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Author Topic: all around lens for Canon XTi  (Read 5118 times)
bobbychappell73
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« on: December 14, 2007, 07:11:36 PM »
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I have been shooting with a Canon XTi for about a year now with the kit lens (ES-F 18-55mm).  This is a fine lens, but I am ready to upgrade.

This summer I took a trip to the Moab area with my father and shot with his "L" series lens (16-35mmL, 24-70mmL, 70-200mmL, 300mmL).  This was an eye opening experience.  I have seen how good photos can look in ALL ranges.  The "L" series is by far and away the best you can get - BUT I am on a limited budget.

I travel a good bit (backpacking in the Blue Ridge Mts, rainforest of Central America, Mts of New Zealand).  I would like to have ONE lens that I can take anywhere and use at any time of day.  I am typically a landscape shooter, but I also use indoors in low light situations.

I want to purchase an "all around" lens, and here are the ones I am looking at:

Canon ES 28-135mm IS
Sigma 18-200mm DC IF
Tamron 18-250mm DiII LD

Considerations (in no particular order):
cost
weight
quality of photos (clarity and color)
good useable focal lengths
I have a 18-55 and I am considering purchasing a 10-22mm super wide to compliment one of these lens.

If anyone can please give me advice on which one of these is the BEST lens; which would be the best "all around"; what configuration I should try for.

thanks!
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2007, 08:16:20 PM »
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I wouldn't get any of them.  Not if you're looking to upgrade.   If you have to have one of these I'd go with the 28-135.  It is a decent lens.  It has IS.  While it isn't a particularly bright lens it is certainly the brightest of the options provided.  So you get your low light that way.

An alternative would be something like the 18-55 IS (It is much better than the 18-55 and has IS.) coupled with the 55-200 IS.  17-85 IS would also work.
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David Sutton
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2007, 08:43:15 PM »
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Golly, this is a bit of  a minefield. I don't think you can do this with one lens. Here's my 2 cents worth. On my 350d and now 40d I use  the Canon 24-105 and 70-200 f4. Both have good IS and are sharp throughout their range. They are light- the other commonly used combination is the 24-70 and 70-200 f2.8, and people my age are often shattered by midday lugging these around. If you are a spring chicken ignore that comment. Both fit with the camera in a Lowepro slingshot 100 which is quite anonymous with the labels removed, and I can carry it all day.
If I had to choose it would be the 24-105. Sharp, fast quiet focussing, lightweight. There is sometimes a little c.a., but that is easily taken out, and if I want to get wider, I stitch. If you are shooting moving objects in low light you probably want an f2.8, otherwise save on weight and expense.
Good luck, David
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GerardK
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2007, 07:36:15 AM »
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I use the EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS, superb image quality, bright (f2.8 throughout) and with image stabiliser. Not expensive, check local pricing. Highly recommended. Also the EF 70-300 f4-5.6 with IS, excellent quality, modest pricing. And the EF-S 10-22 mm which is OK, but I wish the quality were the same as the 17-55. Plus 12 and 24 mm extension tubes for macro. Works very well, especially with image stabilised lenses.


Gerard Kingma
www.kingma.nu
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I CHNGE
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2007, 11:35:42 AM »
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Quote
I wouldn't get any of them.  Not if you're looking to upgrade.   If you have to have one of these I'd go with the 28-135.  It is a decent lens.  It has IS.  While it isn't a particularly bright lens it is certainly the brightest of the options provided.  So you get your low light that way.

An alternative would be something like the 18-55 IS (It is much better than the 18-55 and has IS.) coupled with the 55-200 IS.  17-85 IS would also work.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=160772\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Exactly...after your "eye opening" experience with the "L" glass of your father's assortment it seems you want to do more...but with less.

Keep in mind that with the XTI's crop sensor, whatever focal lengths you choose will be "magnified" by a factor of 1.6 as an example a 10-22 would have an effective focal length of 16-35

It may be very difficult to cover the focal lengths you are looking for AND maintain "bright" (large aperature) coverage with one or two lenses and stay within the budget you have in mind.

I use two lenses:
24-70 F2.8L
70-200 F4.0L

As mentioned the 24-70 is heavy but it does not bother me and it is my daily driver...bright/tack sharp/very high image quality
The 70-200 covers MY needs for "reaching out" and is a definate "winner" in the cost/benefit game.  I don't need IS or 2.8 in this focal length and have quality glass at a VERY affordable price

I somehow sense that if you also were able to cover the 24-200 focal lengths with quality glass using one or two lenses, that your needs would be satisfied.

I suspect however that with your backpacking, one of the two lenses I use would not be practical due to size/weight and cost.

So as others have mentioned you should probably consider:
17-55 F2.8 IS (bright wide aperature with IS )
24-105* (you would get more focal reach but settle for indoor flash)
70-200 F4.0L*(non IS version = excellant glass at a bargain price and very easy to carry)
70-300 f4 IS

* represents what I would ultimately choose for you based soley on the criteria you laid out in your post

Best wishes in your search...I would be curious to now what you ultimately decide on...and why
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stever
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2007, 04:36:03 PM »
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unfortunately quality doesn't come cheap or light or in a zoom with more than 4:1 ratio

i'd suggest either the 17-40L or the 17-55 2.8 IS combined with the 70-300IS or the 70-200 f4(IS or not).  Don't expect too much of the 70-300 wide open or beyond 200mm.

On a crop frame camera, the 28-135 not such a bad lens (but again, don't expect too much wide open) and it needs to be combined with the 10-22 (and unfortunately there just isn't a high quality wide angle choice for Canon crop-frames)

The 24-105 is a better lens, but i'm not sure it's that much of an improvement over the 28-135 on a crop frame camera (although it's faster and pretty good wide open) - and you still need to add a 10-22
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dilip
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2007, 07:00:24 PM »
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Funny... I think that I went through something similar a while back, playing around with a friend's L series glass...

I already had made the fortunate decision to go with the 17-85 IS.  It's a remarkably good lens, and is a reasonable value.

If you need something long, the general consensus seems to be with the 70-200 series.  I can't disagree.  Though I did have the 70-300 (non-IS) it now lives with my older brother who is as delighted to get my hand-me-downs as I was upset to get his as a child.

The two lenses have a bit of overlap which is never a bad thing.

However, we all seemed to overlook the backpacking aspect of your comment.  You want light, and you want range.  That's hard to do.  If you have a limited amount of money, I would consider staying with the lens you have and then seeing if you can by the 75-300 DO lens. great savings on the weight if not on the pocketbook.

--dilip
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fike
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2007, 09:34:58 AM »
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not to be abnoxious, but, it can't be done.


........
........


spend more money......
settle for lower quality......
carry more (heavier) lenses.......

Pick your poison.  There really aren't any cheap lens bargains that will reliably perform with the L grade glass.  the 17-55 2.8 IS is probably an exception, but it is just as expensive as an L lens.  

(Many argue that it should have been labeled an L lens but since it is an EF-S lens it was argued that it wasn't really compatible with the pro grade lens.)

I have had good luck with a 17-40 F4 L at about $700, a 70-200 F4L at about $700 and an inexpensive 50mm f/1.4 at about $300.  I also added a 1.4x teleconverter.  I have heard lots of folks talk about this good basic kit for landscape. It would be heavy for backpacking, but that is the cost of good pics.  

...don't even get me started on a good backpacking tripod.
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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I carry an M43 ILC, a couple of good lenses, and a tripod.
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2007, 10:01:18 AM »
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The tamron 17-50 f2.8 would also be a good choice.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2007, 12:13:03 PM »
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I would start by looking back over the pictures you have taken recently that you really like. How many of them used short focal length lenses, and how many used longer focal length lenses? Pick one of the two ranges, and save up for one good lens in that range.

When I got my Canon 10D I bought both the 17-40/4L and the 70-200/4L lenses that Fike and others have mentioned. Pretty soon I found that I was using the 17-40 for 95% of my work, and hardly ever using the 70-200. But that's just my personal shooting style (which I should have realized before I started buying lenses). Others with the same kit would end up using just the 70-200. Still others might be quite happy with a 50/1.4.

Now I have a 5D (full frame) and a 24-105/4L IS which is almost the only one I use. For my kind of shooting IS is extremely valuable.

So I suggest you decide which one lens, of high quality (probably chosen from the ones that folks have mentioned here), would satisfy the largest part of your shooting needs, and get it. Getting really familiar with one good lens will be good for your photography and seeing as well. Once you start making money you can start adding other lenses.

Do start with one really good one.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
Craig Arnold
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2007, 01:43:33 AM »
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When I had my 20D I matched it with:

17-85 IS as a decent quality, reasonably sharp all-rounder for good light.
70-300 DO (though I would now purchase the 70-300 non-DO).
28mm f1.8 for winter work.

As a crucial adjunct I used DXO Optics, which handily (and in a pretty friendly workflow) corrects for all the worst sins of those 3 lenses.

With my 5D those have become:
24-105L
70-300 DO
50L

DXO is rather less necessary with these lenses, and I tend to correct now only where necessary rather than as a matter of course.

If I had to pick just one lens I would happily go with the 28f1.8 on a crop body or the 50L on a FF body. In the UK I put on the prime in about October and pretty much leave it there until April. When I go to Africa I tend to use the standard zoom mostly.

Obviously there is no right answer to this stuff. Just whatever floats your boat.
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