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Old Sep 1, 2006, 7:00 PM   #1
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the october edition of shutterbug says "generally untill you get into pricier digital slrs with 12 or more megapixel resolution , the advantage of a pro grade lens will not be markedly realized" . with a rebel xt why would i go with an L lens?
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 8:29 PM   #2
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Because that's bogus talk. You can see the difference between good and not-so-good glass on the XT-- and it is VERY noticable. You can even look at Steve's samples on the XT when he used the kit lens and the 70-200 f/4L on the racing track. The ef-s 17-55 f/2.8 IS is sharper than some L 's and it's only for the cropped cameras (and the only cameras that can currently use these are 8-10MP).

Even if they were right, the MP in cameras is always getting larger. Will you always stick with the XT? You'll probably upgrade in the future and it's MP count will exceed 12mp.
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 10:14 PM   #3
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There are so many aspects to a lens that it is very hard to say that having less than 12MP that their "advantage" won't be realized.

Many aspects of them have absolutely nothing to do with the sensor of the camera.

Pro lenses are often f2.8 (not all, but many.) That means that the XT's center AF point will be working in high-precision mode. If you are shooting something where AF speed and precision matters than you'll almost certainly see a difference with the "pro" lens.

Pro lenses often have better multi-coatings and therefor don't suffer from problems like purple fringing around back-lit subjects. That has nothing to do with the sensor.

Most pro lenses have "full time manual override". This means that if you change the focus manually, the AF system stops. This is very handy when you want to stop it from hunting and just get the right focus.

Some times the pro lenses are water proof (at least some of Canon's lenses are.) I know of no non-L lens that is. This is rarely useful, though... there are nice images you can get in the Rain, but rarely with the subjects I shoot.

L-Lenses are normally better made. If you don't shoot lots, in rougher conditions, then this might not be of value to you.

That is just the short list I could come up with off the top of my head.
You shouldn't think of it as "Do I need an L lens?" You should instead think about what you are going to do with the camera and from there figure out which lenses will let you do it. So tell us what types of pictures you want to take and we'll go from there.

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Old Sep 1, 2006, 11:49 PM   #4
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Pretty much all lenses are better (and often much better) in the middle than they are at the edges. When you use a crop camera you use the best part of the image. Cheap lenses aren't as good in the middle as expensive ones, but they are a lot closer there than at the edges. The advantage of an L lens is generally a lot less on a crop camera than on a full frame one.
There are also a lot of new lenses designed for smaller cameras. These benefit from being recent technology - a lot of new, cheap lenses are optically as good as pro gear of 10 years ago - and also from the smaller size allowing the manufacturers to put in high-end features such as fast apertures without blowing out the price too far.
The crop lenses tend to be short focal length ones though. You cna now get a 17-50f2.8 for a crop camera that is optically better than a 17-40f4L and costs a lot less, but quality long lenses are all still full-frame. There is no cheap equivalent of the 'big whites' for example. Sigma have a 50-150f2.8 coming out though so things are changing.
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Old Sep 2, 2006, 12:05 AM   #5
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If you care about your images, buy the best quality lens you can afford. That's all you need to know. Rebel XT or 1Ds, Mark II, a better lens is a better lens, and they do make a difference.
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Old Sep 2, 2006, 6:49 AM   #6
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Don't get me wrong (I have several L's already); however, this is some results I'm getting from a non-Pro lens:
-> The question to ask is does the lens meet my need (and not someone else) :idea:

IMO jacks is also right: lens design has come a long way, especially in the newer zooms designed for 'digital-only' as compared to Pro lenses made decade ago...
The 'digital-only' lenses for cropped camera tend to project their images at a right angle to the camera's film plane as opposed to older full-frame lens which strike the sensor at more acute angle which result in better contrast/sharpness (yes even compare to the L). Just check it out: http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html

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Old Sep 2, 2006, 9:43 AM   #7
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I dont know about L lenses as Ive never had one but I can tell the difference from a standard lens to a mid range usm lens, I can pick the quality straight away. So I gather an L lens would show the same difference.
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Old Sep 3, 2006, 10:05 PM   #8
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Perhaps someone can post three pics of the same subject using the same focal length/Aperature/Shutterspeed using a Cheap, Mid-range, and L lens and point out where to look to see the quality differences (vignetting/purple fringing/softness, etc.)

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Old Sep 8, 2006, 8:12 AM   #9
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What are the key factors in taking great pictures. I would say creativity, imagination, practice, experience, effort, sharing ideas with others, willingness to learn etc would all come above relying on technology whether its lens quality, IS, sensor size etc etc.

I have borrowed L lenses off friends and love them. They feel better, they focus quicker and they will probably last longer. The pictures are almost certainly sharper more often but not always. I have taken 10 times more pictures withmy own50mm 1.8 canon lens and probably my favourite 20 pictures I have ever taken are all done with this lens. Its convenient, I take it everywhere, im relaxed using it (where as with the L lenses I was always worried about damaging them).

You dont get the same buzz buying the cheaper lenses but they might just serve your needs better.
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Old Sep 8, 2006, 10:15 AM   #10
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I think one can see large difference in picture quality using cheaper lens and higher quality stuff even when using 6MP cam. At least that's my experience in case of teles >=300mm.
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