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Old September 8th, 2011, 01:57 PM   #1
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Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

Hey,

Im looking to invest up to 1000 on a zoom lens for my Canon 550d/t2i

I shoot weddings, and am looking for a lens that will be usable during quite dark receptions, to capture close ups of the speeches/dancing etc. My main camera is a Z1, and come the winter, it becomes increasingly useless, so I really need a fast lens with a big zoom, so I can stop using the Z1 altogether.

Any advice would be very appreciated, thanks!

James
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Old September 8th, 2011, 02:34 PM   #2
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

I don't do weddings but my suggestions are:

1. Canon 17-55mm F2.8 EF-S IS is a good bet (about 650 and you'll need a 20-30 hood depending on if you go for a Canon one or a Chinese knock off). The IS on this lense is terrific, quiet and surprisingly effective for video use when doing hand held and images are L glass quality. Razor sharp for stills too. Autofocus is fast, pretty quiet and accurate - at least on my 7D it is. Its a bit plasticky in build, but if you baby it like I do mine you'll be fine and it will balance well on a slightly lighter camera like yours. It's my most used lens on my 7D but at times I wish it had a longer reach - so you will sometimes struggle to get close enough for some of the shots you mention.

2. So an alternative is the legendary Canon 24-70mm F2.8 EF L. This is tue L quality in optics and build, its fat and heavy but lacks any Image Stablisation. I guess when Canon eventually recover fully from the terrible events in Japan earlier in the year they might start thinking about a long overdue replacement which has IS. This will eat most if not all your budget. I don't have this lens but borrow it from a friend when I need it (which is not often).

I also have another suggestion for you if you want good close ups of people from a distance. I have the Canon 100mm Macro F2.8 IS EF lens (which behaves as a 160mm on a crop body Canon of course). The (Hybrid) IS is terrific and so are the images - beautiful - I sometimes use it in event/corporate work for great head and shoulder shots - but of course it's a prime, not a zoom. Its Macro capabilty has served me well too in my corporate/technical work. Worth thinking about if you can live with something not being a zoom.

I've not mentioned the 70-200s from Canon (I have/use a couple of them) as they are above your budget. The range is VERY useful for what (I think) you want and others on DVinfo will have some good suggestions for you regarding the cheaper Sigma, Tamron etc. zooms (I know nothing about these/have not used them).

Google will find you in-depth/critical reviews on all of these options I'm sure. Hope this helps and good luck!
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Old September 8th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #3
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

There is the seemingly forgotten Canon 70-200 f4 L which I have and love. It is under $700 without IS and around $1100 with.
Major benefit is the light weight and of course the price. The con is with low light you need to bump your iso. I've shot many times indoors without light and it's just fine...and still provides the bokeh at f4. Spend the money you save on a noise reduction plugin and you're all set for your budget.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #4
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

I was shying away from recommending the Canon 70-200mm F4s simply because James mentioned dark receptions ....but I think Robert's suggestions about upping the ISO/noise reduction software is a very good and valid viewpoint. Add that one to the list to consider as the range will be spot on for your needs I'm sure!

I have the Canon 70-200mm F4 EF (IS version) and it's a superb lens. It is typically around 900 in the UK (I was lucky and got mine for a lot less - brand new!) and is much more manageable than the big, heavy Canon 70-200mm F2.8 EFs for any lengthy hand holding work too!

Its the next "most on" lens on my 7D. Great glass!
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Old September 9th, 2011, 01:23 AM   #5
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

A word of warning regarding cheaper zoom lenses. When I bought my Canon 600D I went cheap & bought the Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 VC instead of the Canon 17-55mm F/2.8 IS as it was half the price of the Canon lens. I returned the Tamron the next day as it was so inferior to a decent Canon lens. The IS was really noisy, the AF was slow, the focus & zoom rings rotate the wrong way, you need to slide the switch from AF to MF when manually focusing or you fight the AF motor. There were probably other things that bugged me that I don't recall now but the Canon lens is just so much better that it is easily worth the money even if it did cost more than the camera.

The Canon 17-55mm F/2.8 IS is a really fab lens for any of the Canon APS-C DSLRs. It is very sharp, has fast AF plus very quiet & effective IS. Using it with the 600D the 3X HD crop mode effectively gives you an extra 50-175mm F/2.8 zoom lens for free after three button presses. This combination works really well for shooting weddings as it is very flexible & saves changing lenses. So my recommendation is to sell the 550D & put that money together with the 1000 you have budgeted & get a 600D plus Canon 17-55mm F/2.8 IS lens.
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Old September 11th, 2011, 07:35 AM   #6
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

James, it might help if you narrowed it down a little, because there are a lot of zoom lenses available for under 1k. I don't know what the pounds to AU$ coversion is (or what pricing differences there are between the UK & Aus) so the following suggestions may be a little over your budget in some cases. All the lenses I've suggested below are constant aperture f/2.8 zooms, which is what you'll need for those dark receptions.

In the wide range, the options are the Tamron 17-50 - a great, sharp lens with much better IQ than the newer VC version - the Sigma 17-50 OS which I don't know much about, or the Canon 17-55 IS which is outstanding and probably falls just within your budget.

If you want just a little more length, there is the Canon 24-70, or the Sigma version which is almost just as good for half the price, except for the build quality (which is still very good). There is also the Tamron 28-70 but this is not quite on the same level as the other two. Unfortunately none of these lenses are available with IS/OS/VC.

In the longer range, you have the optically excellent Tamron 70-200 (though no IS/VC), the not-quite-as-sharp Sigma 70-200, which is also available with OS, and the excellent Canon which is probably at the very upper limit of your budget (maybe a little over). The Canon is available with IS but this will blow your budget out. There is also the Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 if you can afford to lose a little at the long end.

So, take your pick! Wide, medium or long?
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Old September 14th, 2011, 05:52 AM   #7
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

Thanks very much for all the suggestions.

I actually already have the Tamron 17-50 (currently the only lens I have!). Its great most of the time, but I really need something for during the ceremony and speeches which gets closer to the action.

So I think what I'm going to do is go for the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS. The new version is way out of my budget so I'm going to try and get the Mark I version second hand instead. Hopefully will be possible for under 1k!

cheers
James
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Old September 14th, 2011, 08:35 AM   #8
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

I have and use the EF 24-70 f2.8 L USM lens. The lens is fantastic. The quality that you get is great even at wide open.

The 70-200 f2.8 L IS II USM exceeds your budget. Else, it is a great lens with new generation optics and IS. It is very sharp as well.

You will not find any "focus breathing" problem with these two lenses.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 08:32 PM   #9
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

As a next lens to add into your arsenal -- you could go the other way and get the Canon 50mm f/1.4 prime or the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. Great for dark shots.
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 03:59 PM   #10
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

Delighted with my Sigma 70-200 2.8 with IS, which complements my 17-55 2.8 Canon very well.

I regularly use the Sigma alongside a colleague's Canon 70-200 2.8 IS and we both feel it only loses out on weather-proofing.

I recommend you don't use that kind of lens length without IS for video.

Ben.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 02:42 AM   #11
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
A word of warning regarding cheaper zoom lenses. When I bought my Canon 600D I went cheap & bought the Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 VC instead of the Canon 17-55mm F/2.8 IS as it was half the price of the Canon lens. I returned the Tamron the next day as it was so inferior to a decent Canon lens. The IS was really noisy, the AF was slow, the focus & zoom rings rotate the wrong way, you need to slide the switch from AF to MF when manually focusing or you fight the AF motor. There were probably other things that bugged me that I don't recall now but the Canon lens is just so much better that it is easily worth the money even if it did cost more than the camera.

The Canon 17-55mm F/2.8 IS is a really fab lens for any of the Canon APS-C DSLRs. It is very sharp, has fast AF plus very quiet & effective IS. Using it with the 600D the 3X HD crop mode effectively gives you an extra 50-175mm F/2.8 zoom lens for free after three button presses. This combination works really well for shooting weddings as it is very flexible & saves changing lenses. So my recommendation is to sell the 550D & put that money together with the 1000 you have budgeted & get a 600D plus Canon 17-55mm F/2.8 IS lens.
I love the Tamron 17-50 VC few minor issues but a saving off 300+ enabled me to buy grip, memory cards, barreries, light and so far the shots have video has been amazing.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 08:22 AM   #12
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

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Originally Posted by Tariq Peter View Post
I love the Tamron 17-50 VC few minor issues but a saving off 300+ enabled me to buy grip, memory cards, barreries, light and so far the shots have video has been amazing.
had no complaints about the quality of the video with this lens but I have a load of lovely Canon 'L' lenses & in comparison the Tamron was horrible to use. You are lucky enough not to know any better:-)
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Old October 4th, 2011, 12:33 PM   #13
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

I second the Canon 70-200 F4, you can get one for less than $1K at craigslist. Bought mine for $ 600.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 12:02 AM   #14
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

I would get a 24-70mm 2.8L and a decent monopod. IS problem solved and you have IMHO, the best all around lens canon makes(the 70-200mm 2.8L is my absolute favorite lens, but it' a bit overkill for every day stuff. Also, the MOD on it is kinda far for a lot of things.)
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Old October 6th, 2011, 01:19 AM   #15
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Re: Which zoom lens to get with a budget of 1k?

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Originally Posted by David Aronson View Post
I would get a 24-70mm 2.8L and a decent monopod. IS problem solved and you have IMHO, the best all around lens canon makes(the 70-200mm 2.8L is my absolute favorite lens, but it' a bit overkill for every day stuff. Also, the MOD on it is kinda far for a lot of things.)
I second the monopod but the Canon EF-S 17-55 F/2.8 IS is a better choice for an APS-C sensor camera like the Canon 550D/T2i quoted by the OP.
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