10-12-2015 07:28 PM
i have a t3i and i want to get a telephoto lens that's good and affordable. it will mostly be used for landscape, nature, and sports games... and i believe that at most sports stadiums/arenas, lens cannot exceed 6 inches.
10-12-2015 08:16 PM
2 possibilities I can think of are the Tamron 70-300 VC or a used Canon 70-300 DO which although a very good lens I don't think they have been produced in several years so finding a low use model may be hard.
10-13-2015 02:26 PM
Well as far as hitting the 6-inch limit you could go for a 2- piece setup. What about the EF 200mm f/2.8 II and also get a 1.4x teleconverter? The lens is only 5.4 inches long. You just carry the teleconverter separately, and then after you are in just mount the teleconverter to the lens.
A 200mm with a X1.4 teleconverter is 320mm. Then with your crop camera giving you another X1.6 you have the field of view of a lens over 500mm. This may not meet the "affordable" criteria but the stealthy part was too nifty not to suggest it.
10-14-2015 09:29 AM - edited 10-14-2015 09:30 AM
Almost any of the least expensive Canon lenses will meet the 6 inch requirement. For example, EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM or EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM. These are black lenses and are less obtrusive. Canon has a very good high res white lens the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM which is more expensive and very much better. Any of these, and more, will do what you want will one caveat. They are all slow. Very slow. You always give to get in photography. For daytime sports, nature, etc., they will work well. They are not going to be so great for night time sports, however.
Most of the off brand companies have similar lenses with the same specs and issues. BTW, none of these suggestions will be a great "landscape" lens. The EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM will fill that need very nicely.
Most of these lenses reside in the $300 range except the white one.
10-14-2015 11:58 AM
There are three lenses that spring to mind.
Canon does have two entry-level budget zooms which are both EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lenses... one has USM focusing motor, the other does not. Both are 4.8" long. But neither have image stabilization (IS) and the optical quality is mediocre. They are cheap, but I don't recommend them.
The top choice in terms of performance and quality is the "L" series lens (the 2nd one on the list above). It's 5.6" long and it's "white" which makes it stick out a bit. It is technically less than 6" (if that is indeed the rule that they use at the venues you visit -- I find those rules tend to change and have even encountered venues that wont allow any camera with a "removable lens"). If you want to not get noticed, then the DO is your best option. That lens is less than 4" long so they're not likely to think anything of it. The image stabilization is reportedly excellent and it has all the features of the "L" lens but in a more compact size. The detail resolving capabity of the DO lens isn't quite as good as the L lens.
10-14-2015 07:28 PM
It sounds like you want a general telephoto lens and a walk around lens, all in one package. That's hard to come by. I think the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is an excellent walk around lens. It goes from a modest wide angle to a modest telephoto zoom. It's just under 4 inches long. and does not change in length as you focus or zoom.
The 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens, for about half the price of the 18-135, is pretty good, too. But, the 55mm short end of the focal range may be a little long for walking around, and taking in the sights of the city.
Another thing to consider is that landscapes look better with wide angle lenses. Telephoto zoom lenses tend to flatten the image, removing the sense of depth from the image. Shorter focal lengths, less than 50mm, do not flatten the image.
It really sounds to me like you want two lenses, and not just one. A walk around lens, and a longer zoom lens. A lens that can do both will usually tend to not have as good image quality as zooms with not as wide of a range, or primes.