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Photography Question 
Judy L. McKelvey

Looking to upgrade from kit lens

I'm interested in hearing your opinions about what lens(es) would help me upgrade from the kit 18-55mm IS kit lens that came with my Canon EOS Rebel XS. Since this is all new to me, I'd really like to buy a decent lens that won't break the bank but will carry me along while I figure out how serious I'm going to get about my new hobby. Paying for an "L-" lens doesn't make sense for me now - I'm not worthy! I've been looking at the 28-135mm IS USM lens. Would that be a decent place to begin? Typically I photograph landscapes and people; I'd also like to be able to take macro shots somewhere down the line ... Thanks.

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10/11/2010 9:53:09 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  There's a 55-250 EF-S that's $200 less. The optics look a little better than the 28-135 (based on the MTF chart on Canon's site). If you're looking to carry only one lens, then the 28-135 is in the middle.

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10/11/2010 1:42:22 PM

Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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  Hi Judy,
My friend Rick has the 28-135mm lens and likes it but he did eventually upgrade to a 24-105 f/4L IS lens.
When I started with digital in 2005, I bought a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 ($400) and the Canon 70-200mm f/4 non-IS ($600) so I got 2 good lenses for $1000, which was my goal at that time. The 70-200 f/4L is one of the very best lenses around for $600. I eventually sold both lenses to buy the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lenses. My point is to get what you really want if you can to skip the upgrading process but we have to do what we can as we go.
I am leery of lenses like the 18-200mm as I feel they are trying to cover too much range but I have never tried one either.
Hope this helps,

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10/11/2010 4:36:04 PM

Judy L. McKelvey   Thanks to you both! I really appreciate hearing your thoughts. I think I've decided to go ahead and buy the 28-135mm now because I've found a good used one locally for $250, which seems like a decent price for this now. I'll use it a lot and see what seems to be lacking, and then go for something better when I know more about myself as a photographer. In the meantime, I'll use the information you've provided to start my own list of good candidates for future consideration. Thanks again, very much!

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10/11/2010 5:42:12 PM

Lynn R. Powers   Judy,
Make sure that you keep the 18-55mm lens.
It is a better lens than it's given credit. No, it is not as good as a 17-40L but it does the job that it was designed for very well. Also, it will be better at 17-35mm than the 28-135mm but the longer lens will be better from there on up. You will find that there are times that you will want the wider angle focal length. I am using a 40D with an 18-85mm IS and a 70-200 f4L IS along with an 1.4x TE. The 15-85mm IS lens is better but more expensive.
Good luck!

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10/16/2010 11:58:06 PM

Simon  A. Stone   Another great lens that won't break the bank is the 50mm 1.8 Prime Lens, its a great length, super fast and crystal clear. and its under 100$ I got mine for free for taking some engagement shots. it's also great for people.

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10/19/2010 6:52:31 AM

Joannie Bertucci
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/17/2003
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Joannie's Gallery
  Hi Judy,
I've used my Canon 18-135mm IS lens for years. I used it with my Canon 10D and now with my 20D. I've used it for landscapes and portraits and am very pleased with it. The IS was the big seller for me! For $250 used, I'd jump all over that! Good luck!

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10/19/2010 10:57:53 AM

Luiz Martins da Costa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/8/2007
  I don't know the equivalence of Canon EOS Rebel XS in Europe, but with my 5D I use a 17-35 L f/2.8, a 24-105 L f/4 and a 100-400 L f/4.5-5.6. I think that's a very good combination and enough. For macro I have a 50 mm f/2.5 that satisfy.

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10/19/2010 2:49:48 PM

Judy L. McKelvey   Thanks to all of you! Lynn, I'm definitely hanging on to my 18-55mm kit lens, and will try to use it more to figure out its strengths.

Joannie, did you mean Canon 28-135mm (rather than 18-135mm)? I did buy the 280-135mm IS lens and I'm enjoying it so far!

Simon, I'm afraid that the L series lenses are a bit out of my league now (in terms of $, and photographic experience), but I have added your suggestions to my list of possible future acquisitions!

And Luiz, that does sound like a great combination. I am thinking of buying the 50 mm prime lens soon.

Again -- thank you everyone!


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10/19/2010 6:08:54 PM

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