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Old     (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       06-28-2010, 9:40 AM Reply   
I just picked up a Canon T1i which came with the 18-55mm IS lens. I want to purchase a telephoto zoom lens, but being a new to the hobby (and on a budget) I want to dip my toes in the pool first before jumping all the way in. Basically, I'm wanting to spend less than $200.

I understand that what makes great pictures is great glass, but the fact of the matter is I don't have $500 + to drop on a lens. Therefore, which lenses would you experts recommend? Here are some of the lenses that are in my price range. I've read reviews on each of them, but as with everything, the reviews range widely. Any insight you guys can give would be appreciated!

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Autofocus Avg $250, but I can find it a little cheaper
Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III Autofocus - DC motor avg $160
Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III USM Autofocus - USM motor avg $190
Sigma 50-200mm f/4-5.6 DC OS HSM Avg $160, has image stabilization, but is only 200mm
Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Avg $160, has macro function
Tamron Zoom Telephoto AF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD Macro Avg $125, has macro function
Tamron Zoom Telephoto AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Avg $165, has macro function

Regarding the Canons, from what I understand the USM version of this lens still uses a gear drive and while technically it's a USM it's really not the same as the USM versions in the L series. Therefore, is it really worth the extra $30 over the DC motor? Also, the 55-250 has the IS feature. Will this feature be worth it to go with a lens that only goes to 250mm as opposed to the other two which go to 300mm? I will be shooting some wakeboarding shots, so I suppose I need to be able to zoom in on a rider riding 75 ft out.

Lastly, I've read good and bad things about 3rd party lenses such as the ones from Sigma and Tamron. The question is, which category do the ones I've listed above fall into?
Old     (rfmediagroup)      Join Date: May 2010       06-28-2010, 1:13 PM Reply   
I would go with the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Autofocus. The IS helps out quite a bit. I use the 70-200L on my 5D and really don't need to zoom anymore that 200mm while filming from the back of the boat. Plus your camera has a cropped sensor which would be even more zoom than what I have at 200mm. If you go with anything higher than a 55mm start then you will be having to do lens changes every time you want to take closer pics. My second choice would be the Sigma 50-200. Hope that helps!
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       06-28-2010, 3:12 PM Reply   
I have the Tamron 70-300 it has been good, I stepped up in gear and will sell it to you for $150.00 shipped. It's basically brand new has had a UV filter over the lens the whole time so no scratches on the lens
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-28-2010, 8:34 PM Reply   
Those 2 Canon 75-300's are dog slow focusing and low end sigmas are no better. I'd say the canon 55-250 or the Tamrons. I've always had good luck with Tamron. With a Rebel your AF is already slow I'd find a way to get a used 70-200 f4 L.
Old     (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-28-2010, 9:11 PM Reply   
I had the Canon 55-250 and it was a desent lens and it has IS. I do own a Tamron lens (17-50 2.8) and love it, very sharp. Riley's lens looks like a good buy. I agree with Rich, 70-200 f4 L is the way to go if you can swing it. Used on FM are $500 - $550 for the non IS one. I would stay away from the 75-300, like Rich said "Dog Slow", I sold one a while ago for $50 and was happy to get it.
Old     (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       06-29-2010, 8:05 AM Reply   
Riley, thanks for the offer, but I think I'm going to pick up the Canon 55-250mm. I asked the same question on the other website and the general consensus seems to be that this is the best lens for my budget. I'm sure down the road I'll move up to a better lens like the 70-200 f4 L, but for now it's a little out of my price range.

Thanks for all of the advice everyone!
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       06-29-2010, 8:16 AM Reply   
You probably live like 5 minutes from me man and I shoot Canon. Let me know if you ever want to try a 70-200 or anything else.... We can ride and you can demo a bunch of gear.
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       06-29-2010, 8:21 AM Reply   
The way I'd use that lens: sit in the middle of the boat on the back seat. When the rider gets up use the desired focus point and focal length and focus on the riders eyes. Switch the lens to Manual focus and obviously don't disturb the focal length. This way you won't rely on the lenses slow auto focus. Good luck!
Old     (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       06-29-2010, 9:02 AM Reply   
Rob, thanks for the tips. We should definitely get out and ride sometime. I have a buddy that I ride with all the time, but it's usually just the two of us. We could definitely use a 3rd so we can shoot some photos. I'll shoot you a PM next time we make plans to ride.
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       06-29-2010, 9:47 AM Reply   
Cool shoot me a PM. I have a black/green Super Air 210. We ride Lewisville all of the time. Usually pretty early in the AM.
Old     (stu929)      Join Date: Jun 2010       06-29-2010, 1:10 PM Reply   
I bought a cannon digital SLR 6 years ago and love it! I got a moking deal on a decent sigma 55-200 and while it is certainly not a high end lens it has functioned very well. I hve had it now for about 5 years and just recently noticed that it is starting to have a focus issue but this could be the cam I have not been able to figure out which is responcible. The cam has over 10k pictures so far so it could be wearing out. Also not sure if anyone has mentioned it but most digitals have a cropping factor where it actually multiplys the zoom by 1.4 to 1.6 mine has which is why I settled on the 55-200 since with the added magnification it comes out to a 77-180mm.

Best of luck and do yourself a favor make sure you have a couple 2 or 4 GB cards.... And a spare battery!
Old     (Anubis79)      Join Date: May 2010       06-29-2010, 7:07 PM Reply   
The lens crop factor doesn't actually increase your zoom range, it has to do with field of view. The lens sees less of the image, that's why it appears larger. A full-frame image at 300mm will be zoomed in more than the digital crop factor equivalent of 300mm.
Old     (dadthedriver)      Join Date: Jul 2004       06-30-2010, 11:45 AM Reply   
I recently purchased a new T2i to replace my stolen T1i and i picked up this lens. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens so far I am very happy with it.
Old     (dadthedriver)      Join Date: Jul 2004       06-30-2010, 11:46 AM Reply   
I am now looking for a good wide angle lens that can be used from the tube. Any suggestion's Randy or Rich?
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       07-01-2010, 3:22 PM Reply   
16-35 2.8 sickest lens out!
Old     (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       07-01-2010, 6:38 PM Reply   
Hey Ben, +1 for the 16-35 as Riley said that is the mac daddy, but your looking at $1,200-$1,300 used!! I've been using a Tamron 17-50 2.8 and I love this lens, maybe I just got a sharp copy but it is very good. You can pick one up on FM used for under $350 shipped. there are 2 for sale right now $345 & $330 shipped. But if the 16-35 is in your budget go for it.

See you in Reno

Last edited by wakedad33; 07-01-2010 at 6:42 PM.
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       07-01-2010, 7:38 PM Reply   
+1 on the Tamron unless you want to spring for the Canon 17-55 f2.8.
Old     (dcervenka)      Join Date: Sep 2002       07-02-2010, 12:50 AM Reply   
Randy - FM = which site?????? and does the Tamron warranty transfer when purchasing used?

I rented the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 with VC and was very impressed by the quality (both video and stills), so I'm looking to pick on up! $350 is especially good if it's for the VC model!
Old     (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       07-02-2010, 5:53 AM Reply   
Dave, I don't think it is the VC model.,17-50#8620766
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       07-02-2010, 6:50 AM Reply   
I LOVE my 16-35 but unless you need the 2.8 I think the 17-40 may be worth looking at for 1/2 the price. Past f4 there is very little difference in image quality. I went with the 16-35 because my main kit is 24-70 and 70-200 2.8 and I wanted to keep my main kit all f2.8.

Anyone shot from a tube with a 5D MII? That thing doesn't have the best AF but I don't have a housing for the 1D4 and seriously doubt I will buy one. I also have a 50D I could use in the WP housing from the tube.
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       07-02-2010, 9:04 AM Reply   
I'm also a big fan of the 10-22! I have gotten some of my best tube shots with that lens!
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       07-02-2010, 9:16 AM Reply   
The 10-22 is great but I went with the Tokina 11-16 for my 50D. I have been using it underwater and it is awesome!
Old     (mutau052)      Join Date: Jun 2010       07-06-2010, 8:37 PM Reply   
I shoot a lot of weddings and portraits - but i would tell you to save your money and get a 70-200mm f/4 L, you can pick one of these up used for around 500.

I shoot Canon 40D gripped 70-200mm f/2.8 L & Canon 30D w/ 50mm f/1.4 most of the time. I also have 17-85mm IS and a 28mm 1.4.

the ultimate set up for that camera all depends on what your shooting. I would get a Sigma 30mm + a canon 70-200 f/4L and that should cover most of your shots.
Old     (dadthedriver)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-07-2010, 1:26 PM Reply   
So I went ahead and got the 16-35 f2.8L to add to my 70-200 f2.8L should be fun taking shots in Reno next week. Really like the feel of the T2i with the Battery Grip installed as well. next stop is Water Proof housing. any suggestions?
Old     (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       07-07-2010, 10:41 PM Reply   
Ben C- here's a recent thread we had on water housings. The original poster was asking about 7D housings but the information should hold true for your camera as well.


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