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Advice needed

MrNobody1989
Apprentice

I just bought my first dslr camera ever the canon eos t7 rebel with 18-55 mm lense. It doesn't seem to have a long zoom range, I can get further shots with my phone. Last time I went hiking I saw a hawk and would have loved to get a crisp photo of it but it flew and landed out of range. I would love that 20k lense but I need to win the lottery first 🀣What canon lenses are the best low cost for long distance photos? 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Tronhard
Authority

Hopefully you will have had time to view the video to which I gave you a link in my previous post, if not, I still encourage you to check it out.

Any lens choice is a compromise in considering several elements:
1. Budget - something you should consider first. The more features and greater performance you want, the more you will have to invest. You get what you pay for.
2. What you want to capture - this starts with Focal Length (FL). The greater the FL, the narrower the Field of View (FoV) - what the sensor sees and captures - and the closer objects appear:
3. How much you want to isolate your subjects: What appears to be sharp is called Depth of Field (DoF).
There are times that you will want everything in focus, such as landscapes, so you want a deep DoF. On the other hand, if you want to isolate a subject, such as for an animal or human portrait, then you want a shallow DoF.

There are three things the impact DoF:
The greater the lens' focal length, the shallower the DoF
The closer the subject, the shallower the DoF
The smaller the f/stop (see below) the shallower the DoF

Since all of these elements are active at the same time, you can combine them in different ways to capture the image in a way that is pleasing and to deal with challenges like amount of light and distance to subject.

4 Aperture Range: The Aperture is a variable sized hole in the lens that allows light into the camera, and the performance of that is measured in f/stops. These are measured in numbers that go up by the square root of two: so - 1, 1.4, 2, 2.8 etc but each represents a halving or doubling of the light. To make things simple, remember the rule: the smaller the f/stop value, the more light comes in but the less things in focus (or shallower the DoF).
Lenses with very small f/stop values tend to be more expensive and are harder to get with zoom lenses - the greater the FL range, usually the higher the f/stop range, unless you pay a lot of money!

Getting the Balance
It seems to me that you have two choices:
1. Get a single lens that you can leave on your camera and that will cover the range of subjects you are likely to shoot.
In your case, it seems likely that you want to be able to capture a very wide range of subjects, from fairly close up, through landscapes to wildlife. If you want that in one lens, then you are looking at a unit which is called a Superzoom with a big FL range. These are mostly made by companies other than those that make the camera bodies, and a major brand in this area is Tamron, a Japanese company that has been around for many decades and is highly respected.
If you want the maximum range of FL, at a reasonable price, and with decent resolution and performance, (given the economics), then I would suggest the Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. It is a lens you can put on the camera and never change for a lot of your photography.  On your body, this lens would have an effective FoV of 29-640mm - which is pretty massive!
Here are a couple of reviews on You Tube for your consideration:
https://au.pcmag.com/migrated-33679-lenses/51355/tamron-18-400mm-f35-63-di-ii-vc-hld-review#:~:text=....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7Xc0tMQ5Tc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w5dgNnzJrU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzkaYjIloOU

2. Get a separate lens to add on to the 18-55 lens you have and would change in order to get subjects that are far away
On that case I would suggest the Canon EF 70-300 IS USM (avoid ANY 75-300 lens from Canon - they're awful). On your camera such a lens would have a FoV of 112-480mm and is a really good lens, benefiting from the lack of need to cover the wider focal range. I posted a review of all of the Canon 70-300 lenses and here is a link to that: Canon 70-300mm Lenses 
Canon have a special deal on the MkI version of this that should hopefully not break the bank, and as I noted in my review, this lens can take great images, but you need to act quickly - see: https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/ef-70-300mm-f-4-56-is-usm-refurbished 

The other lens that could work and is likely the cheapest, is the EF-S 55-250 STM lens, giving a FoV of 88-400mm.  This is the kit lens designed to work with the 18-55 lens you have, and give you more range than that and is actually an excellent lens in that context as regards performance.  If you go this way, make sure it it the STM or USM version  (the latter has a tell-tale group of gold contacts on the lens body), as there are earlier versions that are not as good.

As a kit lens there are heaps of them on the market as many people use other lenses like the 70-300 I mentioned.  It is not as robust and doesn't have the reach as the 70-300 lens, but it should be your cheapest option.


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

View solution in original post

6 REPLIES 6

Tronhard
Authority

Hi and welcome to the forum

To help us, as budget means different things to different people, do you have a rough number for your budget?


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

One of the cheapest to mid priced lenses, think minimum wage dipping his toes into photography. I'm looking for a long range lense but don't even know the difference between lense types. 

Hmmm.  Frankly, I think  you should get some knowledge under your belt before you accept advice from anyone as to what you should buy.  There are a lot of technical people on this site and with the best will in the world they may well overwhelm you with terminology as they comment on what they think is best for your.  So, PLEASE do  yourself a favour and watch the following video from National Geographic photographer, Chris Bray:

Learn Photography [Full Course] by Australian Geographic Photographer Chris Bray - YouTube

When you have invested a couple of hours (it's worth it), let us know and if you have questions you can post to the site or send me a private message via the envelope icon on the top right by your ID

 


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

Tronhard
Authority

Hopefully you will have had time to view the video to which I gave you a link in my previous post, if not, I still encourage you to check it out.

Any lens choice is a compromise in considering several elements:
1. Budget - something you should consider first. The more features and greater performance you want, the more you will have to invest. You get what you pay for.
2. What you want to capture - this starts with Focal Length (FL). The greater the FL, the narrower the Field of View (FoV) - what the sensor sees and captures - and the closer objects appear:
3. How much you want to isolate your subjects: What appears to be sharp is called Depth of Field (DoF).
There are times that you will want everything in focus, such as landscapes, so you want a deep DoF. On the other hand, if you want to isolate a subject, such as for an animal or human portrait, then you want a shallow DoF.

There are three things the impact DoF:
The greater the lens' focal length, the shallower the DoF
The closer the subject, the shallower the DoF
The smaller the f/stop (see below) the shallower the DoF

Since all of these elements are active at the same time, you can combine them in different ways to capture the image in a way that is pleasing and to deal with challenges like amount of light and distance to subject.

4 Aperture Range: The Aperture is a variable sized hole in the lens that allows light into the camera, and the performance of that is measured in f/stops. These are measured in numbers that go up by the square root of two: so - 1, 1.4, 2, 2.8 etc but each represents a halving or doubling of the light. To make things simple, remember the rule: the smaller the f/stop value, the more light comes in but the less things in focus (or shallower the DoF).
Lenses with very small f/stop values tend to be more expensive and are harder to get with zoom lenses - the greater the FL range, usually the higher the f/stop range, unless you pay a lot of money!

Getting the Balance
It seems to me that you have two choices:
1. Get a single lens that you can leave on your camera and that will cover the range of subjects you are likely to shoot.
In your case, it seems likely that you want to be able to capture a very wide range of subjects, from fairly close up, through landscapes to wildlife. If you want that in one lens, then you are looking at a unit which is called a Superzoom with a big FL range. These are mostly made by companies other than those that make the camera bodies, and a major brand in this area is Tamron, a Japanese company that has been around for many decades and is highly respected.
If you want the maximum range of FL, at a reasonable price, and with decent resolution and performance, (given the economics), then I would suggest the Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. It is a lens you can put on the camera and never change for a lot of your photography.  On your body, this lens would have an effective FoV of 29-640mm - which is pretty massive!
Here are a couple of reviews on You Tube for your consideration:
https://au.pcmag.com/migrated-33679-lenses/51355/tamron-18-400mm-f35-63-di-ii-vc-hld-review#:~:text=....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7Xc0tMQ5Tc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w5dgNnzJrU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzkaYjIloOU

2. Get a separate lens to add on to the 18-55 lens you have and would change in order to get subjects that are far away
On that case I would suggest the Canon EF 70-300 IS USM (avoid ANY 75-300 lens from Canon - they're awful). On your camera such a lens would have a FoV of 112-480mm and is a really good lens, benefiting from the lack of need to cover the wider focal range. I posted a review of all of the Canon 70-300 lenses and here is a link to that: Canon 70-300mm Lenses 
Canon have a special deal on the MkI version of this that should hopefully not break the bank, and as I noted in my review, this lens can take great images, but you need to act quickly - see: https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/ef-70-300mm-f-4-56-is-usm-refurbished 

The other lens that could work and is likely the cheapest, is the EF-S 55-250 STM lens, giving a FoV of 88-400mm.  This is the kit lens designed to work with the 18-55 lens you have, and give you more range than that and is actually an excellent lens in that context as regards performance.  If you go this way, make sure it it the STM or USM version  (the latter has a tell-tale group of gold contacts on the lens body), as there are earlier versions that are not as good.

As a kit lens there are heaps of them on the market as many people use other lenses like the 70-300 I mentioned.  It is not as robust and doesn't have the reach as the 70-300 lens, but it should be your cheapest option.


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

Thank you! I learned a lot watching the youtube video and these recommendations were exactly what I was looking for.

ebiggs1
Legend

"...  but it flew and landed out of range."

 

Yeah, all the Youtube videos and books and advice from 'experts' are nice but the fact remains all gear has limits. Even the guy with that $20k lens !  You standard kit 18-55mm lens is not intended to take long range telephoto shots as you have noticed. A big misconception is a big tele lens take picture of far away distant subjects. And while yes you can do that the best use of a big tele is to fill the frame with a small subject. That often and most likely means you need to get close, very close to your subject.

 

This shot was with my 600mm super telephoto zoom.

123.jpg

Big lens, right but I was only about 35 feet from the gull. Bottom line what I am trying to explain, the hawk would  have quickly got out of range from even the biggest teles very quickly. Even $20k lenses! It is always best to get close over big lens.

A big super zoom lens and very close is the best of all.

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