Reducing Zoom

writer: russell j.t. dyer; posted: jul 2010; revised: mar 2018; readers past month: 1607

In my collection of Canon EF lenses, I have a Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM zoom lens. It’s an excellent lens. I don’t think there’s any other lens in this range of zoom lenses that’s better than it for Canon EOS cameras.

When I first bought this lens about three years ago, I couldn’t get enough of zoom lenses and was thrilled by the purchase. Now I rarely take this lens with me when I go out taking pictures. I find myself using fixed lenses like my Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L lens or my new Zeiss 21mm lens. They work very well for studio photography and interior shots. They also do well when I’m taking pictures outside. Occasionally, I will see a shot that I want to take of something that’s a bit far away and regret that I had not brought my larger zoom lens with me. Then I’ll just walk closer to the subject and take the shot with my smaller lenses and the regret disperses.

I’m thinking of selling my Canon 70-300mm zoom lens. I paid a good bit for it and could get much of that money back if I sell it. However, I’m wondering if I will wish I hadn’t done this. I suspect that I won’t miss the lens.

Does anyone have an observations about this impulse to sell the lens and not replace it? If I start missing having a lens with a 300mm focal length, what would be a good alternative that has a fixed focal length, but isn’t absurdly expensive or overly bulky? Please email me if you have recommendations for me.