Good Telephoto Lens - Under $200

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by thegoldenmackid, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #1
    Let me start off by saying...I know near nothing about what I am doing from a technical perspective. I recently got a T1i, I had never owned a digital camera, I guess I never felt the need to have one, got to use a XSi or XTi, one of the two for work... Then got a point and shoot, hated the image quality. Did some research, got the T1i vs. the XSi b/c it's newer and I make decisions not so smart like that, more so because I don't see myself updating anytime soon.

    The family would like some pictures of sporting events, the kit lens isn't cutting it by most regards, it is impossible to film my siblings soccer game with the kit lens. (Not video, just stills...why they put video on these things still perplexes me) I ordered the Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III Autofocus Lens because it seemed like a good idea. I did some quick research and came to the conclusion at 4 am one night that that sounded intelligent.

    If I'm missing anything or should have purchased somethingelse, could someone please let me know?

    I assume a lens hood would probably be a smart investment given the sun in Texas?

    Thanks...
     
  2. da meat tree macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #2
    I recently got the 70-300 second-hand and I have to say that it's a great lens, although it might be out of your price range.
     
  3. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #3
    The EF 75-300 is generally considered to be a terrible lens. The 70-300 lenses are considerably better, but for much more money.

    There is an EF-S 55-250 IS lens that can be had for $250 (not much more than a new 75-300) that is considered a very good value. The image quality is much better than the 75-300. The only thing is that it's not actually the most rugged lens ... pretty much the same quality as the kit lens.

    If you haven't already, check out this page for some lens reviews.

    http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/overview
     
  4. jwelch76 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    #4
    Spend the extra $50 or so on the 55-250 IS. I've used the 75-300 for a couple years, and it's really not appropriate for hand-held shooting. I'm not a pro photographer by any means, but I can tell you that shooting an athlete running across a field would result in blurry, out of focus shots due to the lack of IS and slow AF speed. Image quality is not great either, overall.

    I haven't used the 55-250, but I've heard good things and it at least has IS.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #5
    I am really unsure how anyone can ask for a good telephoto under $200 unless they're willing to buy a 20 year old lens, which by the way I would buy a 20 year old lens that was awesome when it hit shelves before I'd drop money on a cheap ass lens these days.
    If you must go used and don't expect to be thrilled with it once you grow into photography.

    The 55-200 is a lens that is around $200.
     
  6. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #6
    All iterations of the 75-300 are known as utter lemons in the Canon lens lineup. Sorry, but these lenses are notoriously bad. The 70-300, however, is very highly regarded.

    My experience is limited to the IS version of the 75-300. I borrowed one for a weekend and couldn't wait to return it. It was not sharp at any focal length.
     
  7. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #7
    ^^^ was it that was at all f-stops?

    OP - I have the kit 18-55 (non-IS) kit lens with my 20D, and is regarded as garbage. But if you know how to use the lens in it's "sweet spot" and stick to that, then you can get some nice pics (I managed to). Note that you kinda have to know what you are doing (an advanced-amateur).

    Here's the reviews on the USM version (same optics I assume).

    http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/75/cat/11

    Here's the reviews on the regular version

    http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/144/cat/11

    You can try to figure out the sweet spots from the reviews and taking it out shooting...

    Good luck - post pics!
     
  8. thegoldenmackid thread starter macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #8
    I played around with it. Like I said...I'm not that anal... It seems okay, for what I paid it seems fine. I'll see how it works out for the next week.
     
  9. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #9
    It's ok to not be anal about a lens but wouldn't you want a good photo? Just curious what your goal is with your photography.
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #10
    As for your original question of what else to get, I'd suggest getting a good quality tri-pod or monopod. If you're shooting soccer matches from the stands, you're going to need a tri-pod to steady the camera. I'm assuming your 75-300 doesn't have IS.

    If you shoot at night, you might want to invest in a flash, and perhaps off-camera flash equipment ... but that might be getting a little much.
     
  11. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #11
    it would be much more financially feasible to buy a 55-250 IS. a good tripod is expensive, and it's another thing to not want to carry.

    i suggest returning the 75-300 and buying the 55-250. Better optics paired with IS, which in many cases can replace a tripod.
     
  12. thegoldenmackid thread starter macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #12
    I stopped by a local photo store and picked up the 55-250... I'll definitely be returning the 75-300. I didn't think they were bad pictures, but the better lens definitely took better pictures.

    @Jessica - it's really just taking pictures of family events and what not... iThink that if I might at some point invest in a lens in the $500 price range, but for right now the kit lens, normal ef50 usm and this other lens should suffice.

    The goal was not to spend 2k on recreational family photography... but, that's basically my goal...

    And yeah...the tripod and external flash seem a little to excessive for what I am doing...
     
  13. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #13
    I think you'll be very happy with the 55-250IS. I love that lens. Even indoors, taking shots of the baby with semi-decent lighting worked out great. I can have the baby in the other room and shoot semi-candid shots of her from a distance. With the 18-55IS, I have to be right on top of her and then all she wants to do is climb up on me.

    Another neat thing about the 55-250 is that at 55mm, it's faster than the 18-55. So you can increase the shutter or drop the ISO. I think it produces a better picture at 55mm ... which is near where I take a lot of shot. I find that I shoot from about 40 to 70mm for most of my shots.

    I think eventually, you'll want a tripod and an external flash. If you can avoid it for now, by using IS and shooting in good light, then more power to you. As you get deeper into this hobby, you're going to "need" this stuff. Even if you're on a budget, since all budgets seem to take on the necessary size for the desired equipment. ;)

    About the tripod, if you do get one, don't get a cheapo one. I have two $25 tripods that I bought for my wedding. We put two camcorders up and shot the ceremony. I can use them for my P&S, but I would never really use it for my SLR ... unless I was standing right there all the time.

    ft
     
  14. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #14
    Yup, photography is one seriously expensive hobby, those who are not willing to spend more into this hobby, is better left with a superzoom or a high end PnS. Just my op.
     
  15. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Ask Apple
    #15
    I just got (Friday) the XSi + 55-250 IS zoom lens for 730.00 at Amazon, as part of Canons rebate offer. Personally, I did not see a reason to not go with the XSi.

    The only reason I mention this is that the deal is still going on, and thought you might like to know.

    As for the lens, I like it a lot. Not really a 'fast lens' but the IS is pretty good.
     

Share This Page