gh6912
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New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:20 pm

Howdy y’all,

For many years I used my old Nikon digital point and shoot camera but finally upgraded to a DSLR. I acquired a Cannon 60D and need advice on which lens to acquire. At the moment I have a 50mm and am looking to add a zoom lens. I’m looking at a 70-300mm lens but wanted to hear some of your suggestions. Here is the exact lens I’m considering-

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007Y794O/re ... dAb1WNB4YX

I’m mostly taking photos from the crowd line at Air shows or from the fence at the end of runways so I just wasn’t sure of what zoom I truly need. Thanks everyone and looking forward to hopefully sharing my photos soon- Garrett
Lone Star Spotter, F-4 Phantom Phanatic
 
Gasman
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:29 am

I've owned that lens in the past. It's good without being great - you do get what you pay for. It produces sharp images, especially when stopped down a couple of stops but focusing - especially in low light - isn't blazingly fast. The focal length is useful for aviation photography; although you will occasionally find that the focal length at the wide end isn't wide enough on a crop sensor.

For a bit more money you might want to consider the Tamron 18-400 3.5-6.3, which gets reasonable reviews and will be a more versatile focal length
 
vikkyvik
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:31 am

Gasman wrote:
I've owned that lens in the past. It's good without being great - you do get what you pay for.


I'll second that. I used that lens for maybe a year or so. It was good between 70mm and 260mm. Above that it got too soft to be usable. So really, I'd consider it a 70-250, rather than a 70-300.

gh6912 wrote:
I’m mostly taking photos from the crowd line at Air shows or from the fence at the end of runways so I just wasn’t sure of what zoom I truly need.


At airshows, you need length, length, and more length. Of course that generally costs money, money, and more money.

I have a full-frame camera, and I use a 100-400 lens. Even that is frequently too short at airshows. On your crop camera, 300mm is equivalent to 480mm on a full-frame. So you'll be OK with some shots, but short on others.

Now, my honest opinion: if you're intending to keep this as a hobby for a good while, don't waste your money on beginner or even midrange lenses. You can find a used high-end lens for a reasonable price. I've bought two high-end Canon lenses used, and they've both served me very well.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
Gasman
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:01 am

vikkyvik wrote:
Now, my honest opinion: if you're intending to keep this as a hobby for a good while, don't waste your money on beginner or even midrange lenses. You can find a used high-end lens for a reasonable price. I've bought two high-end Canon lenses used, and they've both served me very well.


This ^^

You'll find plenty of purists who will tell you it's perfectly possible to get good photos uploaded to airliners.net that were taken on budget gear. And they're right. What they don't tell you though is that they themselves use Canon L series lenses which are easier to use, more predictable, more robust, and will increase your percentage of useable shots and your enjoyment of the hobby overall.
 
Psych
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:46 am

Hello Garrett.

Welcome. I too have got a copy of this lens, which I used in my earlier days uploading to A.net. If you look at my portfolio the majority of my shots around '05 were taken with this. It's perfectly fine for many motives. But, like has been said, you start to notice the quality at the long end of the zoom.

My initial upgrade was from this lens to the 70-200 f/4 'L' lens - a superb lens and great value for the 'L' series. I just checked and it looks to me that this would cost you a couple of hundred more dollars in the States. For me this is worth it - the quality is simply far superior. When I bought it I tested this against the lens you are thinking about and, though the reach appears to be a lot less (200mm versus 300mm), a cropped image from the 70-200 to make it the same relative size as an image taken at the 300mm end of the other lens was still noticeably better quality in all respects. That swung it for me, despite the fact this cheaper version of the 'L' lens does not have image stabilisation.

So - if you need reach, and your budget is tight - the 70-300mm is decent, but you would notice the slower focus and also softness and quality issues at the 300mm end (if you had had the privilege of seeing what an 'L' lens can produce).

Cheers.

Paul
 
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HarryLi
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:34 pm

Hello,
I haven't used this lens before but i used 55-250 STM at the beginning it can provide some good photos of aviation. But after few years i changed to use 70-200 f/4 L series lens. And as Paul and Vik said :
if you're intending to keep this as a hobby for a good while, don't waste your money on beginner or even midrange lenses. You can find a used high-end lens for a reasonable price. I've bought two high-end Canon lenses used, and they've both served me very well.

a cropped image from the 70-200 to make it the same relative size as an image taken at the 300mm end of the other lens was still noticeably better quality in all respects.


If you want to keep having this hobby for a long time and want better quality of photo or want less pressure on editing, i recommend you to consider L series Lens of Canon strongly as they indeed can provide better quality photo. Not only in sharpness but also in other aspects such as color, speed of focusing, vignetting issue and so on. Especially the speed of focusing is very important for aviation photography.Although it can focus fast the sharpness of it would be better at the same time it and it can also reduce the rate of becoming blurry. ;)
Well, but the price of it would be higher than than the lens that you posted here but as Paul said it is worth.
I’m mostly taking photos from the crowd line at Air shows or from the fence at the end of runways so I just wasn’t sure of what zoom I truly need.

Regarding to this concern, as you said you mostly taking photos at Airshows which means that you need as long length as you can. 70-200 might be too short for you i think :roll: well also too short for me sometime so i bought a 100-400 later although i seldom visit Airshows. But 70-300 or 100-400 would be good choices for you 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L will more expensive than 70-300 L lens. But all L series Lens can provide very nice quality for all length although the sharpness will change slightly as the length becoms longer but just slight effect. In my opinion , if you want to consider L series i would recommend 70-300 and 100-400 for aviation photography. Although sometime you can't get the whole aircraft when you are close to the plane, you can try to get NOSE shot or portray shots. Well, all of it have to be determined by your budget. So it depends on your choice.

Cheers,
Harry
I am a Guangzhou Spotter. My photos are here : http://www.airliners.net/search?user=20 ... =viewCount :D
 
gh6912
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:08 pm

Thank you to everyone for the great advice! Looks like the move is to go with a higher quality higher zoom lens to keep me satisfied for years to come. I'm much more willing to pay a higher price on a one time purchase than have to spend 250+ annually to go from lens to lens. Glad to have had all of your help and insight, I'll begin hunting for a L series lens and hopefully snag one for a fair price with the holiday sales coming up. I can't wait to upload my images here! Here is a little sample of what I was able to do with my old Nikon CoolPix camera- https://www.airspacemag.com/photocontes ... tt-heller/ after using the new Cannon with my 50mm lens two days ago I was amazed at the stark clarity difference so once I upgrade to one of the recommended lens I know the future is limitless! Thanks again- Garrett
Lone Star Spotter, F-4 Phantom Phanatic
 
gh6912
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:52 pm

Okay, found this Tamron lens with a pretty impressive zoom range. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HR6IPSE/re ... VQY3X2&me= does anyone have experience with it? If I don't go with this one I'm leaning towards the EF 100-400mm Canon L series lens
Lone Star Spotter, F-4 Phantom Phanatic
 
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spompert
Posts: 307
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:12 pm

Hi, I have done some research lately on cameras too. Tamron has a new 150-600 version. I read it's pretty good. There's also the Sigma 150-600. If I was you I would do some research on https://www.the-digital-picture.com It's worth reading about the sharpness between the lenses, but also things like autofocus and the aperture are important. Don't decide to quick and ask yourself what you think it's important when buying a new lens. I can recommend the 55-250stm which is cheap and really good for its price. If it's within your focal range you should buy it. And the 100-400II which is expensive but very sharp for the longer focal range. Good luck
 
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HarryLi
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:59 pm

Regarding to the 150-600. I have used both Sigma and Tamron 150-600 before. IMO, it can't provide very nice quality and sharpness for all length especially after about 450mm the sharpness is going to decrease and quality would decrease dramatically. And the quality of the lens isn't as good as 100-400 ( if compare to L series). Some part of the 150-600 is plastic which is not reliable i think. My friend's Tamron 150-600 was broken into to part while he spotting in Hong Kong this year. Well, I would still recommend to consider Canon L series for Long Length Lens. If you want to consider some other length lens you might consider Sigma or Tamron. Although the price of 150-600 seems reasonable i don't think it worths. As I said before 100-400 or other L series long length Lens can provide good quality of photos for all length even in 400mm the sharpness is still very nice. But 150-600 can't do it.
Besides, I think 100-400 would be easier to carry than 150-600.

Cheers,
Harry
I am a Guangzhou Spotter. My photos are here : http://www.airliners.net/search?user=20 ... =viewCount :D
 
gh6912
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:00 am

HarryLi wrote:
Some part of the 150-600 is plastic which is not reliable i think. My friend's Tamron 150-600 was broken into to part while he spotting in Hong Kong this year. Well, I would still recommend to consider Canon L series for Long Length Lens. If you want to consider some other length lens you might consider Sigma or Tamron. Although the price of 150-600 seems reasonable i don't think it worths. As I said before 100-400 or other L series long length Lens can provide good quality of photos for all length even in 400mm the sharpness is still very nice. But 150-600 can't do it.
Besides, I think 100-400 would be easier to carry than 150-600.


I can see where having plastic construction could lead to durability issues. Im leaning towards the Canon 100-400 L as it seems to be the most reliable and durable construction. Again I greatly appreciate everyones advice here, y'all are making this new kid on the block thing much easier for me!
Lone Star Spotter, F-4 Phantom Phanatic
 
vikkyvik
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:02 am

gh6912 wrote:
I can see where having plastic construction could lead to durability issues. Im leaning towards the Canon 100-400 L as it seems to be the most reliable and durable construction.


Keep in mind that there are two generations of 100-400 which differ in operation. The Mark 1 is a push-pull zoom (unique among Canon's lenses) and not everyone likes that. The Mark 2 is a typical rotate-zoom. I have both, and they each have their strengths, but the Mark 2 provides higher quality images and quicker focusing, etc. But the Mark 1 is still a great lens, so don't discount it just due to it being older. You can probably get a used one for fairly cheap.

You may want to rent them and try them out. Also the 70-300 L is probably worth looking at as well.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
ThePointblank
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:39 am

I would also note that both Sigma and Tamron have recently released or announced 100-400mm length lenses as well. Both the Sigma and Tamron lenses are lighter and much cheaper than the Canon 100-400, but both have a much smaller maximum aperture at f/6.3 at 400mm (1/3 stop difference), so they will suffer slightly in terms of low light performance.

However, since Sigma and Tamron are third party lens manufacturers, their AF performance and copy to copy variations can be hit or miss, and Sigma is known for AF performance issues.

For me, I was weighing the decision between the Tamron 150-600 G2 and the Canon 100-400 MK II. I went with the Canon, as the reviews all indicated that the Canon is particularly sharp at 400mm, more so than the Tamron. One review even indicated that the Canon is even more sharper than the Tamron if one used a 1.4x teleconverter:

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Rev ... &APIComp=2
 
gh6912
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:40 am

I ended up picking up a used Cannon 100-400 L first generation at my local camera shop for a pretty good bargain. I’ll be headed out to DFW this week sometime to break it in. Hopefully will get some worthy photos to post here! Thanks again for everyone’s help! -Garrett
Lone Star Spotter, F-4 Phantom Phanatic
 
vikkyvik
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:50 am

gh6912 wrote:
I ended up picking up a used Cannon 100-400 L first generation at my local camera shop for a pretty good bargain. I’ll be headed out to DFW this week sometime to break it in. Hopefully will get some worthy photos to post here! Thanks again for everyone’s help! -Garrett


Congrats! There's a lot of us who have used (or still use) that lens, so feel free to ask any questions.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
JakTrax
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Re: New Photographer, Looking for Lens Advice

Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:48 pm

The original 100-400 is a great lens BUT (without wanting to rain on your parade) you do need to make sure you get a good copy as Canon's QC with it has been inconsistent to say the least. Hopefully you'll get a good one and if you do, I'm sure it'll produce great results.

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