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Old Jul 26, 2010, 9:06 AM   #11
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I don't know where you might have heard that the kit 18-55 holds the T2i back, but I disagree. As a kit lens, it performs very well.
The T2i like other cameras with high resolution sensors (7D, 50D) needs very good glass because of the high resolution; the higher resolution is of course a marketing thing, but from a "working" point of view the high pixel count means that in practice you should be able to crop an image significantly and still have a good quality file to work with. Crops from the kit lens are not bad, but compared to a crop from better glass there is of course no comparison.

I have experienced this firsthand; the kit lens is by no means a bad lens, but compared the Sigma 17-70mm there are worlds of difference in IQ eg. sharpness/contrast/colour/bokeh etc. I would recommend this lens as a good all-rounder.
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 10:10 AM   #12
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The Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 is indeed an very good lens, but that doesn't relegate the Canon 18-55 IS kit lens to the status of an "also ran". Plus the kit lens bests the stabilized version of the Sigma 17-70.

The T2i has the luxury of being held back by anything but first rate lenses, but that doesn't exclude the kit lens. Just because it's a bargain doesn't mean it's not worth having. It's not as long as the Sigma, it's not as wide as the Sigma, it doesn't focus as closely as the Sigma, but it's almost as good, it's a lot less expensive, and it's stabilized.
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 9:10 AM   #13
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I would definitely prioritise IQ over whether or not a lens is stabilized, though At the end of the day the extra money goes to better glass, which is precisely why I'm getting the 17-70mm again: to take more pictures like this:



Although it is a nice thing to have, I would argue that stabilization is more of a luxury than a necessity in that focal range. But to each his own, of course.
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 10:01 AM   #14
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I like the photo you posted. I note than it was shot at a focal length of 40mm at an aperture of f/4.0. At that focal length, the Canon kit lens can only go as wide as f/4.5, but the depth of field would not have been very different. Also, at that focal length and aperture, the Canon kit lens has less distortion, and is very slightly sharper, though it does have more chromatic aberration. (All based on the test results of the two lenses at SLRGear.com.) If you had taken that same photo with the Canon kit lens, the results would have been very similar. In fact, I doubt anyone would have been able to tell the difference.

And while you may consider image stabilization a luxury, I consider it a tool that I can choose to use or not. You had the luxury of using a shutter speed of 1/160 for that shot, but only because you cranked up the ISO to 1600. Image stabilization would have allowed you to use a shutter speed of 1/80 and an ISO of 800. That wouldn't have increased motion blur due to subject movement by very much, and it would have reduced image noise.

So, in that instance, the Canon kit lens could have produced results as good, possibly even better than you got with the Sigma 17-70, and it's less than half the price.

To be sure, there are situations where the unstabilized Sigma 17-70 outshines the Canon kit lens. But there are situations where their performance is nearly equal. And there are situations where the image stabilization can come in handy.
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 11:24 AM   #15
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I also have the t2i , with it i bought the kit 18-55 ad the 75-300. Since then i sold the 75-300 and bought the 70-300 (all Canon) ,a far far better lens
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 1:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav
I like the photo you posted. I note than it was shot at a focal length of 40mm at an aperture of f/4.0. At that focal length, the Canon kit lens can only go as wide as f/4.5, but the depth of field would not have been very different. Also, at that focal length and aperture, the Canon kit lens has less distortion, and is very slightly sharper, though it does have more chromatic aberration. (All based on the test results of the two lenses at SLRGear.com.) If you had taken that same photo with the Canon kit lens, the results would have been very similar. In fact, I doubt anyone would have been able to tell the difference.
In my experience the Sigma is much better than the kit lens; the kit lens surprised me with its quality, but the copy of the Sigma I had was streets ahead optically (I hope my second copy is as good). That's not to say that similar results cannot be achieved with both lenses, but in terms of functionality there are things that the kit lens either cannot do as well or cannot do at all - f/2.8, 50-70mm, and macro.
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 2:11 PM   #17
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... but in terms of functionality there are things that the kit lens either cannot do as well or cannot do at all - f/2.8, 50-70mm, and macro.
Absolutely.
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 7:21 PM   #18
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I went through this discussion a few months ago, having also recently purchased a T2i and also read about how the kit lens holds the camera back. I think a person's budget drives many of these decisions.

With unlimited resources, a 17-55 lens is an easy choice to replace the kit 18-55 lens. With limited resources, the picture is a little different. If the f3.5 is not fast enough, an f2.8 probably wont be enough to make the difference, and a quality external flash is called for. And so the plot thickens - $1500 for the 17-55mm, and $450 for the speedlite 580 or $280 for the speedlite 430. Or the kit lens with a speedlite.

I'm guessing that budget is an issue otherwise we'd be talking about the 7D. After my round of discussions, I left with the idea that I'd work the kit lens until I hit up against the limits of it's capabilities, and then look for something sharper / faster. Honestly, I haven't hit the limits just yet. Other have needed more, but I'm still happy with the kit lens for my needs.
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