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3rd Party Zoom Lenses

Lesson 41 from: Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

3rd Party Zoom Lenses

Lesson 41 from: Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

41. 3rd Party Zoom Lenses


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Canon Lens Basics


Focal Length: Angle of View


Focal Length: Normal Lenses


Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses


Focal Length: Telephoto Lens


Focal Length Rule of Thumb


Field of View


Aperture Basics


Aperture: Maximum Aperture


Aperture: Equivalent Focal Length


Aperture: Depth of Field


Aperture: Maximum Sharpness


Aperture: Starburst Effect


Aperture: Flare


Aperture: Hyperfocal Distance


Camera Mount System


Canon Lens Compatibility


Canon Lens Design


Canon Lens Composition


Canon Lens Shape


Canon Lens Coating


Canon Lens Focusing


Lens Autofocus


Canon Lens Image Stabilization


Canon L Lenses


Image Quality


Canon Zoom Lenses: Standard


Canon Super Zooms


Canon Wide Zooms


Canon Telephoto Zooms


Prime Lens: Normal Lenses


Prime Lens: Moderate Wide


Prime Lens: Wide Angle


Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide


Prime Lens: Short Telephoto


Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto


Prime Lens: Super Telephoto


3rd Party Lenses Overview


3rd Party Prime Lenses


3rd Party Zoom Lenses


Lens Accessories: Filters


Lens Accessories: Lens Hoods


Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount


Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes


Lens Accessories: Extenders


Macro Lens: Reproduction Ratio


Macro Lens: Technique and Choices


Fisheye: Technique and Choices


Tilt Shift: Techniques and Choices


Make a Lens System Choice


Choosing A Portrait Lens


Choosing A Sports Lens


Choosing A Landscape Lens


Best Lenses for You


Lens Maintenance


Buying and Selling Lens


What is John Greengo's Favorite Lens?


Lesson Info

3rd Party Zoom Lenses

So let's continue on with the third party lenses. And now we're gonna talk about zoom lenses. So we've already talked about the manufacturers who they are. You know who these folks are. In fact, here's the slide that we were just hoping to see. And so we're gonna have the same groupings here and for your full frame users, you want to look at the D. G and for the compact users, you will have the option of also choosing the D. C. If you have ah, crop frame camera, though, you can choose either one of these. So when it comes to their zoom lenses, once again, I am not gonna go through their entire lens line up. I just have a few lenses that I think are interesting to talk about 12 to 24. Up until just a few months ago was the whitest lens that you could put on a cannon, regardless of name brand. And so 12 millimeters is incredibly wide. They did make this in a weatherize design. Now, optically speaking, this is not the strongest lens that you're gonna be able to find. I've shot with this l...

ands, and it's got some serious deficiencies. But if you want 12 millimeter lens, there's not a lot of options out there. And its competitors is the incredibly expensive 11 to 24 Canon Lens. And so if you want something that gets into this extremely ridiculously wide category, it does so at a fraction of the price of Canon Lens. I would have to say that I think most people don't need something ridiculously wide like this, and I would probably look at the cannon. to 35 is a more realistic and practical option. But if you really do need that wider angle lens and bucks is a bit spending for you, this is really the only option out there. This is another unusual beast. When this came out, there was a lot of people like Oh my gosh, white and it can and do that. So this is the first time that we have seen a zoom lands with an aperture faster than 2.8 and they went all the way down to F 1.8. And if you recall the section on equivalent aperture, this is the equivalent aperture of a 2.8 lens on a full frame camera in regards to a depth of field. And so, if you were shooting with a full frame 2. lens in this focal range, you get a certain shallow depth of field will. You can mimic that depth of field and get it exactly on a crop frame camera. Now, the downside to this is 18 to 35 is not a very big range when it comes to working on a crop frame camera. And so it's about a 29 to 56 which makes for pretty nice, I would think, kind of like street photography range. It's kind of a basic normalised with a little bit of wide angle built in there, but it's a very limited range, and it is a rather long and large and heavy lens for what it does. But it does something that no other lands does. And so if you have a rebel or a 60 70 d crop frame camera, you want something really fast. This is by far the fastest thing out there. The next closest thing is the 17 to 55 which is a decent not the world's greatest lens. But it's it's a decent fast lands. And so the question is, Do you need the speed where you do need the range? Because they run in about the same price? And this is part of their art? Siri's So it is really high quality materials in here in high quality glass. This one just hit hit the streets of 24 35 2 Sigma did it again. They came out with another Zoom lands faster than 2.8, and it's kind of funny, cause zoom lenses were originally marketed as you get multiple focal links in one lens. And so when they put this out, we're very used to zoom lenses. A. To this point now, this is like having three prime lenses in one lens. I know that's what we call zoom lenses, but they were. They were trying to brag about the quality of the lance, and it is a very high quality zoom lens. It is a very fast lands. It does not have much range, So if you're looking for a short wide angle range, you need that F to aperture. This could potentially be a perfect wedding photographer leads who needs a wide lens they're working under really low light conditions, and they really appreciate that one stop of gain going from 28 down to very F two. And so the competition for this is probably the 16 to 35 it's the same debate before. What's more important to you? That one aperture setting, which is gonna probably result in faster shutter speeds that you're trying to shoot with, or the little more practical range of the 16 to 35? It's a relatively expensive lens, but cheaper than the cannon. And once again, this is part of their art. Siri's right down here. It's art Siri's, and that means at it is one of their latest, best quality lenses that is on par with their with the cannon alliances for Ukrop frame users for the rebels, the 60 d seventies. Things like that. If you want to get super wide angle, the whitest lens that Canon makes is a 10 millimeter lands. If you want to get all the way down to eight millimeters, this is your only choice. So this is the white ist lens available for canon crop frame users. It does have kind of a bulbous front elements. So there's no filtration on this. The competitors, er with canon. And once again I see in a little typo here, that should be 3.5 to 4.5 over here because we can see it right on the lens. In any case, which one between these two would I choose? In general, I would probably want to choose the cannon unless I had specific needs that I really found a value getting all the way down to eight millimeter because it is a fairly pricey lands and you are gonna pay for that extreme eight millimeter range. The 24 to 105 was a surprising lens for me, for Sigma to bring out because Canon already had a 24 to and it was pretty good quality and it was pretty cheap. So there's not a lot to compete with. And so they put out a nice, decent quality 24 to 105 that it zip art of their art Siri's. So it's very good quality. But compared to the canon 24 to 105 I don't know that it has that much Teoh to be better than the cannon 24 to 105 is fairly weak at the white end, and I think this one is probably better in that regard. Price wise, it's not that difference in price just because the canon lenses relatively cheap because it's been out for a while and it's been used in a lot of their kit lenses. And so it's just been around for a lot, and there's a lot of them on the second market. And so it kind of a downside is using this 82 millimeter filter. There's some very common filter sizes, and 77 is a very common large filter size. And once we get beyond that, I gotta go buy new filters. And everything beyond is kind of ridiculously large for most people, a 24 to 72.8 very valuable lens. You'll notice the design here is their older design before their contemporary art sports Siris. For somebody who wanted a basic zoom range that got down to 2.8, this is one of the least expensive ways that you can possibly get into it. And so it's under $1000 and when you compare the price with the cannon. It is just much, much cheaper. It's not as good equality is the cannon, but for somebody who needed a practical, fast, normal zoom range, this would be a good choice. The super zooms 18 to 300 well can and does not have an 18 to 300 for this to compete with. I don't usually recommend 18 to 3 hundreds in most situations. Just cause there's a lot of optical compromises that you're getting when you have such a large zoom. But it's the whitest range that they make. Four cannon. I guess it competes with the 18 to 200 which is another super zoom that I'm not Super fund of. Its price is comparable to that. And if you really found a need for that extra 200 to 300 range, well, it's an option that Cannon does not have getting into their larger telephoto lenses. That 200 is really a standard for a lot of the pros who need a versatile fast long lands, very valuable lens tohave. This is a little bit older design. It's not their new art, Siri's. I'm sure we'll see a new remake of this in their sports. Siri's perhaps a little bit soft at the 2.8 aperture on this. When we compare it to the canon, though, it's one of those things where it's a pretty big chunk of change less than the candidates. It's a that's pretty close to half the price, not quite about 40% off. But overall it's a It's a good, solid lens that could be very useful for many photographers for quite some time. If you need that faster aperture reaching into the longer range. Maybe for somebody who wants to do wildlife photography definitely doing outdoor photography, they do make some bigger lenses that go up further. This is just one of them is going to compete with the canon lens, which is a fairly pricey lens. And so if you want something that goes up to 400 you can't afford the cannon. This is probably gonna be the best option in a much lower price lands. Recently, there has been a few different lenses in the 1 50 to 600 range that have hit the market, and Sigma has done something that I don't know that I've ever seen a manufacturer do before they brought out a 1 50 to 600. And at the same time, they also brought out another 1 50 to 600. They brought out two lenses of the same focal ing because Member will move back when we were designing our lands. One of the things that we wanted design in the lands is, well, what sort of construction or we're gonna have, What sort of optics, What sort of features? Air we're gonna have. Imagine if our design team had a split and one team wanted to build a really high end lands and another team wanted to build a decent but affordable lands. They came out with two lenses and this is their contemporary lens. So this is their affordable lens, and it doesn't have all the frills and extra features and high end glass that the higher in models that we're gonna talk about next in here has and so kind of form, or your average user who would like something that gets way out there to 600. That's very hard to do on a lens. But this gets you out there. So for sports and wildlife on a budget makes for a very nice lens, reaches out much further than the 100 to 400 is quite a bit less money. So it's a pretty good bye for somebody who really needs that long reach out there. But it's trying to keep a re a reasonable budget going here. So the other version of this is their sport version, and it looks very similar that the design it's slightly different on it. They've used higher quality glass, better weather ceiling, better construction throughout it, bigger tripod caller finer controls on it. And so this is gonna cost almost twice as much money as the previous one that we just talked about. So this is more on par with the quality of the 100 to from Canon. So this would be a good choice for people who really know they need that longer focal ing. But I have to say, having held these lenses, they are noticeably bigger and heavier. This whole front part up here is just filled with glass, and this is what the cannon 100 to 400 is like, and you're adding on a whole chunk of glasses, like adding on an 85 1. to the front of a 400 millimeter lands. And so it is not something that you're gonna want a handhold. You're gonna want to put it on a mono pod or put it on a tripod, but would be great at air shows. Wildlife working for wildlife from a boat, for instance, would be great with that lens. Another one of these very fast zooms a 1 22 302. great for sports photographers who need a little bit of variety in their focal length but still need that 2.8. And they needed to get out to 300. So this is a completely unique lands. It's really hard to compare it. The closest thing is the 300 to 8 in. The main difference here is that the 300 to 8 from Canon is going to be much smaller than this because it's not trying to do the zooming thing. It is a fairly pricey lands, a little bit less money than the cannon. You do get the zoom, but you're gonna pay for it in the price or in the weight of the lens. Okay? Everybody should buy this land's everybody needs a 300 to 805 6 lands. This is the kind of the what I think of it as the ultimate burning lens. You got a little bit of zoom all the way out to 800. No stabilization in this lens. Really, I think needs some stabilization. It's a big, heavy, expensive lands a little bit less so than the cannon and is just kind of an interesting one to show and talk about for just a moment. But, no, this is the one you really need. This is the garbage can lands. It looks like a gigantic green garbage can look this nearly £35 in weight. This is This is a brag piece. I don't know of any photographer that owns or uses this. This lens. This is a brag piece from Sigma. I think it comes with the two times converter, which converts it into a 400 to 1000 millimeters F 56 lens on it. Love the beautiful green color on, and I think that's fantastic. It's a little hard to hand hold, you know, £35 and I guess we can compare it to the 200 to which has a zoom range. And if you've ever wanted good justification, you can tell your partner I'm gonna buy the 200 to 400 cause it's so much cheaper than the 205 100. Look how much money we're saving. And so Sigma just wants to prove that they can make incredible lenses. Okay, we'll go through the signals, or so that tomorrow is pretty quickly here. They don't have too many to choose from here they have the technology D I, which stands for full frame, essentially and D I to which is for their crop frame sensor. So if you have a crop frame camera, you can use either one. If you have full frame, make sure it's a D Islands. And so a lot of times Tamron is going to be competing on a similar product but less money. The 15 to is similar to the can in 16 to 35 but it gets you into a little bit wider category at a little bit less money. And so, if you want that little extra wide angle 15 at the F 2.8 aperture. Very good quality. This is part of their new Siri's, which is a very nice construction and good quality glass on it. In their standard zoom for a crop frame user. We got there a PSC sensor up here. If you're looking for a normal lands that is a 2.8 aperture, this is the most affordable lens that you're gonna be able to find. I actually own this lens because I have a crop frame camera, and I just wanted a nice little simple lens, and it's well under $1000. And if we compare it to the canon lands, which is, I think, a nicer lens, this Tamron is just so much cheaper. If you're looking for a budget option that goes down to 2.8, I think that's the best option out there. The one gripe on that lens we just talked about is that it doesn't have image stabilization, which is what this lens does, and so if you want stabilization, it's gonna add a little bit to the cost. It's gonna make the lens a little bit bigger. It's a very nice overall lens, not quite as fast of focusing as the cannon, but when it comes to price, its very comparable to it. The 24 to 70 f 2.8 competes with the cannon 24 to 70 F 2.8, but this one has vibration control on it, and so this is their version of image stabilization on it. So if you wanted a standard zoom for a full frame canon camera, this gets you that standard zoom past 2.8 aperture good quality lens, not optically as good as the cannon. But it offers an interesting option that a lot of people find attractive because they are wanting cannon to make this 24 to 70 with stabilization, especially since Nikon recently introduced a 24 to 70 that have stabilization. So we're likely to see can and changing that. But, as I said before, the price will probably jump up 500 bucks. If you do need a full frame lens that goes down to 2.8. This 28 to 75 which is a little bit older, is dirt cheap when it comes to a fast, normal zoom, and so construction and quality wise it's on the okay level. It's not fantastic. It is not up to what the 24 to 70 is in quality. But look at this price difference. There is a huge price difference. So if you said you know what, I just need something fast, normal, basic quality. That's a great lens for it. Super Zoom 16 to 300 that was even whiter than the Sigma 18 to 300. And so, if you want the absolute whitest range possible for a crop frame Canon camera, this is where you're going to find it. There are optical compromises when you have a zoom range of that size. I guess that competes with the 18 to 200 but you're getting Maurin the wide angle, Maurin the telephoto. It's about the same price. So if you want that extra range as far as the comparison between the two, if I really wanted the range, I'd have no problem going with Tamron that this is a very good quality lens, and the one from Canon is It's OK 28 to 300. This is the super zoom for the full frame user of canon, and so Canon doesn't well I guess they do make a 28 to 300. It's in a whole different bar park. That's their L leads. And so there's a huge price difference. And so if you have a full frame, you want a big zoom single lens. This is obviously going to be a very good price option compared to the expensive L lens from Canon. They have a very nice 72 300 that competes, I think, very closely with the quality and construction of the Cannon 72 300. It's not quite as fast of focusing as I mentioned before. Canon, You know, they really know they're focusing system really well, and that's one of the advantages that they have in their own systems. So there is a slight price advantage. If you were doing a lot of sports work, I would say Go with the cannon If you're doing general work, I think there's a nice little price break with the Tamron. That would be just fine for most people's photography. They make a very nice looking 72 200. I would probably say it's the most attractive 72 200 option. Besides the cannon, one and it's gonna course come in at a lower price because it's not a cannon. And so if we look at the price, it is a noticeable chunk of change, less about 25% less money than the cannon. And so, if you didn't absolutely need the top of the line can and stuff, this is gonna save you some money and still get a very nice quality lands. This is the 1 50 to 600. We just talked about the Sigma 1 52 6 Hundreds of the Tamron hit the market about a year before the Sigma's came out and proved to be an instant hit with a lot of the weekend birder wildlife photographers. And the nice thing here is that it's got a fairly low price. Optically speaking, it's not quite as good as either of the Sigma lenses. It's a little weak in the image quality at the long end. But for your average weekend user, the price comparison and the ability to reach out to 600 has put 600 millimeter lens into the hands of people who would normally not be able to afford it. And so it's a nice little option for people who really want to get out there. But it isn't big lands. You're probably gonna want to put this on a mono pod and tripod for most of your shooting. Takina has a few lenses that will go through very quickly. They have a DX sensors, so they've kind of adopted the Nikon terminology. DX is their crop frame sensors, and FX is their full frame sensors, so the 11 to 16 is one of the best value lenses anyone could have in the cropped frame Canon world. One of the things that's always kind of bugged me about the canon offerings in this case is that they were not 2.8 apertures, and so the 11 to 16 is a very limited range. But I love that two point fast aperture Auto focus is not quite as fastest response of his cannon, not as big a deal in the white angle world, and this is going to compete with that 10 to 22 it's going to do so for less money, and it offers a faster aperture, and it's a well built lens, and I prefer it over the cannon in this case, they have actually just replaced that lens. So you're going to find it on sale and discount, and they've replaced it with a slightly elongated range 11 to 20. And this looks like it's going to be an even better lands. But it will be more money because it is their latest version, and so 11 to 20 is not a huge range. But it is more than enough in this wide angle world that we're talking about right here. And so if we compare that against the cannon lands, it's gonna be very similar price. But we are getting that faster F 2.8 aperture, which is quite nice for a wide variety of types of photography, so that those were three different lenses for the crop frame. And actually, we have one more. Excuse me, Got one more. This is a slightly slower version at F four. Yeah, this is gonna be able to compete on a little bit smaller size and a little bit lower money because they're not going for that faster 2. aperture. Once again, auto focus is not on card, but that's not as big a deal. And so when it comes to the comparison. Another nice little cheap option. And Takina really seems to be specializing in a lot of these wide lenses. We're not gonna have many tele photos to talk about. They do have a wide angle. Option a 16 to 28 to eight. Why do I want this lens? When the cannon has a to 35 to eight, Cannon has a bigger range. This one has a big, bulbous front in that I can't put filters on. So the cannon in my mind is a much preferable lens to this one. When it comes to those features, it's got 2.8 doesn't take filters. I don't like that fact. And so when it compares to the can, and I much prefer the cannon until you look at the price, they have offered something that allows you to get down to that ultra wide category and do so at a much cheaper price than Cannon can offer. And so it's it's really competing on price for their full frame cameras. They have a 17 to which is a nice, small wide angle for the travel photographer, perhaps not quite as rugged as the Cannon L Series lenses competes pretty closely with the 17 to 40 but once again it's about 1/3 less in price. And so there would be kind of hard for me to pick between these two. I suppose if I could afford it, I would go with the canon. But if money was tight, I wouldn't have a problem going with this takina at all. Their standard zoom. They have a very nice looking 24 to 70. So if you need that standard, zoom with that faster aperture on it. This is, ah, pretty good option. That's not once again as good. Equality is the cannon, but it's gonna offer you something at much more affordable price, partly because the cannon option it's just very expensive. And so, if you need a normal zoom, I guess this would compete very closely with the Sigma that we saw in this category. They excuse me that Tamron in 24 72.8 because they're both gonna be similar prices. Do you have any favorite brands or just anything in particular to say about the overall quality build and just how long some of these third party lenses might last year compared Teoh compared to the cannons offerings. I think it's a bit inconsistent between the brands and the actual individual model numbers. And so with cannon, you can kind of identify the L lenses and the other lenses. And so Canon makes a range of lenses that I would classify down here toe up here and with Sigma. They range from about down here to write about their a swell. And so it really depends on the model that you've chosen because, like this Sigma 51 4 I will put this up against the cannon L lens any day of the way. Let's go head to head right now. And there are other ones that I would be afraid of dropping one inch because they might break on somebody. I didn't talk about the whole group, and so there's some very low in ones, and so you really have to look into that particular lands. Maybe do a little Internet research on reviews on that lands. Look up some photographers who've gone out and shot with that lens and see what the comparisons are because this art Siri's from Sigma is just fantastic stuff and I everyone, everyone absolutely loves it because every time Sigma puts out another one, it's like, OK, can and what you gonna do now look what they did, what they did again. And we're like, we're everyone's waiting for Canon to respond to these incredible items that these new art Siri's have put out. And so in that case, it's a straight up fight, and there it's a fair battle on most of the other lenses, like the ones we were just going through from Tamron and Toki. No, there's there's kind of, like something you're not getting, but it's much cheaper. And so it's an option and, you know, I've said it before, but I reiterate it here if you're buying a lens and I said, Well, it's a little bit off optically week that doesn't mean you can't buy the lands and work with it and get great photos from it. I have bought lenses that I knew were not the best quality. They fit my needs and my budget at the time. And when I buy a lands and part of it is a conceptual difference that I have engaged in that I think some people maybe glanced. Kinda hard on. If I can think about things like that is I buy a lands. I really like this, lands it. I'm not gonna have this lens forever. I'm gonna have it for a number of years. I don't know, 35 10 15 years. And then I'm going to sell it and I'm gonna move onto the next thing. And it's a lens that fits my needs for that period of time. And so if I can only afford $700 for 24 to 72.8, I don't look for the best thing that I confined and find can and make something better. I just can't afford it right now. This is what I can afford. This is the stepping stone that I'm gonna take right now, and then I'm gonna go from there. And so just because it's not the greatest thing in the world, don't be worried about it. It's just a stepping stone to get you to the next level

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

What's in the Frame? HD
What's in the Frame? LOW
Field of View HD
Field of View LOW
Lens Keynote Parts 1-4
Lens Keynote Parts 5-8
Canon® Lens Data

Ratings and Reviews


I so appreciate what a good teacher John is. I wish I would have known this much about lenses when I first started out buying my lenses. It was hard finding information about lenses. I didn't want to spend money on a lens I wouldn't use. The better understanding we have about our gear the better photographers we will be. I have never seen a class like this. Invaluable...yes I bought the class! I am really impressed with the high quality photography classes available on Creative Live!


This was a great class not just about the lenses that Canon offers but also how each lens works. As usual, John's slides are alway informative and entertaining. There is a phrase: John has a slide for that! I am not even a Canon user and found this class to have great information for the use of each specific lens. Great work John! Thank you Creative Live for another great class!

Tami Miller

Have loved the other John Greengo classes I've watched & purchased - and this is another winner! Having been a high school/college science teacher, it is refreshing to take a course with someone who not only is extremely experienced, seems to be a computer having stored so much knowledge, but is equally concerned about making the information truly understandable to different levels. And he shares the information using every tool he can: slides, video, interactive presentations, and great quizzes. I learned so much about my Canon lenses - and lenses in general with their many components. I am excited about testing each of mine to see what macro ratio they handle, and especially appreciated the tutorial on testing each for their specific quirk that affects super sharpness. This class is great whether you own Canon lenses or not. Thanks John Greengo!

Student Work