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Author Topic: best NON L long lens  (Read 6981 times)

jimjamesjimmy

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best NON L long lens
« on: March 12, 2013, 07:24:04 PM »
im looking for a cheapish bird/garden lens   but cannot afford a nice L lens.

prime or zoom, doesnt bother me, probably 300mm+ on a full frame.

does any body know a good model from any manufacturer , of course its not gonna be the best optically, probably noisy, slow autofocus, bearing all that in mind, whats the best of the worst out there?

thanks for any recommendations

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best NON L long lens
« on: March 12, 2013, 07:24:04 PM »

robbymack

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2013, 07:41:03 PM »
Are you shooting crop or ff?  I assume crop, so the 55-250 gets knocked by gear heads but for the price it's pretty good. If you can stretch the 70-200 f4L is very good and can be picked up used for not too much cash if you can live without IS.

Don Haines

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2013, 07:44:09 PM »
im looking for a cheapish bird/garden lens   but cannot afford a nice L lens.

prime or zoom, doesnt bother me, probably 300mm+ on a full frame.

does any body know a good model from any manufacturer , of course its not gonna be the best optically, probably noisy, slow autofocus, bearing all that in mind, whats the best of the worst out there?

thanks for any recommendations

It's a bit shorter.... And is L glass... But at $650 the 70-200 f4 non-is lens has to be one of the better lenses out there and will out resolve some of the cheaper 75-300 lenses.... And you might find a REALLY good deal on a used one.

Henrys (Canada) has the canon 70-300 f4-5.6 is for sale for $400.

And by the way... The grey owls are back on March Valley Road
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Positron

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2013, 07:47:08 PM »
I have the Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 VC on FF Nikon and it's quite nice... especially for less than $300. I agree with robbymack though that if you don't need IS the 70-200 f/4L is the way to go. I don't think any of the non-L tele zooms are very good past 200mm, anyway.

well_dunno

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2013, 08:27:55 PM »
prime or zoom, doesnt bother me, probably 300mm+ on a full frame.

Sigma 120-400, 150-500 or Tamron 200-500? Not sure about the USD price but I dont think they are significantly cheaper than the 10-400 L...

Cheers!

wickidwombat

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2013, 08:37:07 PM »
look around for a second hand 300 f4L IS i got mine off ebay for $800
it's worth the extra over a crappy non-L zoom
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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 09:51:02 PM »
You mentioned full frame, so for a low cost 300mm lens, try the refurbished 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS.  For $364, its pretty good.
 
 
Nothing else from Canon that is 300mm and low cost with IS.
 
http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_259107_-1
 
 
I've owned many of the third party lenses, most of them were marginal, and not worth the price.
 
 
 
 
One of the few good + low cost lens I have owned is a old Tokina 400mm f/5.6.  Its a fine lens, but no IS, so it requires a fast shutter speed, and that's tough with a f/5.6 lens.  I only paid $125 for it, but that was a deal.
 

 
 

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 09:51:02 PM »

pj1974

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 09:55:05 PM »
The OP wrote "Probably 300mm+ on a full frame.

So the 70-200mm f/4 L (non IS) - while a great lens, doesn't meet his stated criterion.

Some time ago I was looking for a new telezoom to replace my Canon 100-300mm USM (which didn't have the IQ at 300mm, and also lacked IS).

I considered the Sigma 120-400, Sigma 150-500 and Tamron 200-500, as well as the Canon 70-300mm nonL and Tamron 70-300 VC.  I would've gone for the Tamron, except I tried the Canon 70-300mm L, fell in love with it: was blown away with the IQ and usability (while still being portable) as well as getting a good deal on a new one.

When I tried the Sigma's, I found they had both a lack of contrast / sharpness wide open, not as sharp AF as I wanted, and the Canon 70-300mm nonL wasn't too bad, but not great in build quality, AF a bit dodgy and IQ generally quite good except wide open at tele-end. The Tamron 200-500 didn't meet my focal length requirements (but might the OP's) - but the IQ isn't the best

So in the end I thought the Tamon 70-300mm was the best pick of the bunch, decent IQ (lacking sharpness wide open at teleend, but not bad)... maybe the OP can obtain a good deal on a new one, or a decent 2nd hand copy. I'd steer clear of the variation incarnations of the older / cheaper Canon 75-300 ... they are plain poor. I'd much rather have the newer Canon 55-250mm (vI or vII)...   There is nothing like an L tele lens though (either the good zooms or primes). I'm very happy with my Canon 70-300mm L... it really shines, but I realise it's probably out of the OP's planned budget!

Regards

Paul
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brattymesler

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2013, 12:36:12 PM »
two lenses for you by sigma.  I can't testify to either one of them, but they may meet your criteria.  They may not be as good as Canon's, but the cost is significantly less. 

Additionally, what about the Canon 75-300 IS?

120-400 f/4.5-5.6 w/ OS  $949  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/549247-REG/Sigma_728101_120_400mm_f_4_5_5_6_DG_OS.html 

150-500 f/5-6.3 w/ OS  $1019  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/549255-REG/Sigma_737101_150_500mm_f_5_6_3_DG_OS.html

dstppy

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 01:40:39 PM »
We can't tell you without your price range.

Example:
EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM is under $800, long-ish, and worth every single cent . . . if you want something under $500, under $300, there are other 'decent' lenses.

Honestly, how the lens focuses matters just as much . . . everyone says the non-L 70-300 is fine, but I hate the one I have.  I paid way too much for it because I wanted something in that range and everything comes out 'just okay'.

Let us know what you're talking about price wise and we can tell you better.
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sdsr

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 02:13:35 PM »
im looking for a cheapish bird/garden lens   but cannot afford a nice L lens.

prime or zoom, doesnt bother me, probably 300mm+ on a full frame.

does any body know a good model from any manufacturer , of course its not gonna be the best optically, probably noisy, slow autofocus, bearing all that in mind, whats the best of the worst out there?

thanks for any recommendations

There are fairly inexpensive lenses that don't go beyond 300mm, esp. the 70-300 non-L IS.  It's not quite as good as the 70-300L, but if you get a good copy you might be pleasantly surprised.  I'm not sure what you mean by "cheapish", but the Sigma 50-500 OS does a very good job - not exactly prime lens sharp at 500mm, but better than I expected (heavy, though...).

If you want to zoom as far as 600mm fairly inexpensively you might want to consider taking advantage of the crop factor on a micro 4/3 camera; last weekend I rented such a camera, along with a few lenses, including a Panasonic 100-300 (200-600 equiv.) lens with IS.  I was very pleasantly surprised by the results and compared to my Canon L zooms and Sigma 50-500 it seems to weigh nothing at all....  If that seems at all interesting, take a look here:

http://lindsaydobsonphotography.com/pets/panasonic-35-100-f2-8-and-100-300-f4-5-6-olympus-omd/



Policar

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 02:34:02 PM »
I sold my 55-250mm IS for $100 on eBay. I sort of wish I hadn't! For the money it is a decent lens, but you say you want FF, so....

I am also extremely fond of the 70-300mm VC Tamron, which is a better lens in every way. The VC is awesome, it focuses reasonably fast (not that fast, though) and the size and weight balance well with a 5D. But it's super strong at 70mm and weaker at 300mm, so if you want fast AF and sharpness at 300mm I can't recommend it as heartily. In general I sort of prefer it to my 70-200mm f2.8 non-IS, but since I mostly shoot video (for which speed matters most) I will probably ditch the Tamron when push comes to shove. That said, I like it a lot!
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 03:03:27 PM by Policar »

bwfishing

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 03:41:15 PM »
I think the review at www.photozone.de would say Sigma AF 100-300mm f/4 is a champ in its division. They don't make it any more :-(  You can find some used ($500-$600) or overpriced new ones.

The numbers stack-up nicely against the L lenses in this class. Also performs well with 1.4x TC to get 116-480mm

"The Sigma AF 100-300mm f/4 EX HSM is the most impressive Sigma zoom lens tested to date. It is capable to deliver a near flawless performance with great resolution figures, low vignetting, low distortions, low CAs and as a nice whipped cream on top the build quality feels just right. It also mates pretty well with the Canon EF 1.4x II converter at costs of relatively high CAs and a somewhat lower but still high resolution. All in all ... highly recommended!"

http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/328-sigma-af-100-300mm-f4-ex-hsm-apo-lab-test-report--review
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 03:44:42 PM by bwfishing »

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 03:41:15 PM »

Casey

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2013, 04:01:29 PM »
I can advise to avoid the Tamron 70-300.  It costs less than $300.00, but very few photos were usable.  It seems that the autofocus does not work consistantly.  I could not afford a more expensive lens at the time so I rented a 100-400 and later a 70-300L.  This delayed my need, as well as making sure that I new what I wanted.   I saved up and when I found a refurbished 70-300L at 20% off the refurbished cost ($1039.00) I jumped on it. 

Avoid the cheap lenses, rent a good one for the short term.  When you can afford it then buy what you need.

Good Luck
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bwfishing

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 04:09:38 PM »
+1 for Casey thoughts on renting before buying! I'm testing/renting the EF 300mm f/4L IS USM next. I tried the 100-400 as well, but not yet got my hands on the 70-300L, but I will. 

The only thing bad about renting is when you rent something too good that is out of your price range to buy.
I'm still trying to recover from the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM that lens is amazing!

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Re: best NON L long lens
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 04:09:38 PM »