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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Choose Your Perfect Zoom

The modern zoom lens is a marvel of technology, and it’s the nature photographer’s best friend

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Sony DT Zeiss 16-80mm

Medium Zooms
Medium zooms cover the format’s “normal” focal lengths, along with wider and longer ones, and are good choices for general outdoor shooting. Good medium zooms for APS-C-format DSLRs include Canon’s EF-S 18-135mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 IS, Nikon’s AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G VR, Olympus’ Zuiko Digital 12-60mm ƒ/2.8-4.0 SWD, Pentax’s DA* 50-135mm ƒ/2.8 SDM, Sigma’s 17-70mm ƒ/2.8-4.5 DC HSM II, Sony’s Zeiss 16-80mm ƒ/3.5-4.5, Tamron’s AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II VC and Tokina’s 16.5-135mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 AT-X DX.

For full-frame and 35mm film shooters, popular medium-zoom choices include Canon’s EF 28-135mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 IS USM, Nikon’s AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 24-120mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G VR, Sigma’s 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 EX DG HSM, Sony’s DT 16-105mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 and Tamron’s SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di.

Pro-Optic 420-
800mm ƒ/8.3-16

Telephoto Zooms
Telephotos aren’t just for wildlife photographers. Many pros use them for landscapes, too, for a different “look.” Some particularly popular wildlife zooms include Canon’s EF 100-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Nikon’s AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 200-400mm ƒ/4G VR, Olympus’ Zuiko Digital 90-250mm ƒ/2.8, Pentax’s DA* 60-250mm ƒ/4 SDM (DSLRs only), Pro-Optic’s inexpensive 420-800mm ƒ/8.3-16 Vari-Zoom, Sigma’s 150-500mm ƒ/5-6.3 DG OS HSM, Sony’s 70-400mm ƒ/4-5.6 G, Tamron’s SP AF200-500mm F/5-6.3 Di and Tokina’s 80-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 AT-X.

Tamron SP AF70-
200mm F/2.8 Di
LD Macro

If you’re a landscape shooter, some favorite telephoto zooms include Canon’s EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM, Nikon’s AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm ƒ/2.8G VR II, Olympus’ Zuiko Digital 35-100mm ƒ/2.0, Pentax’s DA 50-200mm ƒ/4-5.6 WR, Sigma’s APO 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 II EX DG Macro HSM, Sony’s 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 G and Tamron’s SP AF70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD Macro.

Sigma APO 70-200mm
ƒ/2.8 II EX DG Macro HSM

Super Zooms
When you want to travel really light, a wide-range “super zoom” can (almost) do it all. Popular super zooms include Canon’s EF-S 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 IS (for APS-C) and EF 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6L IS USM, Nikon’s AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G VR II (APS-C), Olympus’ Digital Zuiko 18-180mm ƒ/3.5-6.3, Pentax’s DA 18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3, Sony’s DT 18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3, Sigma’s 18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 OS (APS-C) and 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3, and Tamron’s AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC (APS-C) and AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC.

Zooms For Nature

(800) OK-CANON

(800) NIKON-US

(888) 553-4448
(800) 877-0155

Pro-Optic (Adorama)
(800) 223-2500

(800) 896-6858
(877) 865-SONY

Tamron USA
(631) 858-8400

Tokina (THK Photo Products)
(800) 421-1141


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