all around lens delimma

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by daniel_david|1, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Hi! I' m a hobbyist taking shots for my personal consumption. learning about lenses I'm caught in a delima of choosing a lens to replace my lens kit 18-55mm. 1st I consider a telephoto lens EF 55-250mm IS f3.5-5.6, considering the price and the telephoto capacity. I'm thinking to increase zoom capacity when in need to have closer view esp in events and wildlife and if decided to take a wide angle shot i'll just change back to my lens kit.
    2nd consideration is to get a sigma OS 18-200mm f 3.5-5.6. i could use this as an all around lens. cost is reasonable much cheaper than the EF-S 18-200. i could take shot from wide to telephoto in just 1 lens.
    both of these lenses are slow once telephoto are use or taking shot >50mm or in low light. i think ill be needing a tripod. this would be too much to carry if ill take shots on invited events, party and gigs. not unless i'll be invited as the official pro photographer. then i'll be needing lots of accessories.
    Now I'm considering the EF-S 24-70mm f2.8L. this is much faster and versatile from wide angle to telephoto. I guess 70mm telephoto is just enough to take picture if i want to shot events and even wildlife. it has the widest aperture of 2.8 which wont give me problems in low light.. BUT this cost a lot for me. Considering the cost what good lens that is versatile enough.
  2. Everyone go through this...And it depends on for you shoot. Some are happy with two or three lenses while others have 10 or even 20 lenses.
  3. You can't have cheap, fast and large zoom range. Especially when it comes to telephoto lenses.
  4. If you intend to take interior photos, go fast. Another lens to consider, if you want a versatile lens, would be the canon 24-105. Not the fastest lens around but it covers a good range and it's cheaper than the 24-70mm but still part of the canon "l" serie. As for wildlife, I wouln't say 70mm is enough (unless you shoot elephant)

    Unless you're a pro photographer, you might be disapointed after investing 1400$ in a 24-70mm (search for 18-55 vs 24-70).
    I went trough the same questions few weeks ago and I finally settle on a used 70-200mm f2.8l IS, and I have my cheap canon 50 f1.8 II for inside/party photos.
    Good luck!
    (excuse my english since it's not my language)
  5. When thinking about the -S lenses - consider if you plan on upgrading to a full frame body anytime soon. If you are thinking in that direction, then avoid the -S lenses. I view the lens as a much longer term investment than I do the body. I have some lenses I purchased 8 years ago that are still working great, now on my 3rd Canon body.
    I concur with the "L" series comments - they tend to be way better quality glass.
    So - my recommendation - with your budget in mind, look at what "L" series, non "S" lenses you can afford
  6. If you only have the one lens, the EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS, what shots are you NOT getting with it that you wish you could get? That's the first thing to consider when looking for a new lens.
    If you're not getting wide enough shots, then you need to think of a wider, or smaller focal length.
    If you can't get close enough to things, and don't want to do so much cropping of the images, then you want to go for a longer focal length. (BTW - 70mm is NOT enough for "wildlife". Elephants in a zoo, perhaps...)
    If the focal length is fine, but you have to boost the ISO too high, or you're getting 'noisy' images, then you want a lens with a larger maximum aperture, like an f/2.8.
    Or, maybe you want it all! But be warned - the lenses that seem to "do it all" usually are giving you the wide focal length range at the expense of other factors, like image quality and aperture. If the picture quality is good enough for your purposes, and the convenience of only needing one lens is high on your priority list, then they might be a good choice for you.
    Canon's 'L' series lenses are very good lenses, and will give you great image quality. But there are at least a couple of Canon's EF-S lenses (EF-S lenses only fit onto the APS-C size sensor Canons: The Digital Rebels, the EOS 20-60D and 7D) that are worth mentioning.
    The best of the EF-S lenses are the 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM, and the EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. Both are made with high-quality elements that are used in the 'L' series lenses, but they won't break your bank quite as much. These are very good lenses, and even if you did upgrade to a camera body that can't use the EF-S lenses, they should hold their value pretty well.
    IMO, unless you plan to upgrade to a Canon 5D or 1D camera in less than 5 years, or have a Canon EOS film SLR that you want to share the lenses with, don't worry so much if the lens only works on an APS-C sensor camera, like the EF-S lenses. Buy quality lenses, and their value will hold.
  7. Canon 55-250 is a nice lens and a real bargain. I really like mine. I'd skip the 18-200 superzooms. 55-250 scores much higher in the image quality department.
    As for events, my setup is Tamron 17-50/2.8 plus Canon 85/1.8 plus hotshoe flash (the older 550 EX in my case). This package costs less than a Canon 24-70/2.8
    Another option to look at is Tamron 28-75/2.8. It's a full-frame lens, about 1/4 the cost of the Canon.
  8. The 55-250 is an excellent lens for the money. It's also quite lightweight and compact. Tough to beat if you're on a budget.
    Another to consider is the Tamron 18-270mm.
    I wouldn't spend $1,000+ on a lens until you have a very clear idea what you need it for.
  9. Now I'm considering the EF-S 24-70mm f2.8L. this is much faster and versatile from wide angle to telephoto. I guess 70mm telephoto is just enough to take picture if i want to shot events and even wildlife.​
    Daniel, the 24-70 would be good for events (but see my next point below), but not nearly long enough for wildlife. Depending on the wildlife you're shooting, you'd need anywhere from 200mm to 1200mm.
    It has the widest aperture of 2.8 which won't give me problems in low light. BUT this cost a lot for me.​
    F/2.8 really isn't all that fast, particularly for low light work. For that, you'd be better off with an f/1.8, f/1.4 or f/1.2 prime or two. (Some will say not to worry about lens speed, since you can just bump the ISO setting. The problem is that some sensors are very noisy at higher ISO's.)
    Considering the cost what good lens that is versatile enough.​
    There really isn't a one-lens solution to your problem. Superzooms will give you no better image quality than your kit lens, and, as you say, they're slow anyway. The 24-70 is better, but lacks focal length range.
    I propose a two-zoom solution, augmented by one or two fast primes: the EF 24-105/4 L IS and later, when you can afford it, the 70-200/4 L IS. I find these zooms to be ideal for outdoor, walkabout use (on both my full frame and crop bodies), and their IS feature to be invaluable. The 24-105 would also do in a pinch for "invited events, party and gigs," although faster primes would serve you better for these applications.
    Relatively inexpensive, relatively fast EF primes include the 28/1.8, 35/2, 50/1.4 (or the flimsy, ultra-cheap 50/1.8), 85/1.8, and 100/2. The "L" primes are of course faster, and in most cases deliver superior IQ, but they would likely be prohibitively expensive for you.
    What I would do is get a 24-105, use it for some lower light work and keep track of the focal lengths at which you're shooting, and then select a prime (or two) at your most used focal length(s). And, later, you can pick up a 70-200 for those times that you need more reach.
  10. thanks you so much for sharing such good insight. 'will limit 1st my budget to efs lenses or consider affordable L lenses. ill try to exploit my 18-55 kit lenses and probably buy 50mm /1.8 to cover indoor events not jeopardizing sharpness and impt moments. I will initially consider 55-250 as my telephoto lens. just wondering what lenses of sigma and tamron equivalent to L lenses of canon? is it more cheaper?
  11. Since you are learning about lenses, I would suggest you keep the kit lens (the 18-55, which I assume is the IS version or one of them) and get the 55-250 you mention. Play with it for a year and get a feel for what you really need. That pair of lenses may be all you really need for a year or two or longer.
    If your camera body is quite old there might be some good reason to update it down the road but getting comfortable with your lenses and what your real needs are comes first.
    Adding also a Canon 50mm f/1.8 prime - around $100 used - would solve your low light issues for a while and is great indoors and out. Again, it's something to learn with while you evaluate your needs.
  12. A few words of caution about the 50/1.8
    It's a nice lens and a real bargain, but focusing this thing when it's wide-open is tricky. I've tried to cover an event with it, and a large percentage of my shots were misfocused. I've had better luck using this lens in posed non-moving situations.
    The 85/1.8 on the other hand has much better autofocus.
  13. thanks you so much for sharing such good insight. 'will limit 1st my budget to efs lenses or consider affordable L lenses. ill try to exploit my 18-55 kit lenses and probably buy 50mm /1.8 to cover indoor events not jeopardizing sharpness and impt moments. I will initially consider 55-250 as my telephoto lens. just wondering what lenses of sigma and tamron equivalent to L lenses of canon? is it more cheaper?​
    There are other good lenses out there that will augment what you already have. There's the EF-S 10-22 (and similar range lenses from Sigma, Tamron & Tokina) on the wide end, and plenty of selections in the 70-something range on the long end.
    The first lens I picked up after buying my 7D was a Tamron SP 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di VC USD (Bob Atkins' Review). It's a great lens for a great price (under $400 US after rebate). In "Tamron-speak", the SP means it's Tamron's better build class, Di means it will work on full frame and crop sensors, VC is Vibration Compensation (like Canon's IS), and USD is their "ultra sonic drive" (like Canon's "USM") for quieter autofocus and full-time manual focus.
    Another often mentioned first telephoto zoom, and often, first "L" lens, is the Canon 70-200 F/4 L USM. No IS (Image Stabilization), but at it's $700 price, you'll be very hard pressed to get better optical performance. There is a 70-200 f/4 L IS USM, but the sticker price goes up by over $600!
    Canon's "L" lenses are great to aspire to, but there are plenty of good lenses out there without the red ring from Canon, Sigma, Tamron & Tokina if "L" glass isn't in your budget right now!
  14. I'll put in another vote for the Tamrons. My 2 lens kit right now is a Tamron SP 28-75 2.8 and the Tamron SP 70-300 4-5.6 VC both mentioned in previous posts. I am very happy with the results. Someday I'll be able to get the big primes for my wildlife photography, but as far as value for the amount I had to spend and the coverage I get I'm very happy with these two.
  15. I wouldn't worry about a 24-70 or a 24-105 on a crop camera. Both are great lenses, but for the casual shooter, especially one who has no specific plans to upgrade to a FF body, a 17-50/2.8 is going to be far more effective --and useful, plus similar IQ. the extra 7mm at the wide is critical in getting workable 'WA', as, on the crop -- that 24mm gives you equiv to the FOV of ~40mm on FF units.
    Frankly, a sane upgrade from a 18-55 IS is an EF-S 15-85 (expensive but good), an EF-S 17-85 (worse IQ, but much cheaper), or a Sig 17-50/2.8 OS or a Tamron 17-50/2.8. (both excellently reviewed normal zooms on the crop). Combine any of those with one of the myriad of medium telephotos (image stabilized preferably), and you have a full range kit for less than a thousand dollars. This maximizes the capability of your crop sensor cameras, and meets budget requirements. Plus, It doesn't chop off the entire Wide end of the spectrum (as a 24-70 or 24-105 would) for your crop sensor camera.
  16. Daniel, f2.8 is still a fairly slow lens. You can purchase two or three prime lenses, and you will get the following advantages:
    • fast
    • image quality
    • require more discipline, making you think more about your photos
    • size, bulk, weight, even combined (the 1.8/50mm will weight no more than the lens cap of a big zoom lens)
    • aperture ring
    • you will be less conspicuous (great for event photography)
  17. Ty, no Canon EOS lenses have an aperture ring.
  18. I was thinking about this last night at my photo club (Port Hacking Camera Club) that meets in Cronulla, Sydney and discussed it with fellow members. I had just won 3 merits (the highest award) and a credit for four of my photos in an externally judged competition. All shots were either presented via computer and projector or were A4 prints. My comment to fellow members was along the lines of "I know that my Tamron 18-270mm would be considered inferior to a canon 24-70 or 70-200 but if it is winning awards, what the heck? I correct any distortion with DXO Optics Pro 6, so that's not an issue; I've never had a judge comment negatively on image quality, so that's not an issue; Yes it is slower than an f2.8 lens but can still produce very acceptable shallow depth of focus and acceptable bokeh; and best of all, it's light and does everything without needing to change lenses. I have a Canon 7D, 400D, Canon 100mm f2.8 macro, Kenko extension tubes, Sigma 50mm f1.4 and a Canon 10-22mm and I find that my Tamron 18-270 hardly leaves my camera. Yes, everything in photography is a compromise and each person has to decide what compromises are acceptable to him or her. I've made my choice.
  19. thank you so much for such good insights. lets me open my eyes in considering variety of lens other than canon efs
  20. If you are going to replace the kit lens, make a step-up that makes a difference.
    I would agree with using a 3rd party lens. They are a great value and in some cases exceed Canon in quality. I have both a Sigma 18-50 f2.8 and a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 for general purpose use and have no complaints about their performance. I would also agree with the earlier poster about the Canon 70-200 f4.
    My opinion and only that of an amateur...start out with the best, fastest standard zoom you can afford and then patiently save up for an equally fast tele zoom. For wildlife, 200mm is at least a start. The bigger the better in that respect. With a long lens get as big of an aperture as you can afford. When you are trying to shoot at 200mm you'll be shooting at 1/200 sec. minimum shutter speed. Animals move, and conditions can be cloudy or near dark, so a fast lens is a must.
  21. 18-55 IS + 50/1.8 + 55-250 IS is a great setup. Great IQ and superb value-for money. I have lenses which are faster, have better built and are much more expensive but when I'm lazy and don't want to carry them, then this setup does not disappoint.
    Happy shooting,

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