"Beater" lens?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Phrasikleia, May 10, 2009.

  1. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    I'm curious to know if anyone is holding on to a lens in their collection that is duplicated by a better one in the same focal length(s).

    Since I got my 17-55 f/2.8 IS (about four months ago), I haven't once used my kit lens. Nonetheless, I've been hanging on to it, thinking perhaps someday I'll be glad I didn't sell it. The kit lens is much lighter and much less precious than the 17-55, but I can't imagine what situation would be harsh enough to make me want to forgo better quality and use the kit lens.

    I can probably get about $100 for the 18-55 IS, which could go towards something I would use more often. But then again, perhaps the day will come when I'll be glad to have a cheap, light "beater" lens to take out. That lens did serve me well for eight months or so.

    Is anyone else in a similar position? What shooting situation would make you choose the "beater" lens?
  2. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    I have a kit lens 18-55mm, and a 28-75mm f2.8, although not entirely duplicate I feel a bit better about taking the kit lens down the beach when I have the tripod in the water as the waves roll past.
  3. apearlman macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2007
    Red Hook, NY
    Yes, I have it, but I don't use it.

    I also kept my kit lens (18-55 non-IS) to use in rough conditions. But frankly, in those conditions I bring my old P&S instead. Even if I don't care about the lens, I still worry about the body. As a result, I think I've NEVER used the beater kit lens ever since I got my Tamron 17-50/2.8. Even if I never use it again, the hassle of selling it isn't worth the $50 it would fetch. Maybe someday if I upgrade the body and sell my old body or hand it down to someone, I'll include the lens.
  4. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I have the 40D kit lens (28-135) and no plans to sell it even as I bring new lenses into my collection, most definately I wouldn't be keeping it my bag 100% of the time.

    Although it may not be the perfect lens, it still isn't a bad lens and should the need arise that I want to use a lens that I don't worry over in the environment I would rather use one I have than needing to go out and buy something new or risk an L lens.
  5. thomahawk macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2008
    Osaka, Japan
    i also have a 18-55 beat lense as well.
    it actually has been beaten up. this thing still never broke yet. I have been down mountain ranges, snow, dirt tracks, forests foliage branches smacking it. still never cracked or refuse to take a crappy picture.

    Obviously the camera i'm using is for beat adventures as well. A Canon Rebel the very first one. 300D i believe.
  6. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I have to say no, I'll use my lenses even in situations that are less than ideal. I didn't buy them to keep as museum pieces, I bought them to use to get me good quality pictures.
  7. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    I keep a crap Canon 28-80mm lens in my bag as a backup lens in case my standard zoom fails. But since I've replaced my standard zoom with an L-series lens, I'm less worried about it not working and I'm debating whether it's even worth it to keep it in my bag, as it is taking up very valuable space. Can't think of any reason why I would ever use it in lieu of my 24-70mm
  8. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    I have a load of photo stuff that is gathering dust. I'm sorting into piles, to sell on eBay or donate to the local charity shop. I've kept two film cameras (Nikon FEs), but I'll never shoot another roll of film, so they'll have to go. I won't get much $$ for any of it :)() but I'm broke... so every bit helps... :)
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    The new 18-55mm IS is actually a pretty decent kit lens. I've got the older 18-55mm (non-IS) version and I've even kept that one around "just because." One of the main advantages of the 18-55mm IS is size/weight- the 17-55 is significantly smaller and lighter, making it much easier to tote around.
  10. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Same here, I worry about beating up my 20D... it also came with the 18-55 non-IS (so so lens).

    I use, instead of a P&S, my Olympus E-420 and the E-500 kit 14-45 lens. The Olympus kit lens is better than my Canon one in terms of IQ anyways... :)
  11. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    Yes; the 50 ƒ/1.8 sits in my bag for months at a time. I bring it out every once in a while just for fun, but the 17-40 ƒ/4L lives on my 1DmkII most of the time.
  12. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    Thanks for the replies, although I remain in a quandary about it. I hate to let a perfectly good lens sit and collect dust when I could cash it in for something useful. I think maybe I'll give it until the end of summer, and if I still haven't used it by then, I'll let it go.
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I've got lots of stuff I don't use/ Mostly manual focus lenses that were replaced with AF. SOme of the MF lenses are clasics and I won't sell them but others, I'm just to lazy to put them on eBay. Same with some older film bodys. I think I only want to keep the F2, the others should be eBay'd
  14. David G. macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2007
    I have a 24-70 2.8L lens that I use a ton but when I was canoeing down the Tanana river I thought it was a good idea to bring my 18-55 lens instead with a Pelican case protecting it during the worse parts. That being said, I did take that L lens across some shallower(< 2 feet) parts of the same river near Delta Junction while inside the aforementioned Pelican case when I was wading on foot with a few other people for a bit. I still see some glacial silt embedded into the deeper parts of the rubber focusing ring though.
  15. Olivier L. macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2009
    I bought a Canon 400D with the kit lens 3 years ago, but then bought a Sigma 30 mm 1.4, then lately a Canon 85 mm 1.8.

    I must have used the kit lens once in the last two years. But still I keep it. I know that if in a year or so I want to buy a wide angle lens or a wide angle zoom, I will play a bit again with the kit lens, just to get a feeling again of < 30 mm..

    And indeed, it's good to know you can use the kit lens in rough conditions or simply when I would prefer the versatility to the image quality of my prime lenses.
  16. wilsonlaidlaw macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2008
    35mm on Leica M8

    I bought a Cosina Voigtlander 35/f2.5 Color-Skopar Classic to use occasionally on my Leica M8 in place of the 35/f1.4 Leica Summilux ASPH (chromed finish brass body version rather than the lighter black anodized alloy body one). The idea was to have a light weight travel lens as the 35 Summilux is pretty heavy. Sadly either I have a poor CV35/2.5 or they are just not much good - it is not a patch on the Summilux at any aperture. A pity, as it is tiny and weighs next to nothing. I did not pay a lot for it, so I keep hoping I will find a use for it. Perhaps I will take the Leica Screw to Leica M adapter off and use it on my old Leica IIF. It cannot be much worse than the old Summitar 50.

  17. localghost macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2002
    If You don’t use it, get rid of it. Duplicate focal lengths can be a lot of use though. My favorite is 35mm (on full frame), covert by two primes and a zoom. I would never ever give my 35 f/2 away: it’s not the fastest, nor the sharpest, but it’s rather fast, sharp from 2.8 and wonderfully small and light.
  18. NeGRit0 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 19, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    If you end up wanting to sell it, i would be interested in purchasing it. I have the non IS version, and would much rather have the IS version. I still havent gotten a tripod, and i shake a lot, so i always have to turn the ISO way up. :(
  19. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    English, please? :eek:


    I love German glass, and I found out that Canon and Olympus bodies can take the adapters without a corrective lens.

    I got the Nikon adapters - cool. The Leica R and Contax adapters are going to be my friends... ;)
  20. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    That's my beater lense.:) I'd rather sacrifice convenience rather than quality. The kit lense, unless I stop it down to f8 or so, performs poorer than I'd like. With the 50 f1.8, I get okay performance at 2.8-3.2.
    For watery situations, I go with my waterproof Pentax point and shooter. No way I'm risking my DSLR, beater lense or not.:p

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