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Looking for a New Canon Telephoto Lens

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  • Looking for a New Canon Telephoto Lens

    So I'm in the browsing mode for a new telephoto lens for my 350D. I have been looking at quite a few lately and reading a few reviews here and there and I've come up with a few good contenders.

    In the left corner we have the EF 75-300 f/4-5.6 III USM at around $200.

    In the other corner we have the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM at $550.

    If the IS feature is really worth the extra $350, then I'll be happy to pay for it, but if it isn't worth it then I most definitely am not going to pay the extra for it. The reviews I've read all say that the IS feature is an excelent feature.

    Does anyone here have anything to say about either lens, or have another lens that I might want to take a look at. I will not go over $600 for a lens. That's final. I'm not ready to make that investment this soon in my DSLR career(for lack of a better word).

    Any help is appreciated.


  • #2
    Around the world in over a hundred countries, Spotting speaks one language - 'L' Glass !

    Chris If you have a $600 budget then you just go & buy the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM eyes closed - $559.95/-

    If at all you are looking to spend half that amount of money with about 70-80% the performance + IS go for this Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Lens - $279.95

    From our list of JP photographers i spoke with Maciej Nowak, Borut Smrdelj, Wim Callaert and Thomas Schwitalla who own this lens & they all had only good things to say about it.

    Here are photos shot thru the 55-250IS.

    1. The Review
    2. Review
    3. Test Shots at DP Review

    The list goes on, Greg Wilson reccomended me the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS - $219/-and its a nice one too, atleast going by again photos by our JP guys who use it.

    Here are photos shot thru the Sigma 70-300APO.

    James reccomended me the 70-300 IS and i did try it out, although it is decently sharp, its still a bit slow & seems to autofocus forever, i clicked whenever i liked & got some good photos though.

    Best of Luck Mate

    Cheers - Vishal


    • #3
      This feels like deja-vu Chris

      I've heard good things about the 70-300 IS so that would be my choice out of the 2 (comments along the lines of almost "L" quality in some scenarios), although personally I started out with the 75-300 as that's what I could afford at the time. The 75-300 is ok, not stellar but will get you going.

      Although if you're going to spend $550 on a 70-300 you're heading towards L territory and the 70-200 F4L....and once you've tried L nothing else matters!
      Last edited by B7772ADL; 2008-04-14, 17:52.


      • #4
        If you can afford, I'd go for the 70-300IS. The 70-200L f4 should be worth some thoughts if you can dispense with the last 100 mm focal length. All I can say about the 70-200L it's a really great lense, I'm really happy with the results of this one when I've used it.

        If you're going to get the 70-300 - I'd spend the money for the IS feature. It can help you alot.

        I would avoid the Sigma, Vishal metioned. This lense isn't very good. The results are ok, but not more and the autofocus is really slow. The canon lenses with USM are more faster with focusing.


        • #5
          After reading a few reviews on the 70-200L lens, it's now between the 70-200L and the 70-300 IS. There are a few things stopping my from immediately buying the 70-200L.
          • Lack of IS feature (is this a must have feature or is it not all that great?)
          • Only goes to 200mm(I am also a nature photographer so I need a decent zoom)
          • Don't want to go straight into the professional line of gear. If I get hooked, then there goes my wallet. I want to start out small and then gradually get bigger.

          Am I being too concerned or are my reasons solid? The biggest thing on that list is that it only goes to 200mm.

          Thanks for all your help guys.

          EDIT: Thanks for your reply Peter. I currently have a Sigma 28-70 lens and I'm not complaining but it's not the best. A friend of mine is an avid photographer and only uses Canon lenses with his equipment as he has had the best results with them. That is why I will now only buy Canon lenses.



          • #6
            I vote for EF70-200 f4L and 70-300 f4-5.6 IS. If you are in need for an extra 100mm. The EF 70-300 IS should be the best one. It is considered as hidden L glass.

            Otherwise 70-200 f4L is one of my favourite len for spotting. It is worth for spending extra dollars. When you want to upgrade it is also quite easy and high price for trade in. In other hand if you need an extra range. 1.4 COnverter would be nice as well.


            • #7
              Originally posted by tinymoon
              I vote for EF70-200 f4L and 70-300 f4-5.6 IS. If you are in need for an extra 100mm. The EF 70-300 IS should be the best one. It is considered as hidden L glass.

              Otherwise 70-200 f4L is one of my favourite len for spotting. It is worth for spending extra dollars. When you want to upgrade it is also quite easy and high price for trade in. In other hand if you need an extra range. 1.4 COnverter would be nice as well.
              Even with the 1.4x converter, it's still only 280mm. As I said above, I really need that extra 100mm as I'm an avid birder and nature photographer. So now I'm pretty much set on the 70-300mm. Next in line(after a year or two)I will venture into the "L" series of lenses.



              • #8
                Originally posted by z740
                I really need that extra 100mm as I'm an avid birder

                Birds as in the Sparrows & Peacocks or ........... ?


                • #9
                  Theres really not much difference between 280 and 300mm. I'll take a rather large bet and say that the 70-200 + 1.4x is far more useable at 280mm than the 70-300 is at 280-300mm in terms of quality and softness.

                  Also if you decide to pack it all in, L glass depreciates very little and retains its value extremely well, so you're not likely to loose very much at all.

                  Sounds as though you've made your mind up though with the 70-300 and it's not a bad choice so go for it.
                  Last edited by B7772ADL; 2008-04-14, 20:07.


                  • #10
                    Yes Vishal, sparrows, eagles, turkeys, ducks, geese, etc.

                    James, My only concern with the 1.4x + the 70-200 is that it goes to 280 max. If I added the converter to the 70-300 I could go to 420. Every little bit counts. I will compare and contrast the two tonight and try to come closer to a solution. I haven't made up my mind yet and I'm still open to all possibilities, as long as it's a Canon lens under $600.

                    Another thing, what points should I consider when comparing lenses?



                    • #11
                      Jim does the convertor work on the 70-300IS ?


                      • #12
                        70-200 f4. Does the 1.4 work on the 300? I think you'd be crazy to not go with the L glass. To be honest, I think the 200 will be fine for your bird watching. The people I see who are serious about it carry around 600mm lenses, but then again they're getting paid big dollars to do it. Go for the'll be amazed. Just because it's 300mm doesn't mean it's better.
                        Tanner Johnson - Owner
                        twenty53 Photography


                        • #13
                          The 1.4x would not work on the 70-300. It only works with L. Get the 70-200mm f/4, the quality is much better and that cancels out the extra 100mm. I just sold mine which was very painful as I truly enjoyed shooting with it.



                          • #14
                            Just to give you an idea of the 75-300 IS lens. It basically is the exact same thing as the other 75-300 lens you were looking at it just has IS. I have the really crappy 75-300 4/5.6f III USM lens and it doesn't do what you want it to do. It is slow, the photos very soft and sometimes blurry. I would personally recomend go the extra mile and get the 70-200. It will do what you want it to do and a whole lot more.


                            • #15
                              Yep…I sense a bit of deja-vu…but
                              Let’s be careful about calling lenses crap. Ones spoken about and suggested in other threads were done so with budgets in mind. They fill a niche where people are on a budget, or are making decisions on the direction of their photography. My Sigma 70-300 still gets plenty of use even though my kit contains 4 Sigma EX lenses…one lens does all general photography days etc.
                              I am sure Chris that it was suggested that the 70-300 should have been your starter lens…for the overall rage.
                              But now, understandably, you still have budget constraints as you look for something to compliment your 28-70, so don’t rush it.
                              The points are you want the best…L lenses but you have a budget. You have even mentioned the danger of getting over committed. The 70-200 F4 is a fine lens, but you may find the 200 limiting in your early days of photography, and if you go and buy converters it is more expense. What you do not want to do is waste money, until you decide if and what lenses you need in your bag.
                              My advice. Why not look at buying the non IS version of the 70-300 and research thoroughly/continue to save for a lens that will suit your needs better. I do nature photography/birds/BIF, and unless you are at a sanctuary or zoo where they are closer to you, 200mm is not enough a lot of the time… just do not get the full frame necessary for picture quality.
                              So why not save a bit more and at a later date look at the following…..……. probably out of your range for a while …but worth considering.
                              Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6 EF-L IS USM …just guessing…$US 1400
                              Sigma APO 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG OS probably about $US 1100
                              Sigma APO 50-500mm F4-6.3 EX DG HSM…..about the same price.
                              I am not suggesting that the 70-200 is not a good choice, just thinking it may not be a suitable choice at present…..especially if you are considering adding another $300 to the price for a converter. Remember that the $600 quoted for that lens is for the non IS version.
                              Just throwing more thoughts and experiences into the mix.
                              My contribution to JetPhotos