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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:12 pm 
OK I am sold! Off to the shops this week to buy a Canon EOS 650D, but despite many happy hours trawling the Camera Labs site including the advice on Canon lenses I am still struggling to make a decision. I would class myself as an enthusiastic amateur, a bit of a numpty to be honest, I have at least come to the conclusion that I need a top quality general purpose lens (not the kit one). I love the idea of the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM 's low light performance (a constant bug bear), but is it too bulky for the body in everyday use? I'd love to go for an L (luxury) lens from what I hear about build quality, but these seem to be generally for full frame bodies and so compromise on wide angle shots. I do use telephoto a fair bit (my daughter is an athlete and capturing the action the far side of the track is a must), can I expect to get good results with the Canon’s EF-S 18-200mm (no USM and quality compromises!), or should I just save up for a second lens for telephoto work???? Any advice, help, comforting words etc would be very much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:10 pm 
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ChrisB wrote:
I love the idea of the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM 's low light performance (a constant bug bear), but is it too bulky for the body in everyday use?

It may sound like a cliché but no size fits all. Some people will find the lens somewhat front-heavy and unwieldy but others will cope just fine with it.

I hired that lens for about a week and it did seem quite bulky but after a few hours of using it, it felt pretty natural, especially with me using a battery grip on my 550D. I use my 15-85mm (not quite as heavy as the 17-55mm but much heavier than the 18-55mm kit) as my main lens now.

ChrisB wrote:
I'd love to go for an L (luxury) lens from what I hear about build quality, but these seem to be generally for full frame bodies and so compromise on wide angle shots.

The lenses themselves aren't compromised but as you said, they are optimised for the full-frame bodies (L lenses were around long before the APS-C bodies became mainstream) so most would be quite tight at the widest angle when mounted on an APS-C body. However there is the 17-40mm L to consider unless you think it doesn't have the reach you're after.

ChrisB wrote:
I do use telephoto a fair bit (my daughter is an athlete and capturing the action the far side of the track is a must), can I expect to get good results with the Canon’s EF-S 18-200mm (no USM and quality compromises!), or should I just save up for a second lens for telephoto work?

I wouldn't call the 18-200mm rubbish but if it is practical for you to carry a second lens and change it, it's not a lens I would recommend. I see it as a lens for those who need a wide focal range first and foremost with minimal intention of changing lenses in one sitting and are happy to sacrifice image quality and can put up with noticeable distortion (the latter of which can be corrected with a bit of post processing). If image quality is more important and you don't mind changing lenses, I would recommend looking at either the Canon EF-S 55-250mm, the Canon EF 70-300mm or the Tamron 70-300mm.

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Body: Canon EOS 70D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM


Last edited by Rorschach on Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:28 pm 
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I would get the 15-85mm lens if I was starting again now. The focal range is wider than the kit lens, it has Ring USM focusing so full time manual focusing, no front element rotation during focusing and it's silent and quick. The IQ is up there with the 17-55 f2.8 lens. You may find that the wide end is wide enough for your needs and you will only need a 70-200L or 70-300L to supplement it (the 15-85). This would make a nice two lens walkaround kit and allow you to cover sports with the long zoom. Sling in a fast prime, say 35mm f/2 for indoor stuff and you are all set!

Just a thought,

mirageII

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Canon EOS 400D, EF-S 18-55mm, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 MK I, EF-S 10-22mm, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 35mm f/2 IS, EF 85mm f/1.8
Canon 430EX II, Manfrotto 055CXPRO3, Arca Swiss P0
Panasonic GX1, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Olympus 45mm f/1.8
Canon EOS 30/33 and Pentax MX/ME Super

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