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Best all-purpose lens?

Blake Suddeth , Aug 16, 2005; 04:47 p.m.

Hi, I have a digital rebel and currently have the 18-55 kit lens as well as the 50mm f/1.8. I would like a lens with more zoom but I don't need as much as say the 75-300. I'm interested in one of the wide-angle zoom lenses but not sure which one to get. What would you recommend in the 2x-1xxmm range that would be noticably better optically than the kit lens without getting into and of the L lenses. Should I stick with canon lenses or go with another brand? Thanks a lot.


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Skip Douglas , Aug 16, 2005; 04:55 p.m.

Pieces of information that you left out -

What sort of photography do you anticipate doing?

What is your budget?

What camera body do you have now?

Peter White , Aug 16, 2005; 05:10 p.m.

The best is the 17-85 EF-S. Good resolution, minimal vignetting, has Image Stabilization and USM. $550 at B&H.

Ken Papai , Aug 16, 2005; 05:18 p.m.

Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L if you just want ONE lens and are on a desert island with models and stuff (and an Internet connection with a phat PC).

Jamie Nicholson , Aug 16, 2005; 05:56 p.m.

Given your description the 28-135 IS is a strong contender if you don't want to make the L plunge. There is tons of info on PN for this lens. You might also what to check out what Bob Atkins has to say here. Good luck.

Ben S , Aug 16, 2005; 06:28 p.m.

1. use the 50/1.8 exclusively for a couple of months. its a killer lens and a great learning tool.

2. if you must have a zoom, consider sigma 18-50/2.8, 24-70/2.8, tamron 28-75/2.8, canon 17-40/4, canon 28-70/2.8.

reviews i've read and my own experience with the tamron is that a good copy of any of these is optically very good. also, an aperture range of 2.8 gets you indoors without a flash for many things, which makes the lens more useful as an all-purpose lens.

Andrew Hinkle , Aug 16, 2005; 06:56 p.m.

First off, when you say that you want a 20 something to 100 something zoom, did you mean actual focal lengths or equivalent focal lengths. What I mean by equivalent is that an actual 28mm lens will yield an equivalent focal length of about 48mm. That being said, for an actual 20 something lens I'd second the recommendation for the 28-135 IS. If you want a 28mm equivalent, the 17-85 EF-S is the only real wide to tele lens for the EF-S mount that is worth the metal it's made out of. Finally, Ken, did you just describe a PC as "phat?"

Jean-Baptiste Queru , Aug 16, 2005; 08:25 p.m.


Brian Duffy , Aug 16, 2005; 08:54 p.m.

28-135 IS is a very good all around lens, there are optically better lenses in that price range but not with as much reach or IS.

Adam Maraschky , Aug 16, 2005; 10:24 p.m.

Well seeing that 28mm comes to about 50mm when you add in the crop factor, you might want to go with a wider one if you were looking for something "all around"

If you aren't going to ever switch your camera (to say... a larger sensor), you might want to go with the 17-85 EFs lens. It covers the wide range while the 28-135 will get closer. I'm guessing that will work for you. If you buy that, I think you should sell your 18-55 (well I would) unless you want to keep it as backup... seeing as this would out-perform it greatly besides it being a littler slower.

You should consider the EFs 17-85 4-5.6 if you just want a little bit longer while keeping the flexibility your current lens has.

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