Upgrading lens

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by KaraM, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. KaraM

    KaraM TPF Noob!

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    A little about me and my needs (forgive me if I ramble a bit). I have a Canon Rebel XTi (which I can't upgrade anytime soon). I do general photography right now (informal portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, etc.), and I don't plan to become a professional any time soon - photography is just a serious hobby and creative outlet for me. My budget is < $1,500.

    I currently have the Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens, but I am ready to upgrade it. It's a decent enough lens, bu
    t it is a little 'soft' much of the time; and because of the crop factor with my camera body, I have difficulty getting the shots I want when I'm downtown or inside. I have rented the Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS lens and saw a BIG difference in image quality. I've also rented the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L lens. The images were the same as what I took with the 24-105, but I was able to shoot in lower light (at my church's Easter Vigil Mass) without as much trouble. Throw into the mix the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L and the Canon 17-40mm f/4L lenses, which would give me a wider angle without having to buy an EFS lens (which wouldn't work if I am finally able to upgrade camera bodies), and the decision becomes tougher.

    So my choices are:
    Canon 24-70 f/2.8L lens (heavier, most expensive, more narrow focal length range, better in low light)
    Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS lens (lighter, less expensive, wider focal length range, highly rated)
    Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L (heavier, most expensive, more narrow focal length range, wider angle, better in low light)
    Canon 17-40mm f/4L lenses (lightest lens, least expensive, more narrow focal length range, wider angle)
    Canon EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 IS (lighter, less expensive, more narrow focal length range, much wider angle, should be good in low light; would not work if I upgrade camera body)

    Any other suggestions???
     
  2. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    hhhhmmmmmmm, tough call :)
    I have used 24-70 and 17-40 on ff and cropped respectively. Both lenses are great, as you know it and IQ is great on both. Since I'm not big on Canon, I don't know alternatives but as you probably know, a lot really depends on your style...
    Some people prefer all in one lens and if that's you then 24-105 is probably where you need to look into. If you really need that extra stop of light and have $ for it then 24-70 + 17-40 or 16-35 is your next on the list.
    Personally, I rarely open up wider then 5.6 so 24-105 would be more ideal for me. I'm waiting for Nikon to come out with my dream lens 10-300 2.8 :D but until then...
    It is about you and shooting style.
    Good luck
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Well, you have listed all the best options. Although, I might also include two others. The Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 and the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8. They are both pretty good lenses for around $500, and the large max aperture will be helpful in low light. They are similar to EF-S lenses, in that they won't be compatible with full frame.

    I think you need to decide if you will be upgrading to a full frame camera anytime soon. Because even if you do want to upgrade someday, that shouldn't hold you back from getting the right lens, right now, even if that lens is EF-S. Lenses (especially the high quality ones) hold their value very well. You could buy it now, then sell it for 80% of what you paid for it, after using it for several years.

    I personally don't like the 24mm or 28mm zooms on a crop body camera. It's just not wide enough for me. That's why the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 is my main wedding lens. I've also got the 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS, which is a great focal range, but the aperture is just too small for low light and while the quality is pretty good, it's not on par with the L lenses.

    My suggestion to you, would be the EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS. Most people tell me that the image quality is just as good as the L lenses, although the build quality (specifically the IS) isn't as good as on it's L designated cousins.

    Of course, if you really want high image quality and the ability to shoot in low light, then prime lenses are the way to go. I see that you have the 50mm F1.8, which is OK....but the 50mm F1.4 is a better lens. The 24mm F1.4 L and the 35mm F1.4 L are both suburb lenses....absolutely outstanding, but rather expensive.
     
  4. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm TPF Noob!

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    If you don't have plans to upgrade to a full frame any time soon, the 17-55 f/2.8 IS is fantastic. It has a much more usable range for crop sensors, and has BOTH f/2.8 and IS, rather than having to choose between the two. I have it and have been nothing but satisfied with it. Very, very good lens.
     
  5. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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  6. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    I would suggest the 17-55 IS. Very useful range for a crop body. Now if you were wanting to add to your kit rather than replace the 28-135, I'd say spring for the 16-35. I just got one for Christmas and it has been stuck on my 5DII. But I see you are not happy with your 28-135, I don't blame you. I have one that I dislike as well. If it were between the 24-70 and 24-105, I will take f/2.8 over IS any day. But as you alluded too in you post, its gonna be limiting indoors and on the streets on the wide end.
     

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