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Old Sep 26, 2004, 11:25 AM   #1
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I have decided to purchased the 20D as my first SLR. I have no lens. Although most of my pictures are of family taken at short range, some are of the kids at soccer games taken at 50-100.

Assuming I want to buy one lens for now, should I get the $100 EF 18-55 or the EF-S 17-85 at $600. I know there is a big price difference but let's leave that out of the decision.

thanks in advance for suggestions.
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Old Sep 26, 2004, 12:00 PM   #2
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If money is no object for you, AND you plan to stay only with the smaller 1.6 cop bodies in the future, the 17-85 zoom is the way to go.

The 17-85 uses a ring USM AF motor, so you have the full-time manual focus option- no need to set the camera to manual focus, just grab the focus ring and go. Everything points to this being a much better, sharper lens too, with the higher quality glass and image stabilization, plus it just has a wider range of focal lengths for you to pick from without having to switch lenses.

I have an 18-55 that came with the Digital Rebel I own. It is truly an OK lens. I don't use it much today since my DRebel is now the backup to my 10D and I can't use that lens on the 10D, but now that I've been using the 10D exclusively for a few weeks I'm starting to see where I'll use the Digital Rebel/18-55 combo when I just want a good digital SLR camera with me & don't want the added weight of the 10D and heftier 17-40 f4L and/or 70-200 f4L lenses. As you can see from the attached picture, the 18-55 EF-s is capable of excellent imaging quality.
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Old Sep 27, 2004, 11:28 PM   #3
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Greg,

Thanks for your input. The 20D, when I get it, will be my first SLR, so I am a little intimadated by this lens business.

thanks again
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Old Sep 28, 2004, 9:53 AM   #4
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You can think about the lens thing two ways. You can either:

1- Buy the $100 18-55 EF-s lens and learn the camera. The lens will take fine pictures and start you thinking about how you want to start to work intoyour lens system. Or,

2- Buy the $599 17-85 right off the bat. With the 18-55 lens you'd probablywant something a little longer sooner rather than later. The 85mm end of the 17-85 gives you that now & you'll be less likely to want to emmediately spend more moneyandbuy a longer zoom. 17-85mm probably covers 90% of the images you'd take anyway.

The difference in price is substantial... at least to me it is. If I were you & had the money the 17-85 is the way I'd go. If finances were tight and just getting the 20D is the upper limit of what you want to spend, the 18-55 is what you need to buy.
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Old Sep 28, 2004, 2:36 PM   #5
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Understand that you are buying into a system of lenses with replaceable bodies, not a body with replaceable lenses! A good lens, taken care of, will last several lifetimes! So, consider the body the (long term) replaceable component and consider the lenses the long term investment.

If you expect to graduate (over time) to L-class lenses, then start with the 18-55* and start taking pictures and start saving for L-glass. Then move up to the 24-70 F/2.8 L USM. You can dump the 18-55 on ebay for a minimal loss in $

On the other hand, if you expect to top out in the prosumer lens arena, then jump in with the 17-85 IS and never look back.
[*] or simply start with the 24-70 and build from there.
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