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Thread: Lenses again - Canon 60D - which lenses?

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    Lenses again - Canon 60D - which lenses?

    Hi,
    I am very new to photography and until now I only owned compact Panasonic Lumix TZ10 camera although I wanted DSLR for ages. Finally I bought my Canon 60D and now I have this dilemma about which lenses to buy. I want one all-around lens, I read quite few reviews about 18-135 IS, 55-250 IS and 18-200 IS, 18-55 IS. Those are in my budget range. We are going for two holidays soon (one is a city holiday, one is a beach holidays) so I want to use my camera mostly for family photos, but also I would love to learn how to take a great photographs of landscapes, places and people (as I live in central London, there are millions of possibilities for that)

    Can someone please recommend me which lens should I buy? I am thinking about Canon 55-250 IS which is quite cheap and have very good reviews on Amazon but I am not sure if it is going to be good lens for Canon 60D.
    A friend of mine recently bought Canon 18-200 IS and he is very happy with it.

    I read this forum for some time now and can see how helpful you people are; I also can't wait to post my own photo here.

    Thank you.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Lenses again - Canon 60D - which lenses?

    Daniel

    Hello and welcome to CiC. Delighted that you've decided to sign-up.

    I'm assuming that you've just bought the 60D body and what you are asking about is one lens that, for the moment, will be your one and only lens (once the bug really bites you'll want more).

    I don't have any of the lenses you're looking at.

    What you've got to remember is that, in terms of image quality, we're not into the arena of 'poor', we're talking about all good, but maybe some better than others. And I assume that at this stage of your development, you're not looking at 44" canvas prints on the wall. Therefore, the difference between the lenses is not really going to be noticeable unless you're into magnifying glasses.

    So ............. it comes to other things, like focal range and speed (aperture).

    As for speed, I think, in terms of the fastest speed, three of them are f3.5 and one is f4. So, there's nothing in that to really point one way or the other.

    Not sure what the respective weights are of the lenses (if you plan to carry them around your neck for hours at a time)

    So - range. We could wax lyrical about this for a while. But, to cut to the chase, I think your friend made a wise choice. That's a good broad range (18-200). As you are just starting out with a DSLR you will want to experiment and shoot lots and lots of different things. Once you start finding out where your particular interests lie (landscape, or architecture,or people etc), then you can start thinking about the higher end lenses that are particularly suitable for that job. Until then, go with the general purpose lens and practice, practice and practice.

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    Re: Lenses again - Canon 60D - which lenses?

    Daniela,

    First - you may want to put your first name in the 'Real Name' field in your profile so we know how to properly address you (I guessed at your name from your login, but I could be wrong and I don't want to be impolite!).

    Anyway, my first reaction based on what photography you mention is to say that the 55-250 is a bit too long at the short end. Particularly, you might find it tough to use for the landscape/places and get everything in the shot without having to back up further than you are able to. On the other side, the 18-55 is a decent kit lens, but is a bit short on the long end - you won't be able to zoom in as well on far away subjects.

    Leaving the 18-135 and the 18-200 if you want to go with a single lens solution. In general, the longer the zoom range of a lens, the lower the quality of images it will get across the entire range. But it is all about what you want to do with it and what your budget is like.

    If your friend has the 18-200, I would ask to borrow it. See if you like it as well, and that might make your decision for you.

    Lastly, if you have a few extra bucks left over after you pick out your main lens, you might want to consider something like the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. It can usually be found for around $100, and will work really well in lower light situations. It works well as a portrait lens, and is pretty small and light, so would travel well.

    Just my thoughts.

    - Bill

    Edit: As Donald says, none of the lenses you mentioned are 'poor' lenses, but at the same time, none of them are 'pro' lenses either. I know I mention differences in quality, but depending on what you plan on doing with the images, you might not even notice a difference.

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    Re: Lenses again - Canon 60D - which lenses?

    Hi Daniela,

    Have you considered the option of picking up the 18-55 IS with the body as a kit lens (that will save you some money on the lens and 55-250 IS as a second lens. I recently purchased both of these, and am pretty happy with them. Though, I do not know how they compare to the 18-135 and 18-200 lenses. This combination gives you access to a wide range of focal lengths to play around with, for the minimal cost. Later on, if you feel the need, you can use the money saved here towards buying the 'pro' quality lenses.

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    Re: Lenses again - Canon 60D - which lenses?

    Hi Daniela,

    I'm a Nikon shooter with an 18-200mm, and I migrated to a DSLR with that lens (only, for over a year) because I was used to the range on a bridge camera (bit bigger than a TZ10), therefore you are also 'used to' an extended zoom range.

    I would also like to add my vote for the 18-200mm over anything else because you'll never get caught with the 'wrong' lens (for the subject) on - nor have to change it in a rush or in dusty conditions.

    That said, I would support Bill's idea of the 50/1.8 to give you a cheap, faster lens, if you can afford it. Hmmm, have I just demolished my own arguments

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me 'out in the sticks' at Windsor.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Lenses again - Canon 60D - which lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by daniela9uk View Post
    A friend of mine recently bought Canon 18-200 IS and he is very happy with it.
    Hi Daniela,

    I sent one of my clients off to Mt. Everest with only this lens, and it did the job perfectly.

    Personally, I'd forget any lens starting with 55mm - on a crop factor camera like the 60D this totally eliminates the potential for any wide angle shots, of which there will be many.

    Also - again personally - if you're going to have only 1 lens, make sure it's a zoom lens. A prime just isn't versatile enough (it'll allow you to still take great photos; the problem is that you won't be able to get great shots of many of the things you want to though!).
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th April 2011 at 09:16 PM.

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    Re: Lenses again - Canon 60D - which lenses?

    Oh - I definitely meant the 50/1.8 as a second lens. I agree whole-heartedly with Colin that you will want a zoom as your primary lens.

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    Re: Lenses again - Canon 60D - which lenses?

    Thank you all for your replies. That helped me a lot. I decided to order Canon 50mm /1.8 as I read many good reviews and recomendations. As for the zoom lens, I am very inclined to buy 18-135 as it seems from all the things I read that more people generally like it and prefer it to 18-200 - that is until Colin and Dave made comments. I think I have to sleep on this for few nights and than I will decide. But I value your advice and thank you again.

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    Re: Lenses again - Canon 60D - which lenses?

    I'm gonna buck the trend and say go get the 60D with the 18-135, kitted (and yeah, don't get a telephoto zoom like the 55-250 as your only lens. You'll find yourself cursing and running backwards a lot).

    An 18-200 is a great travel lens, but the 18-135 IS is less expensive, can do a lot of what the 18-200 does, and you get a discount on it when you buy it in a kit. In the US, the 18-135 IS adds $300 to the price of the 60D (vs. being ~$425 when purchased separately). While the EF-S 18-200 is $600. (Obviously, if you're considering the less expensive Tamron/Sigma/Tokina superzooms, this argument falls apart).

    The thing is, whether you go for an EF-S 18-55/55-250 twin kit, EF-S 18-200 IS, or EF-S 18-135, the image quality is going to be pretty much the same across all three. The only thing that's really going to vary is the price you pay and the zoom range convenience. The 18-135 is sort of the "happy medium". Less zoom range, but slightly better image quality and a lower price tag than the 18-200. And that $300 can get you a 50/1.8 II, a camera bag, some filters and extra batteries, or a tripod or speedlight.

    I would also urge you to reconsider the "single do-everything" lens approach. If you really want a small, self-contained, highly versatile camera, use a P&S or bridgecam. It's what a lot of us SLR shooters do when we go on vacation and don't want to be weighed down with kit. The point of an interchangeble lens camera is that you can change lenses and use all those extra bits of kit like remotes and flashes. Horses for courses.

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