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Recommendations needed for my first lens
Hi there!


A colleague from work upgrades to the professional series (5D) and therefore wants to get rid of his 50D body with some equipment (additional batteries, case etc. but without any lenses). As this is going to be my first DSLR camera, I'd like to get some recommendations for matching, reasonably-priced lenses. I'm a beginner, but having in mind that the camera is not really a "newbie model", I'd like to buy a lense that does not reduce the image quality the camera offers. At the same time, I'm not an ambitious semi-professional photographer, so the price shouldn't be too high (about 450€ max per lense).


I've also been told that in order to maintain a good quality, I should rather buy a wide-angle up to portrait lense first and an additional tele lens later, instead of one multi-purpose lense that covers a wide range but also significantly impacts image quality. That sounds good to me. One lense would absolutely be ok for the beginning.


After some research I found a lot of Tamron lenses - are they ok or are there better alternatives, maybe some more unknown brands that also produce good products? Are the original Canon lenses best choice or is there maybe a "better" mutli-range lense without quality problems that I could use (which may be cheaper than two individual lenses)? I would also buy a used product if it was ok.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and recommendations!




The Canon 18-135/3.5-5.6 STM lens (but only the STM model) is a great choice for an all around lens. Probably the best out there (and it's pretty cheap, too). The Tamron 17-50/2.8 lens is obviously a different focal length range but paired with a longer lens (like a Canon 55-250/4-5.6 STM or Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 VC) should work even better, for an even greater range of subjects.

The Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 DC OS HSM is a better lens than the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 Di II VC, better in build quality, better optics and better auto focus. f2.8 gives you some ability for more shallow DOF than the same focal length range on the 18-135mm IS STM, and the 18-135mm of course a bigger focal range. A choice you have to make yourself.


Best ultra wide angle option: Canon EF-S 10-18mm f4.5-5.6 IS STM. Very affordable.

All depends on your priorities: The best lens on 50D is Canon efs17-55f2.8IS simply amazing you won't regret expensive yes but worth every penny: Blazing fast and accurate focus, good color rendition, very sharp excellent low light capacity, believe me it will cover almost all your needs. Only drawback it's not lightweight.

If you are into compromises the 18-135 STM is a good bargain as stated.

Also note Canon 17-55 is a very reliable lens, it's the only lens I owned that didn't need repairs in six years despite daily use. This is one of the lenses you can buy used. I wouldn't recommend buying a lens like Canon 18-200 used or without warranty for instance since provability it needs repairs is quite high
The 17-55 is badass but nowhere near the stated budget unfortunately... Mine was, by the way, not at all reliable - it broke quickly and had to undergo serious repairs, but I was told that it was just my rotten luck because there has been a faulty early batch (something to consider if buying used). Once serviced (free of charge), it worked great and I only replaced it in anticipation of upgrading to 1D. That was a long time ago and I guess the problems have been sorted out.

I had also a 17-55 that was faulty, I had it replaced, the new sample was simply astonishing. You get what you pay for. Maybe Canon 15-85 if range is priority could do the thing. However for me f5.6 for a standard lens is a no no since I mostly do portraits and low light. A large aperture is not only important for the picture itself but also for focusing since focus needs light, unless in bright dailight you will have the focus hunting. One feature I like a lot with Canon 17-55 is it is a true parafocal lens, focus doesn't change when you zoom. Its only drawback is vignetting especially at 17mm 50D corrects this automatically though.

To be noted at 17mm this lens is truly 17mm I noticed it is much wider than other 18mm lenses, my guess others are just lying about focal length
Thanks for sharing your experience, that is truely valuable. I ,too, have read so many positive reviews of the aforementioned Canon 17-55 that I'm almost convinced that buying this good one is probably the best way to go. There's still one thing that I'm very uncertain about, that is the difference in the focal range, or to be precise: I'm not sure if the 17-55 will cover most of my needs.


Is there maybe a sample gallery that shows photos from the exact same position of the same object in different focal lengths? I think of, let's say, a tree in the park from 20 meters away, shot with 17mm, 30mm, 55mm, 80mm and if possible 120mm, 200mm and 300mm. That would really help in estimating my needs.



Choose for APS-C "DX" for Canon and "Digital" on the Tamron pages.

To make it simple: 28-90 full frame coverage (17-55 APS-C) is the standard range, it will cover most of your family shots,travel photography most landscape. However for some architecture shots you need wider lenses, for studio portraits and sports you need longer lenses.

A superzoom is not an option with some exceptions like canon 28-300 on full frame however it is extremely heavy and expensive.

So start with a standard range lens you will certainly need then you will see yourself what you need.
If you are sticking to just one lens. Do give Canon's 15-85 a thought too. Lot of time I found 17mm or 18mm not wide enough on Canon APS-C. 


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