Advice on lenses for 40D short and zoom

  Ex plorer 10:07 15 Aug 09

Hi I have a new 40D (APS-C) so a lens will be 1.6X more than the lens out-put.
I have spent the last few days reading up on lenses both canon and third party tried on cameras but not 40D.
My needs are for a IS image stabilisation canon or OS VC Sigma or Tamron.
I already have a macro lens 2.8 105mm now I presume 168mm from my 35mm camera that works fine.
I am looking for people who have the 40D and using stabilisation lenses and are printing A4 photos with very good results.
I would prefer to stay away from the Canon S lens but will consider them.
My budget is £800.
Any feedback will be appreciated.

  cycoze 10:31 15 Aug 09

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM (£830) and Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM (£500) might both be worth looking at depending on how wide you want to start with, they both have F2.8 versions which are considerably more expensive.

  Stuartli 11:23 15 Aug 09

Have a look at Tamron lenses for Canon digital camera models.

It's a top class lens manufacturer and the 28-200mm AF zoom I use with my Nikon F401 body (film) is as good, if not better, as anything Nikon, Ashai, Canon etc have available. Usually cheaper as well.

Some examples:

click here

click here

click here

  Stuartli 11:31 15 Aug 09

UK website:

click here

  hssutton 10:22 16 Aug 09

An impossible question to answer without some info on your intended subject matter. if you are not going to photograph birds etc. then up to 300mm would probably suffice.

You state you have the 100mm macro, if that's the Canon f/2.8 then you have one of the best on the market. What other lenses do you have?, as I doubt you would want to duplicate the focal length.

At the price point you mention I think you will have to look to the Sigma range. As Stuartli mentions Tamron make some super lenses, but their Vibration Compensation lenses leaves you with little choice.

  Ex plorer 15:23 21 Aug 09

My kind of photography is unusual items mainly landscape nothing specific or professional.

Seems I will have to budget a little more for two lenses.

After spending nearly a fortnight on checking out lenses of all kinds for the 40D I have come up with the following.

I looked at the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM but in my opinion its way over priced the attraction was the IS.

Canon L f4 17-40 none IS but cheaper by £200 my favourite to date for landscape.

Choice is purely from what I have read on line over the past fortnight.

Second lens choice was the Canon f4 70-200 IS.

This brings me to a thought on the (70-200 f2.8 none IS) a few pounds dearer than the f4 70-200 IS.

Opinions on this would be helpful using 1/250th or above with the f2.8 would these give similar results as the f4 IS in sharpness.

How much gain would there be with the f2.8, I cant quite get my head round this, I do relies it will be heavier lens.

I have looked at Sigma Tokina and Tamron and compared but I cant find a lens that betters in quality or price, If I have point me in the right direction.

I live out in the sticks in the UK and to go and try the lenses or even find them in one shop will be difficult I hope to purchase two lenses and a flash unit together for a discount.

  Spook Tooth 01:15 22 Aug 09

"My kind of photography is unusual items mainly landscape nothing specific or professional."

I have a 40D and have both a Sigma 17-35mm and wider Tokina 12-24mm lens, which give the same (cropped) field of view (only) as 27mm-56mm and 19mm-38mm lenses (on 35mm body). This is not the same as saying their true focal length is greater, just that the angle of view is.

Image Stabilisation for wide angle photography some say, is pointless. However, it can be handy for low light situations where the subject is stationary - 1/15 sec exposures (provided your hands are steady) can be very usable. Stabilised lenses/cameras pay off much better at longer focal lengths - their primary design is to counter unsteady hands not to better capture moving subjects.

Anyway, from what you've said you're in possession of just one lens? A 105mm fast (f2.8) prime, macro lens? Probably Sigma? Macro lenses (and prime, single focal point non-zoom lenses), in terms of optical quality, resolution and the like are ongst the best in the business so, in terms of resolvable detail, it's unlikely you'll achieve better than an accurately focused and correctly composed shot with any other (non prime) lens you buy. A good site for reviewing and comparing typical lens traits and their qualities (or otherwise) is click here.

On a crop body like the 40D, I would personally get a wide angle lens - something like the Tokina 11-16mm, which is meant to have a very good reputation (this is an EFS type meant only for cropped sensors and won't be compatible should you wish to upgrade to something like the Canon 5D [full frame] in the future). Or I'd go for the Sigma 12-24mm which, along with the Tokina 12-24mm, has a decent reputation but with the advantage it will work on a full frame 35mm body. I have the Tokina 12-24mm (f4) and it resolves very well, with mild to quite pronounced CA though going so wide results in notable distortions in perspective (due both to natural perspective distortion at wide angle and lens design - buildings become trapezoid in shape).

As mentioned, for longer focal lengths 70-200mm is a useful range. I personally rarely use my 70-200mm (Sigma Mk1 EX HSM) just because I most often don't need the such length. Much of the time I use a 24-70mm lens (Canon, Sigma and Tamron are all meant to offer excellent glass in the 24-70mm focal range) as it covers just about everything I need, 90% of the time. That said, I recently acquired a 5DMkII so can finally use the whole of the wide 24mm end (without the enforced crop due to smaller sensor on my 40D). On the Canon 40D, 24mm can become quite limiting as it equates to 38mm so you often find you can't go as wide as you'd like. Hence my recommendation for an even wider lens.

Other lenses that might be useful for differing purposes: 50mm prime (the Canon 50mm f1.8 is a bit of a classic and very affordable at c.£85 new), the Sigma 50mm f1.4 is even faster (max aperture wise) but can suffer with slow AF, especially in low light situations - the Canon 50mm f1.4 has better AF but lower resolution than the Sigma. Canon also do a very high quality 85mm f1.8 prime, which is a useful portrait range. The 50mm is good too, but a little too wide on a full frame body. You can use your existing 105mm for 'head & shoulders type' portraits.

My suggestion would be to try an ultra wide angle lens for that 40D body if landscapes are important are what you want to capture. You can hire lenses from lenses4hire click here should you wish to try before you buy. If you want a really good lens that you can also use later on on a full frame body, the Canon 24-105mm (f4) or 24-70mm (f2.8) offer great focal ranges. I use the latter and its additional stop allows the use of a faster shutter speed or lower ISO over the f4. It's debatable whether Image Stabilisation or a faster larger aperture lens is going to be of more use since it depends on your subject and whether or not there is significant movement or not. IS won't 'capture the action' as well as a higher shutter speed.

  Spook Tooth 01:15 22 Aug 09

For checking prices of photography gear, CameraPriceBuster is quite good click here. It still pays to do your own Google Product/otherwise searches to though. Photozone also has a user compiled lens survey, which is quite good but should be taken with a pinch of salt since there's no laboratory testing. DPreview click here now also test and review lenses. Their forums might offer some useful advice too. So, to conclude, I'd avoid any EF-S (cropped body sensor only) type lenses if you're going to go to full frame in the future though the general walkabout range of 24-70/105mm or 28mm-135mm means on a cropped body like the 40D you'll very likely find yourself craving a lens with a wider field or angle of view (click here) for further explanation).

Sorry for the essay.

  Spook Tooth 01:28 22 Aug 09

"I have a 40D and have both a Sigma 17-35mm and wider Tokina 12-24mm lens, which give the same (cropped) field of view (only) as 27mm-56mm and 19mm-38mm lenses (on 35mm body). This is not the same as saying their true focal length is greater, just that the angle of view is."

To clarify:

What I mean is the angle of view of a given lens is LESS on a cropped sensor body like the Canon 40D than it is on a full frame camera like the Canon 5D. A 100mm lens gives you the angle of view as a 160mm lens not the same true focal length (it won't bring a subject closer optically) - the image's frame will be cropped, so the comparison is that the field or angle of view is the same.

The Wikipedia link I gave gives some figures for full frame 35mm angles of view at varying focal lengths. 105mm equates to a horizontal angle of view of 19.5° so basically, it would offer less field of view on a cropped sensor, closer to the 180mm figure of 11.4° (the chart didn't show figures for 100mm or 160mm).

  hssutton 10:25 22 Aug 09

Most of my photographic colleagues swear by the
Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM Lens for use on their cropped cameras £580.

I use as my standard lens the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 a great lens, but a little too long at the short end for a "cropped sensor" (I use full frame) and if I require a wider field of view I take a couple of photos and stitch them together to effectively give me the same field of view as a 10-15mm lens.

I also use (albeit not very often) the 70-200mm f/2.8 Canon L lens (non IS) one of the best on the market, but I would suggest the 70-200 f/4 IS. It's almost on a par with the 2.8 non IS verion, it's much lighter and the IS will give you an extra 2 stops

However if you're interested in the f/2.8 non IS email me as you could save money, mine is now little used.

I find I'm using the 100-400mm IS a great deal as I shoot aircraft and wildlife. Maybe a lens for you to consider.

  Ex plorer 11:12 22 Aug 09

Hi Spook Tooth thank-you for your time, effort, experiences, links, and recommendation's on the lenses its very much appreciated.
You have given me a broader insight as to what I should be buying and no doubt will have saved me money in the long run.
I will be looking at the lenses you have suggested as I have obobviously missed them in my recent searches.
Again thank-you for all advice.


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