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Thread: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

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    Flashaholic* xcel730's Avatar
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    Wink2 Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    Super telephotos lenses are designed to replace (supplement) all the lenses you have in your arsenal. There are a few that are available including Canon's 18-200mm, Nikon's 18-200mm, Tamron's 18-270mm, and Sigma 18-250mm.

    I understand that to get such wide focal range the image quality won't be as good, the lens will be slower, and there will be lens creep. However, is it still something that I should look into getting anyway to replace my current lens lineup when I want to travel light?

    Normally, when I travel, I would carry my Canon 10-22mm f/3.5 -4.5 USM, Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, and sometimes even my Canon 50mm f/1.4 (for low light). Needless to say, it's a lot of weight lugging around all these gears.

    I've been debating for some time whether a super telephoto is a worthwhile investment, and I'm still hesitant in purchasing one. I spent so much money on the lenses that I got that it seems silly to replace them with a super telephoto.

    What's your thought?

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    Flashaholic D.B.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    I was considering the Canon 18-200mm for an all in one travel lens when I got my 50D last year. I did a lot of research on the lens, and decided it wasn't worth it. The biggest deal breaker was that it wasn't a USM lens. For the price, it should be. Haven't read to many positive reviews about it either. I think Canon produced this lens under pressure from the fact they didn't really have a lens in this range yet, and with consumers being able to get it in another brand, they hurriedly produced this lens to fill a gap in the market.

    Now, I've been looking at the Tamron lens, and have to say I'm more interested in that over the Canon. I just wish a local retailer had one on hand so I could try it myself.
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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    IMO they would better be described as super zoom lens The 500 to 2000 mm lens group would be super telephotos
    will work for peanuts

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    Flashaholic* will's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    I picked up a Sigma 600mm Mirror lens for my Nikon D70s. It has a fixed aperature of f8 and you have to use manual settings on the camera. On the digital camera it is effectively a 900mm lens. Also, you really need to use a tripod with this lens. I don't travel with it, too heavy. Still, a nice lens for those long shots.
    Now I can see the darkness .

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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    It’s hard to give an advice without knowing your demands on picture quality and what
    kind of photos you intend to shot .

    Generally spoken, a DSLR with one zoom lens is still quiet some weight to carry around
    the whole day and the better these zoom lenses are, the heavier they get.

    Further, if you really need the focal range of 200 mm and above,
    these lenses can’t compete with anything like your Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS,
    and I dare to say that the picture quality of these lenses wouldn’t be much better
    than from a decent compact camera.

    So for a complete different approach, maybe a good compact camera would be a better
    addition for your equipment than a “super zoom” lens?

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    Flashaholic* Echo63's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    Most photographers consider the big primes "supertelephotos" 300 and 400mm f2.8, and the 500, 600, 800 1200mm etc telephotos

    that said, a guy at work has the canon 18-200 IS EFS lens, and from what i have seen of it its pretty good, a reasonably nice sharp lens.

    i dont know much about the other superzooms as i havent used them, preferring f2.8 type lenses
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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    Here is a fairly detailed review of the canon 18-200. This guys reviews are generally pretty critical with him leaning towards a little "L" favortisim, but he has samples and test charts to look at too.

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx
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    Flashaholic* monkeyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    If you're looking for a good walkaround lens to take on holiday, then you already have one of the best. If you want to travel light, I would just take the 24-105 and leave the others at home. You don't need the extra mm at the telephoto end unless you plan on photographing wildlife, sporting events etc. Shooting very long focal lengths for general photography gives pictures with flat perspective which look two dimensional. The telephoto end of the 24-105 is easily long enough for shooting portraits.
    On an EF-S body, 24mm is equivalent to 38mm which is not ideal but is just wide enough IMO.

    In the old days a lot of people would walk around with only a 50mm lens. It limited what they could do but didn't stop them from getting good images.

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    Flashaholic* will's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyboy View Post

    In the old days a lot of people would walk around with only a 50mm lens. It limited what they could do but didn't stop them from getting good images.
    One of the good things about the 50mm lens - you could get a nice wide opening (f1.2, f1.4, f1.8). Most of the zoom lenses start at f3.5.
    Now I can see the darkness .

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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyboy View Post
    If you're looking for a good walkaround lens to take on holiday, then you already have one of the best. If you want to travel light, I would just take the 24-105 and leave the others at home.
    I have to pretty much agree on this. The 24-105 is definately my go to lens when out an about. It covers 95% of what I want to shoot. I tend to drop my 70-200mm f4 in the bag too just incase I need something longer but rarely break it out.
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    Flashaholic* Rexlion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    Nowadays with the high MP counts and image stabilization systems, for those rare instances when you want that faraway subject, it's often more practical to just zoom in on the taken image and crop to size. Otherwise you have to buy the long zoom lens, pack it, remember to have it with you when you actually need it, and have time to put it on the camera when you need it. Because usually I'm shooting other stuff closer in, and then suddenly... oh, look at that deer... oops, there he goes already. The exception is if you want to make that big cannon your main carry lens and sort of forget the rest.
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    Flashaholic* CampingLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    Looking at your lens line-up I would recommend that you should spend the money on a nice bag that makes them easier to carry than on one of the super zoom lenses. The rewards will be greater.

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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    I'm sure there will be some chuckles but what does USM indicate on the canon lens?
    will work for peanuts

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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    USM stands for something like "Ultra Sonic Motor". It's Canon's high speed & quiet motor for focusing. Sigma's similar motor is HSM (hyper sonic I think).

    USM is desirable.


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    Flashaholic* monkeyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by smokinbasser View Post
    I'm sure there will be some chuckles but what does USM indicate on the canon lens?
    There's a good technical explanation here

    EDIT: Actually that's a poorly explained article. Nevermind.


    The traditional AF mechanism uses an electric motor which spins fast and requires gearing to generate the required torque. This creates a lot of noise.

    The USM mechanism produces high torque at low speeds so does not require the same gearing, making it much quieter. Also, it responds and changes direction faster due to having less rotational inertia and momentum.

    The higher end lenses have "ring USM" which uses a ring shaped USM motor and requires no gearing at all ( I think).
    Last edited by monkeyboy; 07-22-2009 at 12:09 AM.

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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    Thankee kindly. Boy I had NO clue as to that acronym.
    will work for peanuts

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    Default Re: Anyone Recommends Super Telephoto Lenses?

    CONTENTIOUS POSTING ALERT!

    If you care about photography, you will go with the 18-200 zoom with VR. If you care about pixels, stick with the primes or shorter range zooms, i.e. ones that are 2/3:1 range.

    Framing and lighting are more important than resolution (and to some degree noise), 95% (ok, maybe 99%) of the time. How often have you looked at a picture in a book, even on a computer screen and said wow, that looks amazing? In all cases, those were relatively low resolution pictures.

    I am not saying that you should always use a super-zoom. Sports and action requires fast shutter speeds which requires wide apertures. If you plan on making a big blow up of something with lots of important details, then resolution starts to become more important. High end zooms/primes with vibration reduction/image stabilization of course have an advantage in low light where you have not only the wide aperture but often superior vibration reduction/stabilization allowing you to capture the lowest light handheld shots.

    That 18-200VR/IS lens is going to allow you to capture the shot in almost all circumstances. That is going to allow you to take a lot more shots which will increase your chances of getting a good shot. I have personally lost good shots because I did not have the "right" lens on my camera at the time.... either not wide enough or not long enough. That happens a lot on vacation when you don't have all the time in the world to get your equipment ready, perfectly frame the shot, etc. Let's not forget the kid/spouse factor yelling at you for taking so long.

    One comment is that a good camera will provide more resolution and then you can crop to what you want. There is truth to that comment at the widest apertures and at the edges of the image. This is where resolution on super-zooms starts to fall off. Stopped down a bit and a super-zoom properly framed is going to give you more resolution than anything more than a slightly cropped higher quality lens.

    Semiman

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