Gear Talk > Lenses

I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM

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I'm brand new to DSLRs having recently bought the T4i. I currently have two lenses, the "shorty" 40mm 2.8 and the 18-135 IS STM kit lens.

I love shooting with the 40mm and have been using it almost exclusively. It focuses fast, I enjoy working with the shallow depth of field, and image quality looks great. I thought I'd want to keep the kit lens because of its versatility, but I'm not finding situations where the 135 focal length comes in handy. For instance, I've tried using it to shoot birds in the back yard, but I find that it just isn't long enough for that purpose. I know that portrait photographers use the 85-135 focal lengths, but this lens only opens up to 5.6 at that range. So far I've been getting better portraits with the 40.

What I'm looking for is a second lens to compliment the 40mm. Something well under $1,000 that is fun to shoot with, and that will serve a clear purpose where in situation X I'll definitely prefer my new lens to the 40mm prime. I think the answer probably involves a focal length that is further removed from 40mm (such as 200?).

Thanks in advance for any advice you can lend.

How about the other end - is 40mm wide enough?  If not, you may need two lenses...  If you want something longer, you might consider the 70-200mm f/4L.  True replacements for the 18-135, meaning general purpose zooms for APS-C, are the 17-55/2.8 IS and the 15-85/3.5-5.6 IS.  Both offer better IQ than the 18-135.

If you're ok buying used, you could likely get the 70-200/4 and the 10-22mm for around $1K.  If you really want to shoot birds, get a 100-400 (I see them for $1K used).

Bottom line - decide first what you most want to shoot, then pick the lens that's best for that.

Thanks for the reply neuroanatomist. The 70-200/4 is $710 at Amazon, so that would be well within my price range. I'll definitely keep that one in mind.

Since you mentioned birds, maybe "situation x" = seeing some animals. In that case, you'll be super glad to have a 70-200 f4 on hand. You'll still have to get pretty close, but that lens stands up to cropping, too.

+1. For the 70-200 f/4

Excellent lens at a reasonable price.


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