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Canon 18-200mm zoom lense

Rising Star

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?



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!

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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!

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182 REPLIES 182

BTW....I hear alot about EF-S lens being comaprable to some distance or another in 35mm and different from the focal range of FF..  What Is the focal range difference of the Canon EF 28-135mm lens from my 18-200mm lens.  I know the zoom range is not as far out as mine, but how does it look at the closest distance through the lens???   Any less wide???  How long is the zoom range in comparison???    Hope my question is clear.

" What Is the focal range difference of the Canon EF 28-135mm lens from my 18-200mm lens."


Remember way back I told you about the diagonal of your sensor?  You need to remember that number.  Some numbers you need to commit to memory.  In photography the better you remember what worked and how, plus a few numbers and all will be better for you.

I will assume you don't remember so here it is again. You crop sensor diagional is 27.3mm so a 28mm to 35mm approx. lens will look normal or about what the human eye sees.  The FF sensor is 43.3mm which makes a 50mm, again approx. look normal.


What does this mean?  It means on your T3i a lens that is less than 28mm to 35mm is going to appear as WA.  Anything above 28mm to 35mm is going to appear telephoto.  Of course the farther away from the 28mm to 35mm figure the more extreme it will become.


But there is more, we must convert the apparent focal length change.  That figure is 1.6 times.  So we now have a 28-135mm lens in hand.  How will it appear as compared to using it on a FF camera?  28x1.6=44.8mm  135x1.6=216  Now we have our answer, it will look like a 44-216mm zoom would on a FF.  But this is really nonsense as you have the info you need with the diagonal measurement. Right?  We established 28mm to 35mm is in the normal range and 135mm is solidly in the tele range. A 28-135mm will appear like normal to a slight tele on your T3i.  There will be no WA aspects at all.


Now your 18-200 is very different, isn't it?  We know that anything below 28mm to 35mm is WA.  18mm is going to be pretty wide at least 10mm under what is considfered normal eye AOA.  If we wnat it converted to what it would appear like on FF, I don't know why you would, but if you did.  18x1.6=28.8mm and 200mmx1.6=320mm  A 28-320mm.   That is how it compares.


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

I'm following you biggs.  I just hope I can remember this, that's my problem sometimes, as you have seen.  I know this now, but things like this is hard to retain.  I may not remember this so well the next time it comes up.  Technical stuff like this, takes time for me to committ it to memory.  But I will try.  I think I should save important info you tell me in a folder on my Pc, so I can go back and refresh it all as needed.  For me I need repartiton....need to hear, or see things, over and over before it becomes permanate in my memory.  But it will in time, and it'll seem like 2nd nature when it does.


  I was just wondering if I would notice any difference with the EF-28-135mm USM, than I would see if I was using the EF-S 18-135mm USM.   I know what that would look like.  Same as my EF-S 18-200mm only shorter zoom range.   The wideness at 18mm would be the same.  I wanted to understand clearly before I order it from B&H.   From what you're saying if I understand you correctly, the EF 28-135mm would not be as wide at the 28mm the 18-135mm is at the 18mm range.  Seems the farthest zoom range would be longer than with the 18-135 at the far zoom range.  Am I correct???  I know when using my EF-S 55-250 the short range (55mm) is narrower and things are not near as close as 18mm would be.  I have to really, really, move closer for close up shots, and the witth angle is much narrower.   Just trying to get a mental picture of how things will look with the EF 28-135 since I've never used 28mm before.   All my lens other than my 2 standard zooms start at 18mm.  I'm trying to understand how it looks through different lens with different focal lengths....24-70, 24-105, 17-135, 10-18, 40mm prime, etc. 

"I was just wondering if I would notice any difference with the EF-28-135mm USM,..."


This is easy.  Zoom your 18-200mm to the 28mm spot (just past the 24 as I don't think you have a 28) and than at the135mm spot (you do have a 135).  Take a look!

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

You're right, that was/is easy.  I should have thought of that myself.  I did know and will remember 1.6 mulltiple factor for crop lenses. That's not my problem.  The numbers I understand fine.  Harder to know what the real life situation is.  It's one thing to say 28mm x 1.6= 44.8. But I'm still vague about how that looks...looking through the lens.  How close up in comparison to my 18mm will that look to me, that's What I need to know.   Seems that it would not look as wide angle at that mm as it looks through my 18mm I use now.  Not just with this lens, but all lens.  I'm trying to figure how any other lens would look...looking through any lens, incomparison to the 18mm lens I have now.  I know it's simple for you, and guys who understand it all, but It's still so new to me.  On paper, I can figure any lens by the 1.6 factor, but still don't understand a example would EF-S 15-85mm  look like, looking through the lens.  I know 15 x 1.6= 24. and  85x1.6= 136  so that becomes 24mm -136mm.  But to me it's all just new numbers.  Also I find it difficult to understand how can 40mm, 50mm and 80mm all be right for the same shot, a head shot for instance.  Kind of like your 600mm Zoom example.  Till you explained it, I did'nt know you guys could or did use it for close shots also, like your bird shots.  Sorry Biggs, not your fault, you're explaining fine.  It's me.  I suppose email is not the best process to teach these things, but I will get there.  Alot of photography tecnical stuff has not sunk in just yet. 

"I'm still vague about how that looks...looking through the lens."


With a lens of 18-200mm range you don't have to guess, just set your lens to whatever focal length and look.  MM for MM will look the same.  That can not change.  And the 1.6x crop factor is solely for comparrison to a FF camera.  It has no meaning otherwise and right now, you can forget it. 


Of course you can't see 15mm, with your lens but you know it will be wider than 18mm.  Because it is a smaller number and you know a 28 to 35mm is normal.  Right?


I am leaving for a photoshoot in Chicago at 9 AM, so I may not be able to check back in until Monday.  I will have my laptop and wi-fi at the hotel but time will be short.

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

Heyyyy that's my town, I love Chicago.  I use to go there often 3 or 4 times a year.  Hope you have a safe trip and have a wonderful time with your shooting.  Don't sweat trying to mail me if you don't have time, we'll continue when you get back.  I'll just read other posts for now.  If I need any help I'll post a question.  I do hope you have a joyous and safe journey. 


BTW....I read alot of reviews on the Canon 28-135 mm lens.  !/2 good, 1/2 bad.  Reviews are so mixed one wonders how can so many folks see the same lens so different.  One says a great lens, good value, other say one of the worst in it's class.  Some say well built, some say cheaply made. Some say bad in low light, others say good in low light.   Many talk of lens creep, and say they fix that with a rubber band.  You have to tell me how that works.   But many reviews were like that about the Canon 18-135 mm lens and my 18-200 mm. walk around.  I understand the knock of my lens and it's a fair assessment.  It's not a great build, not great glass, but it is not to me a bad lens for the purpose I bought it for.   Heck I know they make much better lens, for much more money.  I knew that when I bought it.  So I won't let those reviews sway my opinion of the lens.


I asked B&H how much they would buy my lens for (18-200mm), they said $190.00.  Man, no way, it's practically new.  I still have the box and all the papers it came with.  It's still under warranty.  I could sell it myself online for at least $300.00-400.00.  I believe they would sell it for more.. 


Take care Biggs, be safe and enjoy.

biggs, leaving this for when you get back.   Went to the park today by the water and took some shots with my 18-200 mm walkabout.  I made a few adjustments in P mode and now I like my pics alot better.  I changed the Iso from 1600 to 200, moved exposure compensation to darker 1 notch from 0, set picture style to landscape from normal.  I changed white balance to cloudy from auto, though it was partly sunny.  My pic no longer look overexposed.  And there's more color saturation.  Trying to figure out how to get sharper pics.   Before all my pics had a washed out look using auto mode.  So guess there is nothing wrong with my camera afterall.  It's just the default auto settings at fault.  All my pics shot in auto mode have had a washed out look.  Why would Canon set auto default settings so lousey???  But I do think the settings I used is kind of odd to get my camera just to take pics that look normal?  This T3i is the 1st Canon camera that did'nt take satisfactory pics in auto mode.  My Canon SX60 HS takes nice pics in auto mode as have every other Canon camera I've ever had.  I will try out the 28-135 mm tues when it comes and compare those pics with this 18-200 and see if I detect any difference in the lens.


One thing Biggs, I need to learn what the different lens are best for, what kind of shots, what kind of photography.  I've read my 50mm f1.8 is good for closeups, face and upper body shots.  I need to know what lens I need for what kind of shot before I decide what new lens to get.  I think I would need about 4 or 5  good lens as a minimum.  Am I correct???  And I need to learn what best aperature to get for each lens.  I know the lower the number the higher the cost.  I also know aperature has to do with how much light one needs for a good pic.  Lower numbers do better in low light. 


I'm also thinking more toward FF body, can blame you for that.  But want to wait till a good one is discontinued, so I can get a good price, or a refurb.  What's your thoughts on that???     I was looking at the 6D FF body, it's been out for some time now I think.  It should be discontinued soon.  Would a 6d be a good buy, being so old??  What would I lose in the new bodies that would replace it???   I think between the 6D and 70D (crop sensor) are the 2 bodies I'm considering.  I also was considering keeping my T3i and just adding a FF instead of getting rid of it, not sure yet, which way to go.   That way I probably would'nt have to change lens so much if I had 2 bodies, or least not as much, when doing serious shots.  My original thought was to upgrade my rebel before going to FF.   But that would be a waste of money when I could keep my T3i and just add a FF body, or add another crop (70D).   All the lens I'm buying from here will fit both bodies I will have.. 


Oh, and wanted to get your take on the mirrorless cameras.  Do you think they will replace our dslr's??   In your opinion do you think the future is in mirrorless???


I know questions, always questions LOL

In the hotel, Aloft, and it is 10 PM.  Long day lots of shots.

"... but it is not to me a bad lens for the purpose I bought it for."


This is the only "review" that counts.


Off to the Smyphony Center at 7:30 AM tomorrow.

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

hey biggs.  enjoy your working vacation.  must be nice.