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I'm looking for a decent all-purpose lens to replace the 18-55mm kit lens on my Canon EOS Rebel XTi (400D). I'd like to keep the price as low as possible but something with a half-decent zoom and IS.
Any suggestions?

marked as duplicate by Philip Kendall, mattdm, Michael C canon Apr 29 at 14:51

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    The kit lens is a decent, all-purpose lens. What's wrong with it? A few specific examples would be very helpful. – osullic Apr 29 at 14:37
  • Maybe more useful would be a lens that isn't an "all-purpose" lens? – osullic Apr 29 at 14:38
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    @osulic Not the one that came with the 400D. I remember previews of the 450D praising the new kit lens on it (first one with IS I think...). – xenoid Apr 29 at 14:42
  • What is "half-decent zoom"? Your perception of what might constitute "decent" is likely different from someone else's — let alone "half-decent". – mattdm Apr 29 at 14:47
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    @osullic The EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II (non-IS) was known as a particularly poor kit lens. Canon's QC seemed to be all over the place with that lens. The one I had was horrible. The EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS that replaced it performed much better. The difference seemed to be mostly about quality control rather than design, but everyone reviewing kit lenses and cameras noticed the improvement. – Michael C Apr 29 at 14:47
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Given the kit lens of the 400D, you can either:

  • get a modern version of the 18-55. But it's a bit of a minefield, because Canon reintroduced a non-OS version for the low-end cameras. So make sure you have IS, IS II or IS STM (on a 400D, the STM isn't very useful as a "video" lens but you may enjoy the non-rotating front lens). Since these are kit lenses, many are available on the second-hand market if you want rock-bottom prices.

  • get something a bit more expensive but slightly faster and with more reach, like the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 (either the IS, or the IS contemporary)

  • or something faster with less reach: a 17-50 f/2.8 from various brands (Sigma, Tamron)

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