Kit 18-55mm better than Sigma 17-70mm, Tamron 17-50, and Canon 15-85mm?

Started Sep 8, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Kit 18-55mm better than Sigma 17-70mm, Tamron 17-50, and Canon 15-85mm?
Sep 8, 2011

Hey guys,

First post for me but I been on dpreview for about 3 years now. I bought my T2i last year and taken thousands of shots with the kit lens, I feel it’s time for me to move up to something better.

I can’t really afford an L lens so I been doing a lot of research on suitable replacements and the three lens everyone keeps bringing up in terms of sharpness, value and speed are the non-vc Tamron 17-50mm F2.8, the new OS Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-F4, and the expensive Canon 15-85mm F2.85-F5.6.

I probably took close to 100 shots this past week with these three lens along with my kit lens. I took shots outside in daylight and in the house with low light situations and I used both manual and auto settings. I also took photos at different lengths, 18mm, 25mm, 50mm. With manual I made sure the focus point, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO were all identical. I took shots with auto mode too because I wanted to see how the camera would adjust the settings according to the lens but I kept the focus point identical.

In the outdoor shots, I find that the Tamron to be a little bit sharper than the rest at center but the kit lens dominates the corners. Surprising I found the Canon 15-85mm having very soft corners as well as the Sigma. While in doors, I find the Canon 15-85mm winning the center sharpness but the kit isn’t far behind. Surprising the Tamron with F2.8 and Sigma being variable F2.8-F4 didn’t do so hot. Sure the shutter speed were a few steps quicker but the quality did not improve and were significantly software center and corners.

So I don’t know anymore, either my kit lens is a super kit lens or these others lens are just not as good as they should be. I heard the Tamron 17-50mm are hit or miss so this is the second one I used for testing. Doesn’t seem like any of these lens are really worth spending the money on over my kit lens. I read many reviews on these lens as well as sample photos others have taken that clearly shows how superior these lens are supposed to be over the kit.

Anyone else done similar testing or have suggestions for me?


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