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Archive 2011 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens
  
 
Zatrekaz
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


I currently have been using the 18-55mm as my Walk Around lens. I am looking to get something with more focal range and, if possible with this price range, a jump in quality. Here is what I am looking at:



  1. 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 USM IS
  2. 17-85mm f/3.5-5.6 USM IS
  3. null


I am leaning to either the 28-135 or the 17-85. I like the 72mm front on the 28, but being that my camera (Rebel XS) has the 1.6 crop factor, the 17-85 would work better. They both have the same f stop.

So, which would you choose?




Dec 27, 2011 at 10:04 AM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


both get a pretty bad rap around here but some good examples have been reported from both as well.
if these are your budget then I would lean toward the 17-85 . its got a slightly better (by 1 stop) IS and goes wider which on a 1.6 crop is better . 28mm unless you have a wide as well is very limiting (you could always keep the 18-55 , which is what I did for a while).

There are also other alternatives. all have good and bad points .
Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 HSM OS - Moslty good points but less range . but is faster so would be the better choice in lower light.

Canon 18-135 IS - Not the greatest optically (but not exactly bad either) and lacks the 'proper' ring USM but a very good choice (its a kit lens for lots of the newer bodies so you may find some good prices on the used market)

My first 'proper' canon lens was the 28-105 USM which was a great little lens. slightly faster than the 2 you are looking at (still 28mm so I used my old 18-55 as well) . it lacks IS but has a very quick AF on it.

Personally on a budget I'd plump for the sigma out of the above.



Dec 27, 2011 at 11:28 AM
treaks
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


Second on the Sigma 17-70 OS. Great lens.

Treaks



Dec 27, 2011 at 12:23 PM
jasonpatrick
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


Either lens is going to give you added focal length, USM and a better build than your kit, but neither of them are going to give you an IQ bump. The kit lens that you have is sharp. Saying that, obviously sharpness isn't everything. If you can pick either of those lenses up used for the 200 dollar range, you'd be getting a good value. Both can produce outstanding images with a little care.

If you get the 28-135mm, I'd keep the 18-55 for the wider end.

Right now I'm shooting the Sigma 17-70 that's mentioned above. It's a great lens. It doesn't have some of the IQ weaknesses of the Canon 17-85, and is almost a stop faster (more light=faster shutter speed) at all focal lengths, but it is 375-400 on the used market which is almost double what you can get either of the former lenses for.




Dec 27, 2011 at 02:06 PM
misternikko
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


loved my 24-105L on my cropper.


Dec 27, 2011 at 02:30 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


misternikko wrote:
loved my 24-105L on my cropper.



So do I. But its not quite in the budget of the lenses that the op mentioned. and even then you really need a wider lens to go with it. I find the Tokina 12-24 makes a great partner.



Dec 27, 2011 at 03:37 PM
RogerC11
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


Canon 15-85 would make a great walkaround lens. You didn't mention your budget though.


Dec 27, 2011 at 03:39 PM
misternikko
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
So do I. But its not quite in the budget of the lenses that the op mentioned. and even then you really need a wider lens to go with it. I find the Tokina 12-24 makes a great partner.



very true. I did the 10-22 & 24-105 match up for a few years and loved it.



Dec 27, 2011 at 04:20 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


I agree with rogie -- if you can swing a little higher budget (buy used or refurb?), the Canon 15-85 is an outstanding lens -- versatile focal lengths and very good IQ.

Of the two you listed, the 28-135 has the better IQ by far. But the downside is the extremely limited wide angle -- really none, since 28 translates to 45mm view on full frame (normal lens).

I stick to Canon for AF lenses, so I can't comment on Sigma, Tokina or Tamron. You might have fun with something from any of these makers.



Dec 27, 2011 at 04:33 PM
rongoe
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


i liked the 17-50 Tamron non-vc on my cropper


Dec 27, 2011 at 05:01 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


rongoe wrote:
i liked the 17-50 Tamron non-vc on my cropper


very good lens but not quite what the OP was looking for

"I currently have been using the 18-55mm as my Walk Around lens. I am looking to get something with more focal rangeand, if possible with this price range, a jump in quality"





Dec 27, 2011 at 05:18 PM
jasonpatrick
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


No disrespect meant to the posters here, but the OP mentioned 3 things. Additional focal length, a budget (the price range equivelant of the 28-135 and the 17-85), and 3rd, and only if possible, a jump in quality (assuming the full boat of build, AF, IQ etc.)

You can always (well almost always) get a better lens if you can afford more, but then every forum post becomes a general discussion about every lens canon ever made, their benefits vs 3rd party vendors, and what focal lengths constitute the best "walk around" for a crop camera ending with recommendations to get a full frame camera, the 16-35 II, the 24-70 2.8, and the 70-200mm 2.8 IS II along with the 35 1.4, 85 1.2 and 135 2.0 to round things out.

Be helpful people.



Dec 27, 2011 at 06:09 PM
Zatrekaz
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


I appreciate all of the responses so far.

I have looked at both the 15-85 and the 24-105. I would love to get them, but they are above my budget. I am looking to get a used lens in the $200-$300 range.

Currently I can get the 28-135 for $250. My concern with this lens, as mentioned, is the loss of the wide end. I could keep my 18-55, but I really want a "one lens" solution so I don't have to carry my bag with me sometimes. For example, when I go to main street in some town and don't feel like taking my bag of lenses. I want a good lens that will give me a decent focal range with good image quality that won't leave me saying: "Wish I had my xxxx lens" or "If I had my xxxx lens that pic would have been so much better".

See what I am saying? I know I will never find a "one shoe fits all" lens, but I want something close that I can use as my Walk Around lens for this situation.

The 17-85 is starting to grow on me. It will give me about the same wide end, with a bit more reach on the long range. As I said before, I like the 28-135 for its 72mm front element, but I am sure at the end of the day I will be more concerned on the look of the final image than the look of the lens.

I will check out the Sigma 17-70.



Dec 27, 2011 at 07:18 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


Find a good 17-85 and you will be more than happy. If you believed most on here it's the worst lens ever produced. But in reality it's not that bad. (certainly not crap ) it does suffer from some pretty bad barrel distortion at the wide end though.
Yes things like the 15-85 are much much better lenses but they also cost loads more.

Have a good look at the sigma but also don't discount the 18-135 . It looks pretty good optically (compared to other options in the same budget. ) . It only lacks USM to make it better though.

The other option if you don't mind a 2 lens set would be the 18-55 is plus the 55-250 is .



Dec 27, 2011 at 07:54 PM
Zatrekaz
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


I looked at the 18-135, but the non-usm turned me off since I really want that. Never owned a lens with it, so I want to try usm.

I already have the 18-55 and 55-250 combo. Looking to knock it down to one lens that I can take on outings with a small sling bag, and my large backpack with eveything on specific photo trips.



Dec 27, 2011 at 08:13 PM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


Canons new 18-55IS kit lens is optically better than the 17-85.

Dont buy the 17-85 expecting miracles. It has major distortion, bad CA and isnt very sharp wide open (especially considering its slow too).

It does have good build USM and IS.

17-70f2.8-4.5 OS would be my choice.



Dec 27, 2011 at 08:23 PM
dwerther
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


I will second the first four sentences of Ian's post. It is my walk-around lens on my 30D when I want to go light (which means not carrying my 1D3 and 24-105L). My copy is really good and I think they are a great bargain now if you get a decent one at a good price.

That said, Rob's post is also true. You get lots of barrel distortion at 17mm, but it is mostly gone by 20mm, which is still wider than the 28-135. And yes, it will have significant CA in certain situations. And like most non-L lenses it is noticeably sharper stopped down a stop or two. When it was introduced it was considered a significant upgrade to the 18-55 non-IS kit lens. The newer 18-55 IS kit lens is probably at least as good as the 17-85 just a bit shorter on the long end. So Rob is correct to say don't expect an upgrade in image quality.

Your budget is keeping you from that significant IQ upgrade.




Dec 27, 2011 at 08:59 PM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


To be fair though there isnt a ton of options here.

The 17-85 was the first lens of its kind on EF ( larger zoom crop walkround) and apart from the sigma 17-70 there isnt that many other options.

Perhaps look at a 18-135IS? Again not stellar IQ but usable , no USM tho.

Most people tend to go for a 17-50ish f2.8 and a 70-200 or 55-250 or something OR a super zoom ( 18-200 etc).



Dec 27, 2011 at 09:07 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


I wouldn't let lack of USM scare you away from the 18-135. I was sure it was a poor lens before I tried one on a 60D (before buying a 60D) at Best Buy. I was impressed by its responsiveness and quiet focus. Everything looked good through the viewfinder. Since then, I've read a number of good reviews of the lens, and even considered adding it before I found a good used 15-85 IS. If you can go to a camera store, try it out.

Your other choice, and probably should be the leading candidate, is the 17-85 IS. As dwerther
said, I'm sure it is fine -- just not a pro-quality lens. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised if you find one at a good price. You can always sell later and move up to a better lens. In the meantime, you will have something to use in the focal range you want. Again, if you can try this lens in a camera store, it might help you to decide.

I think those are your two best choices.



Dec 27, 2011 at 09:29 PM
stanj
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Picking a new Walk Around Lens


The Canon 15-85 is of superb quality and very compact & light. The 17-85 is like a piece of junk in comparison.


Dec 27, 2011 at 09:35 PM
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