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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: Synomis192 on March 28, 2013, 11:07:11 PM

Title: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: Synomis192 on March 28, 2013, 11:07:11 PM
With the release of the Canon 100D on the horizon. I wanted to know what is the best super-zoom to buy that my girlfriend could use. She likes photography, but she hates the gear that comes along with it. I'm fine with carrying 3 lens (UWA, 50mm, Tele) but she wants to just have one lens that does it all. She does want the best quality from her gear so I wanted to know which super zoom has the best quality. I understand the negatives of a super zoom lens. So I'm asking everyone out there if they have any recommendations.

NO. The Canon 28-300L is not going to be an option :D
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: robbymack on March 28, 2013, 11:55:29 PM
Tamron 18-279 or canon 18-200, you really can't go wrong if there is not a iq issue. May as well get the one with the longest range...siggy 50-500  ;D
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: Area256 on March 29, 2013, 12:04:19 AM
What are the range requirements?  Canon doesn't have much in the EF-s super zoom department.  If you want something that's fairly wide on the wide end, like 18mm, you really don't have a lot of options.  The 18-135mm, and the 18-200mm are the only things I'd classify as a super zoom.   The 17-55mm is IMO the best standard zoom for APS-C, and the EF-S 17-85mm is a nice lens as well, but not really super zoom range.
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: bycostello on March 29, 2013, 12:23:05 AM
may be a zoom and a 2x teleconverter?
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: expatinasia on March 29, 2013, 02:14:26 AM
I think you need to be a little more specific and mention your budget, what she shoots etc.

The best zoom is probably the 70-200 f/2.8 Mark ii. Great lens, but light it is not.

The 70-300L f/4.5-5.6 is probably the best compromise, an excellent lens and not overly heavy.

Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: roedi on March 29, 2013, 05:07:41 AM
I'd also recommend the 70-300L f/4.5-5.6. It is an excellent lens (especially with a crop-sensor), not too heavy, not too bulky and not too pricey either (given it's an L-lens). I bought this one some months ago and I'm very pleased with the results. Please keep in mind that this lens will not work with Canon TCs (but it is reported to work with the Kenko 1.4 TC).

Given the small size of the camera in question, maybe I'd also give the 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 (non-L) a shot. It is reported to be a pretty decent lens and it is lighter and about half the price of the L-version. Using the 70-300L f/4.5-5.6 with my Rebel feels more like having the camera attached to the lens that the other way around ;)

Since you are willing to accept the usual drawbacks of a superzoom at least to some degree, a valid compromise could be to buy the non-L 70-300 alongside and spend the saved money on a 18-1xx zoom of decent quality. This way she'd be changing lenses very seldomly without having to sacrifice too much image quality.
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: noncho on March 29, 2013, 05:18:28 AM
Tamron 18-270 VC should be fine.

Don't forget that should be compact for small body like 100D  ;)
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: traveller on March 29, 2013, 06:32:51 AM
Here's a good link comparing the Canon 18-200 vs Sigma 18-250 vs Tamron 18-250 and 18-270:

http://www.juzaphoto.com/article.php?l=en&article=35 (http://www.juzaphoto.com/article.php?l=en&article=35)

It doesn't have the newer Tamron 18-270 PZ, nor either of the Canon 18-135s, which may also fit your girlfriend's requirements. 
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: Don Haines on March 29, 2013, 07:46:09 AM
I went through this myself looking for a single lens to take on hiking trips. The canon 18-200 was a clear winner, but be warned that sharpness from any super zoom is nowhere near a great zoom like the 17-55 or any of the 70-200's.

It is also the worst lens that I have ever used for "lens creep". Mine has a rubber band from a head of broccoli as a permanent feature to keep it under control. Also, this lens does NOT play well with teleconverters.
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 29, 2013, 08:21:20 AM
With the release of the Canon 100D on the horizon. I wanted to know what is the best super-zoom to buy that my girlfriend could use. She likes photography, but she hates the gear that comes along with it. I'm fine with carrying 3 lens (UWA, 50mm, Tele) but she wants to just have one lens that does it all. She does want the best quality from her gear so I wanted to know which super zoom has the best quality. I understand the negatives of a super zoom lens. So I'm asking everyone out there if they have any recommendations.

NO. The Canon 28-300L is not going to be an option :D
I went through this dilemma sometime ago, as I needed a one lens solution for daily usage (not meant for serious work) ... purchased Tamron 28-300 VC which i did not like and got rid of it ... so I finally went with Nikon D7000 + 18-300 VR lens and couldn't be happier. But for all serious needs it is 5D MKIII and a few L lenses.
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 29, 2013, 09:17:35 AM
...have one lens that does it all. She does want the best quality...

Sorry, but this is a contradiction in terms.  In general, superzooms sacrifice IQ for that range - not very sharp, bad distortion, substantial focus breathing (the Canon 18-200 is more like 150mm at the long end with subjects closer than infinity), CA, etc.  The one lens that doesn't compromise IQ is the one you excluded (28-300L), where the trade offs are size, weight, and cost. But on APS-C the 28-300 isn't wide angle, so I'd not recommend it as a 1-lens solution for a crop body.

I'd recommend skipping the superzooms and going with something like the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, and maybe later if she wants more reach, the 70-300L.
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: RGF on March 29, 2013, 09:30:15 AM
For range, consider the 28-300. The lens on a APS-C sensor will not be that wide, around 40 or so, but you will gain on the long end.   Downside is this is an L lens so it is built like a tank (heavy) and costs a mint.    If you some thing wider, you could add a 10-22 EF-S lens
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 29, 2013, 10:00:48 AM
How big will your girlfriend be printing?

Because, unless the printer takes ink by the gallon and paper by the yard -- that is, if she's never printing bigger than 13" x 19" -- then a P&S superzoom would be ideal for her. The quality of those things is actually rather scary, and they're small and pocketable.

The only real reason to use a DSLR in the first place is if you're going to be printing big; if you're going to be shooting in the dark; if you need a razor-thin depth of field; or for ergonomics (including shooting speed and autofocus and the like). An APS-C camera with a reasonably-priced superzoom lens is going to fail on most of those counts anyway, leaving it to also perform worse than a P&S on cost and size and weight and the like.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: AlanF on March 29, 2013, 10:46:55 AM
For sheer quality, the EF-S 15-85. It's a much better lens than the 17-85, as well as being significantly wider, and is of L quality. The 15mm at the wide end is more useful in many ways than the loss of length as the better IQ allows you to crop. Also, its size is suitable for the small camera. The 70-200mm f/2.8 would not seem suitable for a girlfriend to carry around on the lightweight body, or indeed the 70-300L. But, the 70-200 f/4 IS might just be, and its IQ is very, very close to its larger brother. The 55-250 is small, lightweight and incredible value for money for quite good performance.
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: Welendlenses on March 29, 2013, 11:38:59 AM
I'm guessing size is your concern, but if it's price the 35-350mm L is stellar for around $900.  In good light it really shows it's L qualities in sharpness and contrast.  All with USM too - one of our rental clients loves it for auto racing events and I love it for parades.
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: Nick Gombinsky on March 29, 2013, 12:01:57 PM
Be careful about weight, the new SL1 weighs so little that with a super zoom it might be too front heavy and she might not like it. Maybe you'll have to sacrifice a little bit of reach and get something like the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 OS (the new version weighs about 100grams less).

Unless someone releases a battery grip for the SL1, most zoom lenses will feel front heavy with this camera... which might annoy some consumers who just want small, light, and nice handling.

As for which super zoom, the Tamron 18-270 VC seems to be the best of the bunch.

EDIT: The 18-270 VC weighs almost the same as the Sigma 17-70, it is also the lightest super zoom.
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: sdsr on March 29, 2013, 12:04:35 PM
With the release of the Canon 100D on the horizon. I wanted to know what is the best super-zoom to buy that my girlfriend could use. She likes photography, but she hates the gear that comes along with it. I'm fine with carrying 3 lens (UWA, 50mm, Tele) but she wants to just have one lens that does it all. She does want the best quality from her gear so I wanted to know which super zoom has the best quality. I understand the negatives of a super zoom lens. So I'm asking everyone out there if they have any recommendations.


What range is included in your "does it all"?  As you doubtless know, no superzoom lens goes really wide, and the longest zooms don't go wide at all (barring point-and-shoots such as the Canon sx50).  And what does "best quality" mean?  (If she likes low light photography, aps-c + superzoom = inferior quality.)  What's more, if she "hates the gear", she should see how such a lens feels when attached to that little camera - it might be quite unbalanced and unpleasant to use....   

But are you sure she wants a dslr at all?  If she doesn't need to zoom in terribly far, a Sony RX100 might make more sense - near-dslr quality, tiny, no lenses to change and easy to use (if you like handling point-and-shoots, that is).  Or, if her dislike of the gear relates mainly to size and weight, what about micro 4/3, where the cameras and lenses are all much smaller and lighter than dslr gear?
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: Dantana on March 29, 2013, 02:19:03 PM
I went through this myself looking for a single lens to take on hiking trips. The canon 18-200 was a clear winner, but be warned that sharpness from any super zoom is nowhere near a great zoom like the 17-55 or any of the 70-200's.

It is also the worst lens that I have ever used for "lens creep". Mine has a rubber band from a head of broccoli as a permanent feature to keep it under control. Also, this lens does NOT play well with teleconverters.

I made the same choice a few years ago, thinking I could live with a little lower IQ and take more pictures since I wouldn't have to swap lenses.

Now, my 18-200 pretty much sits in the bag. It's not a bad lens when you take into account its range, and I have used it to get some nice shots. It just doesn't hold up to my other lenses. I've gone back to shooting with primes for the most part, the same way I shot back in the FD days.

It is convenient to have the range, and I haven't gotten rid of it. I just don't use it as much as I thought I would. It might be something to borrow/rent (if that's possible) to get a feel for it before buying. If I had to go back, I think I would have put the money toward a 200mm 2.8 L and stayed with my kit lenses for zooms.
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: Don Haines on March 29, 2013, 02:33:42 PM
I went through this myself looking for a single lens to take on hiking trips. The canon 18-200 was a clear winner, but be warned that sharpness from any super zoom is nowhere near a great zoom like the 17-55 or any of the 70-200's.

It is also the worst lens that I have ever used for "lens creep". Mine has a rubber band from a head of broccoli as a permanent feature to keep it under control. Also, this lens does NOT play well with teleconverters.

I made the same choice a few years ago, thinking I could live with a little lower IQ and take more pictures since I wouldn't have to swap lenses.

Now, my 18-200 pretty much sits in the bag. It's not a bad lens when you take into account its range, and I have used it to get some nice shots. It just doesn't hold up to my other lenses. I've gone back to shooting with primes for the most part, the same way I shot back in the FD days.

It is convenient to have the range, and I haven't gotten rid of it. I just don't use it as much as I thought I would. It might be something to borrow/rent (if that's possible) to get a feel for it before buying. If I had to go back, I think I would have put the money toward a 200mm 2.8 L and stayed with my kit lenses for zooms.
Mine stays in the bag most of the time too. I replaced it with a 17-55 and the F4 is version of the 70-200. The difference in IQ is striking.....
Title: Re: Which Super-Zoom is the best?
Post by: Synomis192 on March 30, 2013, 03:23:39 AM
g.

As for which super zoom, the Tamron 18-270 VC seems to be the best of the bunch.

EDIT: The 18-270 VC weighs almost the same as the Sigma 17-70, it is also the lightest super zoom.

Well, I asked her about this weight question and she said she wants something that won't be cumbersome for me in my backpack (-.-)

Weight really isn't a priority for us. It's mainly more of a convenience for when we go backpacking this summer. She wants to pick up any shots that I miss. It's kind of like having a backup photographer. I'll be packing an UWA and a TELE (2 zooms).

What range is included in your "does it all"?  As you doubtless know, no superzoom lens goes really wide, and the longest zooms don't go wide at all (barring point-and-shoots such as the Canon sx50).  And what does "best quality" mean?  (If she likes low light photography, aps-c + superzoom = inferior quality.)  What's more, if she "hates the gear", she should see how such a lens feels when attached to that little camera - it might be quite unbalanced and unpleasant to use....   

But are you sure she wants a dslr at all?  If she doesn't need to zoom in terribly far, a Sony RX100 might make more sense - near-dslr quality, tiny, no lenses to change and easy to use (if you like handling point-and-shoots, that is).  Or, if her dislike of the gear relates mainly to size and weight, what about micro 4/3, where the cameras and lenses are all much smaller and lighter than dslr gear?

I've tried to tell her that the Sony RX100 will be fine for her use but she's been accustomed to using DSLRs after I've let her play with mine. It's more of a personal preference for her. Although her hands are tiny and cute, she loves feeling in full control.

I'm bringing my S100 if she needs it haha. The Sony NEX C3 is something that she's looking at too. Thanks for the heads up :D

For sheer quality, the EF-S 15-85. It's a much better lens than the 17-85, as well as being significantly wider, and is of L quality. The 15mm at the wide end is more useful in many ways than the loss of length as the better IQ allows you to crop. Also, its size is suitable for the small camera

That Canon EF-s 15-85mm is actually a good choice, but she wants to see if theres any other choices before she pops $700 for a lens. haha