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Old Nov 16, 2009, 10:46 AM   #1
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Default Canon 18-135 vs Sigma 18-125 OS or something else

I have the T1i with the 18-55 mm kit lens. I posted yesterday about a zoom for candid kid pictures and after reading some other posts and doing some research, I don't think I need a 200mm zoom, but could get something with a smaller range. I need something that is easy to carry around - I can take it to the park on a daily basis. Fast AF is a big deal to me - especially in low-light (I will get an external flash). Willing to spend in the $500-600 range.

Uses: candid kid shots (action/indoor and out - will get an external flash). Want to be able to get the candid shot without being in the way and completely obvious.

Additional use: vacation shots

I am an amateur photographer.

Opinions on these lenses? I know the Canon is new and there are not too many reviews out there. Is there another range that I should consider instead?

Thanks!
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 1:41 PM   #2
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Something else.

According to the photozone tests they are both fairly horrible, much worse than your current lens.

The 15-85 IS is much better, but quite expensive. Do you really need such a big zoom range on one lens?

Something like the 55-200 is much better if you don't need to have one lens to do it all, and if you can walk a bit closer then your current lens is much better too.

I have never had any problems using a 50mm lens on FF and taking pictures of my kids. Just get closer they get used to it and then ignore you. :-)
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 1:53 PM   #3
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optically neither of these lenses is any better than their 18-200 brethren. so, not that good. its surprising then that canon would bundle their high resolution 7D with that weak 18-135 lens.. but thats another issue.

the 15-85 craig mentioned is a great choice.

sigma 50-150 2.8 or canon 70-200 f4 is another choice that could fit your candid needs, but would require you bring your 18-55 traveling for wide-angle shots. both of these are a lil over your budget as well.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 2:18 PM   #4
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I would be willing to consider the Canon 70-200 f4, but it seems like a behemoth to carry around everyday, especially with a small child who also likes to be carried around. That was why I started looking for a smaller range zoom since I don't think I need to go to 200 mm.

Suggestions?
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 2:27 PM   #5
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well, i have the old 28-135 IS. it covers a decent focal length, though on a crop body its not very wide at 28mm. it has a fast USM. the IS is ok, but its generation 1, so its probably ~2 stops max.

i used it more on my 20d where it performed pretty well. wasn't great, wasn't bad. i don't think i have even mounted it on my 50d yet. my guess is that the newer 15mp sensor will show this lenses weaknesses.

the 70-400 or the 50-150 would be significantly sharper.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 2:31 PM   #6
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What about the Canon 17-85 mm (less expensive). To be honest, with the kit lens I have the wide angle covered - it is the distance 55 mm + that i need to cover for those candid shots and that is the issue that is most important to me at this point.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 2:40 PM   #7
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the 17-85 is not that great either. not bad, per se, but not good.

if you are fine using your 18-55 for wide-angle. the 55-250 IS or the 70-300 IS are two cheaper alternatives to the 70-200 f4 / sig 50-150.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 2:55 PM   #8
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Okay, so if I can afford it, the 15-85 mm would be great.

If I cannot afford it, then the 55-250 would be better than the 18-135? Or the Sigma 50-150. Right?

What are the concerns about the 18-135?

Thanks!
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 6:03 PM   #9
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What about the Canon 28-70 f2.8? Looks like a reasonable cost and good reviews, but I guess I am wondering if I have the kit lens and then get the 28-70 mm has that given me enough range? With both lenses that gets me from 18-70mm, will I miss the range above 70 in terms of vacation landscape shots? Is the small jump from 55 mm to 70 mm worth the price (I know the smaller aperture is a good thing and I think it is an L lens). Just trying to get the best lens I can, that is portable on a daily basis, gets my candid shots, but does not mean that I will have to buy another lens sometime soon to increase my range for the vacation shot.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 9:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CynthiaK View Post
I have the T1i with the 18-55 mm kit lens. I posted yesterday about a zoom for candid kid pictures and after reading some other posts and doing some research, I don't think I need a 200mm zoom, but could get something with a smaller range. I need something that is easy to carry around - I can take it to the park on a daily basis. Fast AF is a big deal to me - especially in low-light (I will get an external flash). Willing to spend in the $500-600 range.

Uses: candid kid shots (action/indoor and out - will get an external flash). Want to be able to get the candid shot without being in the way and completely obvious.

Additional use: vacation shots

I am an amateur photographer.

Opinions on these lenses? I know the Canon is new and there are not too many reviews out there. Is there another range that I should consider instead?

Thanks!
I'm in a similar situation - new T1i owner, also have a Panasonic DMC-TZ5.

Here's two suggestions: (1) Beach Camera appears to be clearing out their inventory of Tamron 18-250 "super zoom" lenses on eBay at an attractive price that's so "in your budget" that you'd just about have enough left over to purchase the external flash, (2) Rent the lense of your choice from lensrentals.com.

Suggestion #1 certainly would meet your "easy to carry around" and "able to get the candid shot without being in the way and completely obvious" criteria. And keep the lid on your budget. Beach Camera, by the way, is an authorized Tamron dealer which, I believe, means you get the benefit of Tamron's six year warranty and Beach's 30-day return policy (disclaimers: I am not affiliated with Beach Camera in any way, trust but verify anything I say about them or Tamron's warranty).

Regarding suggestion #2, I'm renting a Canon 70-200 f/4 IS to take along on our Thanksgiving vacation to Santa Barbara, Big Sur, Carmel and Monterrey.

Just some thoughts from a fellow traveler.

Last edited by gschaps; Nov 16, 2009 at 9:57 PM.
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