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Nydator
Jun 25, 2007, 12:28 AM
I am about to buy a Canon 400D/Rebel XTi and am planning to get the EFS 17-85mm IS USM lens. My question is: is it worth getting the 50mm f1.8 lens as well for portraits/low light shots (since I take a lot of shots indoors)? Or will the EFS 17-85 do just as well?



furious
Jun 25, 2007, 12:32 AM
since the 50mm is so cheap it is worth getting.

walangij
Jun 25, 2007, 12:52 AM
The 50mm is cheap and it'll be much better for low-light shots indoors with your XTI than the 17-85 IS, when I first got a 300D, I basically used the 50mm solely indoors and pumped up the ISO and took out noise in PS, great results. It'll be a lot of fun to play with as well.

OutThere
Jun 25, 2007, 12:55 AM
I love my 50mm f/1.8. Razor thin DoF if you want it, really crisp if you close down the aperture, great in low light, compact and extremely light. Great for portrait shots, I've done a lot of portrait shooting with it, as well as just playing around. At $80 you can't really go wrong with it.

ppc_michael
Jun 25, 2007, 01:28 AM
It's excellent. I got the same setup you're going to get along with the 50mm f/1.8, and the 50mm is on my Rebel 90% of the time.

miloblithe
Jun 25, 2007, 11:42 AM
The 50mm f/1.8 was my most used lens until I got a Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 recently. It will give you much higher image quality than the 17-85 and the option for narrow depth of field. In terms of low light, the 17-85 is f/5.6 at 50mm, which is more than 3 stops slower than f/1.8.

I'd question getting the 17-85 more than I'd question getting the 50mm.

madmaxmedia
Jun 25, 2007, 01:11 PM
It's probably sharper than the 17-85 as well, believe it or not (sharp primes are much easier to design and make than zooms.) Especially if you compare its shots at f4 (closed down a bit) to the EFS at F4 (wide open.)

Great lens, basically a no-brainer for any DRebel owner...

EDIT- last poster beat me to it regarding IQ- get the 50mm!!

otispunkmeyer
Jun 25, 2007, 01:40 PM
dont bother with the 28-105mm F3.5-4.5 USM

i got a mk1 on ebay for next to nothing, but the main draw really was that it had a pretty good aperture through the full focal range, and being an old film lens the smaller sensor in the 400D would help take advantage of the best part of the lens (the middle)

however, its not especially sharp at any aperture and i have to admit....i can sometimes find that the wide isnt wide enough and the tele isnt tele enough lol

but for 65 i cant complain.....that lens was going for 170 new

i think you are going in the better direction.....17-85 would be a bit more useful. i think id like to go for the tamron 28-85 (i think) f2.8

madmaxmedia
Jun 25, 2007, 01:44 PM
Regarding the 28-105-

It's a good lens for the price (I owned a Mk2 but ended up trading to a 28-135 IS), but its a consumer zoom- it is what it is. I got the 28-135 for an awesome deal from a MR member (retails for $400 or so), but even than lens is actually about the same as the 28-105- the extra cost pays mainly for the IS.

It's a much better lens than the typical pack-in pseudo-USM crap that comes with cheaper Rebel packages. But reality is that you're not going to get tack sharp zooms at consumer prices.

That's what makes lenses like the 50mm 1.8 such a good deal- it's sharper than any zoom under $500 or so, but costs less than $100. Plus it is very fast.

Grimace
Jun 25, 2007, 02:39 PM
most primes are razor sharp. The "thrifty 50" is no exception and is only $75!

Nydator
Jun 25, 2007, 03:28 PM
Many thanks for all of the helpful responses. I will definitely get the 50mm f/1.8.

I'd question getting the 17-85 more than I'd question getting the 50mm.

Why would you question getting the 17-85. Wouldn't it be a great walkaround lens?

sjl
Jun 25, 2007, 04:52 PM
Why would you question getting the 17-85. Wouldn't it be a great walkaround lens?

I have the 17-85mm, and I'm generally very happy with it. There's obvious barrel distortion at the wide end, but it's not offensive, and it doesn't worry me enough to spend the money on the 17-55mm, or the 24-70mm (the latter is on my list of glass to get, but it's not a high priority.)

The only drawback of note with the 17-85mm is that it is a relatively slow lens (f/4.5-5.6, depending on where you are in the zoom range.) I have no qualms about recommending it to people wanting to step up from the kit lens (the 18-55), especially if they're likely to balk at the cost of the 17-55mm.

Nydator
Jun 25, 2007, 07:03 PM
I have the 17-85mm, and I'm generally very happy with it. There's obvious barrel distortion at the wide end, but it's not offensive, and it doesn't worry me enough to spend the money on the 17-55mm, or the 24-70mm (the latter is on my list of glass to get, but it's not a high priority.)

The only drawback of note with the 17-85mm is that it is a relatively slow lens (f/4.5-5.6, depending on where you are in the zoom range.) I have no qualms about recommending it to people wanting to step up from the kit lens (the 18-55), especially if they're likely to balk at the cost of the 17-55mm.

Thanks for the tip. I want something better than the kit lens, but the 17-85 is at the upper limit of my budget. The only alternative for me would be to start with just the 50mm, which would be too restrictive, I think.

canonwire
Jun 26, 2007, 10:14 AM
Thanks for the tip. I want something better than the kit lens, but the 17-85 is at the upper limit of my budget. The only alternative for me would be to start with just the 50mm, which would be too restrictive, I think.

Just save up for a 17-55 IS f/2.8! Great lens! Totally worth it! :)

miloblithe
Jun 26, 2007, 10:36 AM
Thanks for the tip. I want something better than the kit lens, but the 17-85 is at the upper limit of my budget. The only alternative for me would be to start with just the 50mm, which would be too restrictive, I think.

Have you thought about getting a third-party lens, such as Sigma's newly revised 18-50 f/2.8:

http://www.popphoto.com/cameralenses/4118/lens-test-sigma-18-50mm-f28-ex-dc-macro.html

Tokina 16-50 f/2.8:

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/tokina_1650_28_nikon/index.htm

Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5:

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/sigma_1770_2845/index.htm

or Tamron 17-50 f/2.8:

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/tamron_1750_28/index.htm

They lack IS, but have a large advantage over the 17-85 on wide aperture and for the most part image quality, it would seem. And are less than half as much as Canon's 17-55 f/2.8 IS.

beavo451
Jun 26, 2007, 11:22 PM
Thanks for the tip. I want something better than the kit lens, but the 17-85 is at the upper limit of my budget. The only alternative for me would be to start with just the 50mm, which would be too restrictive, I think.

I would say get the 50. As others have mentioned, it is super sharp and easy on the wallet.

I think the biggest reason is that a prime lens + SLR will force you to learn about composition and DOF control more effectively.

bigbossbmb
Jun 27, 2007, 03:17 AM
get the 50 f1.8 and the Tamron 17-50 f2.8... the canon 50 is the best value of any lens. the Tammy is a fantastic lens and isn't very expensive.

walangij
Jun 27, 2007, 05:03 AM
get the 50 f1.8 and the Tamron 17-50 f2.8... the canon 50 is the best value of any lens. the Tammy is a fantastic lens and isn't very expensive.

x2

I have the tammy and it is great! But I am planning on upgrading to the canon IS version soon b/c IS is that valuable. I wasn't able to afford it when I left for Asia but I was surprised at how nice it is. An awesome step as you move up the lens ladder towards the canon 17-55 IS or a canon L.

Nydator
Jun 27, 2007, 06:10 AM
Thanks again everyone for all of the advice. I will definitely get the Canon 50mm f/1.8 and will try to find a shop that sells the Tamrom 17-50 f/2.8. The Tamron sounds like great value - the reviews indicate that it is sharper and has less distortion at the wide end than the Canon 17-85 (as well as being cheaper).