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Flossmoor40D
04-29-2009, 11:07 AM
Looking for some commentary on how to better round out my collection of lenses to go with my 40D. My previous thread about the 40D at ISO 1600 and f/5.6 on my 28-135 has spurred this post. You can see from my signature what I currently have. Wishing now that I had held off on buying the 10-22 as I just haven't had the time to use it for the landscapes/architecture photos that I bought it for.

Most of my shooting lately has been of my two daughters, 4 years old and 5 months old. Listed below are the activities that my oldest daughter is involved in for which I will be taking pictures. I am also listing what lens I think makes sense for the activity.

Ballet (indoor poor light) - 135 L f/2
Ice Skating (indoor avg light) - 135 L f/2 (currently using the 28-135 for it)
Soccer (outsdoor - weather pending) - 135 L f/2 or 70-200 L f/4 or 100-400 L (might be better off getting the 70-200 f/4 plus a 1.4 extender)

General Portraits/Candids - 50 f/1.8 or 135 L f/2 - either will work but I would need more room when using the 135 but it would give me more pop than the 50 f/1.8 would with regard to the wow factor for results.

Looking for comments from the gallery based on what I shoot most listed above what lenses you would consider to give me the most coverage for the money.

FLiPMaRC
04-29-2009, 11:20 AM
Anyone know how the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 (http://www.adorama.com/SG70200H2EOS.html) performs in low light? Unless you're really set on getting a prime :)


The Tamron version is also cheaper: http://www.adorama.com/TM70200EOS.html

Nickcanada
04-29-2009, 11:20 AM
Well, the 135mm 2.0 is a great lens but if you wanted to save a bit of money you could go with the 85mm 1.8.

If you're looking at lenses like the 135mm 2.0 than don't even bother with the 50mm 1.8. You'll never use the thing if you have something like the 135.

GaryS
04-29-2009, 11:24 AM
We are in similar situations... my kids are 10, 8, 7 and they do similar activities. I'll go through my stuff and say how I use it.

Sigma 18-50 f2.8 - General, all-around lens for at the park, in the house etc. Inside I'll use a 430ex flash too, usually bounced off the ceiling.

Sigma 50-150 f2.8 - Soccer, baseball, portraits, hockey, whatever sports. With f2.8 and iso1600, I can shoot with reasonable shutter speeds indoors even in poor light. If at all possible, I add the flash too (at iso1600 and f2.8, an external flash is surprisingly powerful!) . Also, for kid sports, you can usually get very close to the action, so max mm isn't always required.

Canon 50 f1.8. Really dark situations... or for portraits where I want max sharpness at f8. Around campfires and such...

Sigma 10-20... Just when I want to make them look goofy, so not really for the kids. I did take a shot recently of their entire class play cast with it.. but the flash didn't cover the entire group so it didn't turn out. I'm learning....

I hope that helps.

FLiPMaRC
04-29-2009, 11:33 AM
:cool: Found an archive thread on POTN for the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8. Looks promising for low light.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=144808&highlight=sigma+70+200+2.8

Mark_48
04-29-2009, 11:52 AM
Sort of between the 85 f1.8 and 135 f2 and forgiving on the wallet.

Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

Got fairly good reviews over at FM.....
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=33&sort=7&cat=2&page=1

Edit:
Some low light samples can be found at...
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/canon/ef_100_2u

Rhys
04-29-2009, 11:56 AM
I'd say stick with the Canon lenses. I have never found independent lenses to be free of problems.

My old Tamron 70-300 took very sharp photos but suffered some fringing and very often was unusable because it kept throwing err99 on my cameras. It was not a matter of dirty contacts. I put that lens on my camera one day to take photos at a zoo - half way through, it threw an err99 having not been removed through the day. I had to switch the camera off and on several times to get it working again. Sometimes this did not solve the problem.

My Tamron 17-35 performs badly on my XT but better on my 30D. My Tamron 28-75 does not focus consistently no matter what camera it's on. For example - I can mount it on a tripod-mounted camera. I aim it at a fixed point and it will focus in front, behind or on the subject with no consistency.

In my film days I found Tamron was poor. Tamron's only selling point was the Adaptall2 system. Now I think they're expensive junk. Save your money and get Canon rather than something that you'll probably end up having to flog on ebay.

laydros
04-29-2009, 11:56 AM
70-200 f/2.8 non-IS might be worth it. It won't be quite as fast or sharp as the 135, but its quite close, and gives you a lot of versatility. Get the IS if you can, but soccer, ballet, and ice skating are all moving fast enough you will need a fast shutter speed anyway

faisal
04-29-2009, 12:10 PM
If the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 (or the 50-150 f2.8) is good in low light focusing I'd advice you to get that...pair it with 85mm f1.8 and I think you'll have quite a decent setup without going bankrupt!!!

Rhys
04-29-2009, 12:19 PM
This was taken with a 70-300 f4-5.6 IS at 300mm. These are pretty big birds - about as big as a small child. I had to get to within 20 feet to get this photo (it's uncropped). I'm wondering therefore whether a 70-200 is really what you need.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3297/3424303431_a724d892d2_o.jpg

If you fancy the 135 f2 then perhaps a 2x teleconverter or a 400mm lens?

I quite fancy this lens (though it'd be overkill for your purposes) and the price while probably achievable with some sacrifices is a bit out of the way for a lens of such limited use. Super Telephoto 1200mm f/5.6L EF USM Autofocus Lens (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/116642-USA/Canon_2527A001_Super_Telephoto_1200mm_f_5_6L.html)

GaryS
04-29-2009, 12:21 PM
Actually, I will probably replace my 50 f1.8 with a 85 f1.8 and a 28 f1.8 at some point in the future. The 50 is great, but its ALWAYS 'too long' or 'too short' for me.

gilly
04-29-2009, 12:27 PM
Well, the 135mm 2.0 is a great lens but if you wanted to save a bit of money you could go with the 85mm 1.8.

If you're looking at lenses like the 135mm 2.0 than don't even bother with the 50mm 1.8. You'll never use the thing if you have something like the 135.

I've shot indoor equestrian in poor light with 30D and 85 1.8, I also had my 5D and 70-200 2.8 IS that day and the 30D/85 1.8 produced some brilliant results and made a few sales in the end. I didn't really use that lens for anything but portraits up until then.

For general portraits on a budget, look no further than the 85 1.8. I've never really taken to the 50 on any camera, I don't know why, but the 85 is the opposite. It's always on one of my cameras and I love using it wide open.

I can't comment on the 135, I'd love to have one for the 5D, but I would think it would be too long on a cropper like the 40D for some of the purposes listed.

For the price of the 135, I'd be looking for an 85 1.8 and a 200 2.8 L instead. The 85 will get the most use, guaranteed! Awesome for the money.

faisal
04-29-2009, 01:14 PM
My 85mm is quite soft wide open....so I prefer shooting at F2.5 or more....

Nickcanada
04-30-2009, 04:56 AM
My 85 is pretty sharp wide open.... but it's hard to use wide open. There is very little room for error.

http://i88.photobucket.com/albums/k162/nickandaline/testing/_MG_8550.jpg

http://i88.photobucket.com/albums/k162/nickandaline/testing/_MG_8550-2.jpg

Flossmoor40D
04-30-2009, 09:29 AM
Thanks to everyone for all of the input thus far. Below are the current amazon.com prices for all the lenses suggested that I would really consider buying.

Canon 85mm f/1.8 - $360
Canon 100mm f/2 - $410
Canon 135mm L f/2 - $935
Canon 200mm L f/2.8 - $710
Canon 70-200mm L f/4 - $600

My worry on the 85mm is that it just doesn't have the length for ballet and ice skating. The shots I took of the ballet last weekend on the 28-135 were all fully extended to 135mm. I was sitting 8 rows back in the floor seating, so I guess 85mm would work from the front row, but I can't guarantee I'll always get front row seating.

As much as I think I want the 135L after reading all the reviews, it probably makes much more sense to pair either the 85 & 200 or the 100 & 200 together for $100 to $200 more than just the 135L alone.

Does this math make sense? If I was at 1/30th second at f/5.6 with my 28-135, then with the 200 at f/2.8 I pickup two full stops so I would be at 1/125th with the 200L f/2.8, which is still less than half the actual focal length (320mm) of the 200 on my 40D, given the the 1.6 crop. Can I expect to hand hold that shot and make it work given the same lighting conditions? Thoughts?

If I do the same thing with the 135L f/2 vs the 28-135 at f5.6, I pickup three full stops so I am at 1/250th on a true focal length of 216mm.

Obviously the math will work on the 100mm f/2 if it does on the 135 f/2.

Am I over thinking this? Am I missing anything?

adam75south
04-30-2009, 10:09 AM
even on my 85mm i don't like shooting at slower than 1/125s so you might have some problems with the 200mm handheld at that speed. nothing a cheep monopod wouldn't fix though. it just depends on how steady you are i guess.

Flossmoor40D
05-01-2009, 08:56 AM
WTF the 135L was $935 yesterday on Amazon and it is $1,059 today.

Giving some serious thought to selling my 10-22/hood and cp filter on FM to buy either the 135 f/2 L or 200 f/2.8 L and then selling my kit 28-135 on FM to help offset the purchase of either the 85 f/1.8, 100 f/2 or the 1.4x extender.

As I already have the 50 f/1.8II I think the following two pairings make the most sense.

#1 - 50 f/1.8II & either 85 f/2 or 100 f2 & 200 f/2.8

#2 - 50 f/1.8II & 135 f/2 & 1.4x extender

I think #1 gives me the best coverage from 50 to 200 before the 1.6 crop but #2 gives me the mental mastrubation of owning the 135. Someone please tell me to stop fantasizing over a lens I have never owned or used and chose #1 which I think is the most logical.

GaryS
05-01-2009, 09:02 AM
lol... scott. Great post, but I can't help you choose here...

michaelb
05-01-2009, 09:40 AM
WTF the 135L was $935 yesterday on Amazon and it is $1,059 today.

Giving some serious thought to selling my 10-22/hood and cp filter on FM to buy either the 135 f/2 L or 200 f/2.8 L and then selling my kit 28-135 on FM to help offset the purchase of either the 85 f/1.8, 100 f/2 or the 1.4x extender.

As I already have the 50 f/1.8II I think the following two pairings make the most sense.

#1 - 50 f/1.8II & either 85 f/2 or 100 f2 & 200 f/2.8

#2 - 50 f/1.8II & 135 f/2 & 1.4x extender

I think #1 gives me the best coverage from 50 to 200 before the 1.6 crop but #2 gives me the mental mastrubation of owning the 135. Someone please tell me to stop fantasizing over a lens I have never owned or used and chose #1 which I think is the most logical.


1. Canon prices are going up, but Spring rebates should be here very soon. I've seen a "preliminary" list of the rebates and none of your lenses are on it though.

2. I think I would go with #1. The 100 f/2 has 90% of the IQ of the 135L based on what I've seen. Your going to have issues handholding that 200 f/2.8 at 1/125 though.

FLiPMaRC
05-01-2009, 10:55 AM
Thanks for info on the rebates Michael. The instant rebates comes out next week right? I'll finally get my 430exII :D


http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1029&message=31729394

Flossmoor40D
05-01-2009, 11:45 AM
1. Canon prices are going up, but Spring rebates should be here very soon. I've seen a "preliminary" list of the rebates and none of your lenses are on it though.

2. I think I would go with #1. The 100 f/2 has 90% of the IQ of the 135L based on what I've seen. Your going to have issues handholding that 200 f/2.8 at 1/125 though.

Thanks Michael. Also thinking about getting the 70-200 f/4 instead of the 200f/2.8. The more I think about this, which seems to be too much already, the more I think 200 is to long for both ballet and ice skating anyway so I don't really need 200 f/2.8. The place I would really want the 200 is for soccer and any other outdoor sports she takes up in the future, which I think f/4 is probably fine for. Would you agree with that?

Having not done any real sports photography in over 20 years I am thinking it would be much easier to track sports at 70 and zoom to shoot while following the action than it is to track it on a 200 fixed. Thoughts?

Anyone use a monopod for a 200mm lens? Does it fully compensate for the hand shake with no IS?

I have also read in a lot of reviews about people having problems bringing the "white lens" into stadiums and arenas. Anyone have first hand experience with this?

Sorry to keep rambling on this, it seems like I spent more time trying to make this decision than I did helping plan my wedding.

laydros
05-01-2009, 12:44 PM
100/2. All the good points of the 85, but at a focal range more appropriate for what you are doing.

I would advise against having nothing shorter than 50mm.

michaelb
05-02-2009, 01:46 PM
Thanks Michael. Also thinking about getting the 70-200 f/4 instead of the 200f/2.8. The more I think about this, which seems to be too much already, the more I think 200 is to long for both ballet and ice skating anyway so I don't really need 200 f/2.8. The place I would really want the 200 is for soccer and any other outdoor sports she takes up in the future, which I think f/4 is probably fine for. Would you agree with that?

Having not done any real sports photography in over 20 years I am thinking it would be much easier to track sports at 70 and zoom to shoot while following the action than it is to track it on a 200 fixed. Thoughts?

Anyone use a monopod for a 200mm lens? Does it fully compensate for the hand shake with no IS?

I have also read in a lot of reviews about people having problems bringing the "white lens" into stadiums and arenas. Anyone have first hand experience with this?

Sorry to keep rambling on this, it seems like I spent more time trying to make this decision than I did helping plan my wedding.

1. Outdoors, in good lighting, you will have no problems with the 70-200 f/4.

2. I agree, I think the flexibility of the 70-200 zoom will outweigh the f/2.8 of the 200 f/2.8 unless the light is low enough that you really need the f/2.8. My 70-200 f/4 focuses very quickly.

3. Monopods are good for supporting weight but they do nothing in terms of "IS" in my experience. I bought a monopod and tested it against my ability to handhold without it and I was no better with the monopod.

4. My experience is that a white lens always draws more attention, unfortunately. I really wish my 70-200 f/4 was black. By the way, Canon used to make an 80-200 f/2.8 lens that many call the "magic drainpipe". The best thing about it is that its black. Many claim that its one of the best zooms that Canon ever made. I've seen them sell on FM and POTN for about $650. Its major drawback is that Canon no longer services it.

Flossmoor40D
05-04-2009, 07:50 AM
Thanks Michael

faisal
05-04-2009, 08:35 AM
Why would Canon choose to not service the 80-200 f2.8 anymore???

michaelb
05-05-2009, 04:58 AM
Why would Canon choose to not service the 80-200 f2.8 anymore???

I think its just that they don't make parts for it anymore; I suspect they figure that its not "cost effective".