Ken Rockwell (You do read Ken Rockwell’s daily blog don’t you?) has a new review out on the Canon 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS lens where he states he prefers the $410 (US) beauty over the fabulously more expensive (over $1,000 in anybody’s currency) 24-105 f/4 L. Note the “L” classification which is Canon-speak for luxury which equals expensive.
So if you’re a Canon full-frame shooter, which lens should you buy: the $400 lens or the $1,000 lens?
If you’re Rockwell, the answer is simple: Buy the less expensive lens. Why? Because it is cheaper but it is ALSO lighter and easier to handle. In fact, he calls it his favourite Canon midrange zoom.
When it comes to buying lenses, the trick is to ask yourself just when and where are you going to use this particular lens. For example, when it comes to my Nikon system, it makes no sense to me to haul around the very heavy and large 17-55 f/2.8 zoom when I’m walking around on vacation and shooting mainly snaps during the daytime. My 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 zoom is so much lighter for this job. The 17-55 has its time and place to shine (low light, indoors, weddings, parties, street festivals in the evening) when the 18-200 covers the waterfront when it comes to range from sun-up to sun-down.
So am I comparing the image quality between the $1200 17-55mm to the $800 18-200mm? Of course not, but the best camera and lens combination is the one you’re carrying around with you. And trust me, the 17-55, just like my 105mm f/2.8 macro get to be a large pain in the neck after a few hours of carrying them around.
By far, my favourite combination right now is my wife’s D-90 with a 35mm f/1.8 mounted on it. Light as a feather, sharp as tack and fast as a speeding bullet, the 35mm gives my DX sized D-300 a close to normal or natural viewpoint. To zoom in, you walk forward two steps. To zoom out repeat the previous instructions twice in reverse. 🙂