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Zoom telephoto for Rebel XT


chelsea
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Bear with me guys, yet another "what lens to get" question.

Just got my new Rebel XT, and am now trying to decide which telephoto

to get for it. I do a lot of nature shooting, and have decided on

the Canon 100 mm macro, now need to get a telephoto. I'm used to

shooting with a 70 - 300 on the old Minolta 7000i, so I'll probably

want something similar. I was looking at the 100 - 400, but my

concerns after reading and talking with a few people is, how heavy is

it? Is it going to be cumbersome to use with the "petite" Rebel? And

also, how sharp is it? I also have to move quickly sometimes in the

field, and not sure about how handy that lens would be for handheld.

If not the 100 - 400, what would be your recommendation on the 75 -

300 range?

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Look, the 100-400 is not a small lens. You need to go to a store to check one out.

 

In terms of sharpness, you won't beat this lens with any other zoom.

 

In terms of handheld: That's what IS is for. But don't kid yourself: It comes with a tripod mount for a reason.

 

If you don't like the size of the 100-400/5.6L-IS, I would recommend a combination of 70-200/4L and 300/4L-IS. That's right. Two lenses, but two AWESOME lenses.

 

The 70-300/DO-IS is intruiging. But what you are paying for in this lens (All $1100 of it) is small size. In terms of image quality, I am not convinced that this lens is substantially superior to the 75-300/IS (at $400).

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Canon 70-200 f/4L, f/2.8L, or f/2.8L IS.

 

All three provide prime level performance in a tele zoom. On a 1.6 crop dSLR, all three also cover (roughly) the range you're used to. They're 112-320 lenses on your Rebel XT.

 

Your decision will come down to price, weight, and whether or not you want IS. I went with the 70-200 f/4L to save on cost/weigth. It's an awesome lens even used wide open.

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The 100-400 is a big lens, but it's not as cumbersome as I thought it would be. I've been <i>very</i> pleased with mine.

<p>

Here is an extremely unscientific test I did the day that I got it. The first shot is full-frame at 100mm, the second is a 100% crop from 100mm, and the third is a 100% crop at 400mm, all wide open.

<p>

<center><img src="http://www.sacredartichoke.com/images/100-400/full.jpg">

<p>

<img src="http://www.sacredartichoke.com/images/100-400/zoom100.jpg">

<p>

<img src="http://www.sacredartichoke.com/images/100-400/zoom400.jpg">

<p></center>

 

<a href="http://sacredartichoke.com/coppermine/albums/02-11-2005/IMG_2568.jpg"target="new">This was shot hand-held wide open at 100mm</a>. <p> <a href="http://sacredartichoke.com/coppermine/albums/02-11-2005/IMG_2572.jpg"target="new">This is also wide-open, hand-held, at 400mm</a>.

<p>

Balance-wise, I have no idea how it'll do with your XT. It doesn't seem too bad on my 20D, but I do put it on a tripod as much as possible. You can see more examples from it in my February, March, and April folders on my website, <a href="http://sacredartichoke.com/"target="new">sacredartichoke.com</a>.

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The 100-400L IS is one of my favorite lenses. It's big, but not cumbersome. I don't know how the Rebel XT will look on it, but I used to use a small, all plastic Rebel X film body with my 100-400L IS. With smaller bodies, you're really mounting the camera onto the lens, and you're supporting all of the weight of the lens with your left hand. The camera is just along for the ride, like an accesory. IS is great for handholding. Great for mobility. And the long zoom range gives lots of flexibility. If you want even more stability, without sacrificing mobility, put the 100-400L IS on a monopod. That way you get the combined stability of IS and the monopod, but you can still move and set up quickly.
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I have the 70-300 Do IS. I used to own the 75-300 IS. I liked the old version, its cheap and will give you good results. The 70-300 IS DO is not cheap but will give you clearly better results. Why? Has next generation IS. Gives you 3 stops instead of 2. Also, gives you IS panning mode, I use this all the time and it works great. Its very small and works well on my xt body. Next, The 100-400 IS is a great lens but, it s big and push pull. The push pull I ve heard, sucks dust in and out of the body. The rear element of the 70-300 Do is sealed, big bonus, no dust to worry about. Also, the DO lens is black and not so " look at me look at me" If you plan light use of this lens and will not be blowing any photos up past 8*10 get the old version. If you are a pro and need big prints, make your choice between big white and the DO. Good luck.
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<p> Optically, your best bet is 70-200/4 USM L + Canon 1.4X TC. Your second best bet is the 100-300/5.6 L. I'd avoid 70-200/2.8 or 100-400 as they will probably be too heavy for an XT user. I'd also avoid the 70-300 DO as I think it's overpriced and has ugly bokeh.</p>

 

<p> See <a href="http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/frary/toolbox3.htm">http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/frary/toolbox3.htm</a>, <a href="http://www.photo.net/nature/x-300.html">http://www.photo.net/nature/x-300.html</a> , <a href="http://www.photo.net/canon/70-200">http://www.photo.net/canon/70-200</a>, <a href="http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/eosfaq/telefoto.htm">http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/eosfaq/telefoto.htm</a> and <a href="http://photonotes.org/articles/beginner-faq/lenses.html#telephotos">http://photonotes.org/articles/beginner-faq/lenses.html#telephotos</a>. </p>

 

 

<p> Happy shooting , <br>

Yakim. </p>

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Rent the 100-400 and go to the zoo.

 

Yes, it's big and heavy, but at least you can get away without a tripod.

 

I couldn't afford to buy this lens, so I went with a 70-200 4L + 1.4x TC + tripod.

 

Also, I've seen some test shots showing that the 70-200 4L + TC isn't as good optically as the 100-400. But that's just a slight loss in resolution. Unless you plan to do giant, giant enlargements or insane crops, it shouldn't be a problem.

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Thankyou for all the input! After much debate I finally decided on the 100 - 300 DO IS. I'd like that 100 - 400, but I hate push/pull. Maybe later down the road if I get another windfall to spend on lenses I'll take another look. One of the reasons for the one I chose is its small size, fits in the camera bag better. Hey, I'm gettin' old, tired of lugging a heavy backback through the woods, and I haven't found me a man yet who is big and strong who loves photography and is willing to help me haul gear. LOL! Another reason for this lens, I know a gal who has it and loves it, she's shown me some pics taken with it. So, later this week I should have in hand the 100 - 300 DO IS and the 100 mm macro. I shall keep you posted on how they turn out.
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