Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 21, 2007, 9:56 AM   #11
Senior Member
mtclimber's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143

That is really excellent advice, JohnG. I agree with you 100%!

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 21, 2007, 11:46 AM   #12
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,369

peripatetic wrote:
He is right, and yet it might be possible for you to make a compromise on the lens...

40D + Tamron 17-50 f2.8 => $1750
40D + Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 => $1690

400D + Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS => $1570
400D + Tamron 17-50 f2.8 => $1050
Or, a Sony DSLR-A700 + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 for approx. $1698

That way, you get a body that's in the same market niche as the 40D with an f/2.8 zoom in the range being discussed that's stabilized (thanks to the in body stablization)..

The Sony Alpha 700 body is $1249 at http://www.circuitcity.com right now (see the cart price), and this lens is $449 at http://www.bhphotovideo.com

This body is $1399 at most places (Ritz, B&H). But, Circuitcity.com has it discounted right now.

That would give you a lens in that focal range that's f/2.8 as well as stabilization (thanks to the in body stabilization in this model). Or, give up a bit of brightness on the longer end and get a bit more focal range in something like the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 instead ($389 at B&H).

But, I'd agree with JohnG. I would not spend a lot of money on lenses until you have a better idea what your needs are. I'd grab one of the kit lenses with any camera you buy and use it for a while first.

They don't add much to the price of a camera and give you the opportunity to determine what qualities you may find more desirable in a lens (focal range, brightness, size, weight, focus speed, ergonomics, distortion, purple fringing, contrast, color, center and edge sharpness at various aperture settings, etc.).

Depending on the conditions you want to shoot in and the print sizes desired, you may not see much benefit to spending a lot of money for a given lens type, and you may buy a lens that's not appropriate for what you end up wanting to shoot more often.

Any lens choice is a compromise. You may decide the the convenience of having more focal range from wide to long in a single lens is a better idea, even though you may give up a little brightness (going with a lens that only has f/4.5 or f/5.6 instead to get more range in a package that's not too large and heavy).

For example, my camera tends to wear a Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 AF lens most of the time as a walk around lens, unless I'm shooting in much lower light (in which case I'm going to use primes versus zooms most of the time anyway).

I've got some brighter zooms like my Tamron SP 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5 (which can maintain f/2.8 through much of it's range and only loses a half a stop to an f/2.8 lens on it's long end), as well as a Tamron SP 35-105mm f/2.8 AF Lens to get a bit longer when needed in a brighter zoom. If I need longer than that, I'll use my 135mm f/2.8 more often than not versus a longer zoom (the prime is smaller and lighter, and I rarely need anything longer than that anyway for what I typically shoot).

IOW, my brighter zooms don't get used much. A 24-85mm zoom is more convenient focal range for the type of shooting I tend to do more often in a package that's not too large and heavy. That may not be the case for the type of shooting you want to do more often. Also, I'm more likely to use brighter primes versus zooms if shooting in existing light without a flash indoors. But, until you use a camera more, you may not know what your needs and preferences in lenses are.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 22, 2007, 12:19 AM   #13
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6

I appreciate your advice. I really want to make a wise decision and have this camera for awhile and then make lenses, flash,etc my investments.
I can see myself mainly using this to chase around my kiddos. I have young ones and want to capture portraits, family gatherings, and them in action now and over the next years as they grow up. I also know I will use this camera for trips. Those are the 2 main areas right now as time goes I might have more time for other photography hobbies but as for now it is our life that I want to capture (more than concentrating on another subject like nature, etc - unless we are on a trip).
hmm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 22, 2007, 1:56 AM   #14
Super Moderator
peripatetic's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,598

There is a lot of merit in John's suggestion; the kit lens is very cheap and perfectly capable of giving decent results.

If you get it with the intention of spending 3-6 months learning your camera and what type of photography and focal lengths suit your style then you will be in a very good position to make your own choice down the line. This is in fact what I did when I got my first DSLR which was a 20D just after my daughter was born.

It is also worth saying that very clearly the marginal utility of $1000 is very different to different people. For some it's a lot of money, for others it's small change. Most of us probably fall in the middle, but there is certainly something to be said for buying the best equipment you can afford. That way you can simply rest secure that you have got the best available to you and concentrate on taking pictures.
peripatetic is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:55 PM.