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Discussion Starter #61
I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, or maybe it should be in the techno lounge - but it's about camera lenses so I will try here.

So... my grown up daughter is earning a living (of sorts) where photography is an important element. It's sort of aligned to her job (with horses and horse safety equipment) where she has to produce photos for work as opposed to her life's calling if you get my drift... i.e. she isn't trying to be a commercial photographer by trade.

Anyway - she is building up equipment as she ends up making more from the photo side of her work than the other parts and in true daughter fashion she is tapping up her old dad for a new lens which she will "pay me back for" :lol::cheese::lol:.... oh, sorry - where was I...

Hert camera body is a Canon (I think it's a 6 or a 60?) - she got it last year and it cost about a grand so that positions it.

So she sent me a link for a Canon EF 70-200 zoom lens (f4) with IS which I can find for between 800-950 quid at various places, although apparently the f2.8 version is better (but pricier) and the version without IS is a bit cheaper. She also doesn't mind second hand versus new as long as its working.

I know these are professional items, so am worried that Ebay ones might have been used a *lot* and be on their last legs - but on the other hand, how much can go wrong with a lens?

So - various questions for the cognescenti:

1. Is it a good lens generally?
2. Is Image Stabilization a worthy extra?
3. Why is an f2.8 so much more than an f4?
4. Are there equally good lenses that are better value?
5. I see lots of indie camera shops with a variety of prices - are most indies reputable?
6. Would you buy a 900 quid lens off Ebay for 400 quid with no warranty and unproven history?
7. Are lenses (pro ones like this) fragile enough to worry that a well used year old one could be duff?

As I say - she is earning a living from this, so it's not just hobby kit - and she needs to take photos of horses, horse equipment etc for use in advertizing and manuals with the horses in motion in many cases.

Any info greatly appreciated.
Fast glass f2.8 is usually much more expensive than it's slower counter-part (f4/f5.6).

The f number is the size of hole at the back of the lens that lets your light in, oddly enough the smaller the number the bigger the hole f22 is, usually, the smallest.

At a wide open setting, a f2.8 lens will allow you to shoot at a faster shutter speed than a f4 (proper exposure is the size of hole (aperture) times the shutter speed). You want to use a fast shutter you'll need a big hole, the opposite is also true slow speed, small hole.

I've got a big (50-500mm) lens which is f5.6 and ideal for airshows, as it's usually bright outside, but would not be so good for indoor sports (such as horses in an arena) as I'd have to use a much lower shutter speed to get the right exposure and may not be able to "freeze" the action. So most Pros will have f2.8 teles.
 

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I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, or maybe it should be in the techno lounge - but it's about camera lenses so I will try here.

So... my grown up daughter is earning a living (of sorts) where photography is an important element. It's sort of aligned to her job (with horses and horse safety equipment) where she has to produce photos for work as opposed to her life's calling if you get my drift... i.e. she isn't trying to be a commercial photographer by trade.

Anyway - she is building up equipment as she ends up making more from the photo side of her work than the other parts and in true daughter fashion she is tapping up her old dad for a new lens which she will "pay me back for" :lol::cheese::lol:.... oh, sorry - where was I...

Hert camera body is a Canon (I think it's a 6 or a 60?) - she got it last year and it cost about a grand so that positions it.

So she sent me a link for a Canon EF 70-200 zoom lens (f4) with IS which I can find for between 800-950 quid at various places, although apparently the f2.8 version is better (but pricier) and the version without IS is a bit cheaper. She also doesn't mind second hand versus new as long as its working.

I know these are professional items, so am worried that Ebay ones might have been used a *lot* and be on their last legs - but on the other hand, how much can go wrong with a lens?

So - various questions for the cognescenti:

1. Is it a good lens generally?
2. Is Image Stabilization a worthy extra?
3. Why is an f2.8 so much more than an f4?
4. Are there equally good lenses that are better value?
5. I see lots of indie camera shops with a variety of prices - are most indies reputable?
6. Would you buy a 900 quid lens off Ebay for 400 quid with no warranty and unproven history?
7. Are lenses (pro ones like this) fragile enough to worry that a well used year old one could be duff?

As I say - she is earning a living from this, so it's not just hobby kit - and she needs to take photos of horses, horse equipment etc for use in advertizing and manuals with the horses in motion in many cases.

Any info greatly appreciated.
The f4 (cheaper) lens is generally acknowledged to be about the best 70-200mm zoom lens available, from any manufacturer. It is sharper than the f2.8 lens and the IS makes up for any loss of light by the f4 having a smaller aperture. The f4 is also less bulky and much lighter, so is easer to handle. The only advantage the f2.8 has is a narrower depth of field when used wide open. It's also worth knowing that if you buy the non-IS f2.8 it's an older lens design, hence the difference in sharpness. I swithered between the two lenses for a while but decided I'd rather have the f4; based on the results I have from it this was the right decision.

EDIT: If you're buying a lens with IS you want one with a full warranty, because if anything goes wrong it'll be the IS. I would stick to a reputable dealer, which also includes some independents. Either ask the dealer what warranty comes with the lens or check online reviews of the shop.

PS. There is also an f2.8 IS, which, I believe, retails for around £2000. This is a new design but is still less sharp than the f4 (although I doubt you'd notice in practice).
 

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Discussion Starter #63 (Edited)
I can't answer all those questions but, do you remember Fraser?
I think he uses Canon equipment. He does have a peek on here
still so it might be worth sending him a pm.

I think EddieGTA is also a Canon man :)
and he's the man that knows Canon.

His above post just goes to show that the on the paper specs, may not match your real-life expectations, regardless of the price.
 

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I would suggest the slower zoom because f 2.8 zooms are big and heavy and,unless very expensive, usually inferior because the computations for the faster lenses are more difficult.

Should a fast lens be needed, a 35mm f1.8 Canon lens is excellent.
For a portrait lens,the 50mm f 1.8 is of the same quality.
A prime lens, that is not a zoom, can be the perfect way to learn more because she can learn to work out what works within the restrictions of 35 or 50mm.

[in the past, SLRs came with a 50mm lens which would be around 35mm on an APSc DSLR, usually f1.8, or more expensively f1.4, which forced the photographer to work within it's framework, but which encouraged low light photography]

dee
 

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Film cameras second hand on eBay are plentiful and quite well priced.
It's also a good feeling when you are waiting in anticipation for your film from the developer (never did get into that side of it mind).
I have a B&W film in my Praktica BCX and the battery has just gone and died (hope it's the battery anyway).
 
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I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, or maybe it should be in the techno lounge - but it's about camera lenses so I will try here.

So... my grown up daughter is earning a living (of sorts) where photography is an important element. It's sort of aligned to her job (with horses and horse safety equipment) where she has to produce photos for work as opposed to her life's calling if you get my drift... i.e. she isn't trying to be a commercial photographer by trade.

Anyway - she is building up equipment as she ends up making more from the photo side of her work than the other parts and in true daughter fashion she is tapping up her old dad for a new lens which she will "pay me back for" :lol::cheese::lol:.... oh, sorry - where was I...

Hert camera body is a Canon (I think it's a 6 or a 60?) - she got it last year and it cost about a grand so that positions it.

So she sent me a link for a Canon EF 70-200 zoom lens (f4) with IS which I can find for between 800-950 quid at various places, although apparently the f2.8 version is better (but pricier) and the version without IS is a bit cheaper. She also doesn't mind second hand versus new as long as its working.

I know these are professional items, so am worried that Ebay ones might have been used a *lot* and be on their last legs - but on the other hand, how much can go wrong with a lens?

So - various questions for the cognescenti:

1. Is it a good lens generally?
Absolutely, all three (F4, F4IS, F2.8) would be great for what she is doing, IMHO it comes down to preference. The 2.8 thought would be more bulky.

2. Is Image Stabilization a worthy extra?
IS would be useful but not really necessary if she is doing shots of horses in motion and therefore likely to be panning the camera.

3. Why is an f2.8 so much more than an f4?
I think it has been answered, but basically it would generally be more substanatial to let the extra light in.

4. Are there equally good lenses that are better value?
Always worth checking Sigma, they are making some very good lenses these days.

5. I see lots of indie camera shops with a variety of prices - are most indies reputable?
Always tread carefully and check warranty, many are grey imports. That said I have used these guys and bought my 24-105 lens, and Canon 5Dmk3 from them with no problems. They are imports but they offer a decent warranty. Retailer of Photographic equipment & electrical products Cameras

6. Would you buy a 900 quid lens off Ebay for 400 quid with no warranty and unproven history?
No.

7. Are lenses (pro ones like this) fragile enough to worry that a well used year old one could be duff?
Personally I have two Canon L lenses, and in my experience they are tough. I managed to drop my camera bag onto a path which had my 100-400L lens in, which is a heavy lens. It landed end first hard enough to smash the filter that was at that time attached, but the lens survived.


As I say - she is earning a living from this, so it's not just hobby kit - and she needs to take photos of horses, horse equipment etc for use in advertizing and manuals with the horses in motion in many cases.

Any info greatly appreciated.
Sorry mate, I missed this completely :eek:. Probably a bit late, but I have added my two penneth and experience to your questions.

I have owned a 70-200mm F4L (non IS) and my partner has the IS version. I traded my 70-200mm along with another lens to get a 100-400mm lens, I don't regret the trade, but I do miss the lens as it is relatively lightweight and extremely sharp.
 

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Cheers Eddie.

She went ahead and purchased the f2.8 without IS in the end.

Although it was heavier and bulkier than the f4, she seemed to be able to see a positive difference when she tried out both.

She got them from an indie specialist. Not sure which one, but she lives near Brighton so it was somewhere down there.

As I "helped" pay for it :rolleyes: I know that she ended up paying the same for the 2.8 without IS as she was planning to pay for the f4 with IS.

Thanks to all for the advice. Terrifically useful :thumbs:
 

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Hi, I'm new to the forum, but a bit of a photo geek...although my personal equipment wouldn't suggest that...mainly because my job often includes having a hefty camcorder on my shoulder...so when I'm taking stills and 'home' video i like the small and light variety of cameras.

Film Camera: Nikon F55

Digital: Nikon D3100 (yes its entry level but with good glass and set to manual it produces some pretty good shots)

Lenses: Nikon 28-100mm, Nikon 18-55 (poor kit lens), Nikon 50mm (Fave lens), Sigma 78-200mm, Sigma 70-300mm, Tokina 28-70mm.

I prefer the older lenses, IMO the glass is better, as is the build quality.
 

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Hi, I'm new to the forum, but a bit of a photo geek...although my personal equipment wouldn't suggest that...mainly because my job often includes having a hefty camcorder on my shoulder...so when I'm taking stills and 'home' video i like the small and light variety of cameras.

Film Camera: Nikon F55

Digital: Nikon D3100 (yes its entry level but with good glass and set to manual it produces some pretty good shots)

Lenses: Nikon 28-100mm, Nikon 18-55 (poor kit lens), Nikon 50mm (Fave lens), Sigma 78-200mm, Sigma 70-300mm, Tokina 28-70mm.

I prefer the older lenses, IMO the glass is better, as is the build quality.
Just sold an F50 with Sigma 28-70mm lens on eBay.
Also sold a D3100 with the kit lens (18-55mm), though that buyer is trying to riggle out of it (eBay tsk tsk).
Do you think the the kit lens is a bit crappy? I have a newer 28-80mm (I think :/) Quantarray (spelling, but basically American Sigma) which I'm about to swap out for the kit lens we mentioned or a Nikon 18-135mm. Can't decide but thought the kit lens with VR might help a bit in low light levels.
I have a 55-200m Nikon VR/ED and a 70-300mm Nikon ED.
I still have a few film cameras.
A Praktica BCX - Was my first SLR, though I sold it, I got one off eBay. A few lenses with that.
Also my BCX replacement a Nikon F301, pristine condition as I never really carried on photography after getting married.
Nikon F60 which because I'm going to use the F301 I think I'll pass it on.
 
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Interesting that some of us are still using film. I have had a go myself and attempted to give developing film a go too. All is used to do before digital was send them off to a lab to process.

I bought an EOS 30V 35mm, and at the beginning of the year on a whim bought a second hand Mamiya 645 medium format camera. I might bring it in tomorrow and fire off another roll in London. :)
 

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Film is not dead. For example, at the weekend, on our way home from Milton Keynes,
we stopped off at a garden centre just outside Buckingham for a coffee. A lady in the
café was showing off her 'holiday prints' to her friends, just like the old days :D

In a thread about photography it is probably even less surprising to find users of film :)
 
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