40D kit lens: EF-S 17-85 or EF 28-135

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ad1402, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. ad1402 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #1
    I am a first time poster and new to digital photography. I plan on buying a 40D as my first DSLR and would like some opinions on these two lens. By budget right now really requires me to get one of the lenses offered as a kit lens.

    I plan on shooting landscapes, city life, and architecture nearly entirely outdoors and strictly as an amateur. I also plan on getting the Canon 10-22mm EF-S at a later date so I will have the very wide end covered even with a 1.6 crop. However, I am not sure if the 85-135 range or the 17-28 range is better suited for what I would like to do. Also, depsite all the review I have read, I am not sure if one lens is superior in quality. I know that ultimately only I can decide how long I need a lens to reach, but I can't afford to get both and test so I am looking for some advice on a good, starter, walk-around lens for my interests. I also understand the difference between the EF and EF-S but it is not a factor as I do not plan on going full frame for many many years (if ever). Thanks for your input!

    Here are the two kits:

    EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

    EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM (also note that this kit is $120 more than the other... worth it?)
     
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #2
    You should strongly consider the Tamron 17-50mm and 28-75mm. Both have an aperture of ƒ/2.8 and are very sharp (sharper than both of the lenses you listed) and are priced around your budget if you get the 40D body only. And then when you get some more money get the Canon 100mm ƒ/2 for any longer shots that you want to take along with the 10-22mm.
     
  3. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

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    Oct 22, 2008
    #3
    Landscapes and architecture would probably warrant wider than 28mm, especially on a crop sensor. Getting the 17-85 might make you thirst for a good telephoto though, so look into the EF-S 55-250 IS for a pretty good telephoto for the price.

    Looking at what you're planning to do, though, what warrants a 40D? You could probably get yourself an XS/XSi and save a good amount of dough for a telephoto. Unless you're going to do sports shooting or you just want a heavier, sturdier body, you probably won't miss what the 40D offers over the XS/XSi. I personally go for smaller size and portability, so the Rebel line is more appealing to me.

    However you decide, good luck and happy shooting!
     
  4. ad1402 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 6, 2009
    #4
    While I realize that the 40D is maybe more camera than I need, I have played around with/held the Rebel line vs. the 40D and I prefer the heavier, more solid feeling of the 40D.
     
  5. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

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    Oct 22, 2008
    #5
    Yeah, I've played with one too and the grip and feel is something the Rebel doesn't have. Getting a 40D does give you the ability to jump into more kinds of photography with the higher framerate, which is probably the thing I miss most on my XT.

    Are you planning on upgrading to full-frame down the line? That could be a very deciding factor with your lens decision.
     
  6. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    Seattle, WA
    #6
    They stated in the OP that they didn't plan on going full frame :)

     
  7. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #7
    The 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS is a decent enough starter lens, it's fairly sharp, my main complaints about it are the lack of contrast and color rendition, both of which can be fixed somewhat in post processing. The other negative is that will loosen up after a while and will tend to telescope out when you leave the barrel pointed down, and unfortuantley it doesn't have a barrel lock either.

    On the plus side it does have IS, and the operation of the controls is fairly smooth, and build quality is on par with Canon's other mid-range zooms, including a metal mount and heavier plastic construction than their entry level lenses.

    If you can live without the wide end for now (the difference between 17mm and 28mm is significant, moreso on a crop body like the 40D), I believe that the 28-135 is a better performing lens than the 17-85 from what I have read, I can't speak from experience as I have not owned the 17-85.

    You might want to try and find a local camera shop where you can try out both on one of the bodies they have in store.
     
  8. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #8
    Oops! I read the whole post (really, I did!) and apparently forgot that part. :p

    And, echoing what FX120 said, try and find a lens (any old Rebel kit lens will work), and try 18/28mm. There is quite a difference between the two.

    Also, if you're going to shoot architecture, you may not be able to use all 17mm of the 17-85 if barreling is a big deal to you (I believe it can be fixed in RAW though). Not sure how bad the barreling is, but if it's as bad as the 18-55 kit lenses, it's going to be noticeable.
     
  9. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #9
    I bought the 40D + 28-135mm lens kit, though back in March 08 the 17-85 kit had only just come out and as you noted is more expensive.

    I think you have a tough decision to make, the 28-135 provides a much better overall option when you will start with one lens, but in your situation the 17-28 range that you get on the more expensive kit would seem to be more suitable to your needs. On the other hand, if you buy the cheaper kit you are $120 closer to a 10-22 and that is almost 20% of the Canon lens right there, more for the other options in that range.

    You could potentially just go with the 40D body only and the canon 10-22 but that is around $440 more than the 28-135 kit and I would be concerned about you being too limited in your options. That being said, I did 3 weeks in Sydney in 07 with a (borrowed) 30D, 10-22mm & a 50mm 1.8 and rarely felt limited. Take a look at the photos I got and you might feel decently comfortable with a limited option.
    http://ibernie.smugmug.com/Travel/625887

    If you went with the 10-22 you can add the 50mm 1.8 for $80 which maybe can be a birthday/Christmas gift without blowing budgets :)

    As is mentioned on here occasionally, you can always zoom with your feet.. in or out really. A little walking can save $120 pretty quick. That being said having the best lens up front is ultimately the better decision.

    I lean towards saying the 17-85 is the beter option for what you want, but in reality the 10-22 is probably the lens you really need and when you eventually get that the 10-22 + 28-135 combination is alot more flexable long term and helps you avoid the seriousing wanting of a telephoto when you are maxed at 85mm. That extra 85-135 range can cover more distance instead of getting yet another lens for at least $300 more.

    Lets us know what you end up with and let me give you an advanced welcome to the 40D club :)
     
  10. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #10
    I just did a follow up search, you can get a 30D which is still a very respectable body, new for about $250-300 less than the 40D kit, but the kits are basically 30D body retail + lens retail and not real discounts so the 30D +28-135 kit is actually a bit more than the 40D + 28-135mm kit (go figure).

    The reason I mention this is you could do the 30D new for $640 through Adorama and maybe look at quality used lenses and get a bit more than with the 40D kits. The megapixels can be nice but I think ultimately you need the right lenses first.
     

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