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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Looking for a all around lens for my Rebel XT
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01/16/2006 05:04:41 PM · #1
I was looking to replace my Canon Rebel XT, since I can't find a lense which I'm satisfied with for everyday use... (dont like changing lenses!)
I just want one camera for everyday use, with movie mode (know I can't have it with SLR) and I lens from nice wide to good telephoto, I don't need every photo to be L lens quality...
Was looking into getting the Samsung pro 815 but after trying it, Im not impressed, with that big screen I would have thought it would have better resolution.. and the picture quality is not nearly as good as the Rebel XT, lots of color fringing

Back to the rebel
These are the lenses I owned but sold
Canon 17-40L, of course very nice quality but for me too heavy for everyday use and such short range

Canon 70-200L f4.0, again, very nice quality but too heavy and means you keep have to swap lenses

and these I own today
Canon EFS 60mm Macro, I love this one, very sharp, superb macro, light&small, I'll always keep it for the macro mode, it would be a L lens if the focusing was faster

Canon 28-105 USM II, light&small, very nice quality, thought I would be satisfied with it but 28mm isnt really wide enough with the 1.6 crop factor and I wish it would goto 200mm atleast

Canon 18-55 kit lens, light&small, quality is fine for me (picture&build) but I never use it after I got the 28-105

So can you recommend me a good allaround lens for the Rebel XT?

I've seen some 28-300 and 28-200, (28 with 1.6 crop isn't really that wide but I could live with it)
Also seen a sigma 18-200, thats a nice range..
Which one of these allaround lenses is best, or which one do you recommend?

Or a camera like the samsung pro 815 (but better?? ;)


Message edited by author 2006-01-16 17:05:55.
01/16/2006 05:40:49 PM · #2
after some browsing on the www.bhphotovideo.com site, these are the options I think

Tamron Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto AF 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD Aspherical IF Macro Autofocus Lens $399

Sigma Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DG Macro Autofocus Lens $259

Canon Zoom Super Wide Angle EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Autofocus Lens $515 not much telephoto but looks like a nice lens

Tamron Zoom Super Wide Angle 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Lens $379 This one seems nice, wide enough and good telephoto

Sigma 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 DC Lens not much telephoto

Sigma Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 DG Compact Aspherical Macro Autofocus Lens $229

Sigma Zoom Super Wide Angle 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Aspherical (IF) Lens $369 looks similar to the tamron 18-200, similar price

any thoughts?
01/16/2006 05:55:03 PM · #3
I was really hesitant to get the sigma 18-200, thinking that it would be "lesser quality" and perhaps it is. I love it. I rarely change lenses at all (except to put on my 10-22 for those big oklahoma landscapes). but 18 is pretty wide, even with your crop factor, and 200 is quite long. It is really great to not have to worry about changing lenses. In my opinion it is really worth the trade off in softness (which is perceptable, but only after much study) is well worth not missing the shot. i can't tell you how often I would be hiking with a wide lens when a wild turkey or wolf would walk in front of me, and I couldn't do anything but get wide in time. I love the lens. I love it.

drake
01/16/2006 05:57:42 PM · #4
here's my thoughts-

when I was looking for pretty much the same thing, I wound up going with the Tamron 24-135 f/3.5-5.6 (~$350). It's got great reviews on fredmiranda, and it's consistently sharp over its entire range, with very little distortion on either end.

I considered the 18-200, but the reviews were less positive. Apparently it's a very bulky lens, and has substantially greater distortion near the wide and tele extremes.

Probably the best glass you can get in that price range that functions as an all-around is the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, which is a remarkably sharp lens made all the better by its constant 2.8 aperture. Lots of people have this lens and love it. Granted, 28 is not very wide and 75 is not very long, so you might want to go with something with a greater range.
01/16/2006 06:04:45 PM · #5
distortion on the 18-200.

There is a little on the wide end. However I kind of like a little bit of barrel distortion on the wide end to accentuate the vastness of the scene. Not good if you are taking pics of a person and they get really close to the cam. but on the long end I have no complaints at all. I stand by this lens. As far as weight, I don't think it is that substantial. The build is pretty nice. My only complaint is that the autofocus can be a bit slow. Since I am almost always outside in the oklahoma sun, that doesn't slow me down a bit.

drake
01/16/2006 06:10:23 PM · #6
Originally posted by fstopopen:

distortion on the 18-200.

There is a little on the wide end. However I kind of like a little bit of barrel distortion on the wide end to accentuate the vastness of the scene. Not good if you are taking pics of a person and they get really close to the cam. but on the long end I have no complaints at all. I stand by this lens. As far as weight, I don't think it is that substantial. The build is pretty nice. My only complaint is that the autofocus can be a bit slow. Since I am almost always outside in the oklahoma sun, that doesn't slow me down a bit.

drake


Should have been more clear in my post. I was referring to the Tamron 18-200, not the Sigma 18-200. Sounds like maybe the Sigma is the better of the two. Sorry for the confusion.
01/16/2006 06:15:03 PM · #7
thanks,
drake, how is the noise level on the focus ? I've only used USM lenses so I'm used to near silent focusing...

Message edited by author 2006-01-16 18:15:35.
01/16/2006 06:24:07 PM · #8
hehe. coming from a USM, you will definately notice the difference. You won't be sneaking up on any wilderbeasts with it. I tested the Tamron and the Sigma. The tamron is actually quieter, but the images were soft. I went with the sigma because of the great images it produced. Even though it is a little loud.

drake
01/16/2006 06:30:20 PM · #9
Looks like you need a compact more than a DSLR, no point using a DSLR if you are only going to use it with one lens. But if you have to, I'd recommend the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM as a general purpose walk around lens that not too heavy and quite compact and has a good range.
01/16/2006 06:39:43 PM · #10
doctornick, yeah, I was starting to look at other cameras, like the Samsung 815, but after a trip to the shop I wasn't impressed with it..

I've also looked at the Canon S2 IS but 5MP doesn't sound like much
it has a nice range, (36-432mm equiv.)

any thoughts on a different camera?
01/16/2006 06:48:43 PM · #11
Originally posted by ffletchs:

doctornick, yeah, I was starting to look at other cameras, like the Samsung 815, but after a trip to the shop I wasn't impressed with it..

I've also looked at the Canon S2 IS but 5MP doesn't sound like much
it has a nice range, (36-432mm equiv.)

any thoughts on a different camera?


The Canon S2 IS got a "highly Recommended" review on Dpreview.com, 5MP is plenty for 8"x12" and even bigger if you have a good file that you can interpolate. It has a 12x (36-432mm - (35mm equivalent)) zoom, image stabilization. DPreview.com is a good place to start to look for the features you want and it will pull up some matching cameras for you.
01/16/2006 07:18:08 PM · #12
either one of those 18-200 and go shooting
01/16/2006 07:32:01 PM · #13
This might be the closest thing to a DSLR without being a DSLR. Not cheap though.
01/16/2006 07:37:43 PM · #14
I must be missing something here. Why on earth do you want to shlep around a DSLR with a single lens glued onto it? There are some great pocket sized cameras with nice optics and much better weather seals than on the 350. The quality is quite good on the more recent models and you can't beat the weight and convenience.

I am a lens junkie and hauling around my camera bag is my chief form of excercise, but sometimes I look at those P&S that can do most of what my bagfull of optics can do, and think they made a wiser choice.
01/16/2006 07:46:16 PM · #15
Tamron 24-135. Great lens, 24mm range is wide enough for most people...very nice build. It's a really nice lens. Look around at reviews...the 18-200s are notoriously of low optical quality.

With that said: I sold it and bought the Tamron 28-75 (and kept my Tamron 19-35 for wide angle) and am very happy. The 28-75 is amazingly sharp wide open...but 28 isn't wide enough for most people which brings up the 19-35. This is a lower quality lens than the 17-35 but I find it has given me most of my keeper shots as the colors and sharpness are very good.

Message edited by author 2006-01-16 19:48:18.
01/16/2006 09:12:08 PM · #16
I would just like to say that there is a big difference in image quality between a rebel xt and ANY p&s. I had a sony 828 which had a pretty darn good sensor for a p&s (not any smaller than a rebel) but the image quality from that cam was complete crap. The noise level of an EVF is horrible. Forget about high ISO. I keep my "walk around" lens on so I am prepared for what might come, but I keep my 10-22 at the ready. That is the lens I am most expressive with, but it is very nice to have your all around for "everyday" shooting. Also, an EVF is horrible if you burst EVER (screen going black) and and that shutter lag is unbearable. so, there are reasons even if you kept ONE lens on the cam to use a dslr instead of a p&s.

drake
01/16/2006 09:21:33 PM · #17
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

I must be missing something here. Why on earth do you want to shlep around a DSLR with a single lens glued onto it? There are some great pocket sized cameras with nice optics and much better weather seals than on the 350. The quality is quite good on the more recent models and you can't beat the weight and convenience.

I am a lens junkie and hauling around my camera bag is my chief form of excercise, but sometimes I look at those P&S that can do most of what my bagfull of optics can do, and think they made a wiser choice.


Two reasons:

1. Sometimes you just want to "walk around with a camera" and no extra baggage, so you want a walkaround lens for that.

2. Sensor quality of the dSLR is so vastly superior to any P&S except possibly the new Sony, and there is no viewfinder or shutter lag on the dSLR PLUS a much more useable ISO range. A dSLR makes a hell of a point 'n shoot if you don't need pocket portability.

R.
01/16/2006 09:46:23 PM · #18
There is always that 10-500mm F2.0 L IS lens with IS that is coming out. I hear it's the size and weight of the 50mm F1.8, tack sharp, no distortion at either end, and is under $200.

Oh wait, that was a dream...
01/17/2006 12:00:21 AM · #19
Just to clarify Fstopopen's comment on the sony 828. The body isn't any smaller than a rebel, but the sensor surely is. Hence the "crap" images.

P&S cam's are really cool and fun in bright weather.

I've got some decent prints in 8x10 size from my 5MP. At this size of sensor, I honestly wouldn't want anymore pixels. The pixel pitch is already so small that once you pass F5.6, you start losing fine detail from aperture distortion.

I do like my S2, but it's no substitute for having 2-3 good lenses and a DSLR. If I want really portable, I've got my PDA camera, which I might upgrade with a 2MP phone camera if the prices ever come down. Pretty scary that where I live, a 2MP Sony camera phone is only a hundred bucks US less than a Rebel XT.

OUCH!
01/17/2006 05:02:12 AM · #20
Originally posted by LoudDog:

There is always that 10-500mm F2.0 L IS lens with IS that is coming out. I hear it's the size and weight of the 50mm F1.8, tack sharp, no distortion at either end, and is under $200.

Oh wait, that was a dream...


lol, thats what I want, I'll take one please

but yeah, I must be dreaming, I want DSLR quality, speed in a compact package...

Of the small cameras I've read about I like the Canon S2 IS the best, if it only had 7-8 MP and better image quality I'd jump on it, no question...
01/17/2006 10:11:10 AM · #21
FFletchs, really, you need to watch out for this megapixel race.

Really.

5MP is just fine. It's a very minimal jump from 5mp to 6MP, and that's what a very large number of entry-level DSLR's are. The pictures they put out are excellent.

More megapixels though CAN NEGATIVELY AFFECT the picture quality.

I did not know about this until another DPC'er showed me something called Diffraction limitation. If you use google to find a website called Cambridge in Colour, you can surf to a spot where you will learn a lot about something called Diffraction limitation. Additionally, there is the problem of increased noise in smaller pixels. Cameras can remove a lot of this with noise reduction, but it will cost you overall picture quality. Even at ISO 100, most big zoom P&S cam's have noise starting to show up in their shaded areas.

Believe it or not, it is a serious physical limitation that has already begun to rear its ugly head in the pixel pitches present in the S2. I can't imagine that it is any better in 8MP cams.

Personally, I find the Canon S2 IS to be a good choice if you are looking for a cheap cam to do what you want. If you are willing to spend a bit more on a P&S, you could consider the FZ-20 (I and others DO actually recommend it over the FZ-30 which has an inferior lens and worse noise due to smaller pixels). The FZ-20 has about the same, or a little worse in the features department compared to the S2, but the lens (F2.8 constant aperture) and basics (that focusing ring is worth its weight in GOLD) more than makes up for it.

More megapixels is NOT always better. Both the S2 IS and the FZ-20 have definitely got some points in their favor in my book for NOT having 8MP. I do wish that the sensors themselves were a tad larger though.

I will state that when I purchased the S2, I was quite clear that I was not buying it as my primary or exclusive camera. It was and is an in-between camera to help me expand my horizons until I get a DSLR. I also want the movie mode on it for mucking about with.

Now that I have a PDA on the way that can probably do movie mode just as well, but will also be able to do some compression, this advantage is less important, but still there for me. If this were my only camera, I would not be satisfied.
01/17/2006 11:11:46 AM · #22
I am right with you. I have been striving to reduce my carrying weight by buying compact lenses, but I too hate to change lenses.

Here's a suggetion. Rather than a P&S, look at getting the either

1) The KM Maxum 5D + Sigma 18-200
or
2) the Sigma 18-200 for your Rebel

The advantage of #1 is image stabilization. (And if you decide on another lens, or several lenses, all have stabilization!)

I love my Sigma 18-125. If it had more on it on the high end and image stabilization, I could easily see having this lens on my camera 80% of the time. The only exception for the 20% is my 10-22 for ultrawide.

01/17/2006 11:15:18 AM · #23
Canon 24-70 f2.8 L
or if no money
Sigma 24-60 F2.8

282352.jpg280053.jpg192046.jpg
01/18/2006 06:34:44 PM · #24
Thanks guys for all your comments...

I just sold my 350 and all my equipment with it and I'm going to buy the Canon S2 IS.

Who knows, maybe I'll be back with a SLR later ;)
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