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Old May 7, 2012, 11:02 PM   #1
Prodo123
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Two new lenses coming in the near future, need your opinion

Hi guys,

I own a Canon 550D with the crummy 18-55mm kit. I've finally decided to upgrade to much better lenses, and I've decided on a tow-lens setup.

EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

I'm purposefully avoiding the EF-S lenses for I might consider an upgrade to a full frame when this camera breaks.

One thing that stands out is the lack of IS on both lenses. Is it a feature that I'm likely to miss? And what do you guys think about the focal length coverage this setup provides on a crop?

Thanks!
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Old May 8, 2012, 01:56 AM   #2
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I've done much the same with my 7D.
I considered getting the 16-35mm f/2.8L USM in addition to my 24-70mm f/2.8L USM but skipped out on it because, if I decide to go full frame it will be too wide for me.

In regards to the lack of IS, I don't miss it that much at those focal lengths, the effect of IS will be much more pronounced at longer focal lengths.
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Old May 8, 2012, 03:01 AM   #3
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It entirely depends on what you shoot as to what lenses you need; you don't have much zoom coverage for instance, but you might not need it if you do landscape or portraiture. There is a fair amount of overlap on those two lenses. The Canon EF-S crop factor is 1.6, so the equivalent on your 550D is 38-112mm and 27-64mm respectively. It should be said that the kit 18-55mm IS II lens isn't a bad lens, certainly not crummy, like its predecessor was; it is cheap, but is a very decent, but slow lens. I'm on a budget so settled for a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lens for my walkabout lens ($340 on eBay), the older non-stabilised version, which so far has served me well. Again, whether you need IS depends on your shooting conditions and whether you use a tripod for low light. Because my Tamron is a fast lens, I am less likely to need IS in what I do; if I did more dim lighting handheld, I would miss it. Indoor stuff I can mostly use a tripod anyway.
Remember the old rule of thumb for a full-frame; Don't set the shutter speed lower than the focal length of the lens you're shooting with: ie 1/(focal length), or in the case of a Canon crop-sensor, 1/(focal length x 1.6)
ie if you are using the EF lens at 40mm, try not to go below 1/40th shutter speed on a full-frame, or 1/(40x1.6) = about 1/60 on your 550D. That and the usual tricks to stand still, like a solid stance, hands close to the body, holding your breath, and if necessary, prop up against something, all helps if near that limit. IS gives you an additional 3-4 stops, ie 1/30 or 1/25 in the above example. I'm sure someone will correct me if I got it wrong.
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Old May 8, 2012, 03:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodo123 View Post
Hi guys,

I own a Canon 550D with the crummy 18-55mm kit. I've finally decided to upgrade to much better lenses, and I've decided on a tow-lens setup.

EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

I'm purposefully avoiding the EF-S lenses for I might consider an upgrade to a full frame when this camera breaks.

One thing that stands out is the lack of IS on both lenses. Is it a feature that I'm likely to miss? And what do you guys think about the focal length coverage this setup provides on a crop?

Thanks!
If you have not done so already the 24 105 f4 L is also worth considering in this range
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Old May 8, 2012, 03:26 AM   #5
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IMHO forcing yourself to use full-frame lenses is a newbie mistake: lenses retain a very high resale value and due to the price of full frame bodies, very, very few people upgrade to full frame. You should rather stick to lenses that make sense for crop bodies. For instance, Tamron's 17-55 mm f/2.8 (the non-VC/IS version in particular) has very good image quality at a moderate price. The focal length range of 17~55 mm correspond to 28~80 mm on full frame, ideally suited for most of your shots. The fast aperture of f/2.8 somewhat alleviates the need for image stabilization. Especially at longer focal lengths, you'll be limited by motion blur rather than camera shake (IS only reduces the effects of camera shake). If you think, you need ~80 mm, then get Canon's 85 mm f/1.8 prime in addition.
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Old May 8, 2012, 08:51 AM   #6
breezie
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I agree with Oreo. Avoiding EF-S lens for a Crop Camera is a typical beginner's mistake. My suggestion is to get the Canon 17-55mm F/2.8.

-It covers the range between both lenses you're looking at.
-Will produce pictures that can rival both lenses you're looking at.
-Is optimized for a APS-C camera whereas the L lenses are made to shine on FF ones.
-Has Image Stabilization!
-Recently Released (2006). Both L lenses you're looking at have Mk2 on the way (24-70L II is already available for pre-order).
-Way cheaper.

If you ever even go FF, just sell the EF-S lens. It'll hold it's value.
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Old May 8, 2012, 09:52 AM   #7
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Avoiding EF-S lens for a Crop Camera is a typical beginner's mistake. My suggestion is to get the Canon 17-55mm F/2.8.
Agreed, that's also a good lens to start with. Other nice lenses:
- UW zoom: Tokina's 12-24 mm f/4
- 50 mm f/1.8 (German nickname »the yoghurt cup«)
- 85 mm f/1.8
- ~100 mm macros (any of them are excellent, including those from third-party manufacturers)
Quote:
Originally Posted by breezie View Post
If you ever even go FF, just sell the EF-S lens. It'll hold it's value.
Just to add: since Canon (and Nikon) will keep dslrs with crop sensors in their line-up, there will always be demand for used EF-S lenses.
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Old May 8, 2012, 09:55 AM   #8
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Here's a vote for the L lenses and eventually the FF body. The sooner the better on that body.
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Old May 8, 2012, 11:17 AM   #9
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If you have to ask if xyz lens has a "good focal length range", then you probably shouldn't be buying it.
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Old May 8, 2012, 11:22 AM   #10
WRP
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Glass holds its value fairly well. Don't think about kit as in if you may outgrow it... get what you need now and sell it for a small hit down the road. It's like renting something for a long time for peanuts. A perfect kit for you is 3 lenses.

Tokina 11-16 f/2.8
EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS
EF 70-200 f/4 non-IS

Same price as your 2 lens kit and perfect coverage with awesome glass. you'll never miss the 15mm between your 55 and 70. You could replace the 17-55 with a 24-105 but I'd rather have the faster wide angle and lose some mid-range.
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Old May 8, 2012, 11:29 AM   #11
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I am very, very fond of both the kit lens (which is so underrated and fantastic toward the wide end) and the 17-55mm f2.8 IS. What material advantage does the 17-40mm L get you on APS-C over the kit lens, which is faster and has IS?

I wish I could find a similar lens to these two for my 5D III but haven't had much luck (the 24-105mm is too slow and it has too much distortion and bad bokeh; the 24-70mm has too much curvature of field and it's too large; the Tamron 24-70mm has serious vignetting and bad bokeh).

What isn't the kit lens giving you? Its IQ is excellent, the only thing it lacks at all is speed at the long end for portraiture, but just pick up a 50mm or 85mm prime for that if you don't mind switching lenses.

----------

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Originally Posted by WRP View Post
Tokina 11-16 f/2.8
EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS
EF 70-200 f/4 non-IS
These are all good and this kit makes tons more sense than what was suggested originally. I own the first two and wish there were similar lenses available for full frame. The 70-200mm f4 L is a bargain and handles better than the f2.8 monsters.

Resale is okay on these two (not great on the 17-55mm) so you can sell them when you upgrade, as I'm going to have to do soon.

Last edited by Policar; May 8, 2012 at 11:43 AM.
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Old May 8, 2012, 01:18 PM   #12
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I've been mulling this over too, as I also really want to upgrade my 17-55 kit lens. I like the focal length, but it's slow and I'd like the IQ bump. Also, maybe it's just me, but the IS seems to give me noticeably lower quality images. I know for certain that I want a wide angle in my bag since I tend to shoot at the wider end, and I have a vacation coming up that just screams for wide angle shots. I also have a 75-300 that, considering how little I use it, suits me just fine for those few times when I want it. My thoughts are:

Tamron 10-24 f3.5-5.6
Recommended by someone who's opinion I really trust. Sooner or later I'll probably wind up buying this.

Tamron 28-75 f2.8
This has good reviews, a fast aperture, and would fit nicely between the 10-24 and my 75-300. What it doesn't have is VC, and I do like to shoot in low light at times. Plus the longer range would be nice for those times I shoot portraits.

The wild card in the mix is...
Tamron 17-55 f2.8 VC
Like I said, I know I'm happy with this length, but would it overlap too much with the wide angle I'm planning to buy? It's a faster lens than what I have (nice for the low light stuff I mentioned), but other than that will it really give me that much more than my current kit lens which, as some of you pointed out, really isn't that bad? Plus, it's not like I won't be able to use my kit lens if I want to.

In other words, if I do buy the 10-24, which of the other two makes more sense?
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Old May 8, 2012, 01:59 PM   #13
Policar
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Originally Posted by ToddSD View Post
I've been mulling this over too, as I also really want to upgrade my 17-55 kit lens. I like the focal length, but it's slow and I'd like the IQ bump. Also, maybe it's just me, but the IS seems to give me noticeably lower quality images. I know for certain that I want a wide angle in my bag since I tend to shoot at the wider end, and I have a vacation coming up that just screams for wide angle shots. I also have a 75-300 that, considering how little I use it, suits me just fine for those few times when I want it. My thoughts are:

Tamron 10-24 f3.5-5.6
Recommended by someone who's opinion I really trust. Sooner or later I'll probably wind up buying this.

Tamron 28-75 f2.8
This has good reviews, a fast aperture, and would fit nicely between the 10-24 and my 75-300. What it doesn't have is VC, and I do like to shoot in low light at times. Plus the longer range would be nice for those times I shoot portraits.

The wild card in the mix is...
Tamron 17-55 f2.8 VC
Like I said, I know I'm happy with this length, but would it overlap too much with the wide angle I'm planning to buy? It's a faster lens than what I have (nice for the low light stuff I mentioned), but other than that will it really give me that much more than my current kit lens which, as some of you pointed out, really isn't that bad? Plus, it's not like I won't be able to use my kit lens if I want to.

In other words, if I do buy the 10-24, which of the other two makes more sense?
It all depends on what focal lengths you like. 17-55mm really is the "normal" set of focal lengths, from just pushing ultra-wide to just pushing telephoto, and if I could only have one lens no doubt it would be one of these fast zooms. It can do almost everything. But some landscape shooters (who knows why? distorted perspective is cheesy) prefer ultrawides exclusively and portrait shooters want something more in the 85mm+ range. Sports and nature shooters obviously want long lenses. Real landscape and architectural photographers prefer mild wide tilt/shift lenses.

The 17-50mm VC Tamron has unbeatable IS (though it's a bit quirky in terms of when it goes on and off I think; I mostly used it for video) and sharpness similar to the Canon 17-55mm f2.8 IS. Its bokeh is rather terrible. The 24-70mm L is the only fast wide zoom I've used with palatable bokeh, though.

The 24-75mm Tamron has bad corners but is a decent lens. Imo, it's not nearly wide enough for a general purpose APS-C lens.

Get the 11-16mm Tokina and 17-55mm IS Canon instead. Fast and no major problems with either (Tokina has flares and chromatic abberation, Canon has a host of minor trade offs but both are awesome). These lenses almost make me sorry I jumped ship to full frame. Tamron's 17-50mm VC is a viable alternative if you don't mind harsh bokeh--it's a very nice lens overall. Amazing image stabilization and good sharpness.
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Old May 8, 2012, 02:04 PM   #14
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These lenses almost make me sorry I jumped ship to full frame.
I'm dreading getting the 5d3 because I know I will hate to see these 2 lenses go. Maybe I'll just keep my 7D too.
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Old May 8, 2012, 02:16 PM   #15
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I'm dreading getting the 5d3 because I know I will hate to see these 2 lenses go. Maybe I'll just keep my 7D too.
The 5D III is awesome and handles every bit as well as the 7D, if not better. The finder is the sharpest and clearest I've seen and AF is fantastic (some day I'll even figure out how to use it). Video is fantastic but soft. JPEG quality is really excellent.

But finding replacements to those lenses...not easy. The 24-70mm L is expensive and has curvature of field. The new Tamron has bad falloff and ugly bokeh (never used it, but based on samples). On the UWA side, the 14mm Samyang has awful mustache distortion. The Tokina 11-16mm works at 16mm but the edges are unacceptably soft. Tokina's FF version (16-28mm) won't take filters. Canon's offerings are just way too expensive and heavy. Hard to find something as good as those two lenses for FF.
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Old May 8, 2012, 02:29 PM   #16
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@Oreo and breezie I clearly stated that it is not my intention to got EF-S lenses. I also avoid 3rd party lenses unless they garner good reviews. Thanks for the suggestion but for the price of the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM, I'd rather get a L lens that would last much longer and be more useful if I should upgrade to a full frame.

@Policar My 18-55mm is especially crummy since its front element rattles a lot and often throws the framing and focus of a shot. Not only that, it doesn't give me good IQ. It has slow and loud focusing, tiny focusing ring, loud IS, sticky zoom ring, and extreme distortion towards the wide end. Glare is also a problem since the tiny lens hood for this lens is overpriced and underperforming. The only good thing would be the "macro" ability (put in quotes because it's not true macro), but that's about it.

Again, the crop standard zooms don't give me the reach that I need. That's why I'm avoiding the 17-5xmm lenses. They're too short. The 15-85mm's variable slow aperture is a slow turnoff because then the only thing that lens would provide is USM and a longer range. The 24-70L + 17-40mm give a FF equivalent of 27.2mm to 112mm, comparable to the 24-105mm f/4L IS USM.

Thanks for your opinions!
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Old May 8, 2012, 02:53 PM   #17
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I use the 7D and Tamron 17-50 non VC as walkaround setup for my walks and adventures in Athens. I have found out that I need far more additional focal length (even reaching 100mm) than the available ultra wide part (17mm-20mm) of my Tamron. I have been searching for a used/bulk 24-105 f4 L for the past 2 months here in Greece but I haven't found one yet, so I still use the Tamron. What I try to say is, consider the additional focal length of the 24-105 lens.
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Old May 8, 2012, 03:05 PM   #18
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@Oreo and breezie I clearly stated that it is not my intention to got EF-S lenses. I also avoid 3rd party lenses unless they garner good reviews. Thanks for the suggestion but for the price of the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM, I'd rather get a L lens that would last much longer and be more useful if I should upgrade to a full frame.
Yeah, and I merely second-guessed that opinion. What makes you think the 17-55 mm lasts »less long« than other expensive lenses? The fact of the matter is that Canon does not put the L badge on crop lenses for marketing reasons: the 17-55 has excellent optics and Canon could add a more robust exterior to make it a »proper« L lens.

And regarding third-party lenses, the ones others have recommended in this thread were not chosen randomly. If you search this and other forums, the Tamron often comes up when people look for a bread & butter zoom for their crop camera. As a matter of fact, just look around in this thread, how often it has been recommended, even by people who have gone full frame! Food for thought, I think.

PS Since I mostly shoot with primes, I personally don't own the Tamron.
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Old May 8, 2012, 08:38 PM   #19
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Yeah, and I merely second-guessed that opinion. What makes you think the 17-55 mm lasts »less long« than other expensive lenses? The fact of the matter is that Canon does not put the L badge on crop lenses for marketing reasons: the 17-55 has excellent optics and Canon could add a more robust exterior to make it a »proper« L lens.
Once I upgrade to a full frame, the 17-55 becomes an expensive paperweight. (albeit it still can be sold) That's not the main reason I don't want it; the main reason is that the focal length is too short. I brought this up many times.
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Old May 9, 2012, 03:58 AM   #20
Ruahrc
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I'm purposefully avoiding the EF-S lenses for I might consider an upgrade to a full frame when this camera breaks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodo123 View Post
Once I upgrade to a full frame, the 17-55 becomes an expensive paperweight.
So what started out as "might consider an upgrade to full frame" is now definitively "once I upgrade to full frame"? All in less than 24 hours no less. Can you say exactly when you are going to upgrade and to what body? If you cannot, then your "expensive paperweight" argument holds absolutely no validity.

What people are trying to say is that it is very foolish to make gear purchase decisions based on "definite possible maybe" future gear you may or may not ever actually own in the next month, year or even the next 5 years. And if you buy a good EF-S lens you will easily be able to sell it if or when you no longer have use for it. If you buy it used, you even probably even get much or all of your money back.

I have been using a DX body for 5 years. Just a few months after I got my camera I too was out looking for full frame pro-grade lenses. I didn't buy, and it's a good thing I didn't because I would have had to compromise this or that just to get a full frame lens, and ended up having to live with those compromises for 5 years. All the while using the excuse "well when I upgrade to full frame...". In the meantime, one of the lenses I wanted to buy was replaced with an updated variant, and new lenses better suited to my shooting style previously not even available to me were designed and released.

Now that I am actually much closer to upgrading my camera body, I may not even end up buying a full frame camera after all- instead I am heavily considering moving towards large format film gear, in which case virtually all of my current gear will be "useless".

Buy the optimum gear for your needs and current equipment, and don't bank on what you intend to do in the future. Because unless you have already made concrete and detailed plans, you just don't know.

Edit: I also don't understand your focal length argument. You do realize that when (if) you step up to that great new full frame body, your 24-70L lens is going to give basically the exact same field of view coverage as a 17-55mm is going to give you now on your crop body. So if the 17-55 on a crop body is "too short" for your needs now, how can you logically conclude that the 24-70 on your future full frame is going to be okay? You'll be forced to sell that 24-70 and look for something even longer when you upgrade to FF, thus wholly defeating the whole purpose of buying the "future proof" full frame lens now!

Can you point out where you think you are on the following graph

Last edited by Ruahrc; May 9, 2012 at 04:13 AM.
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Old May 9, 2012, 04:46 AM   #21
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Edit: I also don't understand your focal length argument. You do realize that when (if) you step up to that great new full frame body, your 24-70L lens is going to give basically the exact same field of view coverage as a 17-55mm is going to give you now on your crop body. So if the 17-55 on a crop body is "too short" for your needs now, how can you logically conclude that the 24-70 on your future full frame is going to be okay? You'll be forced to sell that 24-70 and look for something even longer when you upgrade to FF, thus wholly defeating the whole purpose of buying the "future proof" full frame lens now!
QFT, that about sums it up for me.
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