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Lens Choices

dmb3073
Apprentice
Hello!
New here to the forum. I'm returning back into the photography world after 10 plus years with almost no portrait experience, besides my own kids and family (only in it for a short time for architect). I've recently purchases an entry level DSLR (Canon Rebel T6) to be sure that this is something I wanted to pursue before spending an abundant amount of money on better equipment. I figured if I sucked at it at least I'll put it to use with my 3 very active kids! I've completed several portrait sessions and sports games using the standard 18-55mm & 75-300mm kit lens just for the practice and to get my name out there. They turned out just fine but with more post editing time than I would have liked though. I researched for several weeks for lenses to step up my game, because let's face it even used "ugly" lenses are an investment and I want to make the best choices financially and not just jump to buy any old lens! I took the numerous recommendations of every photographer needs to have the "nifty fifty" and just purchased the 50mm lens. I used the lens the same day I received it and the images turned out fantastic, some of them absolutely breathtaking!! Very little to some of them not needing any post editing. Funny, it turns out I have an eye for it!!! I've looked to go beyond that with additional lenses that will push me even further but at the same time not sacrificing my mortgage even for a used lens. Looking for recommendations for a "go to" lens. I like the variable zoom ability but I know with that I'll have to sacrifice that wide aperture that is so desired. I've looked at purchasing an 85mm, 18-200mm, 18-125, and/or several others. Ideally I would love the 70-200mm Canon lens but right now at $2000 that isn't practical even finding it used or a third party used. There has been many different reviews and personal preferences for the lenses I've researched trying to decide. Looking for some guidance that will help choose the next lens that will be a step up!! Thanks in advance
27 REPLIES 27

jrhoffman75
Legend
Legend

I make my own decisions based on experience but don’t close my mind to the observations of others. Always willing to assess and learn. 

 

I have the 70-200 f/2.8 II and the 70-200 f/4 II. Both IS versions. In real world images on 1D X at 10% crops difference is not discernible to me. Maybe test chart images would show a difference, but I don't shoot them. 

For people that aren't printing wall prints, i.e. likely just sharing digital images, a different mind set is required. Just my opinion. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, M200, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, Lr Classic


@jrhoffman75 wrote:

I make my own decisions based on experience but don’t close my mind to the observations of others. Always willing to assess and learn. 

 

I have the 70-200 f/2.8 II and the 70-200 f/4 II. Both IS versions. In real world images on 1D X at 10% crops difference is not discernible to me. Maybe test chart images would show a difference, but I don't shoot them. 

For people that aren't printing wall prints, i.e. likely just sharing digital images, a different mind set is required. Just my opinion. 


One argument that favors the f/2.8 versions of the 70-200 over the f/4 versions is that the f/2.8 versions pair well with a 1.4x extender. The extender turns an f/2.8 lens into an f/4, which is usually acceptable. But it turns an f/4 lens into an f/5.6, which can be iffy, especially indoors.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

I agree Bob. If money is not a limiting factor the f/2.8 version is the one to get. 

 

But for the OP the $2000 price tag was limiting. That is why I suggested he look into a used f/4 version at about 1/3 the price.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, M200, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, Lr Classic

Origianl poster here since someone needed to jump onto my initial question instead of creating their own chat for their issue Smiley Frustrated

 

To clarify, my original posting did note about the 70-200 f/2.8.   After extensive research and I've already had my mind set that the f/2.8 is the way to go and the f/4 would be possibly a waste of money and not perform as I want it to especially for indoor sporting events.  If I need to save for the 6 months even for a used lens than that's what I'll do!

For indoor sports, there is no question that the 2.8 version is the better choice.  In addition to the 1 stop gain allowing a preferred mix of shutter speed vs high ISO noise, the camera AF system benefits from the faster lens and you will have a brighter viewfinder display.  

 

And although I really don't want to confuse the issue further, there is life beyond a "zoom" lens and if you are shooting a lot of indoor sports with questionable lighting then don't overlook the possibility of the 135 F2 which is another stop faster than the 70-200 2.8 and it provides beautiful sharpness.  I have shot quite a bit of volleyball and basketball with that lens and the price is very reasonable for a very sharp L series lens.  I also use and love the 70-200 2.8 and have used it a lot for indoor sports also but there are times when that extra stop really helps and the cost of the 135 is far less.

 

For volleyball, basketball, and reduced field size indoor soccer, the 135 is a very useful length although with a crop body you would need to be a little further away which may be the case anyway if you don't have a court/field pass.  Thursday night I was at a local high school to get photos of the senior night presentation but I took a few photos at some of the games prior to the presentation of graduating players and these were with the 135 F2.  It is a medium telephoto so it allows a reasonably broad view of the action when desired but taking advantage of its sharpness and lower iso allowing F2 speed, it allows a tight crop when needed while retaining good quality.  The first image is about a 20% crop while the second image is an entire frame capture by the camera, both shot from courtside with the 135MM fully open @1/640 and ISO 1600.

 

Rodger

 

B18T4567.JPG

 

B18T5424.JPG

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

"...shot from courtside with the 135MM fully open @1/640 and ISO 1600."

 

And both showing the extreme limits of DOF with a 135mil f2.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

"After extensive research and I've already had my mind set that the f/2.8 is the way to go ..."

 

100% on board with you.  The best is always the best and in the long run may be the cheapest.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

"I make my own decisions based on experience but don’t close my mind to the observations of others."

 

Not saying you do, not saying you don't.  It is just suspect when folks seem to always refer to some inner web reviewer in favor of their own experience.  Perhaps it is because they don't have any?

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!
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