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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:52 am 

Which of these would be a better choice for a Canon 550D as a telephoto zoom lens?
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS lens, or
Tamron 70-300mm non-IS lens?
The Tamron is not IS, but it focuses closer and is a 1:2 macro lens, which the Canon is not.
So, how important is IS at the 300mm end, which would give about 480mm on the 550D? It is not intended to be used with a tripod, and main objective for either lens is shooting birds.
Another "problem" is the 550D's super high resolution. It seemingly out-resolves the kit lens, so perhaps even the 55-250mm. However, is the Canon or Tamron better or worse off in this regard?
How is the optical quality of both lenses through the range? The one with better optical quality at extreme telephoto end is preferred.
The 550D is a decent performer at high ISO, but still in good light for best results, it is preferred that the ISO is kept below 800ISO. Can the Tamron be hand-held for extreme telephoto shots, with a maximum aperture of F5.6 at extreme telephoto and an effective focal length of 480mm?

Thanks in advance,

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:06 am
Posts: 389
Location: Manchester (UK)
At 250/300mm IS is a great asset.

As you say the Tamron lens doesn't have IS (VC) then I assume you are not talking about the new SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD which does have image stabilization and is getting some good reviews.

Given the choice of these two I would go with the 55-250 IS

Canon EOS 400D, EF-S 18-55mm, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 MK I, EF-S 10-22mm, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 35mm f/2 IS USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 135 f/2L USM
Canon 430EX II, Manfrotto 055CXPRO3, Arca Swiss P0
Panasonic GX1, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Olympus 45mm f/1.8
Canon EOS 30/33 and Pentax MX/ME Super
Rollei 35S


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:35 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:36 am
Posts: 14
Location: Alberta, Canada
I have owned the 55-250 for about a year and have been quite happy with it. It focuses fairly quickly it takes off where my 18-55 ends.

However, it can be a bit too slow to shoot early in the morning and late in the evening, when wildlife tends to be most active.

Overall, I really have been satisfied with the overall performance of this lens in the time I have had it.

Canon Rebel Xsi
EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS
EF-S 55-250mm F/4-5.6 IS
Manfrotto M-Y (7322CY)

Shooting, learning, and wishing high school payed for nice lenses.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:22 pm
Posts: 498
Location: 1 AU from the nearest star
Unless you plan on shooting at least 1/480, I would recommend the Canon EF-S 55-250.

I used to own the Canon EF 75-300mm III. Once I went to an EF-S 17-85mm IS USM, I found myself not wanting to put my telephoto lens on due to no IS nor USM. I didn't like hand-holding this lens.

Canon 5DIII, Rebel XTi/400D
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO, 85mm f/1.8
Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX Macro

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II
Canon 430EX II
Opteka 13mm, 21mm, and 31mm extension tubes
Vivitar 50mm f/1.8 for OM System

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8087
Location: UK
300mm is definitely hand holdable. As previously noted, you'll probably want around 1/500 shutter if you don't want to worry much about keeping yourself stable, which in lower light does mean jacking up the ISO to compensate. You can likely get away with 1/250-ish or even longer with practice at holding yourself still. If wildlife is the thing, you'll want the faster shutter speeds anyway to help freeze subject motion.

Having said all that, choosing between them does depend on what you want more. Do you need the 0.5x semi-macro of the Tamron? The Canon isn't far behind anyway at about 0.3x. IS does come in handy if the subject isn't moving quickly.

Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 70-300L, 100-400L, 100L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:35 am 

Thanks for your replies, guys! Overall, I believe that the 55-250mm would be a better choice. The Tamron 70-300mm with VC seems to be a good lens, but since it is full frame compatible, it would be heavier and considerably more expensive than these two lenses. I would love to see a Tamron 70-300mm with VC for cropped frame bodies, since the old Tamron 70-300mm without VC also got some good reviews.


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