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Thread: Choosing an everyday Lens

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    Choosing an everyday Lens

    although at the moment I already have quite a few things on the wish list to come, not to far away is a new everyday zoom lens.
    I want to make an upgrade from the 18-55 kit lens.

    it would be used for Food Photography alot, as well as holidays, (family travels a fair bit, Vietnam in mid July next year) and also for social occasions such as birthdays at homes and restaurants.

    I will be using it on the Canon 60D (which is a 1.6x crop)

    I've been looking at two lenses most closely, that being the 17-40 F4 USM L lens and the 24-105 F4 USM Lens.

    From what I've learnt and heard the L lenses are at the top of the range when it comes to Canon lenses, made obvious thanks to the large price tags.
    But is it there much point for me to be looking at the L lenses when my Body isn't weather sealed and there are lenses such as the 15-85 F3.5-5.6 IS USM lenses available, or other similar zoom lenses from Tamron and Sigma?
    The 15-85 offers a wider zoom range, slightly faster, has the addition of IS and is a little bit cheaper. However it obviously isn't an L lens, I guess what my question is ultimately leading to is what other advantages do the L lenses posses? Is there a noticeable difference in IQ, or focusing speed etc. ?

    Lastly I know that the 15-85 is an ef-s Lens, but I don't see an upgrade to a full frame camera for a long if ever.
    Canon 60D - 24-105 F4 L - Sigma 10-20 - Kit lenses - 50mm F:1.8 - Tamron 90mm F:2.8 Macro - 430 exII _ Extension Tube Set


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    I think if you want a true everyday lens the wider the focal length range the better
    Darren
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    I agree to some extent, the lenses become 24, 38.4 at there minimal focal length due to the crop sensor, but there are few options which are wider, things such as the 10-22 ultra wide and the fish eyes, but the fish eyes is obviously not an option since the effect of the fish eye is very limiting, and the 10-22 would be to short for me I think, as I often find my self extending the 18-55 to it's maximum focal length.

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    I'd highly recommend
    UWA: 10-22,
    Everyday Zoom: 17-55 IS (better than the 17-40L in many ways)
    Low light prime: Sigma 30 1.4

    You mentioned the 15-85. That is an awesome lens as well if you don't need the constant aperture.
    Last edited by KeeFy; 19-10-2011 at 12:19pm.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I have the 18-250 Sigma and use it a lot on both my 7D and 400D. Although a super zoom I found this lens a big step up in IQ from the kit lenses and it has the advantage of covering most situations without having to change lenses, (handy when travelling) and also keeps the dust problem down.
    Keith.

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    KeeFy is on the money if you ask me. L's are nice but they aren't really wide enough on crop bodies generally.

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    Focal lengths and aperture, is probably something that I need least advice on, as I believe from the limited experience I posess I am able to make a reasonable decision as to what's short, and long enough for me and what's fast enough and what's to slow.

    The advice/help I need most is what makes the L lenes such premium sought after lenes, is there anything other than weather sealing, and is there anyway to judge things such as IQ other than by comparing images, looking at compariosns and taking other peoples oppinion?Focal lengths and aperture, is probably something that I need least advice on, as I believe from the limited experience I poses I am able to make a reasonable decision as to what's short, and long enough for me and what's fast enough and what's to slow.

    The advice/help I need most is what makes the L lenses such premium sought after lenses, is there anything other than weather sealing, and is there any way to judge things such as IQ other than by comparing images, looking at comparisons and taking other peoples opinion?

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    I won't weigh in to the choosing or advantages, but...

    A link you might find useful - that lets you select different lenses and compare resolution, clarity, vignetting, distortions etc. I've used it a couple times when investigating a couple lenses:
    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...son-Tools.aspx

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    Apart from weather sealing etc., the major advantage with L lenses is their colour and contrast, as well as their fast auto focussing.

    The colour and contrast of a lens is more immediately apparent than just pixel peeping, and while there are some non-L lenses which are as sharp, they generally don't have the nice rich colours and excellent contrast that an L lens has.
    This has a lot to do with the actual types of glass used in their construction, as the better the quality of the glass, the better the images are, and the more life-like they seem.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    Besides the weather sealing they are generally better made; such as better body construction, better AF (sometimes), lens hood is included, better coatings on the optics.

    Overall you are generally paying for the better glass and better maximum apretures.
    Last edited by mikec; 19-10-2011 at 1:44pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    Besides the weather sealing they are generally better made; such as better body construction, better AF (sometimes), lens hood is included, better coatings on the optics.

    Overall you are generally paying for the better glass and better maximum apretures.
    In addition.

    Ego. (more often than not people buy L lenses for ego sake like with the case of the 17-40L vs 17-55 IS)

    Fixed aperture on almost all L lenses bar a few. Since the you say that you know what apeture entails i shall not elaborate how it helps with the shots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    In addition.

    Ego. (more often than not people buy L lenses for ego sake like with the case of the 17-40L vs 17-55 IS)
    That's one of those silly things though because in the case of a crop body the 17-55 is a far better choice IMO.
    Last edited by mikec; 19-10-2011 at 4:14pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    In addition.

    Ego. (more often than not people buy L lenses for ego sake like with the case of the 17-40L vs 17-55 IS)
    That's what I'm kind of worried about, choosing between an "L" lens and say the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM which on paper has better specs, range/aperture, but doesn't have the red ring around it :S

    ahhh decisions.
    Last edited by Cyza; 19-10-2011 at 4:33pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyza View Post
    15-85 has it's pros and cons. 1/3 of a stop faster at the wide end and 1 stop slower at the long.

    Aperture transitions:
    5-17mm = f/3.5, 18-26mm = f/4.0, 27-37mm = f/4.5, 38-60mm = f/5.0 and from 61-85mm = f/5.6

    If you want an optically good lens but not fast for low light, then this is it. Frankly i wouldn't bother with the 17-40 unless going full frame. The 17-55 has it's disadvantages vs the 17-40 - build quality, weather sealing ( not big of a deal), weight/size and price.

    I'd go with the 17-55 over the 15-85 but that's just me. 55-85 = few steps. But the 15-17mm is a huge difference, and if you reckon you need that 2mm go for it. Thus the recommendation of 10-22 + 17-55 + 30 1.4. If you need a zoom 70-200 f4L IS. I highly recommend not skipping on IS for telephoto lenses. The 55-250 is optically excellent for the price as well, just note the vignetting wide open which can be corrected easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    15-85 has it's pros and cons. 1/3 of a stop faster at the wide end and 1 stop slower at the long.

    Aperture transitions:
    5-17mm = f/3.5, 18-26mm = f/4.0, 27-37mm = f/4.5, 38-60mm = f/5.0 and from 61-85mm = f/5.6

    If you want an optically good lens but not fast for low light, then this is it. Frankly i wouldn't bother with the 17-40 unless going full frame. The 17-55 has it's disadvantages vs the 17-40 - build quality, weather sealing ( not big of a deal), weight/size and price.

    I'd go with the 17-55 over the 15-85 but that's just me. 55-85 = few steps. But the 15-17mm is a huge difference, and if you reckon you need that 2mm go for it. Thus the recommendation of 10-22 + 17-55 + 30 1.4. If you need a zoom 70-200 f4L IS. I highly recommend not skipping on IS for telephoto lenses. The 55-250 is optically excellent for the price as well, just note the vignetting wide open which can be corrected easily.
    when you talk about the 17-55 i"m assuming your talking about the EF-S 17-55MM f2.8 IS USM Lens if so, I don't think Im interested in it. the 2.8 aperture is the only real advantage about it, and I have to 50mm F:1.8 which considering it's size and weight is no haste at all to carry anywhere and every where. Whilst the lower focal range I find my self most often using for land scapes, sky line shots, and horizons, the lower aperture doesn't help much. Of course there will be time when the speed at low zooms will come in handy but I think it would be rare, and don't find it worth the extra price.

    but thanks for the suggestion.

    In regards to the telephoto lenses, I think the 70-200 F4L IS would be the first thing I would look to when upgrading the current telephoto, or the Sigma 20-400m F:4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM, but that's another story for another day

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    Well... the f2.8 is good for indoor photography + subject isolation, but it seems from what you said that you wouldn't do much of it. 50mm f1.8 is a great lens but when it comes to indoors, it can get a little cramped.

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    especially on a crop sensor, when it becomes an 80mm prime lens

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyza View Post
    especially on a crop sensor, when it becomes an 80mm prime lens
    Actually that's what i meant. 50mm on a ff is ok indoors, but on a crop it can get quite cramped. Thus the recommendation of the sigma 30 1.4 rather than a 50 1.8/1.4

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    I have read all the previous threads, together with your requirements, I can assure you I to went down this track and whilst I agree with various attributes of L series lens plus their valuable resale value, I have a 70=200 L produces everything one expects in a quality lens. However to answer your inquiry I decided to go with the 15-85, and I am not sorry, it is such a great allround lens and really is not that far behind the L in photo quality. The build quality is very good, I have used mine extensively on a 50D for about 15 months and still feels the same as when new. Worth thinking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gje38752 View Post
    I have read all the previous threads, together with your requirements, I can assure you I to went down this track and whilst I agree with various attributes of L series lens plus their valuable resale value, I have a 70=200 L produces everything one expects in a quality lens. However to answer your inquiry I decided to go with the 15-85, and I am not sorry, it is such a great allround lens and really is not that far behind the L in photo quality. The build quality is very good, I have used mine extensively on a 50D for about 15 months and still feels the same as when new. Worth thinking about.
    I disagree.

    The 15-85 matches L lenses in terms of IQ IMO. Not lagging behind. I used my friend's 15-85 and i was extremely impressed by the lens. There is a reason why it costs so much for an EF-S lens! All they need to do is make it f2.8 and it's a 100% winner! LoL. Still dreaming.

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