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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Help me choose my next lens.....Hi... Ok I bought a Canon 30D in August with the kit lens 18mm-55mm and I am loving it to ...
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Old 15-10-2007, 14:31   #1 (permalink)
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Help me choose my next lens..

Hi...

Ok I bought a Canon 30D in August with the kit lens 18mm-55mm and I am loving it to bits..

I tend to take pictures of my kids, my wife, the dog, some landscapes and some macro shots ...I now understand exposure DOF, I normally shoot in manuel mode but I am still learning etc etc..

Not found low light too much of a problem, althougth it would be nice to shoot F4+ at a longer focal point (at 55mm I am restricted to F5.6) also I would like a lens that is sharper the the 18-55mm. In saying it would also be nice to shoot at F22 for landscape but I suppose I could use the tripod.

I am torn between replacing the 18mm-55mm with the canon 17mm-85mm IS as I feel this would be a good walk around lens - but then I also fancy a lens with a longer focal point 200-300mm.


Budget very tight so will probably have to be second hand ebay job.

So question is ...

1.) How much different does the IS system make - I read you can shoot 3 stops lower with out a tripod ? Is that right ?

2. Thinking about the "Sigma AF 70-300mm 70-300 mm APO Macro Lens" or the Canon EF 75-300mm Ultrasonic USM Mk III

To sum that up lowish budget...shoot Kids, Wife, Dog, Cats, some landscape and some macro's - thinking of either the 17-85mm IS as a walk around lens or keeping the 18mm-55mm and getting a Sigma 70-300mm...

Sorry to ramble on - what do you think ?

Last edited by ise438; 15-10-2007 at 14:49.
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Old 15-10-2007, 15:29   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Help me choose my next lens..

The 17-85IS is a decent lens but not a stellar improvement in sharpness over (a good copy of) the kit lens, IMHO. However, the IS does come in handy and compensates somewhat for the decidedly mediocre maximum aperture for that lens.

Three stops is probably about right for the modern implementations of IS, but obviously you get maximum benefit using IS with a steady hand. If you tend to shake more than average, you'll still benefit but probably not get a full 3 stops without some blur creeping back in.

The Sigma gets OK reviews for a consumer zoom but personally I'd need IS on any lens of 300mm or above... have you looked into the 70-300IS from Canon? You pay quite a premium for the IS version but it's worth it in my opinion.

Also worth considering for your family/portrait/pet shots is the Canon 50mm f/1.8 mk II... it's dirt cheap - about 60 - very sharp, light, fast and good in low light. And if you add some inexpensive extension tubes to the mix, you'll have a true macro option with it, too. (The Sigma you mentioned is one of the lenses which has 'macro' in the name but can't do proper 1:1 macro...)

Sorry for the equally rambling response but hopefully some of the above is useful!
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Old 15-10-2007, 15:55   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Help me choose my next lens..

Thanks....

What about the Tamron AF 18-250mm or the Canon 70-200mm F4 L no IS (if I can get one second hand)
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Old 15-10-2007, 16:05   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Help me choose my next lens..

I've got the IS version of the Canon 70-200 and it is a very good lens, very sharp and I actually have the IS turned off most of the time, I thought it would be good for cycling, but at the track a journalist told me the shots would be better with it turned off and he was right. One I certainly can recommend.
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Old 15-10-2007, 16:29   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Help me choose my next lens..

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Originally Posted by ise438 View Post
What about the Tamron AF 18-250mm or the Canon 70-200mm F4 L no IS (if I can get one second hand)
These are totally different lenses and I'm not sure I can spot the link between the two..?

The Canon is excellent - the non-IS version of the 70-200 f/4 is much smaller and lighter than it's siblings so it's more likely you'd pack it if you're wanting to travel light. Being an L lens, the build quality is excellent and you certainly won't be disappointed by problems such as vignetting, CA, colour cast, etc, which you sometimes get with consumer zooms.

The Tamron on the other hand is incredibly small and light for the focal range - thus great if you're literally only wanting one lens for a day trip or whatever. It can go wide-ish, too (unlike the 70-200). But the build quality reflects the small and light properties of the lens... although adequate, it won't feel built to last a lifetime like most L lenses do. The same goes for image quality: zooms are always a compromise on optical quality and the bigger the focal length range, the bigger the compromise. That said, there are many fans of these superzooms for their decent optical quality vs. size and weight.

If I wasn't confused by the choice you're trying to make here, I'd say go for the Canon on the basis that it's much better built - certainly if you'll only be using the long end of the range.
The Tamron should be considered if you're looking for an 'all in one' type solution from wide to tele.
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Old 15-10-2007, 16:43   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Help me choose my next lens..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ise438 View Post
or the Canon 70-200mm F4 L no IS (if I can get one second hand)
Having seen what Steve achieves with this lens, especially with 1.4x & 2x convertor, it's a cracking lens !!!
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Old 15-10-2007, 17:07   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Help me choose my next lens..

Cheers...
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Old 15-10-2007, 18:47   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Help me choose my next lens..

I can recommend the Sigma 70-300 as a decent lens. I don't use it so much any more, but it always gave me sharp images, and the macro focus is a bonus, because sometimes telephoto lenses' focussing distances can become a real problem. It's very cheap now, but is still well worth the money for what you get.
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Old 15-10-2007, 19:32   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Help me choose my next lens..

I love the IS in my lenses. I couldn't be with out it. I have some friends who have the 17-85 and they really like it. I didn't get one tho. Wish I had for the landscape pictures. I did get a 24-105 which I love.
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