Topic Author
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2000 1:09 am

Long Lens Or Fast Lens?

Sat Jan 06, 2001 10:09 am

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?)

Posts: 949
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2000 12:30 am

RE: Long Lens Or Fast Lens?

Sat Jan 06, 2001 10:11 am

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
Posts: 1543
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 1999 11:08 am

RE: Long Lens Or Fast Lens?

Sat Jan 06, 2001 10:37 am

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...
Posts: 2383
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 10:55 am

RE: Long Lens Or Fast Lens?

Sat Jan 06, 2001 10:52 am


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.
Topic Author
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2000 1:09 am

RE: Long Lens Or Fast Lens?

Sat Jan 06, 2001 11:24 am


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.

Posts: 2383
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 10:55 am

RE: Long Lens Or Fast Lens?

Sat Jan 06, 2001 10:00 pm


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.

Posts: 250
Joined: Wed May 10, 2000 5:22 am

RE: Long Lens Or Fast Lens?

Mon Jan 08, 2001 5:04 am

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!
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RE: Long Lens Or Fast Lens?

Mon Jan 08, 2001 6:15 pm

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
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2000 4:17 pm

RE: Long Lens Or Fast Lens?

Mon Jan 08, 2001 6:51 pm

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.


Lawrence Feir
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2000 6:23 am

RE: Long Lens Or Fast Lens?

Tue Jan 09, 2001 2:50 pm

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.


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Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 1:09 pm

RE: Long Lens Or Fast Lens?

Wed Jan 10, 2001 1:30 pm

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

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