Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Canon 18-200mm zoom lense

Super Contributor

I'm new here.  I have a Canon T3i.  Two kit lenses came with it in a bundle...18-55mm, 55-250mm.  I am considering getting the Canon 18-200mm.  Would the Canon 18-200mm be a good choice to replace both lenses, or are there better choices to replace them with and keep the 18-200mm also?


Forum Elite

I would not buy one for a few reasons.  One and formost, it is more difficult to make a zoom lens when the zoom range gets very extreme.  18 to 200 is a 11x range and very ambitious to say the least. Not solely in optics but in build quality, too. It will be in the same quality level as the two lenses you have so the only advantage is having just the one lens.  Is that what you require? The top benefit of a DSLR is the ability to have the right lens for the right job.  That usually involves several different lenses.  So you will be defeating that concept somewhat!


I would rather see you get a different level of lens for instance the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.  Directly replacing your 18-55mm kit lens. Of course this is in case what you have is not working for you. But this move is into a better built, better optics and a little faster lens all of which can be very useful.  Make no mistake the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens is a very good lens and offers a constant aperture.  A super plus in my book.


Unfortunalely these lens upgrades are expensive and replacing the 55-250mm is going to be more so.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

View solution in original post

Easy ones first!

The S in EF-S stands for short focus.  Any camera that can use a EF-S lens can use a EF lens, too.  A camera that is designed for EF lenses can only use EF, no S lenses.


The EF 50mm f1.4 is can be used on either EF or EF-S bodies.  It is not actually designed for either.  It is simply a 50mm f1.4 lens.  Either body no matter, it is still a 50mm lens.  It can not change that, however, on a crop body, a Rebel for instance, it will give the same perspective as a 80mm lens would on a full frame body.  Typically making it a pretty good portrait lens.

Now these are just numbers and of no real concern except to sorta guide you in a comparasion.  You choose the lens that works for your need.


You need to make the decision on whether you are going to remain with crop body sized camera or not.  You may wind up buying all your lenses over and that is not a good thing!  Is it?  I know lots of people that live with crop bodies all there lives and  know folks that only shoot FF.  There is not right or wrong.  It is what it is. Nothing more.  Lots of photographers even shoot both, believe it or not!


Now my personal feelings on a "do all lens".  For me there is none.  I always have at least two cameras and two lenses with me all the time.  A very strict rule I never broke..................until lately.  Another rule I will never break is to use any third party lens...............................until lately.  For the most part they were junk.  Oh sure if you lucked out and got a good one, it was pretty good, no doubt.  But very spotty and hit or miss.   Not for me!  But "lately" there has been a great change in third party lenses.  Especially at Sigma.  They make very high quality glass and they have improved their CS drasticly.  Tamron is close behind and getting better.  Forget the rest, Tokina and the others for now


Now back to that "do all" lens.  I did buy a Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD.  Not quite a "do all" but it has a fair amount of zoom useage.  It turns out it is a nice lens and impossibile to beat for $1100 bucks.  Worthy of consideration by anyone.


What do I carry?  A EF 24-70mm f2.8 and a EF 70-200mm f2.8  Canon "L" lenses.  My goto and workhorse combo.  That is as good as it gets.  There is nothing better on the planet.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

View solution in original post

182 REPLIES 182

Bob, you missed your're a comedien LOL.  Man, does that mean "N" brand stands for Nikon??  Not being silly, am serious Bob.   As you stated it i'm still not sure, since you included a few other brand names, one I never heard of.  Forgive me my friend, some days I'm slow.  Thanks for explaining "IMHO".  You know, I heard that before but plum forgot the meaning. 


Also, what's your take on the best brand gear and what do you like for you???   Just curious.   How did you come by your hard earned knowledge of photography???   I will be following yours and Biggs suggestions.   Yesterday I never used "auto" not 1 time at the Zoo.   I took over 500 pics and more than 1/2 hr of video.  I did'nt see any fault in my lens, though I did take some bad pics and a few were fuzzy.   But I attributted that to me, not the lens.   When I learn more about proper settings for lighting and different conditions, my pics will get better.   I'm very comfortable in P mode and will move on to full manual real soon, maybe this coming weekend.    With you and Biggs having my back, how could I fail.

Thanks Bob from Boston for clearing up the acronyms for me.  Smiley Happy


"I do like this site best now because everyone talks  mostly Canon gear.  That seems to be what most here have."


This is little wonder since this is a Canon sponsored web site.  It is intended for Canon users in the USA. 


There is no doubt I prefer the Canon brand all the way.  I used Canon gears when Hallmark used Nikon.  But that said I will not pull punches and I tell you exactly what I have seen in my own experience.  Granted I have a very limited supply of equipment ot judge by, but I assume it is representive.  From this experience I have formed my opinions.  I rerad reviews and some are good.  But most of my judgements are my own.  That is probably why some folks think I am nuts!


I worked in the Graphic Arts Division of Hallmark Card in Kansas City for 40 years.  I taught severla calsses in Graphic Arts while there and trained many people.  I have a DSLR 101 class that has gone largely static lately as I have just gotten too busy to do it any longer.  Who knew how much there is to do after you retire.  I don't have time to work!


"I think many reviews are biased."

They are, follow the money as they say.


A now word about upgrades and professional equipment.  If I were buying a brand new full on pro camera today it would be the Canon EOS 1Dx. I don't even have to think about it.  If you read the reviews, you will find it is not the best camera made right now but it is in certain specs and layout so for me it is.  And then there is that Canon lens line-up that goes with it.


It goes without saying the pro line does not support the company.  The Rebel line does.  If there were not Rebels with such popularity there would be far less pro cameras made.  But this is all just chit-chat and does nothing to help you with your learning of photography.  You need to learn what you have before you eye a $5000+ dollar body.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Super Contributor




"This is little wonder since this is a Canon sponsored web site.  It is intended for Canon users in the USA"


Right you are biggs.  But they could still debate about the best Canon model (LOL)  Just joking.     Far as folks thinking you're nuts it don't phase me one bit.  I befriend lost causes, guys abused by bully's, and misfits the world over.  I myself think outside the box at times, and tend to not be a follower ....least ways not for no intelligent reason.  Things you've said sounds logical to me, and I like people who call it the way they see it.  Unless they're 2 cans short of a 6 pack.    Everybody's own opinion should count to themselves, if no one else.  Why should you, or anyone else, take a review or test as the gospel, if your very own experience and hands on use, refute what's said.  Tests, charts, and opinions, can be malipalated depending on who's giving the resultsresults, and if they have some bias or not.  People can have motives that don't benefit the reader.  Not saying all that has no value, but I keep it all in perspective.  I use what I need and throw the rest away.


Have'nt read up on the Canon EOS 1Dx but guess I will now. I do intend to progress with my Rebel before movng up to full frame if I ever do.  I did want to get a better entry level Canon, the Rebel 6s coming soon, or the 70D when I have enough info to decide the better buy for me.  Don't get me wrong, my T3i is a good entry level camera but I can see...very soon I'll be wanting/needing more features and capabilty than my T3i can produce.  I got this particular camera so I could determine if I liked DSLR's enough to want to invest more money in this art.   Did'nt know I'd see so soon a need for more camera technology and features than I now have with mine.  I would like a camera I could live with forever, if I decided not to go full frame, and this T3i is not it.  I really can not find a solid reason yet to go full frame unless I went into photography as a business and needed the quality full frame produces.  I know the pics are sharper, better build quality, and L lens are the very best Canon makes.   But would the extra expense be justfied for a guy just going out taking pics and enjoying photography as a hobby.  Could I really see the difference in my pics with the naked eye, without lab tests, and without pixle peeping???  That's the questions I'm trying to find the answers for.  I just don't want to step up to full frame just for bragging rights.  You know I noticed most of my club members yesterday had full frame cameras, 30 members showed up.  And only a few are into photgraphy as a business, or as sole support.  A few have part time businesses, but can't support themselves on photography alone.   Most are hobbiest just like me.   I understand the pressure to keep up with the joneses when all your friends drive BMW's, if you follow my drift.  I looked on the club site today at all the pics that were posted.   Maybe it's my untrained eye, but most of the pics look to be bout the same quality as mine.  To be honest, I thought a few were not, and they had a full frame camera.  Also to be honest, I thought a couple people's pics were outstanding, better than mine and all the rest.  But only one or 2 people's pics out of the people that posted pics so far.  Anyhow that's my thoughts and delimma with FF cameras right now.  Maybe that will change, I never want to say neve


Ok enuff of chit chat as you say, I'll get back to the business at hand.  Take care my friend.

" I really can not find a solid reason yet to go full frame unless I went into photography as a business and needed the quality full frame produces."


Really?  There is simply the love of the art, or hobby, as reason enough.  My favorite quote from my DSLR 101 class is, "All you have to do is look."  Smiley Happy

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Super Contributor

Morning Biggs.


I do understand your entusiam for FF cameras.  You're a pro and you know and can see what they're capable of.  Maybe I will get there, time will tell.  I hope I come to some sort of decision before I make my next lens purchase.  My next purchase should be made with that question in mind.


I'm starting to understand some of the things you and Bob said about lens, focal range, etc.  I do know more about what lens, is for what camera....crop or FF.  I'm beginning to understand how FF lens will look through the viewfinder using with Crop Sensors. 


Looking again closely at my pics I took at the Zoo I can see some of my pics were a little soft and some a little out of focus.   Most like that were at the farthest zoom range.  Most of the best and sharpest were the ones taken at close to medium focal distance.  Some I think, were from not being in focus when I took the shot.  I'm trying to determine which bad pics, were resulting from the short comings of the lens itself.  Anyhow I'm beginning to see what you said about the distortion from the farthest focal range with my 18-200mm lens.  I think I will use my kit lens (18-55mm, 55-250mm, and 75-300mm) again, and compare the difference in my pics to the pics I take with my 18-200mm walk around.  The different shots taken at the Zoo from different focal ranges, different lighting conditions, different angles, etc really put this walk around lens to the test Sunday.   It's the most I've put it through since I've had it.   Doing these tests of my different lens will maybe show me where my walk around lens is lacking.  Maybe then I will start to see some of the short comings you say  this lens has.  I now know and understand the difficulty of making a lens with 18-200mm range.  I thought (being a newbie)  that $700.00 would buy a decent lens such as mine.  Heck, my 55-250 cost $250.00, so thought the extra money that my walk around cost would give me at least equal lens quality for that range.   I knew it was not a great lens, I've seen the cost of better ones and the L's..  But thought it'd give better results than I've gotton.  Now I wish I had gotton the Canon 18-135mm.   I do still want a 1 lens walk around solution.   I don't want to have to carry a bunch of lens, or change lens out in the elements (which is not good in some invironments) when I'm just out taking pics for fun.  I'm beginning to see a need to carry 2 cameras with different lens for serious photo shooting, when not using a walk around lens.  Then again I could use my Canon SX60 HS bridge camera as a walkaround.   It has 65X zoom and also has 1080P video.   I used it at the zoo also, and got great video.  I could use the SX60 as a vacation/walkaround and use my DSLR for serious work.  What do you think???

Super Contributor

Just discovered a few things. 


#1   I just realised my 18-200mm is a EF-S lens.  Did'nt realise that till just now.  I knew it was a EF-S, but did'nt sink in till now.  I won't be able to use it on any other body except an EF-S.  So no matter which body I upgrade to, I will get rid of it as along with my EF-S 18-55mm, and EF-S 18-250 kit lens.   Did'nt know what EF-S meant till you and Bob told me.  Won't get a EF-S body only ....for an upgrade.


#2   Just found out the new Canon T6s is only EF-S lens mountable, if my info is correct.  Can only use a EF-S lens with it.   Don't understand why Canon did that.  My T3i and the Canon T5i, both are EF bodies.  Why would Canon limit the lens capabilty of the new T6s, after so much updating, improving, and adding more features?


#3  I was considering the Canon T6s or 70D as my next body upgrade.  Have to rethink that now.  I don't want to limit my lens capabilty with the next body upgrade.   Whatever I get, I want to be able to add any lens I want.  Now I'm looking at the Canon 70D or the 7D Mark 11 FF as my next camera body.


#4    What do you think about the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, USM lens ...vs.....the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM???   Which do you think the better lens and how do you think it would fare with my Rebel T3i???   Would I notice any difference from any of the lens I use now???   How much difference would 28mm look viewing through the lens as opposed to 18mm of all the lens I have now???


The thought just came to me that it may be a good thing to keep my T3i instead of selling it....when I get a new camera as a upgrade.   That way all my lens will be interchangable.  My T3i is an EF body.

"I do understand your entusiam for FF cameras."


That is certainly true but my favorite and most used camera is a crop camera!  Yes, it is my beloved 1D Mk IV which is a 1.3 crop ratio.  But as I already told you, that is simply a number.


You are still confused about lenses, aren't you?  Smiley Happy

Here goes, a EF-S camera IE the Rebel series and the 60D, 70D or even the great mighty 7D Mk II, all crop cameras, right?

They all use any lens Canon makes.  It does not matter if it is a EF or EF-S, all will work.  It is the 6D, 5D Mk III and the 1Dx that are limited to only EF lenses.  My 1Ds Mk III is also a full frame camera but is now discontinued.  My 1D Mk IV is discontimued, too, but they both requires EF (only) lenses.  The new T6i will take any lens Canon makes just like your T3i.


I can sum up the other questions with a pretty simple answer.  All the lenses that are considered Rebel "kit" lenses are very nearly the same IQ wise.  Their main most function is to be inexpensive. ANd this is fine for most people. This includes most but not all the EF-S lenses.  Especially the ones that zoom a lot and have varible apertures in the f3.5 to f5.6 range.  Of course there are/is exceptions.  (EF-S 10-22mm for instance)


The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens is a lens I can recommend to everyone.  It is a best buy for cost to IQ rating.  A lot of lens for $300 bucks.  I have had several of them, still have one, and all were very good.

It is going to look considerably longer than 18mm does on your T3i.  You must try to see if it will work for you.


People have the very mistaken thought that telephoto is good for taking distant shots.  How wrong they are.  A tele shooting at a subject at near it infinity focus is going to be pretty limited on subject IQ.  A telephoto is for filling the frame with the subject which generally means, get closer.  Get real close.


This shot was done with a 400mm lens on a 7D crop body.  It was hand held and I was about 20 feet from the bird.  Yes a super telephoto for a 20 foot shot.  But that is what they are for.



This was from about 35-40 feet with a big super tele 600mm.  It is a 100% crop in Photoshop.  Also hand held from a floating dock.  But you see the need to get close, very close.



EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Super Contributor

"You are still confused about lenses, aren't you?"


I suppose I was just a little.  Best Buy confused me in how they worded the lens compatibilty for the new Rebel T6s.   On Best Buy website it says.....EF-S/ EF     which made me think only those lens would work.  Did'nt think "FF" was included, seems to be omitted.  Now if I understand you correctly, you're saying only bodies labled "EF lens mount compatibilty", will only work with EF lenses.  If correct, I'm straight now.  BB sometimes incorrectly mis-state specs for products on their website.  I always have to check to be sure before I buy.  My plan is to get good glass to replace my 18-55mm, 55-250mm kit lenses that I can use with both the cameras I will have in the future.  Then I can add more lens as/if needed.


I am absobing much you said though.   I'm understanding much more since we 1st talked.  I'm not ready to get another camera at this point, but I am doing my research and gathering data, to plan my way ahead.  My thinking is to get a better walkaround for now.   If I have a lens I can be happy with for now, I can take my time and plan my upgrades, carefully and intelligently.   Hence my inquiry about the Canon EF 28-.135mm USM.  Also, how do you think this lens would fit in my plan?...Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM?   Better or worst???     What you've said about the new Rebel T6s is heartwarming.  Now I'm back to plan A with either the T3i & 70D as maybe my future option.   though the 7D mark 11 is still also on the table.  I will want to upgrade my lens with ones that will work with all of my cameras.  I also understand the lower the aperture number of a lense, the better in low light it will be, right.   The higher the number.... worst.


You say the "Canon EF 28-135" can be found for $300.00!!!  Where???  BB has it listed for $479.00 new, and Canon, on the Canon site is  $389.00  refurb. 


Biggs just how many cameras do you have?  I thought you only had the gear listed here.  Must be nice.  That's interesting what you say about tele zooms.  great pics.  I sure thought tele zooms were for mostly distance shots.  I hear and read guys talking about using them for far off shots at ball games and distant wildlife, etc.  You must educate me as to why would one use a 600mm Lens for a 40ft shot?   I do that all the time with my 55-250mm kit lens, even my 18-200mm.  My shots look Ok to me.  Now I know your lens is much shaper, much less or no distortion.  That's a given.  I know your shots would be a much higher quality.  But still am confused as to the why would that level a lens ($$$$$) be needed for such a short distance?  Why not a good quality standard zoom?  Even an L standard zoom?   


A thought:  Though you're giving me a answer, you never know when a newbie will look in on this post and find his answer also.


Believe it or not, I am beginning to understand things better since we 1st talked.  Even things that puzzled me before we met that I have'nt mentioned.  The light bulb is starting to come on.   . 

Remember this:

EF-S is a crop lens design.  It will only fit crop bodies.

EF is a Full Frame design.   It can fit FF and crop bodies.

In this case it is the camera body that determines what it can use.  FF bodies and 1.3 crop 1 series can only use EF.

1.6 crop bodies like the Rebels and the xxD a long with the 7D Mk II all can use either EF-S or EF (crop or FF).  Look for those letters in the name of the lens.


Try here .... Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens  This is my store of choice but there are other good outlets, too.


Before you buy any more lenses, decide on your path or you are going to spend a lot of money.  You really need to know which system you are going to stay with.  Very first thing, the big difference with the two are just numbers to be able to identify either.  That is all they are.  There is nothing wrong with sticking with a 1.6 crop.  There is nothing magical about FF.  And you can even have both.  Each system has some basic advantages and disadvantages.  They compliment more than compete.

If you are reading a site that puts down croppers, leave that site today.  They don't know of what they speak.


Repeat, before you buy any more lenses, decide on your path.


"Biggs just how many cameras do you have?"

I really don't know the exact number and/or how many lenses.   I guess I should take an inventory.  I guess a dozen cameras and 25 lenses?  There is another person in this household that believs I have way too many.  Smiley Frustrated

But I only use the 1Ds Mk III and the 1D Mk IV mostly, 90% of the time.  Yes, one is a FF and the latter is a 1.3 crop.  You soon find the gems that you just love to work with.


"I hear and read guys talking about using them for far off shots at ball games and distant wildlife, etc."

Yes you do.  And mostly likely they are using a 600mm to 800mm and even longer focal length lenses.  The job of a tele is to fill the frame with the subject.  The guy on one goal line at a football game does not shoot the plays on the other goal line. He shoots the plays that are on his side of the field, less than 50 yards, at most, even though he might have a super tele.  If it is a tiny bird like a Northern Cardinal and you have a 400mm lens than you still must be pretty close and/or crop serverly in PS.  If it were and elephant, you don't need to be that close!  There is no set rule. Again just what you want the shot to be.

There is no way to get that Cardinal photo with what I had at any greater distance.  No matter the bird would have been a lot smaller in the frame if I had shot from farther away.


"I do that all the time with my 55-250mm kit lens, even my 18-200mm."

Do you have a photo you shot of a bird with either of these lenses that you would care to share?  I would wager the bird is pretty small.  And if you do crop serverly to make the bird larger, the resolution will go into the toilet.


Oh, one more thought....

"Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM?   Better or worst???"

This is the best buy, bar none, for a full on pro level "L" lens.  I highly recommend it, no matter what body you finally decide on.  Get this lens!  You can find "white box" deals in the $700 to $800 range brand new full USA warranty.



EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Super Contributor

I think I got the lens correct now.  the thing that really had me confused is EF.  I thought it was a 3rd class of lens besides EF-S, and FF.  Now I understand it's actually FF for Full Frame.  And I know EF (FF) will work on any Canon body.  I know EF-S will not work on Full Frame bodies.  That's why I'm considering the EF 28-135 USM, it will work with any body I buy in the future.  That's the thing I'm going to pay close attention to from here out, buying lens that will be compatible for my furure bodies in the future.  If I am happy with the 28-135 as a walkaround, I will be patient and take my time adding more lens.  I did see it for the price you said at B&H.  I get stuff from them too.   Just recently got 2 sets of microphones, batteries , chargers, and other acc from them.                I go to Best Buy alot cause I catch things on sale, sometimes have discount coupons, and use BB rewards points for cash.   I got my 18-200 zoom there for $540.00 after discounts.   That's why I got it over the 18-135mm.   I only paid a few dollars more for it, for more range.   I will make less compromise's now, and get the lens I trully want and need.  I will wait till I have the money for the best glass I can afford.  I may get the EF 24-105mm when I get my next body.  The only drawback, why I hesitate going to FF body is the high price of the lens.  I do like photography and will proably be getting at least 4 or 5 more lens in the future, probably more.  As you say, we should get the lens for the different purpose we need.  In L glass that'll cost a bundle.  But I do want to be wise and get best glass I can afford, than to get a boatload of inferior lens.


I'm not quite sure how will the higher "28mm" compare to the lower "18mm" of the lens I now have.  I'm sure the distance looking through the lens will not be the same.   I also am guessing the higher number (.28mm) will give closeup shots shorter withe (as in less wide angle)   Am I correct, or no???


"I do that all the time with my 55-250mm kit lens, even my 18-200mm."


I understand what you're saying about the tele zooms now.  And no, none of my shots at that distance filled up the frame as yours do in these pics.  My shots of a Lion at the Zoo, at about 50-60 ft, made the lion small in the frame in comparison to your bird at full zoom.  I got you now.  In fact I was wondering why guys/gals, in my photo club at the zoo, were using long zooms like yours, to shoot reptiles inside the glass a foot or so away.  Now I know.  I saw some amazing shots like yours posted on the website at my photo club yesterday. 


Your shots on here are very good my friend.  Hope to do 1/2 as good with my own pics.  Coming here has been a very good experience and I see I'll learn alot.  Best site I could have found.  Anyway I'm off for a few hrs, proably will take some pic.  Will be back later to look in on your posts. 


BTW...I now realise I should have taken my 3 kit lens to the Zoo.  I would have gotton better pics.  I only took the 1 walkaround lens.  Live and learn huh????!!!!!!!!