Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by Xen0phobiak, 22 Jun 2008.
Does anyone use one of these in place of the 400d etc.. kit lens? What do you think of it?
Believe it or not, the IS version of the kit is much better.
Check out the tests here:
Canon 18-55 IS
FWIW, I'd save up a bit and go for the Sigma 17-70 and or Tamron 17-50...the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 is not a bad lens either.
I had the Nikon mount version of this lens so ymmv, but it really is distinctly average. If you've got the kit lens already, the only advantage to this is marginally better build quality, but it's so small that it really isn't worth it.
I'll vouch for the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, which just came in. I expect it's a good bit more expensive than the Sigma kit-equivalent, but in my short time with it, I'd say it's got a lot of value. Constant f/2.8 = win, and the build quality is on par with my 70-200 f/4L (much to my surprise, as the Canon equivalent with IS is more than twice the price, and doesn't even include the lens hood).
Eric, I wouldn't go as far as to say that the Tamron's BQ is on par with L glass--its built well...but not that well. Best way to describe it is "Build quality is not rugged, but it is solid - very adequate...", as quoted from Bryan at the Digital Picture. All in all its an extremely good performer considering the price.
I know I'm repeating myself here, but I never really understood the point in IS for focal lengths under 70mm. I mean, given today's cameras, is it really that hard to get a shutter speed high enough? the teens though the fifties, 1/50th is plenty to get a sharp picture and IS won't help with motion blur. and for a good landscape shot, you'd use a tripod. Given that these are not fast lenses, the IS is there to allow you to lower your shutter speed. At 18mm you need to be at 1/27th, call it 1/30th if a second to get at stable image. Given a 2 stop IS.....1/15th....1/8th of a second. That seems like a fairly low number to be hand holding, IMO, especially given who these lenses are marketed to.
Wouldn't it make more sense, given the same price point in any lens line up, to have higher quality build or glass - then adding IS?
This isn't about any brand mind you, just a market trend I don't get.
I'm just going by my experience with it. It feels very solidly built at a level that I can only equate with my 70-200. I'm not saying it's L quality in all aspects (zooming isn't as smooth, nor is the non-FTM/USM focusing) but it's certainly not like the cheap lenses where the barrel or focus wobbles if someone breathes on it wrong either. Perhaps it could gather some internal dust over time as it's not sealed in the same way, but my 28-135 at the same price point has some wobble in barrel which doesn't exist at all in the Tamron.
J_J, re: IS - it really depends who's behind the camera, as always. The IS is marketed largely to the type of person who would buy a new XSi to use it in full auto shooting in live view. I find it to be helpful at any focal length, as I have terribly un-steady hands; the 1/FL mantra is a good start, but I've had shots come out sharp handheld at 1/15 and shots with motion blur at 1/400+ (which is surprisingly easy if you're going after a moving target, especially firing away in burst mode). Anything I can take to help that is fine in my books, especially if it doesn't affect noise. I absolutely avoid going below 1/30 if at all possible even if IS would theoretically allow me a slower shutter speed - camera shake will be exaggerated at longer focal lengths, but when you're burning in an image over 1/8-1/15sec, IS can find its limits. I aim to stay at least half a stop above the 1/FL guide (adjusted for sensor size).
JJ, I'm not stating the lens is better due to the addition of IS (at least not entirely, or to my knowledge), nor do I believe it is vital at those focal lengths. However the IS version of the kit happens to be dramatically better than the non-IS version of the kit (Look at the MTF's)...and although many believe the addition of IS decreases IQ I do not see any solid evidence pointing towards this...look at both the kit and the 70-200's, all of which happen to have increased in IQ with the implementation of IS. As for FL's short of tele (<100mm), shooting a static image in low light with a lens with limited or variable aperture can prove extremely useful. Hell, throw some tubes on the 18-55 IS for macro use and you will immediately notice the difference in hand-hold-ability. In the end, IS has become relatively cheap to add and is done so without sacrificing image quality.
Eric, I just got a Tammy 17-50 today My boss surprised me with a care package consisting of the 17-50, a 40D, a couple of brackets, a couple of pelican cases, an additional 580EXII, DFD jumbo (on order), Sekonic FM, a couple of remote shutter releases, a bunch of other goodies and best of all informed me that my lighting kit is on its way--HIO! Anyways, I was referring to the fact that its made out of plastic, and while it feels solid it is off base from L build (hell the EF-S 17-55 is built better and I still wouldn't consider it on par with my 70-200). I like the grip of the lens though and the lens cap is prime.
It's pretty simple as far as I can see ..
Canon 18-55 IS = £117 (f/3.5 - 5.6)
Sigma 18-50 = £79 (f/3.5 - 5.6)
Third Party f/2.8 lens with similar range =~ £260 + mucho bigger + mucho heavier
So say I want to take that picture in that gloomy cathedral I'm visiting, I've not got a cat in hells chance of doing it with the Sigma 18-50 (as I don't want to tote round a tripod). The Canon 18-55 IS will give me a decent stab at it, and perhaps get 1 out of 3 pictures sharp, and the f/2.8 lenses are out of my budget. So, being the logical purchaser I plump up an extra £38 and go for the Canon IS.
I guess that new gig is working out all right for you then, Matt?
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