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Author Topic: 300mm zoom for 350D Rebel Xt  (Read 5097 times)
tallbaldguy
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« on: April 26, 2006, 10:52:34 PM »
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My first post here. Excellent site and forum. Got my first LL Video Journal the other day, very informative.
Anyway I have a Rebel Xt with the 17-85mm IS. I have been looking around to buy a telephoto zoom, and with an upcoming trip to Asia the time is now. I have read much about the 70-300 DO IS, the pros (the IS, size) and cons (softness at 300, cost). My question: Is it worth me shelling out  $1300+ if I'm going to use the lens with the great but definitely non-pro Rebel?
Anyone recommendations for another lens that does 70-300mm with IS? I know there's the non-DO version that's a bit lengthier but cheaper. Any others? Does Sigma offer any lenses with IS?
Thanks
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macgyver
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2006, 11:10:17 PM »
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Is it worth me shelling out  $1300+ if I'm going to use the lens with the great but definitely non-pro Rebel?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=63807\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


It may not be "pro" but it's still an excellent sensor.  The glass is what counts anyway, I would say go for it.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2006, 07:57:36 AM »
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I have that camera and lens (70-300) and I'm quite pleased with it. The size is a big plus as I didn't want to haul around any more than two lens. As for the quality, nothing that proper capture sharpening can't address. But go the DO if you can.

I'm no longer a pro shooter (when I was, digital cameras in 1994 were toys). So I'm kind of in your boat where while I'd love a 5D, the Rebel and this lens are fine for a few years shooting for myself. My 2nd lens is the 17-85 which should I ever get that 5D will be a door stop but it wasn't that expensive and it's quite nice too.
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Andrew Rodney
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tallbaldguy
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2006, 10:45:11 PM »
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Thanks. I'm definitely leaning to the 70-300 DO. cost is the only factor, but it certainly looks worth it.
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phox
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2006, 03:51:01 AM »
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As for the quality, nothing that proper capture sharpening can't address.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=63834\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Before I give my two cents, I'm going to have to disagree with the above statement.  If your lens has image quality issues that result in any amount of detail being lost, there is nothing you can to do get that detail back (unless it's out of focus, in which case you can salvage some detail, but not get a perfect image back).


That said, my two cents:

I think there's a trade-off to be had here.  I don't know how critical size is to you, and obviously you can decide on that pretty easily.  The rest of the trade-off has to do with the sort of things you take pictures of, and the conditions under which you do so.

A lot of people have stated that IS is no substitute for real stops, and they're right.  What a lot of people haven't said (from what I've seen), is that real stops are not a substitute for IS, either.  That said, I find I do care about real stops more often than I care about IS, but that probably doesn't apply to everyone (although... who in their right mind shoots landscapes without a tripod, anyways?).

With that in mind, and your budget considerations, I would suggest having a good solid look at the 70-200/4L, including the following major differences:

-less than half the price of the DO
-not as long at the long end
-a stop faster (As someone who's bought f/5.6 lenses before, I take this one pretty seriously.  Never again, for what I do at least.)  This can also present itself as an issue when autofocus speed is critical -- faster lenses, as a general rule, autofocus faster, especially when you're approaching the minimum aperture at which your camera body will autofocus.
-if there was an IS version of said lens, it would be an even easier decision, but alas it doesn't have IS, so if you need depth of field in reduced lighting conditions, that's a big consideration
-size/weight:  the 70-200 is definitely a physically longer lens, but it's actually lighter by just a hair (15 grams IIRC), so if size doesn't mean the end of the world for you, it's a convenient lens to carry around
-funny artifacts from DO zoom(s)


I don't presently own either of these lenses, and I don't particularly plan to, although I might be getting a 70-200/4L for someone as a gift some time soon (no, not you ;).  If I were getting one, though, the big deciding factors would be speed (aperture) and image quality.  Oh, and there's also the 70-300 IS USM that came out recently, but that also suffers from weird pictures (coloured bokeh), IIRC.



Oh, and no, Sigma doesn't make any IS lenses last I checked.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2006, 08:18:03 AM »
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Before I give my two cents, I'm going to have to disagree with the above statement.  [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=63911\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You may. I'm not suggesting a prime lens with much better spec's will produce the same quality as the DO once the DO image has capture sharpening. I'm suggesting that all digital capture needs varying degrees of capture sharpening and after doing so with the DO lens, you'll get quite acceptable quality. Is it initially soft at 300 compared to a prime 300mm lens? Absolutely. And if you had to blow both up to a huge enlargement would you see the difference no matter the Photoshop technique? Most certainly. That doesn't change the facts that the lens can preform well and is worth the trade off in size, flexibility and all the zoom ratio's IMHO. But if you prefer to carry a bag of a dozen prime lens, that's cool too.
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Andrew Rodney
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jimhuber
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2006, 09:24:40 AM »
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I have a Rebel XT and the 70-300 DO lens, plus some others. I love my DO zoom. It produces outstanding results even on the 5D I also own. It does require some slightly different post-processing, but I have no complaints. My only gripe with the 70-300 DO on the Rebel XT is that 70mm is frequently too close for minimum zoom. I also have the 28-135 IS zoom, and it's equivalent to 45-216mm on the 1.6x cameras like the Rebel XT. If you can live with just over 200mm equivalent at the long end, it's a much cheaper solution. The 70-300 DO gets you 480mm equivalent at the long end, but the minimum is over 100mm.

So it depends on what you shoot and how far away. I rarely use the 70-300 on the Rebel XT, but use it all the time on the 5D. I use the 28-135 quite a lot on the Rebel XT. But if your subjects are smaller or further away than mine, the 70-300 DO is a fantastic lens.

Another possible combination is the 28-135 plus the 200mm f/2.8 L prime, which total about the price of the 70-300 DO. For even more reach, you can add a 1.4x and even a 2x teleconverter on the 200 f/2.8. My 200mm f/2.8 prime is the sharpest lens I own. It's even slightly better than my 135mm f/2 prime, and that's saying a lot.

Lots of options...
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phox
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2006, 12:26:25 PM »
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Ok, I'm going to have to disagree, and I'll cite your recommendation of the 28-135IS as evidence...
I own that lens, and I can't wait to get rid of it.  The output is, without question, sub-par.  If you're recommending that lens, I'm honestly going to have to question your judgement on image quality of other lenses, too...  As I said before, post-processing is no substitute for good glass.


While I'm posting again, I should mention another thought about travelling with such lenses:  IS means you have to carry more batteries.
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phox
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2006, 12:57:51 PM »
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Oh, and about the 200/2.8L II:  Wonderful lens, and it gains you another stop over the 70-200/4 I suggested as an option.  However, it's also as big and bulky as the 70-200/4, so again it's a trade-off between speed and flexibility...
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phox
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2006, 01:08:14 PM »
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You may. I'm not suggesting a prime lens with much better spec's will produce the same quality as the DO once the DO image has capture sharpening. [...]
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=63923\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Except that I wasn't comparing to a prime.
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jimhuber
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2006, 02:14:31 PM »
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Either my 28-135 is much better than average, or that lens is just getting a bad rap since the 24-105 L came out. In the 28-40 mm range my 28-135 is as good as my 17-40 L (tested with an EOS-5D on a tripod with mirror lockup and self timer, viewed at 100% and 12x18 prints). Admittedly, that's the soft end of the 17-40, but at 28mm where the 17-40 is still quite good, my 28-135 is just as good. The only way to tell the difference is barrel distortion, and that's easy to fix.

The 200mm f/2.8 II smokes 'em both, of course, but that's comparing a non-IS prime to IS zooms, which isn't at all reasonable.

I still think the 28-135 is a very good medium telephoto zoom for a reduced frame body: 45-216mm equivalent is a very useful range, you're only using the "sweet spot" of the center of the image circle*, it's got Image Stabilization, it's fairly small and light, and it's pretty inexpensive.

* maybe that's part of why I like my 28-135 so well... I rarely use it on my full frame 5D, but quite often on my reduced frame Rebel XT (350D).
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phox
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2006, 02:22:36 PM »
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* maybe that's part of why I like my 28-135 so well... I rarely use it on my full frame 5D, but quite often on my reduced frame Rebel XT (350D).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=63952\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Right now, I'm using mine on a 10D, which is even less demanding, and I still find the image quality horrid.  It's soft, and it has some fairly serious PF issues.  It's also slow, which comes with the weight and range, but I think 135/5.6 is pushed a bit too far in favour of weight.  As far as speed goes, it's one of those lenses where I find I have to make it even slower to get acceptable results (f/8), which makes this even worse.

There are about 3 things I like about the lens:  Build quality is good (for a plastic lens) and yet it's lightweight, it has surprisingly decent bokeh (at least at the long end), and its autofocus is decent (but it's USM, so it'd better be, and it's not particularly impressive as far as USM lenses go -- the 70-200 is not a huge amount more money and when I've used one I've found that the AF is decidedly better).
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macgyver
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2006, 05:07:03 PM »
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While I'm posting again, I should mention another thought about travelling with such lenses:  IS means you have to carry more batteries.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=63942\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


And yet, the benifits far out weigh the "extra batteries".  Also, I havent noticed all that much of an increase in battery drain with the IS lenses I have used.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2006, 05:09:27 PM by macgyver » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2006, 05:45:36 PM »
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And yet, the benifits far out weigh the "extra batteries".  Also, I havent noticed all that much of an increase in battery drain with the IS lenses I have used.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=63963\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I agree. First, I don't notice a power hit with the lens (even if there is some, seems minimal). The batteries for the Rebel are tiny and very light. It would take dozens upon dozens to equal the weight of a lens.
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Andrew Rodney
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phox
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2006, 11:27:49 PM »
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A lot of people have stated that IS is no substitute for real stops, and they're right.  What a lot of people haven't said (from what I've seen), is that real stops are not a substitute for IS, either.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=63911\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Short of the 70-200/2.8L IS, there (unfortunately? although, I don't like flare, and IS makes that worse by default) isn't much (in the range mentioned) that gets you something resembling both of the above available from Canon right now.  I have no idea what tallbaldguy intends to shoot, but the above holds true regardless of anyone's opinion -- mine or yours.  There is a trade-off, and IS is not necessarily the "right" answer.  I just thought I'd mention the potential concern because it crossed my mind; I wasn't saying "oh, IS sucks 'cuz it kills your batteries".
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tived
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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2006, 09:57:17 AM »
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My first post here. Excellent site and forum. Got my first LL Video Journal the other day, very informative.
Anyway I have a Rebel Xt with the 17-85mm IS. I have been looking around to buy a telephoto zoom, and with an upcoming trip to Asia the time is now. I have read much about the 70-300 DO IS, the pros (the IS, size) and cons (softness at 300, cost). My question: Is it worth me shelling out  $1300+ if I'm going to use the lens with the great but definitely non-pro Rebel?
Anyone recommendations for another lens that does 70-300mm with IS? I know there's the non-DO version that's a bit lengthier but cheaper. Any others? Does Sigma offer any lenses with IS?
Thanks
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=63807\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
my two cents is, having just come back from a months trip in Thailand, I have been drooling over this lens while away! I read MR report, and have concluded, that before my next trip, I want one of those in my bag! for travelling to replace the slightly heavier 70-200LIS which I love to pieces, but its heavy
so next time I leave town, I will have my 16-35L, 50mmf1/4 or 45TSE and the 70-300 DO IS on my 1Ds, my even get a 350D or whatever is around by then to reduce the weight.

regards

Henrik

PS: my kit to Thailand was, 1Ds with 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200LIS and 1.4x + 550ex flash. 4x2gb CF, 2x 40GB external disks and a Toshiba laptop
just too heavy.
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jimhuber
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2006, 04:36:50 PM »
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I did a shoot today of some kids touring a fire station, and I put the 28-135 on the 5D because it's the right range of focal lengths for the job: 28 to 35 mm for group shots and close quarters (like the kids in the fire truck seats), and in to 135mm for closeups of the kids' faces. The results were, in a word, disappointing. It's not nearly as sharp and the IS is noticeably not as good as the 70-300 DO. So I'll concede that the 28-135 is probably a "decent" to "good" lens, but not the tool for the job if you want very good to great photographs.

The center of the frame is considerably better than the corners. I do have some very nice prints that were shot with the Rebel XT and the 28-135, but they're only 6x9 inches. Within those constraints it has produced very nice results for me. But put it on the 5D and print at 12x18 inches and I have to agree the results are "sub-par".

Hmmm, now I may have to find a good 24-105, though I personally like the 28-135 range better...
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jimhuber
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2006, 12:00:25 PM »
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Then again...

Uncertain as to why I had good results before but now am disappointed, I repeated my initial lens testing. The left side of the frame is blurry, more so at wider apertures and less so at smaller ones. So I suspect something's gotten bumped loose or out of position. I guess I'll be sending it off to Canon. But that's a lot cheaper than a new 24-105L!

An observation: The 28-135 only gets to about 105mm at the long end. It's just barely "closer" than my 100mm f/2.8 macro, and not nearly as "close" as the 135mm f/2 when changing lenses but not moving the tripod.
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phox
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2006, 12:07:37 PM »
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An observation: The 28-135 only gets to about 105mm at the long end. It's just barely "closer" than my 100mm f/2.8 macro, and not nearly as "close" as the 135mm f/2 when changing lenses but not moving the tripod.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64193\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Not to totally hijack this thread ( :P ) but yes -- at infinity focus they're all what they say they are, but the 135/2 for example is MUCH tighter up close:  They both do 1:5 magnification, yet the min focus distance is 0.5m for the 28-135 and 0.9m for the 135/2.

I'd be curious to know how the other lenses being discussed here compare in this respect...
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jimhuber
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2006, 01:09:52 PM »
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Hmmm, seems you're right. I tried the 28-135 at full telephoto vs the 135 f/2 L at about 50m and the angle of view is almost identical. My earlier testing was probably about 2.5m and they were very different. Why? And is there a way to tell this in advance of a purchase from lens specifications?

I started a new thread of 28-135 vs 24-105L since I'm not yet decided on upgrade vs repair. I'm curious how the tightest angle of view would compare between those two lenses at about 2 to 4 meters.

Thanks,

Jim
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