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Old Aug 21, 2010, 9:22 AM   #11
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While I cant vouch for the 15-85 I can say that I avoid buying EF-S glass. If you ever decide to leave the 1.6x crop body you will have to buy new glass. The EF series works on all of them. Some complain about L glass because of its cost and will insinuate that a less expensive model is better but if you buy used and retain the condition as close to new as possible you can normally sell and get your money back, like a free rental. Sometimes even turn a profit as the used market follows the retail market. If I were in your shoes I would invest in the 24-70 2.8L or 24-105 4L IS . Personally I find the image quality of the 24-70 to be sharper and have more contrast. If you are really into photograhy and want your images to stand out then you need to invest in top notch glass. If you are mostly just photographing for memories and snapshots and dont really want to invest then I would suggest a much less expensive P&S alternative.
I strongly disagree. Say one day you move to FF. Either you sell your crop 1.6 body, in which case sell your EF-S lenses too, or you keep your 1.6 body and your EF-S lenses.

By selecting a 24-x lens now you commit yourself to the wrong focal lengths for a walk-around lens for the entire life of your current body. Just in case one day you ever decide to upgrade?

Complete madness!

As to the idea that you either buy L lenses or you should stick with a P&S.

ROFLMAO. Also complete madness.
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Old Aug 21, 2010, 9:54 PM   #12
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Take a look at what you shoot. I have the kit 18-55, I never use it as I have hated it from day one. Totally the wrong focal length for me. For others it may work, but 18 is too wide and 55 way too short for walk around duty. I currently shoot the 28-135 and find the range about perfect on my T2i. Actually I have only gone to 28 a couple of times, but it is wide enough for what I call walk around duty. I am not saying that you should not go to the 15-85, just figure what you shoot 80-90% of the time and put that on the camera. Carry the other lengths in the bag. As far as EF vs EF-S I agree with Peripatetic, not a big deal!
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Old Aug 22, 2010, 2:01 AM   #13
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figure what you shoot 80-90% of the time and put that on the camera
This is perfect advice. If you know what you shoot. If you don't, then it is logical to go with the wide-angle to short telephoto that every manufacturer of fixed focal length cameas chooses, and every interchangeable lens camera has as its kit lens. Statistically speaking you are not very likely to find the 28-135 wide enough as your "I'm just taking one lens with me today" lens.

My personal walk-around lens is a 50mm prime on 35mm film or FF sensor. That covers 90% of what I shoot. I also own a 24-105L and 70-300 DO for my Canon camera, but I only use the tele-zoom once a year on safari, and I mostly use the 24-105 at 24.

But I wouldn't particularly recommend a 50mm equivalent as a walk-around lens unless you already know what kind of photographs you like making. On a crop Canon body my walk-around was the 28mm f1.8. That is probably not the wisest starting choice for the OP however.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 7:36 AM   #14
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I strongly disagree. Say one day you move to FF. Either you sell your crop 1.6 body, in which case sell your EF-S lenses too, or you keep your 1.6 body and your EF-S lenses.

By selecting a 24-x lens now you commit yourself to the wrong focal lengths for a walk-around lens for the entire life of your current body. Just in case one day you ever decide to upgrade?

Complete madness!

As to the idea that you either buy L lenses or you should stick with a P&S.

ROFLMAO. Also complete madness.
I dont see your point with the FL part of this, There is a distinct difference between FL and FOV. My point was if you have an EF lens it will work on anything and you have the choice to keep or change. If you by EF-S you have to change. I started on a 1.6 Crop body 20D and still have most of the EF lenses I bought after getting rid of the EF-S kit lens that came with it. I shoot FF and 1.3 crop 1d bodies now. Comitting yourself to the wrong FL will be the same result regardless, If the EF is wrong so is the EF-S. The strong suit of EF glass on EF-S bodies is the EF is designed to go all the way out to FF so when you are shooting with EF glass on a 1.6 body you are only using the "sweet spot" of the glass and its easily noticed that any corner fall off and pin cushion barrel distortion is not present on the 1.6 crop whereas its there using EF-S glass.

Rollling on to the second comment I never said either buy L glass or stick with P&S. What I did say in laymans terms is if you expect to get top notch results from bottom shelf glass its not going to happen and you can get equal results (sometimes better)from current P&S cameras as this technology has evolved. My recommendation to go with L glass is based on build quality and the simple fact that it will retain at least 80% of its current retail value in the used market where non L glass is a buyers market.

Bottom line is you get what you pay for. Dont expect Bugatti performance from a Yugo.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 8:04 AM   #15
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A wonderfully restrained response to my earlier provocative (bordering rude - my apologies) post.

It all depends on what's in your camera bag.

My assertion is that the empirically and statistically "correct" FOV for a "walkaround" lens is one which covers standard-wide to short telephoto. At least 28-70 in 35mm equivalent terms. A bit wider and a fair bit longer are fine. But the core corresponding FOV is essential. Therefore a lens like the 24-70 or 24-105 is "wrong" for a 1.6 "walkaround" lens, it's widest view is 45mm equivalent, so you would need to supplement it with another lens or two. In this respect the 17-40 L is a much better choice on a 1.6 crop.

There are other aspects to improving overall IQ apart from just those which go into the L lenses - IS for example. The lens tests show that the 15-85 is pretty much a better lens in every respect except build quality than the 17-40 or 24-70.

If you are planning on having a lens collection covering a wide range of focal lengths and possibly multiple camera bodies then sure, it makes good sense to choose EF lenses wherever possible.

That is not my take on what the OP is looking for however. It seems that although he may well end up with more gear in the long run, what he is looking for right now is the best single lens to cover as broad a variety of shooting needs as possible. He is going to purchase a Rebel body. This will be his first DSLR. He is a fair distance off moving to a larger sensor; probably many years if he follows the normal upgrade path of going first for an XXD then 7D body en route.

As to Bugatti performance from a Yugo... Well yes. All things considered you pretty much get what you pay for. A $1500 lens is going to be better, all factors considered than a $750 lens. But not all factors count equally for all users. There is no current L lens to cover the standard "walkaround" FL/FOV for the 1.6 cameras. This is a very conscious marketing decision by Canon.

I prefer shooting with fixed focal length lenses. I sold my 50 f1.2 L and went back to the 50 f1.4. I would also never own the 24L, 35L or 85L. I would much prefer the 28 f1.8, 35 f2 or 85 f1.8. Why? Because I don't shoot at very wide apertures in general and find the extra weight and conspicuousness of the lenses to be detrimental to my aims. But at f5.6 - f11 those primes I prefer are optically the equal of the L lenses, sometimes sharper, with possibly slightly different colour rendition, certainly not obviously worse.

Not everyone needs, wants or can afford 1-series bodies and L lenses.

If you were to go out for a week's shooting with a T2i, and were only allowed to take one lens which one would you choose? Is your considered advice really that he get a 24-70 L to hang off the front of the T2i?
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 8:51 PM   #16
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In short yes.
Unless you are shooting landscapes or building there is no need to go uber wide IMO
Then again this all falls under the preference of the shooter. Some always want wide, others perfer to fill the frame with a particular subject. I fall into the latter.
Much like you I prefer primes when I can carry enough. My two favorite walk arounds are the 24-70 and the 70-200 depending on where I am going and if I can only carry 1 lens. My current favorite lens is the 200 2.0L but then as you stated not everyone has the same priorities when it comes to purchasing glass. I certainly didnt intend to come across as being a buttflea, Im new here and used to forums that are mostly professionals and there arent even any areas for P&S. Most of them have Canon or Nikon DSLR gear talk and thats the end of it. I always go with the widest aperture I can, biggest reason is light doesnt always cooperate and flash photography Isnt allowed everywhere. I have both the 85 1.2 and the 85 1.8. They are both decent lenses but Im sorry the 85 1.2 IQ at any given aperture is far superior. The only short coming is has is its focus speed which is why I also have the 85 1.8, The 50 1.2 is a soft lens that IMO isnt worth having. I would choose the 50 1.4 over that one any day. There is a reason for the extra weight, thicker and more elements in more groups weighs more. I would kick this over to a review site that is non biased and shows MTF charts etc but Im not so sure that is allowed.

At the end of the day we could go back and forth about this in a never ending cycle. My opinion was very much the same as yours before I found my way. I refused to spend the extra money for a small change in aperture as they cant be that different, well yes they are. When Im standing on the sidelines shooting and everyone else is packing up Im still going. When everyone else is having to rely on a flash I'm shooting ambient light. When everyone else is wondering why they cant match my images with their gear I already know...been there and done that.

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Old Aug 24, 2010, 2:08 AM   #17
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Well there you go. :-)

That's what forums are for -to get a variety of opinions. If we can express ourselves clearly then the OP can decide which advice might be best for him.

Steves doesn't do lens reviews, so there's no reason not to link to other sites. The lens reviews I trust most are those at slrgear.com, and I suppose photozone.de. I personally don't find sites like fredmiranda very compelling: anecdotes are just anecdotes (not data) even when told by pros.

This forum is mostly populated by amateurs and semi-pros. Not many people here make their full-time living out of photography. All perspectives are welcome of course, and we all try to be friendly and give the best advice we can to answer the posters' questions.
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Old Aug 24, 2010, 6:58 AM   #18
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Now thats a much more pleasant approach. Yes everyone does have their opinion and some are biased, I will admit that sometimes I am biased and hard to turn. Just find it a bit unsettling when someone quotes my post and says my opinion is BS.

Fredmiranda has a fairly good member base but I dont read the reviews there as they are all simply member ratings often with no data or even sample photos. Same with Dpreview. My trusted source that walks though every piece of gear is the digital picture. While limited to Canon and Nikon he goes though everything with a fine tooth comb. Rob Galbraith sometimes has some interesting things to say but is very biased and very opionionated. I find the Nikon crowd to be the largest followers there.

I dont make my full time living at photography either, My primary income is as an elecronics engineer. I make enough from photography to pay for my gear and have fun money for an exotic vacation shooting mostly youth sports and senior potrait packages. It allows me to dump more into my retirement account as well. The other subjects are for love of the art. Wedding photogs around me are a dime a dozen. The business in general is very cut throat here and you really have to stand out from the crowd to get anywhere. There are times when a photog is chosen simply by appearance, not saying its right but you can put a gifted photog in the group holding a consumer camera with a kit lens that is dressed in shorts and a funny hat then put someone right beside him dressed nicely holding a pro body with a big white lens that knows nothing about photography and guess who gets the job. Its not the guy in the funny hat. Any advice I offer is based on personal experience, Im not one to go off reading reviews somewhere and post a comment based on that. I might offer that as a source for thought but thats about it. If I know nothing about the gear I wont say anything and if asked directly I will say I dont know.
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