||Canon standard zoom lenses
Standard zoom lenses offer a general-purpose range from wide angle to short telephoto, thereby giving you great day-to-day flexibility. The vast majority of standard zoom lenses in use are those kit models which are popularly bundled with many DSLRs, such as the Canon EF-S 18-55mm model. Mounted on a Canon APS-C body like the EOS 400D / XTi, this will deliver an effective range of 28-88mm, thereby covering typical landscape shots to basic portrait work.
You may already own a standard zoom, but it can often be worth replacing it for a superior model. After all, as the lens range you use the most, you’ll see the benefit on the most photos. Better quality standard zooms may offer superior optics, an extended focal range, tougher construction, quicker focusing, brighter apertures or image stabilisation to reduce camera-shake.
As always, bear in mind any reduction in field due to your DSLRs sensor when choosing a lens. Canon’s APS-C models like the EOS 400D / XTi and 40D have a reduction factor of 1.6x, which effectively multiply lens focal lengths by 1.6 times. So if you go for a 17-85mm lens, you’ll actually have an equivalent of 27-136mm.
Note: Canon ’s EF-S lenses are not compatible with full-frame DSLRs. For a full explanation of lens specifications and examples of coverage at different focal lengths, check out our Camera Labs Lens Buyers Guide.