September 15, 2014, 10:59:01 PM

Author Topic: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under  (Read 2007 times)

Andy_Hodapp

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Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« on: March 09, 2013, 03:39:40 PM »
I recently upgraded from a Canon T1i to a Canon 5D MKII and have sold my longer lenses, my 75-300mm f4-5.6 III, which was a terrible lens, and a 28-135mm IS USM.  The only sort of telephoto lens I have right now is a Sigma 105mm macro.  I have a budget of about $800 US and I am not sure what lens to go for in Canons large range of telephotos.  I have manly been thinking about getting a 200mm f/2.8 II as I want to do portraits and I think that this would be a good length on full frame for portraits.  When I had my T1i, I would use my 50mm 1.8 II, but now this seems to be a bit too wide for portraits as it has more distortion then I would like.  When I do portraits, I do them outside so distance away from my subject wouldn't be much of an issue but I am a bit concerned about my control over dof, would there be to much when doing body shots?  Would I better off just using my 105mm for portraits? 

I'm going to Hawaii for spring break and would like to capture more shots of birds and stuff, would the 200mm be a good choice, also what is the difference between the 200mm f/2.8 i vs ii?

Here is some of my portrait work with my 50mm on my T1i








Here is some work I've done with my 105mm on my T1i






Here a shot with the 105mm on my 5D



Sorry for the randomness of my post, I'm just not sure what to go for.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 03:41:49 PM by Andy_Hodapp »
Canon 5D MKII, Canon 17-40mm F/4L, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, Helios 44M-4 58mm F/2, Sigma 105mm EX DG Macro F/2.8, Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Canon 200mm F/2.8L, Yongnuo YN-560 II, S100 with underwater housing

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Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« on: March 09, 2013, 03:39:40 PM »

KKCFamilyman

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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 08:26:14 PM »
Nice shots. If you can swing it I would find a good used 70-200 f4is. Great lens. The 2.8 is better but of course then theres the cost.
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brad-man

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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 09:59:09 PM »
Nice shots. If you can swing it I would find a good used 70-200 f4is. Great lens. The 2.8 is better but of course then theres the cost.

+1 for the f/4 IS.

RS2021

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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 10:00:20 PM »
great shots...

I find 200 f/2.8 a tad too long for general portraits even if you step back...  135L is a gem and can be had for about ~$800.  It can go from tight shots to shoulder portraits depending on space...Plus you gain a stop of light at f/2. Overall build quality and AF is also superb. Cheers!
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 04:59:56 PM by RS2021 »
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TulseLuper

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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 10:09:29 PM »
Normally I'd recommend the 135L, but it's pretty close to your 105mm. The 200/2.8L is awesome, relatively compact, and a steal (can be had for $600-650 used). It would also be better than the 135 for your goals in Hawaii. You'll have to stand pretty far back for portraits, but don't worry about the depth of field thing.

stuDoc

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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 10:24:28 PM »
The two versions of the 200mm f/2.8L are identical optically.  Cosmetically, version 1 has an in-built retractable hood, whereas version 2 lacks a hood (which means you will have to purchase one separately if you require it). It is a great lens, small and inconspicuous (not white) but does feel somewhat long for environmental portraits.

An 85mm lens will frame similarly on full-frame as your nifty-fifty did on the T1i. You would likely feel right at home using either the following on the 5dII:

canon 85/1.8 ($325)
canon 100/2.0 ($350)

I personally prefer the 100/2, but to each their own. That would leave you with enough cash to put towards a telephoto zoom for close wildlife like the:

Tamron 70-300 VC ($275-325)
Canon 70-300 IS ($300-350)
Canon 70-200/4L non-is ($450-500)

I have owned all 3, and quickly sold the Canon 70-300 non-L IS after purchasing the Tamron. Benefits of the f/4L lens over the Tamron: build quality, aperture, autofocus accuracy & speed.  Advantages of the Tamron: focal length, 3-4 stop stabilization, color, cost, included accessories, warranty. 100% pixel peeping at 200mm showed me no discernible difference between these optically using 10xLV.  Although 300mm on the Tamron is not superb, it clears up nicely with a bit of contrast/sharpening in post.

If you are looking for the best single lens for your cash outlay, then the following come to mind:

Sigma 85/1.4 ($750-800)
Canon 135/2.0L ($750-800)
Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS ($850-900)
Canon 200/2.8L + 1.4x extender ($650 + $150)

The included prices are rough used-price estimates. Nice portraits by the way!

RS2021

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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 10:30:16 PM »
Normally I'd recommend the 135L, but it's pretty close to your 105mm.

Yes, I missed that...if you plan to keep your Sigma 105, yes, the 135L would be pretty close and redundant in focal length (but not quality).  But I can't really say the 200mm is all that far in real reach... its a smidge longer not a great leap.  But price wise yes, it will fit your bill.

If you can part with something you don't need (I don't know what) and swing for the recent 100-300 L IS or veteran 100-400L IS, you will actually see a notable difference in reach from 105mm. Both zooms will fall under good quality telephoto category and can be bought in the used market for ~$1000 to ~1100. But you need to up the budget by probably $200 to $300 more. 100-300L has a new IS and is crisp. 100-400 gets used a lot in surfing settings, not just birds.

Given it is a sunny trip, and both these zooms are outdoors oriented, I don't think aperture is a big deal here...also keeping the budget in mind they are within striking range.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 10:35:18 PM by RS2021 »
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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 10:30:16 PM »

stuDoc

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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2013, 11:04:36 PM »
If you can part with something you don't need (I don't know what) and swing for the recent 100-300 L IS or veteran 100-400L IS, you will actually see a notable difference in reach from 105mm.

Pretty sure RS2021 is referring to the 70-300L IS lens.  Unfortunately that beauty tends to sell on the used market for $100-200 more than the 100-400L IS, which already sits above your budget by at least that margin.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2013, 11:21:43 PM »
I'd also vote for the 70-200mm f/4 either non IS or a used IS version.

Andy_Hodapp

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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2013, 12:00:17 AM »
If I'm interested in having the f/2.8, would the 80-200mm f/2.8 magic drain pipe be a good idea or is it to old of a len?
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Albi86

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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2013, 10:31:38 AM »
Hi, I think your 105 macro will be just fine for portraits.

For a long zoom, with your budget I suggest tamron 70-300 or sigma 120-400. If you don't mind being limited at 200mm, then the 70-200 L f/4 non IS will be great.

Andy_Hodapp

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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2013, 10:40:20 PM »
Thank you to everyone who gave me advise, I ended up going for the 200mm F/2.8 USM II L.  I'm a big prime shooter and this lens fit my budget and is so sharp.  Here are some shots I got with it on my 5D MKII on my first day with it.

This was shot through a tinted window, I am so impressed how sharp it was







Another shot through a window

Canon 5D MKII, Canon 17-40mm F/4L, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, Helios 44M-4 58mm F/2, Sigma 105mm EX DG Macro F/2.8, Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Canon 200mm F/2.8L, Yongnuo YN-560 II, S100 with underwater housing

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Re: Need help with choosing a telephoto for $800 and under
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2013, 10:40:20 PM »