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Mehpic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i know this subject has been beaten like a dead horse, but I have a predicament whilst getting ready to pull the trigger

I have a canon rebel xti (base model) with the 19-85 kit lens. while that lens fits most of our needs as a good family camera, I'd like something with a better range.

basically what we would be shooting (er, imaging?) would be action shots (swim meets) outdoors (so, lowest light would be overcast), at a maximum distance of about 25 yards, and the occasional car race, so, from what I can figger, something with IS would be a necesity.

and, we're on a budget. i'd like to not spend more than $300, but could be pushed to $350 after we get our tax returns. used would be perfectly acceptible- we got the camera 2nd hand.

so, here's what I've found that i like:
canon 55-250 ef-s
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-55-250m...dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

now, would that fit my needs? is there another brand that might be on par/better at a lower price?

also, as an aside, what filter(s) would be a benefit in the same conditions?

thanks for beating this dead horse....yet again.
 

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Spicy Dumpling
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I'm not sure but this 800 F4 might fit the bill. Bigger is better, I barely know from pentax, let alone canon.
 

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Beetpull DeLite
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IS doesn't help your shutter speeds - you need a fast lens for sports and car racing. If you don't need top-notch performance look for a Sigma/Tamron/Tokina 70-200mm f/2.8 or so.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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VaughnA said:
I'm not sure but this 800 F4 might fit the bill. Bigger is better, I barely know from pentax, let alone canon.
Yeah....that DOES look like a canon.....
 

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Mehpic
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
GirchyGirchy said:
IS doesn't help your shutter speeds - you need a fast lens for sports and car racing. If you don't need top-notch performance look for a Sigma/Tamron/Tokina 70-200mm f/2.8 or so.
i was wondering about that- most shutter speeds are going to be faily quick, so IS shouldnt be as much a concern as overall focus time.

thanks for the input.
 

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still shedding season
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I think what Girchy was saying is that IS doesn't stop subject motion. It only stops camera motion. IOW, blurry shots are still possible from moving subjects, if the shutter speed is too slow even if that shutter speed with IS would give you a sharp image of something that doesn't move.

That lens's f5.6 at 200mm won't help much with something like an indoor swim meet - this is where you'll run into the problem. Some natatoriums (that's architect-speak for pool room :)) are brighter than others... Looks like a good lens for a lot of situations but this would be a tough one.
 

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Anything that's a consistant fstop (2.8, 4) is going to be about 2x your budget. You could go with something like this and it would cover everything that your kit lens doesn't... The quality won't be as good as an L series lens, but it should be nothing to complain about with what you're using it for.
 

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Premium Member
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Why don't you just buy a 50mm f1.8 and move closer. With the APSC sensor on your Canon that lens is actually a short telephoto and ideal for what you are trying to do. Plus it is darn inexpensive and a really nice piece of glass.

Really, I'm not joking. Just ask the meet director or the like for permission to do some photography and be willing to share your results with them.
 

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I have that lens--- it is terribly slow--- and correspondingly cheap. I regret purchasing it.

2cflyr said:
i know this subject has been beaten like a dead horse, but I have a predicament whilst getting ready to pull the trigger

I have a canon rebel xti (base model) with the 19-85 kit lens. while that lens fits most of our needs as a good family camera, I'd like something with a better range.

basically what we would be shooting (er, imaging?) would be action shots (swim meets) outdoors (so, lowest light would be overcast), at a maximum distance of about 25 yards, and the occasional car race, so, from what I can figger, something with IS would be a necesity.

and, we're on a budget. i'd like to not spend more than $300, but could be pushed to $350 after we get our tax returns. used would be perfectly acceptible- we got the camera 2nd hand.

so, here's what I've found that i like:
canon 55-250 ef-s
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-55-250m...dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

now, would that fit my needs? is there another brand that might be on par/better at a lower price?

also, as an aside, what filter(s) would be a benefit in the same conditions?

thanks for beating this dead horse....yet again.
 

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Mehpic
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8,162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
MB1 said:
Why don't you just buy a 50mm f1.8 and move closer. With the APSC sensor on your Canon that lens is actually a short telephoto and ideal for what you are trying to do. Plus it is darn inexpensive and a really nice piece of glass.

Really, I'm not joking. Just ask the meet director or the like for permission to do some photography and be willing to share your results with them.
the main issue is that I'm a coach, which means sitting in one place for a while, usually close to 25 yards away from said swimmer. access isnt the issue.
 

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Roadies Rejoice
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2cflyr said:
i know this subject has been beaten like a dead horse, but I have a predicament whilst getting ready to pull the trigger

......
thanks for beating this dead horse....yet again.
While it is true that for sports a fast lens is desireable and necessary under certain conditions, for the conditions you descirbe, (outdoors and generally under good light) you won't necessarily need a f2.8 lens. I get good results using a Sigma 70-300 f1/4.5-5.6 (about $180.00) for outdoor soccer, lacrosse and swimming on an xti body. I can also get away with using it for indoor swim meets by shooting raw with the camera on manual setting at iso 1600 and pushing the exposure in PP.

The Sigma 70-300 is very soft over 200mm, so I don't use any focal length beyond 200, but as a budget lens, it is very effective within it's given limitations. I think it would be fine for your proposed use.

That being said, it is slow to focus, so my percentage of in-focus shots can be low especially for lacrosse. To get a lens that has faster auto focus however, you will spend about twice your budget. As mentioned by GG above, Sigma and Tamron both sell a 70-200 2.8 which are well regarded optically, however they have the reputation of being slow to focus and again are about twice your budget.

I don't know anything about the lens you ask about, but if it were me, I would either go for the Sigma or Tamron 70-300 and spend as little as possible, or the preferred option would be to streach your budget to about $600.00 and get the Canon 70-200 f4 L.

Buying anything in between these two options makes no sense to me, since it would not be much better optically than either of the 70-300's and therefore not worth the extra cost. If you are willing/able to spend more than the minimum necessary, your better option would be to make the extra expenditure provide you with a real meaningful improvement in image quality and lens performance.

Finally, for the shutter speeds you will typically be shooting for sports, I find that IS is not needed at all for the focal lengths we are discussing.
 

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MB1 said:
Why don't you just buy a 50mm f1.8 and move closer. With the APSC sensor on your Canon that lens is actually a short telephoto and ideal for what you are trying to do. Plus it is darn inexpensive and a really nice piece of glass.

Really, I'm not joking. Just ask the meet director or the like for permission to do some photography and be willing to share your results with them.
His problem isn't a lack of light, the lens he currently has covers the 50mm mark. I understand that a 50 is great thing to have in a bag as a nice, fast, basic, lens... But it had nothing to do with what he was asking about.
 

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Mehpic
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
SteveCnj said:
While it is true that for sports a fast lens is desireable and necessary under certain conditions, for the conditions you descirbe, (outdoors and generally under good light) you won't necessarily need a f2.8 lens. I get good results using a Sigma 70-300 f1/4.5-5.6 (about $180.00) for outdoor soccer, lacrosse and swimming on an xti body. I can also get away with using it for indoor swim meets by shooting raw with the camera on manual setting at iso 1600 and pushing the exposure in PP.

The Sigma 70-300 is very soft over 200mm, so I don't use any focal length beyond 200, but as a budget lens, it is very effective within it's given limitations. I think it would be fine for your proposed use.

That being said, it is slow to focus, so my percentage of in-focus shots can be low especially for lacrosse. To get a lens that has faster auto focus however, you will spend about twice your budget. As mentioned by GG above, Sigma and Tamron both sell a 70-200 2.8 which are well regarded optically, however they have the reputation of being slow to focus and again are about twice your budget.

I don't know anything about the lens you ask about, but if it were me, I would either go for the Sigma or Tamron 70-300 and spend as little as possible, or the preferred option would be to streach your budget to about $600.00 and get the Canon 70-200 f4 L.

Buying anything in between these two options makes no sense to me, since it would not be much better optically than either of the 70-300's and therefore not worth the extra cost. If you are willing/able to spend more than the minimum necessary, your better option would be to make the extra expenditure provide you with a real meaningful improvement in image quality and lens performance.

Finally, for the shutter speeds you will typically be shooting for sports, I find that IS is not needed at all for the focal lengths we are discussing.
L series would be nice, but not on the wallet at this given time. thanks for all the advice.
 

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Mehpic
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
sxebmx said:
His problem isn't a lack of light, the lens he currently has covers the 50mm mark. I understand that a 50 is great thing to have in a bag as a nice, fast, basic, lens... But it had nothing to do with what he was asking about.

hey- i'll take photog advice from MB1 any day. a 50mm is on my "must have" list, but a longer lens makes more sense at the moment.
 

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still shedding season
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sxebmx said:
His problem isn't a lack of light, the lens he currently has covers the 50mm mark.
I'm not following... The focal length doesn't have anything to do with the quantity of the light you have. The reason (I'm guessing) a 50mm f1.8 was suggested is that for about a hundred bucks, you have a really fast lens. For about $3-400 there's an 85 f1.8 as another option, but for something long that's this fast it'll be tall cash (200 f2, for example at around $4-5k). I'm a Nikon guy and haven't bought glass in awhile, so it's just a guess on the prices.

Motion blur from wheels looks cool and shutter speeds during the day outdoors aren't often much of a problem. But, IS won't stop a swimmer's arms and while that might look "artistic" on a shot or two if you're lucky, chances are it's not really what the OP was looking for in results.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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you know....no one has mentioned this BUT have you considered a big flash to stop the motion AND allow a smaller aperture for larger depth of field??
 

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Premium Member
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kykr13 said:
....The reason (I'm guessing) a 50mm f1.8 was suggested is that for about a hundred bucks, you have a really fast lens. .....
Exactly, more light to the sensor is often overlooked with digital but it sometimes just can't be beat.

I mostly shoot with lenses that are f4 but when I bust out the 50mm 1.2 it is amazing what you can do with all that extra light.

Not to mention the shallow depth of field.
 

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Mehpic
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Touch0Gray said:
you know....no one has mentioned this BUT have you considered a big flash to stop the motion AND allow a smaller aperture for larger depth of field??
big flash not allowed during the start of a swimming race due to a strobe already signalling a start. //in fact, you'll get in a heap of trouble from the meet referee.

also, most photography is in sunny socal, where "winter" is a relative term. hell, we swim out doors, year round, and a natatorium is a rare bird- there are only 2 decent indoor competition pools in all of socal.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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ok...scratch that off the list
 
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