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Thread: 55-250mm vs 70-200 IS f4

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    55-250mm vs 70-200 IS f4

    I went today to a local camera store and did get to do some shots from both lenses. Loading them to my computer I really can't tell or justify the difference in pictures - must just be because I am an amateur and not sure how to get the best from both so maybe I should just get the cheaper 55-250 lens? Though many on forums over and over again have said and in all the reviews etc that the 70-200mm f4 with IS is way better and the one to get!! I sooo can't decide! But at the moment I am like I just can't justify the extra cost!

    Plus the (really helpful!!) guy at the store today said you can't really tell the difference at 200mm between the both - is that true?

    I mainly want one for a few weeks of travelling I am going to be doing.... and then I can get more or others at a later date... but then why buy the cheaper one now if I am just going to get the more expensive one later probably anyway.

    (Firemansam I hope your not reading this! I decided to ask this before seeing your post and I thought I would come here as I love Aussie advice as its so honest and blunt typically! LOL but congrats it is nice and for a long term camera its weather sealing is worth it )

    I know this is my third thread on this so please feel free to not reply! LOL
    Last edited by Tanne; 28-09-2010 at 8:41pm.

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    Zoom into 100% magnification on your screen and compare the images size by side. The other thing to consider is image contrast and colour saturation. Lenses have a big image on this, other than just outright sharpness. I'm positive the 70-200 will look loads better. Even if you can't put your finger on why. Also, look for high contrast areas like around windows etc to see if there is much CA (chromatic aberration) This will be green or magenta glowing lines around things. Cheaper lenses are more likely to do this
    Canon stuff 5Dmk1 w/ 24-70 f2.8L, Canon 5Dmk1 w/70-200f2.8L, 100mm f2.8 macro, 50mm f1.4, 580exII
    Alienbees B800, Lumopro 160, Manfrotto 155XPROB w/ 498RC2, Lowepro ProRunner X450AW
    Phew!

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    Okay thank you ZedEx - will have a closer look again today!

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    Actually the 55-250 lens has good reviews - it has 1 UD element to help reduce CA and is great value.
    I have the 55-250 & the 70-200 F4L. The 70-200 definitely produces sharper images, but I find the range sometimes limiting - the 55-250 is a better range. For about $230 (new EBay) for the 55-250 you can't go wrong and later on if you want to upgrade you will find that they still fetch about $200 2nd hand on EBay so cheap shooting.

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    Thanks Old Skool! Appreciate it! Yes I thought the same it is a good range to.

    I think the main deciding factor now is focusing issues - yes the L does a better job but would it be so much so less on the 55-250mm that I would miss a high percentages of shots? Something I dont know unless I hired them and try but leaving in a couple days so no time! ugh!

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    For sport shooting, the 70-200 wins on focusing. For general holiday snaps both will do the job. Also bear in mind the 70-200 is a lot heavier to carry around all day plus the white lens sticks out - depends where you are going.

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    Going to Vanuatu... I am so just tempted to just buy both and sell the one I dont like when I get back! But I won't do that! lol

    I want to take photos of people, kids, wildlife and landscape so that nearly covers everything! But I was wanting to take the lens on the beach as I will be spending some time there I am sure - so was thinking L is better for this however if I get the cheaper lens if sand grains get in it so be it! Though I would try very hard for this to not happen and pretty much wouldnt do silly things like put hands in sand then on camera or take on beach during windy days etc...

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    There's very good reason why Canon would make the 70-200mm f4 an "L" lens and in the colour of their white legendary lenses, and this reason might not be easily distinguished straight away by just mere comparison and pixel peeping, with that of an EF-S (for cropped only) 55-250mm zoom. Both lenses are a different breed and stock.
    If your intention is traveling and for touring, the 55-250mm will do. The 70-200mm might be too long and heavy, and conspicious and attracks too much attention, even if it is a smaller sibling from the f2.8 big bro.
    "The greatest camera in the world is the one you hold in your hands when shit happens." ©2007 Raoul Isidro

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    I've had the 55-250 and found it to be ok. I think bought a 70-200/4 with no IS and loved it. I found the focus speed to be a major advantage and the constant f4 also a big benefit. (I then sold them both and bought the 2.8L IS version but that is another story)

    I does depend a lot on what you are shooting but I think you will be happier with the 70-200. Regarding what you plan to shoot, 55mm or 70mm will be too long for landscape, I hope you have a wider lens for that (probably a topic for another thread but just a thought).
    Mic

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    Thanks RaoulIsidro and Etherial - I really do appreciate it - your comments/thoughts etc!

    I do have a 17-55 for landscape to.... hopefully that will be ok?

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    Do you mean 18-55? If so I had that lens too and it is one of the better kit lenses.

    Either way (17 or 18) yes that range should be fine for general landscapes.

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    Thank you! Yes 17-55 - I didnt go with the kit lens at the time and its the only lens I have or ever used! Thus I want a longer zoom length/focal length one!

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    17-55 as in 17-55 f2.8 EFs lens? In that case, definitely get the 70-200. The 55-250 will seem lower par in comparison to the 17-55 which is quite a sharp lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanne View Post
    Thank you! Yes 17-55 - I didnt go with the kit lens at the time and its the only lens I have or ever used! Thus I want a longer zoom length/focal length one!

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    K thanks ZedEx! Well hoping this time tommorow I will have one and not walk out again undecided!

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    Well, we are all hanging out for the big announcement!?

    I too have the 17-55 yet I went for the 55-250 because the test results show it is incredibly good, so I figured get it and let it prove itself inadequate before I replace it. Not much money lost if I have to!

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    lol Arg! Well I still couldn't decide..... so I bought the 55-250! I really can't see anything wrong with it when I was using it in the store and liked it... and I hired the 70-200!!! And I think I am in love! LOL It is a great lens and I love it!! Hopefully both will get good use over my holiday and I can go from there!

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    I just went outside and took an image with each lens - really quick snapshot - it was drizzling so had plastic bag over camera and keep in mind I am an amateur! I was also just testing out the zooms and what reach/what I could get - thus the birds in the tree shot instead of my cat etc lol

    70-200mm






    55-250mm - was drizzling more and thus you can make out the blur of the plastic bag on edges so maybe not that great of an example! LOL






    And seriously spot the difference - something has moved! (sorry just had to!)

    Well I am leaving tommorow so hopefully when I get back I will have some nice pics to show!
    Last edited by Tanne; 03-10-2010 at 7:12am.

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