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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM vs. EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by Jeff56, Dec 21, 2012.

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  1. Jeff56

    Jeff56 Member

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    I just got a Rebel T3 and I'm looking for a budget telephoto lens. I'm just in this as a hobby and don't need top quality. But I'd like to have the best quality I can afford. I understand that USM is a big advantage and the EF-70 has a bigger EF-S equivalent size. What I'd like to know is whether the EF-70 is better in that it will take better quality photos? I may commit to the more expensive lens just because I do some video events and I don't need motor noise turning up in my sound track even though I use a separate sound recorder. Mainly I just want better photos though and I'm willing to spend the extra money if the difference in photo quality is significant.
     
  2. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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  3. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The EF 70-300mm USM is quieter than the EF-S 55-250mm and takes better pictures with sharper edge to edge images and less distortion. However, it's also twice the price of the EF-S. I'd invest in the USM lens if I intended to submit my photos for publication or print and sell them. But if your purpose is simply to look at your photos on the computer or on an internet photo-sharing site, I'd go with the cheaper EF-S lens.
     
  4. Jeff56

    Jeff56 Member

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    OK I didn't know if the USM was the only difference in the price. Good to know the glass is better in the USM model. I don't really plan on using this camera for any serious video work. I thought I might catch a stray clip here or there. Mostly I just want a decent still camera. But I want it to be better than a point and shoot so I don't worry too much about the cost of the lens. I figure that affects the quality of the photos a good bit. I will be printing photos but just for me and my family and friends. I have enough equipment to keep up with in other areas. I don't need a whole other line to maintain. Still I do want quality images.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  5. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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  6. Jeff56

    Jeff56 Member

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    Very nice to be able to search by the lens used there. That gave me a lot of valuable information. My conclusion is that while the USM model is better it's not double the price better (not for me anyway - but then again I'm looking at photos on a computer instead of printed photos but I'm guessing from the relative quality of the samples here that I wouldn't see a whole lot of difference in a printed photo either - any thoughts on that would be appreciated - what's your opinion on the relative quality of prints from these lenses if it's not too much to ask?).

    Thanks for the valuable links. I can see a difference in the quality but my guess is I wouldn't be able to even pick out which is which without knowing what camera was used and what settings were used and even then it could be hard. As we all know a good photographer can take a good photo with almost any equipment that's above a certain level of quality (almost any equipment).

    BTW is it just the style of photography today or is there something else that causes all these photos to have a shallow depth of field? I thought maybe you would know. It seemed every photo I looked at was made to be as shallow as possible even though one of the characteristics of digital cameras has been their deep DOF or so I thought anyway.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  7. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Examining an image on a computer monitor is more critical than viewing the printed image. The printing process always slightly corrupts the image.

    Where image resolution issues come up is mostly in cropping. Some folks expect to make deep crops. That needs a good camera and lens. Most cameras deliver Ok full frame (not cropped) prints up to 11x14 or so.

    Yeah, the super shallow DOF is the current fashion. Fans are convinced this makes their images "artistic". So any of us shooting at modest apertures are just taking snapshots, not "real pictures" <cue gag reflex>.

    deep Kelly
     
  8. Jeff56

    Jeff56 Member

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    Corrupted yes. More resolution though especially if we're talking a printing service instead of a computer printer. I do understand that cameras have more resolution than pretty much any printer that isn't located at NASA or the DOD or something. You're certainly right that resolution is about cropping once it gets past a certain point. But images posted on a web page are always reduced from their original resolution considerably. For example I saw images that were 500 x 333 pixels on that site liked here (Flickr) with apparently the largest size allowed being 1024 x 683. A 12 MP image from a camera is about 4000 X 3000 pixels and even reducing that down to 1024 X 683 causes a noticeable drop in quality. And going down to 500 x 333 makes a huge difference. Mainly I was talking about the fact I was viewing images at about that 500 x 333 size and not in their full resolution.
     
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