I'm beginning the process of upgrading my lenses and wanted to get the opinions of the folk on this forum in addition to the research I'm doing. Please forgive my creating yet another "which lens is best" thread, but as I've found the best lens is dependent on numerous factors, I thought a thread of my own would allow us to narrow down on what's best for my particular use.
So to start, this is what I have today (basically all t3i kit lenses):
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens
This is what I shoot:
Primarily landscapes and nature, but I've recently begun doing shoots with portraiture and bodyscapes and intend to do more of that (I particularly enjoyed the bodyscapes, so a fast lens would be helpful)
Price range: I'd like to keep it in the $800-900 range, though I'd be willing to go as high as $1,200, no more than that. Also, while I would love to have the pro-grade cannon lenses, my skill level would most likely not take advantage of all of the quality they provide, so a lens that gets 95% of the quality for 60% of the price would probably be a better option overall. That is, of course, presuming that the dream lens is not within my budget (otherwise I'd just buy that).
So what does the dream lens have (initial thoughts):
-A single lens that roughly covers the range of the three lenses I currently have (18-250 mm) with better quality (if not the greatest quality in existence)
-A lens where the max aperture is reasonably big and can maintain that aperture throughout the length of the lens (unlike my current lenses)
-Fast and Sharp (I suspect that one is no surprise to anyone)
-Good AF (I need the lens to get at least very close, my eyes don't focus easily through the viewfinder, so the closer the AF gets, the less time my eyes have to work extra hard tweaking the focus)
-I've also been known to be a bit shaky, which isn't a problem with outdoor stuff since I use a tripod, but a lot of the people stuff I do hand held, so IS would be handy if its good.
Thanks again for helping me in this manner,