Please help: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM or Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM for first lens

Started Dec 3, 2012 | Questions thread
Schnapper Contributing Member • Posts: 993
Re: Please help: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM or Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM for first lens

caltime wrote:


I recently bought a Canon 7D body. Now I am looking for a nice first lens to start with. I found the following two lenses, both second hand and in very good shape:

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM : $300

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM for first lens $675

As of now I can only afford one of them. I tested both. My concern with the 17-55mm is the stories about how much dust it collects, especially at this price. But I'm worried about the 50mm being too limited, but it will be future-proof when I make the jump to FF.

Should I start off with the Sigma 50mm and then look for a more affordable zoom EF-S lens? Or is it better to start off with the 17-55mm?

I would really appreciate any advice and guidance you guys can offer.



I have the 17-55/2.8 IS and a (Canon) 50/1.4.  Since I bought the 17-55/2.8, I rarely use the 50/1.4.

For me, 50 is too long for general use, so it's mostly a portrait lens... 1.4 is nice occasionally, but usually it's stopped down at least a little bit (2.0 or 2.8)... once I'm using it at 2.8, then I might as well be using the 17-55 as it gives more flexibility to zoom in and out (plus IS to allow slower shutter speed if desired/needed).  If you have a definite desire for f/1.4, then consider the prime, but for a general workhorse every day type of lens IMO the 17-55/2.8 is much better.

A 30mm f/1.4 or one of either the 28 or 35mm options might be more practical on a crop camera, and some of those can also later be used on FF cameras (but IMO you should buy for your current planned usage, not for something you might do in the future... you can always sell later, especially the 17-55... if you get one for $675 you can probably make money by reselling it later).

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