Old 12-10-2006, 09:59 PM
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earthlight (Anne-Louise)
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USM Lens for Canon EF 400D

Is it worth an extra $100 and a sacrifice of 100mm to get a USM canon lens.

Options are CANON EF 55-200mm f4.5-5.6 II USM LENS
or CANON EF 75-300mm f4.0-5.6 LENS

We're getting an 18-55mm lens in the deal but the two options are hard to decide on.

I want lens which I'll use all the time and not sit in the cupboard. I want to be able to hand hold the camera as I can't see myself lugging around a tripod with all the kids stuff. If I can hold the 12x on the Ixus relatively easily I think I have a chance with the 200mm.

Tony likes the larger size, ie for moon or sun shots. But it's only 12.8% of the vertical height, small I think.

What do you think? Is the 300mm better value?

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Old 12-10-2006, 10:03 PM
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[1ponders] (Paul)
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Trying to hold a 300mm lens steady is a really challenge Anne-Louise. Even 200 is fun if you don't have fast exposures.

If Tony want to image the moon, tell him to get a T adapter and whack the camera in the scope
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Old 13-10-2006, 06:48 AM
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firstlight (Tony)
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I just like the shots of the Moon as a thin crescent with earthlight (note avatar). A 300 (read 450+ for DSLR) on a tripod would give plenty of atmospheric shots like that, and you don't have to use it at full zoom all the time, but it would be nice to be able to.

An 80mm ed would be my choice I suppose it I wanted to put a scope on the camera, but I'm afraid it is one or the other at this stage .


BTW thanks for the info re dennis Lithgo... have passed on the info.
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Old 13-10-2006, 07:00 AM
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acropolite (Phil)
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Anne_Louse, the USM in the title only refers to the focussing motor which in the case of the USM is an ultrasonic motor. You would be better off with the 75-300 as the gap between the 55 and 75mm you won't really miss whereas the extra 100mm will make a difference at the telephoto end. Either lens at set to 200mm wil be the same for hand held shots, so the ability to hand hold really doesn't apply at a given f/l. In the final analysis it depends on whether you feel the gap between 55 and 75mm is going to be missed. It may also be worth considering not getting the Kit lenses and opting for a lens of better quality. There is info and some reviews on the various lenses available for Canon DSLR's here.
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Old 13-10-2006, 07:02 AM
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I have the 70 - 300 IS which is an update from the old 75 -300 image stablized lens .
The new one has an ED element and beter IS so you can hand hold down to 1/60 no problem and USM a nice lens and resonable price ( about $1000 ) but seems a lot compared with the kit lenses which don't have any of the above features.
The IS feature is particularly good for wild life photography where there never seems to be enough light for fast shutter speeds.

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Old 13-10-2006, 10:05 PM
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earthlight (Anne-Louise)
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It would be great to spend $1000 but I can't justify that amount of $$ on one lens. We're wheeling and dealing and hoping to get the twin lens deal for around $1470. With the remote, extra battery, case, filter for each lens (protection) and extended warrenty we are trying to keep it below $1700.

Hopefully in time we may get the adapter to use some of our other lens but I think it's a great start, and a quite versitile set up. It would be great to have THE perfect lens but as I'm not a professional or being paid for any photos I take. Maybe one day that will happen but now it's just great we're getting a digital SLR we never thought we would so soon.

Thanks for all your comments, they have been a great help.
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Old 17-10-2006, 08:13 PM
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I agree with Phil, the 300mm will give you more flexibility. Many places do a deal on the 400D + 18-55 + 70-300 deal (like Photocontinental) for about $300 over the price of the body itself. Neither lenses get great reviews but nonetheless this represents exceptional value .

I definitely know that the 18-55 kit lens can do excellent work. In fact some people are doing amazing work with that lens, see for example:


If you want to know what the 75-300 is capable of have a look here:


This setup should suit your needs while you decide whether you want spend money on better lenses which will give you benefits like extra sharpness, faster focal ratios, Image Stabilization, better construction, etc.

Good luck on your decision.

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Old 17-10-2006, 09:03 PM
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earthlight (Anne-Louise)
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Thanks for the comments and links Terry. They have some great looking shots. If I have half the opportunity to take shots like that I'll be a happy woman. It was interesting in the links that the 75-300 lens is optically the same as the other USM and IS models. IS gives the photo a better chance to be sharp, but I'm sure I'll do ok without it.
We've put in out order today for the twin lens kit. Tony's Union Shopper found it for $13??? something, about $80 cheaper and with 5 not 3 year warranty.

It would be great to get different lens. I have an old Zeiss 12mm eyepiece that is just beautiful, so I understand the lure of quality. I KNOW I would love the clarity. I know everyone is saying DO IT but I have to be realistic. We've found termites again so we really need to get that sorted out. I don't want them to eat the new deck.

Now, I believe not all great photos come from top equipment. Sure it's more likely, but there are hundreds on the net, which are often just as good if not better because the Moment was just right. I believe it is 30% is skill, 10% equipment and 60% luck.

And I'm hoping for lots of luck right now.

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Old 25-10-2006, 03:42 PM
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sejanus (Gavin)
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The canons are very good at high iso, which means you can happily run 400/800 iso which will help you keep your shutter speeds up. The reason I say that is to run the lens at 300mm you will need to keep your shutter speeds high to be able to affectively use it without camera shake.

Try 1/320th as a minimum and ideally 1/500th when you are all the way to 300mm. you can get down lower with the right technique but you need to be careful.
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