Pick up a used 50mm f/1.8 for your low light work. That is only about a 1/2 f-stop slower than the 1.4. There are lots of them around and you should be able to find a good one under $100. It will be as sharp and probably sharper than the 17-55 zoom.
I have a Canon Rebel XSI and I'm looking for the best Lens or combination of lenses for an all around experience. I'm not really interested in Telephoto work... mostly just low light instances and portraits. I don't have the money for any kind of the L series of Canons line so with that being said, here is what I'm thinking about:
I already kinda started my upgrade process... I just a bought the 17-85mm (4-5.6) lens, then I planned on getting the 50mm (1.4) lens. Both of those combined I figured would give me all I needed.
However... I've already been seconded guessing my decision and thought about getting the 17-55mm with the constant 2.8 which should be everything I would want in just one lens.
I didn't go the 17-55mm route to begin with because the price of the lens is really more than I wanted to spend on ONE lens... but a lot of people say its a great lens. Carrying more than one lens around with me was never a concern. I planned on only carrying the 17-85mm around during the day and the 50mm around at night. But with the 17-85mm with a minimum aperture of 4, which I thought would be fine, it's really only from 17-23mm... and 50-85mm is all 5.6... which is a little upsetting. I tired taking a photo of a drivers license in my home and I ending up having to switch to manual focus just to take a the photo even with the flash enabled.
Also with the 50mm (1.4) I've heard a few stories about the Auto Focus switch breaking which isn't very exciting. That's the only downside I've heard about it.
On eBay I can get the 17-55mm for about $900 used.
I spent $350 for the 17-85mm new.
And I should be able to get the 50mm for less than $325 used.
SO whats the better idea?
Or if you have a better idea, please share.
Thanks. Sorry this is long.