Looking for a good low-light, walking-around lense.

Started Dec 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
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kanati
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Looking for a good low-light, walking-around lense.
Dec 27, 2013

Hi all,

First off, my kit currently consists of: Canon T3i body, Canon 18-55mm f3.5, Schneider 135mm f4, Schneider 50mm f2.8. The latter two are my grandfather's manual lenses mounted with an adapter (they work surprisingly well!).

After playing around with the 18-55mm kit lens on my T3i, I think I've figured out what I want from a new lens. First of all, I like to walk a lot, and I travel light.  I carry a small bag with room for one spare lens (or two compact lenses), and I never carry a tripod.  I like taking candid shots of people, and ambient light pictures of environments; accordingly, I often take pictures in low light, and I almost never use flash.

I'm happy with my Schneider Tele, and the kit lens makes for a passable mid-zoom, so I was thinking of getting a low-light specialist like the Canon 50mm f1.4 or Sigma equivalent (I can get both for the same price) to replace my Schneider 50mm f2.8.  Along with its slower aperture, I find that manually focussing the Schneider is extremely difficult while shooting wide-open in low light.

Alternatively, should I be looking for a fast, stabilized mid-zoom to replace the kit lens?  I haven't found much yet in my price range (~$500 CAD) which seems suitable.  Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome!

As a side note, the camera shop near me is a having a boxing-day sale on all Sigma lenses (hence the low price of the 50mm 1.4), but the many reports of focusing issues are making me nervous.  Any idea if Sigma has solved these issues?

Thanks for the help!

Canon EOS 600D (EOS Rebel T3i / EOS Kiss X5)
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