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Old Jun 17, 2008, 10:51 AM   #1
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I'm leaning towards buying a XSi as my first digital SLR. I used to shoot with a Canon A1 years ago and just can't peel myself from the brand.

Having forgotten all my photography basics, can anyone tell me why this 17-85 lens would be a better choice than the stock kit lens 18-55? I want something that will give me the versatility to last for a while.

I mainly want to use the camera to rehone my skills, take family shots with, take some courses when time allows. I was hoping that I could get away without splurging for the 75-200 lens kit by just buying the body and the 17-85 separately.

Thanks for the info!
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Old Jun 19, 2008, 11:52 PM   #2
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Hi Cherylam,

Although I am not a Canon user(digital, that is), my nephew has an xti, so that gives me the right to chime in :-). Although the new version of the 18-55 kit lens is said to be much improved over the original(the new one has IS), there is still a limitation that they both share. I use Nikon's version of the 18-55mm lens on occasion and find that I get good results generally. What I don't like is the lack of reach of a longer lens. If both 18-55 and 17-85 were identical in IQ I would choose the latter simply for the reach. There is a substantial price difference between the two lenses you mentioned, but in the long run, you may be happier with the 17-85.

As for why you should choose this lens over the other, image quality, and if you shoot people portraits, the 17-85 will give you more flexibility with framing. I'm sure other folks will add or subtract form what I have written, but that is my .02. Robert
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Old Jun 20, 2008, 1:30 AM   #3
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The 17-85 IS was a lot better than the original 18-55 kit lens. I owned them both.

The new 18-55 IS however is much sharper and cheaper and has IS, so if you can manage with the slightly reduced range then the new 18-55 IS is a fantastic little lens for very little money.

If I were buying today the new 18-55 IS is a no-brainer and I would take it in preference to the 17-85 and spend the remainder on something else.
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Old Jun 21, 2008, 1:13 PM   #4
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Hmm....conflicting opinions! I like the controversy.

Events have transpired as of late, and I'm now a proud owner of a used 20d. I'm very excited to own this camera, and even more excited to buy some lenses to use it with.

Since I've "saved" by buying only a body, I guess I can spend on lenses. This is how I hope the story continues...

17-85mm...then add a 50mm f/1.8 (it's so darn cheap!)...then if money to spare, add a 70-300mm IS

I'm hoping this covers my bases for awhile. I'd sure love the L lenses, esp in the 70-200mm, but I think I'll have to improve (acquire!) skills to warrant such a splurge.

In competition with the 17-85, I'm toying (just a bit) with getting a 28-135 instead. I hear this is also a good single lens to consider. BUt I think I'd miss the wide angle advantage the 17-85 would provide, given I've got many family functions I usually attend.

Have I made a good decision?
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Old Jun 21, 2008, 9:49 PM   #5
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Cherylam, conflicting opinions foster thought, and thought produces decisions...Congrats on the 20D. Great camera, and capable of making great photographs. Since the 18-55mm issue is all but dead, I thought I would offer more opinions with your remaining decisions. First, back to the 17-85. I still think that is a good choice for a "first" lens. Second, as to the 70-200L, unless you want to shell out 1500+ USD for thje f2.8, the 70-200L f/4 can be had for around 600+-USD, or you could opt for the new Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 for the same price as the f/4 canon. Image quality-wise, I don't have a clue how they compare. Maybe someone on here does. As for the 70-300 is, if you get the 70-200 then I wouldn't bother. Either or, but the 70-200 f/2.8 would be a definite factor in my decision between those two.Many will say there's not a lot of difference between 200 and 300 mm. That's for you to decide.

http://www.usa.canon.com/app/html/EF...al_length.html

Good luck on your decision. Whatever you decide will be right...Robert
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Old Jun 22, 2008, 1:29 AM   #6
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cherylam,

I think the 17-85 IS + 70-300 IS is an excellent starter set.

Good quality lenses with IS covering 28-480mm equivalent focal length.

I would strongly recommend against the 28-135 unless you are going to have another wide angle lens. 28*1.6=45mm which is not wide, and unless you know for sure that you want more at the telephoto for most of your shots you would do better to start with the 17-85.

Notice that 17-85*1.6 = 27-136 equivalent. The 17-85 is the equivalent lens for the 28-135 when used on FF35mm. It was made to do the same job. The 28-135 is an older lens that was released before digital.

As to the 50 f1.8, well sure why not? It's so cheap you have little to lose. But keep in mind the 1.6 multiplier. On a crop camera it comes out to the equivalent of 80mm. If you really want a fast "normal" prime then consider instead the 28mm f1.8, 35mm f2, or Sigma 30mm f1.4.

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Old Jun 22, 2008, 11:31 AM   #7
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cherylam,

No more conflicting opinions, I absolutely agree with peripatetic.
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