I hate my canon kit lens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by contoursvt, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Hi there, I've got a 20D which I'm happy with even though it might be considered old these days. As for lenses, I have the Canon 18mm-55mm Kit lens, Canon 28mm-105mm F3.5-4.5 and while I have no major complaints in the optical quality of these cheap lenses, I hate the wobble on my 18-55.

    Any suggestions for a low cost lens that will replace that one and be built better? Hows the Sigma 17-70? It looks like it would be decent from the reviews.
  2. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR

    This is the Sigma 18-50 mm F/3.5-5.6 lens for Canon EOS bodies, it's supposed to be better than the Canon kit lens, and it's also supposed to be stronger.

    If you can justify spending about 4X as much (I still would consider this an affordable lens) you can get the same lens with a constant F/2.8 aperture. It would perform much much better in low light. Here's the link:http://www.adorama.com/SG1850NEOS.html

    Finally, for about 2X what the first lens cost you can get a 2 lens package that will cover you from 18 mm to 200 mm. Here's the link for that one:http://www.adorama.com/SG185055DTZE.html

    Hope that helps, I think the constant F/2.8 would be my first choice, then the 2 zoom package (it's a sweet deal) and the regular Sigma 18-50 would be a good lens too.

  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    The Sigma 17-70 is supposed to be good, but the 18-50 mm sounds more appealing to me. :) Check for the Tamron 17-50 mm as well.
  4. tomw2nd macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2007
    What is your budget? Would help give you recommendations.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If your main criteria is build quality, stay with Canon. If cost is an issue buy a used Canon lens. Look at the 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 lens. The 50mm Canon primes are professional quality for under $200. You will also find that an f/1.8 lens can do things not slow f/5.6 zoom can. like shoot in low light and blur out a distracting background. Also you can not beat the optical quality
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    This is BS. Sigma EX lenses have a higher build quality than any of Canon's non-L lenses.

    The 50mm f/1.8 isn't built well at all, and it's slow to focus and prone to hunting.

    And there are a lot of things a zoom can do that a fixed FL can't.
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Don't be too hard on that 28-105; it's probably Canon's best bang-for-the-buck consumer lens. It has ring USM and sharpens up nicely one stop down. It's a bit weak on saturation, but that's usually a quick fix in pp.

    As far as build, you're going to have a hard time finding a Canon zoom that is well-built for less than $400 or so. All the EF-S lenses have lots of plastic - some even have plastic mounts, including your 18-55 (and the new 18-55 IS). If you want better build quality, then you should consider the 17-70. It's the one lens I've owned that I regret selling; and that sell list includes the aforementioned 28-105 and the 17-40L. The 17-70 is a great lens, but so, too, are the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 EX macro (built like a tank) and the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. There's also the new Sigma 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 OS, which will give you 4 stops of stabilization. It's optics are pretty nice from 18-135 or so, but get a bit tougher after that. I have made nice 13"x19" prints from below 135 with mine, but I try not to go beyond 5"x7" after that.
  8. contoursvt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Thanks everyone for all the replies. I've been doing lots of research and I've narrowed my search to the following:

    Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4.5 (but from what I hear, its only 2.8 up to about 20mm)
    This lens will give me a bit more range than my 18-55 and i've heard its a decent lens but only fits the crop sensors. I can get this for $399 canadian which is a decent price for it.

    Wait a 2-3 more months and drop $730 (minus $75 rebate) for a 17-40L. I had a chance to play with a 17-40L at work. We have an ancient canon D30 which is a 3.2MP. The lens seems like its built like a tank and I understand its sealed so no dust can get in. The image quality was nice I thought and the zoom and focus rings were really smooth and felt good. I really liked it but I'm having a hard time justifying the cost as I'm not a pro... but then again this lens will go on a full frame if I ever go that route but the Sigma above does not.
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Had 'em both. Sold the 17-40L for the 17-70, and glad I did. Here are the advantages of each (from my copies):

    Better range
    Faster aperture
    Sharper at f/4 throughout zoom range
    Designed for digital cameras as a walk-around for croppies
    1:2.3 macro capabilities

    Built very well
    Weather sealed
    Exceptional saturation out of the camera
    Faster focus
    Will work on full-frame camera
    Designed for film cameras as an ultrawide angle zoom
    Internal zoom and focus (17-70 only has internal focus)

    The Sigma reaches f/4 at 35mm. Either way, you'll have a substantially better lens than you do now. Personally, I'd go with the Sigma, but your shooting style should determine your preference.
  10. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Wait for the 17-40L. It's a dynamite lens and can be had for $629 from ultra-reputable B&H here in the states. I don't know if they ship to Canada.
  11. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    seriously look at the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8.

    I've had it for over a year and it's great.
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I would recommend you have a look at Tokina's 2.8/16-50 zoom. It's a bit more expensive than its immediate competitors, but worth it. Sigma also makes a 2.8/17-50 zoom with HSM/USM whose price point is somewhere in between the two.

    I definitely recommend that you go for a lens with a 2.8 aperture, it gives you a lot more flexibility and creative freedom.
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    The copy I handled was pretty soft throughout. I couldn't do a focus test, but I suspect it was back/front focusing.

    Build is very nice on that lens. It's pretty heavy, that's for sure. I suspect there's not too much plastic in it.

    Sigma's is an 18-50. HSM is only available in Nikon's mount for the D40(x) (whichever one doesn't have a motor) and it's not the same HSM technology they use in their EX series that focus much more quickly (Simga's little secret). It's not available for Canon.
  14. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    Really? Perhaps you tried a lemon.
    AFAIK, it's a full-metal lens.
    The lens is listed on bhphoto, so I assume it is available …

    I didn't know that they use a different type of HSM motor in that lens, though.
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Probably just needed a little adjustment.

    That lens does not have HSM. Only Nikon mounts can have HSM for this lens (and several others from Sigma).

    It's all about cost. Canon does the same thing. They have two types of USM - micro and ring. The ring is more responsive, accurate, faster, gives you full-time manual, and more expensive to produce. That's why the 28-105 the OP has is such a nice lens. If you're working a conference or a kid party or some such, it's ability to track focus (e.g., AI Servo) is remarkable. You just have to be prepared to do a little pp to boost its color saturation.
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I know. I was referring to the Nikon version having a different type of HSM.
    However, there is a Canon version (without HSM), the optics is identical, that's what I meant to say with my other sentence.
  17. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Yes, I know, I own one. I went from 17-40L > Sigma 17-70 > Sigma 18-50 macro.
  18. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I didn't mid the kit lens too much until recently when I tried to do a portrait snapshot with a nice blurred background effect. The kit lens just won't do it (at least with me behind the camera). My 50mm f/1.8 can, but it isn't a zoom.

    I disagree about the built quality - it doesn't feel very solid, it's true, but I've used two copies of this this lens for four years doing archaeology (and now own one), and it's been very durable for me. Once our camera case was dropped (when open!) halfway down a hill. The cameras all required repair and cleaning, a Canon 28-105mm, 50mm Macro and 20mm were all damaged, but the two 50mm f/1.8 lenses survived unscathed.

    I focus manually 80% of the time, so autofocus isn't a big deal with me. In my experience, the 50mm f/1.8 is loud when focusing compared to the USM lenses, but I haven't had it hunt much more than the other lenses mentioned above (though I do most of my shooting outdoors). The thin focus ring is also not ideal. But for the price it is a very solid lens.
  19. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    But that's not because it's not a zoom, it's because it has a large aperture.

    I guess all that plastic can pay off. Even its mount is plastic.

    But most people want autofocus.

    No doubt. It's probably Canon's second best value lens, next to the 28-105 f/3.5-4.5.
  20. fart macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2007
    The Nation's Fartland
    First, go get the Canon 50mm 1.8 lens. At $80, this piece of glass should be in every photographer's kit.

    For a more flexible lens, I went with the Tamron 28-75 2.8 and couldn't be happier given the cost. (retails for about $380, can be had for $280+ used)
  21. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    True, but it's the only lens in the same price class as the kit lens that offers such a wide aperture. If you want a zoom with a low aperture you're talking more than $200 minimum (which is still cheap as lens prices go).
  22. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    How do you like it?
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    It's a really nice lens. I had a chance to try the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 (which has remarkable optics), but the Sigma is clearly better built. It'd be nice if Sigma would put HSM on it, but it's still pretty snappy to focus.
  24. contoursvt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Ok I went and tinkered with a Tamron 17-55 F2.8 and I didnt really like it. I cant say much about the image quality but the focus speed seemed slow (for example focusing from a very close object to a far one). Multiple close objects were ok. I also disliked the whole reverse zoom thing. The ring turns the opposite direction than what I'm used to. Its not a huge deal and maybe I'd get used to it in a few minutes but initially, I didnt care for it.

    I will go play with a Sigma 17-70 tomorrow and I already know what the 17-40L is like (which I really liked)
  25. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    The 17-40L is a great lens. It will focus almost as fast as your 28-105. It is also hefty and feels very solid. Make sure you take a few shots of someone's eyes at f/4 and f/5.6 at 40mm, then look at them up close on a computer screen. Some copies the 17-40L can be soft wide open, which isn't too unexpected since it was designed as an ultrawide angle zoom for a full-frame film camera. It generally sharpens up by f/5.6. With your 28-105, you'd have a nice 1-2 punch kit.

    If your dealer has the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8, you ought to give it a try as well. It's my walk-around and is a very nice lens. Well-built and almost as fast as the 17-40L to focus (but with one more stop).

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