Yesterday, I finally made a decision and ordered a new lens for my Canon SLR camera. It was a surprisingly difficult decision due to a number of factors. The rest of this post is probably not particularly interesting if you’re not into SLR photography, so it’s after the break (click the post title).
The main considerations were:
- The 18-125mm lens I had previously been using as my travel lens was traded to the friend that had previously purchased my old 28-300mm travel lens. The latter had been repaired after a drop but was never the same and the friend was simply having too much trouble with it. The lenses were of comparable cost and it seemed that the 28-300 was working better with my camera than his. However, the more I used it, the more frustrating it became.
- Without the 18-125, the widest lens I had was the amazing 24-70mm f/2.8. This is a wonderful lens, but it isn’t really wide enough for a number of situations.
- The 24-70 is really too short for the various recital type activities that my kids have, and my 75-300 IS (Image Stabilizing) is sub-optimal for this task.
The first item led me to eather the 18-200 IS or perhaps the 55-250 IS. The second item had me looking at the 10-22, the 17-40 and, of course, the 18-200 IS. The third item is the most complicated. Some of the contenders are the 135 f/2, the 70-200 f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/2.8 IS. I had originally also considered the 70-200 f/4 (and the IS version) but eventually decided that they didn’t really fit the bill.
The fact that the 18-200 IS meet both of the first two needs was very much in its favor. There were several factors against it, though. First, it is an EF-S lens, which means that it only works with the lower end Canon SLRs. This could be an issue if I were to upgrade to a full-frame camera in the future. Second, it is not on the same quality level as my 24-70 and I am concerned this will lead to disappointing results. Third, it really doesn’t help with the final need. But then, there really isn’t a lens that meets all three needs.
Eventually, I decided that the fact that the 18-200 is an EF-S lens is likely a non-issue as even if I do upgrade the camera to a full-frame in the future, I will likely keep my current camera as a backup/second camera. I also decided that there simply isn’t a high-quality travel lens, short of the very expensive 28-300 IS, which is too big to really be a travel lens and also doesn’t fill the recital need very well (though better than my current lenses).
As is likely obvious, I ordered the 18-200. I still want another lens for recitals and such, and I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to either the 135 f/2 or the 70-200 f/2.8 (non-IS). But I’m going to hold off on this purchase for now, as neither lens is cheap, even compared to the 18-200.
I’m starting to take some baby steps into professional photography, and I’d feel much better about buying either (or both) of these lenses after I’ve taken a few such steps.