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Digital Cameras

HHave Tamron 28-300 XR; need second lens to be smaller

zenosprey
 
Posts: 1

HHave Tamron 28-300 XR; need second lens to be smaller

Post Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:00 pm


I am new to the group, have been searching a lot and have not found answer for my situation. Delighted to find so many knowledgeable folks! I have a Canon Xsi and bought the Tamron 28-300 XR VC so I could have it all! Now I would like to get a smaller lens and something that might take sharper photos. I use the telephoto quite a bit with birds and bringing landscape elements closer. I am often close to the max of the telephoto.I also do a lot of cropping which affects the crispness. My budget does not feel comfortable with a $2000 plus lens. Nor can I carry around a super heavy lens with a tripod.

One person said in buying a lens for sharpness one should aim for the high end divided by the low end to equal 4 or less. I do not understand this ...but that would mean my Tamron is 10+. I am working on understanding the technical issues more after using a 5700 Nikon and then Canon IS3 digital camera.

I would appreciate some suggestions for my next lens.

prinothcat
 
Posts: 662

Re: HHave Tamron 28-300 XR; need second lens to be smaller

Post Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:37 pm


zenosprey wrote:I am new to the group, have been searching a lot and have not found answer for my situation. Delighted to find so many knowledgeable folks! I have a Canon Xsi and bought the Tamron 28-300 XR VC so I could have it all! Now I would like to get a smaller lens and something that might take sharper photos. I use the telephoto quite a bit with birds and bringing landscape elements closer. I am often close to the max of the telephoto.I also do a lot of cropping which affects the crispness. My budget does not feel comfortable with a $2000 plus lens. Nor can I carry around a super heavy lens with a tripod.
One person said in buying a lens for sharpness one should aim for the high end divided by the low end to equal 4 or less. I do not understand this ...but that would mean my Tamron is 10+. I am working on understanding the technical issues more after using a 5700 Nikon and then Canon IS3 digital camera.
I would appreciate some suggestions for my next lens.


The basic answer is to get better image quality at telephoto lengths you really need to be carrying a tripod or an image stabilzed lens. Next you may want to get away from the one size fits all lens. It asks a lot of a lens to be clean over a nearly 250mm range. You may get results more to your liking with a zoom that covers a shorter range of focal lengths. An 80-200 and a 16-85 are my choices. I shoot Nikon stuff but there are similar available for Canon. Finally you may be ready to move up to lenses made by Canon. Their optical quality is generally better than third party.
Above all other considerations though should be a critical look at your technique. How well do you hold? Is there something you can do to improve your holding technique? Do you press smoothly on the release or do you unconsiously stab your release? Are you shooting in the middle of the aperture range for the lens? Wide open is generally the least sharp place to shoot. Many lenses don't make their best images until f 5.6 to 8 or smaller. Little things can and will make a big difference
Lastly, unfortunately, when it comes to glass you do get what you pay for. The 1000$ lens from Canon is going to out perform the 600 third party lens under ideal conditions. Check into a Canon 80-200 f/4. They are supposed to be very good and somewhat affordable. Then you can find a wide 16-70 or 18-85 to fill in the short focal lengths.
Finally you don't mention the speed of the Tamron. If it's only 5.6 or slower at eh long end of it's range, it's possibly impacting you shutter speeds to the point where your setup will not accurately stop subject motion. Unfortunately the only real world solution for this situation is to spend money. Fast lenses are expensive. In my eyes they are also worth their wieght. Both literally and figuatively.

dang
 
Posts: 3780

Re: HHave Tamron 28-300 XR; need second lens to be smaller

Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:12 am


zenosprey wrote:I am new to the group, have been searching a lot and have not found answer for my situation. Delighted to find so many knowledgeable folks! I have a Canon Xsi and bought the Tamron 28-300 XR VC so I could have it all! Now I would like to get a smaller lens and something that might take sharper photos. I use the telephoto quite a bit with birds and bringing landscape elements closer. I am often close to the max of the telephoto.I also do a lot of cropping which affects the crispness. My budget does not feel comfortable with a $2000 plus lens. Nor can I carry around a super heavy lens with a tripod.

One person said in buying a lens for sharpness one should aim for the high end divided by the low end to equal 4 or less. I do not understand this ...but that would mean my Tamron is 10+. I am working on understanding the technical issues more after using a 5700 Nikon and then Canon IS3 digital camera.

I would appreciate some suggestions for my next lens.


I wouldn't call myself an expert, by any stretch, but shoot Canon also and have a bit of experience with them. You're correct about the 28-300 being 10+, and the old rule of 4 or less goes way back to when zooms were first manufactured. To be frank, they were more than pitiful! Over time, they've improved quiet a lot, but the old rule still applies if looking for the best possible quality. Of course, we can go the limit and say never use a zoom at all because non-zooms are the sharpest. Just use your feet to zoom instead. That's all good, and well... but I'm generally lazy and prefer having options. :)

Most people will advise that it's better to go with the best possible lens you can afford, simply because you'll end up replacing anything less than what you really want. I've been there, and done it several times, which resulted in costing more in the end. Lenses, unlike bodies, aren't out of date in a year or two. In fact, good quality lenses can last decades if taken care of. They're the primary investment you'll make in photography, or should be.

You didn't say what you were expecting to photograph with the new lens, so it's difficult to suggest. If by smaller you mean toward the wide angle side to use for landscapes, there's several which could serve well. Without going too wide, the EF 17-40mm f/4L USM is around $700.00. For the price, it's an excellent choice, capable of rendering sharp photos with good contrast & color. And since it's an EF series, it will still work if you update to a full frame body later. Canon has also released a few newer lenses with image stabilization recently, including a 17-55 IS if I recall right. But I'd highly suggest staying with their "L" series if at all possible. They're better built, including seals for extra protection. And they have better quality elements to correct distortions, with extra coatings to control flare.

If you're wanting to stay with a longer lens, the EF 70-200 L is among the sharpest zooms produced. They offer several versions, including an f/4 and f/2.8. Both can be purchased with, or without IS. The f/4 without image stabilization is reasonable at around $700.00 or less, and the price goes up from there. The 2.8 version should work with Canon teleconverter, but the f/4 doesn't. However, a Tamron Pro 300 1.4X should work fine. With a 1.4X, you lose 1 f/stop of light, but the quality would likely be superior to your current lens, and close to the same range at 280mm with converter. But if you feel your 300mm isn't long enough, you might prefer waiting and replace it with the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM later on. Price is a bit higher of course, at around $1400.00. It's also somewhat bulky, but with the IS you can avoid using a tripod in many situations.

If you can offer a bit more information, you'll get suggestions closer to your needs. Hope this helps a wee bit.

Good luck, and happy shooting.

dougj
 
Posts: 2276

Re: HHave Tamron 28-300 XR; need second lens to be smaller

Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:48 am


zenosprey wrote: I use the telephoto quite a bit with birds and bringing landscape elements closer. I am often close to the max of the telephoto.I also do a lot of cropping which affects the crispness. My budget does not feel comfortable with a $2000 plus lens. Nor can I carry around a super heavy lens with a tripod.....


First, some basics & apologies if you're doing this already. Ensure your technique results in getting the best out of your camera & lens, shooting at long FLs handheld, and with a tripod, takes practice. Optimize the aperture & ISO for DOF & shutter speed, lenses have an optimal aperture range that produces the highest image quality, typically most lenses are a little soft wide open and improve through about f11. I typically use f/5.6-f/8 as the lenses are good in this range and the DOF is OK for what I shoot, and then adjust the ISO. On a bright day I can use a low ISO, as the light diminishes I'll increase the ISO up to 1600.

Some photogs are satisfied with the images produced directly by the camera. If you're looking for fine details in feathers you will need to optimize your in-camera processing settings, or do some post processing with a photo editor. I do the later for all of my shots.

Zoom lenses offer versatility, but the compromise is usually image quality with the high focal length ratio zooms. There aren't too many choices in the long FL ranges for lenses. Sigma makes a couple of fairly decent ones, the Canon 100-400 can be good. Telephotos are also an option, the Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS is a very good lens in terms of IQ, add a 1.4TC and it becomes a 420mm f/5.6 lens still with IS. Another option is the EF 400 f/5.6 L, although it doesn't have IS, it is a very good lens and one that birders prefer. If there is good light, the 400mm can be handheld without a monopod or tripod. Image Stabilization (IS) is a plus for long lenses as it enables you to shoot handheld or with a monopod at slower shutter speeds with less camera & lens shake. Unfortunately, it's not available on all lenses.

I hope this helps.

tringhenge
 
Posts: 157

Re: HHave Tamron 28-300 XR; need second lens to be smaller

Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:27 am


I'm not an expert, just a Canon user. In terms of sharpness per £ ($ in your case :) ) I'd recommend the Canon 70-200 F4 L if you can live with the shorter range. I recently got one and the sharpness is amazing, even wide open.


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