Possibly a naive question about lenses...

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by raghav, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Hi,
    I have used SLR cameras since 2003. I like the flexibility of being able to put the right lens as per the situation's needs.
    However, Lately I am feeling that not all the time, I am carrying all the stuff, both the lenses (I have only two), the battery grip, the camera bag etc.
    I have other two lenses from my kit purchase, the standard 18-55 EFS and 55-200 EF USM. I am thinking of getting rid of both of them and get this ultra zoom thing. In addition then, I would plan for a fish eye lens and one on the other side of spectrum.
    I feel that to have a single lens with enough zoom range would be a day to day "work" lens, and the rest of them would then make special situation ones.
    So, my question is, would it be a better idea to go for a ultra zoom range lens (e.g. Sigma 18-200 or Tamron 18-250) and deploy this as a day to day use lens. And then, keep the other two (or more possibly)
    Pls advice...

    PS : I currently use an EOS 350D.
    My photos and stuff...
  2. Depends how much you care about image quality.
  3. Keep it simple. Stay with what you have.
  4. Being able to change the lens is one of the key reasons for choosing an SLR. Restrict yourself
    to a one-lens solution and you might as well buy a Canon G9 not-so-compact.

    As for the so-called super zooms, general opinion is that the only thing super about them is
    the zoom range. The better zooms only have a range of x3 or x4. Asking a lens for a x10 (or
    more) range goes beyond the possibilities of good optical performance. I say that with
    fingers crossed, because I've never actually used one of these beasts myself.
  5. Using an all-in one lens will not do very much for the quality of your images compared to what you have now and will not even reduce the total weight of your equipment by that much. I suggest that you move a little up the quality ladder. Replace the 18-55 kit lens with something like an 17-50/2.8 from Canon, Tamron or Sigma. Then replace the 55-200 with something like the Canon 70-200/4L or either version of the older Canon 70-210 EF. That will leave you a little gap between 50 and 70 mm. Either try the Sigma 18-70/2.8-4 in place of the 17-50/2.8 mentioned earlier of get any older Canon short zooms with metal mounts such as 28-70, 28-105, 35-105 or even the 50-200 if you can find one (which also replaces any of the 70-200 or 70-210 lenses), especially the L version. I recently gave someone an XTi/400D plus the kit lens and the 50-200 and it's a very good combination for her. I didn't let her have my 50-200 L, but I just might get her some kind of macro later on and probably a Tamron 17-50/2.8 to replace the kit 18-55.
  6. I have owned the Sigma 18-200 and got rid of it. Image quality VERY poor for me...and I am not a pro. Do not know about the Tamron. If you want not ot carry stuff go for the Canon G9, it is a very good camera as long as you do not shoot higher than 400 ISO.
  7. If I were considering such a move, I'd switch to Nikon (you don't have that much invested in Canon and you could sell everything) and get the 18-200 VR lens. It is certainly better than any of the other lenses you mentioned. Canon does not have anything comparable.

    Personally I would never chose a one lens solution - I care too much about image quality, but I understand how many folks would view this as an ideal way of using their DSLRs because for most casual users they are just bigger P&S cameras anyway.
  8. Ditto as everyone above has stated.

    My two cents -- you can always improve your skills & refine your techniques. Your portfolio is decent for someone with only 5 years experience with an SLR. I suggest using a tripod for your night shots in your portfolio, making better lighting decisions, and learning more about the creative controlling aspects of your camera, ISO white balance, aperture/shutter priority, depth of field, and other factors.

    Once you have mastered these, lenses become merely the portal or viewpoint of that creativity.

    My favorites for my 30D: 17-40mm f4L, 400mm f5.6L & the 85mm f1.8
  9. One possible alternative would be to sell your present lenses and get the new Canon 18-55mm EF-S IS and the Canon 55-250MM EF-S IS. This gives you the advantage of image stabilization plus somewhat better optics for a very reasonable price, about $475USD.
  10. Raghav,

    What could you possibly have to shoot, where you would need to cover every possible
    focal length range from fisheye to extreme telephoto? Seems like you want to shoot a
    building interior, flower macro, and football game, all at once.

    I'm sure you and i are interested in different kinds of imagery, but all of the photographers
    i admire most have built their careers using, essentially, one lens. One PRIME lens. Or, at
    least, one focal length, possibly between different formats. I can't imagine buying a book
    or going to an exhibit and seeing work by a photographer who used an 18mm on one shot
    and 400mm on another. What's the signature that ties it all together? Where's the

    As has been pointed out above, when you go for an all in one solution, you compromise.
    It's my feeling, also, that you compromise 'vision' when you try to be all things at all

    When i was young and new to photography, i fell into the 'magazine/marketers trap' of
    thinking i needed to cover every focal length. I 'needed' a 28-70 zoom and then a 70-210
    zoom. As i grew up, i looked at the work of the people i most respected. Irving Penn,
    Richard Avedon, Josef Koudelka, Steve McCurry, Peter Lindbergh, Ellen von Unwerth,
    Robert Doisneau, Elliott Erwitt.... Not a zoom among 'em. And, each guy pretty much stuck
    with one lens per format.... My feeling is you wouldn't be able to recognize their work if
    they had shot with every possible lens.

    Simplify and 'focus.'
  11. Have a look at Canon 17-85 IS and Canon 28-135 IS.
  12. For perhaps the best learning experience of your life as a photographer, go buy a 28/1.8 or Sigma 30/1.4, put it on the camera and go shoot pictures, leaving the other two lenses at home. Repeat that daily for a month or two or three.

    If you prefer and depending upon what you like to shoot, you might substitute a wider or slightly telephoto prime lens instead. Perhaps a "street shooter" would chose wider lens like a 20mm, while a "portraitist" might select a short tele like the 50/1.8.

    The important thing is to use only one single focal length and learn how to find different perspectives and "get the shot" without the convenience (and, yes, laziness) of a zoom. This is really a great way to step up to another level as a photographer, but few people are willing to give it a try.

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