Old 01-16-2013, 08:19 PM   #1
Kevin B.
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Default Equipment question - Replacing Canon Kit Lens

Hello all. Here's another "which lens" question.

I am looking to replace the 18-55 IS kit lens on my T3i. I am not a pro, but my photography interests range all the way from trains (of course), to portraits, to some indoor shots, and just family vacation pics. The kit lens works OK, and produces acceptable results most of the time, but I would like something with more capabilities.

I have narrowed my choices down to the EF-S 15-85mm f3.5-5.6, and the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8. I like the extra reach of the 15-85, but I don't like the fact that it has a slow, variable aperture. However, it is also hard to swallow the price tag of the 17-55 even though it has a fast and constant 2.8. Anybody else been in this boat? Which one would you choose?

Thanks for any input.

Last edited by Kevin B.; 01-16-2013 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:21 PM   #2
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Don't get a Sigman 17 to 700 mm lens whatever you do. It replaced my kit lens and nowI'm looking to replace it which puts me in the same boat as you. If you have a second lens with a longer reach, you may want to consider the one I'm thinking about -- the Canon 17 to 40 mm.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:24 AM   #3
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24-105 for the win!
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:38 AM   #4
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My vote is for the 17-55 f/2.8 which is a L lens in disguise as far as sharpness is concerned. The constant 2.8 is invaluable if you shoot at low light.

I think myself that while a 24-105 is excellent on a full frame, it is too tight on a APS-C camera like the T3i.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:55 AM   #5
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I have the 15-85 and love it. I bought it back when I had my T2i and have taken several thousand pictures with it. The range is really nice. You'll be surprised how much wider 15 is than 18. It is true that it is not a fast lens, and the aperture is variable, but for me, it works really well. By far my most used lens.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis A. Livesey View Post

I think myself that while a 24-105 is excellent on a full frame, it is too tight on a APS-C camera like the T3i.
Speak for yourself! Oh wait, you did. My 24-105 is an excellent "all purpose" lens on my 60D, not to mention a great range for RR photography.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:14 AM   #7
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So you like a lens that is incorrect for the format.

Nothing wrong with that.

Except your are wrong!

Na Na Na Na Na Nah!
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:55 AM   #8
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Speak for yourself! Oh wait, you did. My 24-105 is an excellent "all purpose" lens on my 60D, not to mention a great range for RR photography.
That's what I bought (24-105)to replace the kit lens (28-135) that came with my 40D, I keep that one on most of the time, and my recent addition of the 100-400 works out well, (when you plan to expand)
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:02 AM   #9
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Don't get a Sigman 17 to 700 mm lens whatever you do.
The Sigman 17-700mm, hmm? That might be your problem.

Well, I happen to have and use the Sigma 17-70mm and it seems to work just fine:

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Old 01-17-2013, 04:40 AM   #10
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I agree with Dennis that Jim is wrong.

Seriously, for what I like to do, the missing 17-23 is a big loss and I would never consider the 24-105 (or 24-70) to be a single lens solution for a crop sensor camera. Even with my 10-22, I would not want to do all the switching of lenses that would be needed were there no overlap zone in the focal length ranges.

I enjoyed my Sigma 17-70 but I do know that Joe ran into some problems. I found it to be a nice lens, but yes I upgraded anyway, primarily for the IS.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
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The Sigman 17-700mm, hmm? That might be your problem.

Well, I happen to have and use the Sigma 17-70mm and it seems to work just fine:

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 416465
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus
Shoot! That teaches me not to buy my camera gear from a guy named Eddie at a South Carolina flea market!



I did get some good images from my Sigma, but I got some rotten shots, too and a lot of mediocre stuff mostly. If I were to judge it on the goood shots, I'd be ignoring 75% of the shots that came out of it.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:17 PM   #12
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Shoot! That teaches me not to buy my camera gear from a guy named Eddie at a South Carolina flea market!

Usually when the salesman is saying, "Not hot, just cheap," that should raise some flags.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if you're unhappy with your RollX wristwatch!
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:35 PM   #13
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The Canon 24-105 is a superb sharp lens. Having a sharp lens is for most photographers a paramount consideration. And if it those mm works for you, that is what is important.

Ideally, you have in your kit lenses that cover the usable mm range of your camera. That will give you the options when ever you need them.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:35 PM   #14
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I agree with Dennis that Jim is wrong.

Seriously, for what I like to do, the missing 17-23 is a big loss and I would never consider the 24-105 (or 24-70) to be a single lens solution for a crop sensor camera.
No, YOU are wrong!

By the way, how come no one is talking about the 30mm or so you lose on the long end? Why is it all about wide? The 71-105 would be a bigger loss for me when it comes to RR photography.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:09 PM   #15
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By the way, how come no one is talking about the 30mm or so you lose on the long end?
SSSHHHHHH! No one is supposed to know!
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
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No, YOU are wrong!

By the way, how come no one is talking about the 30mm or so you lose on the long end? Why is it all about wide? The 71-105 would be a bigger loss for me when it comes to RR photography.
It really all depends on where you take RR pictures. Up there in Michigan it's pretty flat and wide open and a lot of shots are probably taken from a ways back from the track. Down here you are constantly battling brush along the tracks and end up pretty close to the track to get a shot and you need a wider angle lens. I would venture to say that 1/4 of my RR shots are taken between 15-24mm on my 60D. In those cases where I do shoot longer distances I switch to the 70-200.

Like most things in life, there is no "one size fits all."

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:49 PM   #17
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Were it my cash, I'd get the 35mm f2.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:59 PM   #18
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Down here you are constantly battling brush along the tracks and end up pretty close to the track to get a shot and you need a wider angle lens.
You just described Michigan.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
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No, YOU are wrong!

By the way, how come no one is talking about the 30mm or so you lose on the long end? Why is it all about wide? The 71-105 would be a bigger loss for me when it comes to RR photography.
What is this "lose" stuff? It's all just millimeters.

What is the normal, what is the wide and what is the tele for a particular format? That is the the true measure.

Now if you like to shoot wide, go wide. If you like to shoot tele, shoot tele. No losing. It is picking the right tool for the job.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:48 AM   #20
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If portraits are part of the equation, I would think either the 15-85 or Jim's suggestion of the 24-105 would be best. Even on a crop sensor, 55mm just barely gets you near the 85mm that is often used for portraits, and doesn't give you a chance at anything tighter than that.

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Old 01-18-2013, 04:37 AM   #21
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If portraits are part of the equation, I would think either the 15-85 or Jim's suggestion of the 24-105 would be best. Even on a crop sensor, 55mm just barely gets you near the 85mm that is often used for portraits, and doesn't give you a chance at anything tighter than that.

Jon
55mm on a APS-c is a nice portrait length. 85mm is more intimate and is probably the most common portrait lens.

If you need 85mm, pull out the 70-200 everyone has.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:26 PM   #22
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If you need 85mm, pull out the 70-200 everyone has.
I'm guessing that if he's just getting around to replacing the kit lens, that he hasn't bought a 70-200 yet. I could be wrong, though . . .

Jon
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:19 PM   #23
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I'm guessing that if he's just getting around to replacing the kit lens, that he hasn't bought a 70-200 yet. I could be wrong, though . . .

Jon
Just conveying information that is useful.

If he just wants millimeters, the OP can get a Canon 18-200 or a Tamron 18-270mm.

http://tiny.cc/mfq4qw

I was was thinking of sharp lenses and the best quality image possible.

Silly me!
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:53 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dennis A. Livesey View Post
Just conveying information that is useful.

If he just wants millimeters, the OP can get a Canon 18-200 or a Tamron 18-270mm.

http://tiny.cc/mfq4qw

I was was thinking of sharp lenses and the best quality image possible.

Silly me!
I'm with you on sharpness and image quality - I was merely trying to point out that since the interests he listed went beyond trains, he might be interested in the greater flexibility that the 24-105 that Jim suggested would offer. But then again, who on earth would want flexibility?

Jon
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:34 PM   #25
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Thanks for all the great advice. I have a question about the 24-105 that so many have recommended. While I have no doubt it's an incredible lens, 24mm just doesn’t seem very wide on a crop sensor body. Anybody else using it on a crop? Have you ever found that you wished it were wider?
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