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Which Canon Lens Should I Get. I'm Torn..  
User currently offlinejetboy23 From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 11 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 7572 times:

So, it's getting to be that time of year again, and I need to start thinking about what lens to get. BUT I'm in a huge bind.

I was thinking any lens in the $900-$1400 range. I want an L lens.

Here were the lenses I'm thinking about:

-300mm f/4 IS USM

-70-200mm f/2.8 USM (NON IS)

-100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM

-24-105mm f/4 IS USM

Problem is, both the 300 f/4, and the 100-400 have patents for a new lens to come out soon. That soon could be anything from next week, to the next 2 years.. I really don't want to buy one of those, then the new one comes out right after I buy it. So, that being said, what lens should I get.

NOTE: I know the 24-105mm is not really for aviation, but I might get that for now instead of an aviation lens.

Would like some experience-input as well!

Thanks

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineepten From Macedonia, joined Sep 2007, 184 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 7533 times:

If I had 1400 bucks to spend, I'd try buying second-hand both 100-400 AND 24-105. If not possible, then 100-400.

24-105 is indeed very usable for shooting aircraft!

[Edited 2012-09-26 12:14:43]

User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2323 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 7490 times:

Quoting jetboy23 (Thread starter):
the 100-400 have patents for a new lens to come out soon. That soon could be anything from next week, to the next 2 years..

Only a Canon user would consider "soon" to be 2 years from now.   The reason they have patents on next generation technology is to prevent other companies from developing the technology themselves and patenting it before Canon does. They all do it. If Canon was going to release a new edition of the 100-400, they could've done it 7 years ago.

The 100-400mm is the Canon shooter's standard lens. A large percentage of the Canon shooters here have it.

[Edited 2012-09-26 13:01:24]


Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4772 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 7490 times:
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I agree 100% with the post above. Out of curiosity, what camera are you shooting with? For aviation, the 24-105 will get you more reach on a crop sensor so if you can get close enough it works great.


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User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9799 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 7478 times:
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Quoting jetboy23 (Thread starter):

-300mm f/4 IS USM

-70-200mm f/2.8 USM (NON IS)

-100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM

-24-105mm f/4 IS USM

I would decide what focal lengths you're trying to cover first. There's a pretty big range there. No use getting a 24-105 if you need 300mm.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlinejetboy23 From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 11 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 7421 times:

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 2):
Only a Canon user would consider "soon" to be 2 years from now.   The reason they have patents on next generation technology is to prevent other companies from developing the technology themselves and patenting it before Canon does. They all do it. If Canon was going to release a new edition of the 100-400, they could've done it 7 years ago.

Yes, I understand what a patent is. My point is that no one knows when the new lenses would come out, thus I don't know if I should wait, or just buy.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 3):
Out of curiosity, what camera are you shooting with?

Nothing special at all, just a rebel 600D.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 4):
I would decide what focal lengths you're trying to cover first. There's a pretty big range there. No use getting a 24-105 if you need 300mm.

I usually shoot at KBDL (Bradley). I go up to Boston usually 4 times a year.

Most spots at Bradley require about 100mm at a 90 degree angle with the plane. At Boston, it highly depends on the spot you're at. Usually requires anywhere from 70-300mm.


I'm currently shooting with the 70-300mm f/4-5.6, and it works great, except for most airshows, where I, most times, need to crop a lot. I just feel I'm ready to upgrade to a high-quality L lens for aviation. But as stated with the needed focal lengths, the range I need is pretty large. Sometimes, I need as little as 80mm, other times, I need 400mm. So maybe the 100-400 will be my best bet.

[Edited 2012-09-26 20:04:14]

User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9799 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 7393 times:
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Quoting jetboy23 (Reply 5):

I'm currently shooting with the 70-300mm f/4-5.6, and it works great, except for most airshows, where I, most times, need to crop a lot. I just feel I'm ready to upgrade to a high-quality L lens for aviation. But as stated with the needed focal lengths, the range I need is pretty large. Sometimes, I need as little as 80mm, other times, I need 400mm. So maybe the 100-400 will be my best bet.

Based on the above, I would scratch the 24-105 off your immediate purchase list.  

Anyway, I hear ya. I upgraded from the 70-300 IS USM earlier this year. I ended up buying a 70-200 F4L, even though it's a little short, because the price was right. And given that cropping ability is quite noticeably increased, it hasn't been too much of a hassle. But I'll probably get a longer-focal-length lens before too long.

There's also the 70-300L, which I might consider, but some people consider it a ripoff, due to cost, not being compatible with extenders, and not being F4 all through the zoom.

Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about new versions of lenses coming out. The only reason I would wait for a new version is so the old one goes down in price, and people start selling it (since I buy used). Speaking of which, I'd recommend buying a used lens; if it's been well taken care of, quality will still be good, and you'll save a bunch of money.

I got some good info when I posted a similar question, if you want to check it out:

Lens Upgrade - 70-200 F4L Vs 200 F2.8L (by vikkyvik Feb 7 2012 in Aviation Photography)



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4772 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7353 times:
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Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 3):
I agree 100% with the post above. Out of curiosity, what camera are you shooting with? For aviation, the 24-105 will get you more reach on a crop sensor so if you can get close enough it works great.


So I just noticed that unattendedbag posted a reply while I was typing mine yesterday. The post I agree with is the one suggesting you look for used copies of both the 24-105 and the 100-400. That will probably send you a couple hundred bucks over budget but if you can do it, that's a killer lineup!



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinejpmagero From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7353 times:
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Quoting epten (Reply 1):
I'd try buying second-hand both 100-400 AND 24-105

I did just that, bought them both off a studio moving to medium format and I paid $1500 for both, and am fairly happy with both too over what I had before.

Quoting jetboy23 (Reply 5):
no one knows when the new lenses would come out

While it's never certain, sites like canonrumours.com can give some hint if a new lens is likely to be announced soon. Some have had rumours for the last few years, to be fair, but I think it's rare that a significant lens comes out without some warning.



John M - Aussie expat in the US
User currently offlinePsych From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 3048 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7336 times:
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Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 6):
There's also the 70-300L, which I might consider,

I am an owner of this lens, and so far have been impressed. High quality throughout its range, with excellent IS, and it is notably lighter than the 100-400mm.

For me at Manchester, where you can get quite close at times, the wider angle more than makes up for the loss of range at the zoom end.

Paul


User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9799 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7296 times:
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Quoting Psych (Reply 9):
I am an owner of this lens, and so far have been impressed. High quality throughout its range, with excellent IS, and it is notably lighter than the 100-400mm.

For me at Manchester, where you can get quite close at times, the wider angle more than makes up for the loss of range at the zoom end.

I sort of wish I had gotten that one instead of the 70-200. Though I would have paid about twice as much money.

However, a nice side effect of this thread is that I'm now considering the 300mm F4 IS prime, since I need something longer than 200mm. The 1.4 extender that I have produces inconsistent results with the 70-200, but it might be good with a prime; will have to check that out. That'd give me 70-200, 300, and 420mm.

So thanks to jetboy23 for potentially lightening my wallet!

But I digress......



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4772 posts, RR: 26
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7283 times:
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Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 10):

Yeah I got rid of my 100-400 and instead of saving up to get it back in the future I'm thinking instead of the 300 f/4 prime.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinecommpilot From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7230 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 11):

I did just that, sold my 100-400 and got the 300 F/4. Great lens!

Quoting jetboy23 (Thread starter):
I was thinking any lens in the $900-$1400 range. I want an L lens.

This past week Canon had a 20% of reburb lenses and could have had the 70-200 2.8 MKII for $1500.


User currently offlinescopedude From Indonesia, joined Oct 2010, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7174 times:

I'd get a 70-300 L and never look back - unless Canon's new 100-400 will be out soon but I always consider that 70-100mm gap useful in certain situations.

I got some 1500px photos in my DB here (about 80% of my photos were taken with 70-300L). At 300mm it's no slouch either.



5D2, 650D, 70-200/4 IS, 70-300 L, 135 L
User currently offlinevishaljo From India, joined Aug 2006, 468 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7142 times:

Quoting jetboy23 (Thread starter):
both the 300 f/4, and the 100-400 have patents for a new lens to come out soon......... I really don't want to buy one of those, then the new one comes out right after I buy it

You DO NOT always need to have the latest & the greatest.
Besides, even if a 100-400 Mk II was coming-out tommorow, it'll be atleast 30% more expensive that its predecessor if not more & in all likelyhood it WILL BE MORE.

The EF 24-105 was Introduced in October 2005, i do remember seeing a patent on that too (on CR) a while back.

Actually the thing is, when all these Mk IIs & IIIs come-out - prices of the previous version drops quite a bit & THAT is a great time to pick it up. The 5DII for example has seen a great resurgance after the III

The usual focal length required to get an a/c in a standard composition can only allow for so much creativity, Even though you may not need 400mm from a certain spot - the 100-400s greater reach allows you to frame differently than the ones shooting beside you & show your ingenuity - this dosent apply for all places but, then again............

Anyways, your wishlist includes a whole gamut of focal lengths & lenses.
What gear do you have currently? 600D & ..... ?

Quoting epten (Reply 1):
If I had 1400 bucks to spend, I'd try buying second-hand both 100-400 AND 24-105.
If not possible, then 100-400.

+1

Some great gear gets traded at FM, be patient & you can get some great value for money > http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/board/10


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7043 times:

Just to confuse the issue, there is a rumour that Canon will produce a 300mm f4 IS mk II this January, as well as a 400mm f4 IS - which would be interesting.

One thing about new lens versions - the 5D3 and 1Dx AF systems are 'better' than current lenses, hence one of the requirements for updated lenses is the inclusion of new AF motors to take advantage of this - these lenses should AF better on 5D3 or !DX bodies, but won't make any difference on older/lesser bodies.

On might also assume that the IS system will be upgraded. Whether image quality will significantly improve is another matter. It's really hard to see how the current 300 f4 could be improved to an exent that it would produce a significant difference on current sensors - but Canon may be looking ahead for lenses which will take advantage of the rumoured 46mp sensor which may be announced this autumn.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlinen314as From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7032 times:

For wide angles, the 20-35 is good and is very inexpensive.
For medium range, a nice one is the 28-135 USM
For the rest of the field, and strong, get the 28-300 or 100-400 "L" lens.

Some say, "Oh well, to be a professional, you need to get the L lens and only the high end ....bla bla bla"

A good photographer will shoot a great shot with whatever is given to them......

Those three are perfect for the range of what to shoot in aviation. I do not recommend a fisheye unless you plan to
do many interiors. Fisheye lenses distort aircraft making them look like gliders which is not well liked among
top enthusiasts. It also has a tendency to block titles because you are too close. Blocking titles is a major mistake.

Hope that helps.


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7000 times:

Quoting n314as (Reply 16):
A good photographer will shoot a great shot with whatever is given to them......

You could also say a good photographer will select the right tools for the job ...

This is a tough one - there is certainly no need to spend a fortune on top end glass to get good results (and of course you get into the problem of diminishing returns anyway). However, my own experience over many years is that cheap lenses are often cheap for a very good reason.

My personal recommendation would be get the best you can afford. When I have ignored my own advice and gone for a quick fix I have inevitably ended up disappointed and ended up getting something better (making the original purchase a waste of money).

Having said that, price is not always an indication of quality. You need to check reviews, or better yet, try the lenses out. The basic Canon 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8 are good examples of exceptional value for money.

You also need to keep in mind that what may be acceptable on a crop camera (which only uses the center of the image) may be woeful on a full frame (the 20-35 mentioned above is a case in point), so you need to think about your future plans.

Ultimately high quality glass is an investment. With reasonable care, it will last a lifetime - and hold its value well. If you can find them, used 'L' lenses can be a good, safe, purchase. Many of these lenses provided superb image quality 20 years ago, and still do today - sure, they can be improved, nothing's perfect, but "better is the enemy of good enough".

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlinejetboy23 From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 11 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6666 times:

Wow guys! So many replies!

Didn't know that I would make people consider the 300 f/4... Lol

Well, I guess the 24-105 is scratched off the list... As well as the 70-200 series..

I think I'm gonna go for the 100-400. I heard that its great quality, great range, great price, and doesn't get soft at 400..

I don't really know about buying both the 24-105 and 100-400 used will work. I'm barely gonna be able to afford $1400 ATM.. Which is why I'm gonna sell a couple things..

I really do like the idea of trading though. To trade my current 70-300 for a discounted 100-400 would be great!

Thanks for all of the input! I appreciate it.


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4772 posts, RR: 26
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6620 times:
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Quoting jetboy23 (Reply 18):
I think I'm gonna go for the 100-400. I heard that its great quality, great range, great price, and doesn't get soft at 400..

Not so fast. It does get softer at the long end (especially wide open) but generally it's still much better than the cheaper zooms at their long ends.

The 100-400 is a great lens, but it's not perfect. There is a learning curve with it so just don't expect too much. Some folks complain as soon as they get it because they expected miracles from it and get a reality check when results aren't what they expected. It needs to be used properly.  



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinejetboy23 From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 11 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6601 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 19):
Not so fast. It does get softer at the long end (especially wide open) but generally it's still much better than the cheaper zooms at their long ends.

The 100-400 is a great lens, but it's not perfect. There is a learning curve with it so just don't expect too much. Some folks complain as soon as they get it because they expected miracles from it and get a reality check when results aren't what they expected. It needs to be used properly.  

Well, lets face the truth; there is no such thing as "perfect". Every lens is going to have weaknesses. In fact, I'll give you a challenge: Find one lens that is flawless. That's it. Can't be that hard, can it?

I understand your logic, and I actually agree with your sense that this lens, and every lens will have flaws.

I actually was able to try out the 100-400 at an airshow a couple months back when my friend let me try his for a couple mins. I didn't notice anything that I didn't like. Maybe it was because it was the first L lens I've ever held.. I don't know.. But at 400mm, it didn't look soft to me. And with some quick USM in PS, I think 400mm will look great! Also, when wide open, any lens will look a touch soft in the middle, at least that's what I've found.

So, bottom line, this lens, and any lens will not be perfect, but for the price, I think this is a hell of a lens, and is currently #1 on the list to buy.


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4772 posts, RR: 26
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6593 times:
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Quoting jetboy23 (Reply 20):

I didn't mean to put so much emphasis on "prefect". I've seen a lot of people, myself included, expect too much from the lens right out of the box and quickly rush to the conclusion that the lens must be flawed. There are bad copies out there, but most complaints are due to user error or not fully understanding how to use it.

It's good you have had the opportunity to use one. Sounds like its the right choice for you. And since you have experience with one that worked well for you, you will have something to compare your lens to should you get a poor copy.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinejetboy23 From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 11 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6591 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 21):
I didn't mean to put so much emphasis on "prefect". I've seen a lot of people, myself included, expect too much from the lens right out of the box and quickly rush to the conclusion that the lens must be flawed. There are bad copies out there, but most complaints are due to user error or not fully understanding how to use it.

It's good you have had the opportunity to use one. Sounds like its the right choice for you. And since you have experience with one that worked well for you, you will have something to compare your lens to should you get a poor copy.

Yeah, I figured that wasn't your intention  .

I've watched and read so many reviews for this lens. I know what to expect, and good point in the end there.

Thanks for the help!


User currently offlineJosuek6 From Costa Rica, joined Oct 2006, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6368 times:

I own the Canon 100-400 and since the day I bought it I've never considered anything else. Generally I don't consider any patents or rumors before buying photographic equipment (unless imminent). In fact, when I bought my brand new 100-400 (almost 2 years ago) there were rumors about a Mk II version, which hasn't arrived yet!

Taking into account your comments and budget, I would say the 70-300L is the best choice. I have tried one and it's lighter and smaller to carry around than the 100-400. Also, the 100-400 requires practice so you can get used to the push-pull zoom. The quality is practically the same, although you will gain the new IS system used in the 70-300L. I strongly suggest you get a 70-300L, can't go wrong there. If you would like the extra 100mm to have 400mm, you can't go wrong with the 100-400 either. At the end of the day, both deserve the "L"  

Cheers!

Josué.


User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9799 posts, RR: 26
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 6363 times:
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Quoting jetboy23 (Thread starter):
-300mm f/4 IS USM

Just an FYI - I rented a 300mm F4L yesterday (they only had the older non-IS version, so that's what I got). Took it up to Imperial Hill yesterday evening to test out. I uploaded some full-size images, with only RAW tweaks to exposure, white balance, and contrast....no cropping or anything, and used the default RAW sharpness setting that I use for all my photos. They're also noisy, because I just wasn't paying that much attention to exposure and such, but hopefully it gives you an idea what you can expect. I hope these links work and don't screw up the forum layout....

http://www.vksphoto.com/Other/Full-Size-Links/i-NJnp4mS/0/O/IMG7850-full-O.jpg

http://www.vksphoto.com/Other/Full-Size-Links/i-tcRz6tq/0/O/IMG7875-full-O.jpg

http://www.vksphoto.com/Other/Full-Size-Links/i-7vqBQJ3/0/O/IMG7923-full-O.jpg



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
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