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saintz Oct 14, 2011 11:35 AM

Best Canon SLR lens upgrade
I have:
Canon Rebel 300D
Canon 50mm f1.8
Canon 80-200mm f4.5-5.6
Canon 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS
Bower 728C flash

I have the chance to upgrade, and am looking for the best bang/buck. I recently upgraded from the original kit lens to the IS version, and like it much more. The body seems to do what I want, feature wise. The only feature of the newer bodies I would like would be improved autofocus, but that isn't huge for me. Not sure how much image quality would improve.

I am debating swapping the 80-200 for the 55-250, which seems a much better lens. I'm also debating a better main lens, like the 17-55mm f2.8. And swapping the Bower flash for a Canon 380/4XX/5XX. Even the 380EX looks like an improvement, and the 4 or 5 series would be great.

Thoughts? Thanks

TCav Oct 14, 2011 12:12 PM

I think the weak link in your kit is the 80-200, and agree that the 55-250 IS would be a significant improvement.

What, exactly, are you the least satisfied with?

saintz Oct 14, 2011 12:47 PM

Image quality. I want sharper and clearer. The 80-200 is mediocre. The 18-55 IS is good, but I'm wondering if the 17-55 (at about ten times the cost) will get me much more.

TCav Oct 15, 2011 3:56 AM

Yes, the Canon 17-55/2.8 will do better thanthe 18-55 kit lens. But so will the unstabilized Tamron 17-50/2.8 (at about 3 times the cost), the stabilized Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 (at about 3 times the cost), the stabilized Sigma 17-50/2.8 (at about 5 times the cost), the stabilized Canon 15-85 IS (at about 6 times the cost), or even the stabilized Sigma 18-50/2.8-4.5 (at about the same cost).

I still think the weak link is the 80-200, but if you don't use it often, then its flaws don't matter much, and replacing the kit lens is a better idea.

SIMON40 Oct 15, 2011 7:00 AM

The 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens is a gem and is far superior to the standard kit lens- but it is quite expensive.... but hey- it's your money..! :)

saintz Oct 15, 2011 2:21 PM

Forgot to mention I rarely shoot with the 80-200. Even the 50mm doesn't get a ton of use because it's a lot of zoom on the crop sensor.

Thanks for the list. I will check some of those. I had forgotten the 15-85.

peripatetic Oct 16, 2011 2:40 AM

The 15-85 is a tremendous lens.

Check out the blur charts at, I think all of the lenses TCav has mentioned have been tested there.

I know that if I was using a crop sensor on the Canon the 15-85 would be my main lens. No doubt about it.

saintz Oct 17, 2011 12:10 PM

I take it the 15-85 is optically between the 17-55 (better) and 18-55 (worse)?

I am also looking at the 28-135, which I take it is optically inferior to the 15-85, in addition to lacking a real wide angle, but much cheaper.

I'm also debating a 28mm f2.8 or 35mm f2 prime. I could probably get some of the shots that I use the kit lens for now with a prime smaller than the 50mm.

In retrospect, reading some reviews on the 17-55 versus the 18-55, I am having trouble justifying the cost. Tests seem to show the IQ is pretty darn close, at least under normal circumstances.

saintz Oct 17, 2011 12:18 PM

I recently took this with the 18-55 IS kit lens:

and these with the 50mm:

Which leads me to believe my equipment isn't that lacking, so much as I need to remember what I learned in high school and apply it. I'm curious how much any of the more expensive lenses would have improved or facilitated shots like these.

wave01 Oct 17, 2011 12:43 PM

Hi would look at s sigma 17-70 it's cheaper than the 15-85 and the results I get I am very pleased with it.

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