Good Telephoto/Zoom Lens under $300?


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Dec 29, 2011
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North Texas
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My camera is a Canon T3. I am looking for the best zoom/telephoto lens for under 300 bucks. I know it it will certainly not be the best in the business, but I am a beginner and don't need (or have the budget for) a 600-1200 dollar lens. It will mainly be used for wildlife photography. Thanks :)
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I don't speak Canon well enough to comment on a specific lens, but spend some time on Craig's List; there are usually a fair number of the ubiquitous 70-300mm lenses available from Canon as well as the various third-party manufactuerers.
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS is great for the money
Here is the 55-250 (125-150 used) on a canon 1000d

Holy buckets! that is good. Do you have a 100% crop?
Holy buckets! that is good. Do you have a 100% crop?

Not from the original. Its already been cropped and the original is gone.

A couple more


Its a pretty good lens. Specially for the money. I have the 70-200L now but I still use the 55-250 in situations like this where I'm on a ski boat. Not to bad for being on a moving boat taking picture of a moving object specially for 150 bucks.
Canon has several versions of their 75-300mm F4-5.6. The cheapest one is probably around $160. I think the best 'cheap' one is the 75-300mm USM III. Their 'IS' version is much better, but it's double your budget.

There are also similar options from Sigma & Tamron. I've heard that the Tamron 70-300 with VC is pretty good...and I think it's somewhere around $400-$500.

Any of these lenses (including the 55-250mm) can be pretty good in bright light. Where they lag is in less than great light. The smaller maximum aperture makes it hard to get good shutter speeds, and without rather high shutter speeds, it's hard to get sharp photos with such a long focal length.
Thanks guys, Ill go look at all the lenses mentioned above. And, nice pics rebent!

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