Which telephoto (zoom) and low light lens' are best?

edited March 2012 Posted in » Canon T2i Forum
I was talking with a fellow T2i owner over on my Facebook page and she was wondering which lens would be best for shooting outside at night, and which lens would be best for outdoor zoom. I thought it would be beneficial to share our conversation with all of you...

Monique's Question: I am planning a trip to las vegas in the near future and will be bringing my new Canon T2i 18-55mm lens camera. I would like to buy some extra lens to bring along to be able to take some nice pictures of the city at night, portraits etc. What are your recommendations for a starter with a small budget? I should also mentioned that this is my first DSLR camera.

Moose's Answer: Without a doubt I would go for the "nifty fifty" Canon 50mm f/1.8. For around $100, you'll have a lens that'll allow you to isolate subjects (portraits, small groups, food, flowers, etc...) against a silky smooth background. This lens also is also fantastic for low light situations.

Monique's Reply: The canon 50mm f/1.8 has been bought. Now, I believe I will need another lens with zoom capacity for low/high light. What are your recommendations on such a lens? My remaining budget is within $500.00.

Moose's Reply: What types of subjects or scenes are you hoping to capture with the telephoto (zoom) lens?

Monique's Reply: My next trip will be cruising to Alaska this summer. Therefore, will probably need a zoom to capture Glaziers and landscaping from the ship.

Moose's Reply: Since you'll be shooting outdoors, the Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 would be the best starting point. It comes equipped with image stabilization and will get you much closer to distant subjects. As an added benefit, the T2i has a crop factor of 1.6x, which means the 55-250mm lens is effectively 88mm to 400mm. So if you're comparing the total zoom range of this lens to that of a compact superzoom camera, you'll have an idea of how far you can zoom in.
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