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Old Apr 14, 2009, 9:14 AM   #7
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algold's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Israel
Posts: 369

I mentioned a newer 18-55IS kit, which is very good optically + had IS, the build quality is so-so, but even my old 18-55 is still alive and didn't break into pieces :-). The old kit zoom can produce very decent and sharp images when you know its limitations.
Don't forget the crop factor of APS-C sensor. If you go for only 50 and 70-200 lenses, you won't get a 'standard' walk-around prime lens, you will get a shot telephoto with a field of view of an 80mm lens on 35mm/FF camera. Nice for portraits, but often too long for indoor shooting. AF hunts in low(-ish) light and not always precise, bokeh isn't great and manual focus is difficult to say the least. On a positive side, it's very sharp from f/2-2.2, light, compact and cheap:

70-200 is too long if this is the only lens you have, and you will be pretty much restricted to outdoor shooting, unless you have a lot of room indoors to back up. Makes a great portrait lens (head, head and shoulders, half length if again you have room).
17-85 is pretty sharp and has a very useful focal range. It's often critisized a lot in the reviews, but it's not better of worse than Nikon and Sony of the same focal range. What people really don't like about this lens is it's pretty high price tag (usually around $500) - I got mine new for about $350, so no complains from me. AF is very fast and precise, full time manual focus override, 3 stops IS, sharp with nice colour rendition and contrast. Not very fast aperture wise, but usually enough for a walk-around. There is quite a bit of distortion at 17-20mm range, but nothing that can't be easily corrected in PP. As you can see by now, I quite like this lens :-), here is another shot taken with it:

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