Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi lens upgrade group test
It’s fair to say the majority of people buying the new Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi will do so with its kit lens. This bundled EF-S 18-55mm delivers a 3x optical zoom range covering wide angle to short telephoto and is a good general purpose starter lens. The fact it’s included for little extra cost over the body-only price makes it a no-brainer.
While the EF-S 18-55mm performs surprisingly well for its price though, you’ll really need to upgrade to something better to make the most of your 400D / XTi. Upgrading also gives you the opportunity to enjoy a longer focal range along with features which could include Image Stabilisation to combat camera-shake, improved focusing, or greater capabilities in low light.
There are a massive range of lenses available to suit all tastes and photographic opportunities, but in this group test we’ll specifically look at three popular models from Canon which could be used as a general-purpose upgrade to the 18-55mm kit lens.
All three, pictured above, feature faster and quieter focusing, superior build quality and will squeeze additional resolution from your camera. Two also feature Image Stabilisation, one offers a longer zoom range, another boasts excellent performance for portraiture or low light work, while the third can also be used on a full-frame body, protecting you for significant future upgrades.
They all have their pros and cons which we’ll compare in detail in this group test, allowing you to make the best choice for your particular requirements.
While these tests were performed with an EOS 400D / Rebel XTi, the benefits of each lens are equally applicable to the earlier 350D / XT, the original 300D / Rebel, or indeed the EOS 20D and 30D models. If you have one of these bodies and are still using the kit lens, this is the feature for you. Upgrading your lens from the kit model is the first step to making the most of your digital SLR, and in this group test we’ll compare some of the best options available.
Note the serial numbers for the 17-55mm, 17-85mm, 18-55mm and 17-40mm lenses were 16104232, 92001769, 9600520205 and 102834 respectively.