What lens to upgrade to

Started Apr 23, 2011 | Discussions
Gelbvieh Regular Member • Posts: 236
What lens to upgrade to

I have a 450D but would like to upgrade sometime in the next 12-18months to a 7D. I have only really just taken up photography (10months) but since hubbie brought me the 100mm macro f/2.8L IS USM for Christmas I have become really disappointed in what my standard 18-55 and 55-270 kit lens offer, especially around softness.

Taking to a few camera shops still standing here in Christchurch it appears all are agreed on the 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM but more viable at the other end of the scale, with the suggested front runner being EFS 18-85mm f/3.6-5.6 IS USM.

Most of my photography is wildlife and sport, with a few landscapes when travelling.

What do others recommend and which should I upgrade first?

Thanks

 Gelbvieh's gear list:Gelbvieh's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Canon PowerShot G7 X Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS Rebel T4i Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +6 more
MitchAlsup Veteran Member • Posts: 4,820
Re: What lens to upgrade to

There is a 17-85 around $600 (USA) that is Ok-to-pretty good
There is a 15-85 around $800 (USA) that is pretty good-to-excellent
There is a 17-55 around $1100 (USA) that is simply fabulous.
--
Mitch

Kitacanon Senior Member • Posts: 2,802
Re: What lens to upgrade to

Since so many find those 2 lenses very good, you might want to post a photo examples of your disatisfaction...just in case you're overlooking something in your use of them...

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Nikon D610 +1 more
hiki08 Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: What lens to upgrade to

i've had experience with the canon 15-85 and 17-55.. both superb lenses, though 15-85 seems to have a tighter/better fitting. 17-55's f/2.8 is a clear advantage over the 15-85's 3.5-5.6 but then the 15-85 'wins' with a longer focal range. Both lenses have excellent photo quality and I probably wouldn't recommend one over the other. It'll have to come down to whether you need a (relatively) fast lens and whether you need the extra focal range. For me, the 15-85 is great for a daily lens but the f/3.5-5.6 does not provide enough bokeh. Also, neither of these lenses would be long enough to shoot sports or wildlife.

So 70-300 or thereabouts would be the focal range you're looking at.

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with these telephoto lenses since I don't own one and don't intend to purchase one in the near future, however do consider things like IS and aperture size. Consider whether you'll be taking your sports and wildlife in good lighting, and whether they will be moving fast. I have read previously that the 70-200 f/4L (non-IS) is a bargain purchase. I'm not sure if that would be long enough for you, and whether you'll be shooting in low light much.

Hope you find the right lens soon!

Schnapper Contributing Member • Posts: 993
Re: What lens to upgrade to

Another option, instead of the two obvious upgrades to the 18-55 IS (the 17-55/2.8 IS if you want larger aperture, the 15-85 if you want longer zoom range) would be to get a prime in the range. Something like a Sigma 30/1.4 or the Canon 28/1.8 or 35/2 (or a 50/1.8 or 50/1.4 if you prefer that focal length). It would give you more room for creativity using shallow DOF, pretty good low light capability, and very good image quality... You already have the 18-55 range covered with your existing kit lens, so the primes would give you something that you haven't had before.

Just a thought.

Gelbvieh wrote:

I have a 450D but would like to upgrade sometime in the next 12-18months to a 7D. I have only really just taken up photography (10months) but since hubbie brought me the 100mm macro f/2.8L IS USM for Christmas I have become really disappointed in what my standard 18-55 and 55-270 kit lens offer, especially around softness.

Taking to a few camera shops still standing here in Christchurch it appears all are agreed on the 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM but more viable at the other end of the scale, with the suggested front runner being EFS 18-85mm f/3.6-5.6 IS USM.

Most of my photography is wildlife and sport, with a few landscapes when travelling.

What do others recommend and which should I upgrade first?

Thanks

photonius Veteran Member • Posts: 6,769
Re: What lens to upgrade to

Gelbvieh wrote:

I have a 450D but would like to upgrade sometime in the next 12-18months to a 7D. I have only really just taken up photography (10months) but since hubbie brought me the 100mm macro f/2.8L IS USM for Christmas I have become really disappointed in what my standard 18-55 and 55-270 kit lens offer, especially around softness.

It looks like you are pixel-peeping.

The 18-55 IS (if you indeed have the IS version - which I presume, since you have the 55-250 IS) is rather good lens in terms of image quality, you need to spend quite a bit to improve a little on that. A prime macro is an excellent lens, hard to beat.
have a look at some lens reviews at http://www.photozone.de

Taking to a few camera shops still standing here in Christchurch it appears all are agreed on the 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM but more viable at the other end of the scale, with the suggested front runner being EFS 18-85mm f/3.6-5.6 IS USM.

The 70-300 IS USM is not much of an upgrade for the 55-250 IS at all. It sure will not be like your macro. To get top quality, you need something like the 70-200 L lenses, or the 70-300 IS USM L (which get's heavy), and even the latter some people seem disappointed with sharpness (quality control issue??)

There is no 18-85, perhaps you mean the 15-85 IS?
it would be a good step up from the 18-55 IS.

Most of my photography is wildlife and sport, with a few landscapes when travelling.

Given this, a good tele might be what you want, rather than a replacement for the 18-55 at present.

What do others recommend and which should I upgrade first?

Thanks

-- hide signature --

Life is short, time to zoom in ©

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Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II
SNGX1327 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,186
Re: What lens to upgrade to

how does the 18-55IS disappoint you? mine was just as sharp as the impeccable 70-200 f/4L (which is the best telephoto lens you can buy for the money in my opinion)

if you are just looking for a "better built" lens you can buy anything you want. but if you want your images to look different, you need a specifically different lens. a 17-55 f/2.8 will give you different images. a 15-85 really only gives you more reach. i wouldn't expect the images in the 18-55mm range to look any better, especially stopped down.

Mic Contributing Member • Posts: 976
Re: What lens to upgrade to

What is the lens budget?

For landscaping: Canon 17-40 f/4L (equiv to 27-64 on cropped body)

For sport/wildlife: Canon 70-200 f/4L (not heavy and bulky, affordable) or Canon 70-200 IS f/2.8L (heavy, bulky, pricey)
For travel: 24-105 IS f/4L
--
Mic
http://www.pbase.com/mic_hong/galleries

OP Gelbvieh Regular Member • Posts: 236
Re: What lens to upgrade to

Thanks very much for all the suggestions. For now I think I'll just upgrade the longer lens. My 55-250mm is soft past about 100mm and this really shows if I need to crop in. Also at times it's slow to focus. While I can afford to upgrade I would like too and if I only get one lens I can afford around NZ$2000. So looking at the 70-200 f/4L IS USM and the 70-300 f/4.5/5.6L IS USM as I think the 100-400mm for now is too big for me.

So next question how do I test the lens in the shop to see if the 70-300mm is a good one or bad one?

Thanks

 Gelbvieh's gear list:Gelbvieh's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Canon PowerShot G7 X Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS Rebel T4i Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +6 more
Kitacanon Senior Member • Posts: 2,802
Re: What lens to upgrade to

For testing in the shop....bring your own body and card, shoot some pix and take them home to process...

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Nikon D610 +1 more
hiki08 Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: What lens to upgrade to

Gelbvieh wrote:

Thanks very much for all the suggestions. For now I think I'll just upgrade the longer lens. My 55-250mm is soft past about 100mm and this really shows if I need to crop in. Also at times it's slow to focus. While I can afford to upgrade I would like too and if I only get one lens I can afford around NZ$2000. So looking at the 70-200 f/4L IS USM and the 70-300 f/4.5/5.6L IS USM as I think the 100-400mm for now is too big for me.

So next question how do I test the lens in the shop to see if the 70-300mm is a good one or bad one?

Thanks

glad you've come to a conclusion

for me, there isn't too much to test in a lens. as mentioned above, take your camera body and memory card to the shop and take a few photos to (1) make sure the autofocus is focusing smoothly and without fuss on appropriately detailed subjects. (2) IS is working as it should - if quiet enough you'll hear a slight whirling sound (3) no blemishes on the glass by taking a photo of the sky or a light coloured plain background. (or just look through the lens/glass towards a white and black background) (4) finally, just make sure zoom and manual focus rings are tight and smooth to adjust... The glass would be in good working order. As an addition, you could check back/forward focus issues but it is unlikely to be an issue for you here.

Really is all just common sense of things you'd do when purchasing any other thing. Hope I'm not missing anything critical

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