Advice on a lens for a Canon 70D

summitx154

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Hi all,

I am seeking some advice on my next lens purchase for my Canon 70D. I currently run a kit lens 18-135mm f3/5-f5.6 IS. Well I have been mostly happy with the overall results of the lens I have noticed my buddy who runs a 7D with a Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens seems to produce noticeably higher quality landscape photos. I mainly shoot landscape/wilderness shots so I was curious as to what everyone recommended for this setting. Also wondering how the f/2.8 lens would do with night photography in comparison to the kit lens that I already have. Should be 2/3 of a stop faster right? I don't plan on doing a ton of it but might take a few shots every now and then, the kit lens seems a tad slow in that department. I noticed Sigma makes a similar lens as well for a little less.

Thanks!
 

jaomul

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The 17-55 is 2/3 stop faster at 18mm, but almost full 2 stops faster at 55, I think kit lens is about f5 by 55mm. The f2.8 lens should be way better for shots handheld in low light.

However for landscape shots at f8, there shouldn't really be a noticeable difference. Are you using a tripod?, if so are you turning off IS and focussing one third into the shot?
 

Ido

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The best thing to do is ask your friend for advice. If you like his landscape photos, ask him what you need to do to improve yours. The answer will most likely not be "buy a new lens."
 

Derrel

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Ido said:
The best thing to do is ask your friend for advice. If you like his landscape photos, ask him what you need to do to improve yours. The answer will most likely not be "buy a new lens."

Well...that all sounds reasonable, but I went to this page and looked at the 18-135 lens's actual test shots. The corners are absolutely DREADFUL at every focal length and stopping down does not help, and high-contrast subjects fringe like a bastard. It is a 7.5x ratio, low-cost high-grade kit zoom...and he's using it on a moderately high resolution 70D...Canon EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens vs Canon EF-S 15-85mm vs Canon 18-200mm | Cameralabs

The corner softness is really,really bad. it is simply NOT in the same league as the 17-55 f/2.8. The 18-135 is a 7.5x convenience zoom; at one time, it would have rated as a super-zoom, with that extreme zoom ratio.

As for night time shots, I would want a well-corrected lens that has low levels of coma, so that stars will be rendered as nice, distinct, rounded pin-points of light, not football-shaped blobs.
 

Ido

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Ido said:
The best thing to do is ask your friend for advice. If you like his landscape photos, ask him what you need to do to improve yours. The answer will most likely not be "buy a new lens."

Well...that all sounds reasonable, but I went to this page and looked at the 18-135 lens's actual test shots. The corners are absolutely DREADFUL at every focal length and stopping down does not help, and high-contrast subjects fringe like a bastard. It is a 7.5x ratio, low-cost high-grade kit zoom...and he's using it on a moderately high resolution 70D...Canon EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens vs Canon EF-S 15-85mm vs Canon 18-200mm | Cameralabs

The corner softness is really,really bad. it is simply NOT in the same league as the 17-55 f/2.8. The 18-135 is a 7.5x convenience zoom; at one time, it would have rated as a super-zoom, with that extreme zoom ratio.

As for night time shots, I would want a well-corrected lens that has low levels of coma, so that stars will be rendered as nice, distinct, rounded pin-points of light, not football-shaped blobs.
I guess I assumed he meant the newer STM version, which is the official kit lens for the 70D. I suppose it's a lot better than the older non-STM, because I've heard a lot of good things about it.
 

DB_Cro

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I tried 17-50 2.8 Sigma, same range Tamron and the 17-55 2.8 Canon that you mention.
Obviously, like most, I owned the kit lens too. I own the Tamron now (with stabilization).
The one without VC is supposedly sharper and it's been a good lens for a few years now
but the Canon version is better (not 3x better as the price might suggest).

Also, the newer Sigma is a bit better then the Tamron too.
Anywhu, you can get a used Tamron 17-50 very cheap.

You can check my landscape shots (there's an album) in the Flickr link in my signature line.
I've got a T2i which is a bit worse re: sensor quality and resolution then your 70D.
 

jaomul

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Ido said:
The best thing to do is ask your friend for advice. If you like his landscape photos, ask him what you need to do to improve yours. The answer will most likely not be "buy a new lens."

Well...that all sounds reasonable, but I went to this page and looked at the 18-135 lens's actual test shots. The corners are absolutely DREADFUL at every focal length and stopping down does not help, and high-contrast subjects fringe like a bastard. It is a 7.5x ratio, low-cost high-grade kit zoom...and he's using it on a moderately high resolution 70D...Canon EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens vs Canon EF-S 15-85mm vs Canon 18-200mm | Cameralabs

The corner softness is really,really bad. it is simply NOT in the same league as the 17-55 f/2.8. The 18-135 is a 7.5x convenience zoom; at one time, it would have rated as a super-zoom, with that extreme zoom ratio.

As for night time shots, I would want a well-corrected lens that has low levels of coma, so that stars will be rendered as nice, distinct, rounded pin-points of light, not football-shaped blobs.
I guess I assumed he meant the newer STM version, which is the official kit lens for the 70D. I suppose it's a lot better than the older non-STM, because I've heard a lot of good things about it.

I assumed the stm version also
 
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S

summitx154

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Ido said:
The best thing to do is ask your friend for advice. If you like his landscape photos, ask him what you need to do to improve yours. The answer will most likely not be "buy a new lens."

Well...that all sounds reasonable, but I went to this page and looked at the 18-135 lens's actual test shots. The corners are absolutely DREADFUL at every focal length and stopping down does not help, and high-contrast subjects fringe like a bastard. It is a 7.5x ratio, low-cost high-grade kit zoom...and he's using it on a moderately high resolution 70D...Canon EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens vs Canon EF-S 15-85mm vs Canon 18-200mm | Cameralabs

The corner softness is really,really bad. it is simply NOT in the same league as the 17-55 f/2.8. The 18-135 is a 7.5x convenience zoom; at one time, it would have rated as a super-zoom, with that extreme zoom ratio.

As for night time shots, I would want a well-corrected lens that has low levels of coma, so that stars will be rendered as nice, distinct, rounded pin-points of light, not football-shaped blobs.

This is exactly what I am experiencing. The corners of the images seem to be an issue. I actually shot similar scenes as my buddy with the exact same and then close to the same settings as he was shooting with and the results still were not there. His lens just seemed to be producing sharper results throughout the image to me.
 

Dao

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If you still think it is the issue of the lens, then just buy the same lens your friend has and hope that will solve the problem.

I do not own that lens but based on what the reviews and samples I saw, the lens (STM version) that shipped with the 70D is not bad at all. It is not "L" quality, and it is not "L" price neither.



According to the MTF chart from Photozone.de
EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 @17mm

f/4 - center: 2536, border:2255, extreme:2081
f/5.6 - center: 2455, border:2262, extreme:2187
f/8 - center: 2342, border:2190, extreme:2167

EF-S 18-135mm STM @18mm

f/3.5 - center: 2397, border:2100, extreme:2027
f/5.6 - center: 2446, border:2167, extreme:2158
f/8 - center: 2362, border:2107, extreme:2092

There are difference between the 2 lenses and of course the EF-S 17-55mm lens is better, but the difference is not too drastically.

Flickr pool
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
 

DB_Cro

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I tried the older 18-135 and it was about the same quality as the 18-55 kit lens to my eyes.
No surprises there, bigger the range, worse the lens will be.

Then again, people spend a lot on a good dSLR then put a 18-270 tamron on it and never
even try other lenses. :-/
 

beagle100

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Ido said:
The best thing to do is ask your friend for advice. If you like his landscape photos, ask him what you need to do to improve yours. The answer will most likely not be "buy a new lens."

As for night time shots, I would want a well-corrected lens that has low levels of coma, so that stars will be rendered as nice, distinct, rounded pin-points of light, not football-shaped blobs.
I guess I assumed he meant the newer STM version, which is the official kit lens for the 70D. I suppose it's a lot better than the older non-STM, because I've heard a lot of good things about it.

supposedly the newer 18-135 STM is better than the older "IS" versions
 

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