Canon 18-55 IS or Tokina 16-50 2.8?


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Aug 29, 2010
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I have a Canon XT and have been shooting exclusively with the 50mm 1.8 for a few years. I primarily shoot food and artwork so the 50 has done me well. Lately, however, I've had the chance to shoot a few events and portraits for web and even for print and even though I know that no part of this kit is "pro" I'm able to make it work. However, for the events the 50 is very limiting and I'm looking to give myself more flexibility on the wide end of things. I picked up a Quantaray 18-200 used just to play with and, while it was better than I'd expect for the money, it wasn't good enough. The shop has a 10 trial period for used lens so yesterday I swapped it up for the 18-55 IS kit lens (When I got my camera it came with the original kit lens which was utter trash). While I haven't done a lot of shooting yet with the new Canon lens I've heard great things about it. However, I can't stop thinking about the Tokina that they had. Granted, it would be a $300 bump up from the Canon, but I would have 10 days to play with it. What do you guys think? Is it a shocking improvement in optics over the Canon?
Tokina. Eight times more light admitted at the longer ranges...not the limiting f/5.6, but f/2.8. A 50mm f/5.6 lens is a major limiting factor in so,so many ways.
Go with the Tokina. Had to redo this post as I thought at first it was the 2.8 Canon. What Derrel said is right on the money
I hear ya. But consider that for 50mm I'll usually be going to the 1.8 prime, unless something happens suddenly (which is not likely since I'm not doing nature photography or sports or anything like that). The Canon is, what, 3.5 at the wide end? It's slow after shooting with the 1.8 for all this time... but is it $300 slow?

Also, is the Tokina a great lens in its own right? I've read some good things online but it's a big purchase for me...
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