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Author Topic: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM  (Read 4960 times)

Sneakers

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I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« on: February 09, 2013, 09:36:21 AM »
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.

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I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« on: February 09, 2013, 09:36:21 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 09:45:00 AM »
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.
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Sneakers

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 01:19:20 PM »
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.

aroo

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 03:06:40 PM »
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.

bholliman

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 09:22:55 PM »
+1. For the 70-200 f/4

Excellent lens at a reasonable price.
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skitron

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 10:34:14 PM »
If you can "sneaker zoom", the 200L f/2.8 is worth a close look if you want something faster than f/4 in your price range. It would shoot as a 320 full frame equivalent on your t4i. IQ wise, I like it a bit better than the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II long end.

Regardless of whether you go for a prime or zoom, if the candidate lens doesn't have IS you might want to first shoot some with the IS off at 135 with your current lens in the conditions you'd want to use the new one. Basically the brighter the light the less important IS becomes since you can freeze the frame with higher shutter speeds. But if you have shake issues with the 135 @f/5.6 in the conditions you want to use it, before you pull the trigger on 200 (zoom or not), you might also want to try a monopod to see if that stabilizes it enough.

If you get a thumbs up testing at 135 with IS off, chances are you'll be fine with a non-IS 200 with more speed. Then its just deciding if you want a f/4 zoom or a f/2.8 prime since they both hit the price target and both have very good IQ and AF.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 10:36:01 PM by skitron »
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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 10:38:28 PM »
100mm F/2

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 10:38:28 PM »

skitron

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 10:39:22 PM »
100mm F/2

He already said 135 was too short because he wants to shoot birds... Other than that I actually had the same thought.
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Zlatko

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 11:41:26 PM »
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?).

The lens that will compliment the 40 and serve a clear purpose in situation X is ...

... it depends entirely on what situation X is.  Without knowing what it is, the 18-135 range would be highly recommended as it covers a lot of different situation X's.   If you replace the 18-135 with a 200, you may encounter a number of situation X's that are covered by neither the 40 nor the 200, as you will not have a wide angle at all.  Your complimentary lens may be a 15 fisheye, 20, 24, 28, 50, 85, 200, 300, etc.  Or for birds, perhaps 400, 500 or 600 (though all are over $1,000).  It all depends on what you want to photograph.  If you're not sure, keep the 18-135.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 11:43:27 PM by Zlatko »

jdramirez

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2013, 11:43:39 PM »
I'm gonna cheat and not bother answering specifically.  I will say that I have had a NUMBER of telephoto zooms and I have been mostly disappointed with them, 75-300, 70-300, 55-250, 70-200 f/4L usm and the f2.8L usm.  I really like primes.  And for your money, I'd suggest going used.

At amazon you can get a 400mm f/5.6 for 1075 in like new condition.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00009USW3/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used

And I'd really suggest a 100-400 because you can't ask the bird to move back a little.  You can get that for a little as 1265, so just a tad bit more than what you were saying. 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00007GQLS/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used

or a 200mm f/2.8L II USM for 600ish.
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-200mm-2-8L-Telephoto-Cameras/dp/B000053HBB/ref=sr_1_41?ie=UTF8&qid=1360471054&sr=8-41&keywords=canon+lens+prime

or a 300mm f/4 IS usm for 750.
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-300mm-Telephoto-Lens-Cameras/dp/B00009R6WW/ref=sr_1_46?ie=UTF8&qid=1360471054&sr=8-46&keywords=canon+lens+prime

or a 180mm macro f3.5L for 900.
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-EF-180mm-USM-AutoFocus/dp/B00009XVBU/ref=sr_1_67?ie=UTF8&qid=1360471072&sr=8-67&keywords=canon+lens+prime







Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

jdramirez

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 11:45:04 PM »
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.

I was really disappointed with that lens.  I owned 2 or three copies that I bought either to keep or to resale at a profit... and all three got sold.  So... not my favorite option... but there are people who really like it.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

jdramirez

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 11:49:16 PM »
If you can "sneaker zoom", the 200L f/2.8 is worth a close look if you want something faster than f/4 in your price range. It would shoot as a 320 full frame equivalent on your t4i. IQ wise, I like it a bit better than the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II long end.

Regardless of whether you go for a prime or zoom, if the candidate lens doesn't have IS you might want to first shoot some with the IS off at 135 with your current lens in the conditions you'd want to use the new one. Basically the brighter the light the less important IS becomes since you can freeze the frame with higher shutter speeds. But if you have shake issues with the 135 @f/5.6 in the conditions you want to use it, before you pull the trigger on 200 (zoom or not), you might also want to try a monopod to see if that stabilizes it enough.

If you get a thumbs up testing at 135 with IS off, chances are you'll be fine with a non-IS 200 with more speed. Then its just deciding if you want a f/4 zoom or a f/2.8 prime since they both hit the price target and both have very good IQ and AF.

That's a good point.  Last summer I was shooting football games at f/2.8 with 1/8000 of a second shutter speeds.  Obviously well lit.  But in the woods (presuming you will go birding outside of your home), you will have some nice light outside of dusk and dawn, so a f/4 or f/5.6 won't be awful.  But the old adage is that you need the reciprocal of the focal length.  And with the crop factor, 400mm x1.6 = 1/640... which isn't impossible to get, but it will be a challenge.  Especially if you are trying to capture flight... then you really should look at 1/1500 or faster. 

Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

Zlatko

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 11:51:42 PM »
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.

I was really disappointed with that lens.  I owned 2 or three copies that I bought either to keep or to resale at a profit... and all three got sold.  So... not my favorite option... but there are people who really like it.

I like the 70-200/4 very much, but the IS version.  I have used it quite a lot and always find it to be excellent.  Without IS, however, it would not be as useful.

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 11:51:42 PM »

Sneakers

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 06:41:11 AM »
If you replace the 18-135 with a 200, you may encounter a number of situation X's that are covered by neither the 40 nor the 200, as you will not have a wide angle at all.
I agree with you and I'm sure my lens collection will continue to grow over time. I do find that the 40 is too tight for some of the indoor shots I've wanted to take, so if I don't buy a wide angle this time around, it'll probably be next on my list.

aroo

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2013, 06:04:29 PM »
You could also go with 55-250 and 10-22 for about $1000. The IS makes that tele usable in low light, no joke. Overall, it does not have great contrast or outstanding definition, but it is nice and close, and light. If you find you don't go wider than 40mm much, the 10-22 will hold its value well and you can look elsewhere later.

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Re: I want to replace my 18-135 IS STM
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2013, 06:04:29 PM »