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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 28 Feb 2013 (Thursday) 23:04
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what lens to buy? budget $500, need macro or IS, thinking 17-85 IS USM or 60 USM

 
gigolo
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Feb 28, 2013 23:04 |  #1

What lens should I buy with about $500?

I've got 60D and 18-135 IS, 50/1.8, 28-80, and some old manual-focus lenses (2x58/2, 135/3.5, 200/4, 2x500/8), plus a broken 50/2.5 macro which doesn't autofocus and doesn't change aperture. Of these, I use the 50/1.8 most often (90% of the time) and the 18-135 IS. (I also use a Sony NEX-F3 with the 18-55 lens as a second camera, particularly for personal photos with friends at nightclubs etc)

My immediate lens wants now are:
- macro, thinking about the 60/2.8 USM
- a normal prime (for a 50mm FOV), 28/1.8 or 28/2.8 maybe, or perhaps 35/2
- wideangles... 24/2.8
- a better zoom, maybe 17-85 IS USM
- cheap lenses with image stabilization, maybe 18-55 IS or 17-85 IS USM
- something similar to 50/1.8 but more durable and with better AF, perhaps 50/1.4 USM
- something smaller than 50/1.8, apparently 40/2.8 comes to mind
- something with better bokeh than 50/1.8 (thinking of 85/1.8 USM or 50/1.4 USM)
- something better for low-light than 50/1.8 (apparently thinking of 50/1.4 USM)
- a soft-focus lens, 135/2.8SF

The above lenses I'm thinking about are within my budget in the area I live.

The main use of the 50/1.8 is for portraits and no-flash indoor photography/video, and the main use of the 18-135 IS is for video and indoor group photos with flash. The 18-135 IS is mostly used in its 18-35mm lengths, and rarely in 35-85mm.

The main problem I've with the 50/1.8 is lack of IS, particularly important for video. I'm also afraid its plastic construction could leave me without a working camera during a photoshoot, as I rarely get another lens with me (only what I put on the camera). With the 18-135 IS, the main problem is that it's big, slow (f/3.5), heavy, and not as sharp as the 50/1.8.

I very rarely use any longer FL than 50mm, but I often find the 18mm not wide enough. I use the Ef-S focusing screen on my 60D, so it goes too dark if the lens is slower than f/2.8. In fact, I consider anything slower than f/2-2.5 as too slow for my taste :)

Currently the macro andn image-stabilized wide or normal lens (or a sharp and constrasty zoom) is what I need most.

It looks like I'd benefit most from buying the 60/2.8 USM macro or the 17-85 IS USM. Since I do macro with extension tubes and my broken 50/2.5, I think 17-85 IS USM would be the most useful.

What do you think? :)




  
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unistudent1962
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Mar 01, 2013 00:46 |  #2

gigolo wrote in post #15663544 (external link)
What lens should I buy with about $500?

I think 17-85 IS USM would be the most useful.

What do you think? :)

I'd steer clear of the 17-85. The one I have has been in for repairs twice, once for a aperture ribbon cable, and once for a power diaphragm module. Luckily I only paid $250 for it used, and Canon undertook one repair for free, as "a sign of good faith". Add to this vignetting and some pretty savage distortion and it's not worth the money.

The 15-85 is a much better lens.


Canon 70D w/Grip l Canon 60D w/Grip l EF 100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS l EF 70-200 f4L IS l EF-S 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM l EF 100mm f2.8 USM Macro l EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM l EF 50 f1.8 II l EF-S 10-22 f3.5-4.5 USM l 430 EX II Flash l Manfrotto 055XPROB + 498RC2 Tripod l Benro MP-96 M8 Monopod l Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack l Lowepro Pro Runner 300 AW Backpack l PS CS5 Extended l Lightroom 4.3

  
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catchquan
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Mar 01, 2013 00:53 |  #3

17-85 also has zoom ring issues where the screws get loose and keeps the zoom ring from moving. Mine has been a paper weight for 2 years because of this issue and apparently it's common.. unless I decide I need a 17mm f/4 prime :P


"Look, I'm not an intellectual. I just take pictures"
Canon 5DMKII (Gripped) | Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM | 85 f/1.2L USM ii
| AB800 (3) | 530EX (2) |

  
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DreDaze
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Mar 01, 2013 01:18 |  #4

17-85mm isn't going to give you anything you don't already have with your 18-135mm...except for that extra 1mm on the wide end...

not sure why you want a soft focus lens...

you could opt for something like the sigma 30mm f1.4...


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samsen
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Mar 01, 2013 01:23 |  #5

60mm for macro is nice with good IQ. Also look at Sigma 105.
Yes using your broken macro lens could be a pain in body part as you can't use that needed narrow F stop. But then using your older other manul lenses with a simple cheap Reverse ring adapter you can easily creat the best magnification needed on super macro. Go through THIS LINK to get some ideas.


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packerfan1968
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Location: South Bend, IN
     
Mar 01, 2013 06:47 |  #6

The 17-85 gets a bad rap sometimes for ribbon cable breaks, etc., I've had mine for a few years now, bought it used, absolutely NO PROBLEMS with it, maybe I have a good copy. It's a good medium quality lens, it certainly isn't an L and probably is not quite as good as the 18-135, although honestly not far off from the photo comparisons I see here and there.


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what lens to buy? budget $500, need macro or IS, thinking 17-85 IS USM or 60 USM
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