Canon Rebel EOS Xsi: Lens Upgrade

soccer456504

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Hello,
I am looking to upgrade from the 18-55 lens the camera came with. I was thinking either 18-135 or 28-135... would these be compatible with the camera? What is the main difference between these two?

Any other suggestions would be great, as well. I am looking for a great all-around lens with good zoom along with enough width for landscape shots.

Thanks!
 

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I used an XSi for a long time, and I loved that little thing. My wife still uses it when I'm on the road, and she also loves it. You might be interested in the 24-105 f/4, though I'm not sure what your budget is. FWIW, the kit lens is not bad. So maybe you might like to pair it with something like the 70-200 f/4.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

First thing to know, is that any Canon 'EF' or 'EF-S' lens will work on your camera. There are also other companies, like Sigma & Tamron, that make lenses to fit your camera.

18-135 or 28-135... What is the main difference between these two?
Focal length. Those numbers are the lens's focal length zoom range. The first one will zoom from 18mm to 135mm. The second one will zoom from 28mm to 135mm.
Focal length will directly relate to the field of view that your camera will see. A shorter focal length will give you a wider view. So the 18-135mm will give you the same wide angle view as your current 18-55mm lens, but it can zoom in much more.
The 28-135mm can only go to 28mm on the short/wide end, so it won't be able to give you as wide of a view as your current lens.

Another thing to know, when choosing a lens, is the maximum aperture. It's listed in the lens's name as the F number/fraction. For example, your current lens is 18-55mm F3.5 (to) 5.6 (depending on the zoom). The two lenses in question are very similar.

Another thing to consider is the lens's ability to give you great image quality. Not all lenses are created equally...some are just designed to be better. To find out the quality of a lens, you have to do some research, but in general...the price is a good indicator. The better quality lenses just cost more.

So when you are looking to upgrade from the lens that you have...you can consider upgrading the zoom range, or you could consider upgrading to a lens with a larger maximum aperture (lower F number) (this would allow for faster shutter speeds, which would likely mean sharper photos). You could consider upgrading to a lens that can give you better image quality.
You will usually have to choose some, but not all, of these options.

For example. As nice as it may be, to have a lens that can give you wide views for landscape, as well as being able to zoom in close for wildlife....a lens that can do both those things...will likely have lower image quality. On the opposite end of that scale, you will find 'prime' lenses (non-zoom). So a lens that is fixed at 50mm won't zoom, but the image quality will likely be much higher than a regular zoom lens. It would likely have a larger maximum aperture, which can give you faster shutter speeds and a shallower Depth of Field.
A common choice is the Canon EF 50mm F1.8. It's a bit of a cheaply made lens, but it's inexpensive and the image quality is great for the price.

Also, you might consider adding a lens, rather than replacing your 18-55mm. For example, a common choice is the 55-250mm. Then, with both lenses, you have the option of anything between 18mm and 250mm.
 

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Hello,
I am looking to upgrade from the 18-55 lens the camera came with. I was thinking either 18-135 or 28-135... would these be compatible with the camera? What is the main difference between these two?

Any other suggestions would be great, as well. I am looking for a great all-around lens with good zoom along with enough width for landscape shots.

Thanks!

You can use any lens on your camera except the new "EOS-M" lenses (designed for their mirrorless cameras). That includes every EOS EF and EF-S lens as well as a few speciality types.

BUT... before answering your question, I'm wondering what you hope to get out of a new lens. Is there something you're trying to do now that isn't working out for you?

The reason I ask is that, while you could buy, say, the 18-135mm... what you'd get out of it is an extra 80mm of zoom in the telephoto end. But it wouldn't do anything for focal ratio (so the behavior of the 18-55mm range would pretty much just be the same as what you have). There are some nuances like the fact that the end of the lens doesn't rotate when it focuses (which is nice when using a polarizing filter).

Lenses offer LOTS of features... lenses with lower-focal ratios (which are always noticeably more expensive) can allow you to create narrower depth of field (for deliberately blurred backgrounds) as well as shoot in lower light without having to boost ISO so much. There are lenses with faster focusing motors which is nice if you're trying to shoot action and the lens isn't coming to focus fast enough for you.

I will say that the 28-135 will cause a loss of your wide-angle. It'll basically provide a "normal" magnification (roughly what your eye sees) through telephoto (but no wide). A "normal" angle of view on your camera is roughly a 31mm focal length (give or take a few millimeters -- you wont notice much difference between 28mm and 31mm). Anything noticeably shorter will be "wide" angle. Anything noticeable longer will be "telephoto".

If you told us what you like to shoot (e.g. landscapes, sports, wildlife/nature, etc.) then folks could probably provide some more specific recommendations.

OFTEN, it's suggested that a person should buy at least one particularly low focal ratio lens (and to keep the price under control, it's usually a low focal ratio 50mm). While the lens cannot "zoom", it collects considerably more light than your kit (18-55mm) lens. A 50mm f/1.4 lens can collect SIXTEEN TIMES more light than an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens (when at the 50mm focal length). That's a HUGE difference.
 
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soccer456504

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Hello all,

Thanks for all the replies and my apologies for not specifying my needs!

I am in no way a professional, simply a student with a cheap budget of around $400.

I am looking for a higher quality lens that gives me sharper photos. I mainly shoot nature and landscapes so a lens that would compliment that would be nice.

Thanks again! Please let me know if i'm missing anymore information :)
 

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Unfortunately, $400 doesn't give you many options when it comes to upgrading lenses. (I hope nobody told you this was a cheap hobby).

I think you need to figure out what your biggest priorities are. If you want a something that will maximize your image quality, then you might want something like the 50mm F1.8 ($130). But if you want something with more reach than your current lens, then look for something with a longer focal length, but keep in mind that for $400, you likely won't get anything better than your 18-55mm in terms of quality.

Maybe we should step back and ask why you think you need to upgrade your lens. What is it that you want to do, that your current lens doesn't do for you? Much of the time, the best way to better photos is to improve the photographer, not the gear. By that I mean that if you can improve your technique, knowledge & skills...then your photos will likely improve a lot more than if you just buy a different lens.

So in order to really figure out what you need/want...lets ask...why do you want a 'new' lens?
 
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soccer456504

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I am aware that it is not a cheap hobby, I have been looking at refurbished lenses and the two that I mentioned earlier are $400 on the Canon website.

Not only am I looking for better quality, but better focal length as well because I feel my current lens cannot zoom in as much as I would like and that is a big reason why I want a new lens.
 

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I have been looking at refurbished lenses and the two that I mentioned earlier are $400 on the Canon website.
Don't discount the used market. Used lenses are often in good shape, and will likely be less expensive than new or even refurbished. Check your local classifiedes, or the 'used' section of large camera stores.
One to check out is Buy & Sell New & Used Cameras ? Canon, Nikon, Hasselblad, Leica & More - KEH.com.

So you want better quality and more focal length. So now I can ask whether you want to replace your current lens, or if you're willing to carry/use two lenses. As I mentioned before, the 55-250mm lens (or 75-300mm) would be a good telephoto option, but wouldn't give you the wide angle part of the range. But if you carry both lenses, you'll have options.
 

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