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28-300 Zoom


I am considering upgrading my current lens which is an 18 to 200 zoom to a 28-300 zoom...  BUT would like some opinions on how much of an impact the camera itself has on the lens...  I have a Canon 70D.  The question is wil I get enough impact from the new lens or should I upgrade the camera and the lens...   I don't know what a better camera would add versus just the lens...  $2500 is a lot to invest if the 70 D is not effective...  I am not a professional photographer, but I take lots of pictures.   I have been getting some fuzzyness or "noise" in some photos.. I am looking for a lens which will a lot of clarity to my photos...  and ONE that I can use for mot all purposes.


Thanks for your insigts... 



“I am considering upgrading my current lens which is an 18 to 200 zoom to a 28-300 zoom... “


Is the 28-300mm that you cite the Canon “L” lens?  If so, save your money.  I do not think that is a good investment.  It covers pretty much the same zoom range, and does so at nearly the same aperture range as your existing lens.  If you want better performance, then I would suggest moving away from the all-in-one lens with very wide zoom ratios.  


Go for a wide aperture lens.  High end Canon bodies can focus better with lenses that are f/2.8, or faster.  The difference can be pretty dramatic in some cases.  


Invest in a constant aperture f/2.8 lens with a much smaller zoom ratio., like the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.  The 16-35mm f/2.8 II and the 24-70mm f/2.8 II would be good compliments to the 70-200mm f/2.8.


Would I be correct to assume that you are looking for a high quality, “walk around” lens, but can do the occasional bird shot?

"The right mouse button is your friend."


"I have a Canon 70D."


This is OK but your lens choices are not! IMHO, of course!  All in one zooms will never approach the IQ of more specific zooms or primes.  You give to get in photography.  You want a huge zoom range, you give up quality.


If I were you I would pick two or even three lenses that did the job you want.  Each one designed for its zoom range. If you are wanting to stick with ef-s lenses these are the first two I would buy.

1. EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens

2. EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens

3. EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens, not an ef-s lens but an extremely sharp lens and a great addition for 300mm.


If you are wanting to go with the much better ef lens line than I would go for these.

1. EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens

2. EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

3. EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Now for sure you are not going to get these top of the line, best in the world, lenses for $2500 but you don't  have to buy them all at the same time. These are as good as it gets.  There are no better lenses you can get. Start with the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens.


Generally it is best to upgrade lenses in favor of camera. Lenses are where its at.  However, at some point you are gong to want to retire the older 70D.  Check out the 80D if you like your 70D.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

This is great info...  but, disappointing.  I take photos at a lot of events... some close up, some at a distance...  This tells me that my "one lens approach" is the porblem..  well that is an issue, becase most everything I shoot is impromptu ..  no poses...   Mostly people.   I often see the same people at these events and give them theiir framed photos..  my approach has been to take 10 or so shots of each person and hope to get one good photo.. which works most of the time.. but sometimes the content is good, but the photo lacks the quality..  I just can't afford to take multiple lenses or cameras...  don't have the time to change lenses  or to carry the cameras... 


So, I guess I will save my money and stay with what I have. 


Thanks for the info.

" I just can't afford to take multiple lenses or cameras... "


Ok you need to work with what gets the job done.  Get the  EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM Lens.  It is the best, by far, of the super zooms. I have used one an dI did like it very much.  Amazing zoom range but it is heavy.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

People who bad mouth the 28-300 or older 35-350 seldom speak from the experience gained by owning one. Both are best in class & I own both, and rely on them heavily. The 28-300 however is rather heavy & that can be an issue but after several years of using either of these lenses I have a hard time knowing whether many of my photos were shot with the superzoom or my now sold 100-400 L IS (version 1). The IQ is just too close to call between the 3 lenses. I've taken the time to add some samples & put the shot info on them but unfortunately they won't show all that large here so I'll add a link to one of the forums that has larger images to view.




And from the non IS 35-350 L which was obsoleted by the introduction of the 28-300 L IS.




And this is the link to an owners / users group which features sample photos including some of mine starting on this page  (message 1620 & a few pages later). I had other samples there earlier but the albums were removed (by me)  from the hosting site so no longer exist


"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

You will get a lot of advice, all of it sincerely and well meant about what lens is best to use.  However you must consider that advice against your own requirements, which I think boil down to some very specific questions:


How much do you want to invest? 

Whatever your  budget is, stick to it.


What is your level of interest ?  E.g. casual, student, enthusiast, semi-pro, professional. 

The more to the right you select the higher your investment and commitment.


What types of photography do you engage in?  Another way to say this is what types of INPUT will you engage with?

Your answer indicates a general interest, so will a single focal length range suit your needs?


What kind of OUTPUT do you intend?...  by which I mean  what do you want to produce? This is a critical question as it identifies the investment you need to make to produce that quality.  Are you looking at prints for competition, for large format prints, smaller prints (say A3 and below), to produce images for digital display or to put on web pages?   This is a very broad range and the demands vary accordingly.


What are you prepared to Carry?

The best camera is the one you have with  you.  The 28-300  is a bit of a howitzer!   If you are prepared to deal with the weight it's an amazing piece of kit.  I don't mind carrying the camera and body for a decent length of time, but I do so using a holster with a good wide support strap for my own comfort.  I also use it with a battery grip, both for the extra capacity and the balance it gives to the camera, but that's just me.


I have a lot of lenses, many of them L-series of different ranges, among which is the  28-300mm lens and I have found it extremely useful when I don't want to carry multiple lenses or change lenses in the field - something I am loath to do.


I would recommend looking at for reviews of this lens and also sites like and the Digital Image.  By and large the reviews are very favourable, but if you can do so I also recommend renting one for a short period of time to see if it will work for you. It's a big investment and worth the research.


I have used the lens on a wide range of crop and full-frame bodies and have found it works well on all.  The 70D is a great camera still.   I apologise if you know this but the Angle of View will alter depending on whether you have a crop sensor or a full-frame one.  The numbers on the lens for focal length are correct for the lens, and PHYSICALLY it will not alter, however the Angle of View (i.e. what the lense "sees") will vary depending on the body it is used on.  So on a FF body what the lens will see will be the 28-300 as written on the lens, but on a crop body like the 70D, the Angle of View is altered by the factor of the crop.  This perception is known as Equivalence, thus the 28-300 will seem to behave like a  45-480mm lens.

(to explain Equivalence further I recommend the DP review article: 

or the excellent Youtube video ).


To demonstrate how it can work on the humblest of bodies, here is an image (reduced in resolution for this site) taken hand-held with the 28-300 on the venerable Canon EOS 400D (a 12 YO camera) - I often take my old gear with me for a casual shoot.  Personally I am happy with the results, especially since I was not aiming for professional perfection, but I did want to capture a moment when the shadows fell in a specific way to separate the statue from its background.


Canada BC Victoria Beacon Hill Park Mile 0.jpg

Details: 97mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO 800

cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Pretty much agree with Tronhards assessment & totally agree that it's best to rent before dumping that much cash on one. It's a great one lens solution & fits my needs perfectly but I rarely use it as my all day walk about lens. I had taken it on a couple of vacations but decided to take my 35-350 on the last trip to save some weight. 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
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