HarryImp
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New-Lens Help!

Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:46 pm

Hi All,

I am looking to start aviation photography. I will be buying on ebay second hand, and have already decided on the Canon 400D (I think) . I am currentley contemplating my lens. The options are either the 75-300 USM III or the 70-300 IS USM. Obviously the latter is better, however the first one is much cheaper, and i dont want to spend too much if i can help it!! I mainly am purchasing a camera in order to help me get serials of aircraft, but also would like to photograph as a hobby. Incase it affects any answers it is only military I am intereseted in!

Please could anyone tell me if the IS is definately worth the extra £150 or so, and also does anyone think of a better kit i could get for no more than around £450 second hand (Camera+Lens) for the purpose i was looking for. If anyone uses either of these lens, could you show me where i could find some sample pictures too! Also would 300mm be enough, as another more is a lot more expensive??

Thanks in Advance
Harry
 
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NZ107
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:00 pm

Quoting HarryImp (Thread starter):
Please could anyone tell me if the IS is definately worth the extra £150 or so

You're not just paying for IS, you're paying for better image quality overall. The focal distance is yours to figure out, depending on your local airfields etc. These lenses are quite soft at the far end but you'll have no alternative until you're willing to fork out 1000 quid. So overall, it depends on if you're just getting the rego or you're getting into a little more serious photography. If it's the former, save the money as that should be enough zoom.

Hard to say when applying it to military. As long as you're not trying to take pics during the fast flybys, either shouldn't be a problem.

Just to put it into perspective, I had a 70-300mm IS USM (well still do but I've now go tthe 100-400) and here's one of those fast shots of mine:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3546/3381786842_07c79ec4a8_b.jpg

What I should also point out is that a photo is made by the person taking it. As long as your skills match the conditions etc, you should achieve your goal of registration logging. A fast shutter speed will do the job in your case.
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:22 pm

Many thanks NZ107, muchly appreciate the help!! Stunning picture by the way!


So you do think it is worth paying the extra money for the other lens? Anyone else have any opinions?

Many thanks
Harry
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:11 pm

If noone can comment on the two lenses i mentioned, does anyone reccomned another kit that would fulfill my need?

Harry
 
dazbo5
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:39 pm

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 2):
So you do think it is worth paying the extra money for the other lens? Anyone else have any opinions?

You get what you pay for with lenses. The body is less important than the lens so I would pay more for a lens than a body. The 400D is more than adequate to start out with. Of the two lenses you mention, the 70-300 IS USM is the sharper one. Having said that, it does have it's limitations and it starts to get soft over about 220mm. It's still very usuable though, I have a 75-300 IS USM, the previous model and still use it at times when I I can't take the bulky and heavy 50-500 with me. As a starter kit, you won't go far wrong with the equipment you mention. Bear in mind though, technique is as important as equipment so you need to learn how to use it and get the best from it. Even with the best equipment available, in the wrong hands, it won't produce the goods. It's the photographer that creates a photo, the camera and lens is just the mechanism of capturing the light.

Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:52 pm

Many thanks mate!! Im really stuck i dont know what to do!


If i wanted to be properly into photography i would definately go more expensive, its just the fact that i want mainly serials which makes me wonder if it is worth it?
 
dazbo5
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:03 pm

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 5):
its just the fact that i want mainly serials which makes me wonder if it is worth it?

It sounds like you need a good pair of binoculars rather than a camera in that case.

Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
vikkyvik
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:36 pm

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 2):
So you do think it is worth paying the extra money for the other lens? Anyone else have any opinions?

From a photography standpoint, I would go for the 70-300.

I haven't used the 75-300, but I had the 55-250, which is another cheap kit lens. When I upgraded to the 70-300, it made my photographic life a heck of a lot easier. Less cropping (obviously), but also less sharpening required.

With that said, I don't shoot airplanes above ~260mm with the 70-300, as it gets quite soft up there.
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NZ107
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:55 pm

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 5):
If i wanted to be properly into photography i would definately go more expensive

There certainly isn't anything bad about starting off with the cheaper lens and taking it as it comes - I started off with a really cheap Sigma 70-300 and progressed the hobby to where I am today. And of course you can get a bit of practice in with the cheaper lens. Then if/when you decide that you'd like to continue and expand on the hobby, you can do so.

But as Darren said, a good pair of binoculars could do the trick for you.
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
ckw
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:44 am

If its mostly for your own use and reference, you may be better starting off with one of the 'super zoom' compact cameras - these will give you a longer telephoto range at less cost than combined DSLR & lens. All the big names make them. Obviously quality isn;t the smae as a DSLR, but they will produce good small prints. They are also more compact and lighter than a DSLR & zoom, so you can bring it with you anywhere.

The DSLR route is the way to go if photography is going to be a major hobby for you, but if it is really just a sideline to your main interest, you may find yourself frustrated by bith the learning curve and the cost of getting what you need.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:26 pm

Also if i could get a better Lens i would be willing to change camera totally to a different brand.

Basically I dont want to spend too much at all, SECOND HAND. Maybe £500/$650 for both absolute max? What would get me the best results?


Harry
 
dazbo5
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:09 pm

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 10):
What would get me the best results?

I think you need to clarify what exactly you are after. If you just want something to reference your observations or get registrations, pretty much any dSLR or quality bridge camera will meet your requirements. However, if you're after something that produce quality results, you get what you pay for as mentioned above. Any dSLR will give you good results when it's couple with a decent quality lens. I still use my 6 year old Canon 350D at times so the body to a certain extent is irrelevant. It's the lens that makes the difference. The equipment you mentioned above, as long as you realise it's limtations will probably be more than enough for your needs.

Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:43 pm

Many thanks...

Well my main aim is Serials from a decent distance, and also of moving Military aircraft in the UK.

Also i would quite like to get some decent shots. Sorry if i was unclear!


Does this change anything? What is the best canon lens i could get for under £300/$400 2nd hand? (At least 300mm)


Harry
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:10 pm

So without IS, the 70-300 IS USM is still much better than the 75-300 III USM?


Is it still worth the extra money??


Anyone else use it, have an opinion on it?


Harry
 
dazbo5
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:16 pm

IS is useful in certain situations, but isn't something I miss. If you are using shutter speeds over about 1/250th with a 70-300 with good panning technique, IS isn't something you really need. I regularly use my 50-500 (no IS) at 400-500mm at shutters under 1/100th! IS is only useful when using slow shutter speeds. As NZ107 mentioned in your first reply, the 70-300 IS USM is better optically than the 75-300 III USM so it's more than just the IS you are paying for. The 75-300 is a good basic lens when used up to 200mm or so, but it starts to get soft at longer focal lengths. You are never going to get pin sharp results with it across it's focal range, but it might be good enough for your application and will produce pleasing results when stopped down under 250mm or so. You get what you pay for with lenses unfortunately and good glass isn't cheap. However, both the mentioned lenses will give decent results when used correctly within their limitations. A few examples for you from the Canon 350D and 75-300 IS USM (the older version of the 70-300 IS USM).


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Darren Wilson
View Large View Medium
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Photo © Darren Wilson


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Darren Wilson
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Darren Wilson



Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
JakTrax
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:07 pm

Really, what is a 'good' or 'best' lens'?

If you have £200 to spend and want shots up to 200mm, the 'best' lens is going to be the 75-300 USM III. If you're going to be shooting static mostly in poor light, mainly at 80mm, and have £400 to spend, the 70-300 Is is going to be 'best'.

If you want serials and just need to record pictorally airport movemtnts, a compact point-and-shoot is going to be 'best'.

There is never a real 'best'. The 'best' is what does the job for YOU for the price YOU want to pay.

Karl
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:50 am

Well i dont want to spend too much, but if the 70-300mm is usm is worth it then I will.

Basically I know that the IS is not all abot the IS. But if the IS is off is it still worth the extra money due to it being a beter picture quality?


Harry
 
dazbo5
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:29 am

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 16):
Basically I know that the IS is not all abot the IS. But if the IS is off is it still worth the extra money due to it being a beter picture quality?

In a word, yes and you've almost answered your own question! But if you have IS, you might as well use it and you have the option as well. This isn't a great analogy, but imagine looking through a glass bottle and a car window. The car window is going to give you a clearer view than the bottle. This sort of translates to camera lenses. The better the optics, the clearer or sharper the photos. Whichever you choose, you'll get results with as long as you learn how to use the camera, but as mentioned a few times, you'll have to work within it's limitations. It's the person using the camera that creates a photo. The camera only records the light and the lens focuses that light on the sensor / film.

Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:19 am

Many thanks Mate!! I know I would use IS but if i was only paying extra for the IS then i would not bother. If the optics are better then I will!!

Anyone else use this lens? I am trying to gather as many views as possible!!


Many thanks again

Harry F
 
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NZ107
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:31 am

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 18):
Anyone else use this lens?

I have it but I have upgraded and use another lens now. It isn't bad by any means but still has its limitations. You have to take into account how far away you are from the subject. But most times if conditions are good enough, you should be able to zoom into the picture to get the rego anyway.
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:39 pm

Thanks.. Would a televoncerto ever work with it, as if i dont have enough reach would this help me to get the serials?
Remember military serials can be quite small? I would really like to get them!!!

Harry
 
JakTrax
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:13 pm

Sounds to me like you're after a miracle lens that simply doesn't exist. Binoculars or camera and lens - either/or I'm afraid.

Karl
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:50 pm

Ok thanks. Well will the lens i have mentioned be better than Binos on 18x zoom?
 
JakTrax
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:54 pm

For taking registrations binoculars will always be better. That's what they are designed for. If you want to take photos, binoculars won't do it. It's like asking what car you should buy to keep fit.

You need to decide what you want a camera for; or indeed if a camera's actually what you want. We can't make that decision for you.

Karl
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:15 pm

Hmm i am in a real dilemma here lol.. I would like to take photos, but would also like registrations on the floor!

I suppose a camera would be better for registrations of moving objects if they had a fast shutter speed though?


Harry
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:13 pm

Right I will definately be getting a camera.. Basically i am look for anyone with any experience of a 70-300 IS USM. And is it worth the extra money basically?
 
vikkyvik
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:14 pm

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 25):
Right I will definately be getting a camera.. Basically i am look for anyone with any experience of a 70-300 IS USM. And is it worth the extra money basically?

In case you missed my previous reply:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 7):
From a photography standpoint, I would go for the 70-300.

I haven't used the 75-300, but I had the 55-250, which is another cheap kit lens. When I upgraded to the 70-300, it made my photographic life a heck of a lot easier. Less cropping (obviously), but also less sharpening required.

With that said, I don't shoot airplanes above ~260mm with the 70-300, as it gets quite soft up there.

Although, if you're just after regs, then you can probably shoot all the way out to 300mm just fine.

Also, the 70-300 has IS Mode 2, which is useful for panning.

Whether it's worth the money is entirely up to you. It sounds like you're not really sure what you're after, and that makes it harder for the rest of us to help you.  
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:00 pm

I apologise for that. Basiclaly I want the best lens for around £300 second hand to go with 400d, which will get me the best military photos for that price, but would also be good to get serials.


Thanks
Harry
 
dazbo5
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:50 am

I think you're going around in circles now. One minute it's just for serials, now you're back to wanting to take photos. Given your budget, the 400D and 70-300 IS USM is a pretty good starter package and will be more than enough to get in to the hobby. If you're wanting to take photos of high speed jets though, the focussing speed of the lens may be a little on the slow side (more than adequate 90% of the time though) but unless you want to spend a lot more, you aren't going to get exactly what you want. The 400D is a great camera and the 70-300 IS USM a pretty good starter lens so you should get years of enjoyment from using it.

Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:52 pm

I apologise. I basically would like to get images and to be able to get serials. Now I know this I was looking if anyone else uses the 70-33 IS USM, even more if they are military.


Harry
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:10 am

Anyone else?  

Harry
 
dazbo5
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:04 pm

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 30):
Anyone else?

There's not much more to add that hasn't already been said.

Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
HarryImp
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:24 pm

I apologise, i meant was there anyone else that used this lens so i could see some sample shots, thats all 


Harry
 
vikkyvik
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:40 pm

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 32):
I apologise, i meant was there anyone else that used this lens so i could see some sample shots, thats all

Not to be a dick, but did you even try searching the photo database?

A search of "70-300 IS USM" brings up 3,669 results.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
JakTrax
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:44 pm

Sample shots don't give the full picture as images below 1600 pixels 'mask' imperfections quite well. My friend Gavin Bowler has quite a few image on here taken with a 1000D and 70-300 IS, and his original images are pretty good (you can type his name into the search function).

Other than that, you are asking too much. You can't have a lens that does the job of binoculars - or of course vice-versa. You will be able to take the registrations from photos of aircraft taken at a certain range (below 1km), but not many lenses will allow you to see registrations of aircraft at full height. The 100-400 probably would, but it's £1200.

Karl
 
vikkyvik
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RE: New-Lens Help!

Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:10 am

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 34):
Sample shots don't give the full picture as images below 1600 pixels 'mask' imperfections quite well.

True, but in the absence of other requests, I can only assume he's happy seeing the A.net database images. If you can read the regs in the images here (many you can indeed) then I'd assume it's probably sufficient for what he wants.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".

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