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Sorry this is boring! I really need advice on what lens to get for my 60D.

Dylan13 4 2 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2013 7:08AM
Yes.......massive apologies to everyone out there. I am a very late comer to owning and using a 60D (I had a 450D with kit lens for about 3 years previously). I bought my 60D body in Feb 2013. It was all and everything that I could afford then. I then found a Sigma 18-50 2.8 lens second hand on ebay to go with it. I have not been happy with any of my photos so far. I have been reading lots and lots about various lenses. And I've been reading a huge amount of forum discussions. And I have learned a lot.......thank you to everyone who actually posts their opinions and experiences.

But.....what should I do?

I wish I could afford to buy a 6D or even a 5D. But I can't.

So what lens should I buy to make my 60D a good camera?

I am only just now starting to understand and get hooked on photography (at the age of 45....).

90% of my photos are indoors, with minimal lighting. I have just discovered the joy of a Speedlite and now have a 430. It is wonderful.

But I know that my Sigma lens is letting me down.

So.......should I buy a Canon EF-S 17-55 2.8 (which seem's designed exactly for what I need.....I'm not very concerned about rain and thunder).

Or a Canon EF 17-40 4.0 ....(which should be a better "L" lens, but with less "light" aperture etc)

Or wait for the new Sigma 18-35 1.8......

I am now very wary about any "third party" lens with my Canon 60D. Surely it makes sense to put a Canon body with a Canon Lens? My current Sigma lens is terrible at focusing.

Or should I go for a Canon 24mm 2.8 prime plus something like the Canon 15-85 (which I read has variable aperture, which puts me off).

How important is Image Stabilisation?

Please, if I'm not boring you with these old sad questions, then rational, intelligent and concise answers would be massively appreciated. (sorry that my question has been anything but concise).

Oh.......should I consider a Canon EF 24-70 2.8 (mk 1 is all I think I could afford).......?

I totally understand the difference between my 60d (crop frame sensor) and a full frame camera such as a 5D. And the implications therefore.

Thank you everyone out there.

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16 Jun 2013 7:50AM
The EF-S 17-55 2.8 on a crop frame is a fantastic combination, in my opinion the lens is up to the L standard in quality and is considerably cheaper.
steve_p 12 1.2k England
16 Jun 2013 7:55AM
If your budget won't go the 17-55 I can recommend the EFS 15-85, from experience.the 17-40 is a bit limiting as far as" reach" goes.
saltireblue Plus
7 7.3k 33 Norway
16 Jun 2013 8:20AM
Hi Owen, and welcome to ePz!

I had the EF-S 17-55 2.8 when I had the 7D, and found it to be a cracking lens. I was sorry it didn't fit when I changed to the 5D.

If you have a retail outlet nearby that hires out kit, then the best thing would be to hire the lenses you are considering for a day in order to make a practical, hands-on comparison.

llareggub 7 825 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2013 9:11AM
The EF-S 17-55 has a stellar reputation and whilst it is right up there in terms of quality it also comes at a price to rich for my wallet. If you are looking for something close on quality at a more affordable cost then take a look at the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 and the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (the latter is slightly better without VC).

Both have great image quality and in some areas stand right up there with the Canon offering, I went with the Tamron as a good 2nd hand version in minty condition cost me a shade under 150GBP, best purchase I made on a lens by some difference Smile
Freefall 14 675 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2013 10:17AM
First is to think about what you're photographing and why your current lens is letting you down. Are you shooting wide open and finding that the lens isn't very sharp? Are you using autofocus and it's not fast enough. Or are you getting camera shake and blur which would be helped by having IS. If you think it's the lens at fault why not send off to sigma for servicing to make sure it's operating correctly - cheaper than buying a new lens. If it's camera shake then bumping the ISO up a little, using your flash, and better technique will help lots.

Saying all that, if you're doing lots of photography indoors I'd start off by getting at least a nifty 50 (50mm f1.8) - superb lenses, cheap as chips. If you're feeling flush, get the 1.4 variant - it's even better Smile
Andy_Cundell 6 1.1k 5 England
16 Jun 2013 1:03PM
I agree Freefall........................a nifty 50!!!Grin
Dylan13 4 2 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2013 1:19PM
Thank you for your suggestions. I did try one of the cheap 50mm 1.8 lenses on the 450D I was using before I got my 60D. And I agree that it produced fantastic results. But it wasn't anywhere near "wide" enough for my use indoors. And then I lent it to a friend and it came back not working. So I really do need a lower mm to make things work on my 60D. I really am tempted by the 17-55 2.8. Yes, it is very expensive, but I do want and need a reliable solution. I've read lots of forum discussions saying that the 17-55 is not well made etc. But I'm not planning on taking it into a storm.....or even very rarely outdoors. Quick and accurate focusing, and sharpness are my priorities. So surely matching this Canon lens with the 60D is the right answer? My experience with my Sigma has made me very wary of non-Canon lenses. What do you think of the Canon 24 or 28 mm (prime?) lenses?
Thanks for taking the time gents.
llareggub 7 825 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2013 2:15PM
If this is your only experience with Sigma then it may very well be tainted by a lens that was not thought to be much above average to begin with and is now discontinued, the 17-50 is very highly thought of as is the 17-50 Tamron...

Re: QC I have read a lot on forums about the Sigma/Tamron Lottery but I guess I have been lucky, I have 3 third party lenses, sigma 50mm f2.8 macro, Tamron 17-50 f2.8 non vc and Tamron 70-300mm USD VC, the Sigma required no MA on my 50D and the 17-50 +2 MA and the 70-300 +4 at 300mm +1 at 70mm... As I only use the long end the variance is not all that concerning.

Having said that if you have the budget for the Canon then go for it, never heard of any one being disappointed with it and as one poster mentioned above I have seen countless folk comment about missing the lens very much when moving to full frame!
Dylan13 4 2 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2013 2:58PM
Thank you for your reply.
I'm going to sound really frickin stupid now.........again apologies for my ignorance of terminology etc
So......."MA"......what exactly is that? Is it the ability of the camera to microscopically adjust to the lens being used at the time, to make all the miniscule parameters work perfectly together? And am I correct in understanding that my 60D does not have that capability and it is something that Canon rudely left out of the 60D when that capability is a good thing on higher spec cameras?
If so, have I messed up buying a 60D?
Oh.....and the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 non vc you mention.....what is non vc? is it Tamron's IS system.....or rather, it doesn't have Tamrons IS system. And is it considered better NOT to have IS or not?
Sorry about these dumb questions. I appreciate the time taken to answer.
llareggub 7 825 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2013 3:22PM
No Worries at all, yes MA gives the ability to adjust the lens to the camera a little (it does not vary by focal length though which is a little frustrating if a lens varies across the focal length), I have it on my 50D but Canon neglected to add it to the 60D, which is a pain, but the 60D is still a great camera. Sigma have released a dock for their new top of the range lenses (contemporary, arts and sport) which allows MA for a number of focal lengths which is interesting and if it works exciting although the lenses are out of my price range.

The Tamron without VC (which is vibration control, but basically Canons image stabilisation) is thought to be a little sharper than the VC version and as my style of shooting at this focal length rarely needs stabilisation then it made sense to save a few pennies. It is a little softer at f2.8 & 50mm but is incredibly sharp at f4 but this is a common feature of all but the best lenses.

I have no hands on experience with the Sigma 17-50 but it does get rave reviews but is about 100-150gbp (new) more expensive than the Tamron last time I checked which was admittedly when I bought about a year ago. The focus on the Tamron sounds slow as it is relatively noisy but I find it pretty quick and very accurate even in low light, although I do not shoot in low light very often.

As with every one I have heard stories of the 3rd party lottery but I have been fortunate to always be on the winning ticket and all of my lenses were purchased used from eBay. I am sure the QC is not up there with Canons and incidents of front or back focusing are more common I am unsure just how common it is, although the internet forums will make you think it is 2 in 3 (which I find hard to believe), if you are buying new then buy on shore in the UK and if it don't work well send it back Smile

To sum up my thoughts I would say that if I had the money at the time I would have purchased the Canon 17-55, I didn't so got the Tamron, and to be honest if I had the money now I would not trade the Tamron in for the Canon as it does everything I want it too and the image quality between the Canon and Tamron are in a real world sense not all that great given what I have seen, although AF is meant to be a fair bit quicker on the Canon and it does have IS.
duratorque 14 426 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2013 8:42PM
You do not need to buy any lens. Spend your money on doing an off camera workshop/hire a model. Practice your craft. Buying a better lens will not make you a better photographer.

Good luck.

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