Currently I have Canon 500D with following lenses.

  1. Canon 18-55 IS.
  2. Canon 55-250 IS.
  3. Canon 50 1.8.
  4. Tokina 100 2.8 Macro.

These days I'm thinking of adding another lens to my armory. And my choices are as follows.

  1. Canon 15-85 IS. ( for its range )
  2. Canon 10-22. ( for its UWA capabilities )
  3. Tamron 17-50. ( for its fastness )

Even after reading large number of forum entries and reviews, I still can't make up my mind on one lens. Basically I have trouble with 18-55 and I am pretty satisfied with other 3 lenses. My problems with it includes not sharp enough, not fast enough and not wide enough at times. But when I analysed pictures I have taken using exposureplot, I got to know that I am shooting in either wide end or tele end most of the time. Therefore 15-85 seems logical choice as it extends range in both ends. But strictly speaking in lens speed terms it wouldn't give me a much of speed performance over current setup.

Other option I'm thinking about is go for a 10-22 and extend my range in wide range and use 10-22+55-250 setup. But it will involve constant lens swapping.

Final option is to go for Tamron 17-50 non VC and possibly drop 18-55 and 50 1.8 from current setup. It's the cheapest option, will provide sharp pics, but current range restriction will be there.

I will really appreciate if you guys can provide me with some advice as it will make my decision process an easy one.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi, and welcome to Stack Exchange. "What lens should I buy next?" is very personal and also very subjective. There's no way to really provide a direct answer, just a discussion — and this isn't a discussion forum. Instead of this, I suggest asking a number of more pointed questions about specific issues which will help narrow down your choices. See this blog post about shopping questions on Stack Exchange. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    May 17, 2012 at 10:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm sorry for my mistake. It won't happen in the future. \$\endgroup\$
    – tharumax
    May 17, 2012 at 10:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ You may also find the photography chat room here very valuable for this kind of discussion. (The chat is archived and persistent, so even if no one is around when you start, someone may show up later and pick up the thread.) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    May 17, 2012 at 11:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Tamron (or Sigman equiv) would help with the "not sharp enough" and "not fast enough" items on your todo list. For "not wide enough", as you say, the 10-22 or maybe 15-85 would work, but only you could say for sure. Speaking solely for myself, fast & sharp were my complaints. I considered getting something in the 35mm f/2 range, and I suppose I may still some day, but after a couple of years, I splurged and got the EF-S 17-55. That's been my answer to this particular dilemma. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael H.
    May 17, 2012 at 21:06

3 Answers 3


It seems to me, you’re at the point where really it’s more about what works for you, so it’s going to be hard for anybody to give a definitive answer. As you’ve said, each decision has different tradeoffs and really it’s about which one’s you want to make.

Taking your current setup, you already have a Cannon 50-1.8 which is towards the upper end of your zoom for the 18-55 (where you’ve said you take a lot of your shots) and it can let in significantly more light than your kit lens. So using this lens more would seem to tick your ‘not fast enough’ requirement, it may also match your ‘not sharp enough’, as you’ve not mentioned that you’re unhappy with this lens. So, my question is why don’t you use this lens more? I’d guess it’s because you don’t like having to change lenses often and you feel restricted by it. If this is the case, then I suspect going for the Canon 10-22 would result in you keeping the kit lens (for flexibility) and rarely using the wide lens unless you had a particular series of shots in mind.

I like the Canon 15-85, it’s a reliable lens with great flexibility, however as you’ve said, it’s basically the same f-range as your kit lens. How much of a limiting factor is that in your photography. If it’s the driving force for you buying a new lens, then I’d suggest trying the Tamron. But really it’s about which lens is actually going to make the most difference to you (be it because it gets the most use because it’s a great walk-about lens, or because it makes you excited because you can get that wide shot you’ve been looking for).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually I use my nifty-fifty a lot. It gives me lot of sharpness and light capabilities, as you mentioned above. True that at times I feel restricted, but changing lens hasn't been a never a problem for me. Only problem with changing lenses is I miss lot of shots. I agree with your opinion on 15-85 as even though it is in the slow side its flexible lens and sharp lens according to the most of reviews. \$\endgroup\$
    – tharumax
    May 17, 2012 at 10:31

If you dislike the 18-55 kit lens, but happy with the focal length range it gives you then I can offer no better replacement for it than the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM. L quality optics, but an EF-S crop only lens. Fast f/2.8 through the whole zoom range and also with image stabilizer built in. It's a stonking good lens...

Other than that - you do not really give any clue as to what type of photography you wish to do...

The EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM has a really good reputation, similar to the aforementioned 17-55, and if wide angle is what you're after, then this would be a nice purchase.

At the other end of the scale, I own and recommend the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM. It can be picked up second hand for a good price (I paid about £800 for mine). It overlaps your 55-250 somewhat but goes longer and will be of much higher quality than the 55-250.

As you mention wide angle then 10-22 may be more suited to your lineup but you also wouldn't go far wrong with a decent wide angle prime. The EF 24mm f/1.4 L II USM is a fantastic lens, though very pricey, but you can get others in that range that are cheaper. Canon also do a really nice EF 14mm f/2.8 L II USM which really would give you some amazing wide-angle shots.

Remember primes will give you much better image quality than a zoom lens.... Good luck in your choices! :)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the feedback. I am fairly contended with the my existing telephoto options as I normally don't do wildlife and bird photographing. I know EF-S 17-55 IS very good lens, but it is out of my budget range, so are other lenses you have mentioned. \$\endgroup\$
    – tharumax
    May 17, 2012 at 10:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ No worries - but you might want to have mentioned your maximum budget in your original question ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Mike
    May 18, 2012 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah that was one of mistake I did when I asked this question. \$\endgroup\$
    – tharumax
    May 18, 2012 at 17:35

I am an owner of the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens and I'm very happy with it - very solid build and good photo quality. For me the only drawback of it is that it's an EF-S so you can't use it on a full frame body. If that's not an issue for you, then I stronly recommend it - it's worth its price.


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