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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: StarsShooter on October 21, 2012, 10:07:44 AM

Title: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 21, 2012, 10:07:44 AM
Hey people  8)

I'm planning to get the Canon Eos Kiss X6i as my first DSLR!!!(I live in Japan, but it's known as the EOS 650D/Rebel T4i in other regions of the world.)

So the dilemma : I'm torn between the 18-135 set or the 18-55 & 55-250 set... Links are as below :

http://kakaku.com/item/K0000388421/?lid=ksearch_kakakuitem_button (http://kakaku.com/item/K0000388421/?lid=ksearch_kakakuitem_button)

http://kakaku.com/item/K0000388423/?lid=ksearch_kakakuitem_image (http://kakaku.com/item/K0000388423/?lid=ksearch_kakakuitem_image)

I'm a total newb in DSLRs, and I was just wondering which set should I be getting??? I will be keeping this hobby up as long as I could... and I plan to move further in this field. I won't be taking much landscape shots though, I love taking portraits. Would truly truly truly appreciate it if someone would advise upon this! Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!! :-*
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: Zv on October 21, 2012, 10:18:13 AM
I think the 18-135 is the better lens. It's the new version that has the STM that allows for silent auto focusing during video. Also it covers a nice range without having to change lens. As a newbie its better to use one lens so you get used to it and learn. Then as u get better upgrade or buy new leses. The 18-55 and that other plastic thing are pure garbage. Most kit lenses for aps-c cameras are!
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 21, 2012, 10:39:30 AM
Get the 18-135mm kit, and since you like portraits, get either the 50/1.4 or the 85/1.8, after using the 18-135 for a while to determine which focal length works best for your style.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: Zv on October 21, 2012, 10:46:00 AM
If you're a DSLR noob you might find my blog useful, I wrote a few articles for beginners and it's Canon based. Just click the globe under my name and picture.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: studio1972 on October 21, 2012, 11:55:10 AM
I think the 18-135 is the better lens. It's the new version that has the STM that allows for silent auto focusing during video. Also it covers a nice range without having to change lens. As a newbie its better to use one lens so you get used to it and learn. Then as u get better upgrade or buy new leses. The 18-55 and that other plastic thing are pure garbage. Most kit lenses for aps-c cameras are!

I wouldn't say the 18-55 is garbage. It's quite sharp and has IS, obviously a bit slow, but good for the price.

Here's one I took with that lens:

(http://sarahmcdonnell.co.uk/wedding-photographs/2012/09/Great-John-Street-008.jpg)
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: 2n10 on October 21, 2012, 12:10:57 PM
The kit lenses are not garbage and produce very good shots.  If you are into video then the 18-135 is the way to go.  Otherwise the 2 lens kit is the way to go.  Definitely for neuros advice on a fast lens after seeing what focal length you use most in your portraits. 
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: AudioGlenn on October 21, 2012, 12:24:44 PM
Get the 18-135mm kit, and since you like portraits, get either the 50/1.4 or the 85/1.8, after using the 18-135 for a while to determine which focal length works best for your style.

+1
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: Zv on October 21, 2012, 12:27:39 PM
I meant build quality, it's put together like a lego brick house but yeah it can deliver some good shots if ya know how. I actually made some cash using that lens. A great first lens BUT if I were to make that same choice now I woulda went for the 18-135 as it's more useful and covers the portrait focal lengths nicely without havin to change lenses, leaving u free to walk about and get creative too.

Also I would go for the 50 f/1.8 II as it's cheap as chips and does almost the same thing as the 1.4 , it is nice on a crop body for head and shoulder shots of people.  I would hold out on that though until you get into your shooting style.

The 85 1.8 is great if you have space to back up, other wise the 50 will cover it and then just loosly crop the shot later. You have megapixels to play with when you have a DSLR.

Oh, and first thing you should do when u get it is to download the english manual from Canon USA, yours will be in Japanese. Even if ur fluent you'll struggle. I got all my gear in Japan (live there!), if you need advice on where to buy etc let me know.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 21, 2012, 11:03:03 PM
I think the 18-135 is the better lens. It's the new version that has the STM that allows for silent auto focusing during video. Also it covers a nice range without having to change lens. As a newbie its better to use one lens so you get used to it and learn. Then as u get better upgrade or buy new leses. The 18-55 and that other plastic thing are pure garbage. Most kit lenses for aps-c cameras are!

Noted & Much appreciated! Thank you so much for your advice!

If you're a DSLR noob you might find my blog useful, I wrote a few articles for beginners and it's Canon based. Just click the globe under my name and picture.

I've checked your blog out, thanks a lot! I'm currently living in Aichi-ken too :)
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 21, 2012, 11:04:41 PM
Get the 18-135mm kit, and since you like portraits, get either the 50/1.4 or the 85/1.8, after using the 18-135 for a while to determine which focal length works best for your style.

Get the 18-135mm kit, and since you like portraits, get either the 50/1.4 or the 85/1.8, after using the 18-135 for a while to determine which focal length works best for your style.

+1

Thank you so much for your advice! Will definitely do that!!!! ;D
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 21, 2012, 11:06:38 PM
I think the 18-135 is the better lens. It's the new version that has the STM that allows for silent auto focusing during video. Also it covers a nice range without having to change lens. As a newbie its better to use one lens so you get used to it and learn. Then as u get better upgrade or buy new leses. The 18-55 and that other plastic thing are pure garbage. Most kit lenses for aps-c cameras are!

I wouldn't say the 18-55 is garbage. It's quite sharp and has IS, obviously a bit slow, but good for the price.

Here's one I took with that lens:

(http://sarahmcdonnell.co.uk/wedding-photographs/2012/09/Great-John-Street-008.jpg)

Thank you so much for your kind reply! That shot looks absolutely gorgeous, and now I'm torn again between the two sets  :-X
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 21, 2012, 11:09:47 PM
The kit lenses are not garbage and produce very good shots.  If you are into video then the 18-135 is the way to go.  Otherwise the 2 lens kit is the way to go.  Definitely for neuros advice on a fast lens after seeing what focal length you use most in your portraits. 

Thank you so much for your kind response! I'm not exactly into video-shooting, and the 2 lens kit sounds as equally promising as the 18-135...... I'll give a good thought about all the comments before deciding. Much appreciated & Cheers!
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: Policar on October 21, 2012, 11:32:32 PM
Choose entirely based on what focal lengths you plan to use, but I disagree with comments about the 18-55mm IS being bad. It's a great lens, just slow. At the wide end it's just as good as the 17-55mm f2.8 IS (except 1/2 stop slower, but smaller and with arguably better IS) and at the long end it's about as good at f5.6, but unfortunately it's too slow to get shallow focus and it does have some CA. And I consider the 17-55mm f2.8 IS to be one of Canon's best zooms. The 18-55mm IS beats the pants off the 17-40mm f4 L! Trust me, I have owned all these lenses...it covers boring focal lengths and is too slow to offer shallow focus, but the new kit lens is very, very good and an enormous step up from the original 18-55mm (the one lacking IS).

The 55-250mm IS is ok, too. But switching lenses can be a pain, so I might go with the 18-135mm purely for convenience, but then you get a jack of all trades camera (no better, just bigger, than a point and shoot for most purposes).

The 85mm f1.8 would be nice for portraits. I find the 50mm f1.8 too short, but for $100 it is a great lens.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: verysimplejason on October 21, 2012, 11:43:11 PM
Or you might go "prime" for most of your lenses.  :)  You can get a 35mm F2 or a 28mm F1.8/2.8 for your normal lens.  You can add a 50mm F1.8 and a 55-250mm if you want.  If you do a lot of landscapes, a 10-22 is also a must.  I just have to remind you that going prime isn't for everybody though.  But if you want the best IQ for "little" money, going prime is the way to do it.  You just have to learn how to zoom with your feet and how to change lenses fast (not an easy way to do it but I'd say very rewarding).
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: FTb-n on October 22, 2012, 01:08:48 AM
Here's another vote for the 18-135.  I have the older, yet still pretty "young" version without STM.  It's a decent lens and good walk-around lens.  The 55-250 would be tempting if you're primary need was sports or wildlife.  But, for every day use, travel, and portraits, the 18-135 encompasses the focal range that you will likely find most useful.

With a single body and the 18-55 and 50-250 kit, you may well find yourself needing to change lenses a lot.  This is a pain and increases the risk of getting dust on the sensor.  I've been there.  My first two lenses were the 17-85 and 70-300.  Both good lenses, but I often found myself switching.  The 18-135 was more versatile for me when I wasn't shooting sports.

The best advice given to me was never buy a lens until you have already established a need for it -- avoid the temptation to anticipate every scenario.  The 18-135 is a good range to start with.  As you develop (no pun intended) your art, you'll get a better idea what focal length fits your needs. 

If you find a need for faster lenses or shallower depth of field, there are some great primes to consider for crop bodies such as the 35 f2.0, the 50 f1.8, the 85 f1.8 and the 100 f2.0.  But, hold off on these until you find the focal length that you like.  You may find your interest in photography taking different avenue and wish to explore lenses longer than 135.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: Zv on October 22, 2012, 07:30:10 AM
Choose entirely based on what focal lengths you plan to use, but I disagree with comments about the 18-55mm IS being bad. It's a great lens, just slow. At the wide end it's just as good as the 17-55mm f2.8 IS (except 1/2 stop slower, but smaller and with arguably better IS) and at the long end it's about as good at f5.6, but unfortunately it's too slow to get shallow focus and it does have some CA. And I consider the 17-55mm f2.8 IS to be one of Canon's best zooms. The 18-55mm IS beats the pants off the 17-40mm f4 L! Trust me, I have owned all these lenses...it covers boring focal lengths and is too slow to offer shallow focus, but the new kit lens is very, very good and an enormous step up from the original 18-55mm (the one lacking IS).

The 55-250mm IS is ok, too. But switching lenses can be a pain, so I might go with the 18-135mm purely for convenience, but then you get a jack of all trades camera (no better, just bigger, than a point and shoot for most purposes).



What? The 18-55 kit same IQ as 17-55 f/2.8? Are you serious? At 55mm the 17-55 let's in four times as much light as the 18-55. The kit lens is sharp I'll give you that but I reckon both lenses are worlds apart in all other respects. And yes I own both.

And the 17-40 is a wide angle lens, please explain how a plastic kit lens "beats the pants off" an L series lens designed for full frame coverage. Are you refering to both lenses on a crop body?

You must of had really bad copies of both or thr most amazing 18-55 kit ever made! 

Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: crasher8 on October 22, 2012, 08:16:27 AM
If we're going the route of telling folks to use a kit lens over an L series (I know this is on a crop and not the best scenario for an UWA zoom!) than just throw your camera gear in a bin and shoot with your phone.

Someone must have made you a custom 18-55 with a circular 9 blade aperture, Super UD elements and 18 elements in 13 groups!
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: sootzzs on October 22, 2012, 08:24:32 AM
I had tha same dilemma as you are when I bought my 60D. I've finished buying 18-55 IS + 55-250. I've changed my 18-55 to 15-85 (much more expensive lens) after 4 months. Not because the image quality was that bad but mostly of it's slow AF (15-85 is USM, much faster) and the extra range on both ends it gave me. The 55-250 in my opinion is an amazing lens for it's price. Though I use it much less since I have the 15-85, I still enjoy it a lot when I need sharp photos with great colors from long distance (on crop like 650D it will be 88-400mm). It is also great for portrets when you take them from a bit further away, gives very nice bokeh. 
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: Zv on October 22, 2012, 08:27:29 AM
If we're going the route of telling folks to use a kit lens over an L series (I know this is on a crop and not the best scenario for an UWA zoom!) than just throw your camera gear in a bin and shoot with your phone.

Someone must have made you a custom 18-55 with a circular 9 blade aperture, Super UD elements and 18 elements in 13 groups!

Thanks for the back-up!  ;)

I wonder what a "boring" focal length is, exactly???
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: AmbientLight on October 22, 2012, 08:50:39 AM
It must be 28mm, if you ask me  ;D ;D.

I can't get over it that this focal length came to my mind immediately, because I have been shooting with 28mm primes (amongst other things) since the 80s and although I still use them sometimes, I find this focal length not wide enough and not normal enough to be really good for me. Then again I love 24mm, which is perhaps one of the reasons why I believe 28mm is pretty lame  :o.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: The Bad Duck on October 22, 2012, 09:23:36 AM
For serious portrait work, get primes and not because of image quality. They help you to get better because they are harder to use. You have to take time to get your photos and that makes them much better. With fast lenses as the primes suggested below you have the means to get your background nice and blurry, but don´t overdo it. Just because you can doesn´t mean you must or even should.

Skip all kit lenses or go for the 18-55 only since it´s almost free and might be nice at patries where you get beer all over your gear...

get the 50/1.4 from either canon or sigma, the 30 /1.4 sigma or the 28 /1.8 from canon (siggy if you want to stay on a aps-c body forever or canon if you think you want to move to full frame sometime in the future). The 85 /1.8 is mentioned by others here and it is a great choise, or if you want even more reach go for the 100 /2.

For portrtaits, all you need is a few primes. And some flashes. And most of all people skills. Zooms are great for when you don´t have time to interact with your subject, but even in a stressfull situation you usually have time to switch lenses if you interact with the person you are photographing, wich is a must for good portraiture. I only worry about my gear when looking online and when thinking about it. When I photograph, I never worry. I just use what I have and make the best of it, and usually I get pictures. There is no need at all to completely cover 18-250 mm. Those of you who have all those mm of range, have you ever taken a photo @173mm?
A zoom is also extremely usefull when you can not change lenses because of external interfearance like snow, sand, dust or rain.

Oh, and a boring focal length is 28 mm both on crop and FF. Also on FF 50 mm is also boring, but I have to agree that 28mm is the most boring focal length. That is actually a good thing because when you make an excelent portrait using that focal lenght, it´s not because you used some exotic gear but because you are a good photographer. That is a great challenge and we should start a group named portraits captured @50mm @ f/11 on FF or 28 mm f/11 on crop.

Good luck with your choise.

Good luck!

(and all this being said, I have lots of lenses by now, not to cover all focal lengths but to cover the different things I am shooting. So 28mm is covered in 3 different lenses, 35 mm in 3, 85 mm in 3, 135 in 2.... but I usually don´t bring all lenses on a shoot. It all depends on the job. For agriculture, i use mostly zooms because of the dust. For portraits I use mostly primes, even if the subject is a cow.)
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 22, 2012, 11:02:42 AM
...I disagree with comments about the 18-55mm IS being bad. It's a great lens, just slow. At the wide end it's just as good as the 17-55mm f2.8 IS (except 1/2 stop slower, but smaller and with arguably better IS)

As good as the 17-55mm?  I diasgree, compare here (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=398&Camera=474&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=763&CameraComp=474&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0). 

The 18-55mm kit lens isn't a bad lens, especially if you stop it down to f/8 or so.  The nifty-fifty is the same - good stopped down.  But a lot of what you pay for with better lens is the wider aperture and better optical performance when using it at that wider aperture. 
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: studio1972 on October 22, 2012, 01:47:21 PM
I think the 18-135 is the better lens. It's the new version that has the STM that allows for silent auto focusing during video. Also it covers a nice range without having to change lens. As a newbie its better to use one lens so you get used to it and learn. Then as u get better upgrade or buy new leses. The 18-55 and that other plastic thing are pure garbage. Most kit lenses for aps-c cameras are!

I wouldn't say the 18-55 is garbage. It's quite sharp and has IS, obviously a bit slow, but good for the price.

Here's one I took with that lens:

(http://sarahmcdonnell.co.uk/wedding-photographs/2012/09/Great-John-Street-008.jpg)

Thank you so much for your kind reply! That shot looks absolutely gorgeous, and now I'm torn again between the two sets  :-X

Just to clarify, I'm not saying the 18-55 is the equal of the 17-55, far from it. But as somebody else mentioned, it almost comes free with the camera, and it's a reliable, sharp lens for most situations. I sometimes use a 550D plus this lens as my spare body + lens set for weddings. I tend to shoot with it wide open and it's plenty sharp that way, so the amount of aperture blades isn't really a factor for me at least.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: robbymack on October 22, 2012, 02:08:50 PM
Of the 2 I'd get the 18-135 especially if its the new STM version. Otherwise it's a toss up, can't go wrong with either as a starter. If funds allow maybe consider body only and either the efs 17-55 f2.8 or the efs 15-85.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 24, 2012, 11:53:27 PM
Choose entirely based on what focal lengths you plan to use, but I disagree with comments about the 18-55mm IS being bad. It's a great lens, just slow. At the wide end it's just as good as the 17-55mm f2.8 IS (except 1/2 stop slower, but smaller and with arguably better IS) and at the long end it's about as good at f5.6, but unfortunately it's too slow to get shallow focus and it does have some CA. And I consider the 17-55mm f2.8 IS to be one of Canon's best zooms. The 18-55mm IS beats the pants off the 17-40mm f4 L! Trust me, I have owned all these lenses...it covers boring focal lengths and is too slow to offer shallow focus, but the new kit lens is very, very good and an enormous step up from the original 18-55mm (the one lacking IS).

The 55-250mm IS is ok, too. But switching lenses can be a pain, so I might go with the 18-135mm purely for convenience, but then you get a jack of all trades camera (no better, just bigger, than a point and shoot for most purposes).

The 85mm f1.8 would be nice for portraits. I find the 50mm f1.8 too short, but for $100 it is a great lens.


Thank you so much for your kind advice!!!! I'm really opting for the 18-135mm now, being a newbie and all I believe it'll be a good start. Once again, thank you!!!
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 24, 2012, 11:57:10 PM
Or you might go "prime" for most of your lenses.  :)  You can get a 35mm F2 or a 28mm F1.8/2.8 for your normal lens.  You can add a 50mm F1.8 and a 55-250mm if you want.  If you do a lot of landscapes, a 10-22 is also a must.  I just have to remind you that going prime isn't for everybody though.  But if you want the best IQ for "little" money, going prime is the way to do it.  You just have to learn how to zoom with your feet and how to change lenses fast (not an easy way to do it but I'd say very rewarding).

PRIME LENSES! That's something that I will definitely get after bonding well with my new cam :) Zooming with my feet.... Looking forward to doing it!!! Thank you so much for your kind advice!!!!! :) I've got all the prime lenses you mentioned bookmarked along with your flickr site :D
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: verysimplejason on October 24, 2012, 11:59:58 PM
Choose entirely based on what focal lengths you plan to use, but I disagree with comments about the 18-55mm IS being bad. It's a great lens, just slow. At the wide end it's just as good as the 17-55mm f2.8 IS (except 1/2 stop slower, but smaller and with arguably better IS) and at the long end it's about as good at f5.6, but unfortunately it's too slow to get shallow focus and it does have some CA. And I consider the 17-55mm f2.8 IS to be one of Canon's best zooms. The 18-55mm IS beats the pants off the 17-40mm f4 L! Trust me, I have owned all these lenses...it covers boring focal lengths and is too slow to offer shallow focus, but the new kit lens is very, very good and an enormous step up from the original 18-55mm (the one lacking IS).

The 55-250mm IS is ok, too. But switching lenses can be a pain, so I might go with the 18-135mm purely for convenience, but then you get a jack of all trades camera (no better, just bigger, than a point and shoot for most purposes).

The 85mm f1.8 would be nice for portraits. I find the 50mm f1.8 too short, but for $100 it is a great lens.


Thank you so much for your kind advice!!!! I'm really opting for the 18-135mm now, being a newbie and all I believe it'll be a good start. Once again, thank you!!!

While you're at it, why not get the 18-200mm lens?  It's a very good general-purpose lens which almost have the same IQ (just a little bit inferior) and weight as the 18-135.  It will still be helpful later even if you upgrade to red or gold ring lenses.  There are times that you really don't want or can't change lenses.  The 18-200 will be really useful during those times.  The extra reach is really very helpful.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: verysimplejason on October 25, 2012, 12:01:31 AM
Or you might go "prime" for most of your lenses.  :)  You can get a 35mm F2 or a 28mm F1.8/2.8 for your normal lens.  You can add a 50mm F1.8 and a 55-250mm if you want.  If you do a lot of landscapes, a 10-22 is also a must.  I just have to remind you that going prime isn't for everybody though.  But if you want the best IQ for "little" money, going prime is the way to do it.  You just have to learn how to zoom with your feet and how to change lenses fast (not an easy way to do it but I'd say very rewarding).

PRIME LENSES! That's something that I will definitely get after bonding well with my new cam :) Zooming with my feet.... Looking forward to doing it!!! Thank you so much for your kind advice!!!!! :) I've got all the prime lenses you mentioned bookmarked along with your flickr site :D

Thanks! Glad to help you.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 25, 2012, 12:04:43 AM
Here's another vote for the 18-135.  I have the older, yet still pretty "young" version without STM.  It's a decent lens and good walk-around lens.  The 55-250 would be tempting if you're primary need was sports or wildlife.  But, for every day use, travel, and portraits, the 18-135 encompasses the focal range that you will likely find most useful.

With a single body and the 18-55 and 50-250 kit, you may well find yourself needing to change lenses a lot.  This is a pain and increases the risk of getting dust on the sensor.  I've been there.  My first two lenses were the 17-85 and 70-300.  Both good lenses, but I often found myself switching.  The 18-135 was more versatile for me when I wasn't shooting sports.

The best advice given to me was never buy a lens until you have already established a need for it -- avoid the temptation to anticipate every scenario.  The 18-135 is a good range to start with.  As you develop (no pun intended) your art, you'll get a better idea what focal length fits your needs. 

If you find a need for faster lenses or shallower depth of field, there are some great primes to consider for crop bodies such as the 35 f2.0, the 50 f1.8, the 85 f1.8 and the 100 f2.0.  But, hold off on these until you find the focal length that you like.  You may find your interest in photography taking different avenue and wish to explore lenses longer than 135.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences!!! I'm not exactly an outdoor person but I wouldn't mind shooting outdoors for portraits.... And I don't do sports either. I guess my 55-250 will be gathering a lot of dusts before I can appreciate its functions..... Will definitely practice more often with the X6i and decide on future lenses from thereon  ;) The 18-135 is exactly what I will be needing for now!!! Prime lenses are on the top of my list now...... Cheers!!! Once again, thank you for your kind advice, much appreciated!!! Have a great day!!!
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 25, 2012, 12:07:24 AM
Choose entirely based on what focal lengths you plan to use, but I disagree with comments about the 18-55mm IS being bad. It's a great lens, just slow. At the wide end it's just as good as the 17-55mm f2.8 IS (except 1/2 stop slower, but smaller and with arguably better IS) and at the long end it's about as good at f5.6, but unfortunately it's too slow to get shallow focus and it does have some CA. And I consider the 17-55mm f2.8 IS to be one of Canon's best zooms. The 18-55mm IS beats the pants off the 17-40mm f4 L! Trust me, I have owned all these lenses...it covers boring focal lengths and is too slow to offer shallow focus, but the new kit lens is very, very good and an enormous step up from the original 18-55mm (the one lacking IS).

The 55-250mm IS is ok, too. But switching lenses can be a pain, so I might go with the 18-135mm purely for convenience, but then you get a jack of all trades camera (no better, just bigger, than a point and shoot for most purposes).

The 85mm f1.8 would be nice for portraits. I find the 50mm f1.8 too short, but for $100 it is a great lens.


Thank you so much for your kind advice!!!! I'm really opting for the 18-135mm now, being a newbie and all I believe it'll be a good start. Once again, thank you!!!

While you're at it, why not get the 18-200mm lens?  It's a very good general-purpose lens which almost have the same IQ (just a little bit inferior) and weight as the 18-135.  It will still be helpful later even if you upgrade to red or gold ring lenses.  There are times that you really don't want or can't change lenses.  The 18-200 will be really useful during those times.  The extra reach is really very helpful.

The 18-200!! Well, I was juggling between the two sets of lenses which comes with the X6i, its either 18-135 that comes or the 18-55 & 55-250.... 18-200 sounds great too, maybe I'll get that separately in the future :D
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 25, 2012, 12:10:24 AM
I had tha same dilemma as you are when I bought my 60D. I've finished buying 18-55 IS + 55-250. I've changed my 18-55 to 15-85 (much more expensive lens) after 4 months. Not because the image quality was that bad but mostly of it's slow AF (15-85 is USM, much faster) and the extra range on both ends it gave me. The 55-250 in my opinion is an amazing lens for it's price. Though I use it much less since I have the 15-85, I still enjoy it a lot when I need sharp photos with great colors from long distance (on crop like 650D it will be 88-400mm). It is also great for portrets when you take them from a bit further away, gives very nice bokeh. 

Thank you so much for sharing!!! I'm gonna keep that in mind :D
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 25, 2012, 12:15:39 AM
For serious portrait work, get primes and not because of image quality. They help you to get better because they are harder to use. You have to take time to get your photos and that makes them much better. With fast lenses as the primes suggested below you have the means to get your background nice and blurry, but don´t overdo it. Just because you can doesn´t mean you must or even should.

Skip all kit lenses or go for the 18-55 only since it´s almost free and might be nice at patries where you get beer all over your gear...

get the 50/1.4 from either canon or sigma, the 30 /1.4 sigma or the 28 /1.8 from canon (siggy if you want to stay on a aps-c body forever or canon if you think you want to move to full frame sometime in the future). The 85 /1.8 is mentioned by others here and it is a great choise, or if you want even more reach go for the 100 /2.

For portrtaits, all you need is a few primes. And some flashes. And most of all people skills. Zooms are great for when you don´t have time to interact with your subject, but even in a stressfull situation you usually have time to switch lenses if you interact with the person you are photographing, wich is a must for good portraiture. I only worry about my gear when looking online and when thinking about it. When I photograph, I never worry. I just use what I have and make the best of it, and usually I get pictures. There is no need at all to completely cover 18-250 mm. Those of you who have all those mm of range, have you ever taken a photo @173mm?
A zoom is also extremely usefull when you can not change lenses because of external interfearance like snow, sand, dust or rain.

Oh, and a boring focal length is 28 mm both on crop and FF. Also on FF 50 mm is also boring, but I have to agree that 28mm is the most boring focal length. That is actually a good thing because when you make an excelent portrait using that focal lenght, it´s not because you used some exotic gear but because you are a good photographer. That is a great challenge and we should start a group named portraits captured @50mm @ f/11 on FF or 28 mm f/11 on crop.

Good luck with your choise.

Good luck!

(and all this being said, I have lots of lenses by now, not to cover all focal lengths but to cover the different things I am shooting. So 28mm is covered in 3 different lenses, 35 mm in 3, 85 mm in 3, 135 in 2.... but I usually don´t bring all lenses on a shoot. It all depends on the job. For agriculture, i use mostly zooms because of the dust. For portraits I use mostly primes, even if the subject is a cow.)

Thank you so much for sharing! I have all the prime lenses you've mentioned bookmarked too :) Although the 18-55's pretty good, but since its coming along with the 55-250 (which I doubt I will even use it), I might go for the 18-135. But primes are a MUST for me in the future!!! All priorities for it. Once again, thank you so much!!!!
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 25, 2012, 12:16:45 AM
I think the 18-135 is the better lens. It's the new version that has the STM that allows for silent auto focusing during video. Also it covers a nice range without having to change lens. As a newbie its better to use one lens so you get used to it and learn. Then as u get better upgrade or buy new leses. The 18-55 and that other plastic thing are pure garbage. Most kit lenses for aps-c cameras are!

I wouldn't say the 18-55 is garbage. It's quite sharp and has IS, obviously a bit slow, but good for the price.

Here's one I took with that lens:

(http://sarahmcdonnell.co.uk/wedding-photographs/2012/09/Great-John-Street-008.jpg)

Thank you so much for your kind reply! That shot looks absolutely gorgeous, and now I'm torn again between the two sets  :-X

Just to clarify, I'm not saying the 18-55 is the equal of the 17-55, far from it. But as somebody else mentioned, it almost comes free with the camera, and it's a reliable, sharp lens for most situations. I sometimes use a 550D plus this lens as my spare body + lens set for weddings. I tend to shoot with it wide open and it's plenty sharp that way, so the amount of aperture blades isn't really a factor for me at least.

Got it, I'll keep that in mind! Thank you!!!
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: StarsShooter on October 25, 2012, 12:17:42 AM
Of the 2 I'd get the 18-135 especially if its the new STM version. Otherwise it's a toss up, can't go wrong with either as a starter. If funds allow maybe consider body only and either the efs 17-55 f2.8 or the efs 15-85.

Thank you for your advice!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: dhofmann on October 25, 2012, 12:48:00 AM
15-85 + 70-200mm f/4.0L IS. Each are very sharp across its entire zoom range.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: aroo on October 25, 2012, 01:07:34 AM
I've used all 3 of these lenses a lot over the past few years. The 18-135mm range is extremely versatile and useful. That's the one I'd recommend as your first lens. You should also get a 50mm f/1.8 as soon as possible (it's so cheap and sharp, with a wide max aperture!) Then the 55-250mm later, if you often find yourself wanting to zoom in closer.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: RLPhoto on October 25, 2012, 12:25:50 PM
Get the 18-135mm because its not the 18-55mm.  ::)
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: verysimplejason on October 26, 2012, 08:19:12 PM
15-85 + 70-200mm f/4.0L IS. Each are very sharp across its entire zoom range.

or better yet, 17-40 + 70-200. :)  If he wants to go FF after sometime, he doesn't have to sell any lens.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: AmbientLight on October 27, 2012, 12:12:50 PM
or better yet, 17-40 + 70-200. :)  If he wants to go FF after sometime, he doesn't have to sell any lens.

+1 This is good advice. It always helps to think forward a couple of years or so. Since entry level full-frame is now a distinct market segment, there should be more like that coming about in years to come and these cameras are bound to become more interesting, so eventually you might end up going full-frame.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: Greg_M on October 27, 2012, 01:40:04 PM
If you would like to do some lens comparisons, this site has some real definitive testing results. I have 3 lenses pulled up, but you can discard those and/or add more.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Compare-Camera-Lenses/Compare-lenses/%28lens1%29/164/%28lens2%29/220/%28lens3%29/598/%28brand1%29/Canon/%28camera1%29/619/%28brand2%29/Canon/%28camera2%29/619/%28brand3%29/Canon/%28camera3%29/0
 (http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Compare-Camera-Lenses/Compare-lenses/%28lens1%29/164/%28lens2%29/220/%28lens3%29/598/%28brand1%29/Canon/%28camera1%29/619/%28brand2%29/Canon/%28camera2%29/619/%28brand3%29/Canon/%28camera3%29/0)

Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on October 27, 2012, 04:34:38 PM

Thank you so much for your kind advice!!!! I'm really opting for the 18-135mm now, being a newbie and all I believe it'll be a good start. Once again, thank you!!!
Good Choice.  You might also want one low light lens, 50mm f/1.8 is inexpensive and in a dark place, you will be happy to have it.  Just keep it in a padded pouch when not using it, its fairly easy to damage if banged around.
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: verysimplejason on October 27, 2012, 07:56:43 PM
If you have that extra money, you may want to get the 55-250mm also.  It is very useful because of its added reach.

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8048/8126564702_5f7ef7d400_c.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8051/8126559151_5eafa1a133_c.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8047/8126594821_de68b6350c_c.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8189/8126577799_7722ab0b50_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Lens Kit Set : One (EF-S18-135) or Two (EF-S18-55mm & EF-S 55-250mm)
Post by: JohanCruyff on February 09, 2015, 11:22:38 AM

So the dilemma : I'm torn between the 18-135 set or the 18-55 & 55-250 set...
I'm a total newb in DSLRs, and I was just wondering which set should I be getting???

 
In order to save precious storage, let me recycle this thread with a similar, but different, question.
PREAMBLE
Two days ago I sold my venerable 5D classic, bought (used) four years ago.
Just before selling (for obsolescence, possible future lack of spare parts etc.), I realized that I took 10,000 pictures in 2011-2012 and just 5,000 in 2013-2014.
I couldn't believe it: truth is that when my EOS M arrived, I started to take it with me more often than the 5D. What a lazy pervert have I become!
Now I can't decide whether to replace my 5Dc with a 6D (high IQ, slow performance in terms of AF points and FPS) or with a 70D (worse IQ, better performance). They weight more or less the same.
My real target would be a 6D Mark II, which I expect to be more or less a full frame version of the 70D... so a third option could be to skip both the 70D and the 6D, and wait for the 6D2.
Fourth option: sell the M stuff and buy a 70D and a 6D. In this case my wife could kill me, you all know how women are.  ;D  And you guys don't want me to stop participating to this excellent forum, do you?

So, let's go back to the topic.
MY QUESTION:
If I realize I can't wait => give in to consumerism => and buy a 70D,
considering that I already own an EF-S 55-250 IS STM,
would it make sense to buy an EF-S 18-135 STM, or a cheaper and lighter EF-S 18-55 STM would be enough or better, coupled with the 55-250?
I don't see myself using my 17-40 F/4 or my 24-105 F/4 IS on a crop body.
[A corollary could be: if I prove to be such a lazy amateur photographer, maybe I can survive with just an APS-C body (I'm not so sure, though): this event could significantly change my future purchase plans (or roadmap, as they say)].