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Oct 1, 2016
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If you were upgrading from a 18-55mm kit lens would you rather lose from the wide end or the far end? Example would you rather say a 17-50mm or a 24-70mm? I have a Canon 80D and SL1. I also have a Canon 10-18mm and 55-250mm, as well as a Tamron 100-400mm and 150-600mm G2.
Thinking of replacing kit lens with something that has better low light capability.
It's not just focal length, but image quality (IQ) as well. I'd rather have a pro quality prime lens and use my feet to zoom than a less than stellar IQ zoom. Of the lenses you mentioned, a 24-70mm f/2.8 is one of the trinity and you can't go wrong if you buy a well known lens maker version. I've got Tamron's G2 version and it has performed very well for me. You might want to ask yourself what's the best focal length for the things you normally shoot, look at your budget and go from there. You've got the longer focal lengths for wildlife / birding, so I would look for a 35mm f/1.4 prime or nifty fifty for low light photography, but if you do a lot of portraits then an 85mm f/1.8.

A lot of photographers follow the trinity strategy by buying top quality 12 (14) - 24mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 zooms, add a 1.4x or 1.7x teleconverter, then add a few fast primes like a macro, normal prime, and portrait lens. As mentioned above, you already have the longer focal lengths covered with the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 G2.
REM as a crop sensor you need to times the numbers by 1.6
In answer to your question
I would loose the wide end as I tend to take a series of shots to get the wide image I want
If need I will take a grid of shots
Thanks Strodav. You have given me more to think about than just a replacement.
I do have a nifty fifty I forgot to mention that. I was thinking of a better zoom lens for a walk around lens or when I might be at an event or something where getting closer isn't always an option.
Not sure what your fastest lens is but an economical fast lens is the Canon 50mm f 1.8, excellent on crop for portraits and only 125 USD.

I have it and a Canon 85mm f 1.8, my favorite portrait lens on full frame along with the 70-200 f 2.8.

Really depends on what you need the speed for.
Thanks Strodav. You have given me more to think about than just a replacement.
I do have a nifty fifty I forgot to mention that. I was thinking of a better zoom lens for a walk around lens or when I might be at an event or something where getting closer isn't always an option.

I wanted a lens for family vacations. Something light and versatile that could do it all so I wouldn't have to carry more than one lens and not be fiddling around changing lenses when I should be spending time with my family. I picked up a Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3. I wasn't expecting much from it, but have been pleasantly surprised. I have even taken it birding and have gotten good results in the center of the lens at 400mm. The lens has a couple of quirks, like the narrow focus ring located at the front of the lens spins when the camera is auto focusing, but nothing that makes me think twice about using it. I do carry a nifty fifty with me along with the 18-400mm for those indoor low light situations, but the 50s are small and light. Just another option, but I bought that lens after I had the trinity.
It depends . . . on YOUR needs/wants.
And how you want the lens to fit into your system.

IF you shoot in DIM light or indoors, then the 17-50/2.8 might be of more value.
I like the Tamron lens over the Sigma lens. The Tamron zoom ring works easier.
You gain in the wide end and speed. But the long end is no longer than your 18-55.​
IF you want a LOW light lens, then I suggest the Yongnuo 35/2.
Yongnuo, because Canon did not have an APS-C 35/1.8 or 24/1.8 EF-S lens, the last time I looked.
The FF Canon 35 and 24mm EF lenses are EXPENSIVE.
The fast primes are used when you need more lens speed than your zoom can deliver.​
IF you want a wider range GP lens, the Canon 18-135 EF-S lens is my choice.
This is a really convenient focal range. I use the Nikon equivalent, 18-140.​
The Tamron 35-150/2.8-4 is a great mid-range zoom.
This lens essentially functions on an APS-C camera, similar to a 50-225 on a FF camera. So covers the 70-200 range.
It is the only currently produced lens, that gives the APS-C user, something similar to the FF 70-200/2.8.​
The Tamron 18-400 would make a great travel lens.
Pair it with a 35/2 and you have a nice 2-lens travel kit.​
The 17-50mm is a more versatile option w/ the lenses that you own. No overlap and more flexability. Unless your an event or people on location shooter, then the 24-70 will become your go to lens.
Some advice I got when I started out was to buy lenses for the camera you have, not the one you want. If your camera has a crop sensor, going from an 18-55 kit lens to a 17-55 or 17-50 f/2.8 lens will be pretty seamless when considering focal length and field of view. There isn’t a huge difference between 50mm and 55mm in my opinion. However with a 24-70 on a crop body you will absolutely miss the wide end if you do any landscape, travel, or event photography.
Personally, I prefer not to use a 50. Its like vanilla ice cream, yeah, it's pretty universal, but it is blah. I use a 24-70 for portraiture as at 24 I have about as much distortion as I want for portraiture unless I pull out an 8 mm circular fisheye when distortion is the point. Not a hint, it it a huge amount. If you shoot landscapes, I would want a wide angle in the 16 or 17 range to say 35. Then a 50 mm gap isn't that wide to a high quality, 1.4 85. I got rid of my 70-200 because my 135 2.o is faster, lighter, better bokeh, way better microcontrast for that 3D look or b&w, and with 46 mp can crop to 200 so don't have to have that beast over my shoulder all day. If I need longer, I have a 180 2.8 that dusts the 70-200 the same way the 135 does and again is easily cropable 50 % and still have 20+ mp. Living on my camera for walk around and street is a zeiss 35 mm 2.0 distagon. I like it as my "normal" lens over a 50 because I can crop it to a 50 size but have the option to have wider. As a street lens, at f/11 I can zone focus an it doesn't need to be focused, just point and shoot. Again, low element prime sharp as a tack, awesome micro contrast for b&w and zeiss pop/3D.
I have also APS-C (however Nikon) and I've found myself shooting 90% of all images (I do landscape mostly) with one of Tokinas (11-20mm f/2.8 or 70-200mm f/4) .. On the other hand, when I sometimes shoot with my kit lens (Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6) I find it usually while postprocessing just perfectly sharp (sometimes pervertly sharp) and with high IQ so I've abandoned those thoughts about getting rid of my kit lens and buying some new ..

with your case - you have to answer for yourself what you're shooting the most ... what is your workflow and other requirements (weight, holy trinity of lenses), what future expansion you are planning .. I have also second Nikon (APS-C) camera with kit lens 18-55 and 55-200 and would not change it ... At least for Nikon, there are NOT available outstanding lenses for DX format ..

I agree with buying some f/1.8 primes ... as it was suggested above .. for other photos, stick with your kit lens
Yep .... another vote for quality wide aperture primes as your next purchase.

I find the 'kit' zooms to be my least used lenses - I have an 18-55 on a crop sensor Fuji that I rarely use as 18 isn't really wide enough to get a pleasing dramatic effect (and it's the equivalent of most mobile phone's field of view - so everyone is bored of that focal length) and 55 is not really a useful telephoto, plus the apertures are too small to give much control over depth of field.

I also have a 16-50 - never use it, as 16 is not much wider and 50 is even less useful.

My 18-135 gets some use as a 'travel zoom' thanks to it's wider range into real telephoto territory - but apertures are still limited.

But my fish-eye, my 35 f1.4, 56 f1.2 and my long telephoto get lots of use as they are very good at what each was designed to do. I'm not a professional sports, press or wildlife photographer - so missing a shot while changing a prime lens is not an issue, but getting an interesting image that could not be done with a mobile phone is important to me, so wide max aperture and lens quality is more important than the convenience of a 'consumer zoom'.

But if I could afford a constant wide aperture zoom, then that may be a different situation- but the costs and weight has put me off.

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