03-20-2012, 06:02 PM #1
Considering a new walk around and a new zoom lens
Sadly I have the itch, and to be honest the need to upgrade my lenses over the next two months. An event is coming up that I will only have one crack at shooting and want to be sure I am prepared. Basically it is an outdoor event in which I will need to be ready for both shots at longer range as well as shots close in, all fairly inobtrusively while not being so loaded down I am "out of the moment". I won't get a chance for a reshoot and need to be ready at various distances with limited lens swapping.
Towards that end I am debating a new walk around and a new distence lens. The main contenders are as follows...
Walk around/WA - canon 15-85mm, canon 17-85mm or sigma 17-70 ( from most to least expensive)?
Distance - canon 70-200 f/4 USM L or 70-300 is USM
Obviously if I take the more expensive walk about I will take the least expensive distance lens, and vice versa. I figure these options, plus my 85 and 50 primes should more then cover all eventualities....but which ones?
Last edited by Roshenk; 03-20-2012 at 06:04 PM.
03-20-2012, 06:15 PM #2
I'd go 15-85 and 70-200 f/4, IF you dont need the extra speed on the mid-range. Otherwise I'd be tempted to say look at a used 17-55 f/2.8 IS or an off-brand 17-50 f/2.8 or similar. I'd also be tempted to suggest the 70-200 f/4L IS over the non-IS, but I know how much Canon charges for it: they're not nice.
03-20-2012, 06:25 PM #3
+1 OS's recommendations. They're right on target.
But. If you want to be unobtrusive, the 70-300 IS USM, despite being not as optically nice as the 70-200 f/4L USM, is a lot smaller/lighter, and BLACK. Once you stick a white L on your camera, you can forget about being stealthy.
03-20-2012, 06:47 PM #4
I just picked up the 15-85 to replace a 17-85. I haven't shot enough to make any sweeping judgements yet, but it seems slightly sharper, which was what I was looking for. I've always been happy with that zoom range. The 17-55 f/2.8 that OS mentioned would be great for low-light settings, but for a setting that's not too demanding in the lighting category, the 15-85 will cut down on lens swaps a bit, which might be worthwhile in a "one chance to shoot it" setting.
FWIW, I've also got the 70-300, and I'm fairly satisfied with this lens. I've experienced some focus-hunting, but I'm honestly not sure if I can pin that on the lens or the body. The 70-200 f/4.0 would be pretty tempting if you don't need the extra 100mm of reach -- I've heard nothing but good things about that lens.
03-20-2012, 07:35 PM #5
Thank you all for your valuable advice.
And so the debate goes on....
03-20-2012, 08:17 PM #6
03-20-2012, 08:25 PM #7
03-21-2012, 05:59 AM #8
After considering the issue overnight, here is where I am...
Option 1: (Most Expensive) Canon 15-85mm and 70-200 f/4 USM L.
However, if that proves impossible, either Option 2 or 3 would be about 300 US less, based on purchase prices here.
Option 2: Canon 17-85 and 70-200 f/4 USM L.
Option 3: Canon 15-85 and 70-300 IS USM.
My question is this....for those of you who have used both options, which is the larger difference, the 15-85 vs the 17-85 or the 70-200 f/4 USM vs the 70-300 IS USM?
At this point for me the difference between the two mid level zooms is strictly IQ as all other factors are the same (I am indifferent to the slight difference on the wide end). IS the IQ difference significant or one of those "slightly softer in the corners in certain conditions" situations.
The longer zooms are trickier. The higher IQ of the 70-200 could be offset by the longer reach of the 70-300, but if the IQ difference is dramatic I would give up the extra reach.
The main thing is I want to buy lenses that will hold me (at least in those focal lengths) for a year or two while making sure I get the best possible glass for the event. I will not be making poster sized prints, but these need to be more then snaps, they will be pictures for a lifetime so I need to be sure that my gear doesn't let me down. Twenty years down the line "This was a pretty good shot considering the lens quality" just won't cut it. However I can cut corners on cosmetic differences or very slight IQ factors if I have to.
03-21-2012, 12:00 PM #9
Comparing lots and lots of pictures on the web...and I must say that in most situations the 70-200L and the 70-300 IS USM seem very very close, so I will opt I think for the subtler 70-300.
In looking at comparisons, I also noted that the 18-135 seems to keep pace with the 15-85 quite well except at the corners and has some excellent reviews from Ken Rockwell and others...and I can get it for half the price of the 15-85. Would the 18-135 be worthwhile?
03-21-2012, 12:57 PM #10dPS +1000 Club
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- Sydney, Australia
I own both the 70-200 F4 L and the 70-300 IS USM.
The 70-200 runs rings around the 70-300, especially focusing speed and when shooting at wider apertures. The only slight downside is that it physically a bit longer. Being white doesn't worry me.
If 200mm is long enough then get it.,
The 70-200 is my long "event" lens and the 70-300 is my long travel lens where I may wan't a bit of reach and don't want the mass of my 100-400 (which is my most used lens).
I also own the 17-85, but havn't used it for a few (3.5) years.
The focal lenghth range is great however if you are looking at full size images (I didn't really notice it when I was only posting web size pics) the CA can be a problem and it really isn't that sharp for the wider apertures.
I thought it was ok untill I stated using better lenses.
I havn't used the 15-85 or the 18-135.Flickr stream.