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Old Sep 20, 2005, 3:55 PM   #1
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So I've had my 20D for less than a month now and I'm really enjoying it. I bought it with the EF-S 18-55 lens and while it's not a great lens, it still does the job fairly well. By selling my compact (Sony V3) I will get the cash I need to invest in a new walkaround lens. I could go for something suitable for landscape photography but I feel it would be better to get a new standard lens first.

I've searched the web looking for reviews (Steve's, DP Review, Fred Miranda & Photozone) of the contenders and I'm a bit lost right now. The lenses I've been looking at are: Tamron 28-75 XR Di, Tokina AT-X 28-70 PRO SV, Sigma EX 18-50 DC and Sigma EX 24-70 DG. If I buy used I could probably afford Canon's EF-S 17-85 or even the 17-40 L. The cheaper 24-70s all get good test results, especially the Tamron. Sounds like a very sharp lens with few disadvantages. What I'm worried about is the wide end -- 28mm on a 20D ain't much. Which is why the Sigma 18-50 looks good. BUT, that one has got some mixed reviews. Canon's 17-40 gets stunning reviews but the range isn't that great and I've seen a couple of threads here claiming that the 17-85 is just as good for a 20D. And it's got a greater range. If this is true, then why does it get so much lower ratings at FM and especially Photozone? The Photozone reviewers see it as a sub-average lens.

Considering I enjoy landscape and cityscape photography and plan to get something really wide for those purposes, would I be just as happy with a 24-70 as with a 18-50 walkaround? Should I opt for a wider walkaround so I can aim for primes for the landscape photography? Will the 17-40 be too short as a walkaround? How much attention should I pay to the review sites?

Here's a link to Photozone by the way. Extensive listings.
http://www.photozone.de/active/survey/surveyform.jsp
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 6:22 PM   #2
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if you are doing any landscape/cityscape you will need the 18mm on the wide end on a 20d..

the 18-50 2.8 is a tack sharp lens that boasts great build quality.. the 17-85 is very sharp as well and boasts a little better range.. either would suite you quite well... and of course the 17-40L is a superb lens.. for landscapes/cityscapes you may be able to get away with only going to 40mm on the long end..
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 7:13 PM   #3
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in general i've heard good reviews of the 18-50. I have, however, seen pictures at 18mm wide open suffer from CA.

I agree with hards about the 17-40. It's a good range if its for landscape/city shots.

I think that the 17-85 got some really harsh reviews in the beginning of its release (and maybe even now) because it's so closely priced to the 17-40L lens. On MTF charts, the 17-85 appears to do pretty well, but I think it suffers from distortions on the wide end when compared to the 17-40.
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 6:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. I don't need the walkaround specifically for landscape though. The next lens on the list will be a 1x-2x (like the Canon EF-S 10-22 or Tokina 12-24) more ideally suited for that type of photography. This is why I'm looking at the 2x-7x lenses as well. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to afford Canon's 24-70 f/2.8L or the new 24-105 f/4L IS USM (unfortuneatly) though. So, given the fact that I will invest in a ultra-wide angle zoom would your recommendations remain the same? Would I perhaps be better off with a good prime for the landscape photography instead? If so, can you recommend one? The 20s get good reviews but are they wide enough? I would think that a 14 or similar would be better, no?
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Old Sep 24, 2005, 1:13 PM   #5
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Hi,

First Congrats on the 20D. For a walkaround lens I have the often overlooked 28-70mm 2.8-4 Sigma. Don't let the low price fool you. It is a very good lens!

I mostly take Landscapes. I also tke pictures at carshows and airshows. If you are on a limited budget you can not beat this lens. I would NOT trade or sell my 28-70mm.

Have fun and enjoy whatever lens you do finally get.

bluwing
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Old Sep 24, 2005, 2:33 PM   #6
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Generally I would agree with the above choices.

But I am seriously thinking of adding Canons new entry to my bag when it comes out.
The new EF 24-105 F4 L IS USM, covers a lot of territory for a general walkabout lens.

Peter.
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Old Sep 25, 2005, 4:00 AM   #7
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I boght the Sigma 24-70 F/2.8 EX DG Macro and I just love the lens, very strong build, fast focus, 2.8 in overall focal range. Downsides: big filter size (82mm) en noisy AF. Be sure to test the latest Macro version, the other ones have bad optical performance... I heard from several people that Tamron is also very very good optically, downsides: build quality en a little les wide angle...
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Old Sep 25, 2005, 6:45 AM   #8
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Faan wrote:
Quote:
Downsides: big filter size (82mm) ...
Is it really?

If you stay within the Sigma family the 82mm is the 'standard' size: :-)
1. You can use a step-down to use on lesser lens (but not vice versa for smaller filters)
2. This filter is also shared among other Sigma WA's including the 12-24 EX which IMO you'll eventually notice because it's the only full-frame rectilinear super wide out there - The autofocus on the 12-24 EX is also silky quiet because it's HSM (plus it's affordable!)
3. The 82mm is also used on the 100-300 f/4 EX HSM which is practically a prime and is one of the sharpest lens Sigma ever makes...
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Old Sep 25, 2005, 1:37 PM   #9
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Doesn't the front element on Sigma's EX 12-24 hinder the use of a filter? The specs I've seen only mentions a rear gelatin filter holder.

It does seem wise though to settle for one (large) filter diameter and use step-up rings for your smaller lenses.
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Old Sep 25, 2005, 8:31 PM   #10
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Jocke wrote:
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Doesn't the front element on Sigma's EX 12-24 hinder the use of a filter? The specs I've seen only mentions a rear gelatin filter holder.
Not really... the 12-24 EX (like the Sigma 15-30 EX) comes with a hood adapter for APS-C camera where a front lens cap fits in. This lens cap is threaded for 82mm and is removeable, where a front filter can screw in its place - This hood/adapter assembly only works to about 14-15mm beyond that you'll need to slide the hood/adapter off like on most super-wide or it will vignette the corners.

See the shadows from the bottom of the boats or the underwater rocks below the shorelines:


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