07-28-2013 01:07 PM - edited 07-28-2013 01:08 PM
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07-28-2013 03:56 PM
You're budget is a bit low for a great wildlife lens but the Canon 70-200 F4 L might meet your other needs. It's a very good lens both IQ wise and AF spped is excellent. Other choices worth researching are the Tamron 70-300 VC or maybe the second version of the 18-270 VC. (I had the original version & it was a very good lens but not a "great" lens.)
07-29-2013 11:33 AM
+1 to the 70-200 f/4 (Non-IS), but you'd have to extend your budget a bit. Amazon has them brand new for $629 with Prime. Canon has them refurbished for $567.
Alternately you could get a 70-300, which isn't going to be of the same the quality of any of the 70-200 lenses, but gives you some extra reach.
Unfortunately your pricepoint is a bit low for the telephoto zooms. These are two of the cheaper offering from Canon (with the exception of the 55-250 kit lens). Alternately, as Cicopo said, you could look to some third party options. My recomendation would be to save your pennies until you have enough for the 70-200.
07-29-2013 01:43 PM
I was thinking used on the Canon 70-200. Locally they are on the used web sites in the $500-$550 range (asking) & they have been more expensive in Canada so I'm thinking around $450 could get one.
07-29-2013 02:29 PM - edited 07-29-2013 02:36 PM
Everyone seems to be recommending a Canon 70-200/4 (non-IS version), which is a good lens, though it's a bit more than your budget new and might be difficult to find at that price used.
To stay within your budget, you might look for a used Canon 70-300mm IS USM. This has decent image quality, relatively fast focus, an additional 100mm reach (compared to the 70-200) that will come in quite handy with both wildlife and sports, plus Image Stabilization which can be very helpful when shooting with a longer telephoto handheld. It is not as well built or well sealed against dust and moisture as the 70-200, but for reasonable and normal usage it should be fine. The 70-200 also is an internal focusing and internal zooming lens, meaning it doesn't grow longer when you focus or zoom. The 70-300mm is not, it's smaller to start with, but extends quite a bit when focused as close as possible. But there are a lot of them around, so it shouldn't be hard to find one in your price range. I see quite a few listed used on some websites, starting around $350 or less. Canon offers refurbished for $520 (probably with a 90 day warranty, which you won't get if you buy used from a private party). If you get this lens, I'd also recommend getting the matching lens hood (ET65B), if not included. If the Canon hood seems a bit too pricey, there are third party clones that cost a lot less.
Be careful, though. There are versions of the 70-300mm without USM and IS, both features that would be a shame to give up. I already mentioned IS above. USM focus drive helps with focus speed and accuracy, and makes for quieter focusing.
There also is an inexpensive Canon 75-300mm that isn't nearly as good optically. Not recommended.
And there is a Canon 70-300mm IS USM DO that's even more compact, but it's a lot more expensive, even used. I know someone who uses one and loves it (and she shoots a lot of equestrian events, even takes it on horseback when she's riding).
Another pricey lens is the Canon 70-300mm L. It's very high quality, better built and sealed than any of the others, but a bit bigger and heavier too. Also the harder-to-miss off white color of many of Canon's telephoto L-series. A very nice lens, but you aren't going to find one in your price range.
Or, maybe I should say, you ever see one of the 70-300 DO or 70-300 L in your price range, jump on it! But I seriously doubt that will ever happen.
Since this is Canon's blog, I'm a little reluctant to suggest a third party lens... but what the heck here goes...
It's fairly new so I have no personal experience with it at all, but Tamron has recently introduced a 70-300mm SP VC USD that's almost exactly $450 new. It might be worth considering. SP is Tamron's professional grade designation (though sometimes applied a bit too liberally, most SP lenses I've used over the years have been excellent). VC is Tamron's version of image stabilization. And USD is their version of ultrasonic focus drive. The user reviews appear pretty positive for this lens. Oh, and unlike Canon lenses (other than the L-series), this Tamron includes the lens hood in the price.
Or try to track down one of the 70-200s. Any of them are quite good, too.
Have fun shopping!
07-29-2013 02:57 PM
I've owned the 70-300 DO & it is a good lens & the AF worked fine shooting radio control events but it was mounted to a 1 series body which may have helped a bit. One thing about that lens (used they go forr about $1000 locally) is that it looks like a cheap consumer grade lens & there are many events which ban "pro" cameras & lenses but the DO can fool them.