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Author Topic: 40D kit lens: EF-S 17-85mm or EF 28-135mm  (Read 4028 times)

ad1402

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40D kit lens: EF-S 17-85mm or EF 28-135mm
« on: January 06, 2009, 03:54:35 pm »

I am a first time poster and new to digital photography.  I plan on buying a 40D as my first DSLR and would like some opinions on these two lens. By budget right now really requires me to get one of the lenses offered as a kit lens.

I plan on shooting landscapes, city life, and architecture nearly entirely outdoors.  I also plan on getting the Canon 10-22mm EF-S at a later date so I will have the very wide end covered even with a 1.6 crop. However, I am not sure if the 85-135 range or the 17-28 range is better suited for what I would like to do.  Also, depsite all the review I have read, I am not sure if one lens is superior in quality.  I know that ultimately only I can decide how long I need a lens to reach, but I can't afford to get both and test so I am looking for some advice on a good, starter, walk-around lens for my interests.  I also understand the difference between the EF and EF-S but it is not a factor as I do not plan on going full frame for many many years (if ever). Thanks for your input!

Here are the two kits:

EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Image Stabilizer USM Autofocus Lens

EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens  (also note that this kit is $120 more than the other... worth it?)
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Ken Bennett

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40D kit lens: EF-S 17-85mm or EF 28-135mm
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2009, 05:03:22 pm »

On the 40D, the 28-135 has the equivalent field of view of approximately a 50-200mm lens on a 35mm camera. So it's a "normal"-to-telephoto lens. The 17-85 is the equivalent of a 28-135 on a full frame body. (Confused yet? I am...)

I would get the 17-85 kit. It's a much more useful range for a first lens. Having said that, I find 17mm nowhere near wide enough on my 40D, so you'll probably want the 10-22 as well. Not too much overlap there. With the 17-85, you'll be okay shooting for quite a while before you *need* to add another lens. With the 28-135, I suspect you'll want a wider lens almost immediately.

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stever

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40D kit lens: EF-S 17-85mm or EF 28-135mm
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2009, 06:03:19 pm »

as a legacy of the bad old days of film i have a 24-85, 28-135 and added the 17-85 when i bought a 20D.  in terms of image quality, the 17-85 isn't that great (mine is decently sharp in the center, but VERY soft on the right side) and the 28-135.  the 28-135 is much too long for architecture, and i find the 17-85 usually is as well even though it's a more useful walk-around lens. -- i don't consider either lens to be of satisfactory quality for architecture (although there is probably a very significant lens-lens variation) and definitely below the capability of the 40D and i've pretty much stopped using both in favor of the 24-85 (compact and light weight) or 24-105 combined with the 10-22 (now pretty much replaced by the Tokina 11-16 because of it's better corner sharpness.  As regards architecture, all these lenses have very substantial distortions and i find pt-lens pretty much essential if you want straight lines to be straight.

some (i believe dpreview) have said that the latest 18-55S IS kit lens has better IQ than the 17-85.  the 18-55 combined with the 10-22 might be worth considering from the start
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ad1402

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40D kit lens: EF-S 17-85mm or EF 28-135mm
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2009, 07:07:32 pm »

Thanks for the responses so far. B&H does offer the 18-55 as a kit as well, I just didn't know if 55 would leave me wanting more length. I'll add it to the mix though. I appreciate the help thus far and welcome anymore suggestions.
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DarkPenguin

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40D kit lens: EF-S 17-85mm or EF 28-135mm
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2009, 07:24:26 pm »

The 17-85 cleans up nicely with DPP.
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William Wang

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40D kit lens: EF-S 17-85mm or EF 28-135mm
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2009, 12:04:44 am »

By my experience, for portrait, 17-85 lens F4 aperture is not wide enough, for Landscape, 17-85 lens is not sharp enough.
If you're not going FF , 17-55/f2.8 is a better selection.
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Greg D

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40D kit lens: EF-S 17-85mm or EF 28-135mm
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2009, 04:11:37 pm »

Quote from: ad1402
Thanks for the responses so far. B&H does offer the 18-55 as a kit as well, I just didn't know if 55 would leave me wanting more length. I'll add it to the mix though. I appreciate the help thus far and welcome anymore suggestions.

Another thought for a "walkaround" 1.6 crop lens - the Sigma 17-70.  Much better build quality than the lower-priced Canons.  I don't own the Canon 17-85 IS so I can't speak to IQ, but it hasn't gotten good reviews generally.  The Sigma 17-70 seems to have very good IQ as long as it's not wide open on the short end (and it's not just terrible even there).  I own the 28-135 IS and find it to be a very good lens for the money.  You'll only know what focal length range you prefer with some experience.  Most seem to want something at least as wide as 18mm for 1.6-crop walkaround, but I found that I'd rather have more reach.  If you plan on buying a 10-22 later anyway, the 28-135 might be a good starter, and would likely have substantially better IQ than the 17-85.
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Misirlou

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40D kit lens: EF-S 17-85mm or EF 28-135mm
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2009, 04:38:38 pm »

With my 40D, I mostly shoot with the 10-22 and the 17-55/2.8. Mine came with the 28-135, and that lens does have its uses. For example, it's great for events where you're walking around in a crowd.

But, if I had no lenses already, I'd probably get the 18-55. It makes a good, beatable walking around lens for when you don't want to be very conspicuous, or the lens might get bumped or have sand blown into it. If it gets ruined, who cares? It never cost very much in the first place.

On the other hand, if you ever go full-frame, the 28-135 could serve the same beater lens purpose on the big sensor camera.

All of these consumer lenses benefit magnificently from DxO Optics Pro. Suddenly the distortions and vigneting can be forgotten about forever.
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mfunnell

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40D kit lens: EF-S 17-85mm or EF 28-135mm
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2009, 11:22:30 pm »

Personally, I use the 17-55 f2.8 IS for my wide-ish to long-ish zoom.  It is a very good lens, without a doubt, and I find the 17mm end quite wide enough for me (but I never went much wider than 28mm in my 35mm film days - which do in fact continue).

However, that lens is quite expensive (and quite large); and while constant f2.8 max aperture throughout the zoom range, and image stabilisation, are very nice to have they may not be worth the additional cost to many people.

I have used my father's Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 and can confirm that's also a good lens, and quite a step up from at least the old Canon 18-55 non-IS kit lens (I've not used the new IS version).  I suspect this would be a very good compromise on zoom range, price and size for a great many people.

I also have the Canon 28-135 IS lens, which I used extensively in the past but use quite infrequently now.  I used to use it as my walk-around zoom lens and found it optically decent enough but not great.  Eventually, with an expanded range of lenses to choose from, I found it not wide enough at the wide end and not long enough at the long end, while not being of as good optical quality as some of my other lens choices.  I use it from time to time on my EOS 30V as my film zoom option, because it provides a good zoom range for 35mm film, but even there I'm more likely to use my prime lenses (I use film mostly for black and white, BTW).

   ...Mike
« Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 11:23:24 pm by mfunnell »
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