Canon 55-250 IS vs. 70-300 IS
I know this has been discussed before, and I've searched the forum, and looked at online reviews, but wanted to get some more up to date recommendations.
I'm looking at Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS (I can get for $100 with rebate; normally $300) versus the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM (I can get for $300 with rebate; normally $650). Great deals.... I basically want a lens that is better at the longer focal length for wildlife (birds, other animals large or small). I don't care as much about the shorter FL.
I've done a lot of searching, and I think this is one of the best posts (from 2008) I've found on this site ( http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1029&message=27398118&changemode=1 ) showing that the 70-300 is slightly better at the longer focal length. NOTE: Take a look at the photos lower down in the post where he changed to using a Tripod rather than handhold- they seem more accurate. Online reviews seem to show the same. The MTF charts on the Canon site seem to show that at Tele end, the 70-300 is better, although I'm not great at reading them.
I'm wondering how pertinent are 100% crops when comparing lenses? If I view my photos on a large computer screen (and maybe zoom close up a bit on the image with my mouse wheel), will I be able to tell a difference that justifies an extra $200 (and extra weight and length of the lens that I'll have to carry around)? I probably won't print photos a large sizes. I'll pay the extra $200 if it's worth it. I don't think I'll pay a higher price for L lenses (ex. 70-200 f/4) at this point as a beginner.