10-22 plus which walk-around lens

Started Aug 30, 2006 | Discussions thread
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RetroBlader Contributing Member • Posts: 798
10-22 plus which walk-around lens

Yes, I've searched the forums. Yes, I've read lens reviews -- Photozone, FM, PopPhoto, and lots of imformal user comments. Yes, I've read hundreds of threads (and I read ALL the replies in each thread).... Still can't decide. Your thoughts on my specific situation will be most welcome. [As for those who can't stand yet another "which lens" thread, please move on to another thread!]
Important background info:

1. The body will be the XTi/400D. No plans to move to FF in the foreseeable future. (I don't know how people can possibly have meaningful lens discussion without knowing if it'll be used on a FF or 1.6x body....)

2. As a busy professional, I can probably afford L lenses, but given how little time I have to spend on photography (I did say busy :), I need to take VALUE (ie. bang-for-buck) into consideration.

3. I have used film SLRs (including a Nikon F Photomic with several primes), so I can appreciate high image quality. But my film SLR days also taught me that heavy gear gets left behind awfully quickly -- especially when 80-90% of my photography is done while travelling.

4. My current equipment gives me 27-432mm equivalent WITH image stabilization, and I find myself wanting both wider and longer. So with the XTi/400D I'll probably end up with 3 lenses, with the 10-22 covering the wide end, and a tele-zoom the other. It's the near-normal range I'm struggling with.

Lenses currently in contention (all prices from B&H, where I'm likely to buy from):
Canon EF 28-135/4-5.6 IS ($420)
Tamron 17-50/2.8 ($450)
Canon EF-S 17-85/4-5.6 IS ($510)
Canon EF-S 17-55/2.8 IS ($1080)
Canon EF 24-105/4L IS ($1150)

I'm still not sure if I can justify spending $500 more for a better lens (be it better IQ or better range or better features), but I guess that's a personal question only I can answer. For now, let's say (with some arm-twisting) I can go either way....

To start, the 17-85IS is essentially out of the race, since I don't like the CA and distortion at the wide end (which pretty much defeats the point of choosing the 17-85 over the 28-135). Not to mention the 28-135 is $100 cheaper and gives much longer tele.

Next, I can't decide between the 28-135IS and Tamron 17-50.... In favour of Tamron are the F2.8 for DOF/action-freezing and decent WA (allowing me to bring the tele-zoom as the 2nd lens). In favour of Canon are the IS and decent telephoto (allowing me to bring the 10-22 as the 2nd lens). (Yes, I can bring BOTH the 10-22 and a tele-zoom, but in my experience, there's a big difference in portability/convenience between bringing 2 vs 3 lenses.)

Finally, the 24-105 would give a nice range (from barely acceptable WA to semi-decent telephoto), plus IS and constant F4. But for $1150, I can buy BOTH the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and 28-135IS... PLUS a Canon 135/2.8!! (The 3-lens combo will be wider, longer, AND 1-stop faster than the 24-105 at either end.)

Arrrrgh.... can't decide. Your thoughts (or experience with upgrading involving these lenses) will be MOST WELCOME. Thanks also for putting up with such a long post....

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If you like my photos, praise the camera. If you don't, blame me (but please tell me how I can improve my photos.)

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