September 02, 2014, 08:37:04 PM

Author Topic: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?  (Read 11748 times)

rpt

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2142
  • Could not wait for 7D2 so I got the 5D3
    • View Profile
Hi, I am looking to purchase a new camera this year. It will be a 7D2 (if they release it - please, please, please...) or a 7D or a 70D or a 5D2 - don't have money for a 5D3...I am not a pro - never earned a cent from my hobby - never did try either...

If I get the 5D2, I will get the 24-105 or the 24-70. However, I think I will end up with a crop camera...

I have been shooting for the last 43 years with various cameras (300D, AE1 and a Russian MF in at order). Yes, I don't change cameras till they croak.  I shoot various things. Off late it has been birds, fighter jets, sports, cultural events, landscapes, panoramas, macro etc.

I have the 100-400L lens for its reach and find the 17-55 kit lens of the 300D to be limiting at the upper end. Hence I am looking for a different lens for the new camera.

I would prefer the 18-200 as it would cover most of my needs except for the times when I need to go to 400mm if the bird/plane is far away.

I was wondering if anybody had any first hand experiences on this lens that they would care to share.

The next choice of lens is the 15-85 as it starts wider and has USM. Also the gap between 85 and 100 I can ignore.

The 18-135 gives me a bit more reach.

I do not shoot too much in low light so I am not looking at the 2.8f lenses. They are also a bit out of my budget. May be I will get primes and not zooms for specific shooting later.


Any and all advise is welcome.

 

canon rumors FORUM


neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14045
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 12:41:58 PM »
The 18-200mm lens is a compromise lens (as are all superzooms, even the 28-300L, although the IQ on that one is better than any other superzoom, and rivals the 24-105, which I guess it should for the price tag!).  The 18-200mm has lots of distortion, is best stopped down for increased sharpness, and suffers from a focus breathing-related effect, so that a the long end when focused at less than infinity, the apparent focal length takes a big hit.  I tried one on my 7D and compared 200mm framing with the 18-200mm and the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II - focusing on something about 30' away, the framing of the 18-200mm @ 200mm was equivalent to ~155mm on the 70-200mm.

OTOH, the 15-85mm offers excellent IQ and better build with faster AF.  I'd go with the 15-85mm, since you already hae an excellent lens for the long end.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

lol

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 497
    • View Profile
    • My dA
Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 01:21:46 PM »
I went with the 15-85 to pair with the 100-400L which forms my two body walkaround kit. The 15-85 as stated has the widest angle of these lenses, and over its range is probably the best all rounder. The USM on it is fast and silent as you'd expect. If you really do need more range in one lens, then maybe the other ones under consideration are worth looking at, but they are generally lower in both image and build quality.

While not on the list, I used to have the Tamron 18-270. As much range as you can get, but its various flaws annoyed me over time and I didn't keep it. I believe the Canon 18-200 would fall into a similar category.
Canon 1D, 300D IR, 450D full spectrum, 600D, 5D2, 7D, EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 70-300L, 100-400L
EF-S 15-85, TS-E 24, MP-E 65, Zeiss 50/2 macro, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300/2.8 OS, Samyang 8mm fisheye

haqyourlegs

  • Guest
Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 01:23:42 PM »
I got a 15-85 lens in a 7D kit a couple of weeks ago. I have tried using the 18-200 and to be completely honest, if you want something a bit different (with the wide angle of the 15-85) and can, as you say, live without the gap between 85-100, then definitely go with the 15-85. 18-135 is pointless in my opinion, because if you're gonna go with that you MIGHT AS WELL get an 18-200... however, the 18-200 is not as portable and fun to use, nor does it have as amazing image quality as the 15-85. Honestly, I was about to buy a 5D2 body but I loved the 15-85 so much (and for such a great value with the 7D kit), that I had to change my mind.

My final vote goes to the 15-85, although I have never tried the 18-135 and can't say much about it. Good luck, and happy hunting! :)

Spooky

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 70
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 01:25:29 PM »
Have to agree, keep to the 100-400 for long shots, buy the 15-85 for everything else.
I have the 15-85 and can honestly say it is fantastic as a general walk around lens. The difference between 15mm and 18 mm is very noticeable. The only downside to the 15-85 in my opinion is the fact that it is EF-S and therefor can't be used on a ff camera (if you ever bought one). Anything above 17-18mm on a crop camera isn't wide enough for me!

preppyak

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 768
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 01:30:53 PM »
Having used both the 18-135 and 18-200, I can say the 18-135 is definitely a better lens (less distortion, better IQ), but, you do lose that extra reach...but since you already have the 100-400 that's not really an issue.

I'd agree with everyone else that the 15-85 is the best bet considering what you already have, but, if not, the 18-135 would be the 2nd best. I honestly hated the 18-200...I was almost glad when it was stolen.

michi

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 182
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 01:31:07 PM »
It really sort of depends what you are looking for.  I have the 18-200 and don't use it very much.  It's a terribly convenient lens, but not a fantastic performer.  If you are going to spend money on a good body, I would try to get good glass for them too.
If you are still working with the 300D, have you thought about saving some money on the camera body and getting a 60D or even T3i?  You could then spend some money on a lens.  Unless you need specific functions from the 7D, the 60D or T3i will pretty much give you the same quality results.  And I think better glass on a cheaper body is better than poor glass on a great body.  I have a few friends who are airplane spotters and use the 60D and get amazing results, some of them getting published in aviation magazines.  The also use the 100-400L and some versions of the 70-200L's.  As to your original question, I think the 18-200 is a nice back up lens or for going on trips where you don't want to lug everything with you.  But for sharp beautiful shots, it's probably not the one.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 01:31:07 PM »

AJ

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 409
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2012, 01:47:32 PM »
In short:

15-85 compromises on aperture.  Image quality is great.
18-135 compromises the corners.  The center is sharp.
18-200 is a compromise, optically.  Reason to buy is convenience.

rpt

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2142
  • Could not wait for 7D2 so I got the 5D3
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2012, 01:53:09 PM »
Everybody, thanks a ton! That settles it. I will go for the 15-85. Now it is up to Canon to deliver my 7D2!

Repeating myself, but THANK YOU! lots of great advise in such short time.

bigblue1ca

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2012, 02:00:55 PM »
[Oops, typed this out and forgot and walked away for lunch and came back and posted it, only to find OP had his answer. C'est la vie - short version I concur.]

The 18-200 isn't perfect; in order to get a lens with a 10x zoom factor there has to be compromises.

I have the 18-200, I got it as a kit lens with my 60D.  Because, well I didn't know any better at the time.  It's not a bad lens stopped down. In fact I took it to Mexico this winter, because I wanted something easy to pack and carry around and I didn't want to take my other glass.  In the end I was actually quite satisfied with the images (after post processing in LR).  My overall impression of them was also influenced by the fact that I was pretty diligent about shooting during the golden hours a lot on my trip and outside of that when I was in daytime sunlight I used my B&W 77mm Kaeseman Circular Polarizing MRC Filter with a step down ring. 

My 18-200 was obviously the first lens I owned and I didn't think anything of it's IQ until I bought my 10-22 a month after getting my camera, then I quickly noticed that the 10-22's IQ was better.  Then I bought my 70-200 2.8 IS II, then 50 1.4, and then 16-35 2.8 II...and well long story short, outside of going to Mexico this winter, my 18-200 hasn't been out of my bag in a year almost.

Knowing now what I know, if I had a 100-400L and my choice was between a 18-200 and 18-85, I'd go with the 18-85.  The 18-85 is a sharper lens overall and you don't need the reach because you have the 100-400.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 02:05:35 PM by bigblue1ca »

rpt

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2142
  • Could not wait for 7D2 so I got the 5D3
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2012, 02:09:30 PM »
[Oops, typed this out and forgot and walked away for lunch and came back and posted it, only to find OP had his answer. C'est la vie - short version I concur.]

The 18-200 isn't perfect; in order to get a lens with a 10x zoom factor there has to be compromises.

I have the 18-200, I got it as a kit lens with my 60D.  Because, well I didn't know any better at the time.  It's not a bad lens stopped down. In fact I took it to Mexico this winter, because I wanted something easy to pack and carry around and I didn't want to take my other glass.  In the end I was actually quite satisfied with the images (after post processing in LR).  My overall impression of them was also influenced by the fact that I was pretty diligent about shooting during the golden hours a lot on my trip and outside of that when I was in daytime sunlight I used my B&W 77mm Kaeseman Circular Polarizing MRC Filter with a step down ring. 

My 18-200 was obviously the first lens I owned and I didn't think anything of it's IQ until I bought my 10-22 a month after getting my camera, then I quickly noticed that the 10-22's IQ was better.  Then I bought my 70-200 2.8 IS II, then 50 1.4, and then 16-35 2.8 II...and well long story short, outside of going to Mexico this winter, my 18-200 hasn't been out of my bag in a year almost.

Knowing now what I know, if I had a 100-400L and my choice was between a 18-200 and 18-85, I'd go with the 18-85.  The 18-85 is a sharper lens overall and you don't need the reach because you have the 100-400.

Thanks. This is very useful. I will post links to some of my snaps next...

rpt

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2142
  • Could not wait for 7D2 so I got the 5D3
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2012, 02:16:00 PM »
All, Here are some links with my albums.

Wildlife around the house: http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/560881377kqKvmD

Ganapati, a cultural festival: http://news.webshots.com/album/578686223oEThlA

Oxford panoramas: http://travel.webshots.com/album/575615231cvuFqn

Camera 300D
Wildlife with my 100-400 (mostly on 400mm)
The other 2 with the 18-55 kit lens

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Looking for lens advise - Should I get he 18-200 or 15-85 or 18-135?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2012, 02:16:00 PM »