Getting sick of my cheap kit lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by redonyx, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. redonyx

    redonyx TPF Noob!

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    I bought a used Canon 20D last summer and the 18-55 lens it came with is really starting to get on my nerves. It feels really cheap compared to what I used to use with my old AE-1. Unfortunately, my old lenses don't work with the new body so I'm looking to rebuild my lens kit. I'm looking to buy a decent 18-55 or thereabout lens and I am really confused by the number of choices I have.

    I have three big questions when it comes to buying lenses:

    1. Is it safe to buy used lenses? (Never even considered this in the days of film)

    2. Is IS really worth the difference.

    3. How do Sigma and Tamron compare to genuine Canon?

    Any advice would be most appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    1. Yes, generally. As with any used purchase, make sure of the condition, etc.

    2. Depends on the focal length. Much more so at 200mm than at 50mm.

    3. You'll probably get many differing opinions on this.

    If you're looking for a similar range, I'd recommend looking into a fast mid-zoom. Not knowing Canon's full lineup, something around 18-50, 17-50, etc f/2.8's. You might even look into renting a few different lenses to see what you like the best.
     
  3. R6_Dude

    R6_Dude TPF Noob!

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    1. I would say so. If its worth it? Depends on how much you are saving.
    2. Yes, I guess its depends on what focal length. I have read that on UWA lens IS really isn't a big factor.
    3. You have to read the reviews. Personally I have shot with the Tamron (only a couple not their full line) and I say its decent. Sigma reviews are great.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Buying uses lenses is usually a safe bet, especially high quality lenses.

    IS, is a really cool feature. It's certainly helpful in some situations but it's not a cure-all for blurry photos. It's worth it's weight in gold when shooting with a Telephoto lens.

    Sigma & Tamron have some great lenses, but they also have some cheap crappy ones. The same can be said of Canon, Nikon etc. So you can't generalize by brand and you should really look at each lens individually. If you compare the top of the line Sigma/Tamron lenses to the expensive, top of the line Canon lenses. The Canon lenses almost always win...but they cost twice as much. So it's up to you to decide if the quality difference is worth the price.

    For example; on of the best lenses in this range, is the Canon EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS. It's a fantastic lens and it costs about $1000 (US). Tamron has a 17-50mm F2.8 that is $450 and a new version with VC (their version of IS) for about $630. I have the non VC version and it's a great lens...not quite as spectacular as the Canon, but good enough until I can afford the Canon's $1000 price tag. Sigma makes an 18-50mm F2.8 for about the same price as the Tamron.

    One thing to decide, when replacing a 'normal' range lens like this...is whether or not you want/need a lens with a constant max aperture of F2.8. That was very imporant to me, which is a big reason I went with the Tamron. I already had the cheap 18-55mm kit lens and I also have the Canon EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS. I really like the 17-85mm, the range is great and the IS is quite handy...however, the max aperture just wasn't big enough for my needs. I still use it fairly often for causal shooting.

    There is a new 15-85mm IS lens that looks pretty promising...as a mid level (affordable) lens.

    There are some other good options. The EF 17-40mm F4 L and the EF 16-35mm F2.8 L. These are high quality lenses, the 17-40mm is a good deal at around $700 but the 16-35mm is a lot more expensive.
     
  5. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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