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Old Jun 6, 2004, 9:35 PM   #1
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I'm a fairly happy owner of a Panasonic FZ-10 but am looking into a Digital Rebel or Nikon D70. I am thoroughly confused about the differences (Nikon G vs. D vs. Sigma, etc.) in the lenses. I know that in general more expensive ones will work better, but was looking for recommended ones (like a "Best Buy"). I've tried a few searches but haven't been able to come up with anything. Is there some sort of chart or summary of someone's experience with a large number of them? I know it can depend on the camera body but these two are the ones in my price range.

If possible, I would like to cover something similar to the range of my FZ-10 (35-420mm) without breaking the bank (I am only an amateur). This will help me estimate a total cost of diving into a DSLR system.

If this has been discussed before I apologize, just direct me to the old thread. Thanks a lot!
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Old Jun 7, 2004, 9:01 AM   #2
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The problem with such a question (and with all lens questions) is relate to what you said ("in general more expensive ones will work better".) So the question is how much money are you willing to spend?

There are many aspects to a lens that effect its "quality". Sharpenss is only the first. How much it distorts the image, how much chromatic aboration it has, how fast it auto focuses, how loud the AF motor is, does it have a focus limiter switch, does it have full-time manual override of focusing, does it have a form of image stabilization? I could go on.

So producing a chart which says which are better is really hard it not impossible. I know of charts which describe which are sharper than others, and have some more info on the side. But even this list isn't the complete story. Check out:


and then follow the equipment tab on the top of the page. Pick the camera body manufacturer you want in the "PERFORMANCE SURVEYS" section and go from there. They recently changed their interface and I don't like it as much. But the info is still very good. Thisshould get you started.

You also have to consider the max aperture. Just because you have a 35-420 lens doesn't say everything. What apertures are available at the short and long end effects the cost of the lens a lot (more materials and harder to build.) And it effects how you'll use it.

And don't forget weight and size. The Sigma 50-500 (which is similar to what you have now) is really heavy and large. So it isn't exactly a replacement for what you have. If you wanted to go with 2 lenses, you could get the Sigma 80-400 OS f4-f5.6 (or so) and then you'd just need a wide angle lens to go with it. Or you could get the Canon 100-400L or the Nikon 80-400VR. The Nikon and Canon are more expensive.

I hope that helps. If you have more questions, just ask.

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