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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 29 Mar 2011 (Tuesday) 16:18
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Anyone have an opinion on a lens? :)

Senior Member
367 posts
Joined Apr 2008
Location: SE Wisconsin
Mar 29, 2011 16:18 |  #1
bannedPermanent ban

So I have this internal debate going on in my head and I'm pretty sure I've convinced myself on the right path to take, but just doing a quick sanity check.

I'm simply an empassioned hobbyist, but I do senior & family portraits and sports for a local high high school. I feel I have things covered for that.

I still would like a general walk around lens to complement my 17-55mm f/2.8. (as in, "hey let's go to the zoo today!") I've been considering the following:

24-105mm f/4L
70-200mm f/4L (non-IS)
Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8
Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS

I would almost exclusively use the lens outside. I'm leaning towards the the 55-250mm, simply because it is the least expensive on the list and would definitely meet the goal I'm trying to accomplish and has pretty good IQ for the most part. But, I find myself going back and forth to the 70-200mm because I could use that for portraits and it has a more rugged build, etc. I know I could use my 85mm or 135mm too as a walk around as well, but I do like the flexibility of the variable zoom.

I'd appreciate any other views that any of you might have as well.

Thank you -- Tom

Gear: 7D, 5D Mk II, 17-55mm f/2.8, 24-105mm f/4L, 100mm f/2.8L IS, 135mm f/2L, 300mm f/4L IS

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157 posts
Joined Nov 2010
Location: P-Town, OR
Mar 29, 2011 16:22 |  #2

70-200 good for sports and portraits.

Filters are like Condoms ... Protection at loss of some quality.

Senior Member
332 posts
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Joined Mar 2011
Location: Southern Indiana
Mar 29, 2011 16:32 |  #3


I must vote for the Canon 55-250 if you are looking for a very good value. This is a GREAT lens for the money (and even more). I finally traded mine for an L lens, but it still holds it own. The IS works very well, and the 250mm is very handy.

Since you mentioned the Zoo, I have a link below where all the animal pictures were shot with this lens. I was using a 7D body. Some of these were pretty large crops....​otos/zoo/index.html (external link)

Good luck! (btw.. my website appears to be running a bit slow tonight).


Canon 6D | Canon 7DII | 17-40 f/4L | 24-105 f/4L | 70-300 4/5.6L |100mm f/2.8L macro | 50mm 1.4 | 580exII | 2 - 430exII |

Cream of the Crop
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Location: Hong Kong
Mar 29, 2011 16:56 |  #4

The 55-250 would be a great start, then when you know whether or not you like the focal length and need something better, you can upgrade to a 70-200 :)

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F-Stop Guru review | RRS BH-40 review

Senior Member
980 posts
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Joined Aug 2008
Location: Manchester, PA
Mar 29, 2011 16:59 |  #5

It's a tough call. If you don't think you'll use the lens much compared to other lenses you already have, then maybe the 55-250 is the one simply because you're not spending a ton of money on a lens you won't use that often.

I would personally pick the Tokina 50-135 simply because I love f2.8 and faster lenses. I'm anxiously awaiting for Sigma to release the new 50-150mm f2.8 OS. I picked up my 70-300mm as part of a trade as a do-for-now telephoto until I have the funds for an f2.8 telephoto. I find 70 too long sometimes and wish for a little wider, so the 50-150 will be a nice range. I'll probably get a 2x teleconverter too, and then essentially have a 100-300 f5.6 OS too.

I used the 24-105mm as an outdoor walk-around, but found I mostly used it at 24 (wanting wider) or 50 and above. That's why I traded it. I ended up getting my Sigma 10-20mm and the Canon 70-300mm plus cash for it. I like the Sigma 10-20 and will be keeping it. But the 70-300 will get sold once the Sigma 50-150 OS is released.

Canon: EOS 3, 40mm f2.8 STM, 85mm f1.8 USM. Voigtlander: R3A, 28mm F2.8 SL II, Nokton 40mm f1.4, 50mm f2 Heliar.
Nikon: SB-25. Yongnuo: YN565EX, YN-622C transceiver (x2)
Sony: A7S, a6000, 24-240mm f3.5-6.3 G, Nissin i40.

129 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Nov 2007
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Mar 29, 2011 17:05 |  #6

I'm going to throw a curve in the mix and suggest a 24-105 f4 IS. I think it's a fantastic lens for an everyday walk around and you may find you never take it off your camera. If you feel it kind of crosses over your 17-55 too much then the 70-200 is a great choice. I think everyone should own one of the 70-200 lenses myself.

40D, 50mm 1.4, EFS 10-22mm, 28-70 2.8 L , 24-105L 4.0 IS , 70-200 2.8L. Speedlite 430EX II. Canon G12, Sony HDR-SR12 .
Canon G5X

Senior Member
367 posts
Joined Apr 2008
Location: SE Wisconsin
Mar 29, 2011 17:06 |  #7
bannedPermanent ban

Thanks so far everyone, at least I know I'm not crazy for not being able to make up my mind! And Ron, thank you for sharing the pics -- very nice!


Gear: 7D, 5D Mk II, 17-55mm f/2.8, 24-105mm f/4L, 100mm f/2.8L IS, 135mm f/2L, 300mm f/4L IS

1,196 posts
Gallery: 17 photos
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Joined Mar 2010
Location: Kentucky
Mar 29, 2011 17:39 |  #8

Check Adorama refurbished for some interesting possibilities. The 55-250 and 18-135 are real bargins. …y=0&sort=p_pric​e_sort%7c1 (external link)

Canon refurbished has some good prices.​com …1_-1_22751_highPrice_list (external link)

Canon 7D Mark II w/Canon BG-E16 Battery Grip; Canon EOS 50D w/Canon Battery Grip; Canon SL1; Tokina 12mm - 24mm f/4 PRO DX II; Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS; Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS; Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS; Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM; Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS; Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM; Canon Extender EF 1.4x II; Canon Extender EF 2x II; Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash
Image Editing Okay

David ­ Arbogast
Cream of the Crop
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Location: West Point, Georgia
Mar 29, 2011 17:58 |  #9

Since you already have the excellent 17-55mm, which I think is the perfect walk-around general-purpose lens for a crop-frame SLR, I would consider striking the 24-105 off your list. You mentioned zoo and sport, and those things would benefit from a longer focal length. 105mm isn't going to get you very close to that lion's face. Either the 70-200 or 55-250 will. And between those two, the 55-250 might be better due to the IS. Unless you are going to shoot solely from a tripod, I don't think a telephoto zoom without IS is the best idea.

I haven't reviewed the optics of the 55-250mm, but on the surface it looks like a great fit; with two lenses you'd cover a range of 17-250mm. If you get the 70-200mm, which is a very nice lens, spend more and get it with the IS.

David | Flickr (external link)
Sony α7R II | CV 12mm, FE 12-24mm, Loxia 21mm, Loxia 35mm, Sigma 35mm F/1.2, Loxia 85mm, Batis 85mm, Batis 135mm

8 posts
Joined Mar 2011
Location: Nottinghamshire, UK
Mar 29, 2011 18:21 |  #10

I recently got the Canon 55-250mm IS to go with my kit 18-55mm lens. It's a really good second lens when you're on a budget.

Canon EOS 450D | 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS | 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS
Flickr:​photos/antisilence/ (external link)

1,538 posts
Likes: 4
Joined Dec 2010
Location: Renton, WA
Mar 29, 2011 18:26 |  #11

there are a couple of 70-200 f4 NON-IS for sale right not. really good prices as well. go check them out.

-Brendan B.
Graphic Designer | Photographer
5D III | 5D III | Σ 35 1.4 Art | 35 1.4L | 85 1.8 | 100 2.8L | 135 2L
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"Tired of Goldmember label"
5,168 posts
Joined May 2006
Location: Okie
Mar 29, 2011 20:14 |  #12

If you can find a Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8 , I'd grab it . It's a sweet lens , Af might be a little slow for sports , but for a general walk around lens I'd go fo it over the others you have listed.


3,415 posts
Gallery: 6 photos
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Joined Jul 2008
Location: Florida, Weston
Mar 29, 2011 22:08 |  #13

I'll vote for the 70-200 f4 L
I shoot with it all the time. While I sometimes wish for IS you learn how to properly shoot and hold your camera and the results are simply stunningly sharp with gorgeous color. Is fairly light and super fast af.
I love that lens and will only sell it when I go f2.8 IS.


182 posts
Joined Mar 2011
Mar 29, 2011 23:01 |  #14

While I'd love to have a 70-200, the 55-250 is very good, especially outside.

Senior Member
323 posts
Joined Jan 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Mar 29, 2011 23:06 |  #15

So I have 2 of the lenses you are mentioning...

I would say that the 24-105, although a great lens, does overlap with your 17-55 enough that you probably wouldn't use one anymore. The 70-200 is also a great lens, but if you are thinking of going that way I would save up for the IS version.

My vote is on the 55-250 until you can get the 70-200 IS

Canon 5D, 24-105 F4L, 70-200 F4L, 85 F1.8, 430EX II

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Anyone have an opinion on a lens? :)
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