Best all-purpose lens?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by blake_suddeth, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Hi, I have a digital rebel and currently have the 18-55 kit lens as
    well as the 50mm f/1.8. I would like a lens with more zoom but I
    don't need as much as say the 75-300. I'm interested in one of the
    wide-angle zoom lenses but not sure which one to get. What would you
    recommend in the 2x-1xxmm range that would be noticably better
    optically than the kit lens without getting into and of the L
    lenses. Should I stick with canon lenses or go with another brand?
    Thanks a lot.
  2. Pieces of information that you left out -

    What sort of photography do you anticipate doing?

    What is your budget?

    What camera body do you have now?
  3. The best is the 17-85 EF-S. Good resolution, minimal vignetting, has Image Stabilization and USM. $550 at B&H.
  4. Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L if you just want ONE lens and are on a desert island with models and stuff (and an Internet connection with a phat PC).
  5. Given your description the 28-135 IS is a strong contender if you don't want to make the L plunge. There is tons of info on PN for this lens. You might also what to check out what Bob Atkins has to say here. Good luck.
  6. 1. use the 50/1.8 exclusively for a couple of months. its a killer lens and a great learning tool.

    2. if you must have a zoom, consider sigma 18-50/2.8, 24-70/2.8, tamron 28-75/2.8, canon 17-40/4, canon 28-70/2.8.

    reviews i've read and my own experience with the tamron is that a good copy of any of these is optically very good. also, an aperture range of 2.8 gets you indoors without a flash for many things, which makes the lens more useful as an all-purpose lens.
  7. First off, when you say that you want a 20 something to 100 something zoom, did you mean actual focal lengths or equivalent focal lengths. What I mean by equivalent is that an actual 28mm lens will yield an equivalent focal length of about 48mm. That being said, for an actual 20 something lens I'd second the recommendation for the 28-135 IS. If you want a 28mm equivalent, the 17-85 EF-S is the only real wide to tele lens for the EF-S mount that is worth the metal it's made out of. Finally, Ken, did you just describe a PC as "phat?"
  8. jbq


  9. 28-135 IS is a very good all around lens, there are optically better lenses in that price range but not with as much reach or IS.
  10. Well seeing that 28mm comes to about 50mm when you add in the crop factor, you might want to go with a wider one if you were looking for something "all around"

    If you aren't going to ever switch your camera (to say... a larger sensor), you might want to go with the 17-85 EFs lens. It covers the wide range while the 28-135 will get closer. I'm guessing that will work for you. If you buy that, I think you should sell your 18-55 (well I would) unless you want to keep it as backup... seeing as this would out-perform it greatly besides it being a littler slower.

    You should consider the EFs 17-85 4-5.6 if you just want a little bit longer while keeping the flexibility your current lens has.
  11. Yes, a "phat" PC - something like 2GB RAM, 21" LCD, 4 x 200 GB drives, and at least 3.5 GHz CPU.
    (and Blake, sorry for my rather lame suggestion since it does not fit the parameters of your question, my bad)
  12. My 2 cents, Beside the EF28-135 IS, which is a good choice for a quality all purpose, a second option is the Tokina 24-200 f3.5 to f5.6. It has no IS but cheaper than the EF28-135. Yes it is a supper zoom and one much learn to stop down one stop at the long end. You do get the same range as most Supper Zoom digicam 38-320. Not a bad choice if used as a super zoom digicam replacement. Here is a picture comparing the two in size.
  13. "What would you recommend in the 2x-1xxmm range that would be noticably better optically than the kit lens without getting into and of the L lenses."

    If it wasn't for the last bit of your sentence, it might be worth waiting to see if the new 24-105/4L becomes a reality!
  14. "All round" can mean different things to different eyes.

    My next purchase is almost definately going to be the 17-40 4L, and then the 70-200 4L. I have struggled to learn photography over the years with film cameras until I went digital earlier this year, now I find that the demands I have put on my kit has exploded. In the last few months I have found that the most important item in my kit is the lens, as I am suffering extreme frustration because I have reached the limits of my existing lenses. I only have "el cheapo" lenses at the moment, namely the crap 28-80 3.5/5.6 III and an OK'ish Sigma 70-300, plus a half decent Canon 50mm 1.8 II (the latter I will keep). I find that the 28 end of the 28-80 (which is 44mm on my 10D) is not wide enough for me, as I prefer to shoot close for perspective and "punch" and also for the occasional city/landscape, so the quality of the 17-40 it has to be.
  15. I'm thinking a slightly wide, fast normal would be quite flexible. With the crop factor, 28/ 1.8 USM (42mm equiv) fits the bill. Mike Johnston's written a column on the 40mm focal length. It would very nicely complement the short tele you've got in the 50/1.8.

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