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Telephoto lens


I need help in choosing a good telephoto lens, I own a rebel T3i 600 D. The kit that I bought from wolf camera came with a zoom lens EF 75-300 1:4-5.6, this lens was OK at first but I have decide to move up a step or two. I have been into photography for about 15 months, and I love to take pictures of wildlife, landscapes,  anything that has to do with God's creation. I have been saving my nickel's and dimes and after doing some research I found out that either a good telephoto zoom lens or a telephoto lens was not going to be cheap. I have been checking out lens, prices, and reading countless of reviews and I am still confused on which lens I should get. I want a lens that will help me to become a better photographer. I am not sure if I need the EF 400mm F/5.6 L USM,  EF 100-400 F/4.5-5.6L IS USM zoom, EF 28-300 F/3.5-6L IS USM or the EF 300 F/4 IS USM, or what lens would be best for me. Do I need a fixed lens or a zoom lens, which one Is OK for my T3i 600, and which one will give the best quality pictures. I am not knowledgeable enough to make this decision without  some help from The experts. I have read over reviews on fixed lenses and zoom lenses all had great comments, do I need to zoom or stay fixed I would appreciate any help.



Go to the LENS section where there are already 2 or 3 threads on the 100-400 vs 400 prime. Having owned 3 of the lenses you've listed I recommend the 100-400 because of it's great images & versatility. It's got a learning curve as do both the zooms you've listed due to size & weight, but it's an excellent choice. Just remember that the 400 mm end on a crop camera is like 640 mm's so ANY camera shake results in softness so IS is a very desirable feature.

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


What is it about the EF 75-300 that isn't satisfying?  The answer to that question is a good place to start.


Each of those four lenses have their own strengths and for each lens, there's a group of people that swear by them.  It's hard to know which group you belong in.  You could rent all four and see which one works best for you.


Or you could post a couple of photos that you took with the 75-300 but didn't quite fulfill your vision and why.  That should help you (and us) choose the best lens of the four.


Hi Eddie.


All the lenses you mention are pretty good.  I assume you feel that the ones you listed are all within your budget, but what is your budget?


Here is a good resource for lenses: 


It is The Digital Picture's lens comparison tool.  You can select two lenses (basically all the Canon lenses, plus many 3rd party lenses, and even Nikon lenses) and you can see images shot with each, side by side, and at different apertures, and at different focal lelngths (if they are zooms).  You can even see images shot with them with teleconverters fitted if compatible; just select a focal length higher than the lens goes.


Remember that if you get a lens that can use a teleconverter, you can pick up a 1.4x teleconverter which will give you additional length, and flexibility too.  Basically, the lens needs to have a maximum aperture of f/4 or wider, but check each lens carefully to be sure it takes a TC if you think you would want one.  I have the 1.4x mk.3, and I don't see much image degradation from it.  I hear the 2x TC does impact IQ to an extent that a lot of people find unaccceptable, b/t/w.


The 28 - 300 is a lot of money for a lens that gets tepid reviews on image quality.  If I spent that much and it was not super-sharp I would be pretty upset. 


For that money, I would feel like I had spent my money better if I got a 70-200 f2.8L II IS plus the 1.4x teleconverter. 


If that is not long enough for you, and if you can work with a fixed length, I believe your next best option for IQ would be the 300 f/4 plus 1.4x TC. 


If you really want a zoom, then the 100 to 400 is a solid option, though it can't take a Canon teleconverter.  As  you can read, it has its supporters and its detractors.


Good luck!




Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

@ScottyP wrote:

...If you really want a zoom, then the 100 to 400 is a solid option, though it can't take a Canon teleconverter.  As  you can read, it has its supporters and its detractors....





Although you will lose autofocus, the 100-400 is compatible with both Canon converters.


For general wildlife and landscapes, the EF 100-400mm would be my choice.







I'm not recommending either of the lenses that end at 300 mm because they really don't offer much over the 70-300 already owned but as an owner of both the discontinued 35-350 L & the 28-300 L IS let me say many of the complaints re IQ from them are more often due to poor technique. I doubt I would be able to tell shots taken with either of those from my 100-400 L IS in most cases. Technique has far more to do with hand held results than lab testing when the lens is firmly nailed down & using ideal lighting.

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