Kit lens or not? (Canon 40D)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by andrew050703, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. andrew050703 macrumors regular


    Feb 27, 2006
    Portsmouth, U.K
    I'm finally taking the plunge into DSLR territory & will get a 40D, but the question is; is there a better starter lens than the kit 17-85 IS (I can borrow some primes & telephoto lenses off my dad until i buy my own) or should I stick with it & build up a collection later?

    Any comments welcome (apart from 'have you considered nikon/sony/pentax etc') & also if the battery grip really changes portraiture or is it just a gimmick?
  2. bassproguy07 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2008
    Katy, TX
    I've been told to just get a nice L lens, nothing too expensive but a good 50 or 100 mm. They are expensive but they hold their value pretty well.
  3. irishfiregirrl macrumors newbie


    Oct 5, 2008
    Inland So Cal, USA
    Go Vert and good lens

    Canon EOS 40D SLR Digital Camera with Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM AF Lens is a great camera & starter lens. I bought my 40D specifically for 6.5fps and also a Canon BG-E2N Vertical Grip/Battery Holder. Stabilizes camera, button on top for vertical shots AND increases battery length. I am hoping to get another 40D soon but need to fix my 300 2.8 lens first. :(
    With that lens you've got wide angle to portrait lens covered. If you don't have to worry about fstops, for your next lens get Canon 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III USM Autofocus Lens. Only $150 but one of my all-purpose lens. Cheers!
  4. tamasvarga67 macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2007
    I think the 17-85 is a good choice. It has very useful range and IS. It's a keeper even if you build your lens collection.
  5. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    I got the 40D without the kit lens, and I wish I did. I instead wound up with a rubbish Tamron 28-80mm lens, but I'm currently saving for the canon 24-70 f/2.8L :D

    The kit lens isn't bad (especially the IS version), and it covers a fairly long range. If I had my time again, I'd get it.

    Get the 50mm f/1.8 as soon as you can. It's about $100, but it's a really good lens. When stopped down to 2.8, it's almost as sharp as L series lenses.

    I'm not sure about the battery grip, though. It seems really good (twice the battery life, and the hand strap makes holding the camera and a heavy lens much easier), but it also costs a fair bit.
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    Since you haven't quoted anything in terms of budget or alternatives you're looking into, I'll offer you two:
    (1) If you have some money, but not much, go for Tokina's 16-50 f/2.8 lens. The built quality is close to L glass and you'll have much more creative freedom than the slower 17-85 lens. The lack of IS is more than made up by the faster initial aperture (and there are plenty of situations where image stabilization is no replacement for a larger aperture).
    (2) Tamron's 17-50 f/2.8. The reasons are the same as those above, but this lens is made of (good) plastic. It's obviously cheaper than the Tokina.

    I'd get the battery grip later (after getting an external flash).

    Edit: I have the corresponding Nikkor lens, the 18-70 (which lacks IS, but, like the Canon, has decent built quality). After being spoilt by a 28-70 f/2.8 metal zoom during my film days, I'm dying to upgrade this lens …
  7. M@lew macrumors 68000


    Nov 18, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    The 17-85, while not the best lens, is still not a bad lens especially in terms of convenience. Say you go on holiday and need a single light lens. This would be pretty good. Not bulky and has IS. I would pick it up more often than not. It's a much better "kit lens" than the old 18-55 we used to have. (In fact, this was the desirable upgrade back in the day of 12 months ago)
  8. andrew050703 thread starter macrumors regular


    Feb 27, 2006
    Portsmouth, U.K
    thanks for the feedback - think i will get the kit lens especially as its quite a bit cheaper than buying it separately
  9. elcid macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2007
    I echo the few that said get the 50mm 1.8. I do not know your level of photography expierence but there is something to learning about photography by moving yourself and not just the lens. You can do all sorts of things with it and it is a nice cheap lens. I was thinking about forgoing the kit lens for just the 50mm til money became available again, but I will have to look into the newer kit lens.
  10. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    I feel compelled to point out that the effective lifetime of this incantation is very short. :D So far the thread's held up pretty well though.
  11. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I went with the 28-135 kit lens, when I bought in March the 17-85 kit was only just out and was retailing around $200 more, I also picked up the 50mm 1.4 to start the lens collection.

    No harm in starting out with a kit lens, even if you do go with only L series glass from here on you still have a decent lens you can put on should you intend to loan out the camera to a family member etc or maybe go somewhere where use of an L series lens is not desirable (bad weather).

Share This Page