Lens upgrade for Canon Rebel 2K

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by dennis_tam, May 6, 2003.

  1. Hi,

    I own a Canon Rebel 2K kit whose bulky lens disppoints me a lot since
    I bought it before last Christmas. What I pursue is a lens with
    decent optical quality --- sharpness (not compromised on it!), nice
    depth-of-view, and vivid colors. Now I am thinking of lens upgrade
    with the following options:

    1) Sigma - 28-105mm F2.8-4 Aspherical lens for Canon AF (Ritz $199)
    2) Sigma - 28-105mm F3.8-5.6 UC-III Lens for Canon AF (Ritz $109)
    3) Quantaray - 28-200MM F3.8-5.6 Lens for Canon AF (Ritz $199)
    4) Canon - EF 28-105 f/3.5 - 4.5 II USM Lens (Amazon $239)

    I am kind of budget sensitive now and want to keep it around $250 or

    Could anybody tell me which one is the most cost-effective? If you
    can tell me pros/cons, that will be more appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. jt


    The Canon 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 is reputed to be the best of the bunch. I own one and it's good. Very good.
    However, I don't think it's any less "bulky" than the lens you have (presumably 28-80 or 28-90 that came with the kit?).
    If you want a less bulky lens, you'll have to choose a prime (non-zoom) lens. They're sharper, give you more versatility with depth-of-view(field), allow you to shoot in less well-lit conditions, BUT obviously you don't have the same level of convenience of use.
    Just as an aside, are you sure a new lens will solve your problems? None of the ones you list here will improve much on the "depth-of-view" of your current lens, and while they may have improved colour rendition (I don't know - maybe someone can confirm/deny), you're more likely to notice a colour difference by changing the film you're using, or changing the place you get prints made (unless you're shooting slides).
  3. #4 then #1.

    Depth of View (depth of focus?) is largely determinant on your selected aperture and not as much to do with lens unless you're talking about Bokeh (characteristic of not-in-focus areas).

    Vivid colors: although helped by a lens, perhaps more contributive to color would be your choice of film.
  4. d_y


    Myself and others will probably give you some fairly "standard" advice. I'll give it below. If you find that you don't get enough responses to make you feel confident in your lens selection, then give the archives a peek.

    Ok. Versions of the "standard" advice:

    Of the lenses you mention, the Canon 28-105 II USM enjoys a solid reputation for build and image quality when used under optimal conditions (that is, when stopped down). Mixed reviews on the Sigmas. Forget Quantaray.

    Now, for uncompromised image quaility get a 50mm f/1.8 II. Yeah, it is plasticky and cheap (inexpensive too ~$70), but it is as sharp as they come. No compromise on lens quality, but the build quality disturbs some people here. Thus, they opt for the 50mm f/1.4 USM. This lens is heavier and built better and comes with a USM lens and the ability to do FTM focusing. Your budget is finished with this lens ~$290. I've got the 50mm f/1.8 MK I. I use this lens a lot. No major complaints. But, the motor is noisier than the USM equipped models.

    If you get the 50mm f/1.8 MKII and a 28mm f/2.8 then you can get two very good lenses for about $250. These lenses share the same filter size too. You won't get USM motors, but you will get a pair of lenses that do not compromise on image quality. One thing that you might find important is the ability to handhold the majority of your shots.
  5. As another user has mentioned, you are looking for a lot in a lens. The Canon 28-105 is a great lens, well worth the money, and sharper and more vivid than any of the thrid party lenses you mentioned as well as the kit lens you already own.

    You also complained about bulk however. If you want a really sharp, really vivid lens with great DOF control that is also very small and light you need to look at the Canon 50 f/1.8. The good news is its also available for well under $100. The bad news is no zoom.

    Its a wonderful lens, nobody here would ever say a bad word about it. Those that do tend to have a funny way of never showing up again. :)

    Oh, and if budget is a big issue you'll probably be able to get $30 to $50 for your kit lens on an auction site. I just cleared out some of my old zooms that have been gathering dust for a while and I was pleasantly suprised by how much some went for.
  6. Oh yeah, and B&H have the Canon 28-105 for $199. Good place to get stuff, certainly beats the hell out of Ritz.
  7. I vote for 50 f1.8. I upgraded from my Rebel 2k's kit 28-80 to the 50 and wish I had done so years ago. This lens rocks! I use it for full body portraits and the bokeh with bright colors in the background looks like it was done by a master painter.

    My first roll back with this lens and I was blown away. I have yet to cease to be astonished by the razor sharpness of it.

    If you really must have a zoom, go with the 28-105. I have heard good things about it all over the internet. Try used at www.keh.com (other good used places too, they are just my favorite). You will be surprised what you can get in outstanding condition for ~1/2-3/4 what it would cost you new.

    Speaking of upgrades I just bought an EOS 3 and it should be here later this week. Gah but I am excited. Sorry, off topic enthusiasticating :)
  8. I went from kit lens to Canon 28-105, never looked back. Slight vignetting at 28mm. For a "single lens" solution at $250, this is *the* way to go.

    B&H Photo is very good place to buy from.

    For similar money, the 28/2.8 and 50/1.8 primes are "better" optically and will work with lower light, but this is a less flexible "two lens" solution

    The advantage of Canon is that it *will* work with all EOS bodies. My 28-105 was bought long ago for an old 630, and works even better on my brand spanking new DSLR. Other makers reverse engineer, and I have heard there can be "issues" when new Canon bodies are released.
  9. Thanks a lot to everyone!

    Yes, I think I meant to say "depth-of-field" in my message...

    Like most of beginners, I intend to use this SLR for travel/tour and special events. In the comparison between Prime and Zoom, I will go for Zoom lens for flexibility, in which the sharpness can be also obtained in some good level like someone mentioned here.

    I bought a "Canon Sureshot 135" point-and-shoot 5 years ago and found the pictures shot by "sureshot" are even better than the "kit lens" from Rebel 2000 almost in any aspect. The result is kind of embarrasing but undeniable... Since I haven't tried any other brand, I would like to ask how much improvement I can see if the Canon 28-105 is my final choice comparing the "kit lens" and even the "sureshot 135"? If it sounds abstractive to tell, giving some "percentage" of improvement in "sharpness" and "depth-of-field" is also fine to me.

    Once again, thanks a lot! ^_^


    PS: Marcus, I checked both B&H and Adorama, the Canon 28-105 are charged at the same price. But it's labeled as "grey market/imported". Warranty wise, would that be a significan risk?
  10. Not really, at least as far as I'm aware. Canon US will honor non-US warranties so you are still covered. I think the only restriction may be that you have to send the item to Canon themselves, the local canon authorized dealers can't be used.

    I've used 8 lenses and 3 bodies so far, all Canon, and the only time I ever had to have anything fixed was when a lens fell off a table. Canon do make their stuff very well.

    When you get whichever lens you decide on, please go to the store using one of the links on this site. Photo.net get a small return that helps keep the site running!
  11. In case you are wondering about the sigma 28-105/3.8-5.6. Its a decent lens unless you plan to blow up your photos. This was my first lens when I had got the rebel 2000. I found the colour rendition satisfactory and seemed decently sharp to me (I didnt have anything blown up). You might want to look at some of the images in my portfolio for examples.

    But... the 50/1.8 is definitely better in terms of sharpness and contrast. I ultimately sold this lens off and got a 24/2.8 and a 50/1.8 II.

    Good luck and remember that the in most cases the bottleneck is not the equipment, its the person behind the camera. (Thats what I tell myself everytime I want to get a better lens- I need to first improve my skills and outgrow my present lenses)
  12. I would have to agree with the 50mm 1.8, but have you looked at Tamron lenses. I have heard of problems with Sigma and EOS bodies.

    Tamron makes good quality lenses,.. but of course probably doesn't come close to Canon optics...
    But still something to consider on a Budget!
  13. I would get the Canon, from B&H if possible, and damn the cost differential. Unfortunately, the advantages of the Canon are going to be very hard to quantify right now until you get better at photography. Let's just say that the Canon is reasonably small, light, quiet, and generally trouble-free. It will get out of your way and make you pay attention to the shot instead of the equipment.

    That lens is very well regarded, and if you take a crappy picture, you can be SURE that it's you and not the lens. I'm not putting you down, because I've been there. Getting a new 28-135IS gave me pictures which looked very similar to a 28-80 kit lens, mainly because I had untrained eyes and was not a very good photographer.

    If image quality (color, sharpness) is ultimately important to you, you will get most bang for your buck shooting Velvia slides with the aforementioned 50 f/1.8. Otherwise, get the Canon and enjoy.
  14. I second the 28/2.8 + 50/1.8 idea. When you have more money you can add the 135/2.8 SF and thus complete a light and cheap set but with excellent image quality. Also, they all use very cheap 52mm filters.

    Your second best bet is the 28-105/3.5-4.5 USM. However, you will have to stop it down to f/8 to get the best of it.

    Happy shooting ,

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