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Thread: All round lens

  1. #1
    Member flossed's Avatar
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    All round lens

    Hi

    I have a 550D & am using the 18-55mm kit lens, in the near future i would like to replace the kit lens, i would like to start with an all rounder lens...any advice?

    Thanks

    flossed

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    Member Tjfrnds's Avatar
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    I have a 450D and bought a Tamron 17-50 (non VC- vibration control) to replace my 18-55 kit lens. I use the Tamron most of the time now. For an all rounder though, you may want something with a bit more reach like a Canon 18-200, Tamron 18-270 or Sigma 18-250? I don't have experience with these lenses, but there have been a few threads on this forum discussing them if you want to do a search and check them out.
    Tania

    CC always welcome http://www.taniafernandesphotography.com.au/
    Canon 5d iii, Canon 7d, 50 f/1.8 II, 85 f/1.8, 70-200 f/2.8 L IS, 100 f/2.8 USM Macro


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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    A list in no special order.
    • Short, fast zooms .....
    • Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical. Around $630. Fast but a bit short at 50mm; no IS.
    • Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC. About $550. Very similar to the Tamron 17-50. I don't know which is better. Same strengths and weaknesses.
    • Tokina AT-X 165 Pro DX AF 16-50mm f/2.8. Around $1230. No IS; a bit short at 50mm; very expensive! I assume that it offers better build and image quality than the Tamron - but at the price it would want to!
    • Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 USM IS. $1400. The best lens in class, but a bit short and quite expensive. If you can live with 55mm at the long end and spending $1400-odd, and if f/2.8 is important to you, easily the best all-rounder on the market.
    • Full-frame general-purpose lenses .....
      Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM. About $1700. Fast; very sharp; quite expensive; quite heavy; old model; no IS; not really wide enough for crop bodies.
    • Sigma 24-70mm F/2.8 EX DG, About $750. Not really wide enough for a crop body; cheap; fast. Not very sharp. You get what you pay for.
    • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. Around $1370. Not really wide enough for crop bodies, barrel distortion below 28mm, otherwise vice-free and an excellent all-round choice.
    • Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM. About $1100. Actually designed as a wide-angle zoom for full-frame, but acts as a wide-normal zoom on 1.6 crop. Cheap for an L Series lens, viceless and well-regarded, but very short at 40mm, only f/4, and lacks IS.
    • Superzooms .....
    • Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. $790 For: incredibly wide zoom range; said to be quite sharp for a super-zoom. Against: everything else. The nasty non-USM focus motor is not really acceptable on an $800 product. Sum-up: why would you want a do-everything-badly lens?
    • Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM About $550.00. Cheaper than the Canon one; even slower; apparently has a proper focus motor. Don't know anything else about it - or care, to be honest. The image quality price you pay to gain the extra range over a standard general-purpose zoom design (beyond about 100mm) is always too high. The only reason I can think of to buy any of these superzooms is that you need a cheap(ish) do-everything lens to travel with.
    • Various other 18-200ish and 18-270ish models. Look elsewhere. (Aren't you trying to improve on the 18-55 IS kit lens?)
    • Genuine all-rounders .....
    • Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. About $580. Better than any superzooom, but still a cheap lens which lacks a proper USM focus motor but is otherwise said to be very good, particularly considering the huge focal length range.
    • Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC OS HSM. About $600. A very usable focal length range and excellent value for money. This new image stabilised version is the one to have. Generally quite well regarded, but some negative reports.
    • Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 USM IS $800. Canon's ugly duckling, now more-or-less discontinued. Useful focal length range, excellent build quality, but had some quite significant distortion problems and was never popular.
    • Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 USM about $1000. Much improved new replacement for the 17-85 IS. Not fast, but excellent in every other way: build quality, USM focus motor, image quality, latest IS. All things considered, probably the best single choice for an all-round general-purpose lens on crop, provided only that you don't need f/2.8.
    Tony

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    [*] Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 USM IS $800. Canon's ugly duckling, now more-or-less discontinued. Useful focal length range, excellent build quality, but had some quite significant distortion problems and was never popular. [*] Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 USM about $1000. Much improved new replacement for the 17-85 IS. Not fast, but excellent in every other way: build quality, USM focus motor, image quality, latest IS. All things considered, probably the best single choice for an all-round general-purpose lens on crop, provided only that you don't need f/2.8.
    I agree! I have been using the 15-85mm for about six months now on my 400D and find it has very good image quality and is easy to use and carry around all day.

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    I used the Canon 24-105L as a general walk around lens for a 30D (1.5 crop) 1DMkIIN (1.3 crop) and on full frame. While it is not as wide at the 'big' end as some of the other lenses the quality is superb. I never noticed any barrel distortion. For wide scene landscapes I used to shoot 2 or more images, often in portrait format for more height, and join in PS.
    Odille

    “Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky”

    My Blog | Canon 1DsMkII | 60D | Tokina 20-35mm f/2.8 AF AT-X PRO | EF50mm f/1.8| Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM | Fujifilm X-T1 & X-M1 | Fujinon XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XC 50-230mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XF 18-55mm F2.8-4R LM OIS | tripods, flashes, filters etc ||

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    I use the 24-105L on a 50D and find it a magnificent lens. Like Analog6 above, on the odd occasion it isn't wide enough i stich two or three together for what is probably a better result anyway. I also have a Tamrom 18-270 and it doesn't come close to comparing with the L lens (still temped to give myself an uppercut every time i wonder why i though it was a good decision to buy it).

    Cheers, Steve

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    I use my 24-105 a lot, Odille, and I have grown so used to the barrel distortion that I rarely think about it now - but it is still there, and it is a noticable fault with the lens that should be mentioned alongside its many strengths in any fair assessment. If you do stuff with buildings or straight horizons, it is a problem. If you mostly shoot different subjects, it won't worry you.

    Here is the relevant Photozone page for 1.6 crop cameras like your 30D: http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/18...review?start=1

    With a full-frame caera, the distortion is much worse. Photozone again: http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff...5_4_5d?start=1

    And finally, a very useful discussion at DPR: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=23411405 Be sure to scroll all the way down to the end an mouseover the sample image of the bridge with distortion intact and then removed. Notice also the wide variety of responses to the distortion problem - for some users it's a show-stopper, for others, it's a non-issue.

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    the 15-85 for a good all-round general purpose lens is hard to beat. The 15 at the wide end is very useful. In my opinion, only i f you can see yourself getting a full frame body in the future then consider the 24-105.
    All the 2.8 would be more specialised. Suggest you add a 50 1.8 or 50 1.4 prime to your lens collection first and then see if you need the big aperture. Both 50 primes are sharp and their large aperture and potential for small dof adds a learning curve.
    Canon Powershot S70, Sony A 100+twin lens kit and GN36 flash, Canon 7D 15-85, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L IS Macro, Canon 70-300L, 1.4* Kenko PRO 300 DGX, Canon 430EX II

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    I've never seen an all round lens.
    They are usually cylindrical in shape.

    How much do you want to spend?
    It's no good us telling you to buy a $2,000 lens when all you want to spend is $500.

    For something affordable, I've got a Sigma 24-70 F2.8 for my Pentax, and it is a terrific lens, far better than you may think.
    They also have a similar lens with OS, but that is not F2.8 all the way through.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom, is knowing not to serve it in a fruit salad.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Geoff79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    A list in no special order.[*] Superzooms .....[*] Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. $790 For: incredibly wide zoom range; said to be quite sharp for a super-zoom. Against: everything else. The nasty non-USM focus motor is not really acceptable on an $800 product. Sum-up: why would you want a do-everything-badly lens?[*] Various other 18-200ish and 18-270ish models. Look elsewhere. (Aren't you trying to improve on the 18-55 IS kit lens?) [/list]
    Ouch.

    My camera came with a Tamron lens which was something similar to the 18-200 (I can't believe I forgot) and that was fine for me, in my total state of novice. The ony problem being, it's basically rubbish and there was no way to prevent dust creeping into the actual lens itself. In the end, the guy I took it to just said it would cost more than it was worth to get in there and clean it, and he couldn't guarantee it wouldn't happen again. Just the way they're designed, apparently. As spots were showing up on all my shots, I had to get a new one.

    So I went out there and made a huge purchase for me, and got the 18-200mm Canon. Using my crafty ways, I got it brand new for $500, which I know was a "steal." Although if it's as rubbish as you say, maybe not such a steal.

    Personally, for my novice requirements, it's going quite well and without an ounce of doubt takes a much clearer photo than the Tamron. In fact, quality-wise it really is leaps and bounds ahead of the Tamron one... but I'm now nervous about this horrible review! ... but
    Last edited by Geoff79; 22-06-2011 at 3:56pm.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Geoff, relax

    The Canon 18-200 isn't a terrible lens as superzooms go, it's sharper than most and not as slow as some and better built than many. Yes, it has a cheapo non-USM focus motor, but apart from that it is almost as good as the generally accepted benchmark for quality in a superzoom, the Nikkor 18-200.

    Nevertheless, it is still a superzoom - i.e., it is what it is and no amount of careful lens design and quality manufacture can make up for the fact that it is an 18-200 lens - i.e., that it has to try so hard to cover such a vast zoom range that it simply can't cover it well. Because the lens maker had to compromise so much just to do everything, the result is that it does indeed do everything, but isn't able to do anything particularly well. It's not as good a wide-normal as (for example) a Sigma 17-70 or a Tamron 17-50; it's not as good an ultra-wide as a Canon 10-22 or a Tamron 10-24; it's not as good a long/normal zoom as a Canon 24-105 or a Nikon 24-85; it's not as good a short tele-zoom as a .... well, it might, just might be a better short tele zoom over the 100ish-200ish range than the various cheap and nasty 70ish-300ish models out there, but I wouldn't bet on it - and it is light years behind any decent 70-200.

    In short, you can have a lens that does one thing brilliantly, or a lens that does two things quite well, but when you try to make a lens that does everything, you wind up with a superzoom - a do-everything-badly lens.

    (Tannin awaits anguished responses from superzoom owners. Yes, there are reasons to own one. Travel, for example. Hell, I know one good photographer who, of his own free will, owns and uses a superzoom and actually does excellent work with it, but he is a bit of a freak, and probably kills baby seals in his spare time.)

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I have the Sigma 18-250 and am very happy with it. I use it regularly for motor sport and have found the autofocus quick enough to handle the canon 7D's 8fps and the IQ isn't bad either, see attached photos. The 18-250 is a vast improvement over the earlier 18-200 Sigma and tests better than both the Canon and Tamron versions although I have heard the Tamron 18-270 is not too shabby either.
    Keith.

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    Last edited by Speedway; 22-06-2011 at 7:32pm.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Geoff79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    Geoff, relax

    The Canon 18-200 isn't a terrible lens as superzooms go, it's sharper than most and not as slow as some and better built than many. Yes, it has a cheapo non-USM focus motor, but apart from that it is almost as good as the generally accepted benchmark for quality in a superzoom, the Nikkor 18-200.

    Nevertheless, it is still a superzoom - i.e., it is what it is and no amount of careful lens design and quality manufacture can make up for the fact that it is an 18-200 lens - i.e., that it has to try so hard to cover such a vast zoom range that it simply can't cover it well. Because the lens maker had to compromise so much just to do everything, the result is that it does indeed do everything, but isn't able to do anything particularly well. It's not as good a wide-normal as (for example) a Sigma 17-70 or a Tamron 17-50; it's not as good an ultra-wide as a Canon 10-22 or a Tamron 10-24; it's not as good a long/normal zoom as a Canon 24-105 or a Nikon 24-85; it's not as good a short tele-zoom as a .... well, it might, just might be a better short tele zoom over the 100ish-200ish range than the various cheap and nasty 70ish-300ish models out there, but I wouldn't bet on it - and it is light years behind any decent 70-200.

    In short, you can have a lens that does one thing brilliantly, or a lens that does two things quite well, but when you try to make a lens that does everything, you wind up with a superzoom - a do-everything-badly lens.

    (Tannin awaits anguished responses from superzoom owners. Yes, there are reasons to own one. Travel, for example. Hell, I know one good photographer who, of his own free will, owns and uses a superzoom and actually does excellent work with it, but he is a bit of a freak, and probably kills baby seals in his spare time.)
    Thanks for the info in that post. Yeah, as I said, for my needs at the moment it does seem to be able to do what it needs to do well enough. I think. But maybe if I do ever get any better it might be worth looking at another.

    So if I'm primarily taking land and seascape photos, you would recommend the Sigma 17-70 or Tamron 17-50? Or would you recommend to dive straight into the Canon 10-22 or Tamron 10-24?

    I must admit, I'm a bit nervous about buying Tamron again after my first experience. I do take my camera in the wild a lot and even with a lens I never removed from the camera (my first Tamron) I still managed to get dust in the actual lens. I'd be nervous about getting dust in another Tamron lens, especially if I was removing and replacing it on a semi-regular basis.

    Is their truth to what my source said? That Tamron lenses are designed in a way that is more likely to allow dust particles to sneak into the actual lens itself? I thought he also said Sigma were of a similar design. I want to clarify, there was no financial benefit for him advising me one way or the other as he was linked in no way to my actual purchase of a lens. He just said that the actual design of Canon was far more sensible than the other 2 and far less likely to let any dust in.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Cheers Geoff,

    Look at it this way - it's still a mile better than the best point and shoot camera ever made, and focus motor aside, the Canon 18-200 is pretty much as good as a superzoom gets. (Well, apart from the one I mention in my next post.)

    Actually, for landscape work, fast lenses are not required. How often do you shot a landscape at f/2.8? Ans: practically never. You are at f/8 and f/11 pretty much all the time, so the only benefit of a faster lens is brighter VF and faster focusing.

    As for selecting your next lens, I'd put the ones you mention in this order (worst first, best last).
    • Tamron 10-24 - does things you simply can't do with the 18-200; cheap; the longest ultrawide, and 2mm is quite a lot. But very poor reviews; the image quality just doesn't stack up, especially at the long end - which makes having a 10-24mm UWA instead of 10-20 or 10-22 quite pointless
    • Tamron 17-50 - fast, good quality, but short focal length range and duplicates the range you already have. F/2.8 is a bit wasted on landscapes.
    • Sigma 17-70 - bigger range, has IS, a good choice.
    • Canon 10-22. Superb lens. Great image quality, excellent build quality, opens up a whole new world of possibilities for you.


    I've never owned a Tamron lens, but plenty of peope here do and they mostly seem to think that they are OK. My feeling is that Tamron and Sigma seem to make decent cheap lenses; Tokina is a cut above; and Canon/Nikon/Pentax make the best lenses overall. But with that said, I've often thought about getting a Sigma 17-70. I've never heard of any consistent issue with dust and any particular camera brand. Not saying there isn't one, but if there is no-one talks about it much. Yours seems to be an exception, a really bad issue. Most "dust problems" are nonsense - a little dust near the front of a lens has almost no effect, but clueless people go ballistic about it. Favourite models to grumble about are the Canon 100-400 and 17-55. Doubtless there are Nikons similar.

    Is that the time? I have to go to work!

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    There is an interesting thread running over at DPR about the best superzoom on the planet.

    How can we have a "best" superzoom when we have already learned that lens design is always all about compromise and a really wide zoom range requires too many other compromises? Well, it depends on what you compromise, and the Canon 28-300/3.5-5.6L IS USM (the full frame equivalent to an 18-188mm superzoom on a crop camera) doesn't compromise on image quality or distortion .... instead it sacrifices weight and cost - big time! The 28-300L weighs three times as much as the EF-S 18-200, and costs four times as much, That's a hefty 1.7kg and a solid $3000.

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...hread=38709788

    Notice the consensus view: that even this very bulky and heavy $3000 lens still can't match the image quality delivered by a regulation 70-200 or 24-105. (Remember also that even the 24-105 suffers a bit at the extreme ends of its very long zoom range: distorted at the wide end, and not quite as sharp as you'd like at the long end.)

    (Also, you can't miss the extraordinary juxtaposition of the OP's gear - the very best of its kind that money can buy - and his photographs - dreadful happy snaps; I reckon I could do better with a $200 point and shoot, and I bet that you could too. Hell, my cat could nearly equal them if her paws weren't the wrong shape. But we mustn't let the low quality of this bloke's artistic eye detract from the interest in the thread - we can't blame the 28-300L for poor subject selection and composition! In the right hands, it is undoubtedly a very fine and versatile lens.)

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    Ausphotography Veteran Geoff79's Avatar
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    Thanks for the further info. Okay, the Canon 10-22 is next on my hit list. Could be a few decades before I get there, but maybe one day? Thanks for your breakdown and summary on each one... that sounds like a clear winner, and considering what I already have, the only really essential one.

    As you point out, I primarily shoot landscapes around that f16 range, so hopefully I'll still be getting the best out of the lens I have, until someone kindly offers me a heap of cash to spend on a lens.

    Oh, and $3000 for a lens???!!! Holy sh*tballs!!!
    Last edited by Geoff79; 23-06-2011 at 5:00pm.

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    I am in the same boat and am looking for peoples opinions on the canon 18-135 vs the sigma 17-70. My wife likes the 18-55 kit lens but would like more reach. I would like a faster lens as we take lots of shots of our 1 year old and since getting the nifty fifty I have developed an appreciation of what a faster lens can offer.
    Last edited by asc11; 25-07-2011 at 11:16am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninox View Post
    I agree! I have been using the 15-85mm for about six months now on my 400D and find it has very good image quality and is easy to use and carry around all day.
    Agree my favourite carry around is also a 15-85 lens,
    Although cheaper its as good as a L lens.

    Regards
    Bodies : Canon 450D, Canon 7D
    Lenses : Canon 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM, Canon 100mm F2.8 Makro USM, Canon 24-70 L F2.8 USM, Canon 70-200 L F4, Canon 100-400 L F4.5-5.6L IS USM
    Editing : Photoshop CS5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    A list in no special order.
    • Short, fast zooms .....
    • Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical. Around $630. Fast but a bit short at 50mm; no IS.
    • Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC. About $550. Very similar to the Tamron 17-50. I don't know which is better. Same strengths and weaknesses.
    • Tokina AT-X 165 Pro DX AF 16-50mm f/2.8. Around $1230. No IS; a bit short at 50mm; very expensive! I assume that it offers better build and image quality than the Tamron - but at the price it would want to!
    • Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 USM IS. $1400. The best lens in class, but a bit short and quite expensive. If you can live with 55mm at the long end and spending $1400-odd, and if f/2.8 is important to you, easily the best all-rounder on the market.
    • Full-frame general-purpose lenses .....
      Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM. About $1700. Fast; very sharp; quite expensive; quite heavy; old model; no IS; not really wide enough for crop bodies.
    • Sigma 24-70mm F/2.8 EX DG, About $750. Not really wide enough for a crop body; cheap; fast. Not very sharp. You get what you pay for.
    • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. Around $1370. Not really wide enough for crop bodies, barrel distortion below 28mm, otherwise vice-free and an excellent all-round choice.
    • Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM. About $1100. Actually designed as a wide-angle zoom for full-frame, but acts as a wide-normal zoom on 1.6 crop. Cheap for an L Series lens, viceless and well-regarded, but very short at 40mm, only f/4, and lacks IS.
    • Superzooms .....
    • Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. $790 For: incredibly wide zoom range; said to be quite sharp for a super-zoom. Against: everything else. The nasty non-USM focus motor is not really acceptable on an $800 product. Sum-up: why would you want a do-everything-badly lens?
    • Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM About $550.00. Cheaper than the Canon one; even slower; apparently has a proper focus motor. Don't know anything else about it - or care, to be honest. The image quality price you pay to gain the extra range over a standard general-purpose zoom design (beyond about 100mm) is always too high. The only reason I can think of to buy any of these superzooms is that you need a cheap(ish) do-everything lens to travel with.
    • Various other 18-200ish and 18-270ish models. Look elsewhere. (Aren't you trying to improve on the 18-55 IS kit lens?)
    • Genuine all-rounders .....
    • Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. About $580. Better than any superzooom, but still a cheap lens which lacks a proper USM focus motor but is otherwise said to be very good, particularly considering the huge focal length range.
    • Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC OS HSM. About $600. A very usable focal length range and excellent value for money. This new image stabilised version is the one to have. Generally quite well regarded, but some negative reports.
    • Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 USM IS $800. Canon's ugly duckling, now more-or-less discontinued. Useful focal length range, excellent build quality, but had some quite significant distortion problems and was never popular.
    • Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 USM about $1000. Much improved new replacement for the 17-85 IS. Not fast, but excellent in every other way: build quality, USM focus motor, image quality, latest IS. All things considered, probably the best single choice for an all-round general-purpose lens on crop, provided only that you don't need f/2.8.
    Hmmm .....luckily you were brief

    Regards

  20. #20
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    Unless you really need a fast, constant aperture, Canon 15-85 is fantastic.
    If you try hard enough you should be able to pick one up locally for under $1K.
    Mark

    Canon 70D w/Grip l Canon 60D w/Grip l EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS USM l EF 70-200 f4L IS USM l EF-S 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM l EF 100 f2.8 USM Macro l EF-S 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS STM l EF 50 f1.8 II l Canon EF-S 10-22 f3.5-4.5 USM l 430 EX II Flash l Rode Stereo VideoMic l Manfrotto 055XPROB + 498RC2 Tripod l Benro MP-96 M8 Monopod l Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack l Lowepro Pro Runner 300 AW Backpack l PS CS5 Extended l Lightroom 4.3

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