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MuleShack

Zoom lenses Basic ??'s

15 posts in this topic

First off I have recently purchased a DSLR Rebel XSi with the kit lense.

I was out window shopping for zoom lenses and stopped at NCE last weekend. They only showed me canon lenses one (non IS) that went up to 250mm and one with IS that went to 300mm. Both were auto focus, but the IS was like $650 and the other one was only $300.

I was looking at the Tamron lenses from their web site

1.) AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD

2.) SP AF200-500mm F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)

I'm assuming that Canon is the only one that has Image stabilization? But how do you tell if these lenses are auto focus. It doesn't say in the description.

Next question is between Sigma and Tamron both have a 200-500mm lense but the sigma is double the price. Is this just brand name costing more or is there variances in the quality between the two. I can see if the sigma is auto focus and the tamron is not.

Just doing a little research at work.

Edit: The lens would be used primarily out doors shooting birds, scenery, and animals.

Are there any other "economical" options out there other than the 2 brands listed in the 400-500mm category?

Thanks for any info.

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If it has AF in the description it will autofocus and if it has OS that is for optical stabilization. If you go to some of the online stores your can research all the options of each lens and read some of the reviews on each. B&H,Canoga,Adorama to name a few.

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My advice and take it for what it is worth: Don't try and save money on the lens. Buy the best lens you can afford to. If you have a Canon Camera stick with the Cannon lens. Just my 2 cents!!

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Muleshack, Canon uses IS for Image Stabilization, Sigma OS for Optical Stabilization and Nikon VR for Vibration Reduction. It's a very helpful feature when it comes to steadying the lens at those extreme focal lengths. As Jim said, look for those initials in the lens description. And any telephoto zoom you buy new these days is an autofocus lens, so you don't have to worry about that.

The most economical long stabilized zoom that still has really good image quality is the Sigma 150-500 OS.

I also agree with hgsivu. Buy the very best glass you can afford. That has a far bigger impact on image quality than the camera, as all DSLRs these days, including the so-called "entry level" bodies, produce smashing image quality.

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I own a AF70 - 300mm Di Tamron lense and I love it... I use it for outdoor shots, close ups, as well as some wedding photography. The glass is quality providing very nice photographs.

Without the stabilization option you may have to rely on a tripod or monopod for some stability but if you do not want to spend a lot of money for the time being this lense will not let you down... smile

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Yeah, Tamron lenses with Image Stablization are called VR; to my knowledge they have atleast two long lenses with the VR- both are all purpose "super zooms" the 28-300 and the 18-270. Neither is cheap; in the 600-800 range (but still a lot cheaper then L series lenses)

Canon does make an entry level long zoom with Image Stabilization, and that's the 55-250 EFS IS (the NON USM model) this lens retails around $300 which is half the price of the IS USM lens at 70-300, which was the one most shops will try to sell you because it costs $600, heh. You have to look around for the 55-250 because it is a newer lens, and a lot of places still don't carry it. It is supposed to be the accompany lens for the 18-55 EFS IS lens that is the kit for the XSi.

Also a hint: Image stabilization is useful on long lenses but it is ONLY useful on non-moving targets. Using Image stabilization on something that's moving, IE a running deer or a Dog chasing a water-toy will actually blur the picture more because your A. using a slower shutter speed usually and B. the IS mechanic does funky things with a moving target. Thankfully most IS/VR/OS lenses let you turn the IS on or off.

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[Note from admin: Please see forum policy before posting again. Thank you]

There's more I could tell you about the differences between IS and what a "fast lens" is but I don't want to clutter the board for what has likely been adressed a hundred times smirk

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I have the 55-250 IS, and really like it. It is the lens I use the most. At times I would like more reach, but overall it fits my needs.

If you are seriously lens shopping, I would look at a place like Canoga Camera (just add the dot com to the name), and look at all the Canon EOS lenses. You can get a good description of the lenses, and all the specs at your leisure.

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Yeah, Tamron lenses with Image Stablization are called VR;

Almost...

VR - Nikon

VC - Tamron

OS - Sigma

IS - Canon

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Thanks for all the information.

I am just "window" shopping now and saving for a lense in a couple months. I definately want the auto focus and wasn't sure if all lenses came with it or if you had to look for a acronym. The Image stabilization would also be a good thing to have because I'm sure i can use all the help I can get.

I'm kind of the Tim Allen type of guy..."More Power arg arg..." So i figured if i would get one it would be something that could get out and reach something. So i was looking at the 500mm max range. The Sigma has a 150-500 that I saw for around $1500, and the Tamron 200-500 was only $879. The Tamron is listed as a Di LD (IF) it has (AF) in the beginning so it is autofocus. But based on the codes you guys listed it doesn't seem to be stabilized.

Currently I'm leaning toward the Sigma that Steve pointed to 150-500mm.

Thanks again.

Crawlerman: my email is muleshack at hotmail if you want to elaborate a little more. I was into the photography thing back in high school but forgot most of what I knew back then. Never did have a real zoom lens though.

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If you want the Sigma 150-500 you should look around more, it goes for around $880 most places, you could order it for that from B&H tonight if you really wanted it. Whoever is charging $1,500 is really ripping you off.

You might (or might not) find this thread useful: http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1524671/Sigma_150_500mm_f_5_6_3_DG_OS_

You're correct, the Tamron is not stabilized.

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Also a hint: Image stabilization is useful on long lenses but it is ONLY useful on non-moving targets. Using Image stabilization on something that's moving, IE a running deer or a Dog chasing a water-toy will actually blur the picture more because your A. using a slower shutter speed usually and B. the IS mechanic does funky things with a moving target. Thankfully most IS/VR/OS lenses let you turn the IS on or off.

I don't mean to be a jerkbait, but this is simply not correct. Sports shooters in particular often turn off IS because they are adept at smooth panning technique and in that circumstance IS isn't as important, but I have habitually used IS in many, many situations in which the subject is moving, and it works beautifully. It's simply a matter of learning how IS works and using it to full advantage.

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Quote:
If you want the Sigma 150-500 you should look around more, it goes for around $880 most places, you could order it for that from B&H tonight if you really wanted it. Whoever is charging $1,500 is really ripping you off.

The only placed I originally looked at lenses in person was at NCE and they only showed me the 2 canon lenses mentioned above. The price I quoted was just looking at the sigma web site for the 150-500. Thanks for the heads up though, I know not to bite on the first offer but I was just looking for the lense and their HSOforum was the first place I looked.

after seeing it's size in the linked post above, I might reconcider looking into a 300 or maybe a 400? That 500 looks too bulky in the picture for my tastes.

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I'm with Steve. Keep in mind IS is useful as a generalization at any shutter speed below the focal length of the lens whether the subject is moving or not. I.E. a 300mm lens I would consider using IS if the shutter speed dropped below say 1/500s. IS does not help stop or sharpen a moving object. IS is what it says, image stabilization that is designed to help with camera shake caused by many things, weight of the lens, wind, technique, mashing down on the shutter button to name just a few. These things become more evident at slower shutter speeds.

Shooting a 50mm lens with say 1/30s shutter speeds would be when you want IS. Shooting that same lens at 1/500s shutter speed it would not be as beneficial. Shooting a 400mm lens at 1/320s IS will help, at 1/2000s, won't do much for you. In all of the above scenarios whether the object is moving or not would make no difference. In fact many Canon lenses have two modes, one for general use and one for panning shots.

When I shoot primarily sports about the only time I do use IS is a panning shot at slow speeds, bikers, runners, etc. but I usually am shooting at shutter speeds well above 1/500s. I've personally found that using IS at higher shutter speeds slows the inital focus ability of the lens a small amount. This is with using Canon's top of the line bodies and lenses, on slower lenses and prosumer bodies it is even more evident.

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MuleShack,

I am also very new to digital photograghy. Purchased my Sony a300 in Dec of 2008. I have recently started using a Sigma 170-500 F5-6.3 APO. I will agree with Dbl on this lense being slower to focus at higher shutter speeds with IS activated.

I have to use a monopod or tripod almost all of the time above 300mm, IS built into the body of the Sony.

1/100s, f6.3, iso 400, 500.0mm, on a tripod.

DSC01815.jpg

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