Help! planning to upgrade my kit lens-brand suggestions?

By: pq23 2061 days ago
hi! i recently bought a canon450d and i am planning to upgrade my kit lens(18-55mm). I am planning to purchase 2 additional lenses. One wide angle, since I am fond of shooting landscapes and city scapes. Aside from the wide angle lens, I also plan to purchase a versatile, "do-it-all" lens for all other kinds of photos. I have read that 18-200mm lenses tend to compromise quality. Would a 50-200mm or 70-200mm be better instead? Which brand (Sigma, Tokina or Tamron - Canon lenses are out of my budget) produces good wide angle and zoom lens? Lastly, is it okay to have just one wide angle and one 50/70-200mm? Am I missing a lot without having a standard zoom lens aside from the kit lens?

Thank you for reading and for your comments. By the way, this is really a great site, just discovered it last week.
By: johnriley 2061 days ago
Like all manufacturers, Canon do consumer lenses and professional lenses. You can tell the difference by the cost.

I would always prefer the manufacturer's own lenses, they will have better tolerances and fit your equipment better both in terms of physical fit and ergonomics.

Of the others, I would put them in this order: Tokina, Tamron, Sigma.

For wide angle use, the Tokina 12-24mm f4 is superb and reasonably priced. Very little distortion and therefore also suitable for critical architectural shots.

As a wide ranging general lens the Tamron 18-250mm is bulky but a very good performer.

Hope that helps!
By: pq23 2058 days ago
Hi John,

Thank you so much for your comment. It really cleared a lot of confusion inside my head hehe.

If I may just ask one more thing. Does a speed of F/5.6 or F/6.3 enough to create the bokeh effect at long focal lengths? I think the fastest 18-250mm in the market has a speed of F/5.6. Is this speed enough for that effect?

Thank you so much!
By: johnriley 2056 days ago
Bokeh is a relatively new term that seems to have sprung from nowhere - the Internet probably! It refers to the quality (timbre would be a musical equivalent perhaps) of the out of focus parts of an image.

It will depend upon the lens design and principally as I understand it, the number of leaves in the diaphragm of the lens. The more circular the diaphragm the better, so the more leaves the better.

The maximum aperture is not really the issue - we could discuss the bokeh of any lens, be it a 50mm f1.2 or a 1000mm f8 or anything else.

Now getting out of focus backgrounds does depend on having a wide enough aperture for differential focus, but that is a different issue.

Hope that helps!
By: pq23 2056 days ago
Hi John,

Thank you for the explanation about the bokeh effect. All the while, I thought bokeh is just the same as the out of focus effect for the background. To rephrase my previous question, does a speed of F5.6 at long focal lengths (for the 18-250mm) fast enough to get your background blurry or out of focus? Just like what is usually seen with portrait photos.

Thank you!
By: johnriley 2056 days ago
It depends how far away the background is. A distant background, yes. But say in a studio or room indoors, the background may well still be significantly in focus. Not sharp, but not as far off as you are probably wanting.

A 50mm f1.4 lens would be just the thing for portraits with out of focus backgrounds. A new AF Pentax one is around 160, a second hand manual focus one could be as little as 30. Other marques will be similar, perhaps a bit more like 200 and 20 respectively.
By: pq23 2054 days ago
Thanks John! Your comments did help me a lot! I will keep them in mind.
By: soneoutt 411 days ago
Spam removed

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