View Full Version : Cheap Telephoto Len(for canon)

TOM :)
22-08-10, 06:16 PM
Hey guys!
I am currently looking for a telphoto zoom lens for my canon 550d.

I already have a 17-70 Sigma, a 50 Canon prime, and a 70 Sigma macro. I need a telphoto lens, though, as I am going on safari for a second time next year, and may also be going to Sri Lanka. The only problem with this is that i have a very small budget of just 300, and I would prefer to pay less. I would like at least 250mm, and other than that I am open to suggestions.

I have been looking at the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom AF Lens. I think this seems great for the price and has IS, which would be useful, as most of the safari will be in a truck and I will be without the use of my beloved tripod. However, I am not sure whether it is good enough quality as it is very similar to the kit lens (in looks and feel), just slightly longer. Many of the reviews on amazon were very good, but many used phrases like 'its good for what it is' and 'good value', which worries me.

I would be extremely grateful if anyone could help me out ;)

22-08-10, 06:31 PM
I have just ordered this one myself I think pound for pound its not a bad lens

22-08-10, 11:00 PM
there are quite a few lenses you can look at, I can comment on the sigmas and tamrons, but I have no experience with canon lenses...

Sigma 70-300 DG macro - can be bought at around 170, not the best optically, but has a relatively brisk AF
Tamron 70-300 Di LD macro - can also be bought for 170, optically it is decent, but has sluggish AF
Sigma 70-300 APO DG - Slightly more expensive at 230, this combines both the advantages of the above, relatively fast, optically sound.
Canon 100-300 USM - 280
Canon 75-300 IS USM - 250
Tamron 18-250 Di-II LD - 270 Sharp and great macro

If you can stretch 680, which is a big big ask, you can look at the tamron 200-500mm (combined with the APS-C sensor of the 550d, you get 300-750mm!) which has the advantage of a much longer reach than all the above lenses, reaching nearly twice as far, allowing you to get really, really close to the animals, bear in mind though that physically this lens is rather large and heavy, weighing 3 times as much as all of the other lenses; also at 500mm the af is slow, but that is to be expected with such a large lens, but in photography you tend to get what you pay for :)

OR - you could go down a totally different route, sacrificing AF and suffering from a slightly slow aperture, but achieving a MASSIVE focal length for a minute price, take these two lenses:
Samyang 800mm f/8 (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SAMYANG-800mm-f-8-0-Mirror-Tele-Lens-Canon-50D-40D-7D-/390217077619?pt=UK_CamerasPhoto_CameraAccessories_ CameraLensesFilters_JN) this, on a 550d gives you a mind boggling 1200mm, all for 150!

500mm f/6.3 (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Super-Tele-Lens-Telelens-500-6-3-f-Canon-EOS-Cameras-/390162920757?pt=UK_CamerasPhoto_CameraAccessories_ CameraLensesFilters_JN#ht_2094wt_911) giving you 750mm at f/6.3, this lens is brighter, but doesnt have such a large reach as the above, you can get this for 134!

Note: with these lenses you get a distinctive donut shape bokeh, funky!

22-08-10, 11:29 PM
Oh another thing - mirror lenses are tiny and and incredibly light for their focal length the samyang 800mm weighs 880g, the canon 600mm f4 weighs 5.3kg and costs 66x more!