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Old Oct 6, 2007, 10:52 AM   #1
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Hi, I would like some lens advice. I had a Sony H2 which I loved. It took great shots and never failed me. I received a canon XT as a gift with the stock lens and can't believe that even on the auto settings, I can't get the same quality pic. I know the Sony has the Zeiss lens.

Can someone advise me as to what zoom lens I can get that will produce quality like my sony and with similar zoom capabilities?

I'd greatly appreciate it. I'm just learning all the numbers, conversions, etc., etc. and am taking a trip soon and want a lens prior.

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Old Oct 6, 2007, 7:26 PM   #2
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One of the great advantages of a dSLR like the Canon XT is that you can use any of a number of lenses, each of which will do the job better than the 'jack of all trades, master of none' lens in your H2.

That said, there is a fine lens from Tamron, the 18-250 f/3.5-6.3, that can turn your XT into an H2. But you might be better served by a few different lenses, each of which will do something better than the 18-250 or your H2. But in order for someone to help you there, you'll have to say what type of photos you want to take. (Landscape/Cityscape, Architectural, Portrait, Sports, Wildlife, etc.)

Also, can you post an example of a shot you took with the XT that you're not satisfied with?
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Old Oct 6, 2007, 8:30 PM   #3
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I'm not familiiar with either of the cameras you mention, which of course, makes me an expert.:-) I do have both types of camera, and have used a couple others, so I do know a bit about how they process images. DSLRs tend to use less in-camera processing at the default settings, so in order to get the kind of look you are used to, you may want to increase the settings for saturation and contrast. Probably best to do this one increment at a time until you get what you want.

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Old Oct 7, 2007, 11:32 AM   #4
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Bear in mind that with a DSLR it's very easy to take bad shots.

This is not the cameras fault, it's designed that way. More potential, but much harder to use.

P&S cameras give the user almost no control, for most P&S users the pictures with the DSLR are much worse at first. Until they get the hang of things. The first (and hardest) step in that process is to stop blaming the camera (or the kit lens) - assume first that the problem is behind the camera until proven otherwise.

It is a common refrain on these forums. Some people get a really big chip on their shoulder and blame the kit lens for everything, when in fact used within its limitations it is possible of giving perfectly good images, indistinguishable in many instances from far more expensive lenses. What often happens is that the person gets obsessed, buys another more expensive lens, can't see any immediate improvement, takes lots of pictures (and gets better because of that) then ends up pronouncing that the new lens is much better. A couple of years later they could actually pick up that lowly kit lens and make some good images with it if they tried. This story is typical and may not relate to you.

The more you practice the better the equipment seems to get.
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Old Oct 7, 2007, 5:46 PM   #5
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There is a nice little online tutorial on how to use the Rebel XT at the Canon Digital Learning Center.

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Old Oct 8, 2007, 11:28 AM   #6
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VTphotog and peripatetic are right on the money. Many people expect a DSLR to be the ultimate point-and-shoot camera. It isn't.

As mentioned a DSLR does much less in-camera processing than a point and shoot. This is by design. The thought being the photographer will want more control. You can bump up the in-camera processing though to be similar to what a point and shoot delivers.

Another area that comes as a shock - depth-of-field. This term refers to how much of the image is in focus. In most digicams, you have a great depth-of-field. This is a result of the smaller image sensor and the smaller lens being used. The benefit of this is - if you miss-focus on something else in the frame instead of your subject, very often your subject still looks like it's in focus. With a DSLR you need to make sure your focus is accurate. The depth of field is shallower so when you don't hit your focus is is much more noticable.

An analogy is car transmissions. A digicam is like an auto transmission and a DSLR is like a manual transmission. A manual transmission is capable of much better performance but it requires more work from the operator. So, when a driver starts out with a manual transmission they encounter a number of problems. The problems aren't with the transmission - they are due to the operator not having learned how to use it yet.

Now, there is an aspect to your query which is also very important - equivelent focal lengths. Your sony had a lens equivelent to 36-432mm. You would need a 22.5-270m lens on your XT to cover the same range. So TCAV's mention of the Tamron is right on the money.

But I also agree that superzoom lenses just aren't high quality - they have to make too many compromises. The benefit to a DSLR is using the right lens for the job. If you really want a superzoom, why not stay with the H2? It sounds like you are happy with the results. Sell the Canon on ebay or return it to the person who gave it to you. If you don't have need of the benefits the camera provides over the H2 why bother spending money to replace something you're already happy with?
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Old Oct 8, 2007, 3:15 PM   #7
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All of the points made above are very good. I'd like to add one more difference between a dSLR and a digicam: if you aren't carefull you will either have to buy a donkey or hire a Sherpa to help haul your dSLR kit about. There is the wide lens, the fast fixed focal length lenses - several of them, a couple of fairly fast zooms, a "parade" lens like the 18-250 mentioned above, a macro lens, 1.4 and 2.0 magnifiers, ...

Though it does vary from dSLR to dSLR, any dSLR is going to feel more like a brick around your neck than a digicam does.

I think they are worthwhile, but dSLRs aren't for everyone. Between the weight and having to think more about what you are doing, they really are not as convienient as a digicam.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 6:05 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your kind advice. I did take the advice and get the Tamron 18-250. I'm very happy with it and it's just what I wanted. Still gives me the ability to change lenses should I need, but this is one heck of a walk around lens.

Thanks againg everyone !!

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