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So I am currently looking to buy a 'super zoom' lens to be used along my 35mm for travelling. I have already compiled a number of different suitable lenses within my budget range and focal length. I am not listing them here because I don't want the question to be flagged as shopping questions, however the more I research, the more I find new suitable lenses and this makes me even more confused.

How can I compare all of them to find the the best lens from the lot, which produces the best image quality?

  • This is a good start at something we have difficulty with round here :-) However, the bit about "most suitable lens for me" isn't something we can answer - we don't know what you want from a lens. Or more accurately, which compromises you're most prepared to make. – Philip Kendall Apr 27 '15 at 11:15
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    @PhilipKendall you are right. Updated my questions to find out the 'best' lens in terms of image quality instead of what I want from the lens - as I should know what I want from the lens. – rikket Apr 27 '15 at 11:53
  • Something I've been recommending is people take a look at the lens on their camera PixelPeeper is a great website that will let you see sample images from people who possibly have your lens and camera. Let your eyes be the judge! – SailorCire Apr 27 '15 at 14:33
  • Beware that there are different aspects to image quality, there's no easy way to rank lenses unequivocally. And there are other things to consider, such as speed (F-stops), range, and close focus abilities. – Mark Ransom Apr 27 '15 at 16:16
  • See: adorama.com/alc/0013834/article/… – inkista Apr 27 '15 at 21:58
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Comparing super zoom lenses is really not very much different then comparing any other lens. For super zoom lenses you need to understand that in general they are all based on compromises. The big three that you will have to choose between are optical quality, size, and price. Typically you get to choose either 1 or 2 of the 3, but not all three.

Size, weight, focal length range, maximum aperture, optical quality, build quaility, features, and price all are factors to consider, just as with any other zoom lens. Do you need the absolute best image quality available as well as the largest focal length available as well? Be prepared to spend a great deal of money as well as have a phyically large lens. Do you need a lens that is a reasonable size and priced on the budget side? Prepare for less then amazing image quality or a very small focal length range.

Some of the specific things to consider when selecting a super zoom lens include:

  • Focal length range
  • Variable aperture values over the entire focal length range
  • Optical quality especially at the focal length you plan to use most
  • Overlap with your existing lenses

Other Resources:

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Generally, if you want the best image quality, prepare to spend on the top of the line f/2.8 zoom lenses. However, its illogical to suggest them without knowing the purpose of your photographs and the budget of the purchase.

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    I don't think there are any f/2.8 superzoom lenses. If you are going to suggest another category, why would you exclude prime lenses? – Imre Apr 27 '15 at 13:23
  • I meant the 70-200 f/2.8. Again it depends, if one is using on a crop sensor or not. – Gaurav Prabhu Apr 27 '15 at 13:26
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    The 70-200 wouldn't normally be considered a superzoom lens. – Philip Kendall Apr 27 '15 at 13:34
  • The Sigma 200-500 f/2.8 surely qualifies as a "super" zoom - it might not have a massive zoom ratio but it's a massive lens and definitely a super lens :) – crunch Apr 28 '15 at 10:49

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