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Zoom Lens Above the usual

Skippy2525
Contributor

I'm a casual/weekend photographer and have a Canon T3 Rebel camera.  I currently own the following lenses: 

 

1)  Canon EF 80-200  1:4.5-5.6 II

2)  Canon EF 75-300  1:4-5.6 III

3)  Canon EFS 18-55  1:3.5-5.6 IS II

4)  Canon EF 35-80  1:4-5.6 III

 

I enjoy taking landscape and nature photos, however I've found that even my EF 75-300 lens can't get me close enough to some of the birds and animals I've tried to photograph.  At one point, I used a 2x teleconverter, but my photos didn't seem very crisp. 

 

So, I'm looking to purchase a longer lens and am willing to pay a little more for a quality lens that will get me in closer. 

 

Should I go with a fixed focal length lens?  Or, a variable with a longer focal point? 

 

Any suggestions as to which lens/lenses I shoud consider?

 

Thanks for any help you can give me!

 

18 REPLIES 18

"But I don't think any of those lenses raise a comparable issue."

 

I agree but who knows?  The comparison of the Strad to these lenses is somewhat missing, though.  They never made a better violin than the old Strads but they do make light years better lenses than the ones the OP has.

 

" I'm not ready to part with them yet for sentimental reasons."  If this is true the OP needs to save a bit longer. And these lenses need to be put in a special place and kept as they are.

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

A little story as why I said what I did.  My dad bought two Nikon F cameras while he was in Japan.  He left one on the top of his Toyota and drove off with it there.  No need to go further with that story!  The other he left to me.  I used it for whatever reason, it made me feel close or something, who knows?  Anyway it got stolen a while ago, matter of fact quite a while ago. I still wish I had not used that camera.

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


@RobertTheFat wrote:

@Tronhard wrote:

@ebiggs1 wrote:

1)  Canon EF 80-200  1:4.5-5.6 II...................................sell

2)  Canon EF 75-300  1:4-5.6 III.....................................sell

3)  Canon EFS 18-55  1:3.5-5.6 IS II...............................keep for now

4)  Canon EF 35-80  1:4-5.6 III........................................sell

 

You have $800 go buy the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon EF.  You won't get much for your old lenses but it will help a little bit.  Until Canon finally sees the need for a lens like the big Tammy, it is the one to buy.  All the other suggestions above will work, it is just that the big Tammy will work as well and do it much easier.

 

When you recover form buying the Tamron sell the EFS 18-55  1:3.5-5.6 IS II to help fund the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.  These two are all you are likely to need for a log, long time.


I'm not sure if you saw this but the OP said: "I inherited all but one of the lenses from my father who was a weekend-type photographer, but who liked to try different things.  I understand that some of them are not very high quality but I'm not ready to part with them yet for sentimental reasons."

 

I think it is best to respect this personal preference and accept they will not be sold.


If I had been the OP's father, and had been asked, I would have urged him/her not to be sentimental about the lenses. The thing to be sentimental about is the pictures that he took, not the tools he used to produce them.

 

Now if the old man had been a violinist instead of a photographer, and the discussion centered around his Stradivarius violin, my opinion might be different. But I don't think any of those lenses raise a comparable issue.


I hate to point out the obvious but you weren't the OP's father and you weren't asked.  We don't have any idea of the relationship between these people or the sentimental significance of what is economically low value gear.  If he is not ready to sell, perhaps just respect and accept that.

 

On a purely technical basis I agree with much of what you suggest, and I think the Sigma is a great option if the OP needs that much reach.  I think he has recieved a fairly good range of options for how to proceed, I hope he will let us know what his decision is.


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"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
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

PLEASE DO NOT refer to my father as "THE OLD MAN"! 

 

I find that very offensive! 

 

The fact that I am not willing to part with my father's lenses is of no consequence to you!

 

I asked a simple question about buying another lens. 

 

Please keep all comments within that topic.

 

Thank you.


@Skippy2525 wrote:

PLEASE DO NOT refer to my father as "THE OLD MAN"! 

 

I find that very offensive! 

 

The fact that I am not willing to part with my father's lenses is of no consequence to you!

 

I asked a simple question about buying another lens. 

 

Please keep all comments within that topic.

 

Thank you.


I am sorry that this happened - the forum is usually a very positive and supportive environment, you asked a specific question which I hope we will provide some guidance in resolving. You have my condolences on the loss of your father and I know how important tokens can be of those things that part of him and you may have shared together - they transcent the material values others may put upon them.

 

We are happy to support your questions to our best ability and I hope you will let us know what you decide.


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"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
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me


@Skippy2525... I am not willing to part with my father's lenses...

 

Hey, I understand competely.... Smiley Happy

 

Dad's Leicas

 

My Dad's old cameras, lenses and accessories that he gave me about ten years ago. Not for sale now or ever!

 

I got a kick out of the fact that he kept the receipt for one of them.... from 1959! I think the warranty has expired! But it's neat to see a hand written reciept for a Leica IIIG with 50mm f/1.5 Summarit lens for $160 U.S.!

 

I remember being a bored and probably pretty whiny little kid waiting for him to take a shot with these! But we had a blast a few years ago viewing the slides he took with them all those years ago.

 

***********


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7DII (x2), 7D(x2) some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & ZENFOLIO 

This reaffirms my suggestion to save bit longer and...........Smiley Happy

"And these lenses need to be put in a special place and kept as they are."

I know, now, I wish I had done so. 

 

You have $800, you are very close to get the current best of the group Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2.  If you are looking used you can probably find one for $800 or at least real close to that.  They are durable lenses and usually don't see a great amount of use by most folks.  A good choice on a used lens.   While the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 is king right now, used it is a toss up between the older Tamron and Sigma C but the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens is probably just a tad better.

 

If you are inclined to look at primes there are two that are absolutely the best choices. The Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens and the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens.  The 400mm is a lens that I believe every photographer should have.  It is such a delight to use. It is the only game in town as nobody makes a lens like it.  The beauty of the 300mm is it handles the 1.4x tel-con very well giving you a 420mm f5.6 with IS.  Again on the used market these are close to being doable at $800 bucks.

 

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


@Skippy2525 wrote:

PLEASE DO NOT refer to my father as "THE OLD MAN"! 

 

I find that very offensive! 

 

The fact that I am not willing to part with my father's lenses is of no consequence to you!

 

I asked a simple question about buying another lens. 

 

Please keep all comments within that topic.

 

Thank you.


Well, it certainly wasn't my intention to offend you or your father's memory. I was merely expressing an opinion as to how familial heirs ought to treat camera equipment they inherit. You're obviously under no obligation to agree with me or follow my advice. And as an old man myself, it didn't occur to me that you would find the term offensive.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Waddizzle
Legend

"Should I go with a fixed focal length lens?  Or, a variable with a longer focal point? "

 

If you are not experienced with a super telephoto, then I strongly suggest going with a super telephoto zoom. 

 

Using a super tele is a bit like looking at the world through a straw.  I would only use super telephoto prime on a monopod or tripod, so I could look away from the viewfinder, and get my bearings without changing my aim significantly.  This takes practice to learn how to do handheld.  With a zoom, you can zoom out, get your bearings, and zoom .

 

The Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary, or the Tamron 150-600mm G2.  Both of these lenses allow you to make firmware updates with an accessory.  Tamron makes two versions of the 150-600mm.  The G2 version is the newer one, Generation 2. 

 

Be forewarned.  Either 150-600mm lens is big and heavy.  They are real beasts, and monopod or tripod support is highly recommended for extended shooting sessions.

 

I think the Sigma "C" is a better than lens choice than the first generation of the Tamron 150-600mm lens, which does not allow for firmware updates by the end user.  The Sigma "C" has also had a complete software rewrite of the AF system in its' firmware, which really transformed the lens into a completely different lens.  It focuses 40% faster, and is no longer gets soft as approach the 600mm range of the zoom.

 

Both Sigma and Tamron also make 100-400mm lenses, which are much smaller than their 150-600mm beasts.  While they do not add much in the way of focal length over your current 75-300mm, they are much sharper.  I do not recommend using an extender with either one of them, but they would work well on an APS-C sensor body camera, though.

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