My first L - looking for suggestions

Started Nov 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
HAbba Contributing Member • Posts: 528
My Purchase experience (17-55f2.8 and 70-300L)


As a general purpose shooter, I own two APS-C bodies (Ti2/550D and Ti3/650D). Paired with these are my two lens - 17-55f2.8 (walk-around) and 70-300L (telephoto). This pretty much covers most of my needs. I would suggest you decide on what is your shooting needs and then apply the correct lens to it.

Getting to these two lenses, I have owned the following:


  • Canon 18-55 IS Kit: Cheap and cheerful. The build quality is not so good but I have got good results with this lens.
  • Canon 24-105 F4IS: I got this as my first "L"-lens, it was great for a year but on APS-C I felt it was not wide enough and also F4 was slow - would only recommend this on full-frame. I made the mistake of going to the 17-85.
  • Canon 17-85 IS: I never enjoyed this lens, it had mixed results, I sold it and got the 17-55 below.
  • Canon 17-55 IS: This is my main walk-around lens that I have had for 5yrs now - its sharp and contrasty and the AF speed is good. Its not "L" but delivers "L" quality results and with a fixed f2.8 its very handy indoors. I would recommend this as a walk-around any day. It has many things going for it - fixed F2.8, great glass, USM. The downsides being price and not having a "red-L" band (build quality).
  • Tamron 17-50 f2.8: It was sharp, but I did not like its AF speed/hunting and colours.


  • Sigma 100-300 HSM: I used this on Safari in 2004. Its a big heavy lens with no image stabiliser (used a bean-bag). The HSM AF is fast and so is the image quality. The only downside was reach and image stabilisation. So I got the 100-400 for Safari.
  • Canon 100-400 IS: This is a great Safari lens and I have had very good results with it.
  • Canon 70-200F4 IS: I found the 100-400 too big and heavy for use in the UK (park, kids etc), so I got the 70-200. This has been one of my most used lens - amazing AF, sharpness and contrast throughout the focal length.
  • Canon 70-300L: When this lens came out it gave me the opportunity to consolidate my 100-400 and 70-200 into one package. This is my main Safari and home-use lens. It has fast-AF, sharp and is contrasty. The image stabiliser is great too. The only down-side - I have seen strange Bokeh in some situations.


  • Canon 100mm f2.8: Great for Macro and Portraits. Fast AF, sharp and contrasty wide-open.


 HAbba's gear list:HAbba's gear list
Canon EOS 50D Canon EOS 550D Sony Alpha 7 II Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II +2 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow