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Old Dec 2, 2003, 10:22 PM   #1
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Default What's the best day-to-day lens I can buy for $500

I just bought a Canon 300D with the starter lens. While I am happy with my purchase I wonder what the next step up in lenses (for day-to-day use) would be that will not bankrupt me.

I had a Sony F717 with a superbly sharp, all-glass 5x Carl Zeiss F2-2.4 Vario-Sonar with a focal range of 38-190mm (35mm equivalent). Is there something available of similar quality for the 300D for $500 or less?
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Old Dec 2, 2003, 10:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: What's the best day-to-day lens I can buy for $500

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Originally Posted by fsm2i
I just bought a Canon 300D with the starter lens. While I am happy with my purchase I wonder what the next step up in lenses (for day-to-day use) would be that will not bankrupt me.

I had a Sony F717 with a superbly sharp, all-glass 5x Carl Zeiss F2-2.4 Vario-Sonar with a focal range of 38-190mm (35mm equivalent). Is there something available of similar quality for the 300D for $500 or less?
I have a silver 24-85mm lens coming. I have not tested it yet. You can get one for about $278 at b&h. Mine was about $320 with the lens hood, covers, etc. It was a rebuild by Canon that is supposedly one of the better ones... close to the 24-70L lens. If I spent just a little more money I would have went with a 28-135 IS. A lot of people seem to like the 28-135 IS. It should be just under $400. For the other $100 you could get a 50mm f/1.8.

Eric
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Old Dec 3, 2003, 2:42 AM   #3
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Actually, the 50mm f/1.8 is about 70 bucks. A killer lens for the money. Sure I'ts not USM, but it's great for shooting indoors without a flash. Don't have it yet, and B&H is almost always out of stock. They just got a new shipment in today and I placed my order. There's a lot of hype around that lens! older versions w/ metal mounts are selling for up to $150 on Ebay. Seeing you can can two of the newer (optically equivalent) ones for the same price, I can live with the cheapie plastic mount.

I'd like a 28-135 IS someday, but I figured the kit lens plus the 50mm f/1.8 would handle most of my indoor shooting. My 75-300 IS should do everything else. I like the softness at 300mm and the depth of field at short distances. I use it as a portrait lens believe it or not! The IS makes up for the fact that it's not as fast as some of the "red ring" lenses. I'm in love with it!

So, you could get a 75-300 IS w/ a 50mm f/1.8 and have a hellava versatile setup. Trust me, you want a good telephoto lens. Sure you'll have some discontinuities as far as distance is concerned, but why did God give us legs?
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Old Dec 3, 2003, 5:31 AM   #4
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Default Other choices...

Sigma 24-135 f2.8-4 is a good lense, a little blurry on the edges at full aperture but very good and cheaper. Its range gives 37-216mm on Rebel/300D/10D.

There's also the Tamron 24-135 f3.5-4.5 which is as good as Sigma (less distorsions but less luminosity...)

You can also view on transstandard zooms like the excellent Tamron 28-75/2.8 or Sigma 24-70/2.8 (very good lenses !) ; the Canon 28-135IS isn't as sharp as these lenses even if it gives Image stabilizer...

The Tamron can be completed with another telezoom lense to give a good range. But wide angle isn't terrible :roll: (44mm equiv. 35mm on the 10D/300D)
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Old Dec 4, 2003, 10:17 PM   #5
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I'd suggest the Sigma 28-105 f2.8-4. It's nice, not too long, reasonably fast. You'd should be able to get it plus a 50mm f1.8 for under $500.

One thing to consider is that the sensor in the digital Rebel is smaller than a 35mm frame of film. Lens tests that show problems at the extreme edge of the lens will be overstated than what you'd get with the digiRebel. That said - the better the lens overall will likely give you better shots on a Rebel.

The shots in my photo gallery are with the Sigma lens - it's what I use day to day.
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