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What lens should I buy?

venesa00
Apprentice

Hello all

I'm new to the form and new to DSLR photography; I just bought a Canon 250D earlier this month that came with the Canon 18-55mm f4-5.6 IS STM kit lens.

I've also bought the Canon 50mm f1.8 prime lens and the 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM lenses.

I'm going on my first holiday abroad in years in a couple of weeks so I'm considering buying a travel lens. I'm considering replacing my kit lens with the 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM, but I'm also wondering whether I'd be better to keep the kit lens and get the cheaper 55-250mm lens for the extra versatility (albeit, it's more to carry and less convenient due to swapping lenses).

Since I'm new to this I'm hoping someone will be able to offer some insight at all please? What would people recommend?

A consideration is that I plan to get the 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM lens in the distant future, so I'd be replacing my kit lens eventually one way or the other. Another consideration is that if I got the 18-135mm and found that it didn't have the range that I wanted, I'd probably get the 55-250mm or a 70-200/300 lens of some variant in the distant future too, but I want something for now for my impending holiday.

Many thanks in advance

7 REPLIES 7

rs-eos
Elite

Tough call.  I think I would lean towards the 18-135mm for the sake of convenience while travelling.

If the type of trip you're on would be more condusive to allow for swapping lenses throughout the day, then a lens with a longer reach would be more beneficial to pick up.  Especially since that would be a better long term purchase.

Do check out these forums for thoughts around the 55-250mm and various 70-300 offerings as you may not be better very good quality.   I have not owned any of these; only the 18-135mm when I had my first DSLR.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

Hi Vanesa and welcome to the forum:
I have experience with most of the lenses you are considering and much depends upon what you expect to encounter when you travel.  There is no one lens to cover all situations.  For example, if you are going to shoot the interior of cathedrals, the 10-22 would be useful, while on the other hand if you are going to engage with wildlife then a range of at least 70-300 would be wise.

If you want one lens that is a good walk-around unit then I would definitely recommend the 18-135 USM or STM unit - they are very similar optically and the STM is much cheaper.  If you need a longer FL, then I would go for the 70-300 IS USM f/4.5-5.6 MkII lens (see 70-300 Canon Lenses In-Depth Analysis - Canon Community) - its a great unit.  Avoid the 75-300 series lenses, they are pretty awful.

If you are not going to use a lens in the future, then consider renting - that might be a solution for the 70-300 lens, for example, if you don't shoot at the longer end under normal circumstances.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Hello and Welcome venesa00, 

One of the biggest mistakes I made when I re-entered into DSLR photography was buying too many lenses.  I wanted a lens for this and a lens for that and oh I need this lens because its faster for low light.  I had a lot of nice lenses and a few great lenses, but ultimately too many lenses.  This also resulted in too much overlap, primarily in focal lengths, but then in aperture also. 

From your list, I have owned the following lenses:

EF-S 10-18 (little brother) of 10-22.

This is a marvelous UWA Zoom.  Great for landscapes and cathedrals as Trevor said.  It can be a little challenged indoors with low light.  Its a favorite for video too

EF-S 18-135

This lens spent a great deal of time on my T6s.  Its a great walk around travel lens.  It does well in various shooting scenarios.  Its versatile.  It can do wide angle, portraits, and  video interviews 

EF-S 55-250

This is a good lens when a little more reach is needed.  Its a tad less sharp in the corners and you lose 1 stop compared to the 18-135mm

EF 70-200 f2.8L II

Comes in a f4 too at substantially less cost. Today its available in mkIII.  One of the best selling, sharpest lenses Canon ever made.  Its reputation and performance is stellar.  Taking this lens on vacation is a commitment.  Its large and heavy.  The reward is it's IQ.

EF 70-300 USM II

This is a non L lens.  Surprisingly sharp and  light weight.  At one time it was a favorite travel lens of mine.  It has good reach and can be used in the backyard for wild birds, but it has limits.  Above f5.6 it really gets sharp. I also adapted this lens to my R5 C and was very impressed with it on a mirrorless body.

What I recommend you consider.  The focal length of a lens does not change, but the field of view when you mount an EF lens on an APS-C body does change the perspective.

Trevor and Ricky's recommendations are spot on.  When you travel, you need to try and keep it light.  Some of it will be running around seeing the sights.  You need a reliable workhorse lens that will give you as much coverage as possible so your aren't bogged down fighting crowds and having to move in a out to get a clear shot of your subject. Let the lens do the work for you. Other days you might have more flexibility and can carry another lens or two with you. We all want to bring our entire lens ensemble. Sometimes we have to make tough choices. Please plan to bring several memory cards and spare batteries for your trip. An air puffer is a good idea also. The 18-135 will do a fantastic job. I'd probably bring the 50 for low light and a 70-200 or 300 for reach. If budget allows.

Since you are looking at the 17-55 f2.8, I would dump the 18-55 the moment you get the 18-135. I would skip the 55-250, and go immediately for a 70-200 or 300 focal length.

This will give you coverage in FL from 10-200/300 with a field of view equivalent of 320mm or 480mm. The 50mm will provide a FOV equivalent of 80mm. The 70-200 or 300 will be equivalent FOV to 112mm-320 or 480mm. You will not have gaps which is important, and can do so with a fewer number of lenses.

shadowsports_0-1679406145297.png

I'd like to hear your thoughts after you've read this.

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

This is easy and uncomplicated. Sell the the Canon 18-55mm f4-5.6 IS STM kit lens. and buy the 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM. Especially since you said the 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM lens was in the future.

Whoever above said that buying a bunch of lenses right off is a mistake, is correct. Stop buying until you know what you need or want. Go get the Canon 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM lens and learn. Ask yourself what is my gear not doing for me. That will tell you what lens is next.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Ernie.  That was me 🤣

Hope you are well sir.  

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

Yes all good here, so far, and I hope all is well at the Rick homestead.

Your advice is spot on. I used to see it all the time when I did the DSLR 101 classes for Park and Rec.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

Rick,

While on the subject of DSLR 101 by far the most packages or kits was the worthless "kits" from Amazon and other sources. Most of the folks attending the classes were "soccer moms" Obligatory soccer vans and all. But some were gung-ho about photography and thought they needed every lens or gadget on the market. All without knowing what it  did or what they wanted or needed. Those package "kits" are total junk. They usually included a real deal Canon Rebel maybe Canon USA and maybe not. Usually a real deal Canon kit lens but all the other "lens" were usually not. Mostly screw on adapters. The problem there is when they screwed the rather heavy tele or WA adapter to the front of the kit lens, they damaged it. The kit lens is not the most robust lens made and continued over tightening and  removing was a prescription for disaster.

The rest of the package was useless filters and a flimsy tripod, lens cleaners, cheaply made cases, etc.and other useless junk. Anyone reading this never, I mean never, buy one of these seemingly fantastic packages.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!
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