Thursday, May 15, 2008

Digital-only Lenses Part II: Canon EF-S

We continue our digital-only lens multi-part series with the Canon EF-S "digital" lenses! To find out more about this feature, and catch up with the previous posts (Nikon), be sure to check the introduction.

The Stars
Nothing says star than four figure prices, IS, constant aperture and USM! Which is what the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM offers for about $1030. Giving a 35mm equivalent of about 28-80mm, this f2.8 lens puts to rest complaints that Canon is "not serious" about the EF-S format.

If that lens is above the budget range, then Canon offers an alternative for just over $500, the EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM, with more zoom zoom.

With the 1.6X APS-C EF-S hanging like an albatross over fans of digital wide-angle photography, Canon made the right choice when they designed the EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM lens. This is about 16-34mm in the 35mm-equivalent world, but you do pay a wide price of about $700 for the services of this lens.

The closest thing to a normal (I suppose) is the EF-S 60mm f2.8 USM Macro, giving EOS-EF-S users a macro lens and a prime all bundled together in one. The price is relatively reasonable at around $400.

The Affordables
With IS becoming more popular due to sensor-shift stabilization in DSLRs from Sony, Pentax, and Olympus, the CaNikon duopoly had to react, and their answer was affordable IS lenses falling out of the sky. Infact IS lenses became so affordable overnight that both Canon and Nikon managed to make them available as kit lenses :)

Which is where we find the EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS which goes for around $175 on its own, or around $100 if bundled in a standard Digital Rebel kit. Before that, Canon has two non-IS editions, Mark I and Mark II.

And what better way to provide a starter kit for beginners or photographers on a budget than to partner the kit lens with a lens like the EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS, which also discovered magic IS powers overnight :) The price on its own is around $280, but you can get it at a discount if purchased with a DSLR kit or as part of other promotions.

Canon EF-S Lens Reviews
Canon-gear site The Digital Picture has reviews of all Canon EF-S lenses. You can find all the reviews in the above page!

Lens super-review site has reviewed all but one (original kit lens). Search for "EF-S" on their reviews page to quickly locate the seven EF-S lenses reviewed.

SLRGear, IR's recent "IPO", has reviewed all EF-S lenses, except for one of the standard kit lenses. To locate these, search (in the search-box, not the webpage) for "EF-S tested" in their search-box.

dpreview's newly launched Lens review department has reviewed the EF-S 17-85 f4-5.6 IS USM, and the IS kit lens (18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS). Search for EF-S on their review page to quickly locate the aforementioned reviews.

If there any other reviews or sites you want to see featured here, just let us know. If you find this post useful, be sure to bookmark it! Coming next in the series are the Sony-Minolta DT digital-only lenses.

1. Canon EOS Global, Canon USA
2. B&H Photo

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