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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 31 Jan 2010 (Sunday) 18:36
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Best "short" zoom lense

 
Gable74
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Jan 31, 2010 18:36 |  #1

Weird title I know but I am looking for the best zoom lense but as short as possible so lugging it around is not to terrible. I would like something that will zoom to at least 400mm and will except a 1.4x or 2x multiplier if I wanted to go that route.

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sapearl
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Jan 31, 2010 18:41 |  #2

Sorry - can't make a good recommendation for you, although I believe the 2X TC will either not AF on something that long, or will not do it reliably. On top of that I think you would end up with a really slow lens - aperture wise - unless you paid a ton of money. But even then I'm not sure one exists.

What sort of work will this be geared towards? Do you need something with a fast maximum aperture, or is that secondary to your needs?


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BC888
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Jan 31, 2010 18:41 |  #3

The smallest good lens that will go to 400 is the 100-400l




  
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amyandmark3
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Jan 31, 2010 18:42 |  #4

Gable, do you have a budget of ''X'' dollars?


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zwright
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Jan 31, 2010 18:43 |  #5

400mm and short? look on b and h and you will see how silly that sounds.

zoom and focal length are not same thing also

i am not trying to be mean just go have a look

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Jan 31, 2010 18:44 |  #6

Totally forgot about that one - great recommendation. ;)

For some reason (as I looked at his lens lineup) I was thinking he wanted something that started under 100mm. But the 100-400 would be a nice addition.

BC888 wrote in post #9513193 (external link)
The smallest good lens that will go to 400 is the 100-400l


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Jan 31, 2010 19:05 |  #7

zwright wrote in post #9513206 (external link)
400mm and short?

Depends on the intended use. For birding and wildlife, which are what I'm guessing the OP is intending for this lens, 400mm is sort of at the short end of what would be used in the wild (ie. not the zoo or parks where you can get close to the bird/animal).

Reason I asked about a budget is because the 2 main lenses I would suggest, and that fit the OP's guidelines, are in pretty different price ranges.

Canon 100-400L IS ($1200-1300'ish used)
Sigma 150-500 OS ($800-850'ish used)

Both very good lenses with stabilization. Since the OP has a 7D, there's no zoom lens that goes to 400mm or longer that will AF well with an extender attached (hence the 1D3 in my signature which does AF in that situation :)). You can "tape the pins" on a Kenko 1.4x and get it to AF with these lenses, but the AF will be noticeably slower and less accurate than without it attached (assuming the 7D performs the same as my previous 40D and 50D did with that setup). You can manually focus with the extender attached and get pretty good results, but that's tough to do if the bird/animal is moving much, at least for me it is! :D

Hope that helped a little.


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Gable74
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Jan 31, 2010 19:30 |  #8

Yes, the main operation of the lense will be wildlife/birding. My price range is around $1000. The reason I need something small is because my wife does most of the shooting and she is small herself. I find the 55-250mm to be okay but its just not getting close enough. We hike a lot and I dont want to turn a leisurely stroll into a, "who's gonna carry this big heavy thing" horror hike. Thanks for the help.


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amyandmark3
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Jan 31, 2010 19:43 |  #9

For under $1,000, take a serious look at the Sigma 150-500 OS. It's not nearly as small as your 55-250, but it is "small" compared to the larger prime lenses used for wildlife photography. If you haven't seen what it can do, here's 90+ pages of photos from the Sigma: https://photography-on-the.net …read.php?t=5148​46&page=89


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gasrocks
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Jan 31, 2010 19:51 |  #10

Small, light and merely ok at 400mm is the Tokina 80-400 zoom, version II. Inexpensive as well.


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ed ­ rader
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Jan 31, 2010 19:55 |  #11

Gable74 wrote in post #9513483 (external link)
Yes, the main operation of the lense will be wildlife/birding. My price range is around $1000. The reason I need something small is because my wife does most of the shooting and she is small herself. I find the 55-250mm to be okay but its just not getting close enough. We hike a lot and I dont want to turn a leisurely stroll into a, "who's gonna carry this big heavy thing" horror hike. Thanks for the help.

i'd recommend the 70-300 IS. you have 18 mp so you can crop alot. just remember that you'll always want more length and that any solution over 300mm is gonna get heavy and/or expensive :D.

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Gable74
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Jan 31, 2010 20:12 |  #12

ed rader wrote in post #9513657 (external link)
i'd recommend the 70-300 IS. you have 18 mp so you can crop alot. just remember that you'll always want more length and that any solution over 300mm is gonna get heavy and/or expensive :D.

ed rader

How does the 70-300 perform with a 1.4x or 2x? I know that 300mm alone will not be close enough. If the it looks good with a 2x on it then it maybe a good option.


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Jan 31, 2010 20:17 |  #13

If you want a physically short lens that zooms to 400 and will accept converters go buy yourself a Canon SX20IS. If you are looking in the SLR realm then there is no such thing as a small x-400.


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ed ­ rader
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Jan 31, 2010 20:21 |  #14

Gable74 wrote in post #9513792 (external link)
How does the 70-300 perform with a 1.4x or 2x? I know that 300mm alone will not be close enough. If the it looks good with a 2x on it then it maybe a good option.

it probably won't work with TCs. i own the 100-400L and i won't use it with TCs and with your camera it will also not work with TCs unless you manual focus.

you know birders will use 400mm lenses at the shortest and the least expensive of those lenses -- 400L f5.6 & 100-400L -- are above your budget and work best with 1d bodies when using TCs and a 2x TC will produce poor IQ with either lens and neither will AF.

what i'm trying to say is you need to rachet back your expectations.

ed rader


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Gable74
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Jan 31, 2010 20:23 |  #15

Citizensmith wrote in post #9513835 (external link)
If you want a physically short lens that zooms to 400 and will accept converters go buy yourself a Canon SX20IS. If you are looking in the SLR realm then there is no such thing as a small x-400.

I am not looking for "small"....I am looking for the most compact zoom (to at least 400mm) that will still produce good IQ photos. I know there is no such thing as a "small" 400mm lense. I am speaking relatively.


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Best "short" zoom lense
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