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Old    matt moss (mossy44)      Join Date: Oct 2001       03-12-2009, 9:55 AM Reply   
Ok, so I have been reading for the past 2 days and am SOOOO confused. I plan to take a photography course starting in April to help me learn a little bit about what I am doing.

I recently got a Canon rebel XSI and am just starting to learn a little bit about it. However, just about everything I read is like reading a foreign language so far.

I have 2 lenses but both of them are mainly for still images, at least that is what I was told.
I am looking for a lens that I can use for wakeboarding and also to take pictures of my daughter playing tennis. These are completely different lighting situations though since she plays indoors a lot.

What is the difference between the Canon 70-200L f/4 and the Canon 70-200 f/4 IS? From the looks of it, it is about $600 difference.

I definitely do not plan to become a pro and probably bought too much camera to begin with. I just want to get some decent pictures over the years.

Any suggestions on what lens to get? Or should I just wait a few months until I have learned enough on my own? I trust your judgments right now more than mine

I did searches on this site, but not knowing if different cameras matter, it was all confusing to me. Maybe I will understand more once I take the course.

Thanks for the help.
Old    Clubmyke (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       03-12-2009, 11:48 AM Reply   
start off with the standard 7-200 f4 lense. it is a fantastic zoom at a cheap price ( i have owned both). the IS is a little bit sharper and lighter (dont know why - it just is)

the IS version would be better in a low light situation.

the L lens really retain their value and can be sold at minimal loss if you want to change out (keep the box/receipt etc)
Old    Taylor Jensen (wakeboardertj)      Join Date: May 2005       03-12-2009, 12:26 PM Reply   
both lenses are great, the IS version said to be very sharp. Although the IS version is good in low light situations, it might not benefit you as well taking indoor "action" photos. The IS simply lets you get crisp pictures at slow shutter speeds, and slow shutter speeds don't mix well with action sports like tenis. The 70-200L f4 would be perfect for wakeboarding since you don't need that fast of a lens in sunny conditions.

I'm not familiar with the lighting in a indoor tenis match, but most indoor sports require a fast lens (meaning a wide aperture). Save the 600 dollars and put it towards a fast prime lens, perhaps a 85mm 1.8 for 350$?
Old    a (coldlake)      Join Date: Oct 2006       03-12-2009, 12:44 PM Reply   
"The Digital Photography Book" by Scott Kelby is a good resource to start with. I'm not talking down to ya, I have the book. Used to be a film hobbyist but when I got started again with digital I had some learnin' to do.

Shooting indoor sports will be one of the most frustrating places to start your learning curve, speaking from experience about the curve I am currently on.

I agree with Taylor, I have a 70-200F4L I use outdoors and a 85mm 1.8 for indoor sports that is barely fast enough to stop the action at ISO1600 depending on how horribly lit the gym is.

Good luck, and use whatever resources you can find, book or www.
Old    Randy Scagliotti (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       03-12-2009, 5:57 PM Reply   
Matt I was in your situation about a year ago and the more I researched the more confused I got. I got good advice from regulars on this board and just learned my camera (40-D) and shot lots and lots of images. I also wanted to shoot a lot of wakeboarding at local comps and the pro tour stops. Since the camera set me back in the wallet I went with a lower end telephoto to get me by until I could understand my camera better. 55-250 4.5 5.6 with IS ($285 at B&H) and it has been s great lens and produced some good shots while I was learning. I'm now ready to upgrade and will be buying the 70-200 F4 L IS in the next month or so. I also shoot some snowboarding in lower light and one of the reasons I'm getting the IS. I think the best advice I got was to understand my camera and shoot only in the creative modes to force me to learn, and believe me I shot a lot of bad stuff for awhile. Rich D, Walt & Peter T. have helped me a lot and offered their knowledge and imput, props to them. Good luck and enjoy your camera.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       03-12-2009, 6:38 PM Reply   
Sports are tough to shoot with cheaper lenses because they generally don't focus as fast as the better L models. While a 70-200 f4 won't magically make your shots better you will get better shots once you learn the cam. The 70-200 L series lenses are a staple in the sport photography business, every pro Canon shooter has one and the Nikon Pros all have the Nikon equiv.

As long as you're serious about using the cam buying good lenses is never a bad idea.

A must read is "understanding exposure" by Bryan Peterson, get the newer digital version.
Old    matt moss (mossy44)      Join Date: Oct 2001       03-12-2009, 7:35 PM Reply   
Thank you very much for the tips so far everyone. I would rather not spend the $600 right now and might go with something like Randy suggested for under $300. If I really get into it and want to step it up later, I don't mind spending more money at that time.

I might regret it later if I really take a liking to photography and want a better lens. We will see what happens.

You know I have a lot to learn when I don't even understand a couple things already mentioned in this thread
Old    Rob VLX (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       03-12-2009, 9:16 PM Reply   
If you are shooting a lot in low light would going to the f2.8 instead of the f4 IS be better? I am actually thinking of hitting the camera store tomorrow and am on the fence between the 70-200 2.8 or f4. Does IS do much if you are shooting from a boat with a quick shutter speed? Also, I already own a 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L which is a tank so I am thinking the f4 non IS may be the ticket for me.
Old    Mike Munger (lgndracer)      Join Date: May 2008       03-12-2009, 10:05 PM Reply   
If you are shooting moving sports the shutter speed is fast enough where you don't need IS. IS helps you when you want a little slower shutter speed than you can normally hand hold, or during a panning shot.

Also, yes, if you are shooting low light sports the 2.8 is the way to go in the 70-200L. I shoot a lot of indoor sports and always use either my 70-200/2.8L IS or my 85/1.8. I also think they both should be a staple in any Canon guys arsenal.
The 85/1.8 is an awesome lens for the money. I would say it and my 100/2.8 macro are the two lenses I have the most fun with.
Old    Taylor Jensen (wakeboardertj)      Join Date: May 2005       03-12-2009, 10:21 PM Reply   
^^ i'll second the 100mm/2.8 macro, its an awesome lens that doubles as a good portrait lens.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       03-13-2009, 7:22 AM Reply   
The 100 macro is considered by many to be the sharpest prime canon makes. If you're looking for a sharp lens you can't go wrong with any the true macro lenses, the Tamron 90, sigma and Tokina are all super sharp as well.
Old    Clubmyke (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       03-13-2009, 1:41 PM Reply   
hey rob - i tried the canon 70-200 f2.8 and found it soft at 2.8 (it is heavy lens!!!!)

imo the 70-200 f4 and a 85/1.8 or 100/2.8 offers a little wider range for the same outlay of cash.

given the original post - stick with the 70-200 f4 and see what you shot (i use my 24-70/2.8 most of the time)
Old    Rob VLX (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       03-13-2009, 2:12 PM Reply   
Dude, i just got back from buying a 70-200 f2.8 IS. It weighs a ton (same size as my 100-400). I am looking forward to checking it out. I also got a Polarized Filter and a regular UV filter. Dumped a lot a cash today.
Old    Clubmyke (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       03-13-2009, 4:11 PM Reply   
rob,

congrats on the 70-200 f2.8IS, it is a nice lens !

i went the 70-200 f4IS due to the weight and and exceptional sharpness at f4.given the price difference, the standard f4 is a great lens vs the f4IS.
Old    Rob VLX (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       03-13-2009, 4:39 PM Reply   
Yea, my logic was that i could always use the 2.8 indoors for kid's sports and the 2.8 can also double as a weapon to hit someone if needed while on the lake. The thing is a tank. I almost got the f4. That thing is a great size compared to the 2.8. It is actually just as easy to carry as the 70-300 IS I traded in today. I think the 70-200 f4 and 85/1.8 would have been a smarter move but hey... its only money and you only live once! My next lens is the 24-70 2.8 then the 85 1.8 then I am DONE.
Old    Clubmyke (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       03-13-2009, 4:51 PM Reply   
lol - double as a weapon !!! i think the standard 70-200/f4 and 85 is a great combo for a newbie.

i'll be picking up the 85/1.8 next too (im in between the 85 and 100)

btw, the 24-70/2.8 is a AWESOME lens. it is my favorite and on my camera pretty much all the time (i wish they made that in a IS version)
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       03-13-2009, 8:39 PM Reply   
I'm on my second 24-105 f4 L IS, made the mistake of selling the first one and getting a 24-70 f2.8.

You've got to buy every L lens Canon makes like I have to figure out what you really need and will use. All I need at this point is the 24-105, 70-200 f4 L IS, 400 f5.6L and the tele-convertors. I keep the 50 f1.8 because it's too cheap to worry about and the Tamron 90 Macro for macro stuff. The 400 f4 DO IS is going on the block. I don't shoot any indoor sports or portraits so I'm not too worried about f2.8.

AND the 1D3 puts out the best looking file of any cam Canon makes AFAIC.

my .02 hahaha
Old    Randy Scagliotti (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       03-13-2009, 8:52 PM Reply   
Hi-Jack.

Rich D. check your e-mail, then call me.

Hi-Jack over

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