Best zoom lens for 60D?

Started May 31, 2012 | Discussions
hemiola
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Best zoom lens for 60D?
May 31, 2012

Folks,

I'm interested to buy a decent and affordable zoom lens for my 60D. At the moment I have Sigma 8-16mm/4.5-5.6 and Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 so I'm pretty well covered for wide angle and standar zoom, but at times I find myself limited when shootling landscape (especially coastline) and wildlife.
So far I have found the following lenses:

Canon EF 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 L IS USM
Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Sigma 50-500mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM

Canon 70-300 is an attractive choice (it would complement perfectly my other lens), however the Sigma 50-500 monster it simply too tempting given it's huge versatility. I fear though that zoom range might come with a price in terms of image quality (maybe even focus speed/accuracy).

Have you had any hands-on experience with some of these lenses? Is there any reason to believe Canon 70-300 produces sharper images than Sigma 50-500?
Which one of the above would you buy if money it's not an issue?

Cheers,

Alan

Canon EOS 60D
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victorian squid
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ISO chart comparison
In reply to hemiola, May 31, 2012

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=738&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=0&LensComp=374&CameraComp=9&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=1&APIComp=0

I haven't had experience with either lens, although I'm looking at the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 OS and the EF 70-300 f4-5.6 L IS as possible purchases in the near future. The big Sigma is a popular lens, but it's never really been a compelling solution for me.

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Sandy05
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Re: Best zoom lens for 60D?
In reply to hemiola, May 31, 2012

You may want to look at the Tamron 70-300mm VC. It is reasonably priced and has received good press on the effectiveness of the VC. Here is a link to a video review on the lens (tested on a Nikon body, but you will get the idea).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZS-aMQKOFMc

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victorian squid
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Tamron 70-300 VC
In reply to Sandy05, May 31, 2012

I just mentioned this over in the third party lens forum - the Tamron is a fantastic lens and a downright steal right now at it's current price + rebate it's $350.

The only weakness it has is at 300, where it completely falls apart. But, if you consider that from 70-200 it can pretty much hold its own with almost any glass, it's a gem.

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AC1
AC1
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Re: Best zoom lens for 60D?
In reply to hemiola, May 31, 2012

The only lens in that lineup that I've used is the Canon 100-400. It is a hugely versatile lens and whilst never going to claim no.1 spot for IQ it delivers really impressive results. So his has huge zoom range but still retains very decent IQ.

Here are some examples that I've shot with this lens.

The first pic was shot with my 15-85mm lens. Then the 2nd is the same landscape view but using the 100-400mm partially zoomed into the mountain in the middle.

The 3rd pic is on full 400mm zoom and I think about a 50% crop.

The 4th pic is obviously something different, the yacht was moving fast and shot whilst hanging out of a friend's plane! The only trick with this lens is to remember that for razor sharpness the sweetspot is in to f7.1-f8 region.

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puttin
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Re: Tamron 70-300 VC
In reply to victorian squid, May 31, 2012

Canon 55-250 is under rated, I like it on my 60d.

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hemiola
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Re: Best zoom lens for 60D?
In reply to hemiola, Jun 2, 2012

Thanks to all of you for the useful feedback.

Just to be clear, I wasn't looking for the cheapest lens, rather for the best compromise between image quality and zoom range.

Victorian squid's link is very useful and it shows that sadly Sigma's big lens produces images inferior to Canon 70-300 lens at every possible setting.

So the question is, would you settle for a 70-300 zoom range & very good image quality, or would you add 200mm extra zoom at the cost of average/poor image at all settings?

Then of course there's Canon's 100-400, but again according to victorian squid's link Canon 70-300 is still better IQ wise.

Still a tough call to make...

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MAC
MAC
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70-200 f2.8 II with extenders
In reply to hemiola, Jun 2, 2012

70-200 f2.8 II IS L -with extenders

hemiola wrote:

Folks,

I'm interested to buy a decent and affordable zoom lens for my 60D. At the moment I have Sigma 8-16mm/4.5-5.6 and Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 so I'm pretty well covered for wide angle and standar zoom, but at times I find myself limited when shootling landscape (especially coastline) and wildlife.
So far I have found the following lenses:

Canon EF 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 L IS USM
Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Sigma 50-500mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM

Canon 70-300 is an attractive choice (it would complement perfectly my other lens), however the Sigma 50-500 monster it simply too tempting given it's huge versatility. I fear though that zoom range might come with a price in terms of image quality (maybe even focus speed/accuracy).

Have you had any hands-on experience with some of these lenses? Is there any reason to believe Canon 70-300 produces sharper images than Sigma 50-500?
Which one of the above would you buy if money it's not an issue?

Cheers,

Alan

 MAC's gear list:MAC's gear list
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RedFox88
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Re: Best zoom lens for 60D?
In reply to hemiola, Jun 2, 2012

hemiola wrote:

Folks,

I'm interested to buy a decent and affordable zoom lens for my 60D. At the moment I have Sigma 8-16mm/4.5-5.6 and Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 so I'm pretty well covered for wide angle and standar zoom, but at times I find myself limited when shootling landscape (especially coastline) and wildlife.
So far I have found the following lenses:

Canon EF 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 L IS USM
Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Sigma 50-500mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM

Well none of those would be considered the "best" zoom lens.

Is the 28-300 still made anymore?

Of those listed the "best" would either be the new 70-300L or the Sigma 120-300 but that is probably a very expensive lens.

The Bigma, 50-500, is a value lens. IQ is decent but certainly isn't the "best". I'm sure the new 500mm f4 IS II would blow it away at 500mm. I have the Bigma and it's ok, certainly the cheapest new made 500mm lens out there.

Canon's 100-400 is an old lens that many want to be updated badly.

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Calliope
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Re: Best zoom lens for 60D?
In reply to hemiola, Jun 2, 2012

I have the 70-300L and love it! It pretty much lives on my camera. It is very sharp, focuses fast and lightweight enough to carry all the time. I rented a 100-400 and while I liked the extra reach, I decided it was just too heavy. I ended up buying a 400mm 5.6L for birding and use it on a monopod.

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