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Old Jun 23, 2009, 3:34 PM   #1
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Default Another lens or two?

Hi, hopefully I've put this in the right forum.

I moved up from my bridge camera a while ago and bought myself a Canon 400D, which for the most part I've been pretty happy with. It came with the stock EFS 18-55mm lens, which I haven't really used as it felt comparable in build quality to Windows 98. However, shortly after buying the camera I bought a Sigma DG 28-300mm 1:3.5-6.3 lens on the recommendation of a previous work colleague in that it was a good all purpose lens for a novice like myself. For the most part this has been the case and I've taken loads of photos with it, some of which I've been happy with and many more that I haven't but I'm increasingly finding that the lens doesn't fit the needs of the photograph that I want to take. On reflection and even though he had good intentions, I guess the idea of having an all-round lens on an SLR is somewhat pointless and gave me no real benefit over the bridge camera that I had previously.
So I'm now looking around for lenses and while I have done my research as best I could, I'm still flumuxed by the shear array and the number of options when it comes to buying a lens. So I was hoping to get some advice/opinions on another lens that I could buy. One of the issues I have with my current Sigma lens is never being quite able to get all that i want to get in shot, in shot. So perhaps a decent lens which would give me a wider angle for shots of people or buildings would be good.
I appreciate this is possibly somewhat of a daft question as the sheer number lenses I suspect also caters to an approximately equivalent number of needs depending on the photograph required. However, I can only say that my needs are probably no different to the average user....I like taking pictures of people, landscapes, small things i.e. flowers and probably some fast moving things too.
If I'm going about this the wrong way please then let me know or if there's any good reading material which could help me navigate this mine field as well as help me narrow down my choices then that would be a great help also.


Many thanks
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 4:17 PM   #2
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Well over the range it covers the 18-55 is a much better lens than the 28-300.

So why not try that out for a while.

As you have discovered there is a very wide range of choices. Have you got a budget in mind?
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 4:37 PM   #3
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Ok I'll try it out. Just the reading I had done before hand didn't have a good word to say about that lens other than it was barely passable or at least that's the impression I got, that and the feel anyway. I'll try it again though and see where I get, perhaps I'll get better pictures with it now than I initially got with it at the beginning and change my opinion on it.
As for budget, I'd prefer to spend relative to my experience so a budget of around 250 or a bit higher would cover that and hopefully still allow for a decent lens too.

thanks
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 7:33 PM   #4
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I don't know if the price is good or not, but Jessops has the Canon 55-250 IS lens for 239. It's sharper than the Tamron 28-300 you've got now, and it's stabilized. It won't be wider, but for something like that better than the kit 18-55, you'll need to go to the 17-85 IS which Jessops has for 419.
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Old Jun 24, 2009, 3:03 AM   #5
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Actually you don't say which version of the 18-55 you have. I assume it is one of the earlier non-IS versions.

The earlier 18-55 was fairly poor by comparison to most digital lenses, although still quite a lot sharper than the film lenses and particularly the film superzooms like the 28-300s. However the new 18-55 IS lens is much much better than the old one, and in a completely different league to the film superzooms.

Remember that the bigger the zoom range the more difficult it is to design the optics. You give up a lot of optical quality on a superzoom for the convenience of not needing to change lenses.

Having said that however there are now a few pretty decent superzooms around, the new Canon 18-200 IS is fairly good, and the Tamron 18-270 VC is also good for its type.

But a 250 budget is not going to give you any significant optical improvement unless you fancy looking at the used market.

If you want a significant step up in quality at a reasonable price your best choice is the 18-55 IS (140), which is cheaply built but optically good, and pair that with the 55-250 IS (220) which is pretty sharp and has good IS at a very reasonable price.

In addition you might like to go for a software "upgrade" as well as those two new lenses by using DXO Optics Pro - Standard Edition. (110) Check out their website.

If you can stretch to around 450 then that is definitely how I'd spend that money. :-)

Last edited by peripatetic; Jun 24, 2009 at 3:09 AM.
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