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Old 10-24-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
jasta
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New to Canon DSLR - What lens?

A few months ago I purchased the Canon T2i which came with their standard 18-55 lens. Being new to DSLR when I went to use for the first time, this lens does not zoom nearly enough. I have been researching the disboards and online for a better zoom lens, but don't want to spend $1000. Any suggestions on good zoom that I can use day and night without breaking the bank?
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:05 PM   #2
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There are a couple of inexpensive zooms that would work for you.

The 18-135 f3.5/5.6 IS is $429 at B&H Photo - with the crop factor that's a decent range, a little slow in low light, but the IS will let you slow down the shutter speed to capture more light. It's an EF-S lens, so it will only work on crop bodies, not full frame bodies (which are at this point pro-bodies and really expensive)

Also there is an 18-200 f3.5/5.6 IS for $560 and a 15-85 for $659 - which will give you a wider focal length (the 3 degrees do mean something)

Finally, there is a 28-135 f3.5/5.6 IS for $446, it's an older lens than the other ones, but it is not limited to APS-C cameras (crop bodies) - I've had this one and it is a great lens.

You can read a bunch of reviews of these lenses at fredmiranda.com under the review section
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:53 PM   #3
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In addition to what's been mentioned, you can get the 55-250 for a couple of hundred dollars, or less if on sale. It's compliments the 18-55 very nicely. But it's not a great performer in low light. If you want really good low light performance in a telephoto zoom it's hard to get around spending at least $1000.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasta View Post
A few months ago I purchased the Canon T2i which came with their standard 18-55 lens. Being new to DSLR when I went to use for the first time, this lens does not zoom nearly enough. I have been researching the disboards and online for a better zoom lens, but don't want to spend $1000. Any suggestions on good zoom that I can use day and night without breaking the bank?
In my opinion, and others may certainly disagree here, it depends on how you define that broad statement you made about "use day and night." That's pretty broad and vague, in and of itself.

If you're going to do any real zoomed/long focal length work at night, you need a constant f/4 at LEAST on that camera and even with that, you're going to be jacking up the ISO pretty high to do any hand-held work. f/2.8 is even better, but now you've really jumped up in money by the line you drew in the sand.

There are great third-party lenses out there that do the same thing, but Canon's 70-200s are famous in this range, but they're spendy. You get what you pay for. The 70-200 f/4 without IS is about $1350 and that's the LOW end in these lenses. The 70-200 II f/2.8 IS USM is $2500 and there are 3-4 variations in-between.

I have the 55-250 in my bag but I consider it mostly a daylight lens. The 70-200 I 2.8 IS USM is the next lens on my list, but it's lofty at $2k.

There's a lot of good stuff out there from $300-800 as mentioned above. As long as you have reasonable expectations, you'll be fine. You need to be honest with yourself and us and try to share with us EXACTLY what kinds of things you'd like to shoot and we can help you much more. There's a wealth of information and expertise here if you know how to pry it out of the experts.

IMHO, if this is your first DSLR, you'd be best served to buy the 55-250 Canon available at BB and the like. As mentioned, it's designed to EXACTLY complement the 18-55 that comes as a kit lens. Take these two lenses and LEARN how to use them and your camera to their full potential. Then you'll know what you want.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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In addition to what's been mentioned, you can get the 55-250 for a couple of hundred dollars, or less if on sale. It's compliments the 18-55 very nicely. But it's not a great performer in low light. If you want really good low light performance in a telephoto zoom it's hard to get around spending at least $1000.
Exactly.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:25 AM   #6
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I really like my canon 18-200 f3.5/5.6 IS I use it all the time. It's rather big, and heavy, lens creeps at times. But for me it works as my every day lens.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:10 AM   #7
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I'd take a look at used lenses on eBay.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:52 AM   #8
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Canon's 55-250 sells for right around $200. It is not a low-light lens since the aperture ranges from f/4 at the short end to f/5.6 at the long end. However, going to a constant f/4 70-200 IS lens will gain only one stop and only at the long end, for over $1000. Canon's 70-200 f/2.8 lens gains more light but costs over $2000 and also adds a lot of weight (ok, mass technically but that's an engineering hang-up).

Low-light photography can be about technique as much as it is about equipment, try the 55-250 to see if you like it, practice low-light techniques, and then decide if you want to go for the big bucks solutions. I agree with the idea that the cheapest lens is the one we only buy once but in this case the entry level option is so much less $$$ that it may be a good way to start out.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
70-200 f/4 without IS is about $1350
Negative Ghost Rider. If I've told you once I've told you a million times don't exaggerate

Today's prices from Adorama:

70-200 F/4 L : $615
70-200 F/4 L Image Stabilized (IS) : $1,150
70-200 F2.8 L : $1,335
70-200 F2.8 L IS : $2,130 (version II)

IN 2010 I bought the 70-200 F/4 L for just shy of $600 - which illustrates that good glass never goes 'stale' it just gets better with time.

The good news is that the Canon 70-200 Ls are one of those things that you will only need to buy once

The bad news is that they are expensive enough that you really have to NEED them.

I actually tried to like the F/2.8 version but the rascal weighs enough that I just couldn't imagine myself toting it around.

As already mentioned Canon makes a very respectable telephoto zoom for a lot less money - but speaking personally my 70-200 F/4 L (even without IS) is a wonderment. And yes in low light conditions I'm glad that I've got high ISO settings available and Lightroom for noise reduction...

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Old 10-25-2012, 09:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boBQuincy View Post
Canon's 55-250 sells for right around $200. It is not a low-light lens since the aperture ranges from f/4 at the short end to f/5.6 at the long end. However, going to a constant f/4 70-200 IS lens will gain only one stop and only at the long end, for over $1000. Canon's 70-200 f/2.8 lens gains more light but costs over $2000 and also adds a lot of weight (ok, mass technically but that's an engineering hang-up).

Low-light photography can be about technique as much as it is about equipment, try the 55-250 to see if you like it, practice low-light techniques, and then decide if you want to go for the big bucks solutions. I agree with the idea that the cheapest lens is the one we only buy once but in this case the entry level option is so much less $$$ that it may be a good way to start out.
When I need zoom, I use a "cheap" zoom that is also 5.6 at the long end. (Though not Canon) While a more premium lens would be nice in some circumstances, the "cheap" lens can give you perfectly acceptable results in good lighting.

Here is an example of a pic taken with a "cheap" zoom:


orchards-32.jpg by Havoc315, on Flickr


orchards-29.jpg by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
In addition to what's been mentioned, you can get the 55-250 for a couple of hundred dollars, or less if on sale. It's compliments the 18-55 very nicely. But it's not a great performer in low light. If you want really good low light performance in a telephoto zoom it's hard to get around spending at least $1000.
I agree, get the Canon 55-250IS for around $150 - it's sharp and has good AF and focal range for sports and other things

$169 - includes warranty and free shipping
http://www.adorama.com/CA55250AFSR.html

Canon Rebel XSi / 450D
55-250IS


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Old 10-25-2012, 01:36 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone! Leaning towards to the 55-250. Need to get a good Xmas card shot in Disney next month!
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstanley View Post
Negative Ghost Rider. If I've told you once I've told you a million times don't exaggerate

Today's prices from Adorama:

70-200 F/4 L : $615
70-200 F/4 L Image Stabilized (IS) : $1,150
70-200 F2.8 L : $1,335
70-200 F2.8 L IS : $2,130 (version II)

IN 2010 I bought the 70-200 F/4 L for just shy of $600 - which illustrates that good glass never goes 'stale' it just gets better with time.

The good news is that the Canon 70-200 Ls are one of those things that you will only need to buy once

The bad news is that they are expensive enough that you really have to NEED them.

I actually tried to like the F/2.8 version but the rascal weighs enough that I just couldn't imagine myself toting it around.

As already mentioned Canon makes a very respectable telephoto zoom for a lot less money - but speaking personally my 70-200 F/4 L (even without IS) is a wonderment. And yes in low light conditions I'm glad that I've got high ISO settings available and Lightroom for noise reduction...

From Animal Kingdom Pangani Forest Trail last trip.

I'm well aware of the prices of lenses. I quote prices from manufacturer's sites and hence; MSRP. Canon USA was the source of those prices.

I can buy a 70-200 f4 on eBay for <$600 right now. This wasn't a discussion on prices in my post but rather to make a point that you get what you pay for, IMO.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boBQuincy View Post
Canon's 55-250 sells for right around $200. It is not a low-light lens since the aperture ranges from f/4 at the short end to f/5.6 at the long end. However, going to a constant f/4 70-200 IS lens will gain only one stop and only at the long end, for over $1000. Canon's 70-200 f/2.8 lens gains more light but costs over $2000 and also adds a lot of weight (ok, mass technically but that's an engineering hang-up).

Low-light photography can be about technique as much as it is about equipment, try the 55-250 to see if you like it, practice low-light techniques, and then decide if you want to go for the big bucks solutions. I agree with the idea that the cheapest lens is the one we only buy once but in this case the entry level option is so much less $$$ that it may be a good way to start out.
I'm not going to ensue an argument with you except to state that, IMO, there is a helluva lot more to Canon's L 70-200 lineup than one stop of light, even with the f4 non-IS. If that's what you choose to believe (and I understand that's the only point I made in my OP), then so be it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'll be glad when I can behold my first 70-200 L, whichever one it may end up being.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilsonFlyer View Post
I'm not going to ensue an argument with you except to state that, IMO, there is a helluva lot more to Canon's L 70-200 lineup than one stop of light, even with the f4 non-IS. If that's what you choose to believe (and I understand that's the only point I made in my OP), then so be it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'll be glad when I can behold my first 70-200 L, whichever one it may end up being.
I had not even read your post when I wrote mine so I was not responding to yours.

For purposes of gathering light, which is what I was referring to, there is no difference between f/5.6 and f/4 other than 1 stop. I am well aware of the other benefits of Canon's L series 70-200 f/4 since I have one and have used it quite a lot.
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