Canon 18-55mm (kit) vs EF 28-135mm IS USM

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by cfaulds, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. cfaulds

    cfaulds TPF Noob!

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    Im looking for a 'walk-around' lens, one that I will take with me if I can only take one lens and use in general.

    It has to be small, but provide a good zoom range, and the 28-135mm seems good!

    However, I was wondering about the image quality - does the 28-135mm have better image quality than the kit lens?

    Do you think its worth it?

    I have a 55-250mm zoom lens which complements the kit lens well, but Im looking to upgrade that to the 70-300mm, and so the 28-135mm means I wont lose any focal length in-between the lens'

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    EDIT: Im also looking at the 24-105mm which of course will be suerior in every single way to both lens mentioned, but the price puts me off a bit. I could afford it, but im 17 and going to uni soon so not to sure about it. If its 100% that I should go for that lens, then I may try and make some more money to buy it!
     
  2. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My walk around set up is my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and one fast prime.
    My prime choice are as follow, it depends on what I want to do or feel like doing on that day.

    Tamron 14mm f/2.8
    Canon 50mm f/1.4
    Canon 85mm f/1.8
    Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro


    Of course, different people have different priorities, so yours maybe different.

    As for the 28-135mm IS lens, I used to own it as part of the camera package. (Sold it already). That is not a bad lens, but nothing too special about it. Personally, I do not think it worth the cost, especially the retail version one instead of the one that ship with camera.

    Take a look at your photos you took in the past. See which focal length (range) you use the most. That may help on your walk around decision.

    A free software called ExposurePlot is helpful to find out what you use the most (focal length, ISO, shutter etc) based on the photos you took.

    For example, if you found that 70% of your shots were taken between 18mm to 30mm, be sure the walk around lens cover that range.
     
  3. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm TPF Noob!

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    The EF-S 18-135mm is a lot newer and IMO a lot better than the EF 28-135. Since it's an EF-S, it's been specially designed to work better with the 1.6 crop factor, providing a more usable range (equivelant of 28-215mm on full frame). The only down side is it will not be compatible if you ever decide to spend 2,500$ on a full frame body. Right now though, that would probably be your best bet.

    The 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS is a great lens, and you should be able to pick up used ones decently cheap. If you want a superb quality lens for around the same price, the 70-200 f/4L is also very very good. With IS, it's a little more expensive though.

    Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Review

    Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens Review

    Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens Review

    The 24-105 lens is absolutely great, but 24mm on a crop body (everything other than a 5D or 1D/s) is not very wide. Zoom your current lens to 24mm and take a pic. Then zoom out to 18mm and take another. Is that loss of wide angle worth it?

    Another mid-range, high level lens specially designed for crop sensors is the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. Excellent lens with great optics, a usable wide-to-short-telephoto range on a crop body, fast 2.8 aperture, and IS. It's about the perfect crop body lens, IMO.

    Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens Review
     
  4. Ryan L

    Ryan L TPF Noob!

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    I disagree, I think it is 100% worth the cost. You can pick them up all day used for $275 used! For the quality of this lens the price is VERY minimal. I think anyone who says different hasn't used it very much. I have used the macro quite a bit as well, and good as well. Focuses fairly quickly, IS works good, metal mount, sturdy construction. Nothing wrong with this lens.
     
  5. MohaimenK

    MohaimenK TPF Noob!

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  6. MohaimenK

    MohaimenK TPF Noob!

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  7. cfaulds

    cfaulds TPF Noob!

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    Wow! Thank you all so much for all the advice!

    This has seriously helped me a lot, and especially the tips like that program to see what I use the most, and to take a shot at 28mm and 18mm to compare them and see the difference.

    I didnt notice the 18-135mm and it has made my decision much harder. I like photographing landscapes, and so the loss of the extra 10mm from 18 to 28 is quite significant. I also have a crop factor of 1.6x and so this makes the impact worse. The fact that the lens is EF-S also puts me off, however im not looking to upgrade my camera anytime soon, as I am still yet to use it to its full potential as my current glass is C**P compared to what is available.

    I think Ill wait for some reviews that will most likely compare the 18-135mm and 28-135mm and see which one has the better image quality. The 18-135mm is newer and has a better focal length so I'm guessing it would be better than the 28-135mm and its only £50 more.

    Another thing (LAST POINT... promise!) is that the 18-135mm doesnt have 'USM' but on the picture of the lens, it clearly shows an option for AF? Have I completely misunderstood what 'USM' is or is it an 'error'?

    THANKS!
     
  8. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    USM is ultrasonic motor - it focuses fast and quietly compared to non-USM lenses. Non-USM is still autofucs though. The only lenses canon makes that are not autofocus are the tilt-shift (TS-E) lenses. Anything designated EF or EF-S is electro-focus (will autofocus).

    Now, as for my recommendations, in order of preference:
    *Canon EFS 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM
    *Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC
    *The new canon EFS 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM
    *Canon 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS USM
    *Canon 18-135 f3.5-5.6 IS USM

    You may notice that I lean towards the wide end rather than the telephoto end, as I find this end much more useful in a 'walkaround' lens. Also, image stabilistation (or vibration control on Tamrons) is extremely useful in a walkaround lens as it lets you get sharp shots in varied lighting conditions without having to lug around a tripod.
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I do not believe I said something is bad about the lens. It is just a average lens. That's all. For $409.95 (Adorama new retail lens price) or $300 - $350 new OEM price, I'd rather take the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. ($414 new at Adorama - after rebate)

    I did and it mainly for image quality as well as I like to have a faster lens.
    Of course, different people have different priorities, just happen mine is different from you. ;)
     
  10. lyn

    lyn TPF Noob!

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    If cost is a consideration, but you want good quality images on a crop
    sensor the 15-85 is excellent. It compares well with the 24-105, not
    an L lens, but the 15-85 is very good and hundreds less than the
    24-105 which I have used. I have used the 28-135 and found the
    images to be too soft for me. I used 3 different lenses and though
    there was some variability in image quality (even among camera bodies
    in the same model number) I found the 28-135 images sub par for my
    uses.

    The 15-85mm is light and well built here is a link to a good review of the
    lens:Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review

    My next lens purchase is the 24-105L, but in the next year I plan on the 15-85mm
    as a lightweight travel lens to use with my 70-300ISUSM. I use my Canon 100-
    400L for serious naturephotography.

    Good luck with the choices.
     
  11. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    The 28-135 Canon lens is consistently rated high in IQ and as close as you can get without going up to the L series glass.

    If you like landscapes wide, your 18-55 will still capture at the wide end. (~28mm equiv). The 28mm (~45 equiv) can still capture quite a bit of real estate out in the field though...

    I would say, go for it... Then save up for the EFs 10-22 for those really wide occasions..:D

    It's one of those compromises that all photographers need to make.. No single lens is going to cover all bases, or at least not at the quality that makes an outstanding shot jump out from the rest.
     
  12. Ryan L

    Ryan L TPF Noob!

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    Nothing like digging up old theads. I am guessing he has bought his walk around lens by now.

    :wav:
     

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