Superzoom lenses: how much extra reach will a few more mm give you?

Superzoom lens reach: 200mm

One of the common questions we often hear from readers here at Digital Camera World involves lenses – specifically superzoom lenses. And it always comes down to this: when looking to buy superzoom lenses, it can be tempting to pay a little bit more for a longer focal length. But how much extra reach do you really get by shelling out more money for a superzoom with 20 or more extra millimetres?

Superzoom lenses: how much extra reach will a few more mm give you?

In short, the greater the zoom range, the more you’ll compromise on image quality, so it’s best to stick to a standard zoom lens and complement this with a telephoto zoom.

There’s still a lot to be said for the versatility of a superzoom. A few millimetres in focal length makes a big difference at the wide-angle end.

At the telephoto end of a superzoom, an extra 50mm won’t make such a noticeable difference, but can still be worth having.

The main options are the Sigma 18-250mm OS and Tamron 18-270mm VC, both of which feature 4-stop stabilisation.

This is worth having, as the largest aperture at the longest zoom settings is f/6.3. This means that with ‘effective’ focal lengths of 375mm or 405mm, you’ll often be limited to slow shutter speeds (unless you increase your ISO), making camera shake a problem.

Below we’ve provided three examples of the scene shown at the top of this page. In each one we’ve zoomed into 200mm, 250mm and 270mm, respectively, to show what each superzoom lens actually captures at these focal lengths.

Superzoom lens reach: 200mm


Superzoom lens reach: 250mm


Superzoom lens reach: 270mm


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