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The best telephoto zoom under a grand for APS-C Cameras (Canon Rebel, 60/70D, 7D, etc)
on October 9, 2013
Canon has a truly immense selection of telephoto lenses.
Under $1000, you have your pick of a number of variants and if you have an APS-C camera (Rebel, 60/70D, 7D, etc)this new EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 STM will give you the best combination of focal range and image quality. It is stunningly sharp throughout the range, incredibly quiet, quick focusing, and the front element is stationary during focus
What other options do you have that are IMO not as desirable?
70-200mm f/4L - Good optics, but lacks Image Stabilization which is key for long telephotos. Focal range starts off a bit too long for APS-C.
70-300mm F/4-5.6 IS USM - Good from 70-200, but is soft from 200-300mm and the front lens moves during focus. Also noisy as it MicroUSM. Focal range starts off a bit too long for APS-C.
75-300mm f/4-5.6 III - Overall a pretty terrible lens compared to any of the above, stay away from this one
55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS - Relatively sharp, though not nearly as good as the new 55-250, has front focusing, and is much slower/noisier in focusing.
So overall under $1000 this lens is your best bet. The only disadvantage I can think of is that the mount is plastic instead of metal, though given the light weight of the lens I don't think that will be too much of an issue over time. Another negative is that the hood (ET-63) is sold separately for $25 and it is all plastic, does not even have felt lining like the inside of most Canon hoods. Overall though, this lens is your best bet under $1k if your camera is APS-C/EF-S mount.