I'm new to these fourms, though not to the website. I'm sure that this kind of question is quite often overasked, but I could use your opinions.
First, background. I am not professional by any means, I am a still fairly new photographer who got started by shooting highschool sports events for a highschool student newspaper. I hope to contenue to do so for college in the next 4 years. Please do not look down on me because of this. While I know that by saying I am a student who worked for a student newspaper I open myself up for certain criticism, everyone has to start somewhere. (Rant finished)
Anyway, I shoot a little of everything. I love shooting wildlife(as much as the small game I live by can be called that), I shoot landscapes, I would like to keep shooting sports in college for the college publication, those around me are a constant source of photo-fodder, basically I am one of those "i take my camera everywhere" sort of guys.
After a considerable amount of time saving/working I am ready to buy a new lens. This is quite nice because I have been on a tight budget. I have a Canon 300D Rebel w/kit lens and a 70-300 f/4-5.6 zoom. Originally, I had my heart dead set on the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS lens. I still think this would be an excellent investment for me. I am often lacking in low light capability, and the f/2.8 would be very helpful. However I recently got to play with the Canon 100-400 f/4-5.6 IS. I now wonder if this would be a better buy if for no other reason than the focal length, which would be a boon for wildlife.
Basically, it comes down to this: should I value length or aperature? And, which lens would be the most usefull in the future (sports/wildlife/landscape)
Yes, this is a rather mundane and materialistic question, but I would like to hear the advice of this fourm. Thanks!
My suggestion would be to use what you have, and work out from experience what you miss the most. If you're always at the 300mm end of the 75-300mm zoom, then perhaps you want a longer lens next. Or if you are always using higher ISO settings to get faster shutter speeds, then perhaps faster lenses are what you want. Or if you are always at 18mm with the kit lens wishing it was wider, add something like the 10-22mm zoom to your shopping list.
You might like to pick up one fast prime to get some experience with a fast lens. The 50mm f/1.8 is very inexpensive, although effectively an 80mm lens on a 300D, which you may or may not find terribly useful.
I'd also recommend that you read Bob Atikins' discussion of lenses for the 300D, 20D et al:http://bobatkins.com/photography/digital/10d300dlenses.html