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Old 12-09-2007, 10:45 AM
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JohnH
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Canon Lens Options

OK, what to put on my Canon 20d for regular photography? I am fed up with the mushy images from the stock 18-55 lens and the old 70-300 usm is hardly any better - plus it has a fugus issue....so it is time to upgrade but to what?

My budget will be in the region of $1000-$1500.

The 70-200 F4 L looks good to me but at around the $1000 mark it does not leave much for the wide angle lens or there is the Sigma equivalent that gives me f2.8 for about the same $$$...

Anyone got a view on the 18-200 Sigma?

Is IS/OS worth the extra money - I am biased toward better glass for AP but for general purpose use is stabilisation a better way to go?
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:37 PM
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acropolite (Phil)
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17-55 F2.8 IS, within your budget (around $1200) and a nice lens from all the reviews (do a google search for a review). The build is reported to be L quality, from what I've read, the reason this lens doesn't have an L designation is that Canon doesn't give L designation to "S" lenses as they won't fit full frame DSLR's. Other than that the Sigma 17-70 is a very good lens for the money.

Last edited by acropolite; 12-09-2007 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:00 PM
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rogerg (Roger)
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I have the 70-200 F/4 L and it is a very nice lens - very sharp, great colour, nice zoom range, comfortable size to hold (for me), tripod collar & lens hood included, works well with my Tamron 2x adaptor and Kenko extention tubes.

However I wouldn't recommend it if it's the only lens you can afford or want to carry around.

My second lens is the 17-40 F/4 L, which is also excellent, but not as good as the 70-200, as it shows some edge distortion particularly at open f-stops (but probably not a fair comparison considering the focal lengths).

Both are excellent lenses but each one requires the other to complete the zoom range, which means you get stuck with 2 lenses. If I only want to take one lens I take the 17-40 and it usually works out fine, especially for normal happy snap stuff.

I'm not sure what's available at the moment, but if there is something that goes in the range 17 - 150 or 200 at good quality that is the lens I would consider.

Regarding IS, I think it's worth every cent. My partner has a 100-400 F/5.6 L which I often use, it has IS. I can take 400mm shots with it at 1/30th OK and 200mm shots at 1/30th second no problem at all, where as with my non-IS 70-200 I need to be around 1/60th or preferably 1/120th to completely avoid shake problems. And the 100-400 is a 2kg lens, so hard to hold steady sometimes, especially after carrying it around all day hiking!

I often consider selling the 70-200 F/4 L and buying the new 70-200 F/4L IS, just to have IS. But it'd still cost me a few hundred, which is hard to spend

Enjoy the shopping, it's fun looking for a new lens
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:46 PM
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astro_south (Andrew)
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John

I have got the 70-200 F4L IS and it is a great lens - but that completely blows your budget.

I have replaced my 18-55 kit lens that I got with the 400D with the Canon 17-85IS. While this is not the best lens going around it does have some advantages and might fill part of your requirements. It is a discernable jump up from the kit lens (which in the right conditions is not too shabby itself) and I have found the slightly greater reach is really handy for this as a walk around lens. It is on my camera 80 percent of the time. The lens does have some reported warts - particularly barrel distortion and CA in the wide end (although I have yet to really notice this as an issue) but this can easily be rectified within many popular post processing software. I got mine for a tad over $500AUS second hand off Astromart with UV filter and canon lens hood.

I also have the "plastic fantastic" 50mm 1.8 II. At around $130 this is an essential in the kit bag and the sharpness for the price is quite amazing.

I haven't used any super zooms such as the 18-200, but I am sure I have read a review somewhere that discussed through comparisons with other lenses variation in the performance across the zoom range going from good to bad and back to good, but don't quote me on it.

good luck with the shopping
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2007, 02:50 PM
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If you can get the 24-70mm f/2.8L lens used or via import ($1150 in USA), that would be a good choice. New it runs a bit high for your budget, at around $2100 in Australia. It is the lens that spends the most time on my camera, and I also have a Sigma 15-30mm, Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro, and 70-200 f/2.8L. The 24-70 is the most versatile to me for general use, and is very sharp and solidly built.

IMO, IS isn't so necessary in lenses below 100mm focal length, since camera shake will not be as evident. I used to have a shorter Canon lens with IS, but get better shots with the 24-70 just due to it going down to f/2.8 instead. It gathers more light, so the IS is less necessary.

When I first got a DSLR, I made the mistake of getting a Sigma 75-400mm lens. That lens was junk. Sigma build quality varies so much between lenses. To contrast, the 15-30mm I have has a great build. If you are determined to get a sigma lens, make sure you are happy with the quality before buying.
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:20 PM
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In your budget, for wide angle you could get something like the Sigma 17-70 or the Canon 200mm f2.8 EF L.

My father has the Sigma 18-200 and it is a very good lens, just not very fast.

Terry
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