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Old Aug 31, 2005, 11:59 AM   #1
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I am just moving to DSRL from Nikon 5700. I do amateur photos. I take pictures of birthdays, Christmas, and other family events inside (usually with a flash). I also do photos inside churches and other old structures where often use of a flash is prohibited (but the subject does not move). I take scenery pictures, flowers, mountains, and people playing softball, soccer, etc. outside. A lot of my hiking is in Arizona so using a Saguaro cactus to lean against to steady the camera isn't a good idea. Thus I have been looking for a system with Image Stabilization.

I have been considering the Canon 20D and Minolta 7D, but have come to the conclusion that the lens selection is a bigger issue than the camera body.

I had concluded for the Canon, a reasonable combination would be the EF-S 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS USM and the EF 70-300 f4.5-4.6 DO IS USM. Both are digital only lenses.

I just noted the new EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM. It is about ½ the cost of the DO version, a little faster, appears to have better MTF specifications, and could be used on a full frame or 35mm camera. Is it really better for ½ the cost? What did I miss (other than it is a little larger)?

If I went the Minolta 7D route, I thought either the Tamron 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II or the Minolta AF DT 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 (D) would be a good choice. I would have less zoom than with the Canon combination, but if this became an issue I could get a multiplier or another lens. Based on my experience with the Nikon 5700, I think I can live with a 300mm 35mm equivalent.

I would also appreciate any comments regarding best lenses and/or system for this use.

I seem to be having a problem with the color of text and background for the post.
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Old Aug 31, 2005, 1:22 PM   #2
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The 17-85 & 70-300 DO is the combination I decided on after living with the 18-55 kit lens for about 4 months.

The DO is NOT a digital only lens, it's FF. And it's probably just about the most controversial lens that Canon make, with the 17-85 running a close second!

They are both mid-level lenses, not quite L, but matching L in some characteristics.

In sharpness the 17-85 exceeds many L lenses for example, but lacks by comparison when it comes to Chromatic Aberration, distortion, build quality, etc.

In MTF the DO is lacking compared to L quality and even some consumer grade lenses, however it has NO CA (zip, nada, none) and has better build quality, top-grade 2-mode IS, USM, and is very very compact for its overall quality. I must also say that despite apparent comparative lack in MTF the DO can produce extremely sharp pictures, though they do require a bit more sharpening in Photoshop than the 17-85.

Michael Reichman over at http://www.luminous-landscape.com rates the DO very highly (and he's not short of L lenses) - search his site for reviews and impressions, here's a couple to get you started...



If you think "value-for-money" is a real concept (as opposed to amounting to nothing more than bemoaning your position on a demand curve) then I would suggest that neither lens is a good choice.

I still think they're a great combination on the 20D though, and if you're willing to learn to work within their limitations can produce some lovely photos.

Some of my keepers can be found at http://vanderwooks.blogspot.com
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Old Aug 31, 2005, 9:48 PM   #3
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peripateic, thanks for your response. What would you recommend for a value for your money?
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