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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-06-2018

Canon lens help

Hey all, I have a canon EOS 1300D. So far I have just been using the 18-55mm kit lens. I am now in the market for a new lens. I am looking at doing quite a lot of wildlife photography and was wondering if you guys could point me in the direction of a cheapish, good beginners lens? TIA Smiley Happy

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,101
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Canon lens help

Close wildlife or far wildlife?

 

The cheapest telephoto, which is barely long enough for wildlife at a good distance is the EF-S 55-250.

 

A better lens for wildlife are the sigma/Tamron 150-600 mm lens, which make things look twice as close as the 55-250. It will run you about $1000.

 

Cheap and Telephoto do not go together!

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,043
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: Canon lens help

A couple of thoughts on lenses:

 

1.  You can use good glass for a VERY long time and you will likely upgrade through several camera bodies while keeping much of the same glass as long as you buy good quality lenses.  This is one place where spending as much as you can reasonably afford up front makes sense.  I bought several new Canon lenses in 2005 when I bought a 1D 2 (70-200 2.8, 400 5.6, 100 macro, 17-40 4.0) and they still are constantly in use and I have zero complaints about them.  

 

2.  Sometimes you can find very good deals on a used lens but it can be a risk.  In general I buy most photo gear new but I found a great deal on a 300MM F2.8 IS from an owner who wanted to move up to the IS 2 version.  He basically is more of a gear collector than a user so the lens was virtually unused and about 1/4 of the new price of the current version so it was an easy purchase decision for me.  The only problem is I love this telephoto prime so much that some of my other prized glass isn't spending much time on the camera body now.

 

As a safe step between new and typical used, keep an eye out on what the Canon store has in their used/refurb section.

 

As kvbarkley stated, cheap and telephoto do not go together Smiley Happy

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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Posts: 12,874
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Canon lens help

" I am looking at doing quite a lot of wildlife photography..."

 

This pretty much tells me what you need.  The cheapest way to get into this is either the Tamron 150-600mm super zoom or the Sigma model of the same lens. They are nearly identical so it is a 'your choice' situation.  The Tamron G2 model being a tad bit better.

However, these two great lenses are not the end all.  A couple Canon prime lenses are also best choices.  The ef 400mm f5.6 or the ef 300mm f4 with 1.4x tele con make outstanding choices.  If you want to climb the price ladder the ef 100-400 zoom is there. Each of these lenses has pluses and minuses. They must be considered as a total package and not by a single spec.  This is the trap some get 'trapped' in. Look at the whole lens and how you will use it.  If I were to buy one today and did not already own what I do, I would go for the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon EF.

 

If you are serious and really want to get into wildlife photography avoid all the ef-s lenses.  No matter what manufacturer you are considering. Remember as someone said the lens will stay the camera will not.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Posts: 10,155
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Canon lens help


@jimmyrazor wrote:

Hey all, I have a canon EOS 1300D. So far I have just been using the 18-55mm kit lens. I am now in the market for a new lens. I am looking at doing quite a lot of wildlife photography and was wondering if you guys could point me in the direction of a cheapish, good beginners lens? TIA Smiley Happy


If you want a cheap lens, then go for one of the Canon EF 70-300mm lenses, not one of the EF 75-300mm lenses.  See the difference, 70 vs 75?  The 70-300mm are actually not bad lenses for a beginner, but you will quickly outgrow it.  

 

The next step up the ladder in the Canon lineup is a big one, in both performance and price.  Canon has a hole in their lens lineup, and third party manufacturers are happy to fill it in.

While the aforementioned  Sigma and Tamron150-600mm lenses are some of the most popular lenses for wildlife photography, most especially birds, they are big and heavy.  They are beasts.  I think they are probably little too much weight for a 1300D.  The lens must be supported, and not permitted to “hang” from the lens mount, which is one reason why they come equipped with a tripod foot.

Fortunately, both Tamron and Sigma make a much smaller 100-400mm lens.  These lenses are nowhere near as big and heavy as their big brothers, and are a better fit for a polycarbonate body like the 1300D.  They should be easy to use hand held, although a monopod will improve your shots of birds on the ground, or sitting on a branch.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎07-19-2014

Re: Canon lens help

It's definitely possible to get burned on used lenses, but there are also a ton of great deals. In general, I've learned:

 

  • Only buy from a seller you trust
  • Canon refurbs are generally a much better value than any other used lenses, because they come with a warranty, and you can be sure they haven't been reported stolen.
  • Canon and Zeiss ZE/ZF are the only brands I'll buy used. Getting anything else repaired is harder, slower, and generally more expensive. 
  • The simpler and more manual lenses are the least likely to have issues. Focus-by-wire fails more than you'd expect.
  • Zooms tend to live harder lives and show issues after drops. 
  • There are some great deals on older versions of L series lenses that have been updated. The 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, for example, has no business being under $1000, but it is. 
  • Most lens servicing is going to be $300-600. If you buy a $300 used lens with issues, it's probably garbage. a $3000 lens with issues is almost always worth getting serviced.
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I'm a cinematographer in Chicago using mostly Canon gear. I also founded MKE Production Rental in Milwaukee.
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Posts: 12,874
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Canon lens help

"Canon and Zeiss ZE/ZF are the only brands I'll buy used. Getting anything else repaired is harder, slower, and generally more expensive."

 

I would have agreed with you several years ago.  But both Tamron and Sigma have upped their game.  Not in the same class as Canon but then nobody is as good as Canon in service and/or CS.  Tokina is still a 'no buy' used and quite likely a no buy new either. Be very careful there.

 

Super zooms are good to get used.  Most don't get used very much after the first few months of ownership. Sometimes folks find out, after the purchase, it isn't as easy as it looks.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎07-19-2014

Re: Canon lens help

I would have hoped that all lens manufacturers were getting better at the service game, now that they have cinema lens offerings.

I wonder if Roger at LensRentals can publish any data about the Tamron and Sigma repair times. I know he's written about how terrible Nikon is in comparison to Canon repair times.

______________________________
I'm a cinematographer in Chicago using mostly Canon gear. I also founded MKE Production Rental in Milwaukee.
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Posts: 12,874
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Canon lens help

"I would have hoped that all lens manufacturers were getting better at the service game, ..."

 

They are,........mostly. You just can't compare them to Canon. However, form an old timer, a very old timer, Canon was not always this good either.  You have to be a successful company to have good CS. But the better your CS is, it seems the more successful your company is.

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