Looking for a lightweight and low price telephoto zoom lens? For just $37 plus $10 shipping, and $3 sales tax I found this lens on Ebay. The lens you are looking for is the Canon EF 80-200 f/4.5-5.6 II Zoom Full Frame Lens which has been out of production for many years.

Yes, this is essentially a “kit lens”.
Is it a super sharp as the new RF lenses? Nope.
Does it weigh as much as the RF 70-200 f4.0? Nope.
Does it cost anything close to what the Canon RF 70-200 f4.0 costs? Nope.
Is the auto focus tracking equal to any modern lens? Nope.

As I was using this lens on a newer Canon R series mirrorless camera, I had to use the Canon Mount Adapter Ef-EOS R to attach the lens. The adapter adds a little less than 1″ in length to the lens, and about a 110 grams in weight bringing the total weight to 370 grams. ( there are 453 grams in a pound )  The adapter was $99 two years ago when I bought it. Though it now sells for $129.

The best lens you have, is the one you are willing to bring with you. Several of the photos in this post were made from Domes that required climbing hundreds of steps in a timely fashion. Ten years ago, I might have done the climb with a bigger more expensive heavier second lens. I did take a high quality wide angle zoom with me up to the Dome tops.

One advantage of lens is that it will fit in a small lens bag that one can carry by attaching it to your belt. Another it that the lens doesn’t really stand out as a high priced piece of camera equipment. Sadly when traveling as a tourist, you don’t want to appear as the person with the most expensive equipment.

Florence Italy sunrise photographed through hotel window by the Piazza della Signoria with 80 to 200 Canon zoom.

This image was captured at 6:03 AM and made through our hotel window above the Piazza della Signoria at an angle with zoom at 80mm. As photographers know, making an image through a window will cause some loss of image quality. Having to do so at an angle will cause an even great loss of quality. Technical details – 80mm – f8.0 – 1/1000 of second – ISO 320. Lightroom processing details – Sharpen 83 – Radius 1.0 – Detail 25 – Masking 34.

Sunrise of bell tower in Florence Italy made from 5th window above Piazza della Signoria.

This 800 pixel by 900 pixel section is from the full frame image of 8192 x 5464 pixels. No extra processing was done to the full frame image, other than to take this section of the picture out. Again, this image was made through a hotel window at an angle photographing into the rising sun.

This image of Brunelleschi’s Dome in Florence Italy, was made from the Giotto’s Bell Tower though the caging the surrounds that entire viewing area. This is where the advantage of the lens being so small really shined. The area you had to photograph through was barely 2″ x 2″. By putting the lens right against the cage in the clear area, you were able to avoid have the cage ruin the photo. Photo details – 80mm – f8.0 – 1/1600 of second – ISO 320. Lightroom details – Sharpen 40 – Radius 1.0 – Detail 25 – Masking 0.

This 960 x 800 pixel image is taken from the full sized 8192 x 5464 pixel file. You can’t quite read those signs on the Dome which are 96 meters ( 315 feet ) from my shooting location.

By now you are thinking, well Keith, EVERY lens looks good two stops down from maximum aperture at ISO 320 on a sunny day. You would be correct. This image provides a little tougher test of the zoom lens. The image was made inside of St. Peter’s Basilica at 113mm – f7.1 – 1/25 of a second – ISO 2500. Lightroom details – Sharpen 76 – Radius 1.0 – Detail 25 – Mask 26.

Telephoto image made inside St. Peter's Basilica - Rome Italy

This 960 x 800 pixel image is taken from the full sized 8192 x 5464 pixel file – Not bad for ISO 2500 on a $39 lens.

View from Vatican Dome using 80 to 200 Canon zoom lens at 135mm.

View from the Vatican Dome. You can take the stairs all the way up, or pay extra and take an elevator about half the way up. Either way, the stairs are the only way to reach the top. Photo Details – 135mm – f9.0 – 1/1000 – ISO 320. Lightroom Details – Sharpen 84 – Radius .5 – Detail 25 – Masking 21.

The police car in this image is 1300 feet from my location on the top of the Vatican.

This 960 x 800 pixel image is taken from the full sized 8192 x 5464 pixel file. The police ( polizia ) vehicle in this photo is 1350′ away from where I took the photo.

The bus in this photo is a half mile away from my location.

This 960 x 800 pixel image is taken from the full sized 8192 x 5464 pixel file. The bus in this photo is half a mile away from the Vatican Dome where I took the photo.

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