Elvis Emu by kclarkphotography
Well, a number of poe team members have been kind enough to respond to my inquiries about their favorite lenses, and between their comments and my own experimentation, I've made a decision about which lens to buy - once I save the money. Here are some of their comments.
Susie of artocard used a 55-250mm zoom lens to capture "Heart" (see From the Collaboratory September 25th). Chuck Nolder of NolderPhotography's "Leopard Cub," also posted on the 25th, was shot with a Canon 100-400mm f/4-5.6 L IS lens. "Gotta love the IS," he says, and I agree. Image Stabilizers are da bomb.
On the other hand, one common thread I've seen in reviews of telephoto zooms lenses regardless of the brand, is that most of them lose sharpness of focus at their maximum focal length. Heide of Heidesphotos, who shot "Sea Otter at State Beach," uses a Nikkor 80-400mm, but has that complaint about her lens.
The same is true for Steve Raley of PhotoGrunt, who says: Well, my "everyday" lens for my 40D is the EF 28-135mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS. The only other lens I have is the EF 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 IS. I like both lenses, and about the only bad thing I have to say about either one of them is that the 70-300mm can be a little soft focused at the top end. Having said that, it does take some tack-sharp shots in between.
Coupling by PhotoGrunt
So, after reading, and hearing from you, and renting a couple different lenses myself, there's no doubt: for me, the best combination is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L II IS USM with a 2x extender. Though I've heard the extenders compromise image quality, I found their effect to be minimal. That combination is much faster and at least as crisp as the Canon 100 - 400mm, also of the L series, with the added benefit of more blur where and when you need it. Here are a couple of examples:
Nocturnal by meganlee
Nakedeye17 (Su) thinks of photography as a wake-up call: "Hey, everybody! Are you seeing this?" She loves to capture humor, too, and anything wondrous strange. Find Nakedeye17's shop here.