Looking at a new lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Fish in a Barrel, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. Fish in a Barrel

    Fish in a Barrel TPF Noob!

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    I got myself a Canon Rebel XSi with the 18-55mm kit lens for Christmas last year. It's my first SLR, and I'm really having a ball with it!

    Overall, I'm relatively happy with the kit lens. It takes pictures that are good enough for me right now, and the zoom range usually covers my needs. However, I'm finding that I do sometimes need a longer lens. I take the camera with me when I go hiking, and it just doesn't allow me to get close enough to the wildlife. So I'm trying to decide on a new lens, and boy is there a lot to consider!

    There are two obvious choices that come to mind, the Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, or the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS.

    The 18-200mm is a single lens solution and it has internal focusing, but that long zoom range apparently comes with some distortion. The 55-250mm is much cheaper and combines with my existing lens to offer more zoom, but I have to carry two lens and it's a front focus. What do you guys think, is there a clear answer here that I'm too much of a newb to see? Is the distortion in the 18-200mm really something I need to be concerned about? Are there other factors I'm overlooking?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you guys can throw my way.
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It comes down to choice. Having and shooting a dSLR typically means you are aware and understanding to the fact that you will have to carry around multiple lenses.

    The one lens solution is a jack of all trades, master of none thing. Sure, it goes from wide to long, but the image quality is not as good as more specific focal range lenses.

    I don't know this particular lens so I cannot comment on if this lens will give you a better image quality than what you have. Traditionally speaking though, the more varied focal range, the lesser image quality the lens will have.

    I'd go with the 55-250 IS, but thats a personal choice.
     
  3. Crosby

    Crosby TPF Noob!

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    I have this but mine is Canon 75-300mm non USM lens. Considering how cheap it is, I really like it. The one in the link has the USM motor so focus will be faster than mine. It is a great nature/wildlife lens for the money.

    If you are going to get serious with an SLR, you'll just have to understand that you are going to want more lenses.
     
  4. CW Jones

    CW Jones TPF Noob!

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    If I was looking for some more length... I would personally go with this but thats just me. if you shoot mostly outdoors and in well lit places the F4 should be fine. it just doesnt have IS which from what I hear only does anything below 1/60th of a second (I am not sure tho, I'm no expert! haha)
     
  5. Fish in a Barrel

    Fish in a Barrel TPF Noob!

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    It looks like there is a definite preference for a two-lens solution developing here. That shouldn't surprise me; it's kinda the purpose of an SLR, after all. :lol:

    I'm a little reluctant to go that route for two reasons:
    1. Switching lens takes time, and could lead to a missed shot.
    2. I'm going to be in the Grand Canyon for four days in a couple months, and I'm trying to minimize weight and bulk.
    I believe I'm over-thinking #1, but #2 does concern me.

    Thanks for the replies so far. I appreciate the other lens recommendations.
     
  6. Defy

    Defy TPF Noob!

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    Thats easy if you are going to the grand canyon you will only need one lens, the widest one you have :mrgreen: (at least that's what i would suspect every time i wondered through the mountains in CO i always had a wide lens)

    As an SLR shooter you will always have this problem trying to figure out the balance of what you need when is always the hard part. This is why i have 4 different bags for my camera equipment and that doesn't include flashes/umbrellas/softbox.

    but if you still go with the 18-200mm just don't use it wide open do the research and find the sweet spots!
     
  7. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    These are both relatively cheap lenses...

    However, the 18-200 IS wins hands down in image quality - the extra 50mm is probably irrelevant in the field. It just isn't enough increase to "reach out" for what you lose in speed and IQ.

    After you enjoy this lens, save your money and get the 100-400 L zoom.. Then you can reach out with confidence.
     
  8. Dylan-Fishman

    Dylan-Fishman TPF Noob!

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    ^ +1
     

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