Which 18-200 lens for Canon 500D?

dans489

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In preparation for a family safari trip to Africa, we will be shortly purchasing a Canon EOS 500D Digital Rebel T1i / Kiss X3 Digital (why do they need so many names?). This will be our first DSLR – for the past two+ years we have been using the Canon S5 IS. While we’re happy with it, we feel it’s time to move up. We, led by my 16-year old daughter, photograph fairly profusely, though we are amateurs. Our photography is “all-purpose” – travel, nature, friends, occasional need for basic video. We rarely print photos and do not need super high quality optics.
I am trying to decide about an 18 – 200 mm all-purpose lens, and am debating between the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007WK8MQ/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER"]Tamron[/ame] ($290) and [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-18-200mm-3-5-6-3-Digital-Cameras/dp/B0007U0GYS/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1275989961&sr=1-4"]Sigma[/ame] ($249) neither of which have optical stabilization, and a Sigma [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-18-200mm-3-5-6-3-Optical-Stabilizer/dp/B000NOSCGM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1275987270&sr=1-1"]model[/ame] with optical stabilization, that costs $369 and is about 50% heavier.
The compactness and lightness of the two non-OS models, and of course the low price, is very appealing, and both have received good reviews. I have two specific questions:
1. How important is the optical stabilization? The extra $120 is not a deal breaker, but that, with the extra weight of the lens, is a consideration, unless the OS is really that important.
2. I have read that there have been compatibility issues between Sigma and Canon – not that the mount doesn’t fit, but that there are issues, e.g., with autofocus and such.

I’d greatly appreciate any input on these questions and any other relevant thoughts.

Thanks,
Danny
 

gsgary

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I would not touch any of the super zooms with a badge pole they are too much of a compromise unless you like mediocre results
 

bigtwinky

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I agree with gsgary.

3rd party lenses often have slower auto focusing than the name brand lenses, they are also noisier.

The IS necessity depends on you. At 150mm+, I really like to have IS. I guess I drink too much coffee.

A safari trip in Africa is a once in a lifetime trip for me, it might or might not be for you. I would ensure to have the best gear I can afford for the trip to get the best pictures possible. Look at renting a lens such as a 100-400 or something in the long range... a 70-200 2.8 IS is a stunning lens, but the 200mm might be a bit short for animal photos.

If you can't / don't want to rent, then pick up a 17-55 and a 70-300 IS / 70-200 f4 IS.
 
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dans489

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So I guess that the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000IBLMHQ/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER"]Tamron 18 -250[/ame] doesn't wash either?

Thanks.
Danny
 

bigtwinky

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Its not a horrible lens, a friend of mine picked one up about a month ago and he is happy with what it does, as he was aware of the limitations of the lens.

The lens had a bad autofocus issue and kept loosing focus even in noon bright light, brought it back, and now his current copy works fine. But again, he knows that the image quality won't be amazing compared to primes or pro glass, and he is ok with that.

I'm just saying that unless you are going on a safari every year, I'd make sure you have the best gear you can get (or rent) for the trip.

*I just asked him over my cubicle wall if he would bring his Tamron on a once in a lifetime safari, he said no. But he likes it for every day walking around the city lens.
 

SEP555

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Hi, I've got a 500D and Tamron 18-200mm XR Di II and i'm not too sure about it, I guess it's not as sharp as already mentioned.

I'm a beginner so I wouldn't really know if it's any good or works correctly with the 500D (AF issues?)

Also it has become loose so you can turn the lens and it comes off looks like the connector hole has become loose.
 

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