I am looking for a good indoor low light lens for my Canon 60D. I have been using a 50mm f/1.8 lens but it seems like I am always too close and I can't always back up because I run into furniture or I am up against a wall. I usually take pictures of kids & pets so a fast lens is preffered.
I had my eye on Canon's 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM but it is a little on the spendy side and I'm not sure I need a zoom lens, when I can just take a step forward.
I am also looking at the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM and the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM. Other than the Image stabilation, is there much a difference between these two lenses? Is image stabilation worth the extra $450.00?
I don't see the benefit of IS at 24mm especially in your case. The price different is not only for the IS but also for the lens construct itself. The STM lens is EF-S lens, it can only be used on crop body. The IS one is for full frame, thus the image circle is bigger and it is more expensive. But moving from F1.8 to F2.8, you will lose some light. The only thing you will gain is more room to work with.
"I am also looking at the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM and the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM"
The "image circle" will be the same on your camera. 24mm is 24mm no matter what camera you use it on. But you understand these lenses will be a stop and a half slower than your 50mm? In very low light situations that can be a deal breaker. In your case the EF-S 24mm is your choice of these two.
The EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM has image stabilation (IS) so it will likely get you that stop back (or more). It is a very good choice. If you stay in the Canon line up of lenses, whitch is vast, and you want to remain in this price point, that is about you only choices. But tody's zoom lenses are where it's at. They are nearly in the same league as primes in sharpness so there is really no good reason for most people to consider anything else.
After looking at Canon's selection of wide angle prime lenses, there isn't much to pick from that has f1.8 or less. The EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM is out of my price range ($1649.00) and the EF 35mm f/1.4L USM is not the angle I want and is also out of my price range. However, The EF 28mm f/1.8 USM may be worth considering ($509.99). I would be giving up the versatility of a zoom lens, but gaining an advantage of going to f1.8 is a huge plus.
From what I have read the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM is a very sharp lens. I have also been looking at going off brand and getting a Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM. It seems to be the best of both worlds. It has a wide angle and low f-stop. However, it has been rumored to have serious auto-focusing problems, so that may be a deal breaker. I would like to know if anyone has any experience with this lens.
The big problem with off-brand lenses is auto focus issues. Because most of them know how to make a lens, so their glass is usually pretty good. Not always but usually. Some of them are pure junk from the get go and they remain there. You really need to try the "exact" lens on your camera to see if it works properly.
Now the problem, Canon does not, understandable, release or make known how it makes auto focus work. All off-brand lens makers have to reverse engineer a real Canon lens and camera to try and figure out how it's done.
And now problem number two, their manufacturing is sloppy. If you get a good one, OK. But if you get a bad one, you have real problems. This has improved lately especially with Sigma and CS at SIgma has improved, too. Tamron is getting better. And Tokina is really bad.
There are a handful of these off-brand lenses that are very good now. As good as it gets good, especially from Sigma.
Best advice, is try before you buy.
I usually take pictures of kids & pets so a fast lens is preffered.
Is image stabilation worth the extra $450.00?
Image stabilization isn't going to do a thing for you on the wide end. Even at telephoto, for kids and pets, it's going to do little. IS prevents camera shake, when using slow shutter speeds and hand held cameras. But if your shutter speed is so slow that you need IS, then you're way too slow for most kids and pets. Unless you just like to take photos of them sleeping.
2.8 is usually reasonable indoors. You'll have to crank up the ISO a bit, but you should be able to get away with it. I'm kinda surprised that you're finding 50mm too tight, even on a crop sensor. Usually a bit of extra reach is helpful for getting pictures of kids and pets that are always on the move. What kind of photos are we talking about, kids at play, or posed pics?
50mm is good at capturing faces, but I am photographing multiple toddlers. I have to get at least 10' away to get their whole body in the shot. I have to get even further away if I want to get two or more kids to fit in the frame. That’s not easily done if I am in a small or even a regular size house.
IS is also not even worth considering as a feature since I have to use fast shutter speeds to keep up with the Kids movement. I am leaning towards a lens that goes to f1.8 since I have to use fast shutter speeds. It’s a toss up between the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 lens and the Canon EF 28mm f/1.8
That's fine, just keep in mind the smaller DoF with large aperatures. Even at short focal lengths you're going to have a tough time getting everyone in focus in the same shot. Also, I don't know much about that Sigma (though I do own several Sigma lenses and like them a lot), but usually lenses aren't their sharpest when opened all the way up. Expect to be shooting at 2 or more likely 2.2 - 2.5.
I would go with a zoom over a prime at that FL. I love primes, I use them often, even on my toddlers in fact. But I prefer close up shots to full body. At wide angle you're going to be either running all over the place trying to get a good composition, or you're going to take a super wide angle shot where the kids get lost in all the other background that is in the frame.
Don't forget the option of flash. When I shoot my toddlers I put a single flash on a manual RF trigger and blast it straight up into the ceiling. It just acts as a big ceiling light, and allows me to get my ISO down and aperture up. It don't fuss with it, I don't aim for portrait style lighting. I just toss a bunch of extra light into the room to work with, and let it bounce all over the place.