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Author Topic: Medium Tele range - Lens dilemma  (Read 5229 times)
roli_bark
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« on: December 28, 2005, 05:21:16 AM »
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I'm exploring options for mid-range Tele shooting (outdoor candid & Nature, indoor events candid. indoor concerts, indoor sports). So by mid-range I mean 200mm to 300mm range.

My dilemma is that I already own the EF 180L f3.5 tele-macro lens. To reach the 200mm to 300mm, I'm using TCs (x1.4 prefered).

Using the 180 telemacro w TCs gets me there, but on the expense of below f5'sh.
Using the 135L f2.0 will be just fine with TCs, however, I'll have to buy one.
Using the 70-200 F2.8 will get me there as well + the advantage of the ZOOM flexibility, but I won't get the quality of a prime.

What direction do you think I should go ?

(P.S. - I am an AVID macro photographer - so I'll not let my wonderfull EF 180 Macro go....)
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Julian Money-Kyrle
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2005, 08:00:18 AM »
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I'm exploring options for mid-range Tele shooting (outdoor candid & Nature, indoor events candid. indoor concerts, indoor sports). So by mid-range I mean 200mm to 300mm range.

My dilemma is that I already own the EF 180L f3.5 tele-macro lens. To reach the 200mm to 300mm, I'm using TCs (x1.4 prefered).

Using the 180 telemacro w TCs gets me there, but on the expense of below f5'sh.
Using the 135L f2.0 will be just fine with TCs, however, I'll have to buy one.
Using the 70-200 F2.8 will get me there as well + the advantage of the ZOOM flexibility, but I won't get the quality of a prime.

What direction do you think I should go ?

(P.S. - I am an AVID macro photographer - so I'll not let my wonderfull EF 180 Macro go....)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54497\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have had the 70-200 f/2.8L IS now for nearly four years, and it has become my most-used lens.  Quality is excellent, even at f/2.8 or with the 1.4x extender (good for dragonflies).  The increase in hand-holding ability with the image-stabiliser is uncanny.  Since I got it I have no use whatsoever for my 200mm f/2.8L, and although I am hanging onto my 135 f/2L as there must be (rare) occasions where a fast lens beats IS, I have not used it for a long while.  My only gripe is that it is big and heavy for travelling, and for that reason I am considering getting a 70-300 DO.
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roli_bark
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2005, 09:19:56 AM »
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I have had the 70-200 f/2.8L IS now for nearly four years, and it has become my most-used lens.  Quality is excellent, even at f/2.8 or with the 1.4x extender (good for dragonflies).  The increase in hand-holding ability with the image-stabiliser is uncanny.  Since I got it I have no use whatsoever for my 200mm f/2.8L, and although I am hanging onto my 135 f/2L as there must be (rare) occasions where a fast lens beats IS, I have not used it for a long while.  My only gripe is that it is big and heavy for travelling, and for that reason I am considering getting a 70-300 DO.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54595\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Is the EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS good for indoor portraits, groups ?
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2005, 10:02:07 AM »
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Is the EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS good for indoor portraits, groups ?
Indoors, it can be a bit long for group shots even on a full-frame body (I use a 1Ds), but for individuals it is great. It's my most-used portrait lens. I also have the 135/2L, but the 70-200/2.8L IS is close enough in image quality that the difference is immaterial in most cases; not something that anyone but a hardcore pixel-peeper would notice at 100% on-screen, and even then they'd be hard-pressed to look at a print and tell which lens had been used. I use the 70-200/2.8L IS for the convenience of exact framing without having to move camera or lights; this is very handy when you're shooting tethered to a laptop with 4 studio strobes. It's much easier to adjust the zoom ring than to move the camera, tripod, and laptop or 2-3 lights (with the accompanying power adjustments required). Plus, I tend to shoot individual portraits closer to 200mm than 135mm. With the 70-200, you can switch from and individual portrait to a couple or small group with minimal adjustment. The 70-200/2.8L IS is very popular with portrait and wedding shooters, and for very good reason. Quality is excellent, the range is very useful, and IS sweetens the deal even further. IMO it's a must-have lens.







Shooting data is in the EXIF.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2005, 10:04:47 AM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

roli_bark
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2005, 10:36:39 AM »
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Wow ... excellent shots.

Two things:

What was the distance-to-subject in the 3 PICs above ?
What type of lighting was used ? (it is quite obvious to me that it wasn't [or at least - wasn't only] straight Flash)
« Last Edit: December 29, 2005, 10:52:50 AM by roli_bark » Logged
roli_bark
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2005, 10:50:57 AM »
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I have extracted the first image EXIF data [below]
Why did you chose 200mm focal length for this PIC ?
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2005, 12:44:30 PM »
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When shooting portraits, I prefer to keep about 10-15 feet between camera and subject to avoid perspective distortion of facial features (the "big nose" effect you can get when shooting from very short distances). This works out to approximately 170-200mm focal length, depending on subject size, for a head/shoulders portrait with a full-frame camera (I use the 1Ds). The camera-subject distance in the first photo was about 13 feet, with an additional 10 feet or so to the backdrop. The camera-subject distance in the next two was closer to 10 ft, with about 5 feet more to the backdrop.

In all the photos, I was using a 4-light setup; 2 Alien Bee B800s for main and fill at approximately 45 degrees to the subject, 5 feet away, firing into 48" silver umbrellas. The main light was centered about eye level vertically, and the fill light about a foot below the main. The hair and background lights were B400s, with the hair light on a boom stand above and slightly in front of the subject(s) and reflected from either a 36" umbrella (first shot) or a low white ceiling (#2 & 3). The background light was aimed directly at the background from the side at about shoulder height, and the backdrop was angled about 15 degrees so that it was more square to the background light, which made the BG illumination more even. This is very helpful when running a single background light. Just don't overdo it. I used a Pocket Wizard to trigger the lights.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2005, 12:49:55 PM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

roli_bark
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2005, 04:41:48 PM »
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Thanks for the detailed answer. Very good work indeed !
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Yakim Peled
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2005, 08:15:52 AM »
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>> Using the 70-200 F2.8 will get me there as well + the advantage of the ZOOM flexibility, but I won't get the quality of a prime.

Have you looked at PZ?
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/ca..._28is/index.htm
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/ca...00_28/index.htm
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Happy shooting,
Yakim.
pfigen
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2005, 07:15:28 PM »
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"Using the 70-200 F2.8 will get me there as well + the advantage of the ZOOM flexibility, but I won't get the quality of a prime."

It depends on your camera, the lens, your shooting style, etc. I have both the IS and the non-IS version of the 70-200. The non IS is considerably sharper especially at wider apertures, enough so to see the difference on a large print. You probably wouldn't see it on a 1Ds, but you certainly will on a 1DsMK2. The weakest point of the 70-200s are shooting wide open or close to it at 200 mm. They are much sharper in the 130-180mm range than at 200. In comparison tests that I have done with the 85mm1.2, the 90T/S, the 100mmMacro, the 135 f/2 and the 200 1.8, the primes are almost always visibly better at every compared aperture. However, the 70-200 at 135mm is quite remarkable, showing almost no difference when compared to the 135 f/2, matched f/stop for f/stop. The 135 is good wide open, but gets much better one stop down and is fantastic by 5.6. Llkewise, the 85 is usable between 1.2 and 2, but hits its sweet spot at 4-5.6. The 90 T/S is great at any aperture until diffraction start limiting its performance around f/16. The 200 1.8, which is only available used, is easily the best of all the lenses I've mentioned, being absolutely tack wide open and retaining that 'til 5.6, when it falls off rapidly.

When I moved to the 1DsMK2, I started noticing that the zooms weren't quite what I was expecting. That's when I started looking at primes again and doing a lot of testing. So, recently, when we were shooting a group of people with a 200mm, I chose the non-IS zoom, as I knew that we needed f/11, and that lens is sharper than the prime at that aperture. Of course, this was on a tripod, and if I knew I was going to be hand holding, I would have probably gone for the IS, but maybe not.

I don't think I've ever been as conscious of the effects of specific apertures on image quality as I am now after way too much testing. One thing is certain, on the MK2, the images really start falling apart if you stop down farther than f/16. It becomes a trade off for depth of field, but a rather nasty one at that. Here's a great link that graphically illustrates how diffraction affects different sized pixel sites.

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials...photography.htm
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2005, 07:44:27 PM »
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It depends on your camera, the lens, your shooting style, etc. I have both the IS and the non-IS version of the 70-200. The non IS is considerably sharper especially at wider apertures, enough so to see the difference on a large print. You probably wouldn't see it on a 1Ds, but you certainly will on a 1DsMK2. The weakest point of the 70-200s are shooting wide open or close to it at 200 mm. They are much sharper in the 130-180mm range than at 200.
That may be true of your lenses, but is not necessarily of the lenses in general. My 70-200/2.8L IS is very close to the 135/2L from about 100mm out to 200mm, and has the most CA, vignetting, and aberrations at 70mm.
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pfigen
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2005, 07:58:38 PM »
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"That may be true of your lenses, but is not necessarily of the lenses in general. My 70-200/2.8L IS is very close to the 135/2L from about 100mm out to 200mm..."

It took two 135s to get a really good one. It's possible that yours isn't as sharp as it could be, and on a 1Ds, you might not know it. There is about 25 percent greater resolving power with the MKII, and you really can see the difference. I generally test two or three lenses when I'm buying new lenses and put them through a fairly rigorous test which shows quite easily when a lens isn't resolving what I think it should. It's nice to then check out Wm. Castleman's lens tests as a confirmation to what I'm seeing in real world images, and so far, what I'm seeing exactly mirrors Castleman's more scientific tests. If you haven't been there, enjoy. http://wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2005, 08:20:21 PM »
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I am still using the 1Ds, so any differences on my end would be less noticeble than with a 1Ds-MkII.
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pfigen
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2005, 08:27:40 PM »
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Which is exactly my point, and is why I've added my experience with the MKII, as the original poster is also using that camera.
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roli_bark
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« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2006, 05:27:18 AM »
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Which is exactly my point, and is why I've added my experience with the MKII, as the original poster is also using that camera.
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I don't have an MKII camera. I don't think this is even implied anywhere.
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rih
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« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2006, 07:16:52 AM »
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For travel I have found the 70-200 F4 to work well and to be quite sharp as well as portable and light. I use a 10D and vary the ISO to make up for the 1 F stop loss in speed.  I find that I can do nice portraits of birds etc. with this lens handheld if necessary.  it also does well for landscapes and some stitched panoramas.  I plan to get to 70-200 IS 2.8 someday but the F4 is doing well. for me.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2006, 11:14:43 AM »
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I shoot with the 1Ds2 and have to agree that the 70-200 IS leaves a bit to be desired when compared to the output from the 135/2; my 135/2 is as sharp wide open as my 70-200 IS at f4 and the 135 improves to f4...

However, the difference in a print while noticable may not be significant, especially when you are photographing people and don't necessarily want to see every pore and hair on their face.   Also, there is no arguing the strengths of having the zoom's framing convenience...

One option that has not been mentioned is the 200/2.8 with and without the 1.4x -- this would be a cheaper alternative to the zoom and may deliver better overall image quality, but of course you will sacrifice some operating convenience.

In the end, like almost everything else in life, this decision represents a balancing of the tradeoffs to best suit your needs...
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claskin
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« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2006, 12:56:07 PM »
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I shoot with the 1Ds2 and have to agree that the 70-200 IS leaves a bit to be desired when compared to the output from the 135/2; my 135/2 is as sharp wide open as my 70-200 IS at f4 and the 135 improves to f4...

However, the difference in a print while noticable may not be significant, especially when you are photographing people and don't necessarily want to see every pore and hair on their face.   Also, there is no arguing the strengths of having the zoom's framing convenience...

One option that has not been mentioned is the 200/2.8 with and without the 1.4x -- this would be a cheaper alternative to the zoom and may deliver better overall image quality, but of course you will sacrifice some operating convenience.

In the end, like almost everything else in life, this decision represents a balancing of the tradeoffs to best suit your needs...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55023\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Jack,
I have the 70-200/2.8 IS with a 1DsII. I have been contemplating a zoom with a longer reach but it would be used too rarely to justify one of the super telephotos. Therefore, I am now looking at using a 1.4x TC or the 2.0. Since I have never used a TC, I know I will sacrifice f-stops (1 or 2 depending upon which TC I use), but is there anything else I will lose? Also, I note that most use a 1.4x with little or no mention of the 2.0x. I would like to get 400mm reach on my lens but not if the sacrifice is too great in terms of quality. I would appreciate your comments.
Carl Laskin
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Carl Laskin
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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2006, 03:23:20 PM »
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I would like to get 400mm reach on my lens but not if the sacrifice is too great in terms of quality. I would appreciate your comments.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55026\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If you only need to get to 400 occasionally, then by all means the converter plus 70-200 IS is a workable alternative -- the images are certainly usable.  In comparing to a 100-400 zoom for example, I found the 2xII converter on my sample of the 70-200 IS to be better optically than my sample of the 100-400 zoom by itself.  Please note however, there appears to be significant variability in 100-400 zooms and many users report the opposite findings.

As for why folks use/mention the 1.4x more often than the 2x:  In addition to giving up only 1 stop and not 2, generally speaking you don't give up as much in image quality with the 1.4x.  BUT, and IMO only, the difference in quality between Canon's 1.4xII and 2xII is pretty trivial; they are both outstanding converters and I will use either as my needs dictate.
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macgyver
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« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2006, 11:43:13 PM »
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I would like to get 400mm reach on my lens but not if the sacrifice is too great in terms of quality. I would appreciate your comments.
Carl Laskin
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55026\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Sorry if I missed this above, honestly I skimmed through part of this, but canon does have that one 400mm 5.6 for $1000 USD or so.  Don't know what your budget is.
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