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Ready for better lens for my Canon 30D

by mopscare42 / July 27, 2007 1:11 AM PDT

A couple weeks ago I got great advise about a wide angle lens for my new Canon 30D from several people on this forum, thanks to all.
I have narrowed it down to 2 lenses.
I ran into a guy in Reno who has a Canon 20D and had a Tamron 17-55mm f2.8 XR di-II lens and the pictures he was taking were excellent. I looked that lens up when I got back and it sells for $409.00 locally.
I am also looking at the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM lens which also sells locally, but for $1029.00.
The question now, is the Canon lens worth the extra $600.00?
The money is not a big issue now as I was very lucky in Reno and the Casino will in a way be paying for it.
Any advise will be very much appreciated.
Wayne

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Better lens
by hjfok / July 27, 2007 2:09 AM PDT

The Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS is a better lens than Tamron. The most obivous advantage is the IS, which is very important in low light photos. For a lens with f/2.8, it shines in low light photography and the IS will be a must have if you plan to shoot handheld. You will need to carry a tripod with the Tamron. Most lenses with IS will cost about $600 extra. But it is definitely worth it for me. Canon is also optically better than Tamron, and there is also some minor concerns of some people about using 3rd party lens and compatibility issues.
I have the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and love this lens. I use this lens even more often than my EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. The image quality is L class. Here are some samples of my own photos using the Canon 30D and the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens. I'm only an amateur and all the photos are taken handheld.

http://s165.photobucket.com/albums/u45/hjfok/
http://s165.photobucket.com/albums/u45/hjfok/Scenery/

Here are some photos using both the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and the highly regarded 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. This is just for comparison, with the same photographer using the same camera body. The image quality is very comparable.

http://s165.photobucket.com/albums/u45/hjfok/Photos%207-2007/

I have not used the Tamron lens, but I can tell you that the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS is an excellent lens with high image quality and performance even in the hands of an amateur like me. It is also fast in low light and a pleasure to use.

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question
by woodygg / July 27, 2007 2:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Better lens

is the canon lens you're referring to (17-55)the same one that comes in the xti kit?

thanks!

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nevermind...
by woodygg / July 27, 2007 2:48 AM PDT
In reply to: question

i didn't read the original post which stated the cost of the lens... that answers my question.

yes, purchase the canon over the tamron IF you're budget agrees...

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Thanks all
by mopscare42 / July 27, 2007 11:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Better lens

hifok: those are great looking pictures!
I just got back from the local camera store and picked up the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lense.
I got it for $40.00 less than advertised so it cost $989.00 plus tax so that was a bonus.
I handled the Tamron lense while I was there and there is a noticeable difference in quality, with the Canon being much the better.
The salesman also said I made the right choice by going with the Canon.
My 3 grand daughters are coming in from Texas tomorrow morning so I can give the lense a real workout taking their pictures.
Thanks to all who gave me advise from my very first post on which Camera to buy and right on down the line. I have followed those suggestions and I am sure I have an excellent setup now.
Thanks again
Wayne

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Happy with the Tamron 17-55
by AJLC / July 28, 2007 3:18 AM PDT

I 'messed with' both lens and decided on the Tamron.

I use the Tamron 17-55 f/2.8 as my 'walking around lens. It has done everything I have asked of it. Quality is adequate and autofocus performance is good. Having a f2.8 across the zoom range is what makes this lens.

For all practical purposes image quality between the Tamron and the Canon are nearly identical. (Canon is better on the long end, Tamron on the close end). The Canon is a better build and has IS. It is also appreciably heavier and bigger. If IS and build is worth $600 extra I would buy the Canon. For me it wasn't.

IS on low focal length zooms is in my opinion over-rated. IS stops camera shake (sort of) it doesn't stop subject movement. This means that low light stationary subjects work well with IS. It is really important with physically bigger and longer lenses (like my Canon 70-200 f/4 IS L lens.

Again your mileage may vary.

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IS is important but costly
by hjfok / July 30, 2007 12:21 PM PDT

The Tamron 17-55mm f/2.8 is a good lens. But in low light, the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS will have a better keeper rate when taking photos handheld. I am able to take night shots handheld in most situations with the IS. When IS is off, the photos tend to become blurry especially when shutter speed slows down in low light.
I agree that the IS is even more important for telephoto lenses. I can see a difference even in overcast daylight outdoor when I shoot with my 70-200mm f/2.8L IS at the long end with or without the IS.
I leave the IS "on" for both my lenses all the time now, since I rarely carry a tripod with me. Tripods are often not practical when taking photos with fast moving children. By the time you set up the tripod, the Kodak moment was long gone.
But seriously, I think if cost is not a factor, most people will take the lens with IS over the non-IS. It is always an economic decision. To me the IS is well worth the money, especially when I look at the photos taken with those lenses. If money is a factor, I will have considered a camera with built-in stabilization (like the Pentax or Sony) and save money on lenses without IS. I think the f stop and IS of the lens make a bigger difference than the brand or manufacturer of the lens. I will take the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 over the Canon 70-200mm f/4L if I plan on doing some low light shots. And I have gladly paid the extra dollars for the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS over the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8, just for the IS.

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hifok
by mopscare42 / July 30, 2007 3:01 PM PDT

I tried the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens over the weekend by taking pictures of my grand daughters with the IS on then turned off. I too noticed a difference, especially when it started to get towered evening and low light.
I am almost 70 years old and I am not as steady as I once was so the IS makes a big difference for me.
In a couple months I will be replacing my old Canon 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 lens and have been looking at the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM just for the IS feature.
I am really enjoying this Canon 30D and am starting to get the hang of it.
I bought a book on the camera that has much much more information about the ins and outs of the camera, it's workings and how to take better pictures with it which has helped a lot.

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Tele zoom
by hjfok / July 31, 2007 1:26 PM PDT
In reply to: hifok

The general purpose lens is not difficult to decide for the Canon 30D since the only one that has adequate wide angle, fast zoom with f/2.8 and IS is the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS.

But the tele zoom may take a little longer to decide. It was not too difficult for me to decide because I use the tele zoom indoor and outdoor, in good light and also in low light. So the best choice for me is EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. But if you only use the tele zoom outdoor with good daylight, then your choices will be a little bit tougher. There are a lot of people debating between the EF 70-200mm f/4L vs the EF 70-300mm IS. So do you choose a faster zoom or IS? More than half of the people will probably choose the faster zoom f/4 because it allows you to use faster shutter speed and it has better optics, which more than compensate for its lack of IS, when compared to the 70-300mm IS. The 70-300mm IS lens is not very good from 200mm-300mm range anyways, so there is not a lot of advantage in terms of longer zoom.
However, if your budget is not tight, then you also have the choice for 70-200mm f/4L IS, better than the 2 lenses above. It has the new 4 f-stop stabilization. This lens is excellent for outdoor, and it is lighter to carry for hiking than its more hefty f/2.8 brother. But if you plan for some indoor or low light shots, then the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS is better. My experience is that the f/2.8 with IS is the minimal you need for the indoor or low light shots for the 70-200mm zoom. Because of the tele zoom, its keeper rate is lower than my 17-55mm f/2.8 IS in low light, and it is also slightly slower. I will be frustrated in low light with the f/4.
So far for the Canon 30D, there are no good 3rd party tele zoom lens with IS. The Sigma 18-200mm OS does have image stabilization but it is a slow zoom (very slow in the long end) with below average optics.

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