Purchasing a new lens, need a second opinion

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Payt, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. Payt

    Payt TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey guys, I'm considering purchasing a better lens for my Canon, and I'm hoping that some of you could clarify for me. I've been shooting with the lens that came with my XTi for about a year now, and have decided that it's time to upgrade.

    I've been to several different stores in my area, and gotten several different suggestions. I liked the looks of the Canon 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM for the decent zoom it possess', without losing the closer focal length that I'm used of having. It also has the IS function, which I know is supposed to help reduce shake on longer exposures, which is also something I would love to have. However, I saw no difference when trying it out in the store (even though that probably didn't do the IS justice) at a slower exposure.

    Upon visiting another business in the area, I spoke to a man who was considerably more helpful and seemed to be more photographically-savvy. He informed me that lenses with IS tend to be quite fragile and has heard of several cases when a minor bump to the lens has completely disabled the IS. The same guy told me that he has found Nikon lenses to produce sharper images than Canon models, and recommended purchasing an attachment which allows me to use a Nikon lens on my Canon body. He also recommended another place in the area which sells worthy used equipment for a lower price than what I could get in most stores, or even to try ebay.

    I'd just like to get a second, third and fourth opinion about the usefulness of having IS and whether I should consider going with a different brand of lens aside from Canon, before making such a high-priced investment. Also if anyone has experience with buying lenses from ebay, or used equipment in general.

    I'm open to any suggestions, thanks!

     
  2. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,821
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Welcome to the forum.

    First of all, the 17-85 IS, is a very nice upgrade from the 18-55 'kit' lens. It's a great all around lens, it's major problem is that the maximum aperture is no better than the kit lens. I have the 18-55 and the 17-85 and I also have a Tamron 17-50 F2.8...which is nice because of the constantly wide aperture. I do find that I like the 17-85 when shooting outdoors in decent light. The 17-50 F2.8 is used for indoor weddings where the light isn't great.

    Secondly, I'd tell the guy to go to he11, if he told me to get an adapter and use Nikon lenses on my Canon camera. Sure, it can be done...but what's the point? I have never heard of that problem with IS lenses. There are several pro level 'L' lenses that have IS and those are used everyday by working professional photographers...and if it was that delicate...there would be complaints flying around like flies...and there just isn't. Did he mention that if you used Nikon lenses, you would have no autofocus and maybe not even automatic metering? Sounds like a Nikon honk to me.

    So getting back to your upgrade. What's your budget and what do you like to shoot. The best lens, as a direct upgrade to the kit lens would probably be the Canon 17-55 F2.8 IS...but it costs more than your camera. The 17-85 IS, isn't cheap...but it's not crazy expensive either. If you shoot moving subjects in lower light (weddings) then you may want to consider a lens with a wide aperture (like F2.8)...but you have to pay for that...and they are often bigger and heavier. The Tamron 17-50 F2.8 and the Sigma 17-50 F2.8 are both very good and relatively well priced.

    Would you rather have a lens with a different focal length? Wider (shorter) or longer? There are several options with many different price and quality levels.
     
  3. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    Messages:
    2,694
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Missouri
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Do not buy that attachment. Buy Canon lenses, or quality third part lenses from companies like Tamron & Sigma with Canon mounts. Canon makes some of the best lenses in the world, and the IS system is not particularly fragile (any more so than any other lens... remember, these things ARE glass).

    I repeat, don't buy that adapter and Nikon lenses. Nikon lenses are for Nikons, not Canons.
     
  4. TomHuck-wa

    TomHuck-wa TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South central Washington state
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I do mostly wildlife photography, and use the 70-200 f2.8 is with a 2x doubler, never take it off of the 20D its mounted on. I am the kind of guy that could screw up an anvil in a sandbox, so if the IS lens was that fragile, it could not have survived the last 2 years. I used to use Nikon film, the F series cameras and the lenses were super. However, not any better than the Canon L lenses I use now. That old "Nikon is sharper lenses" just doesnt apply to digital IMHO.
     
  5. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well, my question to you would be, "What do you plan to shoot?" and budget. That would help us suggest what lens you might need. An upgrade to the 17-85 IS would be better as a general-purpose walk-around lens since it is optically better and has IS, but you will not gain too much in zoom or aperature. It's difficult to find one lens that covers that sort of range with any quality or speed. If you are looking for one lens that covers the wide to telephoto range the EF 24-105 f/4 L IS is nice, but pricey. There is also the EF 28-300 f/3.5-5.6 L IS, but that's even more expensive. You might want to consider a second lens to augment your stock 17-55. Many beginners who do not want to spend alot of money on the more high-end zooms tend to settle for the 70-300 IS. If zoom is what you need, that would be a decent choice or the 70-200 f/4 L. Can't say enough about that lens.
    In response to the fragility of IS, that's a bunch of crock!!! :grumpy: I bumped my lenses on more than a few occasions and have yet to experience any problems. My EF 300 f/4 L has been kicked by a 300 lb. ostrich where it actually bent the built in lens hood and knicked the UV filter, and is still tack-on razor sharp! Nikon on a Canon body. BLASPHEMY!!! If this wasn't the 21st century, that guy should be dragged out and stoned.
     
  6. Deadeye008

    Deadeye008 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    532
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Utah
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I just picked up the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. I haven't used it too much but it seems to be a great
     
  7. Deadeye008

    Deadeye008 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    532
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Utah
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Sorry, my son just hit the submit button....Anyways as I was saying, the Tamron seems to be a great lens. I used it to take pictures while my son was getting his first haircut today and it was great having the 2.8 so I could shoot indoors without a flash. He just turned one by the way and likes to push buttons as you can tell...

    My vote goes to the Tamron
     
  8. Payt

    Payt TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for all the input, everyone! I am glad to hear that the IS is not as fragile as I have been informed, and that the Nikon attachment is indeed a bad idea. I was hoping to stay with Canon or Tamron lenses anyways. In general what I've been looking for is something that could give me better zoom, without giving up the wider range that I currently work with a lot of the time. I was liking the looks of the Canon 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM, but I'm not sure how much the IS would be able to make up for the lack of lower aperture. Know what I'm getting at?

    I guess the real question is how does the IS function compare with having a lower possible aperture, such as the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8? Like if I were to shoot outdoors after dark in low light conditions (without a tripod), under a constant 800 ISO with 2.8 aperture and 1/40, would that give me the same results as shooting 4.0 and 1/10 with IS enabled? Depending on what can function better in this case is probably the lens I would go with, since a lot of what I like to shoot is what goes on after dark.
     
  9. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    Messages:
    2,694
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Missouri
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    My answer is "it depends" :)

    IS is nice, but it becomes even more important the longer the lens gets... it is much more important to have IS at 200 or 300mm than at 17mm.

    In general, it all comes back to what you are shooting. Things like "is your subject moving" or "what do you need depth-of-field" wise make a difference.

    There is no substitute for fast glass... but sometimes that glass is very expensive and (on the longer end) VERY heavy. Given the choice of the two, I would go with fast glass over IS... but frankly I would rather have fast glass AND IS.
     
  10. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    How many cups of coffee do you drink per day? Even with IS, handheld 1/10 is a stretch at any ISO. Most of my most usable shots are around 1/30 at best. If it's speed, wide range you are seeking. You might be looking at the Tamron or EF 24-70 f/2.8. The Tamron will not give you any more zoom though. The 24-70 gives you a little more, but only 15mm and $1300. If the f/4 doesn't bother you, than the 24-105 f/4 L IS or 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS. I had the same problem when searching for a good all-around lens with IS. Settled for the 24-105 for the range since I mostly shoot wildlife/ nature stuff. Hoping for a f/2.8 version. The 17-85 is a great lens though. Only knock is the slow low-light performance but to be expected from a f/4+ ;)
     
  11. Payt

    Payt TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well, after much research and speculation, I have decided to go with the Tamron 28-105mm f/2.8 for Canon. Ordered it from RIT bookstore with the good ol' student discount, so it's only going to cost me about 450 which is great. Can't wait to get my hands on it, and thanks for all of the help!
     
  12. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,821
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Interesting choice...I had to look that one up. Let us know how it performs.
     

Share This Page