Canon 400D: Recommend some IS lenses please :0

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Mark Ward, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    I'm looking for a couple of lenses for a Canon EOS400D I recently bought for my wife. I knew about the pending A200 & 450D but her 40th birthday wouldn't wait for the model announcements:rolleyes:

    I'm going to buy her the "Nifty-Fifty" having done some research on these forums.

    I'm also after an up to around 300mm is zoom with IS for her. A longer zoom would possible be even better, but price prohibitive. This would largely be for wildlife.

    I've seen some lenses listed as "USM" and I'm not sure what that means, but can anyone recommend a suitable Sigma, Canon or Tamron lens for a Canon please?

    Price is a bit of an issue and second hand is fine, I'm just trying to work out what to look for. I have a pal who lives in the US, would I be better buying there?

    I'm assuming the quality "pecking Order" would be

    1/ Canon
    2/ Sigma
    3/ Tamron

    Is that correct?

    Thanks,

    Mark.
     
  2. iGiDK

    iGiDK
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    Nice purchase, sharp, dencent in low light and great for portraits

    As far as I'm aware, Sigma and Tamron do not feature IS in their lenses

    The most logical choice in that case would be to look at the:

    Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM (£350)
    Canon EF 70-200mm f4L IS USM (£600-£700)
    Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS (£180 - new lens, not available in US)

    USM = Ultrasonic Motor (for autofocus, usually fast accurate and quite quiet)

    Quite possibly but watch out for import taxes

    Look up an ebay trader called 'Kerso', or also have a look at onestop-digital (HK website)

    Not necessarily, each brand has their own little gems at certain price points

    e.g. the Sigma 18-50 is regarded as being better than the Canon kit lens

    e.g. the Sigma Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG MACRO is optically superior to Canon and Tamron's equivalent lens in that particular price range (<£150)

    Hope this helps :)
     
  3. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    Big Help, Thanks,

    I found that Canon EF-S Zoom Lens - 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS - UK Stock at 7-Day-Shop for £179.00+P&P

    If it's any good it's ideal for my budget. Does this seem a reasonable lens? Not in stock, but is available for £20 more at plenty of places.

    Also, it is apparently a 58mm diameter thread (but 1 review said 56mm on Amazon) should I buy a 2nd filter for it (we have a UV one on the Kit Lens).

    Do lens hoods offer any benefit beyond protecting the lens?


    Would you agree the "Nifty-Fifty" is a good purchase fixed length?

    Thanks,

    Mark.
     
  4. ghibbett

    ghibbett
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    Definately. You'll be amazed by how sharp it is, especially for £50. It's not ideally suited to a crop sensor body (like your 400D), but you cant argue for the sake of £50.
     
  5. iGiDK

    iGiDK
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    No problem at all, it's more or less a brand new lens in the lineup so availability and user reviews are pretty scarce at the moment.

    However we've got one here

    Keep an eye out on fredmiranda.com and also http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ for updates

    As far as it being a resonable lens, well I'm not sure - the 2 new Canon EF-S IS lenses are reputed to be quite sharp but I'd probably wait to hear more reviews before committing to it.

    Now, if the primary use for this long lens is going to be for shooting wildlife I am of the opinion that IS may not be a mandatory requirement.

    Of course it all boils down to personal preference, but usually when I'm shooting wildlife I often use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. Because the shutter speed is so fast, this generally eliminates any blur in the frame caused by shaky hands.

    IS is particularly handy when you want to hand-hold a lens for the duration of a longer shutter speed. But this may result in a frame where your subject displays motion blur as animals and birds rarely stay perfectly still


    Not sure on the filter diameter mate, but I only tend to use a UV filter if I'm shooting in a dusty or windy environment

    lens hoods are useful in that they help to negate lens flare which is a common occurence when shooting in bright sunlight.
     
  6. Sabretooth

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    I have the Canon 55-250mm and believe its a pretty good lens for the money.

    See thread:
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=689188&highlight=first+impressions

    P.S. It takes 58mm filter - I also purchased the Multi-coated professional quality UV filter from 7dayshop.

    One thing to note is that the front rotates when focusing - so no good for polorising filters.

    For outdoor photography I got the Canon ET-60 lens hood from Ebay. (N.B. you don't really need this unless you are going to use it outdoors in sunny environments - helps prevent light flair and also protects the lens from knocks etc).
     
  7. JimNoble

    JimNoble
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    Assuming you mean the 50mm F1.8 lens, yes it's astoundingly good for the price (I paid £59!)

    It does have a few foibles though. The autofocus is a bit slow and clunky, and I sometimes have trouble getting to focus accurately.

    Of course having a maximum aperture of F1.8, the resulting fairly shallow depth of field is going to make focusing tricky :D

    With a bit of fiddling, you can take some funky shots though. Some of my first efforts:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I'd recommend buying from Ian Kerso, who runs the FLASH-CAMERA store on ebay. Email him direct though, and you should get a slightly better price ([email protected]).

    Jim
     
  8. JimNoble

    JimNoble
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    I have the 70-300mm IS USM F4-5.6 lens. No complaints here.

    Being F5.6 at the far end, you're not going to get results like with the nifty fifty. Having said that, in bright conditions it'll still autofocus when using a 1.4X teleconverter, just about. Gives you an effective 672mm 35mm-equivalent :D

    Allows you to sneak up on Nelson quite effectively...

    [​IMG]


    The IS is great for distant panning shots:

    [​IMG]

    Jim
     
  9. JimNoble

    JimNoble
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    Sigma have a Optically Stabilised (OS) F3.5-6.3 18-200mm lens. I think if I were buying again I'd be looking at that as a general all-rounder alternative to the kit lens.

    I currently have the 17-85 IS USM for every day use and it can be a bit limiting at the telephoto end.

    Jim
     
  10. jonnypb

    jonnypb
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    For the money the canon 70-300IS is a nice lens if you want one upto 300mm. There is the cheaper 55-250 but you lose out at the telephoto end and I don't think it's USM

    The sigma 70-300 equivalent is quite a bit cheaper but has no IS and I think the canon reproduces the colours better. The other one to consider is the sigma 18-200OS

    There are some nice Sigma lenses about as long as you get a good copy as from what people say Sigma doesn't have the best quality control!

    If buying Canon lenses give kerso a shout, well respected seller on ebay and he will do lenses cheaper outside of ebay. Haven't got his details to hand but search for Kerso on here and you'll find them
     
  11. Brammers

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    I'd just like to totally disagree with this :D In fact you should know better having been to one of my workshops :p

    There's 2 seperate factors to blurred pictures - camera shake and subject movement.

    IS only stops camera shake - this is what igdikd is getting at.

    However, for subject movement to be an issue, the subject has to be, well, moving :E And you'll be amazed at what you can get away with. As a quick guide:

    1/40 - humans and animals that 'aren't moving' (they will be moving every so slightly - try to stand perfectly still yourself)
    1/200 - walk, turn head
    1/500 - freezes just about anything
    1/1000 - maybe you need this for your pulitzer prize-winning perigrine falcon diving on a pair of fighting wolves.

    The rule with camera movement is a lot easier - 1/equivalent focal length. So lets say you've got a 300mm lens on your 1.6x crop body (which yours is), to get a steady shot you need a shutter speed of 1/480 seconds, round that to 1/500.

    Suddenly, anything that was say sitting still (bird on a tree branch), lazing around (lion at the zoo) or just taking a pause in the action is unavailable to you in dim conditions, because even though it may be moving slowly enough for you to capture it unblurred, you can't hold the lens still enough at such a long zoom setting!!!

    Proof is in the pudding - I'm afraid I don't shoot wildlife so humans will have to do:

    [​IMG]
    1/80 seconds - without IS you're limited to shooting this with a 50mm lens if you don't want camera shake. It was actually shot with a 135mm lens.

    [​IMG]
    1/60 seconds - without IS you're limited to shooting this with a 35mm lens if you don't want camera shake. This was also shot with a 135mm lens.

    [​IMG]
    1/50 seconds - without IS you're limited to shooting this with a 28mm lens if you don't want camera shake. This was shot with a 50mm.

    If Xiao Xiao knew that you were going to shoot her beautiful little face from a close distance with a 28mm lens... She'd kill you, absolutely kill you.

    IS isn't just for the dark - it's for stabilising long focal lenghts in conditions that you might otherwise consider quite bright. If you're going to go for a budget or midrange zoom lens (f5.6 at long end) then please get it stabilised - otherwise you'll make Xiao Xiao cry :(
     
  12. jonnypb

    jonnypb
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    have to agree with brammers, IS on a 300mm is a god send when you haven't got time to get the tripod out
     
  13. stylgeo

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    Went with a friend to a store to check out lenses for him. He needs something with some reach and for everyday use. I took a lens test chart with me and the guys at Jacobs Digital were very helpful and set up some tripods for me to test the Sigma 18-200 OS. First of all, I must say that I was impressed by its zoom range. Going from 18 to 200 is quite impressive, a range that I use 3 zoom lenses to cover myself. And the Optical Stabilisation really works. I managed to get sharp images at 200mm with shutter speeds as low as 1/30 sec.

    Now mounted on a tripod and switching the OS off, I must say that I was impressed that the sweet spots of the lense were at its long and wide ends. In between it was a mixed bag actually. The worst was at 35mm wide open, where it presented too much border softness, rendering the photos unusable. I must say here that center sharpness was quite good, so cropping was an option if you happened to take a photo at 35mm, but my decision would be to completely avoid that part of its extreme range. From there it goes up in performance, dropping just a little bit at 100mm and then going straight to sharpness heaven at around 200mm. The lens is very sharp wide open at 200mm and at 18mm. Some reviews I read said that it falls in performace at 50mm aswell. I can't say that it was the case at the lens I tested. It was sharp throughout it's range, except from 35mm were it presented severe border softness and at 100mm where it was just not that sharp. At its extreme ends its quite sharp.

    After the test, I advised my friend that he should get the lens. It's like a swiss-knife. It can do a lot of jobs, but not exceptionally good. But it's always a good thing to have a swiss knife with you.

    This lens is a reply to Nikon's 18-200VR, only my guess is that it's not that good. If I was just starting my lens line-up, I would get that Sigma. If you go for the 18-200OS, you'll see that your kit lens will end-up on ebay in no time.
     
  14. HMHB

    HMHB
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    I own both the Sigma 70-300 APO (which I bought first) and the Canon 70-300 IS and can say for definate that the Canon lens gives me a much higher percentage of "keepers". It's definately a better lens and I haven't used the Sigma since getting the Canon.
     
  15. HMHB

    HMHB
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    I didn't realise you could use a converter with this lens, which converter do you use and which camera do you have ?

    Sorry to go off topic slightly !
     
  16. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    canon 70-300IS is a cracking lens. Lovely results and good IS. Also has 'panning mode' where the IS works only in one axis, so you can pan handheld and still get stabilisation

    as for results comparable to the 50mm, well at 300mm you'll get decent separation of foreground and background, even at f5.6
     
  17. JimNoble

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    I use a Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 DG AF 1.4X teleconverter with a Canon 400D.

    You need fairly bright conditions for the AF to work though. The 400D is supposed to need F5.6 max, and the TC effectively adds a stop to the lens so it's a bit marginal...

    Jim
     

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