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Long Lens Or Fast Lens?  
User currently offlineUsairways@clt From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 209 posts, RR: 3
Posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2745 times:

Hey everyone,

It's time for me to move up to a better lens.

Should I:
A) Move up to a faster lens (in the range of f/2.8)
B) Move up to a longer lens (in the range of 500mm)

No, you don't have to tell me that these lenses are very expensive!! I have been doing QUITE a bit of saving.

What would you rather have (or what is more important to you?)


10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineUSAir_757 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 996 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2658 times:

I'd go faster. That way you can take nice handheld shots in the late evening. Which camera system are you using?

C. Wassell

-Cullen Wassell @ MLI | Pentax K5 + DA18-55WR + Sigma 70-300 DL Macro Super
User currently offlineBrick From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1675 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2651 times:

I would tend to go for the longer lens. You won't necessarily need the f2.8 all the time, but you certainly will need the 500mm. Just my $0.02 though. If you tend to do dawn/dusk shots then go for speed. Otherwise I'd go for length.

Mark Abbott
Minneapolis, MN

A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
User currently offlineAKE0404AR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2535 posts, RR: 40
Reply 3, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2646 times:


it all depends what kind of ground you want to cover and what you want to shoot.
You shoot @ CLT correct? Do you really need the 500mm or are 200mm enough? Me personally I did acutally go for the 500mm as with 200mm u can not do anything @BOS. What kind of 500mm do you have in mind?
If you really have the money ???? go with a 400mm F4 or 600mm F4 and then maybe a 2x teleconverter => nice range!!!

I would definitely go for range!!!!

Vasco G.

User currently offlineUsairways@clt From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 209 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2647 times:


I'm currently using Canon A2E along with a Tamron 70-300 4.5-5.6. My camera I think is great, but the lens doesn't give me the sharp picture that I like - but on the other hand, I am always whining about how I missed the perfect shot because it was too far.

300mm is suitable for some of the areas of shooting, but I just uncovered a goldmine of places where I would definitely need the extra length.
If you can hook me up with 7500 grand, by all means I'll go with your system.
I was thinking of a Sigma 400mm f/5.6 APO HSM Auto Focus lens *or*
Sigma Zoom Normal-Tele 50-500mm f/4-6.3 APO EX RF HSM Auto Focus Lens. Is this too slow?

Anything better and you are getting too expensive. Unless, you know of a lens I don't.


User currently offlineAKE0404AR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2535 posts, RR: 40
Reply 5, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2639 times:


I did not know what kind of budget you had ( you said "I have been doing QUITE a bit of saving" therefore I suggested the real expensive ones........)

Nevertheless the SIGMA 50-500mm is a reaslly good buy ! I saw a package on nice package on cameraworld

for USD 999,-


As I said before I would go for range!!!

Vasco G.

User currently offlineTOP From Germany, joined May 2000, 264 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (15 years 1 month 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2616 times:

I have the canon 100-400mm IS USM lens and I'm very satisfied with it! f2,8 is nice but with a long range you can do much more than with a high speed. The Image Stabilisator reduces the vibration so that you don't get blurry pictures!

User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 813 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (15 years 1 month 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2599 times:

After years of buying increasingly longer lenses (I got up to a 600mm Sigma), I sat down last year and worked out how many times I actually needed to use the long lens, and then how many GOOD shots I actually got. The answer was depressingly small. After a lot of thinking about how, where and when I take pics, I traded my 600mm and 400mm in against a 300mm f2.8 and 1.4x and 2x convertors.

I've found the 300 much more veratile than the longer lenses, and, by buying top quality lenses and convertors (Canon make), I can still get the longer reach when I really need it with no real noticable drop in quality.



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineHias From Germany, joined Sep 2000, 349 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (15 years 1 month 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2600 times:

I had the same problem and got a long lens first (Sigma 170-500mm/5,0-6,3), but now I am going for more quality (Nikon 2,8/80-200mm).

In your case I would do the same like I did.



User currently offlineLawrence feir From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 39 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (15 years 1 month 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2591 times:

Go with the fast lens if you can afford it.

I shoot Canon equipment and my all time favorite lens is the 70-200, 2.8
It still takes wonderful shots with the Canon L1.4 teleconverter. This is the lens I shoot most of my air to air as well as ground to ground shots. It's great in low light and it's really sharp!

Let us know what you go for.


User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (15 years 1 month 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2575 times:

I would go with a fast, zoom lense like
Lawrence recommended. I too have a Canon
70-200 2.8, along with the 2x converter.
So with using the converter, you get
140-400 5.6. I would go always with a faster
lense over the length. Plus with a 500mm, I
do not think you'll get a zoom capability. I
have shot a 500mm fixed lense before at a football
game and I didn't like not be able to zoom in and
zoom out.


Picture Perfect Airliners

Jay Davis

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