BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.

 
Photography Question 
Jennifer Dent
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/7/2007
 

Best Zoom Lens?


Hi! I have a Canon Rebel Xti. I have a zoom lens EF 90-300mm. Other than that one, which zoom lens should I get to go with it? I'm looking at the choices online and not sure what to get.
Thanks!

8/1/2009 8:08:13 AM

 
R K Stephenson
BetterPhoto Member
Contact R K
R K's Gallery

member since: 10/5/2007
  You can't go wrong with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, which rounds out your range down to near wide-angle. It is one of my most useful and most used lenses and great as a "walking around" lens. For the more budget-minded, the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (the kit lens on the EOS 50D) is pretty good, though not quite as crisp as the 25-105 L lens.
Cheers,
RK

8/1/2009 10:56:31 AM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com

member since: 12/13/2005
 
 
 
Hi Jennifer,
I agree with RK, but if you want a little longer zoom...
There are 4 versions of the Canon 70-200mm L lens to choose from. The least expensive is the f/4L non-IS version which runs about $600 and is a great lens. Next is the F/4L with IS and then a F/2.8L non-IS and the most expensive is the f/2.8L IS. I had the F/4 non-IS and sold it to get the f/2.8 IS version, and when I go back and look at the photos the F/4 took, I don't see a $1200 difference in image quality compared to my 2.8 lens. Plus, the F/4 models are quite a bit lighter in weight.
If you want a little more length, there is the Canon 100-400mm F/4.5L IS, and this is one of my very favorite lenses. It is very sharp and renders a beautiful soft background.
Investing in quality glass is a true investment as cameras are upgraded each year with many people upgrading every 2 years. 40Ds are selling for $400 less than when I bought mine 1.5 years ago. My used L lenses will sell for almost as much as I paid for them. Lenses will last you a long time and will outlive several camera bodies.
Good luck with your decision!

8/1/2009 11:42:14 AM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  If you're looking for a general purpose zoom - one that is a little wide angle, and one that has some zoom - then you can't go wrong with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. It's the same as RK recommended. That's the one I use the most. It is an "L" lens, which are more top-of-the-line from Canon.

8/1/2009 1:01:53 PM

 
A P
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/1/2008
  I use my 24-105mm around 80 percent of the time. Great lens.

8/1/2009 1:25:12 PM

 
Jennifer Dent
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/7/2007
  Thank you everyone! I will check them all out! I'm just so new to this that, really, and it's embarrassing to say that all the numbers and letters confuse me.
LOL.

8/2/2009 6:58:00 AM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com

member since: 12/13/2005
  Jennifer,
Let's break it down...
The EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens means: Canon makes two type of lenses - EF & EF-S. EF will work on any Canon camera but an EF-S will only work on cameras with a 1.6 cropped sensor (also called an APS-C) like the Rebels, 20D-50D type cameras have. It will not work on full-frame cameras like a 5D or the 1Ds series. 24-105mm is the focal range.
F/4 is the speed or biggest opening this lens will go. An f/2.8 will open a little more and is also a faster lens.
L stands for L lens, which are Canon's to-quality lenses.
IS stands for Image Stabilization (like VR = Vibration Reduction for Nikon cameras), and this will allow you to shoot more handheld shots and at slower speeds but you still need to develop good mechanics (stability techniques) for shooting hand held.
USM = Ultra Sonic Motor, which gives you faster and smoother AF (automatic focusing).
Hope this helps!

8/2/2009 9:48:05 PM

 
Jennifer Dent
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/7/2007
  Thank you! I will read this over and over. I appreciate it....it's all so confusing at first!

8/3/2009 1:04:59 AM

 
Bob Sticco
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/20/2007
  I agree w/both RK and Carlton!!! I have both the lenses they mentioned plus a 90mm macro lens and with those three lenses, all but the super wide angle is covered. I also agree there are lighter lenses than both the 100-400mm L lens and the 24-105mmL lens, but I don't think you'll find better glass anywhere.
These lenses are not cheap, but they'll never need replacing for a good long time.

8/11/2009 12:47:47 PM

 
R K Stephenson
BetterPhoto Member
Contact R K
R K's Gallery

member since: 10/5/2007
  As if there wasn't enough information to evaluation, I just read that a new EF 70-200 f/4L has just been released with the next-generation image stabilization system. Canon claims 4 stops of compensation (v. 3 stops for the 2.8L).

So if you don't need the faster lens, you can save both $ and weight and get the latest and greatest.

8/11/2009 2:00:20 PM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Bunny
Bunny's Gallery

member since: 11/16/2004
  The 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens was the first Canon lens I bought which I changed technology from Nikon to Canon. My frustration with it, other than it not being wire sharp, was the revolving aperture, which depends whether you are in wide angle or the short telephoto when you have your lens wide opened. I, personally, found myself frustrated in using it.

If you would like an image comparison, I took the 28-135mm lens with me to China with the Canon Elan 7E right after purchasing both the camera and lens a few months earlier.

My favorite lens for capturing backyard wildlife near my house (I open the bathroom window and capture raccoons a very close distance away) is the 70-200 mm f4L (non-I.S.) lens, which is priced about $600. The weight was right for me in my situation. Although, I can really see a need for the faster f2.8 lens.
And, on occasion, I have used the 24-105mm f4L lens for one coon image. Check out my gallery for images.

I'm constantly in a quest for sharper images, as my changing eyes and my focusing is not as sharp as I would prefer. For this reason, I've chosen to buy the low dispersion glass, as I've done everything else to sharp my images (sturdy tripod, shutter release cord, flash off camera, mirror lock, and occasionally adding more DOF).

To be able to afford these purchases, I've found that if I eat low fat vegetarian (legumes and whole grains, lots of veggies and fruit, and zero meat or junk food), I can save about $600 per month and buy more expensive equipment with my savings. Not to mention, I am reducing my carbon foot-print. :-)

8/15/2009 1:23:41 PM

 

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.
 

Copyright 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.