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Author Topic: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens  (Read 5438 times)

pgsdeepak

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Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« on: February 02, 2013, 11:34:23 AM »
I currently own a  EOS 40D, 17-40mm F4L, 100MM Macro Non L, 70-300mm IS Non L and 28-135mm Kit lens. I have made a decision to upgrade my 40D to 5D Mark III kit. Since the rebate is ending today, I decided to wait until the next rebate or price drop if that happens. I was also thinking of adding the 70-200mm F4 IS L lens to my collection. Then another thought came to my mind. Sell the 70-300mm IS USM and buy the 70-300mm IS L or 100-400MM IS L and forget about the 70-200 mm F4 IS L. What would be the best decision, 70-300MM L, 100-400MML or keep my 70-300 non L and buy 70-200mm IS f/4 L. I considered 70-200mm L for its sharpness even though I decided to keep the 70-300MM for the reach.  I never used the 70-300mm L or 100-400mm L. I read the reviews on thedigitalpicture.com and they are high on 70-200mm lenses. Please advice. thanks in advance.
Also any idea, how much I can ask for the 70-300mm IS USM? its 4.5yrs old and is in excellent condition. this is the first time I am trying to sell a lens. thought of starting with Craigslist. any other suggestion?
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Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« on: February 02, 2013, 11:34:23 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2013, 12:26:14 PM »
The 70-200/4L IS, 70-300L, and 100-400L are all excellent.  Your choice should be determined by whether you need 200mm, 300mm, or 400mm.

The 70-300 non-L seems to be listed on my local CL frequently, in the $300-350 range (higher sometimes, but I highly doubt those sell). 
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dr croubie

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 11:43:20 PM »
Keeping the 70-300 non-L and buying one of the 70-200L variants is not a good idea, imho. The 70-300 non-L is good in the 70-200 range, but goes rapidly downhill towards 300mm. So if you keep that and buy a 70-200L, then you've got a great lens at 70-200mm, a good lens at 70-200mm, and a mushy mess at 200-300mm (at least, my non-L was very soft at 300mm).

Also don't forget that by upgrading from 40D to FF, for the reach of the 300mm on APS-C that you're used to, you'll need a 480mm lens on your FF to frame the same. Set your current lens at 125mm on your 40D, and see the angle of view that you get. Can you live with that as your longest? Because that's all you'll get with a 200mm on FF, if you want longer then you'll have to get one of the 4 i mentioned earlier, and/or get some extenders.

So, do you need 300mm or longer? And do you need it to be sharp? Then 70-300L, 100-400L, or even consider the 300mm f/4L or 400mm f/5.6L.
Personally I chose the 70-300L when i got sick of my 70-300 non-L, not least because it was the newest, fastest AF, best sealed, best IS and most compact of the 4 (and cheapest at the time too).
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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 07:23:30 AM »
If you're considering the 70-300L, then it might be worth considering a 70-200 f/2.8 L II.  It takes extenders well and will get you to 400mm @ f/5.6, which is similar in reach and IQ to the 100-400, with slower AF.

With the 70-300L as good as it is, I don't think it's worth looking at the 70-200 f/4 variants for most people.

Menace

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 06:08:03 AM »
Why not keep the 40d and get a 70-200 (which ever you can afford) - so you still have the extra reach of the crop camera body. Get the 5d III kit, keep 17-40 and 100 Macro and sell the rest.

You can always add a longer lens later on if you really really need it.

IMHO as always.
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Michael_pfh

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 08:57:16 AM »
70-200 2.8L IS II
1DX | 14 2.8L II | 16-35 2.8L II | 24 1.4L II | 24-70 2.8L II | ZE 35 2.0 | ZE 50 2.0 | 85 1.2L II | 100 2.8L IS | 135 2.0L | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 200 F2.0L IS | 300 2.8L IS II | 400 2.8L IS II | 500 4.0L IS

steven kessel

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 09:06:40 AM »
I have the 70-200 4L IS and the 100-400 4-5.6 IS.  They're both great lenses that produce very sharp and contrasty images.  However, my 70-200 languishes most of the time because I primarily shoot wildlife and I need all the reach I can get.  You need to ask yourself what you're going to be using your lenses for.  If it's wildlife, the more reach the better, I say.  For more general use, a somewhat shorter lens might work better.  The 70-200 is much lighter than the 100-400 and it can become fatiguing fairly quickly carrying all that glass around, especially if you don't need the extra reach.

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 09:06:40 AM »

kirispupis

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 10:07:53 AM »
I have owned both the 70-200/4 IS and the 100-400 in the past.  The 70-200/4 IS takes a 1.4x extender decently, but the quality is quite poor with a 2x (and you lose AF).  So, if you are looking to photograph wildlife the 100-400 is the clear winner.  I owned both of these lenses at the same time, and the 100-400 was always my choice for wildlife.  Travel, however, was a bit tricky because the 100-400 is quite heavy while the 70-200/4 IS is not so heavy but long.

I then switched to the 70-200/2.8 II + 2x III.  After testing them against each other I sold both my 70-200/4 IS and my 100-400.  I sold the 70-200/4 IS because the 2.8 bests it in sharpness (though the F4 is very sharp) and has a 2.8 aperture.  I sold the 100-400 because the differences were extremely small.  It simply was no longer worth it to carry the 100-400 in my bag if I had the 70-200/2.8 and a 2x extender.

Since then I have moved to prime lenses.  The 400/5.6 easily outperforms any of my previous choices at 400mm.  It lacks IS, but I photograph most wildlife at higher shutter speeds anyways.
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The Bad Duck

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 10:58:42 AM »
Now I´m going to make suggestions on lenses I have not used or just used once.

The 400 /5.6 is great if you can keep shutterspeeds up, and you can pump the ISO up quite a bit on a 5d mkIII. If you want a zoom, the sigma 120-300 /2.8 OS seems like a really nice lens. From looking at examples on the-digital-picture I got to the conclution that it takes extenders nicely and from 200mm and up it can compare with the 70-200 II /2.8 IS L. Up to 200 the L wins. On the other focal lengths I found the sigma equal or better. But that may be just me. The L is better in the bordes, the Sigma is quite sharp in the middle.
Then again, I don´t know if the sigma has some disadvantage in other areas that are important to you.

The 70-200 /4 and the 100-400 are quite a bit cheaper and that does make a differense. Both the 70-200´s are extraordinary good lenses but if you are used to 300 mm on aps-c, then 200 mm on FF will feel very short.

 So, my suggestion, have a look at the 400 /5.6, the 120-300 /2.8 OS + 1.4x extender, and the 100-400. Personaly I am seriously considering the 120-300.

good luck. This is not easy.

robbymack

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2013, 10:59:58 AM »
All three lens options are great, you can't really go wrong with any of them. I'd wait till that 5diii has been in your hands for a few months before deciding what lens you want. I purchased my 70-200 f4 IS when I was shooting crop, it was great and pretty much all the length I needed.  Then as I moved to ff I wished I had instead purchased the 70-300L as 200 is a bit short. So now I'm looking for a good used 100-400 or maybe considering the 400 5.6 but the versatility of the zoom will likely win out. I've thought also about the 70-200 2.8 with extenders but the reason I went with the f4 was due to the ridiculous weight of that beast so I don't think that opinion will have changed, however the 100-400 isn't exactly a featherweight. Decisions, decisions.

kirispupis

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2013, 11:27:56 AM »
Now I´m going to make suggestions on lenses I have not used or just used once.

The 400 /5.6 is great if you can keep shutterspeeds up, and you can pump the ISO up quite a bit on a 5d mkIII. If you want a zoom, the sigma 120-300 /2.8 OS seems like a really nice lens. From looking at examples on the-digital-picture I got to the conclution that it takes extenders nicely and from 200mm and up it can compare with the 70-200 II /2.8 IS L. Up to 200 the L wins. On the other focal lengths I found the sigma equal or better. But that may be just me. The L is better in the bordes, the Sigma is quite sharp in the middle.
Then again, I don´t know if the sigma has some disadvantage in other areas that are important to you.

 So, my suggestion, have a look at the 400 /5.6, the 120-300 /2.8 OS + 1.4x extender, and the 100-400. Personaly I am seriously considering the 120-300.

good luck. This is not easy.

Personally I have never owned the 120-300/2.8, but I know someone who did and sold it after a year (for 50% of the original price - Sigmas have a poor resale value).  I did own the Sigma 80-400 at one point and later upgraded it to the 100-400.  The 100-400 was far better in both sharpness and AF.

Compare the 120-300/2.8 at 300mm/F5.6 with the 100-400.
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=803&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=3&LensComp=113&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=5&APIComp=1
The Sigma is a tiny bit better, but costs a lot more.

Now compare the Sigma at 420mm/5.6 with the 400/5.6.
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=803&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=6&API=3&LensComp=278&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0
The 400/5.6 completely smokes it.

Personally I would never buy a Sigma telephoto lens.  They have some innovative lenses (300-300, 200-500/2.8) but they simply do not have the sharpness and quality that you can expect from a Canon telephoto.
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sagittariansrock

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2013, 12:49:28 PM »
70-200 2.8L IS II

Since the OP is not considering the 70-200 2.8, I'd recommend avoiding looking at it or through it. I missed out on buying a perfectly fine 700/4 IS after looking through a 2.8 II at a camera store, and had to wait more than a year to upgrade as a result!
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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2013, 02:34:28 PM »
I would pack up the 40D, 70-300 non-L, and the 28-135, and send them to either KEH or B&H in partial trade for a 5D3 with the 24-105L, then, if money permits, buy the 70-300L.

That is what I have, and am very pleased.

I tried the 28-135 on my 5D3, and was not impressed.  The 24-105 is a vastly superior lens, and the slight difference at the long end is more than made up for by the better IQ.

I found the difference between the 70-300 non-L and the L equally stark.  It is unlikely you will be happy with the non-L lens on a 5D3.

Right now, though, my favorite lens is the Zeiss 50mm f1.4 manual focus...


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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2013, 02:34:28 PM »

CarlTN

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2013, 03:43:53 PM »
Pgsdeepak...If you're worried about reach with a crop camera, and your future plans are to buy a 5D3, then I would say buy the 70-300 L (at the lowest price possible), and sell the rest.  Reach is something you can't have with full frame, without huge expensive lenses.  At 300mm, you will see a similar field of view on a full frame, as you do at 200mm on a crop camera.  Given your 40D is only 10MP, the actual resolution difference won't be quite as great.

If your heart is set on the 100-400, it is a much more difficult lens to carry around than the 70-300...and you might also consider waiting until a version 2 of the 100-400 comes out (might be 2014, or sooner, or later...who knows?).

I am in a similar situation, only I have the 50D.  I've owned the 70-200 f/4L (non IS) for nearly three years.  It is fantastic, very sharp to the corners (except for a narrow range from 90 to 130mm), great color, nice bokeh toward the long end...very little CA...and fantastic contrast.  I recently printed an aerial picture shot at 200mm, 20x30 inches, and the print looks sharp even up very close.  I paid $590 for the lens, new.  It has paid for itself 10x fold, or more. 

I've rented many other lenses, and just lately was trying to decide what telephoto to rent next.  I still can't decide.

My main problem with the 70-300L, is there is no panning mode for the IS.  If there was, I would probably buy one.  According to the tests online, it looks to be sharper in the center than everything other than the 70-200 f/2.8 IS ii.  Toward the borders, not so much...but then when you're at 300mm, you don't need the borders very often (and there are some tricks in ACR to help that along, too).  The quality of color looks extremely nice, as well.

Its price has fallen quite a bit since it was first introduced.  I suspect if they ever update it with a "panning IS", given their price increase trajectory for all recent lens updates...that new version would have an initial price of $1899 or higher.

If you don't need to pan while shooting, definitely consider the 70-300L.

dr croubie

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2013, 04:41:53 PM »
My main problem with the 70-300L, is there is no panning mode for the IS.
If you don't need to pan while shooting, definitely consider the 70-300L.

I thought there was? (I can go check the user manual when I find it later and scan it). It's got the 'IS Mode' switch 1-2, which is normally 1 for normal IS and 2 for panning. What it doesn't have is the Mode 3 which only turns the IS on when you press the shutter (which is more useful for tracking birds and cheetahs), that's only on the $10k mkII über-teles.

I got this shot a few weeks ago, at the Tour Down Under. 7D, Tv 1/400s, Autoiso100, f/7.1, 70mm (so not too far away from me), standard processing and no cropping. Bike and her face is perfectly in focus, background is pan-blurred left to right.

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Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2013, 04:41:53 PM »