Tech

Top 5 Canon Zoom Lens

If you’re looking to photograph subjects from a far distance or in action, say at a sporting event, you’ll need a zoom or telephoto lens. Most Canon DSLR kits come with an 18–55mm lens included, and while you’ll definitely be able to create some great images with this 18–55mm, you won’t be able to capture anything far away. Zoom lenses are also great for wildlife photography, as you can capture birds flying (such as in the Getty image above) even when you’re far from the animal. Canon’s L-series lenses set the standard for professional DSLR zoom lenses.

Canon 70–300mm f/4–5.6L IS USM


The first of Canon’s L-series lenses to make this list, this popular lens was released in 2010 to fill a void in professional imaging equipment. Canon also makes a non L-series version of this lens that is significantly cheaper, but which doesn’t perform at the professional level.

Pros:
• Weather sealed
• Image stabilization
• Ultra-Sonic Motor function for fast and quiet autofocusing
• Lens hood included

Cons:
• Can lack sharpness around image edges
• Above-average vignetting (edges of image not as saturated as center of image)
• Tripod ring not included

Buy it here


Tamron 24–70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD


As a third party lens, this Tamron is significantly less expensive than comparable Canon models and boasts both an extremely wide aperture and vibration control (Tamron’s image stabilization).

Pros:
• Image stabilization (Vibration Control) is quiet
• Sharp imaging even at super wide-open aperture
• Ultra-fast, ultra-sonic (quiet) autofocusing
• Very comparable imaging to much more expensive Canon 24–70mm

Cons:
• Doesn’t perform as well to capture super fast-moving subjects
• Zoom ring is stiff
• Some vignetting around edges of images

Buy it here


Canon 55–250mm EF–S


This is a very entry-level zoom lens, compatible only with a crop-sensor body. If you’re just beginning sports or wildlife photography, this is a great starter zoom, picking up at 55mm where the standard included kit lens stops.

Pros:
• Image stabilization
• Much smaller and lighter than most zoom lenses
• Very inexpensive
• Sharp imaging capability

Cons:
• No Ultra-Sonic Motor (loud and relatively slow autofocus)
• Loud manual focus
• Plastic (not metal) mount isn’t very durable
• No inner focusing (front of lens rotates and moves when focusing)

Buy it here


Canon 75–300mm f/4–5.6 EF


This is a less expensive zoom lens, compatible on both a full-frame and a crop-sensor body. It’s another good choice if you’re just beginning zoom photography.

Pros:
• Inexpensive (but cannot produce professional quality images)
• Ultra-Sonic Motor for fast and quiet autofocusing
• Super sharp imaging with true color

Cons:
• No image stabilization
• Zoom ring is not smooth
• Have to move between manual and autofocus by switching button
• A lot of chromatic aberration after f/8

Buy it here


Canon 70–200mm f/4L IS USM


This zoom lens is part of Canon’s high-end L series lenses—it’s at the higher end of the price range too, but this gem delivers professional quality images no matter how fast your subject is moving or how far away.

Pros:
• Image stabilization
• Ultra-Sonic Motor for super fast and super quiet autofocusing
• Compatible with both crop-sensor and full-frame bodies
• Weather sealed, durable build

Cons:
• More expensive (but can purchase Canon’s 70–200mm f/4L without image stabilization for roughly half the price)
• Image stabilization drains batter life

Buy it here


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