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I have a Canon 1100D kit (18-55mm IS II) and a 50mm f1.8 lens. Now I'm looking for a zoom lens. What do you think about the following:

  • Tamron 18-200mm f3.5-6.3
  • Tamron 70-300mm f4-f5.6 DI LD
  • Tamron 55-200mm f4-f5.6 DI II
  • Canon 55-250mm IS f4-f5.6
  • Canon 75-300mm f4-f5.6 III
  • Canon 75-300mm f4-f5.6 III USM

I really don't know what I should chose. I tried to compare on dpreview.com, but I'm not so sure that I have the right lenses in the comparison, since in the store that I want to buy the name doesn't contain some letters, like this: Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro is the name in the comparison, but in the store is the same name as the list.

Here is the link: http://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=tamron_18-200_3p5-6p3_di_ii&products=tamron_70-300_4-5p6_di&products=tamron_55-200_4-5p6_di_ii&products=canon_55-250_4-5p6_is&products=canon_75-300_4-5p6&products=canon_75-300_4p0-5p6

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closed as not a real question by John Cavan, mattdm, Itai, rfusca, whuber Aug 4 '11 at 18:18

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
What do you want to use the lens for? What kind of photography? –  rfusca Aug 4 '11 at 14:01
7  
Nobody can answer this question because we have no idea what you need it for. They have different uses and compromises. –  Itai Aug 4 '11 at 14:36
    
I tend to agree with Itai, purpose is needed. –  John Cavan Aug 4 '11 at 15:33

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In most cases, you're going to want a lens that complements the lens(es) already in your bag. In your case, any of the lenses in the 55-250 / 70-300 range would accomplish this.

The 55-250 is a decent entry-level zoom. For the money, it's a good complement to your kit lens. Canon's 75-300 is generally not very well-liked, but for a little more money, their 70-300 IS USM is considered pretty decent -- sort of in-between the 55-250 and their low-end "L" lenses.

Based on the lenses in your list, I'm going to assume that you're trying to keep to a pretty strict budget. If that's the case, I'd recommend the 55-250. Take good care of it, and you'll be able to sell it later if you want to move up to a better lens.

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Any 18-200 lens has a LOT of optical trade-offs built into it in order to achieve the large zoom range. It makes for a handy, useful "tourist lens" for daylight situations where it is impractical to carry more than one lens, but personally I'd not want one.

70-300 lenses have a rather nasty reputation all round. It's a bit of the same problem really, the zoom range is a bit ambitious and optical quality is sacrificed for it. I'd skip this range and get the quite superb, not overly expensive Canon 70-200 f/4L instead, cropped in post-production from 200mm where necessary. The crop would still be sharper and give better colour and contrast than the native output from a 70-300.

However, the Canon 55-250 IS is what I'd look into were I you. It takes over where your 18-55 stops, it has IS, it is actually quite sharp from what I have seen of tests, and it is quite reasonably priced and not very heavy. Its main weakness is so-so build quality and a rather slow maximum aperture, but none of the lenses you list are much better in these respects. And if you want a fast (f/2.8) zoom that reaches 200mm plus, you are looking at a beast that is way, way, way bigger, heavier and more expensive than what you are currently looking at.

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