Art and Photography

Good budget telephoto lens for Canon?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 16th, 2017 2:48 am
[OP]
Deal Guru
Feb 19, 2008
10730 posts
981 upvotes

Good budget telephoto lens for Canon?

Right now I use a Tamron 28-135 and Canon 55-250 is stm

I'm not looking to spend a ton of money, but I'd like to get something in the 400-500mm range

Right now I'm looking at a Tokina AT-X AF 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 D for $350

Its mostly going to be for birds. Prefer to stay in the <$500 bracket.
Recent great deals:

MSI Auros GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition - $375(Auction)
Canon EOS 70d Body - $436(Auction)
Lots of lens filters - FREE(Amazon)
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7 replies
Deal Guru
Dec 10, 2004
11357 posts
1000 upvotes
Kanata
try to find a good bargain on a sigma 150-500mm.
[OP]
Deal Guru
Feb 19, 2008
10730 posts
981 upvotes
This one?

Look at this on eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/222624538118
Recent great deals:

MSI Auros GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition - $375(Auction)
Canon EOS 70d Body - $436(Auction)
Lots of lens filters - FREE(Amazon)
LG G6 - $410(Wow Mobile)
Philips Smoke-less Indoor Barbecue Gril - $67.50(auction)
Deal Guru
Dec 10, 2004
11357 posts
1000 upvotes
Kanata
Yes, that is a good lens for birding given your budget.
[OP]
Deal Guru
Feb 19, 2008
10730 posts
981 upvotes
I've got a guy that is selling for $650... but that's a little more than I really wanted to spend. Is there anything else comparable/slightly worse in the price range?
Recent great deals:

MSI Auros GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition - $375(Auction)
Canon EOS 70d Body - $436(Auction)
Lots of lens filters - FREE(Amazon)
LG G6 - $410(Wow Mobile)
Philips Smoke-less Indoor Barbecue Gril - $67.50(auction)
Deal Guru
Dec 10, 2004
11357 posts
1000 upvotes
Kanata
Not really, you gotta play if you want to play with the long telephotos.
Sr. Member
Aug 1, 2010
711 posts
267 upvotes
Montreal
Especially for birds, you need fast AF often and a cheap lens won't give you that
Portrait and Wedding Photographer - Instagram
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2006
3045 posts
475 upvotes
Vancouver
Tamron 200-500 is a good option as well.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... Di_LD.html

It is lighter than the Sigma but said to be a touch sharper - if I recall right it is sharper at f8 than the Sigma is at f11.

All these 150-500 or 200-500 or 150-600 lens have a sweet spot in the aperture for sharpness. For example my Sigma 50-500 starts to sharpen up at at f8 and is best at f11. They also have a sweet spot in the focal length for sharpness i.e. being sharpest between 200 and 400mm. Another point with the older models of the 150-500 and 200-500 lens is that they lack any kind of anti-shake / vibration reduction in the lens itself. A modern lens with internal vibration reduction offer somewhere between 3 and 4 stops advantage in preventing blur from lens shake.

With longer focal lengths you will have to balance shutter speed vs focal length in order to minimize blur from handheld shake. So maybe with an inexpensive older 150-500 you may have to spend some extra $$$ to get a quality tripod and ball head or gimbal. Newer models of Sigma's and Tamron's for the Canon mount do have this feature but you likely will be paying $1000+ for a pre-owned unit. You get to a point where you automatically juggle aperture versus available light in order to keep shutter speed up to prevent blur from lens shake or quick movements of birds.

FWIW... With my 50-500 and a body with internal shake reduction I never invested in a tripod and ball head and shoot all hand held or very rarely with a cheap cheap cheap tripod I had bought years ago for an 8mm video cam. I have plenty of handheld f6.5 shots between 400 and 500mm that I'm more than happy with. However, if I had not wanted the 50 - 200mm range for use on soccer fields, I would have gone with the Tamron 200-500.

Check out shots with the Tamron 200-500 here....

https://www.flickr.com/search/?sort=int ... %20200-500

Browsing these shots I see a few of them appear to me to be heavy crops of shots taken on older camera bodies that may not have had a Micro Focus Adjust feature. MFA is something your camera body should have to get the most out of a lens at longer focal lens. You can tune the lens/body combo to be optimal at 400mm

PS... Maintenance.... these long lens can be problematic for sucking in dust - they're built like a balloon pump so you may also have to invest in a cleaning kit for the sensor. Some of the older Sigma models were notorious for issues with the drive gears stripping with certain bodies having high torque motors. Sigma repairs are handled in Canada by Gentec in the Toronto area. I've had to send my Sigma in twice to them, once for a n/c firmware update and once for a gear repair. They were really good to deal with.

http://www.gentec-intl.com/service/

I'm not sure who handles Tamron repairs in Canada.

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