I would like to buy a 3rd party lens for my Canon 600D, I am looking more for shooting at events like parties. I'm looking for something cheap with a large zoom range.

  • 2
    Welcome to photo.SE! Can you please define your price range?
    – ysap
    Sep 26 '11 at 7:33
  • 2
    "What is the best 3rd party lens?" This question is too much subjective and will vary from person to person. However, if you want a cheaper solution to your optical needs, and therefore looking for a 3rd party lens for your specific works, we can suggest some. Sep 26 '11 at 9:19
  • @jrista: I believe the question title was edited by Imre and my comment was before that! Previously the question was "What is the best 3rd party lens for 600D" which was very subjective in my opinion. Sep 29 '11 at 4:07
  • @ShutterBug: Sorry, didn't check edits before I commented.
    – jrista
    Sep 30 '11 at 1:45

Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC/Non-VC comes in mind. Both are cheap and have okay image quality. f/2.8 allows you to shoot indoor while keeping your ISO to a reasonable range. This is a good lens. The Non-VC (VC = Vibration Compensation, similar to IS) version has slightly better sharpness and contrast comparing to the VC version, but Tamrons VC is a good thing to have, I've found it better than IS in consumer grade canon lenses.

Here's a link for the review of the VC version and the Non-VC version. Don't forget to check and compare the ISO crop charts.

  • I've heard good things about this lens. Here is an interesting comparison. I am personally considering either the Tamron or the equivalent Sigma. For parties and similar events though, the sigma is said to have a better IS. (also a higher price though). Do you have the Tamron? Is it really as noisy as "they" say? Sep 27 '11 at 0:14
  • Comparing to Canon USM, yes its noisy. Its noise is somewhat similar to the Canon 50mm f/1.8. In a busy event, it wont give you out, but in a seminar or quiet environment, this might draw some attention. Sep 27 '11 at 4:26
  • Also I dont own this lens and therefore do not have any first hand experience. Cant comment on the focus-accuracy issues mention in the link you provided. But, yes Tamron lenses are said to have focus issues, this is not a surprise. But also, its acceptable for the price if you're not shooting professional. Sep 27 '11 at 4:34
  • I have shared my experience with the non-VC version of the Tamron on a similar question here
    – Abhimanyu
    Dec 8 '11 at 19:10

Cheap isn't good and good isn't cheap.

Good can be reasonably priced though, for events basically you never want your lowest aperture to be above f4 if you can avoid it, otherwise you'll be looking to use flash, which if you're trying to remain stealthy and go for candids will draw the attention to you.

I'd recommend looking at something like the Sigma 50-150 2.8, you can pick one up for around about £399 second hand in excellent condition. Not hugely cheap, but not hugely expensive and at 2.8 you're going to get pretty good results in not great lighting conditions, the zoom range is fairly flexible but you might want to consider having something wider for grabbing group shots as well. If you're going to be needing a wider lens then I'd say have a look at the Sigma 24-70 2.8 which you can get for around £450 second hand excellent condition.


Generally speaking, for events like parties you'd want a lens with a large aperture to enable you better shooting in low light. Unfortunately, these are usually not cheap.The ultimate solution may be Canon's 24-70 F2.8L lens - but it is awfully expensive. However, you have some alternatives:

  1. Use an external flash. Some 3rd party flashes are ETTL compatible and can be fully utilized with your 600D.

  2. Use a fast prime. The EF 50mm F1.8 cost around $100. It is a fast and nice lens, but it is of fixed focal length.

I am not familiar with 3rd party lenses so I have no special recommendation here.

  • And the reason for the downvote (I guess it is the same voter as in @ShutterBug answer)? I hate it when people downvote w/o an explanation. What value does it have to the community? How can we all learn?
    – ysap
    Sep 26 '11 at 14:30
  • I think the downvote was because your answer did not have any info regarding 3rd party lenses which the question is all about. Sep 27 '11 at 4:36
  • @ShutterBug - I assumed that, but then it does not explain why he downvoted your answer as well.
    – ysap
    Sep 27 '11 at 10:53
  • may be he works in Canon or Sigma and cant stand Tamron :P Sep 27 '11 at 11:45

One option is using prime lens: For example Canon 50/1.8 (not a third-party lens, but definitely inexpensive) sells for less than 100€, and in indoor conditions the f/1.8 aperture really helps you. Of course then you're fixed to one range, but even f/2.8 zooms cost 4-25 times more, and f/1.8 lets 2.4 times more light in than f/2.8, so it has some advantages.

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