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Old Jan 24, 2006, 2:10 PM   #1
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White objects in puctures giving me chromatic flaring, soft images, barrel distortion, you name it this lens does it.

I am very unimpressed with this lens. I wish I had bought the 20D without the kit lens and got something else!

I currently also have a Sigma 55-200 f-f5.6 DC which seems ok and has given me some nice pics so far, certanily better than the 18-55! I guess that means that the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC may be a good option and to keep the 55-200 for the moment until I can upgrade.

Would something like a Tamron 18-200 or Sigma 18-200 give me significantly better image quality? I can tolerate a bit of barrel distortion at the wide angle end, as it's easily corrected in photoshop, but soft focus and flaring are not so easy to repair. I like the description of the
Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II but I have no idea what the image quality is like. I'm also not sure how f6.3 comapres to f5.6 in terms of real world photography - is that a significant difference or not?

As my main interest is wildlife (which means I need to hide and use a long lens!) I plan to also get a nice zoom up to 400mm, which I think the Canon 100-400 IS USM f4.5-f5.6 looks ideal, although the Sigma 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG OS also looks very good - I am having trouble deciding. I don't like the white lens because it's white - daft as it sounds I think that may make it more likely to reflect light and scare wildlife, so I can see me needing a make-shift camoflage cover for it. Optically I don't know how the two compare. I'd love a 400mm f2.8 naturally, but I just can't afford that and the weight is a factor for me as I will be carrying the gear everywhere (I rely on public transport).

Sadly nowhere has the lenses in stock to try, so it would have to be mail order, hence the need for the research. Ideally I think I'd want 2 lenses in the bag as long as image quality didn't suffer significantly, so I'm covered for most things.

I also really like macro-photography, and I have some non-electronic extension tubes (which I think means I can't adjust aperture on any of the lenses) - should I be looking at a prime macro lens or would it be more flexible and hardly noticable difference if I got electronically coupled tubes to use with an 18-200 lens?

All these decisions! Hellllpppp.....

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Old Jan 24, 2006, 7:31 PM   #2
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Well, I'm not expert on the topic, but I have a few observations.

Most people start out by getting a wide zoom, or carry around lens.

Then they add either a super wide zoom or a tele zoom or both.

That way, they have a zoom that handles the full range offocal lengths that they'd need 95 percent of the time.

They don't expect one zoom to do it all, unless they are willing to compromise some image quality for it.

After owning two or three zooms, then usually the pattern is to look at some dedicated primes.

They might buy a prime lens like a50mm F1.8 for low light, or an 85mm for portraits, or a 400mm for birding, or whatever theirspecific interest.

That's the general pattern, and by no means does anyone have to stick by it.

But by knowing the usual pattern, and where you might deviate, you might avoid buying and rebuying lenses due to poor earlier choices.

-- Terry
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Old Jan 25, 2006, 2:02 AM   #3
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Would something like a Tamron 18-200 or Sigma 18-200 give me significantly better image quality?

I think that is extremely unlikely.

CA and barrel distortion are a problem with the 18-55, particilarly soft images are not generally characteristic of this lens.

If you look at the MTF charts I think you will see that the 18-55 is a little better than the Sigma 18-200, this is to be expected it covers a much smaller zoom range after all.

You would certainly be much better off replacing it with the 18-50 EX if you are concerned with quality. Other options are the 17-40L and the 17-85 IS.

One more consideration is to consider purchasing DXO optics and getting a software upgrade for the lens, it is excellent at correcting CA and distortion and quite good at correcting sharpness issues as well. The new pricing model means that you can download lens modules for free as well, so it's a software upgrade for ALL your current and future lenses.

At any rate there is a free trial available so it can't hurt to try it out.

You don't say how experienced a photographer you are or how much experience you have with digital SLRs in general and Canons in particular. This may be relevant because getting the sharpness right in digital SLR photography is not a trivial task, there is a lot to learn.

Though if you are very happy with the 50mm end of your 50-200 and very unhappy with the 50mm end of the 18-55 then it may well be that you have a quality issue with your lens.

My personal view is that the combination of the 17-85 and the 100-400 is a pretty good and versatile set. Perhaps combined with a 28mm f1.8 prime and you'll be covering most bases.

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Old Jan 25, 2006, 8:41 AM   #4
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That's a nice rcommendatoin peripatic.

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