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  1. #1
    Camera Lens Debate
    rs2sensen's Avatar
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    Camera Lens Debate
    I'm currently in debate between two lenses for my Canon dSLR. I just picked up the 50mm f/1.8 and am deciding it's time to go with a better telephoto lens. I've primarily been shooting with a friend's 28-135 f/3.5-6.6 IS USM, and have liked it, but it doesn't have as much length as I'd like. I also have the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.

    Right now I'm considering:
    Canon EF 70-200 f/4.0 L USM
    Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM

    The 70-200 has better optics and is faster. The 70-300 is longer. I can get them for a similar price. At the moment I'm leaning towards the 70-200, and figure I can use an extender if I need more length, and I'll get better results with one on the better glass anyways.

    I shoot:
    Portraits
    Weddings
    Concerts
    Sports (indoor and outdoor).

    I was just wondering if anyone has advice on the two lenses, and can share any experience they may have had with them. Advice on similar lenses, also in that price range, are good. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Camera Lens Debate
    PowerBookG4's Avatar
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    i have teh 70-200 and love it, I do the same stuff as you (with the exception of portraits) and this lens has been very useful. Although I don't have any experience with the 70-300, i will say that the 70-200 is amazing and if you choose that one you will not regret not going with the longer one.
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  3. #3
    Camera Lens Debate
    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    70-200 is a much better lens.

    I used the f/4 at the Zoo a couple weeks back and the photos I took with it required practically no sharpening straight from the camera. The L is definitely something besides a letter.

    Neither of the lenses you're looking at are going to be good for everything you described. The f/4 is what is going to kill you for everything indoors. Concerts will definitely be out of the question unless you're shooting events that have HUGE lighting. Even using a 50mm f/1.8, I'm still getting venues where I'm using an f/2.2-f/2.8 and ISO 1250 and still only getting shutter speeds of 1/30-1/50. If you're using a longer lens that's hand held, you're going to need faster shutter speeds unless you're using flash all the time. The same is going to apply for weddings in door and sports unless they're at professional arenas.

    The 70-200 f/2.8 L IS is ideal, but it's $1000 more than the f/4. Two other option are maybe the 70-200 f/4 L IS and the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8. The Sigma doesn't have IS and is only about $800. I don't know how the optics are on it, but everyone says the the Canon L glass is much better.
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  4. #4
    Camera Lens Debate
    macAttack's Avatar
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    agreed, a 70-300 might be good for wildlife....but it doesn't seem like you do to much of that

  5. #5
    Camera Lens Debate
    Zoolook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rs2sensen View Post

    I shoot:
    Portraits
    Weddings
    Concerts
    Sports (indoor and outdoor).

    I was just wondering if anyone has advice on the two lenses, and can share any experience they may have had with them. Advice on similar lenses, also in that price range, are good. Thanks!
    For Portraits and Weddings, you probably won't need any more than 135mm, and certainly no more than 200.

    For concerts and sports, a fast lens is key... as I am assuming you need the long lens for shooting at distance or doing closeups of fast action.

    Whatever the marketing blurb, IS will not make up f/4 to f/2.8 at the same IQ - so you may be better off plumping for a faster 3rd party lens from Sigma, and going for something faster.

    **edit just realised I repeated pretty much was VI said, oops...
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  6. #6
    Camera Lens Debate

    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2006
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    I have owned the 70-300mm IS lens for about two years now and absolutely love it. The lens got very good reviews, so I purchased it at the same time along with my Rebel XT. I have not been disappointed with it, taking portraits, wildlife shots, wedding photos and soccer action shots. The L lens' plus is that it is f4 throughout its zoom range and exposure is predictable. However, I love the image stabilization in the 70-300 which allows me to hand-hold the camera in almost all circumstances, and it has 50% more range on the telephoto end. And for such a large zoom range, the lens is surprisingly compact.

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