What you need to know to pick the perfect lenses for your digital camera
Sports and wildlife photographers often seek out longer telephoto lenses, and the SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC zoom from Tamron is usually what they’re looking for. Short enough at 70mm to be useful in a variety of situations, yet long enough at 300mm to create great close-ups, the versatile lens fills a frequently used telephoto range in a compact frame. The lens has built-in vibration compensation to help keep it steady when handholding—crucial for optimum sharpness when working with a long lens. The Ultrasonic Silent Drive motor ensures fast and quiet autofocusing. Available in Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts. Estimated Street Price: $449.
For pro photographers, speed is key. That’s why Nikon has added another superfast prime to its pro lineup. The brand-new AF-S Nikkor 85mm ƒ/1.4G is an internal focusing 85mm prime lens—perfect for portrait and wedding photographers or even nature photographers and photojournalists who value wide apertures. Nano Crystal Coat helps minimize internal flare, and the M/A mode switch on the barrel makes instantly changing to manual focus a snap. Blazing speed and high quality, however, don’t come cheap. Estimated Street Price: $1,649.
Canon’s 100mm macros have long been a favorite of detail shooters who value their sharpness and ideal medium-telephoto focal length. The company’s newest version of the lens makes improvements with the addition of image stabilization for easier handholding—crucial when working with microscopic subjects mere millimeters from the lens. The new hybrid IS in the EF 100mm ƒ/2.8L Macro IS USM lens addresses the unique challenges of stabilizing lens optics at close focusing distances. Canon claims up to two stops of added stabilization at close focus and a whopping four stops of steadiness at longer distances. Estimated Street Price: $949.
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