Bargain tele-zooms for Canon?

Gromit

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Richard
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Morning fellow Wam-tographers. :)

I'm after a tele-zoom for my 40D so have spent a bit of time trying out a few different lenses these last few days. What I'm basically after is something which isn't too long ie I need a lens with a range of approx 50-300 or FL's within that.

I've tried...

Canon 70-200 F4L (non-IS)

Canon 55-250 F4/5.6 IS

Sigma 50-150 EX II HSM GTiRRR Turbo XL Ghia (I'm no good with model numbers - basically the non-anti-DT's version)

Now, the L-Series is a lovely bit of kit - that is undeniable. However having had a play with the 55-250 yesterday you know what? I'm really impressed by it. It's light (ok it's made of plastic and not exactly chunky) but the IS system is brilliant. I would go for a 70-200L IS but it's way beyond my price range. The 55-250 doesn't quite have the depth of its L-Brother but for under 200 quid - new - it performs really nicely. Only real downside is that it's EF-S so would be no good if I went full-frame (however unlikely). The 17-40L still gets the bulk of my use so the tele-zoom would be an oocasional lens.

The Sigma above wasn't any great shakes to be honest - I did some crops of the photos I took yesterday and the 55-250 was loads better.

Another lens which, reading around the www (especially SLR Gear reviews) seems to come up really well - better than it has any right to - is the Canon 70-300 USM IS. In fact there is more than one reviewer who's stated wondering if Canon dropped a bollock with it and actually should've put it in an 'L' lens body, so good does it perform. Not tried it yet though.

The downside of the 70-starters is that they're a tad long for my needs although it's not a deal-breaker.

Anyone know of any other great lenses (which may have slipped under the radar) at up to £400 or so? Or you may even own one of the above (not the 70-200 as I've had a good play with one and know how good it is). The IS thing is extremely appealing I should add.

Thanks. :)

 

macvisual

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Peter
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Richard;

Are you after new or second hand regards tele-zoom..? For a cropped sensor..?

 

Gromit

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Richard;Are you after new or second hand regards tele-zoom..? For a cropped sensor..?
Hi Peter - I'm really not too fussy regarding new or used to be honest, as long as it's in a really nice condition. LCE have a couple of used 70-300 IS lenses in stock but they're only 50 quid or so cheaper than new, once the cashback is taken into account. Nice thing about the 70-300 is that it's an EF mount so will work on both a crop and FF should I eventually go that way. The 55-250 is EF-S.

 

tkimages

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When I moved over to Canon from Nikon I bought a cheap Canon 75-300 USM lens, and couldn't believe how good it was for around £200. I was really gobsmacked when I bought a 100-400L lens (£1K+) only to discover that it wasn't night and day better than the cheapo lens! Sold the 75-300 to help finance the 100-400, which I then sold 'cos it was not as good as expected.

Apparently, the later versions of that cheap lens are still quite good and they've introduced an IS version as well. Reviews http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-canon-ef-75-300mm-f4-5-6-iii-lens/p12850

 

Gromit

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When I moved over to Canon from Nikon I bought a cheap Canon 75-300 USM lens, and couldn't believe how good it was for around £200. I was really gobsmacked when I bought a 100-400L lens (£1K+) only to discover that it wasn't night and day better than the cheapo lens! Sold the 75-300 to help finance the 100-400, which I then sold 'cos it was not as good as expected.Apparently, the later versions of that cheap lens are still quite good and they've introduced an IS version as well. Reviews http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-canon-ef-75-300mm-f4-5-6-iii-lens/p12850
Thanks for the link - looks interesting (especially at that price!). :)

One I've got my eye on is this one which gets extremely good write-ups. Bit more expensive than the 75-300 but it's still only £350 or so.

 
G

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From experience, you need to have a long hard think entitled "one of these days.... will I go FF?"

If there's a chance you will, then plan ahead & buy accordingly.

 

macvisual

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"From experience, you need to have a long hard think entitled "one of these days.... will I go FF?"

If there's a chance you will, then plan ahead & buy accordingly".

Well said that man.....!!

 

Gromit

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From experience, you need to have a long hard think entitled "one of these days.... will I go FF?"If there's a chance you will, then plan ahead & buy accordingly.
Absolutely - which is why the 70-300 could be the best choice (over the 55-250) as it's an EF lens. If it wasn't for the lack of IS, I'd have the EF 70-200L but seeing what IS can do when trying the 55-250 yesterday, I'm a convert. Makes a longer focal length so much more useable. :)

Price-wise, good used 70-200L's for for about the same as a brand new EF 70-300 USM.

 

Gromit

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Looks like Tamron have a very highly regarded competitor to the Canon 70-300 - think this might be what I end up with. It fits both crop and FF Canons and has internal focusing too meaning I can use a polarising filter. Under 300 quid. :)

 
G

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http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1339/cat/23

Tamron AF 70-300mm ƒ/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 ~$160

The first point of comparison is between the old and new. Apart from a bit of a price hike, the old lens matches the new for sharpness, and in some cases, betters it. However the new lens offers improved CA tolerance, and less corner shading, as well as the obvious benefits of USD focusing and Vibration Control.

Canon EF 70-300mm ƒ/4-5.6 IS USM ~$600

It doesn't seem fair to match the new Tamron against Canon's latest L-glass, so we'll match it against this perennial favorite. This is a lens where Canon got it right - it meets and exceeds the sharpness performance of the Tamron, shows less CA, and less corner shading as well. Distortion is a bit more noticeable on the Canon; both lenses feature USM style focusing and image stabilization.

 

Gromit

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Have a look at http://www.mpbphotographic.co.uk/used-equipment/used-lenses/used-canon-fit-lenses/?viewall=1

They have a good selection of used canon fit lenses (including the 70-200 f4L at £399). Have a good reputation and give a 3 month warranty. Might be something that catches your eye.
Thanks for the link - never seen that place before, looks to have a great selection of stuff.

Steve - seems the Canon/Tamron comparisons vary very slightly according to testers (and probably sample differences). They're certainly very close, with Photozone giving the Tamron a slight edge according to their figures. LCE have a used 70-300 in stock so will do another trip to Lincoln this afternoon, hopefully they'll have a Tamron to compare. I'll be coming home with whichever one feels the best.

The Tamron appeals mainly for its full-time manual focusing and the fact that it focuses internally. FWIW I think it looks a bit nicer too, but the Canon would be easier to sell on should I ever decide to do so. :)

From Photozone...

'The build quality is very high for a lens in this price class although it stays somewhat short of truly professional grade lenses. A real progress is Tamron's new USD ("Ultrasonic Silent Drive") - compared to the previous AF micro-motor generations it is both fast and near-silent and it supports FTM (Full-time manual override). Tamron's image stabilizer - it's called VC ("Vibration Control") - works fine although we won't really sign the claimed 4 f-stop efficiency. Either we had too much coffee during the field trip or it's actually closer to 2.5 f-stops.

The most interesting question is, of course, how it compares to the genuine Canon lenses in this range. The Tamron manages to stay a little ahead of the consumer-grade Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS but it doesn't totally reach the professional-grade Canon L variant (especially in terms of bokeh quality). Even so it represents an excellent value offer in the APS-C market'

 

rabski

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http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1339/cat/23Tamron AF 70-300mm ƒ/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 ~$160

The first point of comparison is between the old and new. Apart from a bit of a price hike, the old lens matches the new for sharpness, and in some cases, betters it. However the new lens offers improved CA tolerance, and less corner shading, as well as the obvious benefits of USD focusing and Vibration Control.

Canon EF 70-300mm ƒ/4-5.6 IS USM ~$600

It doesn't seem fair to match the new Tamron against Canon's latest L-glass, so we'll match it against this perennial favorite. This is a lens where Canon got it right - it meets and exceeds the sharpness performance of the Tamron, shows less CA, and less corner shading as well. Distortion is a bit more noticeable on the Canon; both lenses feature USM style focusing and image stabilization.
Some nice glass on there. The only thing to watch out for is the crop-sensor/full frame issue. They describe all the Sigma etc. as 'EF fit', which is perfectly true. However, they aren't all suitable for full frame. Most are for crop sensor only.

 
G

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Thanks for the link - never seen that place before, looks to have a great selection of stuff.Steve - seems the Canon/Tamron comparisons vary very slightly according to testers (and probably sample differences). They're certainly very close, with Photozone giving the Tamron a slight edge according to their figures. LCE have a used 70-300 in stock so will do another trip to Lincoln this afternoon, hopefully they'll have a Tamron to compare. I'll be coming home with whichever one feels the best.

The Tamron appeals mainly for its full-time manual focusing and the fact that it focuses internally. FWIW I think it looks a bit nicer too, but the Canon would be easier to sell on should I ever decide to do so. :)

From Photozone...

'The build quality is very high for a lens in this price class although it stays somewhat short of truly professional grade lenses. A real progress is Tamron's new USD ("Ultrasonic Silent Drive") - compared to the previous AF micro-motor generations it is both fast and near-silent and it supports FTM (Full-time manual override). Tamron's image stabilizer - it's called VC ("Vibration Control") - works fine although we won't really sign the claimed 4 f-stop efficiency. Either we had too much coffee during the field trip or it's actually closer to 2.5 f-stops.

The most interesting question is, of course, how it compares to the genuine Canon lenses in this range. The Tamron manages to stay a little ahead of the consumer-grade Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS but it doesn't totally reach the professional-grade Canon L variant (especially in terms of bokeh quality). Even so it represents an excellent value offer in the APS-C market'
Cant beat the old school method of buying stuff.

Have fun trying them out, then fire off some shots of Lincoln.

There's a 2nd hand record shop in town, which you must visit.

This being a hifi forum and that.

 

Gromit

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Cant beat the old school method of buying stuff.Have fun trying them out, then fire off some shots of Lincoln.

There's a 2nd hand record shop in town, which you must visit.

This being a hifi forum and that.
Ooh - will check that record shop out Steve. :)

LCE Silver St have the used Canon 70-300 but don't stock the Tamron VC, sadly.

LCE High St have a new Canon 70-300 and do stock the Tamron VC.

Quick chat with the guy in the High St shop over the phone, his opinion is pretty much 'buy the one you like the feel of, there's not much to split them'. The Tamron is 60 quid cheaper (after Canon's £20 cashback on the 70-300) but the same price as the used Canon lens. Must admit, for something I'm likely to keep for some years, I'm tempted to get the Canon lens new.

 
G

Guest

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Ooh - will check that record shop out Steve. :) LCE Silver St have the used Canon 70-300 but don't stock the Tamron VC, sadly.

LCE High St have a new Canon 70-300 and do stock the Tamron VC.

Quick chat with the guy in the High St shop over the phone, his opinion is pretty much 'buy the one you like the feel of, there's not much to split them'. The Tamron is 60 quid cheaper (after Canon's £20 cashback on the 70-300) but the same price as the used Canon lens. Must admit, for something I'm likely to keep for some years, I'm tempted to get the Canon lens new.
My money's on you coming home with the Canon.

And a bag of records.

 

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