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Old Apr 27, 2012, 12:30 AM   #1
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Default Seeking advice on lens selection

As some of you are aware of my other couple recent threads I am finally going to take the leap into my first dSLR. Still debating between 600D and 60D, but leaning towards the 60D. I'm familiar with the basics, and always wanted a SLR but never could afford one and liked the features of the canon superzoom digicams (S5 IS is my current one, and is starting to act up). I really want better image quality, and better low light performance. I'm not made of money any this stuff has always been out of my league except I got a good bonus at work this year and thinking of spending part of it photography gear. Also found out about the canon loyalty program which will make this more affordable and allow me to put money into a little better glass.

I dont have anything in particular I shoot, landscapes, wildlife, family, vacations, insects, basically anything and everything. But if I were to pick what I shoot most, and want the best pictures of, it would be landscapes and wildlife. I am a backpacker and love being in the mountains, thats my real passion.

There are so many lenses out there it just about blows the mind of a newbie to dslr! But I have tried to do my homework and narrow down some choices. I have primarily looked at canon, so I will list those. I am very interested though on other brand equivalents if they could save me some coin so please recommend alternates. Assuming I will get a canon 60D using the CLP (thats 20% off right?) the current prices would be for the body $640 or body + 18-135 $832. I'm trying to keep the total around 2 grand, preferable for accessories too but I know that will be hard. I'm not too worried about tele at the moment, I'm trying mainly to decide on wide & walk around lenses.

Some combos I have put together:

Body w/ kit lens 18-135 $832
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Refurbished $688
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM used, adorama $384
$1904 total. That would give me a really good wide angle for my scenery, a good tele for wildlife, and just an ok walk around lens which I suppose is the least important to me. A wide angle alternate I've learned of is the Tokina 11-16 for about the same price as the 10-22 canon refurb.

I have heard the 18-135 kit lens is crap though, so if I skip that right off the bat:

60D body only refurb clp $640
Canon EF-S 15-85 F3.5/5.6 Is Usm used, adorama $650
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM used, adorama $384
$1674 total. Thats using the 15-85 as a walk around and my scenery lens. 15mm isnt super wide on a crop sensor but maybe close enough, and saves me money for other accessories. My S5 has a 35mm equivelent of 36-432 so this 15mm (24eq) is still a lot wider than I am used too. This is the cheapest combo I can come up with that I like so far.

Or a better 3 lens setup:
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Refurbished $688
Canon Ef 24-105mm F/4L Is Usm used, adorama $820
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM used, adorama $384
$2532 total. Thats a bit much, especially since I need to get all the accessories too. But it gives me an L lens that I'm sure will be excellent.

I havent researched the tele lens much, and I just picked the 70-300 for all the above combos. I'm mainly deciding on the wide & walk around at the moment, and if it will be worth having those separate or if a dedicated scenery lens like the 10-22 will be noticeably better than say the 15-85 which could double as both, and hopefully be better than the kit lens (which I'll probably be stuck with if I spend the money on the separate wide angle).

I'd love to hear about other brands, tamron, sigma, etc, if they produce as good of IQ and are as sharp as the canons I have picked, at a better price point. But IQ and sharpness are what I am after. For a wide, I have heard the Tokina 11-16 is good, but doesnt save me much over the 10-22 and has less range. So which combo would you pick? Hopefully I've done enough homework in the mid-grade lenses to pick some good ones. Any other good walkarounds to consider too? Either a 2 or 3 lens setup ~2k is the goal...

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Old Apr 27, 2012, 3:31 PM   #2
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FWIW, I love the IQ of my 17-55. It may be higher than you're currently allotting, but you might be able to get the refurb'd 60D, a used 17-55, and a used 70-300 and still come in right around your $2K mark. I've owned both the 15-85 and the 17-55, and aside from the additional reach of the 15-85 the 17-55 beat it in every respect.
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 3:49 PM   #3
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The (unstabilized) Tamron 17-50/2.8 and the stabilized Sigma 17-70 and 17-50/2.8 are good choices. The unstabilized Tamron is the best, but if you need the stabilization then it won't do.

The stabilized Tamron 70-300 VC USD is a good choice if you can't get a used/refurb Canon 70-300 IS USM.
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 8:37 PM   #4
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why not the nifty-fifty.
i just bought one and at first it felt odd as i got used to zooms in all ranges.
it will make you think about a lot of things we have been been habituated into forgetting.
anyway good luck.
i think for wide go tokina 11-16, because the canon is an EFS and wont fit if you upgrade to a full frame.
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Old Apr 28, 2012, 1:51 AM   #5
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Whats the nifty fifty? And I have been debating on the tokina 11-16 instead of the canon 10-22, but according to adoram "The lens is designed for Digital cameras with APS-C sized CMOS and CCD sensors, not designed for cameras with Full Frame sensors." is that info incorrect? I'm not too worried about the full frame compatability.

Quadna71 - I'd spend that much if the lens would cover both wide and normal walk-around, but 17-55 is slightly lacking on both ends I think, but mainly on the wide I think, for a crop sensor, and shooting landscapes. But I'm sure I could still get by with it so I'll consider it.

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Old Apr 28, 2012, 3:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by deterpawson View Post
i think for wide go tokina 11-16, because the canon is an EFS and wont fit if you upgrade to a full frame.
The Tokina is designed for APS-C only as well so not going to work on FF.
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Old Apr 28, 2012, 12:06 PM   #7
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I've read that the Tokina will fit a full-frame, but becomes a 16mm prime. I have a Tokina, but not a FF, so I can't say for sure.

The Tokina is a nice lens, with quick AF and excellent image quality. If I had it to do over again, I might go for the Canon because of the increased focal range, but then I'd miss the f2.8 of the Tokina.

My main three are:
Tokina 11-16mm
Canon 24-105mm
Tamron 70-300mm VC + 1.4TC

This gives me coverage from 18mm to ~700mm on my T2i. The Canon is a little slower than I'd like but the focal range is perfect for so much of what I do. Then I have two lenses to round out the focal length range I wanted.

The 17-55mm covers the need for an ultra-wide lens, which will save quite a bit of money. Add a 70-300 and you've got a wide range to draw upon. The 17-55mm is expensive, and from what I hear, a dust magnet. That may or may not matter depending on what you're shooting.
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Old Apr 28, 2012, 11:14 PM   #8
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Iowa Jim... that sounds like a great lens selection and I was thinking along the very same lines, at some of those in particular. But the total package is over my price range.

As the time is getting closer to pulling the trigger (want to have it for a trip here in a few weeks) I am realizing I might not even be able to afford what I originally thought, with filters, extra battery, memory cards, tripod, case etc. All my previous filters are 58mm from my Canon S5, so that might work on the 70-300 if I get that, but not on any others I have looked at. I had wanted a flash too but will probably skip that for the time being, atleast the camera has one anyhow.

As I read more and more reviews though, I am liking the sounds of the Canon EF-S 15-85 F3.5/5.6 Is Usm, and that along with a 70-300 like the canon or tamron would be better affordable. The range of the 15-85 is great, and I think 15 will be wide enough for my scenic shots. Im no expert reading mtf graphs but these suggest the 15-85 is in league with and better than some L's. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y8/...FCharts001.jpg

Another lens I stumbled on is the Rokinon 14mm F/2.8 that could give me a nice sharp WA for cheaper than the other wide zooms, and put money towards a better walkaround that doesnt have to be super wide, like the 24-105. Its fully manual but other than inconvenience I kind of think it would be fun to have. Or I could get the 14mm and a 50mm and spend the money on a really good zoom telephoto. but that would leave me not so flexable.

Does anyone know if the CLP applies a discount to a body and lens (I mean you get to pick what lens from what they have in stock) or only the kit lens? If I can get a discount on a canon lens too (other than the kit lens) I might opt for atleast one nice canon lens.

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Old May 6, 2012, 7:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mInDtrIP View Post
I am realizing I might not even be able to afford what I originally thought, with filters, extra battery, memory cards, tripod, case etc.
Well, filters can actually hurt photographs if not used properly, not to mention their impact on image quality.

Also, the 60D has a very long battery life, aprox. 1100 shots, so unless you're someone who shoots more than 1000 shots per day, an extra battery isn't necessary.

And you don't need extra memory cards, just buy an affordable $45 32Gb SHDC. Shouldn't that be sufficient for your needs?

I'm sorry, but personally I just don't see the point in investing in filters, extra batteries, extra memory cards, tripods, cases etc. especially if you're only an amateur/hobbyist.

Are you absolutely sure you need all these accesories? Photoshop has some awesome filters you can apply in editing, put on a lens hood if you want to protect the front element of the glass instead of a UV filter and so on...
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Old May 7, 2012, 11:14 PM   #10
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Marawder, I was just speaking in general terms. The camera comes with NO memory card, tripod, case, etc. Now I might not need an extra battery for one day but I often go on week long trips (to the mountains, where chargers arent available). But even still I may skip that one, or get one in case of battery failure, not because I need the capcity of two batteries. As for filters, I typically put a UV on just for protection, and the only other filter I often use is a CP. I do those even on my point-n-shoot digicams and they have worked well in the correct conditions. I have 58mm filters currently, and that would fit the 70-300 I'm thinking of but not anything else. Except for the L glass and the one 14mm I was looking at, I'd also have to get hoods separately. Memory card, well its a given you need one. No way around that. Tripod, I have two, and I dont think either will hold up this camera well. I also like night and low light photagraphy. And whats wrong with a case for a camera. You actually suggest an amateur to not use a case? I have a nice Lowepro toploader, and it might fit a rebel with a kit lens but I dont think its big enough for a 60D.

But I did already pull the trigger, I have the Canon 60D, 24-105L, 70-300, and Pro-optic 14mm f/2.8 incoming. I wasnt sure if the canon loyalty program extended to 'optional' lenses, and found out that it did, so I saved nearly $200 more on top of the refurb price on the 24-105L when I bundled it with the refurb 60D. The Pro-optic was already inexpensive, and I got the 70-300 used, so I've pretty much got all the range I should need for a while, and pretty affordable.
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