best value L lenses and one of the sharpest 70-200 lenses.

This is sound advice based on your budget, experience and camera body.

The 85mm on a Crop Sensor body works very well for Basketball, Volleyball, etc. On a Full Frame Camera I have found the 135 f2 the better choice.

The 70-200 f4L is a very good lens and will provide much improved clarity and sharpness and speed over the 55-250 (especially at the long end).

From the DigitalPicture.com: My recommendation is to get the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM Lens over the 55-250. I think you will appreciate the better image quality as well as the high end physical features - the extra cost is worth it in my opinion. The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens is also a better lens, but less definitively so. Though I don't think the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Lens is great in terms of image quality and features, we can't lose sight of the fact that it is very inexpensive IS tele-zoom Lens. There is a niche for this model. A casual shooter who is happy with their Canon EF-S 18-55mm II or 18-55 IS Lens and needs a tele-zoom for infrequent use could be happy with this lens.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: dhofmann on November 27, 2012, 12:00:15 PM
100L would be the way to go considering his budget
The 135mm f/2L will give him more pixels on the subject than the 100mm f/2L at the same aperture, so it depends on which focal length he finds more useful.


The 70-200 f4L is a very good lens and will provide much improved clarity and sharpness and speed over the 55-250 (especially at the long end).
The 70-200mm f/4L IS is even better (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=104&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=404&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0), even if you don't use image stabilization.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: bycostello on November 27, 2012, 09:10:06 PM
for hilidays i'd never get a big lens, as you get tired both physically and figuratively of carrying it around
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: Kcray85 on November 28, 2012, 09:57:43 AM
Thank you everyone for your replies.  i will let you know what i end up doing.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: crasher8 on November 28, 2012, 10:23:40 AM
If you like medium tele primes, I might suggest thinking about a refurbished 100 2.8 Macro. First off it's a great macro lens, secondly it's a fantastic portrait lens and it's a nice middle focal length (what's your 70-200 sweet spot?). Black lens, not too heavy and fast enough for most lighting situations. It also will give you the cash to buy a faster and wider prime, something that you're missing. If not than I also suggest the non IS 70-200 f/4 and get a refurb from Canon USA for under 600.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: EOBeav on November 28, 2012, 11:25:01 AM
For what it's worth... if F4 isn't enough to stop action, F2.8 likely wont either,

Huh? Then why do lens companies spend the extra R&D money developing lenses an entire stop faster?

OP: For $1200, you should be able to get the 135 f/2 L as well as a 50mm f/1.4.  Those two lenses would go a long ways in shooting the events you described.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: EOBeav on November 28, 2012, 11:28:15 AM
- Sell your 55-250, and purchase the EF 70-200 f/4L (non IS) $629 today at B&H.  For outdoor sports, wildlife, etc.  You don't need IS for sports because your shutter speed will need to be approx 1/500 and at that point IS isn't going to add value.  This is one of the best value L lenses and one of the sharpest 70-200 lenses.

No. Although the 70-200 f/4 L (non-IS) is really good (I have one), it's not ideal for indoor sports.  And more so if you're shooting with a Rebel. Do those still max out at ISO 1600? If so, you're not going to get near enough shutter speed in the average gym. Choir concerts will be even worse.

I'm still saying that a 135mm f/2 L is your best bet for those things, especially if you don't have the coin for a 70-200 f/2.8 L non-IS.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: Kcray85 on November 28, 2012, 11:56:31 AM
- Sell your 55-250, and purchase the EF 70-200 f/4L (non IS) $629 today at B&H.  For outdoor sports, wildlife, etc.  You don't need IS for sports because your shutter speed will need to be approx 1/500 and at that point IS isn't going to add value.  This is one of the best value L lenses and one of the sharpest 70-200 lenses.

No. Although the 70-200 f/4 L (non-IS) is really good (I have one), it's not ideal for indoor sports.  And more so if you're shooting with a Rebel. Do those still max out at ISO 1600? If so, you're not going to get near enough shutter speed in the average gym. Choir concerts will be even worse.

I'm still saying that a 135mm f/2 L is your best bet for those things, especially if you don't have the coin for a 70-200 f/2.8 L non-IS.

The t4i shoots up to 6400 iso. It appears with a side job I just landed this morning, the 70-200 2.8 non IS will be in reach.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 28, 2012, 12:07:53 PM
The t4i shoots up to 6400 iso. It appears with a side job I just landed this morning, the 70-200 2.8 non IS will be in reach.

Actually, it goes up to ISO 12800, with ISO 25600 available as an expanded setting (H).  But whether ISO 6400 is actually usable, much less ISO 12800 or higher, is another matter.  Just because the setting is available, doesn't mean you should use it - the 1D X has ISO 204800 available, but it's not even remotely usable. 

Reportedly, the T4i actually a little noisier than the predecessor sensor (the one in the 7D, 60D, T2i, T3i).  That's probably artificial due to some tuning by Canon, since it's sharper than the predecessor sensor, too (noise can be traded for sharpness, and vice versa).  Personally, I find ISO 3200 on the 7D to be usable, but only just, and I really prefer to keep the ISO around 800.  But, noise tolerance is subjective, so if you're happy with ISO 6400 on the T4i, great!
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: EOBeav on November 28, 2012, 12:43:03 PM
The t4i shoots up to 6400 iso. It appears with a side job I just landed this morning, the 70-200 2.8 non IS will be in reach.

Got it. The last Rebel I shot with was an XSi (350D).  Not a bad sensor at all, but that max ISO 1600 could be really limiting at times.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: robbymack on November 28, 2012, 01:04:54 PM
Since you seem to be primarily interested in the long end and you want to do some low light before you run out and buy the 70-200 2.8 take a hard look at the 2.8 is ii version. Rent them both for a weekend and see which you like better. Yes the latter is more expensive, but it's fantastic, check the used prices and see if it fits the budget. They are both beasts so you may not like the weight if so both f4 versions of that lens are very, very good. In fact of the 4 models the non IS 2.8 would probably be a distant 4th in my mind. Seems silly to have all that weight/price and still not get IS.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: Kcray85 on November 28, 2012, 01:05:25 PM
The t4i shoots up to 6400 iso. It appears with a side job I just landed this morning, the 70-200 2.8 non IS will be in reach.

Actually, it goes up to ISO 12800, with ISO 25600 available as an expanded setting (H).  But whether ISO 6400 is actually usable, much less ISO 12800 or higher, is another matter.  Just because the setting is available, doesn't mean you should use it - the 1D X has ISO 204800 available, but it's not even remotely usable. 

Reportedly, the T4i actually a little noisier than the predecessor sensor (the one in the 7D, 60D, T2i, T3i).  That's probably artificial due to some tuning by Canon, since it's sharper than the predecessor sensor, too (noise can be traded for sharpness, and vice versa).  Personally, I find ISO 3200 on the 7D to be usable, but only just, and I really prefer to keep the ISO around 800.  But, noise tolerance is subjective, so if you're happy with ISO 6400 on the T4i, great!
You are correct.  I was not at home to double check before i answered that so i went with a safe answer.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: papa-razzi on December 26, 2012, 09:50:13 PM
- Sell your 55-250, and purchase the EF 70-200 f/4L (non IS) $629 today at B&H.  For outdoor sports, wildlife, etc.  You don't need IS for sports because your shutter speed will need to be approx 1/500 and at that point IS isn't going to add value.  This is one of the best value L lenses and one of the sharpest 70-200 lenses.

No. Although the 70-200 f/4 L (non-IS) is really good (I have one), it's not ideal for indoor sports.  And more so if you're shooting with a Rebel. Do those still max out at ISO 1600? If so, you're not going to get near enough shutter speed in the average gym. Choir concerts will be even worse.


I'm still saying that a 135mm f/2 L is your best bet for those things, especially if you don't have the coin for a 70-200 f/2.8 L non-IS.

The full recommendation was the 85 f/1.8 for INDOOR, and 70-200 f/4 L for OUTDOOR.
I completely agree f/4 isn't going to cut it in a highschool gym.
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: AudioGlenn on January 06, 2013, 04:20:29 PM
the rookie mistake is buying the wrong gear and finding out it won't really work for what you needed it for.  I'd consider saving up a little longer for the 70-200 2.8 IS II. 
Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: picturesbyme on January 06, 2013, 05:44:32 PM
EF200mm 2.8L II
often overlooked.. yet an awesome lens...




Title: Re: Don't want to make a rookie mistake
Post by: bdunbar79 on January 06, 2013, 05:55:46 PM
For what it's worth... if F4 isn't enough to stop action, F2.8 likely wont either,

Huh? Then why do lens companies spend the extra R&D money developing lenses an entire stop faster?

OP: For $1200, you should be able to get the 135 f/2 L as well as a 50mm f/1.4.  Those two lenses would go a long ways in shooting the events you described.

Exactly.  95% of my sports photos are at f/2.8.  I wouldn't shoot at f/4 indoors; that's an entire stop of light!