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Old Jul 16, 2009, 12:31 PM   #1
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Default Help on choosing a budget less then $250 telephoto zoom lens

I would like to know of the pros and cons between the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS telephoto zoom lens and the Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 DG APO macro telephoto zoom lens.

Also is there another lens out there I should consider?

Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Thank you for any help

Last edited by jonpe1; Jul 16, 2009 at 2:10 PM.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 1:10 PM   #2
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Well, the first question is: what do you want to shoot?

The 55-250 is going to be sharper and faster to focus than the Sigma lens. They are both f5.6 lenses. The one disadvantage to the 55-250 is it's shorter. Without knowing what you shoot, it's tough to advise. For example, if you want to shoot wildlife, I would argue 250mm is too short. Even 300mm is quite short for wildlife. If you were shooting sports - it would depend on what sport.

If you just want a telephoto zoom for all-purpose shooting and aren't really going to shoot sports or wildlife then the Cannon lens would be my recommendation.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 1:27 PM   #3
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for all-purpose shooting in general
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 1:36 PM   #4
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If you really need a longer lens, I'd probably go with the latest Tamron 70-300mm in a budget lens, depending on budget. It's a 1:2 Macro lens and tests well compared to competing zooms. Like any other budget lens reaching out to 300mm (for example, Sigma's 70-300mm), it's going to be a bit softer at wide open apertures on it's longer 300mm end. But you've got 300mm if you need it. Your topic title "Help on choosing a budget >$250 telephoto zoom lens" confuses me (>$250, which means more than $250 to me). ;-)

This Tamron is around $169.95 now at reputable online vendors. You can see more about it on this page:

http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/70300_di_a017.asp

If you want to spend more than $250, I'd be more specific on budget for best responses.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 2:13 PM   #5
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O.K. so I goofed on my less then symbol LOL thanks for pointing that out to me
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 2:29 PM   #6
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That Canon 55-250mm does appear to be a pretty good lens. So, I'd consider it carefully. JohnG (a Canon shooter ) seems to think that's your best bet. I'm probably biased against the Sigma you're looking at a bit, since that model has a tendency to strip gears when used on some of the Sony dSLR models. The Tamron 70-300mm doesn't have that issue. But, the Sigma model in Canon EF mount uses a built in motor (versus the camera body based motor used with it in Sony Alpha mount) and shouldn't have that issue.

The Canon 55-250mm is also stabilized (which could help in less than optimum lighting and when you want to stop down the aperture for more depth of field) and appears to come in within your budget when looking a prices better vendors have it for.

On the downside, an EF-S lens like the 55-250mm wouldn't work on a camera with a larger sensor (Canon 5D, 5D II, etc.). So, if you wanted to upgrade your camera body to a model with a larger sensor anytime soon, the 55-250mm probably wouldn't be a good choice unless you plan to keep the XTi as a second body.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 2:29 PM   #7
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That Canon 55-250mm does appear to be a pretty good lens for it's price. So, I'd consider it carefully. JohnG (a Canon shooter ) seems to think that's your best bet. I'm probably biased against the Sigma 70-300mm you're looking at a bit, since that model has a higher than average tendency to strip gears when used on some of the Sony dSLR models based on user reports I've seen. The Tamron 70-300mm doesn't appear to have that issue. But, the Sigma model in Canon EF mount uses a built in motor (versus the camera body based motor used with it in Sony Alpha mount) and shouldn't have that issue with a model like your XTi.

The Canon 55-250mm is also stabilized (which could help in less than optimum lighting and/or when you want to stop down the aperture for more depth of field) and appears to come in within your budget when looking a prices better vendors have it for.

On the downside, an EF-S lens like the 55-250mm wouldn't work on a camera with a larger sensor (Canon 5D, 5D II, etc.). So, if you wanted to upgrade your camera body to a model with a larger sensor anytime soon, the 55-250mm probably wouldn't be a good choice unless you plan to keep the XTi as a second body.
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Old Jul 17, 2009, 1:56 AM   #8
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The blur charts over at slrgear.com show the Canon 55-250 IS to be MUCH sharper than the Tamron. Plus it has IS which is very useful for an all-purpose lens. The AF motor will be far quicker too.

Really there is no contest the Canon lens is a far better bet.

Don't worry about whether it will work on a FF camera. If you upgrade to a FF camera you will either keep your crop body, in which case you will still need lenses for it, or sell the body and lenses at the same time. That Tamron goes from fairly bad on a crop camera to shocking on FF.

If you are really worried about future-proofing then look at the Canon 70-300 IS lens, 70-300 DO IS or 100-400 L IS. But they are a lot more expensive.
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Old Jul 17, 2009, 1:03 PM   #9
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I just got the Canon 55-250 IS for my Rebel T1i and am finding it to be a great lens for the money.
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Old Jul 18, 2009, 1:03 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and opinions. I'm going to go with the Canon. Should I buy a lens hood and or a lens filter with it also?
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