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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> If you had to have 1 single lens..
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09/24/2008 10:29:56 AM · #1
Straight forward really.

In my hunt for a new camera, i have come to the conclusion that i am going to get the Canon 450D however i want to save costs so am thinking of getting a body only deal and then buying 1 IS lens, but my question to you is the following:

If you could only have 1 lens that is good for general use, what would it be?

I am thinking of the Canon EF 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS USM. This seems to be very good lens for walking about and shooting. My next lens will probably be a 1.4/1.8 50 mm Mk1 but for now i need to choose just one lens to do me until i can afford a few more.

Over to you people, look forward to you responses.
09/24/2008 10:32:49 AM · #2
That sounds like a good all around lens. My usual walkaround lens is a 28-300 and I find that I often want a bit more of a wideangle view than what that provides. Maybe one that goes down to about 17 or 18mm? Depends on how much you use wideangle views.
09/24/2008 10:42:12 AM · #3
If I had one lens to chose I would go with this! Might be a tad bit long for your needs though, a little bit larger than you budget as well. I agree with 21.gif yospiff that the 28-135 might be lacking in the wide end for an all around lens, though I hear good things about that lens.
09/24/2008 10:47:01 AM · #4
When I was shooting film the 28-135 was my only lens for the longest time.

For digital though, it may not be wide enough. You can fill that gap in later with a 10-22 or 17-40 or something similar.
09/24/2008 10:48:39 AM · #5
I used to own the 28-135, but I sold it. I had some peeves with it. Mostly, it was too slow, making the finder image too dark. It also is nearly impossible to get shallow DOF. 28mm is not nearly wide enough.

IMO, you'd be much better off with something in the 17-40, 17-55 range.
09/24/2008 10:48:43 AM · #6
I'm happy with my Sigma 18-200 3.5-6.3 OS lens on my Canon 400D. It rarely comes off the camera. It may not be a professional quality lens but it's reasonably priced and fairly lightweight and has a great zoom range, especially since you can crop to equal a longer lens with our cameras.
09/24/2008 10:59:02 AM · #7
It's not that general-purposey, but if I were forced to only keep one lens on my camera, my 100-400 would be it. It's by far my favouritest!
09/24/2008 11:00:37 AM · #8
How does this package look to you? Ebay Linkies

It has 2 x IS lens and seems to cover a wide range of angles. Just not sure on the quality of the lens themselves.
09/24/2008 11:03:32 AM · #9
Originally posted by Axleuk:

...If you could only have 1 lens that is good for general use, what would it be?...


I'd have the EF 50mm f/1.2 or, on a budget, the less costly alternative.. Neither one has or needs IS, of course.

Message edited by author 2008-09-24 11:03:56.
09/24/2008 11:04:35 AM · #10
On a FF, probably the 24-105 f/4L. On a crop sensor, likely the 17-40 f/4L.
09/24/2008 11:07:21 AM · #11
Originally posted by Axleuk:

How does this package look to you? Ebay Linkies

It has 2 x IS lens and seems to cover a wide range of angles. Just not sure on the quality of the lens themselves.


dpreview has some lens reviews now. Canon 18-55 review Canon 18-200 review
09/24/2008 11:12:18 AM · #12
My general use lens is my Pentax 35-80mm, but my best shots have been with the standard 18-55mm. But then again I am just an amateur....
09/24/2008 11:25:27 AM · #13
The Canon 24-105L would be my first choice for a single lens (even on a cropped sensor camera), but it's not cheap. Anything less will mean settling in some area- either the lens is not wide enough, not enough zoom, too slow, or compromises image quality. If the 24-105 is too expensive, I would either go for a stabilized Sigma or Canon 18-200 superzoom, or go for a narrower zoom range that suits your usual subjects (Canon 17-40 for wide angle, Tamron 28-75 for general walkaround & portraits or Canon 70-200 f/4L if you typically shoot from a distance (zoo animals, kids' soccer games, etc.). The Canon 28-135 is OK, but probably not much better than the 18-200 lenses noted above, so IMO you might as well go for the larger range.
09/24/2008 11:26:23 AM · #14
Originally posted by zeuszen:

Originally posted by Axleuk:

...If you could only have 1 lens that is good for general use, what would it be?...


I'd have the EF 50mm f/1.2 or, on a budget, the less costly alternative.. Neither one has or needs IS, of course.


I used to have the 1.8 50mm Mk1 and will definately get another one as soon as have the camera sorted out.
09/24/2008 12:22:42 PM · #15
I've heard a lot of good things about this one. has IS and really good IQ

linky

the not having variable aperature would be nice. it would perform well in low light ect.
09/24/2008 12:40:19 PM · #16
I use Nikon lenses. When I got the first DSLR, I did ok with the 24-120mm for about 6 months, then I started buying older manual lenses. I have been very happy with the 18-70mm as well, and that is what is usually in the ready to shoot mode on the camera in my bag. I can always crop some, but if you don't have the short end, you can't make it wider without shooting a panorama set.
I assume that you are asking more about focal length than about a particular lens or f range. You will find the 50mm very useful when the light is low, or if you want a smaller and lighter set up to tote with you.
09/24/2008 12:42:27 PM · #17
Depending on your budget, whether you ever plan on buying a full-frame camera body (5D or 5D Mark II), and whether you want a good wide end, you couldn't go wrong with any of the following:

- Canon 17-55 IS kit lens (very cheapest)
- Canon 28-135 IS (relatively inexpensive)
- Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 (relatively inexpensive, no IS)
- Canon 24-105 f/4L IS (if you ever plan on going full-frame - aka buying a 5D)
- Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS (if you don't plan on going full-frame)

My advice to you would be to get the kit lens (only $60 more for great, general purpose, IS lens), shoot with it for a while, and then decide what more you want.
09/24/2008 01:09:54 PM · #18
For Nikon I would still pick the 18-200mm, now that Canon has their own 18-200mm offering you should look into that.
09/24/2008 01:19:37 PM · #19
If I had to chose just one lens, it would be the Canon 85 F1.8. Fortunately I dont have too, because every one of my lens are my favorite, it just depends on what I am shooting at the time.

Matt
09/24/2008 01:37:59 PM · #20
Originally posted by smurfguy:

- Canon 17-55 IS kit lens (very cheapest)

My advice to you would be to get the kit lens (only $60 more for great, general purpose, IS lens), shoot with it for a while, and then decide what more you want.

A good recommendation, but that would be the 18-55 IS lens (the 17-55 is far from cheap!)
09/24/2008 01:48:34 PM · #21
Oops. You're right, the kit lens is 18-55. But for $60, it's a steal and a great lens start with.

You'll spend $60 now, and after a while, you'll notice - gee I wish I could take better pictures in low light (faster lens), or I wish I could zoom farther to get my child paying sports (longer lens), or wow I'd love to take super close images of flowers (macro lens), or man those ultra-wide angle landscapes are cool (ultra-wide).

Whereas if you spend $350 on a general purpose zoom now, you'll have the exact same realizations later. =)

Here're the links from B&H:
EOS Rebel XSi (a.k.a. 450D) SLR Digital Camera (Black) (Camera Body) - $629

EOS Rebel XSi (a.k.a. 450D) SLR Digital Camera Kit (Black) with 18-55mm IS Lens - $689

Message edited by author 2008-09-24 13:51:21.
09/24/2008 02:18:00 PM · #22
Originally posted by smurfguy:

Oops. You're right, the kit lens is 18-55. But for $60, it's a steal and a great lens start with.

You'll spend $60 now, and after a while, you'll notice - gee I wish I could take better pictures in low light (faster lens), or I wish I could zoom farther to get my child paying sports (longer lens), or wow I'd love to take super close images of flowers (macro lens), or man those ultra-wide angle landscapes are cool (ultra-wide).

Whereas if you spend $350 on a general purpose zoom now, you'll have the exact same realizations later. =)

Here're the links from B&H:
EOS Rebel XSi (a.k.a. 450D) SLR Digital Camera (Black) (Camera Body) - $629

EOS Rebel XSi (a.k.a. 450D) SLR Digital Camera Kit (Black) with 18-55mm IS Lens - $689


Ohhhh...I was nearly able to purchase that camera from B&H now, just needs a few more pounds in the paypal account and i am good to go. £404 for 450D + 18-55mm IS lens, thats including shipping. That will leave me with a nice little amount for the extras i need. I am sooo close its starting to frustrate me, lol. They also do a kit as above but with a Canon 75 - 300 (non IS)but its out of stock. Would that be something to consider?
09/24/2008 05:21:10 PM · #23
Originally posted by Axleuk:

They also do a kit as above but with a Canon 75 - 300 (non IS)but its out of stock. Would that be something to consider?

You might want a 75-300 later or in addition to the 18-55, but you wouldn't want it to be your only lens. Much too long for general purpose shooting.
09/24/2008 05:32:57 PM · #24
I primarily shoot with the 28-135mm IS USM Canon lens on a 40D and I love it. But I have several older Minolta manual focus lens that I use for long range stuff. I was able to find a decent adapter to fit all of my old stuff.

I don't know too much information or cost, but I saw today that Canon just released an IS 18-200mm lens. I don't know if it has the ultra sonic motor (USM) like the 28-135mm lens, which I have found is a useful feature (especially when using a polarizing filter). 28mm is not quite wide enough and extra length is always a plus.
09/24/2008 05:34:10 PM · #25
17-55 f2.8 No question. It never leaves my main camera and I use it for probably 80% of my work.

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