|Quoting FLPhoto (Reply 10):|
Yea, I could just stay with Nikon. I heard that the only good Canon glass is the L series. I am only 13, so the budget is under $1400.
A common belief. But not necessarily true. Note that the "L" simply denotes "luxury" and can refer not just to the glass but also the build, finish and whether or not accessories (eg. lens hoods) are included. It is true that Canon's best lenses (esp. their big telephotos) all tend to be L, but at the shorter end there is some very good non-L glass. I use the 50 1.8 and the 1.8 85mm along side my L glass and have no complaints.
Of course you have to compare like with like - ALL
lenses are a compromise in designing out various optical issues. You pay your money and take your choice. All else being equal, a 70-200 should out perform a 70-300 simply because it's an easier lens to build. But some may be willing to sacrifice ultimate quality for greater range.
And remember, the majority of photographers - esp. pros - are not shooting for super critical sites such as A.net. For a photo-journalist, for example, getting the shot is more important than perfect quality. Some people are surprised when they find that their super fast (and very expensive) f1.4 and f1.2 lenses aren't pin sharp edge to edge - that's because in most low light shooting (think concerts or theatre) edge sharpness is not so vital, so this is compromised in favour of speed.
3rd party options can be good - Sigma, Tamron, Tokina have all produced great lenses - I have a Tokina 100mm macro as sharp as any of my Canons - BUT, you have to keep in mind that Canon does not provide mount or AF
details to 3rd party manufacturers. In effect these lenses are reverse engineered - the most common result is that 3rd party lenses never seem to focus quite as quickly or as well in extreme situations as their Canon equivalents.
Finally, if you are on a budget, look at 2nd hand lenses - if it hasn't been damaged, there is no reason a used lens won't work as well as a new one. Buy from a reputable dealer and you'll get a 6 month warranty should you later find that the lens is defective in some way.
Colin K. Work, Pixstel