[ame=http://www.amazon.com/Canon-EF-S-18-200mm-3-5-5-6-Focus/dp/B001QDLRV6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=photo&qid=1258686976&sr=1-2]Amazon.com: Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Auto Focus Lens - Refurbished: Camera & Photo[/ame]
If you are looking in the 17-50 range, I would also take a look at the EF 35 f/2.0. Zooms are very complex and hard to get right, which means you need to make sacrifices when buying them, either in price, quality, or speed. The 17-50 Tamron is a pretty good balance (at a very seductive price), but it looks like it gets a bit soft on the long end. If you can find a place to rent, that will be your best indicator. All in all though, it does appear to be a pretty nice lens for the price.
My personal two cents is that when spending this amount of money, it is best to stick to primes to get image quality that delivers.
Last edited by VF; November 20th, 2009 at 08:32 AM.
Now you guys have me looking at this lens. Maybe I just need to get used to using my feet as a zoom...
[ame=http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Standard-Medium-Telephoto-Cameras/dp/B00009XVCZ/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3RL14NQEGR4Z6&colid =XD5OZOA583SS]Amazon.com: Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo[/ame]
Question about this lens. Would this be a sufficient "everyday" lens? Or is it only good for certain situations?
Well, what do you like to shoot? The 50/1.4 should be an excellent quality lens, but there is a reason different lenses exist. For landscapes, for example, you would want a wide angle lens. For sports, you usually want something in the 200mm + range. For portraits this would likely work well, but I don't know whether this lens has nice-looking out of focus areas (bokeh).
Generally, I prefer the versatility of a zoom for a walk-around lens. Most lenses of a certain minimum quality level will be sharp enough for 95% of what you would use them for, unless you're printing 2'x3' posters or critically examining them at 100% on your screen. At up to 81/2" by 11" print sizes, a good zoom will give you results which most of the time will be indistinguishable from a prime. That's my opinion, anyway, others will disagree.
I tend to take a lot of landscape pictures...and I usually bust it out to take pictures of things "up close." Enjoy seeing the detail of things from close on.
Example...a beer bottle next to a freshly poured beer. Enjoy blurring out the background...but there are times where I want the background. That is when I tend to get confused.
You could do that just fine with the 50mm you currently have. It takes very nice pictures with deeper depth of field. Your only limitations that would come along have to do with the size of the room you're shooting in. SOMETIMES, things might be a little close to do what you want. That's where a different lens would come in handy. I'd suggest wearing out that 50mm for a while to see if you can find a comfort zone in what you can/can't do with it.
The EF 50mm f/1.4 is a nice lens, it is more often than not the one that is mounted at any given point on my camera. The f/1.4 is a bit faster than the f/1.8, a bit sharper, and has a bit better color, but it doesn't completely blow the f/1.8 out of the water. In my opinion, its greatest advantages over the f/1.8 is it has a metal mount, and 8 blade aperture (f/1.8 has a five blade, so the f/1.4's bokeh is a bit smother), and most importantly, it has full time manual focus (you can manual focus without having to flip the switch off of AF, this is something I can not live without).
The downside of the 50 f/1.4 is the AF motor is that it has the micro ultrasonic motor, not the ring ultrasonic which is in all of the nicer lenses. This makes the focus ring a bit stiffer, less of the silky action you get on an L lens, and the micro USM has a higher failure rate then ring USM (manual focus just stops working). The barrel also extends a small touch when focusing (I think the f/1.8 does that as well), and it doesn't come with a lens hood. All that said, I do love that lens. Would I rather have the EF 50mm f/1.2 to get the ring USM (and a slight bit faster), absolutely, but the f/1.4 is a pretty good lens for the money.
Since you already have the f/1.8, is there another focal length that you are interested in, or is the f/1.8 just not cutting it for you?