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January 31, 2013
Reposted by Teranova from old forum:
Question from a friend and I know you would have better insight that I:
”I have a question that no one has been able to answer for me so far…everyone has a different opinion & I would love to know yours. I have a question on lens for you. I have a canon rebel t1i. I have the kit lens, a 24-85 non IS. I have an older 80-200 non IS also. I wanted a better zoom lens for Cole”s judo competitions/-one with IS. I don’t ever plan to do professional photography. But, I was hoping you could help since you’re so good! The fartherest I am usually from the mat is 15-30′. I can’t afford an L series lens but I would still like the best I could get. I like the idea of a one for all lens like the 18-200, but I actually bought the 70-300IS lens to use at this last competition. I was pleased with the results but the lens is pretty loud & slow to focus on AF and I did have to switch between lenses a few times to take some closer shots. What do you recommend? I paid a little over $500 (which was a deal since they are normally $650+) — can afford up to like $700-800. I have a 30 day return policy on the one I bought. Thanks in advance for your insight!!”
That’s a good question TeraNova. In my opinion the most important thing in a lens is f-stop. f/2.8 and faster (lower number) gives you more control over depth of field and suck in light well in indoor settings and correct any hand-held camera holding causing focus problems. Of course f/2.8 + IS is great.
So that said the Canon 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS is the king. Or queen if you wish. And 200mm is really 320mm on your crop-sensor T1i. But that lens is still over $2,000.
Kit lenses like the 18-200mm are f/3.5-5.6, meaning zoomed out they are f/5.6. The more light you pull in the better chance to snag high-speed action without blur. So my advice is what can you afford that is f/2.8?
I shot a wrestling tournament with a 100mm 2.8 macro. They go for $400 used. It’s only flaw is that it sometimes searched in AF for the focus. So what I did was put it on manual focus, set the shutter to high-speed or the sports setting if you wish (the runner icon on Canon Rebels). And it let me burst off a few shots while slightly moving the focal ring. Shooting on a monopod like I was helped also with stabilization. They are inexpensive and you want one with a ball-head on the top. Some monopods are made to also be walking sticks on a hike.
The Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro would be the equivalent of 160mm on your rebel. BUT the cool thing is that you can focus on items from that length and closer… on down to 1:1 ratio when mounted on a tripod and aimed at a bug. Now this 100mm is not IS. The 100mm L Macro is Image Stabilized. And so costs more. But with the monopod stabilization you may not need IS.
So.. to sum up… f/2.8 and better should mean quicker AF autofucus. But.. you should probably practice manual focus too. Shoot 3 pic brackets on high speed shutter mode.
Do you have a local photo store that you try out lenses in?
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