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Old 01/09/2008, 05:26 PM
ct_vol ct_vol is offline
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Question Canon Lens Selection

I am an beginner/amateur photographer at best. Most of the pictures I take are of my saltwater fishtanks, and are therefor taken in somewhat low light conditions... I currently have a Canon Rebel XTi... It came with a 18-55mm lens and a Sigma 70-300mm lens... A few months ago I added the Canon 100mm f/2.8 lens to my collection... I was amazed at the difference of picture quality from my new 100mm lens compared to my old "kit" lenses...

I would now like to add a quality "all around"/walking lens to my collection... I was looking at the 24-105 L f/4 IS, 24-70 L f/2.8, and the 17-55 f/2.8 IS...

My main concerns are that the 24-105 is f/4 and not as good in lower light applications... The 24-70 does not have the IS... And the dust issues with the 17-55...

I'm also thinking I'll upgrade my camera body in the next year or two... I'm confused about this 1.6 form factor I'm not sure what that means, but I don't want to get a lens that isn't compatable with my next camera body, or is limited in its performance...

Any info on these three lenses, pros, cons and opinions would be great... Thanks in advance...


Its not a hobby... Its a way of life...
Old 01/09/2008, 05:39 PM
Blazer88 Blazer88 is offline
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I've had both the 17-55 F/2.8 IS and the 24-105 F/4L with my 30D and I like the 17-55 best, by far. Here is why I choose my 17-55 over everything else. The 17-55 is much sharper and faster than the 24-105 F/4L that I had. The F/4 was too slow (for tank shots) unless I bumped the ISO to 1600. It is also much smaller than the 24-70 AND has IS with "L" sharpness. The 17-55 will only work with EF-S mounts, meaning it's only compatible with 20/30/40D, XT/XTi, and the digital Rebel. The EF-s mount won't be going anywhere anytime soon so there will always be a market for this lens if I ever want to sell it. Canon lenses always seem to hold their value so I'm not worried. And I don't worry about the dust either. Mine has a few tiny specs but nothing that will ever degrade the picture quality. I've taken tons of tank pics with my 17-55....just do it, you won't regret it
Old 01/09/2008, 10:11 PM
spscrackhead spscrackhead is offline
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i am also looking into a new lense (who isn't)
this is what i think i am going with (so far anyway)
hobby???? are you serious this is an ADDICTION
Old 01/10/2008, 12:08 PM
ct_vol ct_vol is offline
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Thanks for the info Blazer!!!

Ok, I was pointed toward this link on fredmiranda to help explain the 1.6 form factor...

So if I read this correctly, EF-S lenses are specifically made for 1.6 form factor bodies... What would happen if you used an EF-S lens on a 5d or other FF body??? Just wondering...

Also what do you all think of the Tamron 17-50... That was another lens suggested to me... As well as the Canon 50mm f/1.8 as a good cheap lens to pick up for taking pics of the tank...

Its not a hobby... Its a way of life...
Old 01/10/2008, 01:24 PM
Blazer88 Blazer88 is offline
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The EF-S mount sticks a little farther into the body of the camera so the lens won't physically fit on the 5/1D series body. Nothing really "happens", it just won't fit. And I hear good things about the Tamron 17-50, which is very similar to the Sigma 18-50 F/2.8 EX DC that I used to own. The problem with those lenses (Tamron/Sigma) is that I know the Sigma doesn't have full-time manual focus, lacks a USM-type motor, and obviously no IS. I think the Tamron has basically the same features. While both are F/2.8, which is nice, they still lack the options that I was willing to pay for when I went with the 17-55 F/2.8 IS. As a previous owner of the Sigma 18-50 F/2.8, I really appreciate the jump in quality when I went with the Canon. If you have the money, the 17-55 F/2.8 is simply the absolute best all-around lens for a 1.6 crop body, hands down.
Old 01/11/2008, 01:26 PM
MGB MGB is offline
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If your ever going to upgrade to a full frame DSLR, the EF-s mount lens will not work, only works on cropped sensor bodies.
If you buy a "L" series lens it will work on any body, cropped or full frame, the difference being that on a cropped body it is effectively a 1.6x increased focal length, ie, 100mm becomes 160mm. Personally I'd lean towards the "L" series lenses, great quality and work on both cropped and full frame, you don't want to end up buying the same lens twice.
Old 01/11/2008, 03:14 PM
swjim swjim is offline
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If you haven't already been there, I would strongly suggest checking out the lens sample threads at

FWIW, I use the 24-70 2.8L for my walkaround lens. It is big, but the quality is outstanding. I shoot with a 30D (Crop body) so the lens is equivalent to 38-112 on a full frame body. There are times when it would be nice to have something wider, but overall I am very happy with the lens.

This is a useful tool for comparing focal lengths:

Good luck!
Old 01/11/2008, 06:11 PM
d4a2n0k d4a2n0k is offline
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I was recently in the same position as you and chose the 17-55 between the 3 you listed. I've only had it a few weeks but it is an awesome lens and have no regrets. I posted some pics in the thread I started. The colors and clarity are amazing when compared to the 18-55 kit lens.

I also had worries about the dust issues but everyone that has the problem also say that it doesnt effect image quality.

I went with this lens because of the IS and the fact that its a little smaller than the 24-70. The plastic body of the XTi doesnt balance well with the heavier lenses and I was looking for a lens that stays on the camera most of the time so something more balanced would be more comfortable hanging off your neck.
Old 01/11/2008, 06:15 PM
beerguy beerguy is offline
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Actually it's a LOT smaller than the 24-70. The later being a tank, especially on the XT* sized bodies.
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