Yet Another LENS ADVICE Thread ... (Sort of)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ChrisBrightwell, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #1
    Well, not really. :) I've basically made up my mind. I just need to run it by the folks around here who know WTF they're doing. :cool:

    Currently, I have:
    - Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT)
    - 58mm Circular Polarizer (Tiffen)
    - Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II
    - Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

    I have a budget of ~$1,000 to buy a lens or two. I do a lot of indoor shots, so I want something really wide, but I'd like to be able to take shots of my sister-in-law's soccer games or do a little bit of nature photography in my back yard.

    I've settled on these:
    - Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM ($516 @ Amazon.com)
    - Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM ($588 @ Amazon.com)
    - A pair of 67mm Circular Polarizers

    I'm not crazy about the f/4L limitation on the pair, but I've made f/3.5 work pretty well and I don't foresee many of my telephoto shots being in the dark. Worst case, I'll be under good stadium/field lighting (which has done fine for me in the past).

    I think that the IS will help with possible low-light problems on the 17-85mm lens, since most of my low-light shots are of interiors, landscapes, or other still life. I either hand-hold those or grab a tripod/gorillapod. Easy.

    My question, then, is this: Is there a better pair of lenses that cover the same (or close to the same) focal lengths for the same money? Alternatively, is there a better ultrawide (at least 20mm) general-purpose lens for $500?

    I'd rather not use third-party lenses (call me paranoid) and I'm willing to sell either lens and save money for one of its faster counterparts (16-35mm f/2.8L and the 70-200 f/4L IS, f/2.8, or f/2.8 IS) if I need to. I just don't think that I need to. Not yet, anyway. :)

    Any discussion or insight is hugely appreciated. I've learned so much already just sitting quietly and listening to the chatter that goes on around here.

    Thanks.
     
  2. cookie1105 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    The 70-200mm f/4 L is a great lens, you can't go wrong with it. Unless you are shooting at night games the f/4 won't bother you.

    I wouldn't go with the ef-s 17-85mm, because you are doubling up on focal lengths and if you ever plan on going full-frame it is not compatible.

    I would go with the 70-200mm f/4 L and the 17-40 f/4 L. The IS on the 17-85 is not going to help you at all if you are on a tripod and personally if I'm shooting low-light handheld then I use the 50mm.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #3
    When I started reading your post, I though, "Why doesn't he get a Tokina or Sigma ultrawide angle?", but now I guess it doesn't matter. A 3rd party lens would fill your needs better, though, and you would end up with sharper indoor photos than you'd get from a slower Canon lens, and have several hundred dollars in your wallet because of the money you saved by buying a Sigma 17-50 mm f2.8 instead. To me, that sounds smart.

    And besides, 17 or 18 mm isn't "wideangle" on a 350D. It's not nearly wide enough. You can probably see this just by using your 18-55 mm kit lens at 18 mm.



    I wouldn't get the 17-85 mm either. I'd just go for the 17-40 mm f/4 L like Cookie suggested if you really want to get Canon. You don't really need to cover the entire range of focal lengths, which is why I'll also recommend the 17-40 f/4.

    Can't you just get a Canon 17-55 mm f2.8 and try to find a used Canon 70-200 f/4? Or maybe a used set of both (if you can find them used).
     
  4. ChrisBrightwell thread starter macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #4
    Night games should be fairly uncommon. Even then, I think I can make it work. Maybe.

    At the same time ... if I go full-frame, it helps boost the resale of my 350D. :cool:

    I went back and forth over the 17-40 f/4L and the 17-85 mentioned in the OP. The 17-40 is just too much for my budget right now. :(
     
  5. ChrisBrightwell thread starter macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #5
    Oh, I can. There have been times when I openly cursed the 18mm for not being wide enough.

    So that's two strikes against the 17-85 and two votes for the 17-40. Interesting.

    Now this is interesting, as well. I've read in some places that you want a little bit over overlap and I've read in others that you should worry less about covering gaps.

    Photographers are a funny crowd. ;)

    I wouldn't even know where to begin looking for reliable used lenses.
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #6
    Try B&H or keh.com or something for used lenses.


    And anyone who tells you that you need to cover the entire focal length is wrong. You'll never hear anyone ask for a 50-70 mm lens just because there are so many people with a 18-50, 18-55, 17-55 mm coupled with a 70-200, 70-300, or 75-300 mm lenses on the market. If you need to shoot in that range, just lean backwards or forwards, and that's essentially the difference. I could easily live with just a 12-24 mm (or similar), 50 mm f/1.8, and a 70-200 mm f/2.8 or f/4.
     

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