Which all purpose EF-S lens?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by macuser154, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. macuser154 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I am looking to replace the EF-S 18-55mm IS lens that came with my camera. I would like one that has the same or better image quality than my current lens. I would also like it to have good zooming capabilities, hopefully between 18-200mm, but I would also like it to take good close-up images.

    Could any photographers recommend a good lens. I haven't really got a budget right now, I would just like to know my options.

    Is this any good?

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-S-18-200mm-f-3.5-5.6-IS-Lens-Review.aspx
     
  2. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #2
    The larger the zoom range, the worse the image quality. So an 18-200mm lens would not be an improvement over the kit lens. The 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM would be a big step up in image quality and would give you a constant f/2.8 throughout the zoom range. If you're going to save up for an EF-S lens that will have superior IQ, that's the one to get. There is also a 17-50mm f/2.8 made by Tamron that is optically amazing, but it lacks the IS. Otherwise, you might consider an EF lens like the 16-40mm f/4L, which is a bit slow and lacks IS, but has great optics and build quality.
     
  3. macuser154 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I guess 18-200mm is a bit excessive. But I would really like a zoom range that is higher than my current lens. Is it true for every lens that the image quality will be worse if the zoom range is higher?
     
  4. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #4
    For the most part, yes. It's difficult for a manufacturer to optimize the optical elements for every focal length in a zoom range. So a zoom is usually best near the middle of its range. It's up to you how much quality you need, of course, so maybe you won't mind the compromises you get with a big range of zoom.
     
  5. macuser154 thread starter macrumors 6502

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  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #6
    Honestly the 18-55mm kit lens is not at all a bad lens for a beginner or for a general "walk-around" lens. It's light, is miles ahead of its predecessor in terms of image quality, and has a good range.
     
  7. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #7
    Yes, the IS version of that lens is supposed to be better.

    OP - what is your budget?
     
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #8
    you cannot have everything in one lens. the more a lens has to do, the less it will do well. in general, the best zooms (for a given price bracket) have ranges of ~3x or less (e.g. 17-55, 24-70, 70-200), though of course not everyone needs or wants the best. just something to keep in mind.

    another thing to consider is the focal length range. with your 18-55, do you use the full range often? if you do, do you often want some more reach (Canon 17-85, Sigma 17-70), or is that just for particular situations (add a telephoto zoom)? if not, are you usually on the longer end (big selection of 35mm standard zooms)?
     
  9. macuser154 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I do use the full range often. I haven't set myself budget yet, I know that lenses can be expensive and I would just like to know what is out there.
     
  10. cube macrumors G5

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  11. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #11
    If I were you I'd look at the EF-S 55-250 IS lens to compliment your existing lens. It's similar in terms of IQ and build quality (so not as good as the various 70-200 L lenses, but decent enough) and won't break the bank whilst still giving you the extension in range that you want.
     
  12. JoshJosh117, Jun 7, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  13. macuser154 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I would rather not have to have several different lenses, rather one to replace my current one.
     
  14. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #14
  15. cube macrumors G5

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    #15
  16. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #16
    I've been surprisingly pleased with the EF-S 28-135 IS kit that comes with the 40D. It's become my current "I-can-only-take-one-lens" choice. Good all-around range. Decent landscape, fair to middling architecture shots, pretty good with events & crowds. Of particular note is the quality of portraits I get in the 90-105 range.
     
  17. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Try the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 and Canon 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS. Both around $400. If they still aren't long enough, I suggest you consider a second lens.
     
  18. macuser154 thread starter macrumors 6502

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  19. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #19
    The 18-55mm kit lens is very good for a kit lens. But based on your above comment about image quality I wonder if you've done any actual shooting with the 18-200mm lens?
     
  20. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #20
    My comments about quality are not based on subjective analysis, if that is what you're suggesting. Here's a link to my favorite source for objective quality tests:

    http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1219/cat/11

    Click on the "blur index" chart there to get an interactive overview of how sharp this lens is. As you can see, the 18-200mm is respectable as superzooms go, but that's not saying much. These lenses make good "vacation" lenses: if you can use them in good light (where you can stop down to f/8 or so), you can get very usable images--nothing tack sharp, but good enough for basic vacation photos. Chromatic aberration and distortion are particularly disappointing with this lens, but are typical for the superzoom category. Contrast and color are usually dull with superzooms, but that's the trade-off you make for gaining a lot in convenience.
     
  21. yogamonkey macrumors 6502

    yogamonkey

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    #21
    I have been using the 18-200mm for the last few months on my 50d and it's an excellent lens.

    I'm actually selling it as I've just bought the 5d Mark II. Don't want to spam the forum but if you are interested then send me a message and we can talk.

    The 18-200 is a good all round lens. Certainly a vast improvement on the 18-55. There weren't that many occasions when I needed the full 200mm but now and again it came in really handy.
     
  22. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #22
    My point was, if you'd spend some time with the 18-200mm and (in my case) a 50D you might see that its a heckuva lot nicer lens then some of the reviews would lead you to believe. Seriously, go borrow one and try it for an hour. You'll be surprised. Is it perfect, given that its on the order of an 11x superzoom? Of course not. But its actually remarkably sharp compared to other consumer zooms in its price range. Simple logic would tell you it shouldn't be, but you really do have to see this for yourself.

    To the point of the OP's question, you can do a lot worse for your money than the EF-S 18-200mm for an all purpose consumer lens for your crop sensor Canon. The OP asked for an all purpose lens (a "vacation lens" almost by definition), not a complete set of L primes. And that means trade-offs. IMO, the trade-offs for this lens at that price are well worthwhile (and with the US$300 rebate for the 50D + EF-S 18-200mm kit is unbeatable right now).

    To no one in particular, whatever faults this lens (or many consumer lenses like it) may have is no match for what DxO Optics Pro can do with it. Highly recommended.
     
  23. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    #23
    Why has no one suggested the EF-S 17-85mm IS? The best all-around lens, I have been hunting for a deal on one for a few weeks now. I say the best because after weeks of searching, it had the most raving reviews by far. ;)

    Edit: Ah, toxic's got me covered :)
     
  24. SimD macrumors regular

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    #24
    The 18-200 is surprisingly good for what it is.

    Great range, IS, pretty damn good optics. Don't let people steer you away.

    Unless you're a pixel peeper or are printing commercial shots, the 18-200 is great.
     
  25. DirkBreeuwer macrumors member

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    #25
    If you want the review of the 18-200 by a beginner (me) here it is: I bought the 18-200 lens, because I wanted a lens that would give me good zoom for far away images (well not miles far, but you know what I mean), and that would also give me good shots short distanced objects. And I am really pleased with it. I've had it for 2 weeks now. I am able to shoot kite surfers (40 meters away, and get good looking pictures). And also shoot objects like doors, or houses from nearer distances. I think wouldn't change it for any other lens right now.
     

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