New lens decision - please help

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by constablerc, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. constablerc

    constablerc TPF Noob!

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    I've been reading the forums for quite a while and I've searched through a lot of the earlier posts. What a wealth of information! But I have a question that I'm just not finding an answer to and I'm looking for some help and opinion.

    I guess I'd classify myself as a serious hobbyist. I'm no pro. But I'm not shooting snapshots for scrapbooks either. I'd like to be able to mount, frame and hang some of my stuff as art for my own enjoyment. We travel quite a bit and my shots can range from open beach or mountain scenes, to the interior of a cathedral, etc.

    I'm shooting a Canon EOS XSi. I have the Canon kit lens 18-55 IS and I have a Tamron AF28-300 with VC.

    I'm looking at getting a new lens, but I'm not sure which gap needs filling first. I'm considering an ultra wide angle to fill shorter focal lengths. Sigma 10-22, Tokina 11-16, Tokina 12-24 f4, etc. Focal length would complement the lenses I already have. But I'm also considering upgrading the wide-mid kit lens I have, to gain a faster speed across the spectrum. The kit lens only gives me 3.5-5.6 now, but has IS. Maybe a Tramron 17-50 2.8 or something similar. The assumption being that 17mm is wide enough.

    My dilemma is I don't know which way to go. Do I fill the gap in my focal length or do I opt for a faster lens in a range I already have? Is the kit lens holding me back enough that I should upgrade that at the expense of having the wider lens? Is the ultra wide range really that useful when I'm already getting down to 17mm?

    Got a little long there, sorry. Thanks for any advice you can offer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Open beach and cathedrals scream wide angle for me. Although there are lots of detail shots to be had, I just love shooting these types of shots with my Canon 10-22. I more often than not find myself shooting in the 10-15 range and I would personally find that for the photography I do, only having a 17-55 would be limiting.

    My Tamron 28-75 is a great walkaround lens, but it is not wide enough, so I always have both my 10-22 and 28-75 with me.

    Sigma, Tokina, Canon... its a matter of budget I think. I would of picked up the Sigma but had money at a store that didn't sell it so I got the Canon... do not regret my purchase although I assume I would of been as happy with a Sigma.

    In my research, I read a few posts here and there that said that a good focal lenght for landscapes is around 26mm (16mm on a crop camera like the XSI). But really, I find that wider is better.

    The 17-55 would be a nice upgrade, but do you find yourself needing to shoot in lower light situations or wanting more depth of field? Most of my 10-22 shots are on a tripod or with the camera stable, so shutter speed and thus aperture aren't as huge of a concern. You do have a Tokina that is f/2.8 constant, so that might be an option.

    I don't know if the kit lens is holding you back, only you know that. Or post up some pictures with your kit lens. I've seen great images with the kit lens, however knowing the limitation in aperture (again, for low light and DOF), you can work around that. If you aren't finding that your pictures are suffering too much from the kit lens, then I'd go with the wide angle, specially knowing what you are shooting. Then look at the upgrade.

    I would think both are in order, but if I were in your shoes, I'd go wider. Actually, thats what I did. I had a 22-50, 50-200 when I started. I got the wide angle. A few months later, I got the 28-75. Next step, replacing my old 50-200.
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree.

    And really, if you look over the work you've been doing, how much of it has been at maximum aperture? If you're shooting building interiors and landscapes, I suspect you're shooting more like 5.6 – 11 anyway.

    Good luck!

    -Pete
     
  4. constablerc

    constablerc TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. Makes sense. That's the way I was leaning but then the idea of replacing the mid-range kept creeping in.

    I'll go the UWA route. Thanks again.
     
  5. JohnnyL

    JohnnyL TPF Noob!

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    I didn't really made it through all the reading but for wide angles , I think the Tokina 11-16 is the best since it's f2.8 and it's also one of the cheapest! The few millimeter difference can be made with a step forward or backwards.

    Also in the future if you plan to upgrade your kit , you can get the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 which is nice together with the wide angle.

    Note , I use a Nikon so I may be unaware of some '' better '' lenses Canon may offer.
     
  6. budsk

    budsk TPF Noob!

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    As for the third party UWA lenses, I vote for Tokina 11-16. I dont have first hand experience with all of them, but after reading a lot of reviews, seems like Tokina 116 is the best. Been using this lens for about a month now, and I really love it. Haven't capture really good picture with it though, I'm still learning...
     
  7. constablerc

    constablerc TPF Noob!

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    Been on the road for a while and just getting back to the board here... Thanks for the responses. I went with UWA lens and selected the Tokina 11-16. I've been using it for about a week now. I'm really liking it. Thanks again.
     

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