I am going to buy my first digital slr and I need to know what is the best all around lens I should buy. I do most of my photograpy traveling overseas. I want to get something under $500. So I appreciate your input.
Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX and Canon EF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 IS are good all around lenses but nikon is a bit better than the canon and both are about $700
The canon 17-85mm IS USM - about $500 but Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR DX the new lens kit from canon 18-55 IS are not bad at around $200. and with I mage stabilization both lens can be use with 2 to 3 f-stops down. and when used with tripod you can set it at optimum settings get very good quality pictures that can be close to the pro lenses costing over $1000.
With so many lenses to chose and compare, it's best to find out what camera you are interested at then chose the lens.
there is no such thing of one lense fits all. nikon and canon has been doing there thing for a long time, nikon does glass and has been doing it better than anyone else, at your price range canon or nikon would do you very well. camera feel is important so you should test both cameras, i have small hands and canon works with me, if you have big hands than it might not be comfortable. i still feel nikon has the best glass for the money but if money is no object canon glass is exceptional as long if you don't buy cheap.
most people are looking for practical everyday information. a person should look for something that will give the best quality but should stay within a practical price range.zeiss and lieca are the best out there if you are a professional, but the rest of us don't make money off our photos.