Hi AllAfter many hours(days in fact ) reading up on DSLR's I think i'vefinally made up my mind to buy a canon D400 ..
Anyway my son is hoping to use the camera to take pictures ofmotorbike racing next year and I realise I will need a better/longerlens. question is will someone new to photography really be able totell the difference between a cheaper lens and a more expensive one ? .
Yes. Even if you don't yet have the knowledge and experience, you will feel the difference in use and see the difference in your results - both the quality and the number of 'keepers'..
You need a long-ish high quality lens to do that sort of work, and unfortunately there is no cheap solution. There are several 70/75-300 zooms on the market for under or around 200 but they all suffer from the same problems - soft images at 300 mm (and anywhere over 200/225mm), and not very fast focusing. Another problem is that they are all f/5.6 at 300 mm, which you will need to stop down to at least f/8 or even f/11 to get reasonable sharpness - meaning problems in typical British weather..
One lens which is a clear step up from that is Canon's 70-300 IS USM. Image quality is better than the cheaper lenses, USM focusing is relatively quick, and image stabilisation is very useful for the sort of work you want to do. There is a stabilisation mode which is specifically designed for panning - which will help with those blurred-background shots which can be so good for bikes. For prices check here: http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/prod60.html and buy soon to get your cashback. At under 300 after cashback there is nothing else to touch it for value..
(I've just noticed, by the way, that Canon's UK web site is showing the old 75-300 IS USM, which is not especially recommended, instead of the current model which is a 70-300. This must be a mistake on the web site.)..
As Steve points out, the Canon 70-300 mm IS USM is a step up from all the other lenses in this range for the Canon EOS mount. I have the older 75-300 mm IS lens, and while it was better than most consumer lenses in this range, it was no where near as good as the newer 70-300 mm. The IS is better, the lens is sharper at 300 mm, the lens hood actually fits, and the USM is better. With the older model I have to stop down to f/10 or more to get sharpish shots at 300 mm..
You will still need a lens in the 'normal' range too..
Thanks very much for the advice much appreciated .CheersRawly..
Check the website of Tamron, Sigma or Tokina lens brands. A general everyday zoom lens like the 28-200 mm will do but make sure not to exceed f 5.6 at the long range ie at 200. There are several lenses zoom up to 300 mm but they have an f of6.3 which makes the lense a little bit slow and you have to compensate by using a higher ISO (800-1600)Tamron offers 18-200 or 18-250 (f6.3 at the 250mm) they also have 24-135check there prices..
Shooting sports is where photography gets very expensive. You usually need fast glass both optically and regarding focus speed. That is expensive - and the sad news is it is not even enough. The photographer himself has to be quick too - very quick. Otherwise the immense amount of money spent on equipment is lost..
I sort of promised myself I would not pour big money into fast telephoto lenses until I was able to do the Reaction Time Test at http://www.topendsports.com/testing/reactiontest.htm at 0.2 second or less. Currently I am at 0.297 second so I have a long way to go.Food for thought.pbase Supporter..