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Canon 450D - Help Choosing Lens (Not Av-Specific)  
User currently offlineMolykote From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1343 posts, RR: 15
Posted (5 years 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2579 times:
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Well, as this isn't really about "Aviation Photography", I thought this might be the proper forum. By all means, move it if I'm mistaken.

I recently jumped onto the DSLR bandwagon when I snagged a 450D/XSi kit on clearance for $450 shipped from Vann's. I was originally looking for a P&S with manual controls (G11?) to hold me over until a full frame DSLR made sense, but this ended up at least as cheap as any P&S I was considering. I have $200+ in B&H Photo gift cards sitting around, so I might as well make a purchase before the currently ongoing Canon rebates expire on July 10th.

My 450D/XSi kit came with an 18-55mm lens that is limited, though my particular example is not quite as bad as I had feared. My personal experience is that sub $1k lenses can vary quite a bit in production quality. I bought a 50mm 1.8 simply out of obligation due to the sharpness and $99 price. I've actually found that the "effective" 80mm focal length can be fun, though I rarely used an 80mm focal length with film - probably due to the fact that it was at the crappy quality end of most kit zooms.

Anyway, to the point...
In light of the above I'm looking for my next lens.
I already have a good bag, tripod, filters, etc from an old system. I've also bought the grip that holds 2 batteries simultaneously, an extra pair of batteries, screen protector, and Ben Long's companion book. I'm not new to photography, so I don't expect that my money is better spent on "something other than a lens" at this point but I'd welcome suggestions to the contrary.

All prices below are shipped, no tax, after (instant) rebate, non-inclusive of my gift card credits. My thoughts are included below as well. I have no specific desire for a lens of given focal length as I enjoy many types of photography, though I haven't done much macro work. Based on other reviews, I'm currently of the understanding that all of these lenses are great (or at least great for the price) - I simply can't decide which way to go on my next purchase. This site should have enough photographers around that I hope to not be short for opinions.

I'd say that these are somewhat listed in the order in which I am likely to buy. It probably makes sense to go for some versatility so long as quality isn't too badly compromised. If I get no/few responses, I'll probably just grab the 70-200 f/4 non-IS for less than $400 out of pocket by parlaying the current rebate with my gift card balance.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM: ($594)
This is probably the best deal going. I'm not sure that I'd miss the IS, at least having not used it significantly (yet). I'd rather have the f/4 than the 2.8 given the money/portability hindrances associated with the faster 2.8 lens. I also shot with slow non-IS lenses in college, so I'm sure I could manage with this one. The thought of a 320mm (equivalent) f/4 lens with nice optical performance is appealing. This lens is currently eligible for a $45 instant rebate reflected in price above.

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM: ($769)
For pure image quality, this is probably the best lens on my radar. I had an old Nikon zoom that I'd often use at 300mm (and not just because that was the max reach in my kit). As a result, I think I'd find some legitimate uses for this lens at a similar "equivalent" focal length. However, it seems like this may not be the best use of my money compared to the 70-200. This lens is not rebate eligible.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM: ($700)
This is a great "one lens only" focal length for a 1.6x crop sensor. I'd probably have bought it already if it weren't for my initial impressions that the 18-55 IS kit lens is "tolerable". As an aside, it's also useful on a full frame AND 1.6x crop camera body - Something I wouldn't say for the excellent 24-105 Canon given my shooting habits. 24-105 is a great range on full frame, boring on a 1.6x (IMO). This lens is currently eligible for a $50 instant rebate reflected in price above.

Canon EF 300mm f/4.0L IS USM: ($1269)
Certainly not the most versatile lens in this lineup. However, this (or the 200mm + 1.4x) is the fastest ~300mm telephoto I could realistically buy without calling off my upcoming wedding. This does have the advantage of deep reach (on the 1.6x body) with adequate aperture and IS (something I'd be more interested in at this focal length). For what it's worth, opportunity cost is less on this lens due to the lack of a current rebate and my expected limited use.
If I were going to step up to the IS version of the 70-200, I'd be more likely (foolishly or not) to just buy this prime.

Canon EF 24mm f/2.8: ($339)
Because I enjoyed the 35mm focal length in my film days, I was thinking that this would be my next purchase for "point and shoot" type purposes. As I tend to leave my camera laying around during family functions (free for anyone to use), I wanted a wide prime like this to "protect casual users from themselves" and force people to step closer rather than crank a kit zoom to f/5.6 indoors! However, after looking at several review sources, it just doesn't seem like this lens is that much of a "gem" in the Canon lineup. I always thought the cheaper Nikon primes were better than the Canon counterparts (I'm not asserting that one is better overall than the other as I don't want to start that fight).

Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
5 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFX772LRF From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 675 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2561 times:

I personally would go for the 24-105 f/4 L USM lens. ~$900, and a very versatile lens. I've seen professional portrait photographers using it - and I could see a lot more opportunities with it. It'd also be a good lens to have for a long time if you ever upgrade to the crop bodies.

From what I've heard and seen, it's an awesome lens - as is pretty much any lens from the Canon L range.

The 24-105 f/4 L would be my first pick for sub-1k lenses from Canon, and as you pointed out above, the 70-200 f/4 L would be my second pick. My only concern would be that with you using a crop body - making the equivalent focal length at the short end of that lens to 112mm, with your 1.6x crop body - it'd make it a very inflexible lens - only being able to be used for shooting medium to far distances. I personally see limited use for the 17-40mm, but if you think that'd be a nice lens to have - by all means, buy it. I'm not the one that's spending the money here.  

Best of luck.


Cleared to IAH via CLL 076 radial/BAZBL/RIICE3, up to 3k, 7k in 10, departure on 134.3, squawk 4676, Colgan 9581.
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4946 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2548 times:
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I have the 24-105 f4L as my all-around lens for my 40D which is also a 1.6 crop. I absolutely LOVE it. GREAT lens! IS has saved my butt in certain situations. At the time I got it, I was torn between the 24-105 or the 24-70 f2.8L and I am pleased with my choice to go with the 24-105. I find the zoom range to be comfortable. It is attached to my camera 90% of the time when I am travelling or just out doing general shooting.

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8877 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2504 times:

For me I would go the following:

17-40 F4.0L
70-200 F4.0L
300 F4.0L IS

That's a great range of lens, would cover you for most situations with great glass. I have a similar range:

17-40 F4.0L
24-70 F2.8L
70-200 F2.8L IS, replaced the F4.0 version, I didn't need it but picked it up in a closing down sale for next to nothing.
1.4 teleconverter

User currently offlineGrahamHill From France, joined Mar 2007, 2986 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2502 times:

Quoting Molykote (Thread starter):
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM: ($700)

I have a Canon 450D and a 17-40 f/4 L USM, but I was not entirely convinced by the results. Pictures coming out of this association are slightly better than the default lens, but nothing to be amazed at. However, this lens works superbly on my 7D.

For the 450D, I would probably choose the 24-105.

"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
User currently offlineMolykote From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1343 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2493 times:
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Interesting that 3 of 4 replies suggested the one lens that (though great optically) I was specifically looking to avoid without a full frame sensor!

I may have to reconsider the 24-105, though I'll probably at least get the 70-200 first.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 3):
For me I would go the following:

17-40 F4.0L
70-200 F4.0L
300 F4.0L IS

I think this is roughly what I'm looking to accumulate in the next year or so.
If the 40-70 gap ever became an issue I could think about the 24-105 as an expensive (but encompassing) solution or resort to the cheap but effective 50mm prime I own (or even the "total beater because it's not worth selling" kit lens).

It's provoking to think that all 3 lenses above can be had for the same price as the (admittedly badass) 2.8 IS 70-200. Sure I'd love to have the 70-200 2.8 IS model, but the kit above gets IS where it matters most and provides significant coverage benefits while maintaining quality glass. Of course I can understand why this is the case, but I can't say that I'd warrant springing for the 2.8 as long as money is an issue (which it will likely be for the foreseeable future).

Quoting GrahamHill (Reply 4):
I have a Canon 450D and a 17-40 f/4 L USM, but I was not entirely convinced by the results. Pictures coming out of this association are slightly better than the default lens, but nothing to be amazed at. However, this lens works superbly on my 7D.

For the 450D, I would probably choose the 24-105.

Interesting observation, particularly as I was anticipating the 17-40 (more than any other lens) to be well suited for both the 1.6x body and a future full frame replacement (which I understand the 7D is not).

Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
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