Good 'walkabout' lens for 400D

Beachball

Active Member
I currently have the kit lens, 70-300IS and the 50mm f/1.8 lenses. Any suggestions on what could be a good 'walkabout' lens that may fill-in nicely between the two non-kit lenses I have are welcome. Although IS is great on my 70-300, is it useful/necessary for a walkabout lens?
 

Radiohead

Well-known Member
One of:

Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS
Sigma 18-50/2.8
Sigma 17-70/2.8-4
Tamron 17-50/2.8

Would be my choices.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I currently have the kit lens, 70-300IS and the 50mm f/1.8 lenses. Any suggestions on what could be a good 'walkabout' lens that may fill-in nicely between the two non-kit lenses I have are welcome. Although IS is great on my 70-300, is it useful/necessary for a walkabout lens?

IS
always comes in handy:D

I use it on the 17-85mm IS USM as my walkabout lens on the 350 and 30D. It isnt the worlds sharpest lens but I have no intention of replacing it as I find that ( esp on the 30) AF is very fast, accurate and quiet and the IS compensates for max f4 aperture at lower shutter speeds

It is costlier than the Sigma 17-70 ..which is said to be "sharper"
I know of but have never used that lens. It is 2.8 but only at a limited focal range so its main advantage is cost :VFM (IMO)

The Tamron and 18-50 Sigmas are justifiably well regarded but lose out the extra zoom length on the Canon .
However you have a 70-300 and may not miss that extra.zoom focal length. It is useful though for quick portraits type shots if you dont want to change to the 50mm or the 70-300
Certainly all of the Lenses in that list are better than the kit lens
 

Radiohead

Well-known Member
You like the 17-85 then senu?

I've been thinking about a walkabout lens for Mrs R to use on the 30D so have been looking at that.
 

allymac123

Well-known Member
Another lens to throw in the mix for you would be the Canon 17-55 F2.8 IS. This lens really is the cream of the crop - pinsharp, constant F2.8, IS (need I say more) and Canon's ring USM.

Obviously the downside to this lens is its cost. At £565 it doesn't come in cheap but it has a high resale value and if you spread the cost over the life of the lens (5 years being a very, very conservative estimate) the difference in price soon starts to drop.

I use this lens with my 70-300 IS and I don't have a problem with the 15mm of focal length I'm missing. I don't think I've noticed it at all really. The thing with my 17-55 is that it sometimes wants to make me upgrade my telephoto lens but then I look at the price of the Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS and all thoughts are gone!! (well almost)
 

senu

Distinguished Member
You like the 17-85 then senu?

I've been thinking about a walkabout lens for Mrs R to use on the 30D so have been looking at that.

I do actually, but then the Sigma 17-70 ( to which it is often compared) wasn't available when it was the lens to replace the kit lens. That lens does cost less...

I would certainly always avoid using it at less than 24mm ( quite marked spherical abberation ( barrel distortion) at 17mm) but from that point up to 85 .. no problems:smashin: It is easy to correct in PS though.
That said its centre sharpeness, Flare resistance very useful IS and good build quality commend it
As I said... I like it :)

For L "quality" at a cost the 17-50 f2.8 USM IS is the "daddy":D
Oh.. the 17-85 does have ring type USM too
 

bowenjones

Well-known Member
I also have the 17-85 IS. The range is superb as a walkabout lens. It can also be really sharp in good light and the IS works a treat. With the £100 cashback that Canon are offering on this, I personally think that it is a bargain at the moment.
I do have some issues with it though. Even with IS, to me it's not very good in low light. Images suffer from purple and green fringing in certain conditions and it also suffers from vignetting at at the widest end. These are only minor problems though as the effects aren't that bad but if you were having to pay the full £350 or so for it, I would seriously think about other lenses. As it is though, at £250 it should be high up on anyone's list as a good replacement for the standard kit lens :)
 

Beachball

Active Member
Cheers for your replies and suggestions.

I'm leaning towards the Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 DC Macro. It seems a good price (£209 is the best I have found). It seems to have a macro feature too.. that would be something I can experiment with. No sort of IS tho, unfortunately.

Like the sound of the Canon 17-85 IS but can only find prices for the F2.8 version at £699 ish. Cannot find prices for the F4 version at £350 (minus £100 with cash-back) as bowenjones mentions. Does anyone have a link for where I can find this lens? I think this is worth considering at only £50 more than the Sigma and it has IS which I do find useful.
 

bowenjones

Well-known Member
Rgb tech and Jacobs have the 17-85 IS listed at just under £350 but they are both out of stock. Try camerapricebuster for links to some deals. The offers can change daily, especially if they include some discount codes, so keep an eye out as you might come across a few bargains :)
 

dave_bass5

Distinguished Member
No ones mentioned the 24-105L F/4 yet. so now i have.
For me it was the perfect focal range for a walk about. Its a fantastic lens and nice and sharp.
 

tryingtimes

Well-known Member
Hi Dave
I've been thinking of this lens too, but I was worried that it wouldn't be wide enough for a cropped sensor like the 400D. Your 30D is cropped too isn't it - how do you get on? Do you find yourself using the 17-55 f2 a lot?

If I stretched to the 24-105L, I don't think I would be able to afford another lens, so I'd have to rely on my kit lens for the 18-24 range.
 

dave_bass5

Distinguished Member
Hi Dave
I've been thinking of this lens too, but I was worried that it wouldn't be wide enough for a cropped sensor like the 400D. Your 30D is cropped too isn't it - how do you get on? Do you find yourself using the 17-55 f2 a lot?

If I stretched to the 24-105L, I don't think I would be able to afford another lens, so I'd have to rely on my kit lens for the 18-24 range.

Yes, my 30d is cropped as well.

To be honest ive just sold my 24-105L because i wasnt using it any more. I tend to use the 17-55IS most of the time now. Its not mainly because of the wide end though, more because its really sharp and has f/2.8 and the pics i get from it never fail to make me smile when i see them on screen. In fact i really miss having 55-105mm but i now have a 70-200f/4 IS for that.
I also have a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 and that is also a very nice, small lens. i found during the winter months i was using that a lot as it was faster than the 24-105L but i still missed the longer end so both did get used. when we went to Florida in Feb i got the 17-55IS because i only wanted to take one lens with me. I like having f/2.8 but also love IS so the 17-55Is is the best of both. I was surprised how good the Canon is and although i missed the extra reach i found i could crop in most of the time so its not really a problem for me. I do like to zoom more than shoot wide so for me even 24mm was fine but it is nice to have the extra mm on the wide end when needed.

It all depends on what you want to shoot but if you would be happy with the range of the kit lens then i would say you wont be disappointed with the Canon 17-55IS (or even the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 if money is tight).
I think at the moment you have the whole range covered so what ever you get will make at least one lens redundant so i would make sure its the right range if you are going to spend out a lot of cash.
And from personal experience i would say get what you want now, even if it means saving for a bit. Ive gone through 3-4 cheaper lens's to get to the 24-105L. I should have just got it in the first place as it cost me more by selling the others.

Two other really nice cheap lens's to maybe consider are the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 and Canon 28-105 USM MKII. This was my first upgrade lens and its a very nice, small lens that out lasted all my others.
 

daveb975

Well-known Member
Rgb tech and Jacobs have the 17-85 IS listed at just under £350 but they are both out of stock. Try camerapricebuster for links to some deals. The offers can change daily, especially if they include some discount codes, so keep an eye out as you might come across a few bargains :)

This is the problem - everywhere that has the lens for under about £375 seems to be out of stock. This is probably because the £100 cashback makes this lens a great buy at £250.

I have the 17-85IS myself, and am very pleased with it. The IS is very useful, and it is what encouraged me to buy my new 70-300IS over the 70-200 f/4L lens.

The 17-85 is not quite as sharp as the 70-300 IMO, but there is not much in it, and it is a much quieter lens in use (IS/AF). I think it makes a great walkabout lens. At £250, the only reason not to go for it is if you want to so a lot of indoor/low-light work.

For me, the 17-85 makes an
 

dave_bass5

Distinguished Member
Cheers for your replies and suggestions.

I'm leaning towards the Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 DC Macro. It seems a good price (£209 is the best I have found). It seems to have a macro feature too.. that would be something I can experiment with. No sort of IS tho, unfortunately.

I dont think the 17-70 is true macro, just that you can focus closer (like i say, i think). Also although its advertised as f/2.8-4.5 you soon loose the f/2.8 as you start to zoom so its not really a fast lens. you may find the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 more useful and its a bit sharper. Im sure you could pick up a good condition, second hand one quite cheaply from someone not too far away;) .
 

Tobers

Well-known Member
Another vote for the 17-55 here. Cracking good lens, really sharp, wide aperture, and lovely colours & contrast compared to the 17-85.

It is larger and heavier though, so make sure there is room in your bag. Also, the lens hood is v.expensive, but I got a copy from Hong Kong for £6 :D

Here's a cracking review site for the 17-55 where it gets an overall rating of 9.3/10

And here's a review of the 17-85 which gets an overall rating of 7.6/10

I'd say spend the extra for the 17-55 personally, and you'll be v.happy. It wont work on a 5D though, so your next upgrade will be a 30D unless you sell it (quite easy, high demand for this quality lens) and get a 17-40 or 24-105 for the 5D. Or you could just go for one of those L-lenses straight away, but again, check the reviews as often the 17-55 is rated higher than those 2 L's
 

beachy

Active Member
i like the sigma 24-70mm 2.8 and i think this is the next lens i will buy, it has the constant 2.8 throughout the range, this can be had from onestop digital for £220,i had a little play with it at the focus show at the NEC and i really liked it, there also selling the sigma 17-70mm now for about £189 as it's just come down in price :smashin:
 

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