Canon 550D + 18-55mm or 18-135mm

logix88

Standard Member
I am a newbie to slr regime, but I am keen in photography and I wanted to start off with the Canon 550D.

I was wondering if upgrading to 18-135mm IS lens would offer any quality difference compared to the 18-55mm kit lens, I am not so keen on zoom capacity right now. So, unless there is a quality improvement, I wouldn't want to fork out an extra 200/250 pounds on the 18-135mm.
 

lunar524

Active Member
Obviously you will get better reach with the 18-135mm, and is the better day to day walkabout lens. However as someone who has used both when I had my 550D, you will not see better IQ, infact the IQ from the 18-55mm may be just a fraction better, but thats JMO.

Having said that, I did prefer the 18-135 purely for it's coverage, and in my case I sold the 18-55mm to help offset the price of the 18-135mm. The 135mm does have better build quality, and the fact the front does not rotate when focusing is quite useful, so you can use petal lens hoods which look the part..lol

TBH, I was getting fedup of getting small dust particles on the focusing screen etc. due to changing lenses, once I managed to get it clean, I tended to leave the 18-135 on all the time.

Only lens I occasionally swapped to afterwards was to the cheapo 50mm 1.8 prime lens, which really is a must have, if your a Canon dslr user.
 
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logix88

Standard Member
Obviously you will get better reach with the 18-135mm, and is the better day to day walkabout lens. However as someone who has used both when I had my 550D, you will not see better IQ, infact the IQ from the 18-55mm may be just a fraction better, but thats JMO.

Having said that, I did prefer the 18-135 purely for it's coverage, and in my case I sold the 18-55mm to help offset the price of the 18-135mm.

TBH, I was getting fedup of getting small dust particles on the focusing screen etc. due to changing lenses, once I managed to get it clean, I tended to leave the 18-135 on all the time.

Only lens I occasionally swapped to afterwards was to the cheapo 50mm 1.8 prime lens, which really is a must have, if your a Canon dslr user.

So, you would suggest that I buy the 550d with standard kit lens and if I needed more coverage, sell the kit lens and get the 18-135mm.

I was actually getting a good package deal for the 550D + 18-135mm for about 725gbp (allied-direct.co.uk) and with the kit lens for about 585gbp (Best Buy + 10% off quidco), so that's roughly 140 quids extra for the extra zoom... if there isn't any significant IQ improvement then to me it doesn't really make sense, at least not while I just start off.
 

lunar524

Active Member
It's a difficult decision, if your purely after more reach, getting 55-250mm later may be one option, which can be bought for around £150, it has quite cheap build quality, but actually performs better than it's price suggests, and is well regarded by most users.

Price wise the 2 kit lens are possibly the cheapest option, and offer reasonable results.

The main attraction, of the 18-135mm is the better build quality, and AIS the fact it serves as a good everyday lens, ie. saves you having to carry other lenses with you. I currently use the Nikon equivalent on my D90, infact it's the only lens that I tend to use these days.

A lot of the extra money for the 135 is for the better build quality, common sense dictates that any zoom lens will always be compromised when compared to say something like prime lenses, though obvously quality/price comes into the equation too.

The 18-135mm is aimed at people who dont fancy having to carry a extra lens, I think it's a good lens, and I'm sure you would'nt be disapointed by the results, but you certainly won't see any massive improvment in IQ over the kit lens, certainly not like you would if you put a 50mm 1.8 or 1.4 on the front.

If you can afford it, personally I would go for the 18-135mm, but only if you think you wont be needing more reach at some point later. Otherwise save your money and buy one of the twin lens kits, or add the 55-250mm later. The kit lenses for the 550D are quite decent, the 55-250mm though cheaply made produces quite good IQ.

Check out the various online reviews.

Difficult choice...:D

I'm currently trying to decide whether to treat myself to a D60 and if I can justify the 17-55m which I would like, but is quite pricey, and if I'm honest..the answer is...a big NO! I can afford it, but I can't justify spending it...lol (still want it though) :laugh::laugh:
 
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logix88

Standard Member
It's a difficult decision, if your purely after more reach, getting 55-250mm later may be one option, which can be bought for around £150, it has quite cheap build quality, but actually performs better than it's price suggests, and is well regarded by most users.

Price wise the 2 kit lens are possibly the cheapest option, and offer reasonable results.

The main attraction, of the 18-135mm is the better build quality, and AIS the fact it serves as a good everyday lens, ie. saves you having to carry other lenses with you. I currently use the Nikon equivalent on my D90, infact it's the only lens that I tend to use these days.

A lot of the extra money for the 135 is for the better build quality, common sense dictates that any zoom lens will always be compromised when compared to say something like prime lenses, though obvously quality/price comes into the equation too.

The 18-135mm is aimed at people who dont fancy having to carry a extra lens, I think it's a good lens, and I'm sure you would'nt be disapointed by the results, but you certainly won't see any massive improvment in IQ over the kit lens, certainly not like you would if you put a 50mm 1.8 or 1.4 on the front.

If you can afford it, personally I would go for the 18-135mm, but only if you think you wont be needing more reach at some point later. Otherwise save your money and buy one of the twin lens kits, or buy the 55-250mm later.

Check out the various online reviews.

Difficult choice...:D

Thanks for the tip, I am in sort of a budget constraint... I am leaning towards the kit lens and getting a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, I think for now that should do the job.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the tip, I am in sort of a budget constraint... I am leaning towards the kit lens and getting a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, I think for now that should do the job.

Very good choice get the 55-250 for xmas...:hiya:
 

lunar524

Active Member
Thanks for the tip, I am in sort of a budget constraint... I am leaning towards the kit lens and getting a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, I think for now that should do the job.

Probably the wise choice, TBH whatever lens you buy, you wont lose much on it, if you sell it later.

The 50mm 1.8 is a definate must buy for any Canon owner, and is a good example illustrating that sometimes more expensive does not always get you better IQ.
For example...it's faster more expensive brother the 1.4 is substantially more expensive, and if you discount the fact the 1.4 has far better build quality and USM, and is of course a faster lens, the IQ between them is virtually nil, in fact some people rate the 1.8 IQ as being better, albeit with slightly poorer bokeh of the two.
 
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tausifs

Well-known Member
Obviously you will get better reach with the 18-135mm, and is the better day to day walkabout lens. However as someone who has used both when I had my 550D, you will not see better IQ, infact the IQ from the 18-55mm may be just a fraction better, but thats JMO.

Having said that, I did prefer the 18-135 purely for it's coverage, and in my case I sold the 18-55mm to help offset the price of the 18-135mm. The 135mm does have better build quality, and the fact the front does not rotate when focusing is quite useful, so you can use petal lens hoods which look the part..lol

TBH, I was getting fedup of getting small dust particles on the focusing screen etc. due to changing lenses, once I managed to get it clean, I tended to leave the 18-135 on all the time.

Only lens I occasionally swapped to afterwards was to the cheapo 50mm 1.8 prime lens, which really is a must have, if your a Canon dslr user.

So is Canon 550D to a Nikon D90 an upgrade ?

The D90 is available with the 18-105mm VR Lens as a kit:

http://www.jessops.com/online.store/products/75332/show.html

What are the difference s between the D90 and D5000 ( I currently have the Nikon D5000) ?
 
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senu

Distinguished Member
So is Canon 550D to a Nikon D90 an upgrade ?
They are not quite directly comparable TBH and maybe the 60D is an upgrade
The 550D is very good but the Canon " semi equivalent" of the D90 would be the 50D which has now been replaced bu the 60D
I would certainly class the 7D as a definite upgrade to the D90

What are the difference s between the D90 and D5000 ( I currently have the Nikon D5000) ?
Here

Ive never held a D5000 but I use a D300s at work ( a bit less so these day and I don't think a D90 fares that poorly beside it for stills ) . The D5000 is real VFM but the D90 is a notch or 2 above
but
Does this matter in real terms..?
Not if what you have is getting you the right result.. A lot is down to user and we often upgrade hoping for better without realising the full potential of what we have
The Major difference (IIRC) if the D90 is faster in use, has a better AF module and can take all lenses and has a better res and bigger LCD. The D7000 promises to be an even better camera all round
 
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lunar524

Active Member
I agree with many of senu's comments, though I would'nt rate the D90 quite that highly. It is a good stills camera, the video however is totally rubbish when compared with the likes of the 550D and many other later camera's. You have to remember the D90 has been out quite some time now, my own is about 2 yrs old. Video is acceptable as long as you don't do any panning at all, the jelloing effect is quite apparent on the D90, but fine if it's kept fairly stationary while shooting. I'm not too bothered about the video side anyway, as I mostly use a HD camcorder for any video's of significance , which TBH is a rare event these days for me anyway.

In fact my small TZ10 gives far better video results than my D90 does...much more fluid and smoother.

The Canon really needs some decent glass to get the best out of it's higher pixel sensor, IMO the D90 may have the slightly better IQ when using the kit lens. JMO
Many a good camera has been criticised for soft IQ unfairly because of the users choice of glass. In reality of course only a few can afford decent L glass or similar and I realise it's always going to be case of compromise for most of us.

So...IMO..over-all the 550D offers more features and I would say more potential than the D90.

I like the D90 build quality, also the far better viewfinder, and the top Lcd is handy to have too. Plus the fact it has an almost silent shutter mode, same as the D5000 which can be useful.
Unlike some people I dont have any loyalties in any of the 2 camps, as I've not amassed quantities of specific lenses.

They are totally different camera's, but I think I would recommend the 550D over the D90 if one's looking for the most bang! for your money!
The 550D's exposure metering is exceptional and rarely gets it wrong, even in difficult lighting it will usually give a good result, while the D90 needs a touch more care to get the same result. JMO.

Put some better glass on the 550D and it can produce some surprisingly good results,
Check out the couple of pics here of my grand-daughter taken with the 550D and the ultra cheap £70 50mm 1.8 lens, also look at the 2 pics of the wooden decking posts during some tests I was doing between the TZ10 and the 550D, not a fair comparison I know, but the detail from the TZ10 is quite surprising, but in the DOF stakes one can instantly see the reason why some shots/effects can only be done with a DSLR.:laugh:

lunar524: Galleries: Digital Photography Review
 
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senu

Distinguished Member
I agree , for video the D90 really sucks
and Given the fact that the 550Ds actual stills ability is good the D90 isn't all that but its major problem is that it is beginning to show its age .At launch the Expeed processing and Active D lighting were not to be found on just above entry level kit
 
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logix88

Standard Member
Thanks a lot of your advice ppl, really helped me out a lot. Canon 550d is an amazing piece of hardware, I think for the money that I pay for it.. its worth every penny. I was confused with the lens options, but now decided to go with the 18-55mm kit lens and 50mm f/1.8 prime lens and later get a 55-200mm or 18-135mm and ditch the kit lens.
 

tausifs

Well-known Member
I have just picked up a Tamron 17-55mm f2.8 lens to try with the Nikon d5000. I want to take indoor shots of my kid without a flash and at a fast-ish shutter rate. I thought of getting the Nikon 35mm f1.8 lens but realised that 35mm on its existing kit lens was not wide enough for my needs, hence the lower range on the Tamron, but its not as fast a lens. So I will see how this fares.

Next I will try the Canon 550D. I note that Sigma do a 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM lens. I am told this would be compatible with Canon AF and therefore the 550D ? What does EX DC HSM mean ?

Does anyone have any experience with this lens ?
 
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logix88

Standard Member
wait it out then , i went for the cheap it will be ok option and hated it , keep hold of your money and add a bit at a time till you can buy what you want :smashin:

I see your point... normally, I wouldn't go for the cheaper option... but in this case, looks like I can get lenses later as I need them. As for the 550D, I am perfectly happy with it.
 

tausifs

Well-known Member
I returned the Nikon d5000. I now have the canon 550d with kit 18-55mm f3.5 lens.

I really like the Canon 550d esp for the 1080p24/25 and 720p50 HD video, its a keeper :thumbsup:.

I also have the canon 50mm f1.8 prime which I will keep :smashin:.

I was trying out the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 for indoor wide angle shots and after some umming and ahhing have now ordered the canon 28mm f1.8 prime lens from warehouse express. It is a special order and I will not be able to return it.

I was now thinking , like the OP, of getting a walkabout lens with a longer reach and forgo the kit lens, I shall mull the above comments ! :)

BTW, how much does the canon 18-55mm kit lens fetch second hand ?

I note tamron do a 18-200 mm lens f3.5 for £169 but there is no mention of image stabilsation/vibration reduction.
 
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