Good Glass to replace a kit lens

Started Dec 16, 2013 | Discussions
Lexipixel
Lexipixel Regular Member • Posts: 118
Good Glass to replace a kit lens

I've added a prime fifty and a nice 70-300 zoom lens to my Canon T3i over the last six months.  I'm really wanting to replace the kit lens with something with noticeable quality but not at a price that costed me more than the camera.
I'm thinking along the lines of a wide angle lens but do these take sharp pictures up close??  Sometimes I can't be at 50mm and really need that 18mm distance shot.

 Lexipixel's gear list:Lexipixel's gear list
Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM
Canon EOS 600D (EOS Rebel T3i / EOS Kiss X5)
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tjwaggoner
tjwaggoner Senior Member • Posts: 1,202
Re: Good Glass to replace a kit lens

I've added a prime fifty and a nice 70-300 zoom lens to my Canon T3i over the last six months.  I'm really wanting to replace the kit lens with something with noticeable quality but not at a price that costed me more than the camera.
I'm thinking along the lines of a wide angle lens but do these take sharp pictures up close??  Sometimes I can't be at 50mm and really need that 18mm distance shot.

Your canon 18-55 (assuming that's what you've got) is pretty sharp a stop down, like most any modern kit zoom. More expensive lenses are better made, have faster quieter focusing systems and faster apertures. This is a big portion of the extra you're paying for these. If you're not using your current lens to it limits then I doubt you'll see any noticable technical quality increases.
My suggestion before spending a lot of money on something, is to rent a lens and use it. See if its worth the extra money for your images.

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Constructive Criticism is always welcome, however please understand that I am not a pixel peeper.

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Lexipixel
OP Lexipixel Regular Member • Posts: 118
Re: Good Glass to replace a kit lens

tjwaggoner wrote:

I've added a prime fifty and a nice 70-300 zoom lens to my Canon T3i over the last six months. I'm really wanting to replace the kit lens with something with noticeable quality but not at a price that costed me more than the camera.
I'm thinking along the lines of a wide angle lens but do these take sharp pictures up close?? Sometimes I can't be at 50mm and really need that 18mm distance shot.

Your canon 18-55 (assuming that's what you've got) is pretty sharp a stop down, like most any modern kit zoom. More expensive lenses are better made, have faster quieter focusing systems and faster apertures. This is a big portion of the extra you're paying for these. If you're not using your current lens to it limits then I doubt you'll see any noticable technical quality increases.
My suggestion before spending a lot of money on something, is to rent a lens and use it. See if its worth the extra money for your images.

Okay, I'll try it and yes it's an 18-55.  What range do you suggest I stop it down to??

 Lexipixel's gear list:Lexipixel's gear list
Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM
tjwaggoner
tjwaggoner Senior Member • Posts: 1,202
Re: Good Glass to replace a kit lens

tjwaggoner wrote:

I've added a prime fifty and a nice 70-300 zoom lens to my Canon T3i over the last six months. I'm really wanting to replace the kit lens with something with noticeable quality but not at a price that costed me more than the camera.
I'm thinking along the lines of a wide angle lens but do these take sharp pictures up close?? Sometimes I can't be at 50mm and really need that 18mm distance shot.

Your canon 18-55 (assuming that's what you've got) is pretty sharp a stop down, like most any modern kit zoom. More expensive lenses are better made, have faster quieter focusing systems and faster apertures. This is a big portion of the extra you're paying for these. If you're not using your current lens to it limits then I doubt you'll see any noticable technical quality increases.
My suggestion before spending a lot of money on something, is to rent a lens and use it. See if its worth the extra money for your images.

Okay, I'll try it and yes it's an 18-55.  What range do you suggest I stop it down to??

I use a sony 18-55 and will use it wide open but if you want the sharpest you can squeeze out of it I'd say just a stop down.
If you find yourself using that focal length a whole lot, and want something better, maybe look into some primes in that focal length range. You'll likely gain some speed in the aperture and likely a little less distortion, though I'd say as far as sharpness goes, you're way into the realm of diminishing returns over the kit zoom.
Check out Kurt mungers site. He's a sony guy but I know he has a good review of your lens. He's a straight shooter and tells things like they are I think. Modern kit zooms are generally pretty good optically. Modern lenses are computer designed, manufacturers have become very good at cutting costs without affecting performance too much (build quality and such).
If you need silent focusing for video, weather sealing, faster speeds for low light without a flash, I'd say look into it. But if its just that you think you'll get pictures that jump out as being sharper or instantly better, I'm doubtful that you'd be happy with the money spent.
This is of course my opinion, and I always try to temper the appeal of new expensive gear with some counter points. Hate to sound like a wet blanket
At the end of the day, it's your money and your decision and I won't lie and say it's not fun buying new expensive toys to enjoy our hobby. But it rarely if ever lives up to expectations, if those expectations are that it will make your pictures better. If you have a specific need that your current lens doesn't provide, go for it. If not, I'd save the money and take a trip somewhere to take pictures.
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Constructive Criticism is always welcome, however please understand that I am not a pixel peeper.

 tjwaggoner's gear list:tjwaggoner's gear list
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Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 16,101
Re: Good Glass to replace a kit lens

Lexipixel wrote:

I've added a prime fifty and a nice 70-300 zoom lens to my Canon T3i over the last six months. I'm really wanting to replace the kit lens with something with noticeable quality but not at a price that costed me more than the camera.
I'm thinking along the lines of a wide angle lens but do these take sharp pictures up close?? Sometimes I can't be at 50mm and really need that 18mm distance shot.

The 15-85 is a very good lens that goes pretty wide. It does, however, cost $800, which probably puts it past your limit. The 10-22 is another good lens, a pure wide angle, and costs $650.

You can, however, get very sharp pictures from your kit lens by knowing how to use it properly. This is liable to give you a bigger improvement than getting a better lens. In fact, the better lens will probably be wasted if you don't use good photographic technique with it.

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Leonard Migliore

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joejack951 Senior Member • Posts: 2,682
Re: Good Glass to replace a kit lens
2

If $800 is possible, it sounds like you might really benefit from a lens like the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8. Paired with your 50mm prime, you'll have a wide range of focal lengths all at a very fast f/1.8. Aside from the cost, do note the size and weight of the Sigma before you hit "buy." It will dwarf both of your current lenses.

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Lexipixel
OP Lexipixel Regular Member • Posts: 118
Re: Good Glass to replace a kit lens

I'm still not sure about what to get to replace the kit lens.  I know the 50mm prime is super sharp and I'd love to have this clarity with the kit lens but it just isn't there.

 Lexipixel's gear list:Lexipixel's gear list
Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM
Cailean Gallimore Veteran Member • Posts: 6,083
Re: Good Glass to replace a kit lens

Lexipixel wrote:

I'm still not sure about what to get to replace the kit lens. I know the 50mm prime is super sharp and I'd love to have this clarity with the kit lens but it just isn't there.

I think you're seeing the kit lens as worse than it is. It's not a bad lens. Stop it down 2 or 3 stops, and you should get good results.

BarnET Veteran Member • Posts: 3,577
Re: Good Glass to replace a kit lens

He does not have the current stm lens guys. The old 18-55 is not that great. Best reasonbly priced options are the 17-70 from sigma the new 1 is very sharp according to photo zone.de . tamron also makes a 17-50mm f2.8 between 400-500 dollars I think. The tamron is a bit noisy when focussing. The sigma 18-35 is a beast. Probably the best crop zoom lens in the world. It's very big and heavy though.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
Cailean Gallimore Veteran Member • Posts: 6,083
Re: Good Glass to replace a kit lens

BarnET wrote:

He does not have the current stm lens guys. The old 18-55 is not that great. Best reasonbly priced options are the 17-70 from sigma the new 1 is very sharp according to photo zone.de . tamron also makes a 17-50mm f2.8 between 400-500 dollars I think. The tamron is a bit noisy when focussing. The sigma 18-35 is a beast. Probably the best crop zoom lens in the world. It's very big and heavy though.

Ah, OK - I take your point.

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