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Researching lenses (low light & telephoto)

Rojoloco
I'm in the market to get a new lens or two for my Canon Rebel XS. I only have the basis 18-55 lens it came with. I've been looking at telephoto lenses as well as low light but there is so much to read about that I just get confused. I would love to have the ability to shoot things that are far away. However, there are also times when I wish I could get better indoor or night time shots (such as a museum or night time scenery).

My main interests would be distance landscapes, indoor museums, car shows, dusk shots, and sporting events. My current lens was useless at a recent hockey game as I couldn't zoom far enough and it was entirely too dark. Not to mention, the quality sucked due to the high ISO required just to see anything.

I am budget minded. I can't really spend over $600. While I would like to find both lenses in my price range, if only getting one would net me more satisfying results (instead of compromising on both), I could do that. Just looking for some solid advice from those who have been there and done that.
Canon EOS 70D
Posted: 12/26/2013, 22:31:18 PM
Treb999
For 600 you could get a used 70-200f4, and for another hundred a nifty-fifty. Both will get you a lot better images than the kit lens. Good luck! Check KEH out, they have a lot of used lenses.
50mm macro, Tamron SP 17-50mm f2.8 Xr DiII, Tamron SP 70-300 f4-5.6 D...
Posted: 12/27/2013, 05:39:39 AM
Rojoloco
Awesome! Never heard of that site. The grading scale appears to be cosmetic only. Do you know if all the lenses are 100% guaranteed to not be broken in any way? Also, I'm assuming the 70-200 will need a tripod since there isn't any IS on that model correct? Is it possible to shoot zoomed in while handheld?
Canon EOS 70D
Posted: 12/27/2013, 07:51:54 AM
Treb999
Well, I wrote a long answer and DT wouldn't load it, so here's a short answer. The grading is pretty accurate, I buy bargain lenses because all I want is a sharp image, I don't care if the barrel has marks on it. There's a six month warranty. I handhold the lens for the most part, the 70-200, or a monopod. No Is. I've used KEH for years, and I don't think I've ever had to return a lens for any reason. Hope that helps!
50mm macro, Tamron SP 17-50mm f2.8 Xr DiII, Tamron SP 70-300 f4-5.6 D...
Posted: 12/28/2013, 10:28:04 AM
Rojoloco
That helps a lot. I've been browsing and I think I'll be making a purchase within the next few days.
Canon EOS 70D
Posted: 12/28/2013, 13:36:56 PM
Rojoloco
So, I've been researching a bit more and I'm torn between the Canon 70-200 f/4 and the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8. While I love the idea of being able to drop down to 2.8, I also love the idea of having an "L" series lens. The Sigma is only $100 more than the Canon if I price them both used. Any input?
Canon EOS 70D
Posted: 12/30/2013, 21:00:15 PM
Pulsar124
Many Sigma lenses tend to be softer in the corners than Canon equivalents. As there were a few different Sigma 70-200mm lens models, you have to do your research for the specific model you are buying (and specifically on a crop camera - it makes a lot of difference). This lens, e,g, seems to work pretty well on a crop camera: http://www.photozone.de/reviews/324-sigma-af-70-200mm-f28-ex-apo-hsm-dg-lab-test-report--review

If you find an f2.8 lens with good reviews, and don't mind the extra weight and cost, go for it: the quality of indoor action shots will be much better than with a f4 Canon zoom, especially on a crop camera.
10-20mm f4-5.6, home photo studio...
Posted: 02/10/2014, 10:35:12 AM
Bradcalkins
One option is something like the Canon 100mm f/2 or a cheap manual focus lens like a Bower 85mm f/1.4. I use a 75mm f/1.8 for kids sports and crop. But only good if you don't need large MP images...
ZD 50mm Macro f/2...
Posted: 02/10/2014, 11:08:25 AM