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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I currently have a canon dslr xsi that came with a 18-55mm lens. Now that I have been using it for months, I am finding that when I need to take a pic further away and wider, this lens is not cutting it.

What is the next lens up that you recommend for shooting just a little further and wider? I am in the kitchen, and trying to get a shot of a bird on the back fence

Cheers
 

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I have a nice 18-270mm Tamron that does a nice job along the spectrum.

I used it to replace my 18-55 and 70-300mm that came with my old DSLR.
 

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What is your budget? Do you want an all in one lens like 18-200 or are you willing to have 2 lenses one telephoto one wide angle for example.
 

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Unfortunately getting wider than that gets kind of expensive. A decent wide zoom for an aps sensor is around $500. But most of those don't go very long at all.

To get wider, longer and be an upgrade, I'd recommend two new lenses. A Tokina 12-24 /4 and a Canon 28-80 /2.8-4 would do well depending on your budget. They're both around $500 each.
You could also do the Canon 28-105 /3.5-4.5 instead of the 28-80 and save a few hundred bucks.

There is also a Canon 15-85 /3.5-5.6 that would be both wider, longer and conveniently one lens instead of two, but it's around $1000.

There is a lot more difference in the field of view the wider your focal length gets. A 16 mm lens is notably wider than an 18 for example, whereas the difference between 80 and 85mm is almost imperceptible.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ideally, I'll just like to do what James did above, I don't want to be lumping 2 lenses around and doing a swap.

James...know where I can pickup the 18-270 for cheap? I'll be willing to swap my 18-55 in the deal
 

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18-55mm is a standard kit lens so most folks already have one and thus hard to trade.

The Tamron lens is about 600 dollars.

It's a nice travelling lens though I usually bring a few.
 

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If you don't want to switch lenses then why don't you consider selling your DSLR and getting a super zoom P&S like the S3? I'm not being critical - just wondering.

When it comes to covering a wide focal range you can't have your cake and eat it too.

These super zooms trade image quality for convenience. The 18-55 is not a bad lens. The 55-250IS is not a bad lens. But both of them are better than any single lens that covers the whole range.

The Tamron lens is rated better than the Canon & Sigma equivalents (but not by much - it's more a case of the lesser of evils).

Another option is looking for a good deal on someone selling one of the dual lens kit lenses? I notice you are in Ottawa and a quick look on Kijiji I found someone selling a 55-250IS New In Box and others selling gently used ones for less than half the price of the Tamron lens.

However, be warned. I first replaced my 18-55 with a 24-85 as I wanted more reach (The wide end is easier). It's a slippery slope though. I augmented the 24-85 with a 70-200 f/4L. That saitieted my appetite for a while but I began to love the sharpness & contrast of the 70-200 and stopped using the 24-85 after while. It wasn't long before I replaced the 24-85 with a 24-105 f/4L IS. Then I wanted to go wide again and bought a 17-40 f/4L. The Itch just wouldn't stop though and I upgraded the 70-200 f/4L to a 70-200 f/2.8L IS. Yes, my name is Bruce and I'm a "L" glass addict. I can stop any time. Honestly ...
 

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I'd go with my 3 lenses of choice:

1. Canon 18-200 IS
2. Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS
3. Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS
 

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Someone above mentioned the Canon 28-105 / 3.5-4.5; how/why is it that this lens is so much less expensive than Canon's 24-105 4L?

I know the "L" is IS, so surely that accounts for part of it, but what is it about the "L" lenses that makes them 4 or 5 times the price of comparable (in looking strictly at numbers) sized lenses? Is it the quality of the actual glass inside the lens?

Just looking to learn more about this little world...
 

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I echo gordonb's suggestion to consider an ultrazoom P&S replacement if all you're looking for is a single lens solution with your SLR. The 18-55 is a decent starter lens, but it doesn't really bring out the best your dSLR can do. The sad fact (sad for one's wallet) is that good lenses aren't cheap.

If you do decide to get something like the 18-200 or 18-270, I'd recommend that you rent/borrow one for a few days to try out in different conditions to make sure it fits your needs.
 

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Canon's 18-200 is not bad at all. Some of my photos bought by Walt Disney Corp were taken using that lens on a 7D body.

28-105 lens is, imo, utter garbage. The wide end is far from being wide and the closeup is not close enough. Plus the quality of the lens itself is garbage.

The 18-200 IS is far better quality than the 28-105.
The 17-55 f2.8 IS is not an L lens but the quality is beyond stellar. Pricey, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks David and others.....I'll consider the 18-200 as recommended. If you guys happen to know someone selling one, pls let me know

cheers
 

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Someone above mentioned the Canon 28-105 / 3.5-4.5; how/why is it that this lens is so much less expensive than Canon's 24-105 4L?

I know the "L" is IS, so surely that accounts for part of it, but what is it about the "L" lenses that makes them 4 or 5 times the price of comparable (in looking strictly at numbers) sized lenses? Is it the quality of the actual glass inside the lens?

Just looking to learn more about this little world...
Yes, "L" or Luxury lenses have much better glass. They tend to have more esoteric lens elements, better coatings and are designed to minimize distortions. They also tend to be built more ruggedly with metal mounts, metal bodies, weather sealing and features like Full Time Manual focusing.

It's like the 80/20 rule where 20% of the work will get 80% of the job done but the remaining 80% of the work only results in 20% further completion. This rule applies to pricing as well. The design costs for a L lens is much higher and they sell less of them so they are very expensive.

As David mentioned lenses like the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 are hidden "L" lenses. This lens is a stellar performer and well built but it also comes with a "L" class price.
 

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Someone above mentioned the Canon 28-105 / 3.5-4.5; how/why is it that this lens is so much less expensive than Canon's 24-105 4L?

I know the "L" is IS, so surely that accounts for part of it, but what is it about the "L" lenses that makes them 4 or 5 times the price of comparable (in looking strictly at numbers) sized lenses? Is it the quality of the actual glass inside the lens?

Just looking to learn more about this little world...
The L, as I understand it, denotes the Canon lenses that are a "cut above" in terms of optical quality. There is variance within the L lenses, but you can pretty much rest assured that if you're getting L glass you're getting very good glass.
There are Canon lenses that don't have the L designation that are just as good, maybe even better, so certainly just because it's not L doesn't mean it's something to be avoided.

The Canon 24-105 /4 also has a constant max aperture. That means it can be at f/4 at 24mm, 105mm and everywhere in between. Most zooms don't have that capability, they might have a maximum of f/4.5 and the wide end and then a max of 5.6 or 6.3 at the long end. Constant aperture zooms tend to be bigger, heavier and more expensive than variable aperture zooms. They also are usually of better optical quality, though that's not always the case.

If you want a lens that has it all well you're going to pay for it. If you're on a budget you almost always have to make compromises. There are inexpensive gems to be found like the Tamron 17-55 mentioned above; it's a great lens but not any longer than what you have, though a bit wider. It's also worth checking the used market.
 

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What is the next lens up that you recommend for shooting just a little further and wider? I am in the kitchen, and trying to get a shot of a bird on the back fence

Cheers
.... buy camo, and walk closer..... :)

... if the bird is static, than Canon has a 'cheap' 70-300? that might work in good light.

P
 

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Upgrades

I read this thread and was generally disappointed.

I think the best advice, based on what can be gleaned by the originator's comments, was to purchase a Superzoom point-and-shoot. Canon's latest, the SX30 has an optical zoom of 35X. From memory equivalent to 24mm to 840mm. Reviews suggest that the stabilization is above average. It's selling for about $400. I don't think it is reasonable to go wider than the existing lens the originator has. However, that 18mm converts to an effective 28mm or so. Hence the SX30 does give a wider view at 24mm.

My general comment is that most manufacturers of DSLRs offer about 2 new models each year. The fancy models may be upgraded at least every 2 years.

What this suggests to me is that a lens purchase is much more permanent than a DSLR purchase. Hence, more time and effort should be put into purchasing the lens that best fits current and expected future interests. For example, even though I have a Canon 7D, I will never purchase a lens designed for a sensor smaller than full frame.
 

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I don't know, springle, I guess we have to agree to disagree. Not buying the 17055 f/2.8IS just because it's not a full-frame lens.... you're missing out a LOT.
 

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James...know where I can pickup the 18-270 for cheap? I'll be willing to swap my 18-55 in the deal
I tried the Tamron 18-270. But after 3 tries and fail to get a decently sharp copy, I ended up with the Canon 18-200. It's by far the sharpest 18-200 lens I've ever used (I've used Nikon 18-200, Sigma 18-200 and Sigma 18-200 HSM).
 
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