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I'm thinking about options to replace my Sigma 18-200mm. I have a Canon T1i and a Canon 50mm f1.8. With the Sigma I wanted an "all round" solution, but as it turns out the lens is neither fast nor sharp.

I plan on getting a wide lens (possibly a Canon 10-22mm) somewhere in the future, but until then I'd still like a lens to get me covered for landscape/architecture photos. Tele end is not that important, I'm aware of the fact that I can't get an all-in-one solution that would be great. Basically, I'd like something that has at least a bit of a wide end, but to go beyond the 50mm I have in the prime.

edit: thanks for your comments everyone, it seems that whatever replacement is suggested it's at least triple the price of my current lens. However, your comments have helped, I'll mark the most voted one as the "correct" answer.

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So, something like 18-70mm? –  mattdm Aug 17 '11 at 14:02
    
@mattdm I guess that's ok, yes. –  eagerMoose Aug 17 '11 at 14:17
    
Canon 17-55mm is the best bet. The Canon 24-70mm is also an option, but will leave you with a gap on the wide side till you get the 10-22mm on APS-C sensors. –  dpollitt Aug 17 '11 at 16:33
    
I have the same camera as you, and the 50/f1.8, 18-55, and 55-250. Some day I will replace the kit lens, probably with the Tamron version. A friend of mine has the Canon 17-55 and says it's fantastic, but the Tamron is 2/3rds the cost. –  khedron Aug 19 '11 at 20:56

5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

First of all It all depends on what kind of photography you are doing the most.

Personally I can recommend you Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS USM:

pluses:

  • Fast focus
  • Good light (fast lens)
  • Sharp
  • Very good standard range
  • Goes nicely together with 10-22 you are planning

minuses:

  • Big & might be heavy (~0,5kg)

It is not cheap either, but I wouldn't put it as a minus - craftsmanship must cost its money and IMHO it is worth it.

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Well said!!!!!! –  Itai Aug 17 '11 at 13:55
    
Sigma has a well reviewed equivalent; Sigma AF 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM OS. It's a lot cheaper and suppose to be a lot better than the Tamron. Review Here –  Jakub Aug 17 '11 at 14:40

An 18-200 is bound to be somewhat mediocre. (Yes, Nikon, I'm looking at you too!) To get good quality split it into something 17-50ish and something 70-200ish. These can be good, extremely good even. The minor gap between 50ish and 70ish is nothing to worry about.

To start with, I'd look at the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for very good glass at minimum cost, or the Canon 17-55 IS if money is no object. And then the 70-200 f/4L for the long end, which is quite reasonably priced for the stellar lens that it is. I'd buy one used in fact, to save some money.

It's hard to get much longer than 50ish mm if you need the wide angle, unfortunately. There are some 17-80mm class lenses out there but none that are more than decent as far as I know. A good 3x zoom is easy to make, a 4x is not.

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(unless you look at a full-frame normal zoom like the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L or Tamron 28-75 or something like that. But they do not give you what I'd call a wide-angle view at the short end of the zoom range.) –  Staale S Aug 17 '11 at 13:52

A zoom lens that's a bit trans-standard, decent enough and not to costly...

Perhaps the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 would do, from what I've read it's one of the best lenses Tamron has to offer. It sure is no L lens, but in that focal range seems to offer the best price/quality ratio. Would also complement your future ultra wide-angle (you could also consider the tokina 11-16mm F2.8 for that part) without overlapping...

Unless of course you do have the money, then nothing beats a good Canon 24-70mm F2.8 L (or even the 24-105mm F4 if the aperture doesn't matter that much).

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I would recommend the Canon 24-105 L IS USM.

The quality is top notch and the range confortable to work with.

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It really depends on what you're going to be shooting, the top 3 I'd recommend around the midrange area would be 17-55 2.8 (or if you don't mind a drop in sharpness and quality there's the Sigma and Tamron offerings at the sameish range), the 24-70 2.8 or the 24-105 4.

Just depends on where you need to go to in terms of range, plus if you're shooting static stuff you can probably get away with an f4 plus a good tripod.

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