Lens Upgrade

Home Forums Photography Q&A Lens Upgrade

This topic contains 19 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  James Staddon 3 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #15790

    Mr. Quebec
    Participant

    Hi!
    I am seriously thinking about upgrading my 75-300 III USM. My options are the 70-200 f4 or the 70-300 IS (Not the L version). I know the 70-200 f4 has a better image quality, but I’m mainly interested in wildlife photography, so I am afraid 200mm would be too short. So here is the question: Is it better to have a sharper photo and crop it, or to have a softer picture with less or no cropping? I am shooting with a 7D (18 megapixels).
    Of course, with the 70-200, I could always add an extender later, but I will lack the IS that the 70-300 offers.
    Any insight?

    #15794

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    Well, what do you know! Just yesterday I saw someone post that they are selling their Canon 70-300 IS USM lens! I would definitely contact him if you’re interested!

    https://plus.google.com/106486425636384694405/posts/XcjL5qsxfAE

    70-300IS_USM

    Attachments:
    #15796

    Mr. Quebec
    Participant

    Thank you for the link!
    Sadly, right now the exchange rate is not profitable for me.

    #15797

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    You’re welcome! What were you thinking of spending on a 70-300 IS USM? Is this a little bit closer to your budget?

    http://www.adorama.com/US%20%20%20%20763547.html

    Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM

    Attachments:
    #15802

    Mr. Quebec
    Participant

    Well, I was thinking about 300$Can. I saw one for that price.
    The problem is that I’m not sure about a 300$ 70-300 IS or a 500$ 70-200 f4…

    #15803

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    I see. In regards to sharp crops vs. blurry originals, it can work the other way too. If you get a longer lens that isn’t quite as sharp, you can always down-sample and sharpen to get better looking results… You’ll still end up with the same resolution. (Cropping from 18MP to 12MP, or re-sizing from 18MP to 12MP)

    I found a really good deal on a Pentax HD 55-300 WR just a couple of months before I left for Africa last year, so that’s what I used for all the wildlife shots.

    I’ll use a picture that I took with it in Africa last year for an example: This is a 100% crop of a photo of a large male kudu. As you can see, the focus wasn’t quite on…

    EJM_0784_cr

    Here’s the same photo resized to 1000px across and sharpened:

    EJM_0784-r

    Not too bad, huh? πŸ™‚

    By the way, I often wished that I had more than 300mm… I can hardly imagine being limited to 200mm!

    Attachments:
    #15805

    Dan Cope
    Participant

    @buddingphotographer, I assume you’re shooting with an APS-C sensor? I have had a prime 200mm for years and just recently acquired a 55-300mm. I haven’t had much opportunity to try it out yet, but I’m planning a trip out west later this year and hope to be able to do some wildlife photography. I’m wondering if it would be worth investing in a 2x converter. And BTW that’s a great shot of the Kudu!

    #15808

    Mr. Quebec
    Participant

    I echo @dan-cope, that’s an awesome picture that you have here!
    I think I will try a 70-300 IS. I know the 70-200s are awesome, but for my goals, it would probably be too limiting. I guess it’s better to have a good lens that serves you well than having an awesome lens that is seldom used.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by  Mr. Quebec.
    #15811

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    Thanks! I guess I should thank the kudu for standing still that long! πŸ™‚

    @dan-cope, yes I’m a crop sensor shooter!

    Just curious, was/is your 200mm a “fast” lens? f/4 or lower? If so, you’re better off putting your 2x converter on it to get 400mm. The problem with TC’s is that they increase your effective aperture. For example, if you have a 100mm f/4 lens and add a 1.4x teleconverter, it will increase the aperture to f/5.6 If you add a 2x converter to an f/4 lens, you’re going to get a maximum aperture of f/8! That’s not very fast! πŸ™‚

    So, I’m just guessing your 55-300 lens has a maximum aperture of f/5.6 on the long end. Just say you add a 2x converter to that, you’ll be turning it into a 600mm f/11 lens! That’s really slow! Your camera won’t even be able to auto-focus through that. It will have a hard time even with a 200mm f/8 lens (100mm f/4 + TC). That is, unless you have the new Canon 1DX II pre-ordered. It will AF with all the focus points at f/8! Most cameras will only AF at f/8 with the center focus point.

    Another thing to remember is that adding another piece of glass will inevitably decrease your IQ. A 1.4x TC is a compromise between not using one at all, and going too far with a 2x converter. Unless you have really good glass, you’re just as well off cropping probably…

    So the short answer is: No, a 2x TC on a consumer zoom lens won’t work very well.

    #15812

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    I guess it’s better to have a good lens that serves you well than having an awesome lens that is seldom used.

    Very true, especially since you’ll have to pay more for the lens that you won’t use as much! πŸ™‚
    You’ll be glad for the IS too, I imagine.

    #15813

    Dan Cope
    Participant

    Thanks @buddingphotographer for your insightful response! I’m aware of the affect that a TC has on the aperture but I have never actually used one. Your detailed information helps to put it all in perspective. My 200mm prime is an f/4.

    #15814

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    You’re welcome, @dan-cope!

    Now you’ve got me curious, what 200mm lens do you have? It’s not the Nikon 200mm f/4 macro is it?

    #15815

    Dan Cope
    Participant

    No. I wish it was! It’s an old lens that I bought used when I was a teenager back in the 1980’s. It has no autofocus and I can only shoot in full manual mode when I use it. It’s still a great piece of glass but I find it difficult to nail the focus at wide apertures. My old film camera had a split circle in the center of the mirror that showed you when you were in focus. But without that it’s much more of a challenge. Perhaps the problem is partly my aging eyesight πŸ™‚

    #15816

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    Oh, ok. According to Ken Rockwell, that is a really sharp lens! You can still buy split circle manual focus aids for Nikon cameras, if you care to take your camera apart to install it. Apparently it’s not hard to do, and the focusing screen only costs about $25.00 at Amazon.

    #15817

    Dan Cope
    Participant

    Thanks. That may be worth doing if I ever find myself wanting to use that lens a lot.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Would you like to participate?

Create an Account!

Pin It on Pinterest