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View Full Version : Telephoto Lenses


Andrew Schreiber
02-13-2008, 02:57 PM
I do a lot of the photography for 397 and would like to be able to keep doing this during competition season, I was curious if anyone had any suggestions for what type of lense I should buy. Currently I have only my 18- 55 mm f/3.8-5.6 lense on the Cannon XTi (400D) body. For these type of shots I don't mind shooting at higher ISO levels because the team rarely needs the shots to be completly noise free, and the 400D doesn't seem to have that much of a problem with it. Of course I would like to shoot at the lowest possible ISO.

My question realy is, for most mid-sized competitions, what is a decent lense to use, currently I am looking at buying either a 28-200 mm f/3.8-5.6 or a 28-135mm f/3.8-5.6 IS.

Also, this is my personal camera so price range is that of a poor college kid basically, L-series or equivalent are pretty much out of the question. I also prefer to buy lenses new. Unless anyone really vouches for the place.

jgannon
02-13-2008, 03:11 PM
I'm a huge fan of the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6. Not quite as sharp as an L, but for ~$130 it's a very competent telephoto.

Sample shot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brunkfordbraun/459875286/

billbo911
02-13-2008, 03:33 PM
Last year I did a bit of shooting at the Davis Regional. I used both a Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 and a 70-300 3.5-5.6 IS on my 30D.
Depending on where you will be shooting from the 28-135 may be your best choice. If you can get the teams "Photographer" pass, you should be able to shoot from the floor and that lens will be perfect. If you move to the stands, then something with a little more reach may be needed, something like what JGannon recommended.

Andrew Schreiber
02-13-2008, 03:34 PM
Looking at the Sigmas, there are two 70-300mm lenses, one with APO and one without, which one are you using and which would you suggest?

Also, is there any reason to buy Canon lenses for a Canon camera over other lenses? It seems the Sigma lenses are significantly cheaper. Am I losing anything for the price?

billbo911
02-13-2008, 03:37 PM
Also, is there any reason to buy Canon lenses for a Canon camera over other lenses? It seems the Sigma lenses are significantly cheaper. Am I losing anything for the price?

Are you shooting as a professional??
If not, L lenses are not needed, nice to have, but not needed.
Sigma makes some great lenses and are quite on par with the Canon's, just not the L's.
Also look at Tameron and Tokina. Both are quite good. (I just bought a Tokina 10-17, all I can say is "WOW")

Andrew Schreiber
02-13-2008, 04:08 PM
Are you shooting as a professional??
If not, L lenses are not needed, nice to have, but not needed.
Sigma makes some great lenses and are quite on par with the Canon's, just not the L's.
Also look at Tameron and Tokina. Both are quite good. (I just bought a Tokina 10-17, all I can say is "WOW")

I am not shooting as professional, I meant losing quality in the build and such. I wouldn't buy an L-series unless I was getting paid to do the photography and only then if the job required it.

Have you had any problems shooting at competitions with f/3.5-5.6 lenses? I mean the lighting tends to be pretty decent for my eyes but I am not sure how a camera will handle it.

billbo911
02-13-2008, 04:18 PM
Have you had any problems shooting at competitions with f/3.5-5.6 lenses? I mean the lighting tends to be pretty decent for my eyes but I am not sure how a camera will handle it.

No real problems. The lighting is sufficient if you kick up your ISO to ~500 or so. Your XTI shouldn't generate enough noise to be noticeable at that level. A 3.5-5.6 lens should be just fine, add in IS and you are in good shape.:)

Andrew Schreiber
02-13-2008, 04:37 PM
The IS is why I was looking at the 28-135 lense. I have my dads old tripod (20+ yrs old works like a dream) so I was figuring as long as I use that at the upper end of the zoom I shouldnt have too many problems. If using a tripod at the higher zooms, could I realistically save the money on a non- IS lense or would I be sacrificing usability for say vacation photos and what not?

billbo911
02-13-2008, 04:44 PM
Now you are asking the tough questions.
You nailed it about the tripod and longer zoom. They will work perfect together. As for going non-IS and using it as a standard, walk around lens, then you may not be as satisfied.
BTW, the 28-135 is a killer walk around lens.

Andrew Schreiber
02-14-2008, 07:49 AM
My only worry about the 28-135 is that I won't have the reach I am looking for. I think I will head to a camera shop and test them out. With the IS is it possible to get pictures at the upper end of the zoom on the 135?

Swampdude
02-14-2008, 08:29 AM
I also have the XTi, I'm a newbie photographer, so take what I say with that in mind.
I bought the canon 50mm 1.8 (http://www.pixel-peeper.com/lenses/?lens=16) (cheap), which I never take off. It always takes beautiful shots. However because of the digital crop factor on the XTi, it probably would have been better to get something in the 30mm range. I'm starting to think about the sigma 30mm (http://www.pixel-peeper.com/lenses/?lens=278). I chose primes because you just can't do better with a zoom, and they're cheaper. The majority of pictures I take are portraits, or mostly people/stuff within 20'.
I also bought a sigma 70-200 2.8 (http://www.pixel-peeper.com/lenses/?lens=249). mostly for my kids soccer/baseball games, that also is a fantastic lens.
A great website to check out different combinations of cameras and lenses is www.pixel-peeper.com
Anyway, I really don't mind the prime zoom with your feet thing, but I think 50mm is a little too close. That 18-55 stock lens doesn't compare, I couldn't get any good pictures with it.