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Canon Telephoto Zooms

Lesson 31 from: Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

Canon Telephoto Zooms

Lesson 31 from: Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

31. Canon Telephoto Zooms


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

Canon Telephoto Zooms

And so let's talk about telephones. Everybody's gotta have a telephoto because telephoto zehr very you don't have to. Your choice. All right, So for the E. F s users, we have a couple of 55 to 2 fifties. What's really are early aren't that much different? Other The fact that one of them is an STM Remember that smooth transitioning motor for the video, the stepper motor. And so these are reasonable way to start in the world of telephoto work. So if you got yourself one of the entry line cameras that has the crop frame sensor, this is a lens that might get you through 123 years of fairly serious photography. After that, I think your standards are gonna change. You're gonna outgrow this, and you're gonna move on to something better. But it does get you a very long reach to 50 with that 1.6 crop factor. If I recall correctly, that's getting you up to around 400 millimeters in Focal Inc. And that's about as big as you want to be able that you want a handhold for stability reasons. But there...

's a lot of plastic. It's a slow aperture. And when you're a shooting out at 2 50 you generally need a faster shutter speed, and it's a little bit slower autofocus system. So it's a little bit lower in on the performance scale, same basic lands but using the STM motor for people who are shooting lots of video, same type of, uh, factors to talk about on this very lightweight long lens on this, as I say, getting out to 400 millimeters. It does do quite well in its image. Stabilization has 3.5 stops of image stabilization on it, but it is, ah, very low inland that I think many people. No problem. I'm not saying I don't recommend this lens. It's kind of a good transition lens as you're progressing through the different steps of photography and so pretty reasonable prices on these lenses, and so you can get into these lenses without much money, and so you don't have to spend a ton of money on photography. If you want top of wine stuff, you do need to spend some pretty serious dough. But if you want to get in and basically get your foot in the door, you can do it for not much money. All right. A group of 72 to hundreds. All of these lenses are really nice lenses, just for slightly different reasons. So we have to seventy, two hundred two eights. We have to 72 200 F fours. The 72 200 F four, frequently known as the Non I S Model is an older model, and it's really one of the best values in the entire canon lineup of lenses. You get L quality glass for well under $1000 and this is in a very nice 72 200 for The main gripe about it is that it doesn't have the image stabilization system on it. Excellent quality lens. One of the things that there's a little bit about Canon stop doing that is that they don't supply a tripod collar with this. It really deserves a tripod collar, and I'll start to you on the next one. But no, I asked, and it should really have a tripod college supplied with it. And they sell this guy for, like, 100 and $65. That tripod caller and I have the image stabilization version of this and I went on eBay and I found somebody who was selling. I don't know some Chinese knockoff manufacturers who is selling a tripod collar for $15 and I use that for years, and it was perfectly fine. And so it had nothing to do with image quality. So the lens that I really like this is the lens I own is the 72 F four great focal ing. Great travel ends great nature and landscape lands F force fast enough for most of what I shoot. Four stops of stabilization means Aiken really handhold that with low shutter speeds. I do have to buy. I did have to by the collar and so quickly grab the lens here. And so this caller is optional but allows me to mount it on the camera, and we will be talking about these collars and then in an upcoming section on all the lens accessories. But that's really nice. If you do work from a tripod very often highly recommend that lends. Now this is another older lands, and they're keeping it around for unknown reasons. This is the non I s version of the 72 200 to 8. And if there was somebody who was on a tight budget, but they were working, shooting sports and news, and they needed a good quality lance. This would be a great lance because it is relatively not that much money. But to get a 72 200 to a constant lens, that's got really sharp glass on it. The only thing it's missing because it doesn't have the image stabilization, which is, of course, nice to have. But it's gonna double the price of this lens when you compare it to the new version and the new version, the 72 200 version two is a beautiful lens, and they have improved. The contrast are exceeding improved the sharpness of this one, even from the predecessor. And so this is a standard issue of the serious pro. This is This is probably where Mawr pros shoot their pictures than any other lands. And so when you go to the press conference with the president, this is probably what they're shooting. This is what they're shooting with that high school football game. This is being used for portrait photography is just one of the most versatile lenses out there. I've worked with a 72 208 72 to 8 for years, it says It's a heavy chunk of a lens, but it is a super valuable lens. Can his own one for quite some time New is a super valuable lens. So great issues standard issue for the pro absolutely top quality, Really, The only downside is it is kind of pricey, and it is kind of big and heavy. It's not something that most people are gonna walk. Wanna walk around Paris for 12 hours with this hanging over their neck, unless there are really serious photographer. And so you want to look at the two eights if you're doing a lot of people photography, where you need those faster, faster shutter speeds if you're not doing so much people photography. The F force are really nice compromise when it comes to size and weight, but not image quality. They're all very good image quality, and you can see the price is kind of rank up is you go to that 2.8 aperture and you get that image stabilization system in there. There is a group of lenses that are in the 70 or up to 300 range, and they range a wide area of prices. And so let's take a look at what we have to. All right, So I told you that there was one lens that you should not buy and that is this lens. Nobody should buy the air. I always thought that there was a reason for every lands. But you should not buy this lens and will become more clear when I show you the next lands. And so this is their no frills oum, its basic construction. It can be used with the F versus and the E. F S lenses. It does have their older, slower focusing motor. And here's the problem is that it has this older, slower focusing motor system. Let me go to the next lens, and this lands, which is the identical lands with a newer, better focusing system in it sells for less money. I don't know why, but this one sells for less money, and it's got a better focusing motor in it, and so this has their ultrasonic motor. It's not their ring type ultrasonic. It's their micro ultrasonic motor micro motor USM, but it is one step better than the previous one in cells for 20 bucks less. I don't know why it may be different in your region than it is in mind, but in my neck of the woods, this one's 20 bucks less than the previous land. So nobody by the last one. If you want to get a really, really simple basic zoom, it's an incredibly cheap lands. It's under $200 in us right now, and optically, it's not the greatest in the world, but it gets you buy for a couple of years. Probably. This is the one that I recommend to most novices in photography, the 72 300. It's better quality built, better quality optics. It has a good stabilization system built into it. It's as long lens as most people are going to need on any sort of regular basis. However, it does have a rotating lens element on the front, so putting polarizer is on the front. You got to be careful working those, and I'm not a big fan of that, and there is a fair bit of extension as this goes back and forth the 72 300. We talked about a little bit earlier when we were talking about our D O lenses. And so this is that special, very compact one. And I normally don't want to recommend this land's simply for the fact that, optically it is one of the weakest in the entire lineup of canon lenses. But if somebody said, I'm hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and I want to shoot birds and wildlife and I need the smallest lens possible because my pack is as Bigas I wanted to be and I can't carry any more equipment, this would be the best choice out there, and it's not terrible. It's just not top of the line sharpness compared to some of the premium glass out there. But it is so much smaller than everything else. There are certain people that are gonna be very attracted to the fact that they could get a 300 millimeter lens that compresses down to less than four inches in size. The 72 300 l is for people who definitely want higher quality, and they're willing to pay a little bit more for it in money and in size, And so this is gonna be, I think, a very popular lands for people travelling the outdoors, whether it's travel or hiking or something like that. And they want that 300 millimeter reach. And if you have a crop frame body member, that's like 480 millimeters on reach, which is going to be a pretty darn big telephoto, and it's still a pretty reasonable size package. 5.6 inches in height is not a huge lens in this case. Now some people are thrown off by the fact that they have put the zoom ring up front and the focus ring towards the camera body. And some people just don't like that they're used to the system because most lenses have that reversed. And if that's the worst thing on a lens, I could probably get used to that. That's not a bad thing to have is the worst thing to think about on a particular lands, and so we have a couple of the low in lenses. Remember, don't buy this lens here. This is the better one, because it's cheaper and it's better. This is gonna be better quality. The 72 300 but it is noticeably more money. And so you do get what you pay for the Dio lands is really expensive for what it is, and I wouldn't recommend it. For most people in most situations 72 300 for a lot of people will be the longest lens that they own very high quality, great for wildlife photographers as well, especially with those crop frame bodies to get a lot of reach on that. All right now we're getting into the pretty big guns here, so we have the 100 to 400 the 200 to 400 even those are on the same group. They're not even in the same classifications of each other. The 1st 1 is the 100 to 400 which has been a very popular lens with cannon for the last 15 years. They've recently replaced it with an upgraded version. Two of this with improved optics, improve stabilization and improved a number of other features in it, and it's typically going to be the biggest lens most people can fit into most normal camera bags and backpacks very easily, and so this is a great general purpose. Very long range lens, that is, from Canon. It does have a nice little zoom tension ing ring, and so zoom on it. You can very how smoothly or difficult it is to zoom that back and force. You do get some extra controls for the ergonomics on this, but it is a relatively big and heavy lands, not something you want to have hanging around your neck for a long period of time. Something that I would ideally be working with from a mono pod or a tripod, depending on the type of situation and the 200 or 400. You know, this thing is really unusual because it has a built in 1.4 tele converter. Yeah, I was up in Alaska doing one of my tours and a boat, and we were shooting whales, and I am shooting with a 300 to wait, and I kind of wondered, I wondered what, 200 to 400? It's so big and heavy and it's an F four, which is kind of slow. I don't really see the need for it, and I'm shooting a whale coming up here and then I'm shooting away. I'll come up here and then one back here, and I'm trying to change tele converters and going back and forth between my one for my two X and my 300. And then I realized a zoom lens would be really nice right about now. And so the next year I went to Canon and I rented a 200 to 400 for my trip up there. OK, now I'm set. And so the next trip I went up with the 200 to 400 and this lens is really heavy, and so every lens has its compromises. And so that's kind of the downside is this is an £8. millimeter lens, which is a huge 400 millimeter lands, and so it's a very heavy lens for what it is. It's heavy and it's big. But for a wildlife photographer photographing mammals, I think this is an ideal ultimate lands. And so, with this 1.4 converter, it was so nice you flip a switch and suddenly you had a to 5 60 F 5.6 lens, and so you can switch from 200 all the way up to 5 60 in two seconds and is very quick to work with. But this is the type of lens that you are definitely gonna warn work with from a mono pod or a tripod. So if you're working on safari with big game animals that you could get reasonably close to, this would be the ultimate lens for doing that. And so huge price difference. 104 100 in my mind is a lot of money. It's just that that 200 to 400 is so ridiculously expensive it makes the 100 to look cheap. Generally, there's not gonna be a lot of confusion about which lens that you want to go to. Between these two and that covers are canon zoom lenses and one of the things that I wanted to talk about, that I haven't had a chance to announces that coming with this class is a PdF, and this was not originally intended for you guys. I was designing this class, and I needed to have accurate numbers and data about the lenses. And once again, the information on the Internet is scattered. It's inconsistent, it's incomplete. And so I had to put together my own list and I put together my own list and it's got items that Cannon would not put on here, for instance, and this is going to be inaccurate and time, and I know that I put the price on Lee as a point of reference. How much is this lands compared to that lens? One of the things that I wanted to put on here, Let's see, you know, I have the lens listed its major features. You know what size filter it uses, how close you can focus the weight and length of the lands I want to put on. What could you use? And then I put on you know, whether the lens extends whether it rotates. It's level of weather resistance, and I also put on here one of the things I like most. Which is what year was this introduced? I want to know how new and how old is this design. I want to know when this lens was born. How old is it? Because I want to know what is going to replace. I typically don't want to go out and buy a lens if it's 15 years old. Although I have done that because it made sense in the right case. And so this is a pdf and I have all the zoom lenses, all the fixed lenses, all the F lenses, all the tilt shift lenses and all the stats on this. And that's what pdf that comes with the class with the paid purchase of the class. And so it's it's information you can find on the Internet. You can find this all free. You don't need me to do this. I spent hours and hours organizing it, but you can go search out on your own. It'll take you through firearms, but feel free to do that if you want.

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!

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!


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!

Student Work