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telephoto lens for Canon rebel

Shirley C. , Apr 21, 2007; 05:01 p.m.

Hi - I'm trying to decide what lens to add to my Canon Rebel XT. I have the kit lense and a prime lense (50mm f/1.8 II). I also have a cheap telephoto lense which I'm not happy with.

I've been asked to shoot 2 weddings for friends. They were happy, but I was not. I want something better to shoot friends' weddings, plus an all around lense for running around shooting stuff at a moment's notice. I have grandchildren, I travel and do things like 4 wheelin' and hiking and want to do landscapes and nature photography and I want something that is versatile in that way. What is a good, all around lense for the Rebel XT. I'm willing to save up for about $1,200, but I can't go more than that. Help?


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Leopold Stotch , Apr 21, 2007; 05:15 p.m.

The EF 70-200 f2.8 USM falls nicely into this category, and it fits your budget. Just be warned, its not exactly a lightweight, so for hiking, something lighter may be better. Also,it is a little long for general use, you may have to fill that void with another lens.

Buck Rogers , Apr 21, 2007; 05:17 p.m.

First, you need to decide if you want a zoom or prime.

I suggest a 70-200 L (either the f/4 IS or f/2.8 non-IS) or if you like primes, the 85 f/1.8 and 135 f/2L. All of these are beautiful for portraits (the 70-200 f/4L being least) and very fast focusing. Ideally, save up a little bit more for the 70-200 f/2.8IS and cover all of your bases.

Shirley C. , Apr 21, 2007; 05:40 p.m.

Cool - OK - I think the last suggestion sounds good. I definitely like having a telephoto so I suppose the bit more pricey suggestion would be best. I always go for the ideal :)))


Shirley C. , Apr 21, 2007; 05:49 p.m.

Oh, ouch - that is pricey. Dang, this is frustrating. So, for hiking and general all around (perhaps the 70-200 could wait) - what would be good? Definitely telephoto but something better than the kit lens.

Andre Reinders , Apr 21, 2007; 05:56 p.m.

I am in a similar situation. I had a Canon EF 75-300 USM f4-f5.6. I have shot a wedding and I rented a Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS L for this purpose. Very nice lens, but too pricey as I don't shoot enough weddings to pay for it ;)

I thought about what I am shooting more of, and would like to shoot more of - portraits. I decided to buy a Canon EF 85mm f1.8 and also a Tamron 1.4x televconverter. On film this gives me a nice short portrait lens, and with the TC, a longer portrait lens - approx. 120mm f2.5. On my Canon 20D I get a field of view of a long portrait lens - 135mm f1.8, and with the TC I get the field of view of a 190mm f2.5 lens.

I figured this could get me through the long lens requirements if I shot another wedding or similar event. It cost me about $630 Canadian or about $550 USD.

I think the Canon 70-200 lineup is also good if you can afford it. The 2.8 lenses are heavier but give you more than the f4 lenses - which are lighter. Either way, if you go this route, I suggest getting the IS models. I have heard that the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM is also worth considering, although I know nothing of this lens.

Leopold Stotch , Apr 21, 2007; 06:03 p.m.

A telephoto won't be a good all-around lens. For that, you'll need a wide-medium telephoto zoom. Given your budget, i suggest either a 24-70 f2.8L, or a 24-105 f4L IS. Neither are telephoto, but you'll have to make a compromise somewhere, since no one lens can cover every situation.

Bob Atkins , Apr 21, 2007; 06:04 p.m.

Get the 70-300/4-5.6IS. It's small, light and not too expensive.

Robin Sibson , Apr 21, 2007; 06:21 p.m.

Rebel XT, kit lens, 50/1.8II, cheap telephoto ... a 70~200/2.8 (IS or not) will weigh more than this lot put together, and then some - and on a 1.6-factor body it's quite a long lens, probably not what you want for weddings. Hire one and see how you feel about how it handles on the very small and light XT body, and how readily you're prepared to carry it round all day on a hike, before thinking about spending even the money that the non-IS version costs, let alone the IS version - and incidentally, whatever you get, IS is seriously useful - even the magnificent 135/2 is a bit of a handful on a 1.6-factor body.

You're obviously not a professional wedding photographer, so you probably should not let your needs be skewed too much by wanting to do the occasional wedding - that said, if you replaced your kit lens with the 17~55/2.8IS, you'd be in pretty good shape for a lot of wedding shots as well as having a first-rate walk-around lens. But that's not going to leave you enough headroom in your budget to do a decent job of replacing the telephoto as well for the time being. Choices, choices ...!

Don W , Apr 21, 2007; 07:00 p.m.

I would suggest two lenses. Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 and the canon 70-200 f/4. They are both excellent, versatile lenses and under $1000 for the two.

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