which lens to get for Canon 400D?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Stimp, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. Stimp

    Stimp Guest

    I've recently acquired a new Canon 400D SLR camera, I'd like to see what
    y'all recommend in terms of a lens that matches the following criteria:


    - falls within my budget (less than 800 euro)
    - is small enough to tote around with minimal hassle (i.e. not TOO much
    bigger than the 18-55mm packed with the 400d)

    I want to take ONLY ONE lens with me.. I know I'll have to sacrifice
    quality of certain shots because you can't get one lens to do
    everything.

    I primarily like to take wide-angle shots, but will also want to be able
    to use the camera for wildlife close-ups and portrait photos. A good
    zoom is a distinct advantage.
    Image stabilisation (or equivalent) would also be good.

    I've seen recommendations for: Canon EFS 17-85mm IS (about 500 euro on
    ebay)

    Recommend any others I should look at?

    --

    fiddlewidawiddum
     
    Stimp, Oct 13, 2006
    #1
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  2. Stimp

    frederick Guest

    Stimp wrote:
    > I've recently acquired a new Canon 400D SLR camera, I'd like to see what
    > y'all recommend in terms of a lens that matches the following criteria:
    >
    >
    > - falls within my budget (less than 800 euro)
    > - is small enough to tote around with minimal hassle (i.e. not TOO much
    > bigger than the 18-55mm packed with the 400d)
    >
    > I want to take ONLY ONE lens with me.. I know I'll have to sacrifice
    > quality of certain shots because you can't get one lens to do
    > everything.
    >
    > I primarily like to take wide-angle shots, but will also want to be able
    > to use the camera for wildlife close-ups and portrait photos. A good
    > zoom is a distinct advantage.
    > Image stabilisation (or equivalent) would also be good.
    >
    > I've seen recommendations for: Canon EFS 17-85mm IS (about 500 euro on
    > ebay)
    >
    > Recommend any others I should look at?
    >

    Some suggestions in my suggested order of preference (yours may differ):
    Trade in the 400d for a nikon D80 with an 18-200 VR.
    Keep the 400d and be a crash-test dummy for one of these:
    http://www.sigmaphoto.com/news/news.asp?nID=3277
    Keep the 400d and try a non IS Sigma 18-200
    Wait for Canon to release an EF-s 18 - 2xx IS lens.

    All are compromises - no single lens will give perfect w/a and telephoto
    zoom performance, The Nikkor 18-200 - if you desperately want only one
    reasonably lightweight lens is possibly good enough to be worth changing
    systems for.
    200mm on a crop sensor dslr may still be too short for wildlife
    close-up. F6.3 on the Sigma is getting very slow - f5.6 is already quite
    slow so don't expect stellar AF performance in other than good light.
     
    frederick, Oct 13, 2006
    #2
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  3. Stimp

    Stimp Guest

    On Fri, 13 Oct 2006 frederick <> wrote:
    > Stimp wrote:
    >> I've recently acquired a new Canon 400D SLR camera, I'd like to see what
    >> y'all recommend in terms of a lens that matches the following criteria:
    >>
    >>
    >> - falls within my budget (less than 800 euro)
    >> - is small enough to tote around with minimal hassle (i.e. not TOO much
    >> bigger than the 18-55mm packed with the 400d)
    >>
    >> I want to take ONLY ONE lens with me.. I know I'll have to sacrifice
    >> quality of certain shots because you can't get one lens to do
    >> everything.
    >>
    >> I primarily like to take wide-angle shots, but will also want to be able
    >> to use the camera for wildlife close-ups and portrait photos. A good
    >> zoom is a distinct advantage.
    >> Image stabilisation (or equivalent) would also be good.
    >>
    >> I've seen recommendations for: Canon EFS 17-85mm IS (about 500 euro on
    >> ebay)
    >>
    >> Recommend any others I should look at?
    >>

    > Some suggestions in my suggested order of preference (yours may differ):
    > Trade in the 400d for a nikon D80 with an 18-200 VR.


    well I just got it, so I'll stick with for the mo :)

    > Keep the 400d and be a crash-test dummy for one of these:
    > http://www.sigmaphoto.com/news/news.asp?nID=3277


    interesting, but can't seem find anywhere to buy it. Is it not available
    yet?

    > Keep the 400d and try a non IS Sigma 18-200


    I was looking at these. Is the quality range as good/better than the
    Canon 17-85 ?

    > Wait for Canon to release an EF-s 18 - 2xx IS lens.


    I need a lens this month

    > All are compromises - no single lens will give perfect w/a and telephoto
    > zoom performance, The Nikkor 18-200 - if you desperately want only one
    > reasonably lightweight lens is possibly good enough to be worth changing
    > systems for.
    > 200mm on a crop sensor dslr may still be too short for wildlife
    > close-up. F6.3 on the Sigma is getting very slow - f5.6 is already quite
    > slow so don't expect stellar AF performance in other than good light.


    interesting.. thanks! :)

    --

    fiddlewidawiddum
     
    Stimp, Oct 13, 2006
    #3
  4. Stimp

    frederick Guest

    Stimp wrote:
    > On Fri, 13 Oct 2006 frederick <> wrote:
    >> Stimp wrote:
    >>> I've recently acquired a new Canon 400D SLR camera, I'd like to see what
    >>> y'all recommend in terms of a lens that matches the following criteria:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> - falls within my budget (less than 800 euro)
    >>> - is small enough to tote around with minimal hassle (i.e. not TOO much
    >>> bigger than the 18-55mm packed with the 400d)
    >>>
    >>> I want to take ONLY ONE lens with me.. I know I'll have to sacrifice
    >>> quality of certain shots because you can't get one lens to do
    >>> everything.
    >>>
    >>> I primarily like to take wide-angle shots, but will also want to be able
    >>> to use the camera for wildlife close-ups and portrait photos. A good
    >>> zoom is a distinct advantage.
    >>> Image stabilisation (or equivalent) would also be good.
    >>>
    >>> I've seen recommendations for: Canon EFS 17-85mm IS (about 500 euro on
    >>> ebay)
    >>>
    >>> Recommend any others I should look at?
    >>>

    >> Some suggestions in my suggested order of preference (yours may differ):
    >> Trade in the 400d for a nikon D80 with an 18-200 VR.

    >
    > well I just got it, so I'll stick with for the mo :)


    Fair enough - my suggestion was tongue in cheek.
    >
    >> Keep the 400d and be a crash-test dummy for one of these:
    >> http://www.sigmaphoto.com/news/news.asp?nID=3277

    >
    > interesting, but can't seem find anywhere to buy it. Is it not available
    > yet?

    Only just released - perhaps you can test it and report back to us ;-)
    >
    >> Keep the 400d and try a non IS Sigma 18-200

    >
    > I was looking at these. Is the quality range as good/better than the
    > Canon 17-85 ?


    The zoom range is much greater of course - 200mm vs 85mm is a huge
    difference. The reviews are mixed - for sure it's slow (f6.3 at 200mm)
    and a bit soft at the 200mm end, and as usual for these superzooms,
    distortion is pretty bad, and a bit of CA and light fall-off thrown in.
    With f6.3 widest I really would think that IS would be a great help -
    so perhaps find out of the new OS Sigma will be available. It shouldn't
    be any worse than the non OS version optically. Tamron make one of
    these 18-200 lenses too - and AFAIK it's about as good/bad as the Sigma.
    I'm no fan of non-EX series sigma lenses, so despite recommending it
    only as a compromise, I'd pass on it myself.
    For image quality, in the 17-85 range the Canon lens is almost certainly
    going to be much better, but forget your wildlife shots unless you are
    at a zoo.
    >
    >> Wait for Canon to release an EF-s 18 - 2xx IS lens.

    >
    > I need a lens this month
    >
    >> All are compromises - no single lens will give perfect w/a and telephoto
    >> zoom performance, The Nikkor 18-200 - if you desperately want only one
    >> reasonably lightweight lens is possibly good enough to be worth changing
    >> systems for.
    >> 200mm on a crop sensor dslr may still be too short for wildlife
    >> close-up. F6.3 on the Sigma is getting very slow - f5.6 is already quite
    >> slow so don't expect stellar AF performance in other than good light.

    >
    > interesting.. thanks! :)
    >

    Although it was tongue in cheek, don't completely abandon the idea of
    trading for D80 / 18-200VR. Even a second-hand D50/D70 with that lens
    might serve you better than other compromises. I wouldn't ever buy the
    18-200 myself, as I'm always prepared to carry two lenses minimum. But
    if you want a one-lens does all dslr system, there is nothing better at
    present - by quite a margin.
     
    frederick, Oct 13, 2006
    #4
  5. >> Keep the 400d and try a non IS Sigma 18-200
    >
    > I was looking at these. Is the quality range as good/better than the
    > Canon 17-85 ?


    When you increase the zoom range of a lens, you usually end up paying for it
    one way or another. Image quality, size, weight, cost - any combination of
    the above. There are good reasons why most zoom lenses that are universally
    acclaimed as being good tend to have a zoom range of around 3x (Canon's
    17-40, 24-70 and 70-200 "L" lenses, for example). A lens having a zoom range
    of 10-11x, such as the Sigma or the Nikon mentioned earlier in the thread
    are very likely to be either not very good (the Sigma) or pretty good but
    quite expensive (the Nikon) - and even if it is good a lens with a shorter
    zoom range is likely to surpass it in image quality in absolute terms.
    Canon, for example, actually makes a 28-300mm zoom in its professional "L"
    line, a 10x-plus zoom, it is a very decent performer but it is quite heavy,
    has an unimpressive maximum aperture, and costs an arm and a leg. There is
    no such thing as a free lunch!

    The Canon 17-85 is not bad. Not stellar by any means, but not bad at all.
    For the money, and with such a useful focal length range, it is probably on
    of the better lenses you can buy.

    Personally I used a Tamron 24-135 when I had a 300D/DigRebel. I lost quite a
    bit at the wide end compared to the kit lens (18-55) but it made up for it
    at the tele end. This suited my needs, but your mileage may vary of course.
    I was quite happy with it. The build quality of this lens is medium, far
    better than the kit stuff but by no means the tank-like quality of the pro
    lenses. I'd say it's about level with the 17-85 in this regard.
     
    Ståle Sannerud, Oct 13, 2006
    #5
  6. > I want to take ONLY ONE lens with me.. I know I'll have to sacrifice
    > quality of certain shots because you can't get one lens to do
    > everything.


    If you only want to have one lens for your camera, you're going to miss
    out on arguably the biggest advantage of your new DSLR - interchangable
    lenses. If this is your permanent position you might find a different
    type of camera serves your needs better. Maybe trade-in while you can?

    If this "one lens" stance is a temporary thing while you save money or
    get used to the new toy, then you need to make a decision on what your
    priorities are at this point in time. Getting a crappy Sigma lens to
    cover a huge zoom range will be a false economy if you buy a couple of
    decent lenses 3 months from now.

    Why are you concentrating on having just one lens? Lenses are very much
    an investment, so the answer to that is quite important for anyone to
    give you useful advice.
     
    Derek Fountain, Oct 13, 2006
    #6
  7. Stimp

    Celcius Guest

    "Stimp" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've recently acquired a new Canon 400D SLR camera, I'd like to see what
    > y'all recommend in terms of a lens that matches the following criteria:
    >
    >
    > - falls within my budget (less than 800 euro)
    > - is small enough to tote around with minimal hassle (i.e. not TOO much
    > bigger than the 18-55mm packed with the 400d)
    >
    > I want to take ONLY ONE lens with me.. I know I'll have to sacrifice
    > quality of certain shots because you can't get one lens to do
    > everything.
    >
    > I primarily like to take wide-angle shots, but will also want to be able
    > to use the camera for wildlife close-ups and portrait photos. A good
    > zoom is a distinct advantage.
    > Image stabilisation (or equivalent) would also be good.
    >
    > I've seen recommendations for: Canon EFS 17-85mm IS (about 500 euro on
    > ebay)
    >
    > Recommend any others I should look at?
    >
    > --
    >
    > fiddlewidawiddum


    Hi!

    When I bought my Canon 350D, I didn't buy the lens that came with it. I
    bought the EFS 17-85 1:4-5.6 USM IS (the one you mention).
    I was in Paris recently where I took photos of buildings, scenery, as well
    as inside buildings such as churches, museums, etc. without having to resort
    to flash. Although this lens is not as fast as others, with ISO being pretty
    free of noise to 400 and even beyond on this camera, I find that lens quite
    respectable and practical. In terms of film cameras, it offers approx.
    28mm - 135mm. As a second lens, I bought the CANON EF 70-300MM F4-5.6 IS USM
    LENS. However, I didn't bring this one along, thinking that it wasn't
    necessary in a city and the added weight and bulk wasn't worth it. At no
    point did I feel I should have taken it ;-)

    Cheers!

    Marcel
     
    Celcius, Oct 13, 2006
    #7
  8. Stimp

    Stimp Guest

    On Fri, 13 Oct 2006 Derek Fountain <> wrote:
    >> I want to take ONLY ONE lens with me.. I know I'll have to sacrifice
    >> quality of certain shots because you can't get one lens to do
    >> everything.

    >
    > If you only want to have one lens for your camera, you're going to miss
    > out on arguably the biggest advantage of your new DSLR - interchangable
    > lenses. If this is your permanent position you might find a different
    > type of camera serves your needs better. Maybe trade-in while you can?
    >
    > If this "one lens" stance is a temporary thing while you save money or
    > get used to the new toy, then you need to make a decision on what your
    > priorities are at this point in time. Getting a crappy Sigma lens to
    > cover a huge zoom range will be a false economy if you buy a couple of
    > decent lenses 3 months from now.
    >
    > Why are you concentrating on having just one lens? Lenses are very much
    > an investment, so the answer to that is quite important for anyone to
    > give you useful advice.


    I'll be backpacking around South America and having a SLR with me is
    pushing it in terms of valuables I am willing to take.

    I will want to bring as little as possible with me while still being
    able to take the best photos I can.

    I understand that I will probably be only using 80% of the potential of
    this camera on the trip, but to be honest, I'd rather have minimal
    baggage and little stress than having to lug around so many valuables
    with me :)

    Let me make it clear.. I went on a rtw trip before with a Powershot
    compact camera... I became so addicted to photography that it became the
    limiting factor in the quality of the shots I could get.

    SLR is the absolute minimum I'm willing to accept now and if I'm
    shooting the Iguazu Falls with anything less I'll never forgive myself.
    :)
    --

    fiddlewidawiddum
     
    Stimp, Oct 13, 2006
    #8
  9. Stimp wrote:
    []
    > I'll be backpacking around South America and having a SLR with me is
    > pushing it in terms of valuables I am willing to take.
    >
    > SLR is the absolute minimum I'm willing to accept now and if I'm
    > shooting the Iguazu Falls with anything less I'll never forgive
    > myself. :)


    Your choice, of course, but why not take two non-SLR cameras, packed in
    different parts of your baggage to avoid losing everything if the worst
    happened? Some redundancy, some backup. If your single expensive DSLR
    fails, where are you? The non-SLRS might include one wide-angle and one
    long zoom. For the latter, I recommend the very light Panasonic FZ5.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Oct 13, 2006
    #9
  10. Stimp

    John Ortt Guest


    > SLR is the absolute minimum I'm willing to accept now and if I'm
    > shooting the Iguazu Falls with anything less I'll never forgive myself.
    > :)


    I am in exactly the same boat having done a safari with a digital ixus five
    years ago.

    I bought a Canon 300D as soon as it came out as I was so disappointed with
    the results from the little snapper.

    I am now about to take a year out travelling with my wife and the idea of
    lugging about £1000 of SLR and lenses with me is scary.

    However I know I would be bitterly disapointed if I don't have the
    versatility to get the shots I want hence I am taking the SLR and three
    lenses (the longest of which I have yet to buy).

    With regard to my choice of tele-zoom I would go for the 100-400 IS L
    without hesitation if not for the cost of the thing.

    I am considdering the 70-300 based on recommendations from other newsgroup
    readers as it is cheaper and I won't cry quite as much if it is damaged or
    stolen during my travels.

    Having said that is is far more likely to get damaged as the build quality
    is far lower than the L series of lenses, and I will only want to upgrade
    anyway once I get back.

    (but the L glass would be far mor appealing to a potential thief.)

    Oh decisions decisions.......
     
    John Ortt, Oct 13, 2006
    #10
  11. Stimp

    Ken Lucke Guest

    In article <>, Stimp
    <> wrote:

    > I've recently acquired a new Canon 400D SLR camera, I'd like to see what
    > y'all recommend in terms of a lens that matches the following criteria:
    >
    >
    > - falls within my budget (less than 800 euro)
    > - is small enough to tote around with minimal hassle (i.e. not TOO much
    > bigger than the 18-55mm packed with the 400d)
    >
    > I want to take ONLY ONE lens with me.. I know I'll have to sacrifice
    > quality of certain shots because you can't get one lens to do
    > everything.
    >
    > I primarily like to take wide-angle shots, but will also want to be able
    > to use the camera for wildlife close-ups and portrait photos. A good
    > zoom is a distinct advantage.
    > Image stabilisation (or equivalent) would also be good.
    >
    > I've seen recommendations for: Canon EFS 17-85mm IS (about 500 euro on
    > ebay)
    >
    > Recommend any others I should look at?


    Easy. 24-105mm IS L series. Almost always on my 400D (XTi) unless I
    have specific needs for a different shot.


    Oh, and buy a damn good polarizer. B+W or better/equivalent.
     
    Ken Lucke, Oct 13, 2006
    #11
  12. Stimp

    Stimp Guest

    > Stimp wrote:
    > []
    >> I'll be backpacking around South America and having a SLR with me is
    >> pushing it in terms of valuables I am willing to take.
    >>
    >> SLR is the absolute minimum I'm willing to accept now and if I'm
    >> shooting the Iguazu Falls with anything less I'll never forgive
    >> myself. :)

    >
    > Your choice, of course, but why not take two non-SLR cameras, packed in
    > different parts of your baggage to avoid losing everything if the worst
    > happened? Some redundancy, some backup. If your single expensive DSLR
    > fails, where are you? The non-SLRS might include one wide-angle and one
    > long zoom. For the latter, I recommend the very light Panasonic FZ5.


    ah well I've got an IXUS with me too.. small and pocketsized "just in
    case"
    --

    fiddlewidawiddum
     
    Stimp, Oct 13, 2006
    #12
  13. Stimp

    Stimp Guest

    On Fri, 13 Oct 2006 Ken Lucke <> wrote:
    > In article <>, Stimp
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >> I've recently acquired a new Canon 400D SLR camera, I'd like to see what
    >> y'all recommend in terms of a lens that matches the following criteria:
    >>
    >>
    >> - falls within my budget (less than 800 euro)
    >> - is small enough to tote around with minimal hassle (i.e. not TOO much
    >> bigger than the 18-55mm packed with the 400d)
    >>
    >> I want to take ONLY ONE lens with me.. I know I'll have to sacrifice
    >> quality of certain shots because you can't get one lens to do
    >> everything.
    >>
    >> I primarily like to take wide-angle shots, but will also want to be able
    >> to use the camera for wildlife close-ups and portrait photos. A good
    >> zoom is a distinct advantage.
    >> Image stabilisation (or equivalent) would also be good.
    >>
    >> I've seen recommendations for: Canon EFS 17-85mm IS (about 500 euro on
    >> ebay)
    >>
    >> Recommend any others I should look at?

    >
    > Easy. 24-105mm IS L series. Almost always on my 400D (XTi) unless I
    > have specific needs for a different shot.
    >
    >
    > Oh, and buy a damn good polarizer. B+W or better/equivalent.


    hmmm... seems to be slightly out of my budget

    will add it to my "possibles" list
    --

    fiddlewidawiddum
     
    Stimp, Oct 13, 2006
    #13

  14. > I've seen recommendations for: Canon EFS 17-85mm IS (about 500 euro on
    > ebay)


    I have that lens and can recommend it.

    However, it is too short for wildlife.
     
    Charles Schuler, Oct 13, 2006
    #14
  15. Stimp

    Ken Lucke Guest

    In article <>, Charles
    Schuler <> wrote:

    > > I've seen recommendations for: Canon EFS 17-85mm IS (about 500 euro on
    > > ebay)

    >
    > I have that lens and can recommend it.
    >
    > However, it is too short for wildlife.
    >
    >


    Hell, anything short of 2000mm is too short for wildlife for me - they
    all have some sort of interactive neural network that they communicate
    on that lets them all know when I am coming, so they can get in
    fantastic poses in perfect lighting - until just before I get
    focused... then they all fly/run/dive/burrow away with a snicker. <g>
     
    Ken Lucke, Oct 13, 2006
    #15

  16. > Hell, anything short of 2000mm is too short for wildlife for me - they
    > all have some sort of interactive neural network that they communicate
    > on that lets them all know when I am coming, so they can get in
    > fantastic poses in perfect lighting - until just before I get
    > focused... then they all fly/run/dive/burrow away with a snicker. <g>


    Yup ... they smell us. Loved your post as this is exactly what I have
    experienced. But, with persistence, I have ripped off some good ones.
    http://home.comcast.net/~charlesschuler/wsb/media/291308/site1057.jpg
     
    Charles Schuler, Oct 13, 2006
    #16
  17. Stimp

    Rich Guest

    Stimp wrote:
    > I've recently acquired a new Canon 400D SLR camera, I'd like to see what
    > y'all recommend in terms of a lens that matches the following criteria:
    >
    >
    > - falls within my budget (less than 800 euro)
    > - is small enough to tote around with minimal hassle (i.e. not TOO much
    > bigger than the 18-55mm packed with the 400d)
    >
    > I want to take ONLY ONE lens with me.. I know I'll have to sacrifice
    > quality of certain shots because you can't get one lens to do
    > everything.
    >
    > I primarily like to take wide-angle shots, but will also want to be able
    > to use the camera for wildlife close-ups and portrait photos. A good
    > zoom is a distinct advantage.
    > Image stabilisation (or equivalent) would also be good.
    >
    > I've seen recommendations for: Canon EFS 17-85mm IS (about 500 euro on
    > ebay)
    >
    > Recommend any others I should look at?


    17-40L. The only lens that will do justice to those 10 megapixels.
    People don't seem to realize that buying one of these 10 meg bodies
    requires you to go high grade with the lenses to maximize the benefit
    to the image. With the Nikon, and will be with the Pentax, you will
    really noticed the difference, 6-10 meg. With the Canon, not so much
    because the Rebel already had 8 meg. But there is a reason FF Canon
    users fanatical about image quality own hard to get Olympus and Leica
    primes, because they want all the image quality the camera can deliver
    and these relatively inexpensive entry cameras with 10 meg get very
    close to the FF models, if they have the right lens.
     
    Rich, Oct 14, 2006
    #17
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