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need help looking for a lens....

 
Old 07-10-2012, 07:56 AM
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My wife has a Canon T3 and would like a lens to take photos of wildlife from a distance. Would like some help in choosing a good all around lens for getting those good close ups. Thanks for your help!
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:33 AM
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It is almost impossible to have a lens that is too "long" for wildlife. I use a 400mm on a 1.6 sized camera sensor (same as the T3) and still can't get close enough to suit me.

A big zoom lens with constant aperture and image stabilization (IS) is a good bet. IS is important because you rarely have time for a tripod with wildlife. A constant aperture means a f3.5 lens is f3.5 when zoomed all the way out. The aperture on a cheap lens gets worse as you zoom out. A lens that is f5.6 when zoomed out means the shutter speed must be slower, which means it is harder to get a shot that isn't blurred.

A popular, versatile, and (relatively) cost effective wildlife lens is a 70-200 f.28 zoom along with a 1.7x teleconverter. This combination results in a 340mm lens that is equivalent to 545mm on the 1.6 T3 sensor. This combination is about $3k. A less costly alternative is the Canon 100-400mm f4-f5.6 IS zoom for around $1700. Bigger wildlife lenses can cost as much as decent used Jeep.

Wildlife is hard to photograph and it takes the best gear. Expect to pay waaay more for a decent wildlife lens than for the camera. Do some shopping and research on line at places like Adorama.com and bhphotovideo.com, along with the Canon Web site. Not many local camera shops carry good wildlife lenses unless they cater to pros.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Freewill View Post
A less costly alternative is the Canon 100-400mm f4-f5.6 IS zoom for around $1700.
Another recommendation for the 100-400mm. The push/pull zoom does take a while to get used to, though.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:58 AM
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If your wife has not bought a lens yet here is my .02 on the subject. If she is really into photography I highly recommend the Canon 100-400 L series lens. Though expensive it is a great lens. The advantages of a L series lens: better picture quality from better glass on the lens, much fast focus motor which is ready to shot almost as soon as you hold down the button, will hold its value, very durable as it is better sealed for moister and dust. Though cameras quickly become out dated, this type of lens will not. When I started updating my equipment I started out with the lens knowing they would last much longer. Other than the money the only negative feature is the weight of the lens if that is something that would bother her. Take a look at B&H photo out of New York. They have good prices and great customer service. Good luck!
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:06 AM
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Thanks for the info! We have not found a lens yet. Will definitely check out that L series lens.
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