Friend wanted to buy Canon EF300mm f4/L for wild life photos and asked me if I can find good deal for him. I searched around and found it costs over $1000. Wow! After I asked him few questions and showed him the example below. He changed his mind and got a $100 Tamron 70-300mm instead
Sample from my Tamron
Click the image to see the original.
Q&A as follow
Me: How often do you take wild life photos?
Friend: Few times a year
Me: Are you going to shoot at day time or night time?
Friend: Mostly, Sunny day time.
Me: Do you really wanna spend a $1000 for a lens while you only use it a few time a year?
Friend: No, and lower quality is acceptable for cheaper solution.
The Reason He Picked Tamron
Every Lens should have acceptable sharpness while you are shooting at aperture f8. The cat you see above was shot with the Tamron at 300mm, aperture f8, 1/320sec with ISO800 while I think the image is acceptable. You will see the noise of the photo is pretty high since the little kitten is under the shade of my wife's car and I push my Canon XTi to ISO 800 to maintain the exposure. While you are shooting telephoto. In order to reduce hand shake, make sure you shoot with faster shutter speed. Only 3 rules apply, if the condition allow you to do so, you don't need a $1000 Lens to get good photos.
1, Shoot at f8 to get sharp image
2, Shoot at fast shutter speed to reduce hand shake
3, Push ISO to maintain good exposure.
p.s. Canon L telephoto lens will be able to help you get good images while you are in difficult situations. Such as when you need fast focus, shooting at low light or require f4 while still maintaining sharpness. Buy one if you can afford it. :)