BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Anita Ott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/5/2005
 

I need your help please on a new lens


I am looking at buying the 80-200 2.8 lens and am wondering if it is worth the $$$ and weight to carry around. It seems really heavy and I HATE carrying around my monopod or tripod. I am going to Niagara Falls in September, will I need this to get the photos I want? I have the 28-75 2.8 and also the 75-300 5.6 (which I do not really think takes the best photos for some reason. Please help if you can......


To love this question, log in above
8/7/2005 6:46:42 PM

 
Michael H. Cothran   I didn't see any mention of a brand, but I guess it really doesn't matter. 80-200/2.8's and 70-200/2.8's are made by just about every major lens manufacturer. They are all top drawer lenses, and are all heavy. You will definitely get tired lugging this thing around and hand shooting it. While it is certainly possible to handhold one of these vehemoths, they work much better on a tripod.
If weight is an issue with you, and you are not a strong person, I'd avoid this lens for sight-seeing. But if you want the best in quality, the 2.8 zooms are hard to beat - but why invest that much money if you're going to throw it out the window by hand holding the lens? If you buy it, use it on the tripod where it's resolving power has a chance to shine.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 6:39:00 AM

 
Anita Ott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/5/2005
  Thanks so much for your input on this question. So do you have any suggestions as far as the perfect lens for sight seeing? I have the Minolta 7-d, but I think all brands pretty much have the same lens options. What lens are you using in your nature photos? I am still very green in photography and just do it for fun most of the time. Thanks again for your help.


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 8:22:38 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Anita,
I would like to differ with Michael on this tripod issue. If you increase your speed you do not need a tripod. With such a heavy camera and lens you will find that the camera shake is simply not an issue. I recently photographed a major national motocross event and I specifically noted that all my major colleges DID NOT use a tripod or monopod for that matter. Of course there are shots where you simply do need a tripod but I think that you will find the heavier the camera the less need you will have because the wieght supports itself in your hand. Yes, these lenses are heavy but if you are wanting great shots that is what it takes. The glass is truly the key part in obtaining great shots. If you want a point and shoot for touring get one but if you want extraordinary pictures do some weightlifting and just deal with it because you will be well pleased with your results. I would concider the Canon L series lenses. If you would like to to look at my action shots from the national event you can go to my website at www.melissazavadil.com hit on freelance and there will be a link to the Thundervalley race photos that I took -- ALL without a tripod and all very crisp shots.


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 8:30:28 AM

 
Michael H. Cothran   Melissa's response reminded me of something that might be of interest to you -
Canon and Nikon both make "Image Stabilization" (IS) lenses - Nikon calls theirs "Vibration Reduction" (VR)lenses. It would mean that you'd have to "jump ships," but these lenses with built-in stabilizers allow you to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 steps slower than you normally could.
They are expensive lenses (probably $1500+), but represent the best offered today. Sadly, the 70-200/2.8 versions are still HEAVY.

I'm not so sure that Minolta offers any such lenses, but perhaps Sigma does, and if so, you might find your mount in a Sigma lens with an image stabilizer.

Still, and it's just my opinion, these are awfully big lenses for "sight-seeing."
And also, not just my opinion, but tests prove that a tripod mounted lens still yields superior results over hand-holding, regardless of the shutter speed. It's just that the difference is slight enough as to not be detectable in smaller enlargements. But there IS a difference!
And finally, an important factor to consider is just how steady your hand is. Melissa's is probably rock solid. Mine is not so steady, so I never take the camera off the tripod for serious work.
However, for sight-seeing and family shots I do hand hold, and for the most part, they turn out just fine.
Michael


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 8:54:56 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Michael is right about image stabilization alows you so much freedom! I love these lenses and will not own another with out it :o)


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 10:11:06 AM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Anita Ott stated her camera is the Minolta (Maxxum/Dynax) 7D. It has Anti-Shake (aka Image Stabilization, Vibration Reduction, Optical Stabilization) built-in. For any lens used, whether Minolta, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, ... the image will be stabilized when shooting hand-held.

Whether a 2-3 lb. zoom is too heavy to carry is an individual matter. I have no trouble carrying/shooting with mine for hours on end, but I'm a relatively healthy 190 lb. middle-aged male. Your mileage may vary.


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 12:03:06 PM

 
Anita Ott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/5/2005
  My concern I guess with the heavy lens is my neck. I am not a very big 40ish lady so don't have that nice big neck there Jon for handling the weight for long periods of time. I guess my biggest question was, is the lens worth the investment. I can handle the weight for most situations any way.

Thank you all so so very much for your valuable input. I think I may have to break out the ole check book.


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 1:32:06 PM

 
Terry  R. Hatfield
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2003
  The 2.8 Lens Is Worth The Extra Money,Im Not Sure Why You Would Need A 80-200mm For Images Of The Falls?But Whatever, The Weight Doesent Bother Me, I Use A 300mm 2.8 On A Regular Basis You Dont Carry These Lenses Around Your Neck!Thats What Your Shoulder Is For,By Hanging It On Your Shoulder And Turning The Strap 1/4turn Where The Lens Would Be Facing To The Rear And Angled Downward, It Will Lay Nicely Against Your Side Cupping Your Hand Around The Tripod Collar Helps To Stabilize It,And Tripod On Left Shoulder:-),Yes Tripod, The IS/Vr Is An Okay Innovation But For Crisp And Clear Images Use That Tripod, The Shake Will Show Up In A Heavy Crop Of The Image!


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 3:17:20 PM

 
Anita Ott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/5/2005
  Terry thanks for input, but I asked if I would need this lens or what lens would be recommended. I just really like taking pictures and I love my 28-75 2.8, but really need a zoom for a lot of the photos I take, ie:sports events, wildlife, etc. So your saying a tripod is not that annoying to carry around either? Do you have a suggestion on this purchase as well? I already have a monopod.


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 4:12:32 PM

 
Terry  R. Hatfield
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2003
  Hi Anita!Your Wider Angle Lenses Are Better For Landscapes (Ie Niagara Falls) For Sports The Fast 2.8 Zoom Lenses Works Well They Are Needed,It Depends On The Distance You Would Be Shooting Action Images And Your Wildlife Images I Had An 80/200mm It Just Never Seemed To Be Enough On The 200mm End But At That Time I Was Shooting Film, The Digitals Have A Crop Factor Im Not Sure What The Minolta Crop Factor Is? My Nikon Is A 1.5 Crop Meaning That Lens Would Be A 120/300mm (Focal Length X Your Crop Factor) On My Camera Yours Should Be About The Same,The 300mm That I Use Becomes A 450mm With The Crop Which Does Real Well With Most Things Except The Smaller Birds And Such,My Only Concern With The 80/200mm Would It Be Enough Of A Telephoto Lens For You? Take Some Picks With Your 75/300mm At 200mm And See If That Would Suffice For Range, If So That Would Be A Good Choice For You:-)
You Get Used To Tripods After You Carry Them For Awhile Its Sorta Like Carrying Your Purse,Monopods Have Uses But Are Very Limited You Need Three Legs On The Ground;-)They Make Sturdy Light Ones That Are Kinda Expensive For A Camera Support,(Bogen,Gitzo,And Many Other Brands}I Use A Bogen Nothing Fancy Just A Sturdy Tripod, But I Cant Stress The Need For A Tripod Enough! Your Images Will Improve Many Times Over,Hope That Sheds A Little More Light On Your Situation:-)


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 4:57:23 PM

 
Anita Ott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/5/2005
  It really means a lot to me that you are sharing your knowledge with me. The problem with my 75-300 is that it is only a 5.6 and not that great of quality. It was my original zoom with my film camera. As far as the crop factor mine is the exact same. The Minolta 7D is the newest digital 35mm out and has the anti shake body and is compariable to the Nikon and Cannon. So it sounds like you would suggest a 300mm 2.8 single focus not zoom. Am I reading that? I have been worried about the 200 being enough for what I want.


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 5:15:04 PM

 
Terry  R. Hatfield
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2003
  Anita The 300mm 2.8 Is Heavy And Expensive It Would Probally Be Just To Much Weight For You And Money,I Might Suggest A Good Teleconverter For The 80/200mm Instead, A 1.4x Tele Would Give You 420mm And Not To Much Loss In Clarity Stay Away From The 2.0x Tele's There Is Quiet A Bit Of Clarity Loss With Them The 1.4x Will Have A 1 Stop Loss Making Your Lens An F4 At 420mm Which Isnt Bad For an Extra 120mm,The 2.0x Tele Is A 2 Stop Loss Making It A 5.6 Which Is Just To Slow For Action Photography.


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 5:34:09 PM

 
Anita Ott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/5/2005
  Thanks again for all of your help. The money is not really the factor, but hate to spend it and then not use as often as needed for the $. I have tried the teleconverters before but I tried the 2x and not the 1.4x and with my 75-300. I will look at the 80-200 a little harder, sounds like what I might just need with the teleconverter.

Thanks again SO MUCH!!!


To love this comment, log in above
8/8/2005 5:44:23 PM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.