A bunch of you keep asking about lenses and I thought it was high time for another lens review. This time we are looking at a very affordable zoom lens – this is the 75-300mm for Canon. This guy runs about $100-130 and as far as lenses go, that is super inexpensive.
I got this lens last year in a pinch. Will had started baseball for his second year and we saw a glimpse into the future…. all.the.sports. so.many.games. periods.for.emphasis.
The point is I wanted to capture him playing across the field and figured a starter telephoto zoom lens was in order. I tested it out at a practice so that you could understand exactly how far it zooms. I am sitting on bleachers behind the fence behind first base and Will was standing at short stop. So I am roughly 80 feet from my subject. This is the distance it zooms and this is straight outta the camera at 75mm.
I edited it so you can see how the final image appears.
Now if I crop the 75mm image, you can see how the image stabilization is poor. This lens does not have that feature and a tripod would definitely help. I also could have upped the aperture and decreased the ISO to get less grain…but I was more worried about the shutter speed since Will was playing and I only had a couple chances to get the shot before the next kid had a turn.
In contrast, this is the lens zoomed in as far as it will go….300mm. I edited this one too so you can see the contrast to the one before. As you can see, the image does just fine as a scrapbook photo or a print 5×8 or smaller but when you blow it up, you could see it’s not as crunchy as you might like.
Also, since I was zooming in so far, it was hard to tell where my focal point was. I would adjust it to be on a certain spot but the slightest movement changed it. And since I didn’t have a tripod, movement was highly probable. I think if I had done back button focusing, I could have changed it quicker.
The quality and the shake and the other cons aside, the lens is actually really helpful because with sports, my lens need to zoom. Most of them just don’t cut it for high action sports that are so far away and I would love to practice more with this bad boy to learn some tricks because sports are in our future.
I also think that the cost is a big PRO. When a lens is so inexpensive, I don’t worry about lugging a giant camera bag or worrying about the other kids breaking it. I definitely hesitate to bring any nice lens to the ballfields because the chances of it getting tossed around or getting smooshed by a bat are high. If I don’t bring it, I definitely don’t get pictures – even less than perfect ones so this is a good compromise.
Honestly, it is a great little lens for kids sports and wildlife photography (because the tripod would be a perfect use for it!). I can even see myself using it for certain events…like children’s christmas recitals or a parade where you can’t get too close. Sure, the cropped version of the zoomed in photo is grainy….but it’s better than no picture at all. If you are looking for a telephoto lens, this one might be a great one to check out. If your budget is a little higher and you want something with more stabilization, check out this 70-300 instead. I hear that one is the big brother and has great image quality with a higher price tag.
As always, I’d love to hear any questions. I’m not an expert at photography – I’m learning along side most of you. But I do try! And if you have this lens, I’d love to hear your take!
Also – if you are looking for a DSLR Christmas gift this year – I highly recommend starting with the Canon Rebel and your stock lens and then also snagging the 50mm prime lens as well as a tripod. This combo will give you a great idea if photography is for you! And with two lenses – one for general photos and one for portraits, the majority of your needs will be met! Here are links to the equipment I recommend….