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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Looking for new lens and reviews
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03/06/2008 09:21:37 AM · #1
It's that time of the year again where I'm looking to add another lens to my bag. Last time I asked for ideas and help, I found a fixed lens that I'm incredibly happy with. So I'm asking here again.

I want a zoom lens now for my rebel XT. I don't have a lot of funding so I'm looking to spend less than $250. I know it's pretty cheap for one, but it's what I want. I plan on using the lens for portrait/editorial and travel photography. If you want to some of my portrait/fashion photography you can view it at www.onemodelplace.com/hawthora but I'm looking to press the distance I'm shooting at to be able to encompass more background and zoom in if i have to (when shooting outside). So here are the lenses I've looked at so far. Some of these come as cheap package deals. I'm looking for feedback or advice on which to choose or recommendation of another lens within the price range....(the list is long)...The spacing is on purpose because ones with no space in between are the packaged deals

Tamron Autofocus 75-300mm f/4-5.6 LD
Tamron autofocus 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspherical

Sigma 28-70 f/2.8-4 DG Aspherical Large Aperture
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG macro Telephoto zoom

Canon EF 28-90 F/4-5.6 III
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III telephoto

Sigma 55-200mm f/4 -5.6 DC Telephoto

Tamron Af 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DI LD Macro

Canon EF 38-15 f/4-5.6 USM Standard

Canon EF 55-200 f/4.5-5.6 II USM

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Apo Macro

Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM standard

All these are under $250 (yes even the packaged deals) and the single lenses are listed by price with the highest being $229.

Also if someone can help me with the difference between Aspherical, DI, LD, Apo, DC, and DG lenses I'd appreciate that also.

Thank you.
03/06/2008 09:33:10 AM · #2
The zoom range on some of these listed are pretty short, i.e. Canon 28-105. ???

This one is a decent lens for the price: Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro

As for what all the terms mean (APO, DG, etc...) - check out Tamron or Sigma websites. They describe all of those differences in detail.

edit - wrong lens id used.

Message edited by author 2008-03-06 09:35:28.
03/06/2008 09:57:31 AM · #3
Yeah I know the 28-105's are short, but it would still extend my zoom range some for portraits as right now my max zoom is 55mm. I have the kit lens and a 50mm f/1.8
03/06/2008 12:17:42 PM · #4
bump
03/06/2008 12:24:09 PM · #5
Sigma 70-300

Message edited by author 2008-03-06 12:24:55.
03/06/2008 12:25:50 PM · #6
From what I've heard, the Sigma 70-300 w/o APO isn't a very good lens, so I'd avoid the Sigma package.

03/06/2008 12:29:40 PM · #7
The 28-105 is a good lens. The Tamron 28-75 is a very good lens. Stay away from the Canon 75-300.

For the meanings of all the various designators, the best resource is the lens manufacturer's website. There are a few, like APO (apochromatic) that are universal, many though, are specific to a manufacturer.

ETA: DO realize that "consumer-grade" lenses includng third-party glass are relative bargains on the used market. Where professional-level glass can go for 90% of new value in pristine condition, consumer-grade lenses in excellent condition can often be found at 60%-70% of new value, or even less.

Message edited by author 2008-03-06 12:32:35.
03/06/2008 12:30:05 PM · #8
For the money its a very good lens. I have one and use it all the time...Sigma 70-300

Message edited by author 2008-03-06 12:30:29.
03/06/2008 12:33:37 PM · #9
have a look at photozone.de. All lenses tested extensively.
03/06/2008 01:11:27 PM · #10
Originally posted by kirbic:

The 28-105 is a good lens. The Tamron 28-75 is a very good lens. Stay away from the Canon 75-300.

For the meanings of all the various designators, the best resource is the lens manufacturer's website. There are a few, like APO (apochromatic) that are universal, many though, are specific to a manufacturer.

ETA: DO realize that "consumer-grade" lenses includng third-party glass are relative bargains on the used market. Where professional-level glass can go for 90% of new value in pristine condition, consumer-grade lenses in excellent condition can often be found at 60%-70% of new value, or even less.


Thanks. I don't think the 28-75 would give me enough distance. The 28-105 is probably pushing it short, but wouldn't be too bad to start.

Which Canon 75-300 to stay away from. The standard or the USM? Or both?
03/06/2008 01:40:21 PM · #11
Originally posted by albc28:

Which Canon 75-300 to stay away from. The standard or the USM? Or both?


Both, definitely.

And no, the 28-70 doesn't really give you much advantage in range, but a big advantage in low-light, and DoF control. If it's additional range you're really after, look at the 70-200 range. There might be a couple of the 70-300 lenses that are worth considering, but be very careful there. There are some stinkers in that group as well... I don't, however, know them well enough to give guidance.
Doesn't meet your price point, but if you are after a lens that *will* perform flawlessly, even at maximum aperture, look at the Canon 70-200 f/4L (the non-IS version). It's worth every penny over anything else in the range.

Message edited by author 2008-03-06 13:41:26.
03/06/2008 09:22:30 PM · #12
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/25000-29999/26845/120/655332.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/25000-29999/26845/120/655332.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

This was taken with the Sigma 70-300
03/06/2008 10:13:24 PM · #13
Originally posted by kirbic:


Doesn't meet your price point, but if you are after a lens that *will* perform flawlessly, even at maximum aperture, look at the Canon 70-200 f/4L (the non-IS version). It's worth every penny over anything else in the range.

I have a Nikon 70-300 the cheap version and it hardly ever goes on my camera and when I do put it on it is ridiculously slow to focus. Luckily I got a great deal on it used, so its nice to have with lots of light. If you have $250 saved now, maybe put $25 dollars a month into a lens fund and keep your eye out for a used 70-200 F/4L, fredmiranda.com has a very good buy/sell forum with lots of Canon gear.
03/20/2008 07:59:43 AM · #14
Still looking. So far I've gotten a couple saying go for the Sigma 70-300 and a couple saying stay away from the Sigma 70-300....

And stay away from the Canon 75-300.

Any more help out there?
03/20/2008 09:03:50 AM · #15
Okay I narrowed it down some:
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG macro Telephoto zoom

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III telephoto

Tamron Af 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DI LD Macro

But also want advice on these two choices:

Tamron autofocus 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspherical
Sigma 28-70 f/2.8-4 DG Aspherical Large Aperture

03/20/2008 10:01:48 AM · #16
I have the Sigma 70-300... it's pretty bad. 5/10.

Thing is, i regret buying it because it's money wasted. since i'll inevitable upgrade to a zoom like the canon 70-200 F2.8 this feels like money dumped down the drain.

Basically, get the best thing you can afford (or save up to buy what you want) because you'll be spending mroe money later on on the better stuff so if i were you, i'd save up and put whatever you have now to getting somehting that will last you and grow with you, not something that fills a hole now but in 5 months will be redundant as you realise its limitations, and will have to be replaced by the lens you should have bought in the first place...

At least, that's the way I look at my purchase.
03/20/2008 10:28:43 AM · #17
Originally posted by albc28:

Okay I narrowed it down some:
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG macro Telephoto zoom

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III telephoto

Tamron Af 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DI LD Macro

But also want advice on these two choices:

Tamron autofocus 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspherical
Sigma 28-70 f/2.8-4 DG Aspherical Large Aperture


Honestly The Tamron 70-300mm is not that bad (not great), but it works, I'd avoid the 28-70 tamron and get something by canon. The 28-70 just isn't that wonderful, a litte soft and loud.
03/20/2008 10:38:41 AM · #18
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by albc28:

Which Canon 75-300 to stay away from. The standard or the USM? Or both?


Both, definitely.

And no, the 28-70 doesn't really give you much advantage in range, but a big advantage in low-light, and DoF control. If it's additional range you're really after, look at the 70-200 range. There might be a couple of the 70-300 lenses that are worth considering, but be very careful there. There are some stinkers in that group as well...


I agree. Most 70-300s are unsharp beyond 200mm and not very good lenses in general (The Tamron seems to be okay for its price though). Besides, you will not use focal lengths beyond 200 for models on a crop camera, you will have to shout your directions. lenses in the 70-200 range give you much more value for money.

If you are looking at the 28-80ish range instead, please save up a little for the Tamron 28-75/2.8 or the Sigma 28-70/2.8. You will love every extra penny you spent.

pretty good modelling pf you have there btw
03/20/2008 10:51:37 AM · #19
I think you should stay away from everything on that list and save some more money. IF you buy a $250 lens, you will be upgrading it as fast as you can, that = expensive.

There is a good reason that the 70-200 f2.8L costs what it does.

The cheaper zooms are slow, soft and usually have poor color. I did the same thing when I wanted new glass, I bought cheap stuff and ended up selling it on ebay for half what I paid in an attempt to upgrade. Now I wait and spend on the good stuff.

If you don't want to wait and buy a L zoom, I would buy some primes. Won't give you the reach, but the 85 1.8 is great and only about $350. The 100 f2.8 macro is around $500. I think you will be more happy with those 2 than anything on your list even though they don't accomplish your long reach goal.

I have an 85 1.2L and still use the 1.8 for certain situations. Its a great lens for a great price.

You can rent some stuff and see exactly what I mean, Im offering 50% off 2 week rentals right now. //www.rentphotostuff.com

03/20/2008 11:05:09 AM · #20
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Apo Macro gets my vote.
I have the 100-400 L and 70-200 f2.8L and still use this one when i don't want to carry one of the big guys. I'm usually very happy with the results. Does a good job with macros too.
03/20/2008 11:21:29 AM · #21
I guess I should give some background on why waiting won't really help me for now.

I'll probably start looking at buying a house in the next 6 months....so If I do decide to upgrade it won't be for at least a year...if not longer than that. So a cheap lens will get me the use i need. Aside from models, I travel alot and would like something that i can shoot from a distance (ie shooting people on the street from my hotel balcony down to the street or from down the block. Shooting models with the zoom won't be a major issue and I doubt if I'll go over 200 for that. Anything I shoot with 300 will be random.

I might just save up and consider myself limited for another year or so.
03/20/2008 11:22:37 AM · #22
Originally posted by mark_u_U:



pretty good modelling pf you have there btw


Thank you for the compliments
03/21/2008 03:35:12 PM · #23
Er...my pocket was itching and I just bought the Tamron 70-300 Di LD
03/21/2008 04:38:13 PM · #24
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro

This lens is MOST OFTEN on my camera. I love it. The image quality is tremendous. It costs almost nothing. It does great near-macro. I don't think you could possibly regret it.
03/21/2008 04:53:12 PM · #25
I have the Canon 75-300. Yes, it sucks at full reach, but it was cheap and will hold me until I can afford a nice one. I agree that this is not the lens you want.
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