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DSLRs and zoom lenses

  1. #1
    I've been here before. Mustang's Avatar
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    DSLRs and zoom lenses


    Mom has a Canon EOS Rebel T2i with two lenses: 18-55mm and 55-250mm. Dad wants to get her another lens that zooms farther for her birthday in two weeks. He let me know this today, I'm going out of the country for a week, and I know zero about cameras. The past 30 minutes of research has confirmed that I know nothing about cameras. WTF should I be searching for to get more range than a 55-250mm, which I think is 5x zoom? She takes pictures of sunrises and sunsets, and birds sitting on the lake.

    Budget: < $1000

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    Bill Cool --- LRRS/CCS EX #47 --- 2018 and 2019 LRRS Double Backup Champion GTL and ULSB, 2012 LRRS Champion AM Thunderbike --- RSP Racing / TTD / MTAG-Pirelli / Woodcraft / Dyno Solutions / Sportbike Track Gear / Knox / Brunetto T-Shirts / GMD CompuTrack

  2. #2
    Dic on
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    Re: DSLRs and zoom lenses

    I work for canon and can get you a discount at the company online store which may or my not beat Amazon prices. Check with me before you buy.

    I know zip about cameras though. Sorry.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

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  3. #3
    Member tucktuvak's Avatar
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    Re: DSLRs and zoom lenses

    Look into the Tamron 150-600 and the Sigma 150-600 zooms. They're both for full frame, in the desired price range and should be really great. They're also huge, as any good zoom will be. I've used the Sigma and it's a great lens, especially for the price.

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  4. #4
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: DSLRs and zoom lenses

    "Zooms further" => "telephoto" lens.
    Catch here is that fi she takes pictures of sunrises and sunsets she won't get much out of it. For that kind of thing ("landscape photography" in photo geek speak) you want a wide angle lens.
    Birds sitting on the lake could make use of a telephoto lens.

    Next we talk budget. Like motorcycles or anything else in this world, gotta pay to play. How much are you ready to spend?

    The 'x zoom' factor is not important. All that measures is how far the lens "zooms" from its widest to its most telephoto. You are right, a 55-250 is like 4.5x "zoom". But who gives a shit. That hardly matters at all. All that does is let you leave one lens on the camera and go from 55 (kind of mid-range, probably portrait territory) to 250 (fairly telephoto, good for wildlife, sports, etc). If mum wants to take "up close" photos of those birds, she wants the largest telephoto you can afford.

    Generally speaking "zoom" lenses (those that adjust focal length from xxmm to yymm) are of lesser quality than those that are fixed (called "prime" lenses). Fixed/prime lenses are generally much better quality. Prime lenses are also typically less expensive than "zooms" of similar quality.

    Here's the bad news, anything >300mm or larger (ie more telephoto) is going to cost some money. I just googled the Canon EF Telephoto 400mm f/5.6L USM @ ~$1100. That's a fixed focal length "prime" lens that is permanently at 400mm and has a maximum aperture of f/5.6. 5.6 isn't great, but isn't bad. They also make a 400mm f/4L that is like $7,000!

    Back to reality. You can get a EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM for like $3-400. Unfortunately it isn't going to do much more than the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS kit lens she has already does. 50mm extra reach ain't much. And it isn't like it is going to be much better quality.

    Honestly, I don't think you are going to find much in the long tele range for under a grand.


    Another choice is upgrading the quality. It used to be that the 70-200mm zoom was the best deal in town. Canon makes a EF 70-200mm f/4L USM that is pretty darn good. (I own this lens.) Not quite the same reach as her EF-S -250. But its going to be MUCH better quality. Fixed aperture @ f/4, "L" build quality and the USM motor.. the camera will focus more accurately and much faster. They also now make a version of that lens with IS.. image stabilization. That's a few hundred more and probably worth it.


    Then there are the 3rd party lens makers like Sigma and Tamron. I honestly don't know their lineup very well.


    If you decide to go for a wide-angle instead, I could easily recommend the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM (~$400). This is an ultra wide angle zoom that goes out to 10mm. I am (or used to be in a previous life) a fan of the landscape photography and love my 10-22. I like the ultra-wide look. I rarely take the camera anywhere without this lens.

    DSLRs and zoom lenses-img_0107-jpg

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  5. #5
    ^ It's my bike and my car tls25rs's Avatar
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    Re: DSLRs and zoom lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Mustang View Post
    Mom has a Canon EOS Rebel T2i with two lenses: 18-55mm and 55-250mm. Dad wants to get her another lens that zooms farther for her birthday in two weeks. He let me know this today, I'm going out of the country for a week, and I know zero about cameras. The past 30 minutes of research has confirmed that I know nothing about cameras. WTF should I be searching for to get more range than a 55-250mm, which I think is 5x zoom? She takes pictures of sunrises and sunsets, and birds sitting on the lake.

    Budget: < $1000
    Josh Cuppek? Arcy Kusari?

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  6. #6
    I've been here before. Mustang's Avatar
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    Re: DSLRs and zoom lenses

    Thanks all, esp Bubs for the nice 3rd grader version of How Do I Do Lenses, and Joel for the "duh - why didn't I think of that" comment!

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    Bill Cool --- LRRS/CCS EX #47 --- 2018 and 2019 LRRS Double Backup Champion GTL and ULSB, 2012 LRRS Champion AM Thunderbike --- RSP Racing / TTD / MTAG-Pirelli / Woodcraft / Dyno Solutions / Sportbike Track Gear / Knox / Brunetto T-Shirts / GMD CompuTrack

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    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: DSLRs and zoom lenses

    To add briefly to what Bubs said, a great cheap lens that every photographer should have is the “Nifty Fifty.” It’s a 50 mm prime lens used primarily for shooting event/gathering type things. This is the classic picture with the super sharp foreground and blurry background. You can grab one for ~$100.

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  8. #8
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: DSLRs and zoom lenses

    If you are using a Canon crop (EF-S) body I think the 40mm f/2.8 "pancake" is a better choice than the "nifty fifty". It is also about $100. It is 2.8. And it is frickin' tiny. (Read: easy to pack.)

    On a crop body 40 isn't far off of what 50 would be on a full-frame.
    The affordable Canon 50 is a 1.8 though, which is faster than the 2.8 of the 40.

    I also have this lens (the EF-S 40mm).

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  9. #9
    Lifer LuvDog's Avatar
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    Re: DSLRs and zoom lenses

    More than the budget, but you won’t “outrgrow” this lens

    https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/c...-56l-is-ii-usm

    Slightly cheaper refurbished

    https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/c...sm-refurbished

    I use it more than any other lens I own.

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    Last edited by LuvDog; 11-08-19 at 06:51 PM.
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  10. #10
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: DSLRs and zoom lenses

    Moms love Harbor Freight gift cards as birthday presents

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  11. #11
    Satans Donkey Uncle Snake's Avatar
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    Re: DSLRs and zoom lenses

    All I know about zoom lenses is that if yours develops a "noise" just send it in for repair. You'd be amazed at how many tiny assed little parts go in one..... I'm a machinist so I thought I'd give it a shot. Huge fail......

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  12. #12
    Dic on
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    Re: DSLRs and zoom lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by LuvDog View Post
    More than the budget, but you won’t “outrgrow” this lens

    https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/c...-56l-is-ii-usm

    Slightly cheaper refurbished

    https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/c...sm-refurbished

    I use it more than any other lens I own.
    My price is $1579 band new or $1531 refurbished, FYI.

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  13. #13
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    Re: DSLRs and zoom lenses

    Not to hijack this thread, but I have a monopod that's sitting around gathering dust if you want it. Looks basically like this: https://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-Com...s%2C157&sr=8-6

    Not interested in Shipping - you gotta come to Milton (or thereabouts) to get it.

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