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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 04 Jul 2011 (Monday) 18:53
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Are these telephoto lenses any good for portraits?

 
cheeseslice
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Jul 04, 2011 18:53 |  #1

Hello all,

I've been going back and forth between lenses now for weeks and I don't know what to get but I have narrowed things down to maybe 3 or 4.

I want a lens or maybe two cheaper lenses that come to around £600, mainly I will be using these for general photographs but more importantly pictures of my children, including portraits with off camera flash.

I have the 17-85 kit lens that came with the 40d and the nifty fifty. I find the kit lens too short once I am outside.

I have now been looking at the following lenses to give me a bit more range for taking both portraits and the kids outside:

Canon EF 70-200mm f4L USM approx. £500
Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro approx. £550
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG MACRO HSM II approx. £550

Or should I maybe go for this sort of lens and then replace my kit lens with something a bit better?

Tamron 70-300mm f4-5.6 SP Di VC USD approx. £350


I have read so many reviews on all of these different lenses but the problem is that most sites compare against £1500 lenses and that is just out of my budget. I am enjoying this hobby more and more but I'm not at the stage where I can spend thousands yet.

Thanks in advance


Canon 40d, EF-S 17-85mm IS kit lens, 50mm f1.8

  
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sheawyatt
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Jul 04, 2011 18:57 |  #2

Any of those are excellent portrait lenses. Note that the f/2.8 ones will be quite large and heavy, whereas the f/4 Canon is a lightweight but amazing piece of glass (still built like a tank though).

I use my 70-200 f/2.8 for portraits all the time, and I stop it down from wide open more often than not, usually between f/3.5 and 5.6.


X-T3 | 10-24 f/4 | 18-55 f/2.8-4 | 16 f/1.4 | 80 f/2.8 Macro | 55-200 f/3.5-4.8 | 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 | 1.4x TC |
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thestone11
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Jul 04, 2011 19:00 |  #3

If you are not going to use the lens indoor or in low light situation, don't mind using a tripod for slow shutter speed shots. Then by all means go with the 70-200mm f/4 L. It is an excellent lens for the money, especially consider it is a L lens too. The only down side of this lens is: The IS version is better~! lol


Canon 5D MK II | Fuji X100 | Canon T2i | Canon 100mm macro f/2.8 | Canon 135L f/2 | Canon 50mm f/1.2 L | 17-40mm f/4 L | 24-70mm f/2.8 L | 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM |Canon 430EX II Flash X2 | Pocketwizard TT5 & TT1

  
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cheeseslice
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Jul 04, 2011 19:12 |  #4

thestone11 wrote in post #12704498 (external link)
If you are not going to use the lens indoor or in low light situation, don't mind using a tripod for slow shutter speed shots. Then by all means go with the 70-200mm f/4 L. It is an excellent lens for the money, especially consider it is a L lens too. The only down side of this lens is: The IS version is better~! lol

This is my problem. I made do with the kit lens and the cheap 50mm for years, baby is born and all of a sudden I'm taking pictures every day. I thought that a budget of £600 would get me a nice lens or two but once I go to buy a lens in this price range they are being compared to the next version up with IS or the 2.8 version, hahaha.

I have read a lot of reviews about the 70-200 f4 L but I'm wondering at the minute should I go for the Tamron 70-300mm f4-5.6 SP Di VC USD and maybe use the remaining money to upgrade the kit lens (any suggestions?). The Tamron seems to get amazing reviews for the price and is significantly cheaper.

Ideally I would like the 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM II but that isn't going to be happening for a while yet.


Canon 40d, EF-S 17-85mm IS kit lens, 50mm f1.8

  
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cheeseslice
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Jul 04, 2011 19:15 |  #5

thestone11 wrote in post #12704498 (external link)
If you are not going to use the lens indoor or in low light situation, don't mind using a tripod for slow shutter speed shots. Then by all means go with the 70-200mm f/4 L. It is an excellent lens for the money, especially consider it is a L lens too. The only down side of this lens is: The IS version is better~! lol

I should have said in my last post, I was thinking of using this lens for some indoor as well, although it will be mostly outdoor.

Would the Tamron with the VC be good enough for some pictures in church? I have a few weddings and christenings coming up.


Canon 40d, EF-S 17-85mm IS kit lens, 50mm f1.8

  
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phreeky
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Jul 04, 2011 19:24 |  #6

Depends too much on the specific church, but in many you would need the ISO cranked up a bit. F/2.8 would certainly be nicer to have.

Of those lenses I'd choose the Sigma 70-200 F/2.8. Sure it's a bit softer than the others wide open (at least at the long end), but I doubt you'd find it really troublesome unless you start putting a TC behind it. Keep in mind that a lot of lenses that are a touch soft at F/2.8 will actually sharpen up quite nicely at F/3.2.




  
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cheeseslice
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Jul 04, 2011 19:47 as a reply to  @ phreeky's post |  #7

The indoor shots like the church will be once in a blue moon. I do intend to do a lot of portraits of the kids indoor but I am buying a softbox and a few umbrellas and will hopefully learn some off camera lighting techniques.


I'm wondering would something like this:

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di

along with the other tamron I mentioned be better overall than say the kit lens I have and the 70-200 f4 L?


Canon 40d, EF-S 17-85mm IS kit lens, 50mm f1.8

  
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bohdank
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Jul 04, 2011 20:40 |  #8

The Tamron 28-75 on a crop like the 40D is an excellent portrait lens. That and a bounced flash and you can do some marvelous indoor portraits. The Tamron is the second lens I ever owned (also on a 40D) and I still have it. The first was the 70-200 F4 IS. Check my Gear list. It's not like I'm shy spending money on a lens that I need.

Tamron and bounced flash

IMAGE: http://www.bwkphotography.com/People/The-wife/IMG3582/633127169_mWNcX-L-3.jpg

Direct fill flash.

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Sirrith
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Jul 04, 2011 20:48 |  #9

I'd say get the 70-200 f4 or the sigma 70-200 2.8 :)
The f4 is a great lens, don't be put off by lack of IS. Go take a look at the sample photos thread and see for yourself!
Here's one shot from it:

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3003/5872193638_22241bc523_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …s/noobography/5​872193638/  (external link)
IMG_5911 (external link) by noobographer (external link), on Flickr

The sigma 2.8 is also a very nice lens, better build than the canon f4, but much heavier. IQ wise, not quite as good, but not very far behind at all, plus it goes to 2.8. AF wise, the f4 is slightly faster. I've played with one before, and I wouldn't mind getting one if it weren't for the weight.

The tamron is great in terms of IQ, as good as the canon at least from what I've seen, but if you're planning to shoot fast moving kids, it might not be the best choice due to slow AF.

The 70-300 VC USD is also a great choice, but a 70-200 is just better especially for the things you want to shoot :p

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rick_reno
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Jul 04, 2011 21:05 |  #10

they should all work for portraits.




  
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kf095
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Jul 04, 2011 22:01 as a reply to  @ rick_reno's post |  #11

Most of the portraits pictures I'm taking with my Rebel 500D are my or and our friends kids.
I do it with only two lenses. Tamron 28-75 2.8 for indoors and Canon 70-200 F4.

Tamron has amazing IQ and sharp at 2.8 for indoors.
70-200 F4 is perfect to track kids while outdoors. Fast and accurate AF of this lens is the ticket. Not to mention IQ.


Canon at 78 F4, no PP applied.

IMAGE: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-nSSb7KlIU40/TIm82RTxtTI/AAAAAAAAQMQ/TJ567ydBswE/s800/2010_08_08_3153.JPG


Tamron at 75 2.8

IMAGE: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7JW2ord7Pe4/TQg0gy_P1jI/AAAAAAAAQMQ/_QY7chyUrp4/IMG_6608.JPG

Tamron a7 28 and 2.8 (ISO 6400, no flash)

IMAGE: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-33Vq1QhkOMw/TTuXN4tE0uI/AAAAAAAAQt4/Q88P41LqX4A/IMG_9058.JPG

Tamron at 44 and F8

IMAGE: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-UMM-eZcE6tw/TZACiVEfhCI/AAAAAAAASmc/SMoKueygwg4/s800/IMG_1681.JPG

This is why fast AF is important.
F4.5 at 70

IMAGE: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Cf8vmj2iFPQ/TGlp__DCAnI/AAAAAAAAM9Y/n_aZtXsSXpw/s1152/DPP_0113.JPG

Then kids are running irratecaly at splash pad 70-200 F4 is the king.

163 at F4

IMAGE: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-9t38JyQvIN4/TebQVWbWCwI/AAAAAAAAUNg/dKqnfTpsuiE/IMG_4891.jpg

Both are sharp wide open. The only reason I'll step them down is to increase DOF.

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cheeseslice
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Jul 05, 2011 05:55 as a reply to  @ kf095's post |  #12

Thanks for all the replies.

Those pictures are quite impressive and I'm confusing myself even more now that I see them.

I think I have 3 options.

either the tamron 70-300 and the 28-75. (this gets me two decent lenses and replaces the kit lens)

cannon 70-200 f4 L which seems like an amazing lens but not the best for low light

sigma 70-200 2.8. which gives me a great lens for low light but I'm wondering would I get more use out of buying the two tamrons.

I know that it is impossible to say how well a lens is going to behave in low light conditions but do you think the 70-300 tamron would be too slow? I have the 430ex ii flash, I can't remember exactly but I think it will help up to 135mm.

My brain keeps thinking that the best deal is the two cheaper lenses but I know the canon and sigma will take better pictures.


Canon 40d, EF-S 17-85mm IS kit lens, 50mm f1.8

  
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ukcyberboy
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Jul 05, 2011 06:07 |  #13

I would go the Canon 70-200 F/4 route, can add a flash indoors if needed.
I did and I love it best £400 I ever spent. Heres one on here https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1062533
Still have cash for others too


Body | Canon 6D |
Lens | Yongnuo 50mm 1.8 |
Lens | Canon 28-70 2.8 L |
Lens | Canon 70-200is F4 L |
Lighting | Yongnuo YN600RX |
Accessories | Various Bits |​

  
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kfreels
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Jul 05, 2011 18:08 as a reply to  @ ukcyberboy's post |  #14

If you are on a budget, don't overlook the Canon 55-250 IS. Refurb can be had for $200 at Adorama and it is a very light and capable lens for the money. Check out the lens archive and look at some images using it. (Be careful to ignore the occasional shots with camera shake and poor focusing that some have posted for some reason)


I am serious....and don't call me Shirley.
Canon 7D and a bunch of other stuff

  
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Are these telephoto lenses any good for portraits?
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