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Old Dec 18, 2006, 3:56 PM   #1
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So the more I read up on various lenses the more confused I'm getting.

The story so far is that I purchased the XT with a kit lens mainly because I have a Rebel film camera and was hoping to use the Sigma telephoto lens with the digital camera. Turns out I can't use the Sigma since it's too old. Had I known this before I might have seriously looked at the Sony Alpha with its anti-shake system.

Now that I've got the XT, I'm trying to optimize on various fronts:

- I'd like a fast lens, somewhat as a compensation for lack of IS in the body since I have no intention of a lot more money for the heavier IS lenses. I'd preferably like a 2.8 lens, but may compromise on a 3.5.
- I'd like to carry only 1 lens for most of my photography, which consists of people shots, general travel and landscape shots, some night and low light shots. So something fast and something above 100 mm would be good. I may be willing to carry 2 lenses if they're on the light side and I can find a good argument to do so.

So I'm looking at the following:

- Tamron 24-135 f3.5-5.6, which doesn't get a good review at PhotoZone.
- Tamron 28-75 f2.8 XR DI, which has great reviews, but is probably not wide or long enough
- Sigma 24-135 f2.8-4.5: This sounds like a good lens, but I haven't come across too many reviews of it. Besides it hasn't been specifically designed for digitals.
- Sigma 18-125 f3.5-5.6: great range, but perhaps not fast enough, and it received a pretty bad review (at least as far as AF goes) on PhotoZone.

An alternative may be to get a combination of two lenses like the following:
- Sigma 17-70 f2.8 - 4.5 DC and Sigma 55-200 f4-5.6 DC. This way I'd use the 17-70 (which has great reviews) most of the time and use the cheapo 55-200 only on the rare occasion that I need more zoom.

In all of these scenarios I'll have to dump the kit lens, which is such a shame, considering that it isn't all that bad. I wouldn't consider replacing it if it could handle f2.8 even if only at the low end of the zoom.

Any ideas, advice, comments?

Thanks.
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Old Dec 18, 2006, 5:29 PM   #2
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Here's a nice combo that won't break the bank:

Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Maco. If getting the Sigma, make sure you're getting the "APO" version.
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Old Dec 18, 2006, 8:44 PM   #3
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I have the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8. It is very nice and sharp. It's much better than the kit lens in low light. I have an inexpensive 55-200mm that doesn't get much use.


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Old Dec 18, 2006, 10:19 PM   #4
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Have you called Sigma tech support? They might be able to rechip the lens for a fee. I may have the number around somewhere - pm me if you want it.
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Old Dec 18, 2006, 10:23 PM   #5
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I have the Tamron 17-35 and I find the 17mm end very useful, and a very good lens.

Having the ability to go out to 50mm is nice.

Another nice walkaround lens is the Canon 17-85 IS.

It's an F4 lens, but in many cases F2.8 doesn't really buy you much depth of field anyways.

-- terry
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Old Dec 21, 2006, 1:19 PM   #6
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Thanks for your thoughts, folks.

No, Sigma can't fix the problem with my old lens since it's very old and they don't have the necessary parts.

The confusion prevails, but I've more or less resigned to the fact that I might have to have 2, maybe 3 lenses. I simply can't afford lenses like Canon 24-105 IS or the Canon 17-40 F4L. The combinations I'm considering are:

1. Sigma 17-70 for the walkaround lens; Sigma 70-300 APO; Canon 50 mm f1.8 for indoor, portraiture, etc.

2. Tamron AF 17-50 f2.8 SP Di; Sigma 55-200

3. Sigma AF 18-50 f2.8; Sigma 55-200

4. Tamron AF 24-135 f3.5-5.6; Canon 50 mm f1.8; Sigma 70-300 APO

Any thoughts on these?
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Old Dec 21, 2006, 2:27 PM   #7
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I think I like options 2 & 3. I don't use my 50mm f1.8 very much anymore since I bought the 17-50mm f2.8.
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Old Dec 21, 2006, 5:48 PM   #8
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I think option #1 will give you less lens changes as 50-70mm range on 17-70 is very useful and gets used a lot indoors. 17-50mm is just does not have the enough range on the long end. If you don't mind swapping lenses a lot thenI will go with option #2.
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Old Dec 21, 2006, 6:44 PM   #9
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sigma 18-125, canon 50mm f1.8, sigma 70-300 APO DG..

OR tamron 17-50, and sigma 70-300

these two will come out to around 410 + 150

Between 50 and 70mm think its a difference between moving one step forward or may be a maximum of two steps...

nothing more....
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Old Dec 21, 2006, 7:50 PM   #10
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I just got my Tamron 17-50 and am so far very pleased. I didn't take but a handful of shots, but the improvement over the kit lens is very apparent already.
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