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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Argh the frustration!...You may or may not have seen recent posts with me asking for lens advice, so in that fashion here ...
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Old 08-07-2008, 18:28   #1 (permalink)
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Argh the frustration!

You may or may not have seen recent posts with me asking for lens advice, so in that fashion here I am again, this time a little more annoyed.
How can you decide which lens to buy?? I have a budget if ~300-400 but there are so many options with no apparent way of distinguishing between them

Lets assume I need an 'all purpose walk-about lens', amongst many others:

Canon 17-85mm f4.0-5.6 IS USM EF-S - decent quality standard zoom
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Macro DC - Fast lens (f2.8 at the wide end)
Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Lens - worth getting for the extra reach?

How do you decide which lens to get? As in a previous post, budget is paramount so this one has to last me for over a year without upgrade!

Thanks for your time folks
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Old 08-07-2008, 18:35   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

I don't own any of them but here's some reviews on the Sigmas.
Pixalo Photographic Equipment Reviews - Sigma Zoom Lens Reviews -





CREW
The Canon 17-85mm f4.0-5.6 IS USM EF-S
is not in the reviews yet.
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Old 08-07-2008, 18:42   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

I think there are 4 things

1. Budget ... which you have stated
2. Focal range (how wide to how telephoto)
3. Speed of lens (eg. F/2.8 or slower) & or IS needed
4. Expected quality of lens

So 1) is covered.
For 2) lets say you use the 17-55 std lens. How often do you have the lens at the wide end of shots (eg. 17mm). How often do you reach 55mm & think I need tons more than this .... or end up swapping to a telephoto lens. This will give you an indication of what focal range you need for the majority of the time. So if you find you use 17mm a lot , but also want a decent telephoto,. then the 18-200 may be for you. If you find you never get near needing anything above 100mm , the 17-85 might do

For 3) do you ever find yourself needing more light ... eg. shot is too dark to get sensible shutter speed. If so, you might need faster glass (eg. f/2.8). If you find you normally only shoot in good light & use f/8 as std, then this is not such a concern. Do you have a steady hand for shots ? If not , then you may find IS is important.

For 4) How important is quality of lens for you. If it's paramount then you might have to balance that with points 2 & 3 above.

For me, I would consider trying to find a s/h Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS lens. You get a decent range, fixed F4 across the focal range, IS , plus L Lens quality ..... ticks most of the boxes
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Old 08-07-2008, 18:52   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

Quote:
Originally Posted by j sotelo View Post
CREW - The Canon 17-85mm f4.0-5.6 IS USM EF-S
is not in the reviews yet.
It's in now Sotelo, thanks
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Old 08-07-2008, 19:49   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

I've posted some example shots taken with the Sigma 18-200 here.
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Old 08-07-2008, 22:35   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

What kind of photography do you mostly do?

For a walkabout lens - and one that has to do a solo act for a year - definitely the 18-200 zoom lens is the one to go for. This will be good for portraits, landscapes, you name it.
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:32   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ds00kg View Post
You may or may not have seen recent posts with me asking for lens advice, so in that fashion here I am again, this time a little more annoyed.
How can you decide which lens to buy?? I have a budget if ~300-400 but there are so many options with no apparent way of distinguishing between them

Lets assume I need an 'all purpose walk-about lens', amongst many others:

Canon 17-85mm f4.0-5.6 IS USM EF-S - decent quality standard zoom
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Macro DC - Fast lens (f2.8 at the wide end)
Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Lens - worth getting for the extra reach?

How do you decide which lens to get? As in a previous post, budget is paramount so this one has to last me for over a year without upgrade!

Thanks for your time folks
Hi ds00kg. There is probably not one lens that will cover all of your needs that will be in ones budget or a practical walk about size.

But you mention the Canon 17-85 IS USM EF-s which I own and use with my Canon
EOS 350 D ,also there is my review of this lens in Pixalo.

Occasionally I borrow my daughters Canon 70-300mm zoom when I think I may need it for wild life ,sport or candid shots. This for me is only 5% of my shots.

So my 17-85mm gets most shots and is about the largest I would want to carry about whilst on say, holiday. There are occasions when my wifes pocket nikon 7900 is more practical.

One thing I will add about the review of my Canon 17-85mm is that now I very rarely set the camera body to auto because in this mode the lens tends to be set and biased towards its maximum aperture a lot of the time and the lens is rather soft at full aperture. You will have to go to the L Canon lens to get sharper results at full aperture though.
I set the camera to Av and set the aperture to about f6.3 minimum and I find that the results are much sharper. If the shutter speed is too low rather than open up the aperture to maximum I increase the iso.
Apart from some distortion at the 17mm end the results from this lens have been excellent.
I hope this helps Brian .

Last edited by brian wright22; 09-07-2008 at 09:38.
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:48   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

It's difficult having just one lens because you need to decide on whether to be good at one thing or average at everything.

I spent a year using a stock 18-55mm lens on my 400D and while there were times when I wished for a bit more zoom they were few enough that I could live with it. These days the lens I use most commonly is my 28-135mm IS lens. I'm not necessarily suggesting that you get one of those as it's not a particularly good lens now (it is showing its age) but my experience ties in with comments above that a wide to medium telephoto zoom is going to be of most use for you.

Onestop has the following prices listed.

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens - 320
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro Lens - 204

You could also look at the following lens if you want something for low-light use.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens - 220

With your 400 budget you could buy one of the Sigma lenses above and get the lens below as well which would be a much better solution and would give you the best of both worlds.

Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DG Macro Lens - 160
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:02   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

You could add the Tamron 18-200 or 18-250 Di-II to the list - similar to the Sigma. People will say that it's a compromise because of the wide zoom range, and that's true at least insofar as the max aperture is limited at the telephoto end, but for general photography in reasonable light it performs very well, and saves a lot of lens-swapping.
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Old 09-07-2008, 13:55   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

Again, thanks for the replies, tremendously helpful.

I like the look of the Sigma 17-70mm, mainly because I have a 70-300mm tele anyway (this lessens the need for the 18-200mm also). The 17-70 seems to be a good quality lens, fast aperture at WA, well reviewed and at a good price (200!). It will cover most of what I'll be shooting; mostly landscapes, some just day to day life, a bit of architectural/touristy shooting, maybe a bit of macro.
Maybe I should leave the ultra WA (Sigma 10-20mm) for a while and just make do with 17mm I don't suppose I'd use the extra 7mm enough to justify the cost.

Dave
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Old 09-07-2008, 14:08   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

I have the 10-20mm and most of the time I only use it at 10mm for landscape shots. For architectural stuff I find the distortion at 10mm can cause some problems so more often than not I am pushing it up towards 20mm if I can manage it.

I think you will be fine with the 17mm. If you need to cram a bit more in then just take a couple of steps backwards
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Old 09-07-2008, 14:37   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ds00kg View Post
I have a 70-300mm tele anyway
You did not tell us that!!!

In light of this an 17/18-70/85 will be just fine.
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Old 09-07-2008, 14:47   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larne View Post
I think you will be fine with the 17mm. If you need to cram a bit more in then just take a couple of steps backwards
Note the difference of view between just 12mm down to 10mm is an extra 10 degrees field of view ..... might have to take some serious steps back from 17mm
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Old 09-07-2008, 16:49   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

True - but the 10mm is pretty wide and my comment (slightly tonque in cheek hence the smiley) was in the context of him only being able to afford a single lens anyway.

I love my 10-20mm but if I am honest it doesn't come out of the bag as much as I expected when I bought it and once I get my Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 I expect to use it even less. But then architecture is not exactly a core topic for me.
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Old 09-07-2008, 17:18   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Argh the frustration!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larne View Post
I love my 10-20mm but if I am honest it doesn't come out of the bag as much as I expected when I bought it and once I get my Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 I expect to use it even less.
COUGH http://www.pixalo.com/community/clas...fit-25737.html
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