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Another lens ?


Nymph

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Was trying to decide what lens to get for shooting birds. I have it down to the canon 75-300 f/4-5.6 is usm or the 70-200 f/4L usm. The price difference isn't that much and was wondering if the longer reach and the IS would be better for wildlife shooting or would the L lens work better...faster shooting ect.

Any other suggestions welcome.

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The longer reach wins hands down. The 70-200 f4 will be a bit sharper than the other zoom, but not a lot sharper, and with birds you need every bit of focal length muscle you can get. The IS is quite nice, as well, and in low light especially you'll love having it.

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I'm going to throw in my two cents worth (and that's all it's worth). I'd say stick with Steve's advice in regards to focal length. I have the 100-400 and am still often wanting for more focal length. So much so that my long term goal is to pick up the 500 f/4 (we'll see how long that takes). That aside, I have the 70-200 f/4 and it is very sharp and focuses quickly. With a 1.4x teleconverter, you get a 280mm combo at f/5.6 that still focuses accurately enough to capture BIF images (if you can get close enough) and with the 70-200, you get a top notch longer portrait lens, that will function better in lower light situations than the 75-300. The downfall is that you'll have to spend an additional $250+ to get the converter, but if you really get into taking bird photos you will want the converter someday anyway as you feel compelled to purchase longer and longer (read pricier and pricier) glass to go with your new Xsi.

*Side note, it just dawned upon me that the 75-300 has IS (if my memory serves me) and as such would be a wash with the 70-200 in lower light situations.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Are there any other lens one should consider is this range? The wife and I will be buying one of these two for Christmas.....everyone says to go with the L glass.....but it sounds like the difference is not that big? I would really like to have some focal length to get more pictures of wildlife, dogs working, some birds. The kit lens is not cutting it right now.

I am leaning towards the 75-300 IS at this point.

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I used the 75-300 IS for a year and took some great shots with it. Would have kept it except that I was really getting into shooting sports indoors and needed a faster lens. Except for that one area, I was very happy with the lens.

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Hemi, it's just a tossup for many between the 75-300 IS and the 70-200 f4 nonIS.

Definitely less expensive to choose the former to get to 300mm than to go with the 70-200 and 1.4 teleconverter. There are differences in image quality, but you can get very nice image quality out of the 75-300. I started with a 70-300 Tamron of lower quality than the Canon, and I'm still selling images today that I took with that lens five years ago.

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Stu, the only knock I've heard about the lens is it's not especially sharp, and for $2,200 +, it's potentially a lot of money for a soft piece of L glass. I have not shot it myself but have pixel peeped at a lot of images from it and they do appear uniformly slightly softer than the 100-400. But we know pixel peeping is not the best way to evaluate a lens. It's all in the print.

I'd have no hesitation using it for, say, weddings, newspaper photojournalism and some portrait situations, because ultimate sharpness is not always the most important goal in certain types of photography.

As a nature/wildlife lens, I'd hesitate not only because of that softness but because it's a lot of money for what you get.

All just my opinion.

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Hemi, I always forget whether it's the 75-300 or the 70-300. There's only one Canon IS lens in that range, and it's the 70-300. There are two other Canon 75-300 non IS lenses available new.

Check out Canoga Camera online. Plus there's a $50 instant rebate on the 70-300 IS that knocks the price down below $500.

If you are still making up your mind and money is an object, in contrast it'll cost you $590 for the 70-200 f4L and another $290 for the Canon 1.4 TC needed to get you to about 300mm. I'm not recommending against it, just pointing things out. Couple other things. To get to the 280mm with the 70-200/TC combo, you'll be at f5.6, so you won't gain any aperture over the 70-300, and you won't have IS.

For image quality, when you go pixel peeping you'll be able to see a difference in IQ between the 70-300 and 70-200 (the latter being a bit better). Just a matter of which combination of price and utility interests you more.

If paying $880 for the 70-200/TC combo doesn't faze you, I definitely back up MM's recommendation on the Sigma 150-500 OS (optical stabilization, like Canon's IS and Nikon's VR), for about $1,000. It's only about $100 more than the aforementioned combo.

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I will chime in since I've owned both.

If you are buying the lens for it's range,definately go with the 70-300IS. The 70-200 is a great lens,but adding the 1.4x extender will put the price to $800,and when adding the 1.4,the sharpness is reduced to worse than that of the 70-300 [in my tests] anyway and the aperture will be the same too. [5.6] Not to mention you will still be 20mm shy of the 300.

The 70-300IS also has the 2 stage IS which is standard and panning mode.

I have alot of images on the wall that were made with the 70-300is-it's a great lens with alot of features. I believe it also has a UD element in the lens group.

The 70-300IS is similar to the 17-55 2.8 IS-while they aren't "L" class lenses,they both can produce "L" quality images.

You will really enjoy the 70-300IS. Good luck!

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I talked to the wife a little more. I guess we are looking at $1000 tops on a lens. I don't think she is interested in the 100-400, so that's out. She wants more of an all around lens. She mentioned possibly looking at the 70-200 f4 IS lens, and I have found a few for around $800/used. So that's now thrown into this. I don't think the Sigma will work for us....as that thing is a tank. We are wanting something that can be carried around somewhat easily...although I think the 70-200 are a little bulkier. I think at this point image quality is a little more of a concern than zoom...although not by a ton.

A couple more things to throw out there. We are beginners shooting an Xti with the kit 18-55 lens. We DO NOT have a tripod.....and I know we need to get one of those also so we may have to adjust somewhat here but we have our price point set for whatever we by...lens or combination of things. Most of our shooting will be hand held....thus why the 70-200 IS has come into mind. We definitely would/will use a tripod when we can, but a lot of what we do I don't always see us using one. If I am out in the field hunting, or in the duck blind, or on a walk in the field with the dog.....I like to grab and shoot and don't see myself carrying a tripod a lot of the time. The wife likes to shoot flowers and such, family gatherings....not sure how the 70-200 would work for that.

If the 1.4 converter does in fact reduce the sharpness by that much on the 70-200 over the 70-300, I don't see myself buying the 1.4 at this time. Quite frankly, good sharp images are really what I want. The extra zoom would really come in handy....but I have a feeling I might be disappointed if I don't get the IQ.

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The 70-200F4L IS is the version I had. It was a great lens and very sharp,but I needed the F2.8 version. It did well with the 1.4x extender losing a small amount of IQ. The image below was with that lens+1.4xTC. Hopefully it can help your decision.

IMG_2351.jpg

Want my advise? well, here it is anyway grin

If you have the green light to spend $1000 go for the 70-200F2.8L non-IS lens-MUCH more versatile.

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I'm not a Canon guy but you can't beat the 70-200mm 2.8 for a great all around lens. If she wants some close up flower shots all you need are some inexpensive extension tubes. They decrease your minimum focus distance so you can get great close-ups and they do not affect your image quality. I have a Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 and I use it ALL the time.

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I use the Tamron AF 70-300 F4-5.6 Di on my XSI body and I love it. I like using the macro side of the lense.. Not a bad lense for the money. I have used the 1.4 teleconverter and you need to make sure that you pay attention to what you are doing. It works great but it will take some practice to get used to overcoming its shortcomes. Ive used it indoors while shooting pics of my son wrestling and maybe they were not the greatest shots I at least could do the reach out and touch somebody shots from a position that gave me some nice angle shots.

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I just purchased the Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS and think it is a good lens. I do wish it had a little more reach for birding.

Here is a shot that was taken through a window. You can check out some of my posts as that is the only lens I am using right now.

12202008107jpg1edited4re7.jpg

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Want my advise? well, here it is anyway grin

If you have the green light to spend $1000 go for the 70-200F2.8L non-IS lens-MUCH more versatile.

Man...now you really have us thinking. I am going to start a new thread!

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