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Old Sep 21, 2006, 9:44 AM   #1
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I am about to buy my first DSLR and have decided (almost) to go for the EOS 400d, (XTi).
I've read a few reports that seem to imply that the 18-55 kit lens supplied with the camera could be better so I've been looking for an alternative at around the same price point.
So far I've found the SIGMA 28-70 DG and the TAMRON 28-80 both around the kit lens price.
I realise that all three have different focal lengths and they are at the cheaper end of the market but I was wondering how they would compare regarding image quality.
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Old Sep 21, 2006, 10:05 AM   #2
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The kit lens is better than both of those.

The internet "wisdom" that the entry level kit lenses (for all marques, but Canon in particular) are rubbish and you'd be better off with ANYTHING else is a fallacy.

That is not to say there aren't better options available.

The Sigma 17-70 or 18-125 are both nice lenses at a good price.

The problem with the old cheap standard zooms from the 35mm daysis that:
  1. They give you the wrong focal length coverage.[/*]
  2. The were made to a lower standard because the normal use of 35mm film (at the consumer end of the market) was less demanding on lenses.[/*]
  3. They are notgenerally digitally optimised (Sigma being the exception) so that they aremore prone to flare when used on a digital SLR compared to when used with film.
[/*]
I have an older 28-90mm Canon (consumer grade) lens that I got with my EOS 50E, when I tried it against the 18-55 kit lens with my 20D I found it to be optically inferior. At the time this surprised me.

Better lenses generally cost more money, this should not be a surprise to anyone. The kit lens is an excellent bargain. If you can spend more money on a lens you will be unlikely to regret it, but thereARE worse options than using the kit lens.
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Old Sep 21, 2006, 10:26 AM   #3
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I was using the kit lens for a little bit over a year before I replaced it with the 17-85 IS. The main reason I replaced the kit lens was because of the really cheap build quality. And for an aperture that slow, I might as well have a greater focal range coupled with IS.

The optics were never really an issue for me. Heck, the 17-85 has worse barrel distortions than the kit lens! As long as you know that the kit lens won't be able to take no-flash photography in low-light situations, I think you'll find it very useful.
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Old Sep 23, 2006, 6:28 PM   #4
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The problem with a lens that starts at 28mm on your DSLR is that you lose wide angle capabilities, since 28mm has an AOV comparable to 44mm on a full frame 35, and that's just a short normal lens, not wide angle.

The 17-85mm IS used to be available in a kit with about a $100 savings, compared to the body and lens separately, and that might be worth considering for the greater zoom range (it's like a 28-135 in AOV). Or if you don't need IS, either the Tamron or Sigma 18-200mm lenses give you an extreme range in a single lens. For some reason, Canon has not followed Nikon's lead with an 18-200 IS lens.

I agree, the kit lens is an extraordinary value and is higher quality than it is given credit for. The reason you may hear of bad pictures with that lens is that it is the kit lens on entry level DSLRs and sois often in the hands of beginners. So the part of the kit that is bad is the part directly behind the viewfinder. If you need a wider zoom or other feature like IS, then trade up, but don't do it for perceived quality advantage.
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 9:03 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice everyone. The kit lens certainly seems to be the way to go from what you say and for the price.
And Peripatetic, I will consider Sigmas 17-70 if funds allow :-)
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 10:43 AM   #6
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wburychka wrote:
Quote:
For some reason, Canon has not followed Nikon's lead with an 18-200 IS lens.
That's where Sigma step-in:
http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/1042...200mm_os_lens/
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 3:07 PM   #7
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NHL wrote:
Quote:
wburychka wrote:
Quote:
For some reason, Canon has not followed Nikon's lead with an 18-200 IS lens.
That's where Sigma step-in:
http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/1042...200mm_os_lens/
Wow, NHL. This is fantastic news. I never expected this from Sigma, who up until now had only one OS lens in its lineup. I gather this was just announced today, as it is not even on the Sigma website yet.

I'll be watching B&H for this one. Thanks for the news.
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