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Old Oct 29, 2006, 2:57 AM   #21
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You are ahead of me on the digital and lens selection process yet I share your dilemma. I am purchasing the 30D and do not know enough about lenses to make confident choices. The decision on getting the battery grip, extra battery, EX speedlight and card was the easier part. Now I need to get help with the lenses.

Do I go with just the 30D body and purchase two lenses separately? Is there a packages body & lens that gives me a better start? Which lens or lenses from there?

During my 35mm days, I had good luck using my AF Nikkor 35-135mm. I used it primarily for photos of properties in my appraisal work. Though it had some limitations on not being wide-angle enough for some interior photos (including family events) it did nearly everything I wanted. Now I have to find out what will provide the most cost effective choices for the 30D.

My photo needs are: indoor and outdoor family gatherings, outdoor garden and nature shots, resident birds and various wildlife. With a target lens budget of about $3000 I could use some advice. That is not to say I have to spend that much but I want to start with a good base of lenses.

Any advice and/or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Steve
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 4:37 AM   #22
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BrierS... Though I do believe in sharing, I don't think I had a "dilemma" at all. I simply have a severe budget constraint (3 kids in college) and it took very little time to select a modest lense which will serve my initial purposes very well. With a larger budget on the magnitude of yours I would have started with 2 lenses from the Canon "L" series, a wide angle and a telephoto zoom with IS. Probably able to get both for maximum $2,000. I'll defer to the very experienced Canon DSLR users here to actually name specific models.
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 4:57 AM   #23
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Actually, my emphasis is on getting a good lens or lenses at a reasonable price. My children are mid-twenties so I am finally able to pursue this hobby in ways never before possible. In fact, your camera is one I could not financially justify during their younger years. Wish I could have done both . . .

So far, for outdoor nature/garden photos the one that has caught my attention is the Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX. It seems to receive good comments from many sources. Unless I am not understanding some of the other related postings, it will not be what I need for indoor and some outdoor family gatherings. The family photos are most important to me.

Have you an opinion on any of the lenses available as a "kit lens" with the 30D? I keep looking at the body only and the kits yet no so little about the lenses I feel almost lost.

As to my budget . . . if I can accomplish what I need for less than that I have many other things I could do with what is left . . .
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Steve
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 6:20 AM   #24
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Steve, my method, not having the first hand experience, is to simply identify a lens with the specs I want and then Google as many consumer reviews as possible to see what the actual end users think. Look on Canon's website, Popular photography (popphoto.com), B&H, Adorama, Amazon. Read reviews of the 30D as the reviewers always comment on the lenses they used in testing the camera. I would still stick with a Canon "L" lens for a wide angle or "portrait" type lens, but sure, don't restrict yourself to Canon for a zoom/telephoto. If you find a deal with a usable kit lens at close to the price of the body alone, by all means get it. If you don't like the kit lens, contact me and I may buy it from you!

Good luck and let me know how you make out as I may be relying on your experience when I buy my next lens.

BTW Steve, I am a former real estate broker and now work in the marketing department of a large New Mexico real estate company. I intend to post some shots here of some regional New Mexican homes. Very different from what you find in NH!
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 7:11 AM   #25
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"BTW Steve, I am a former real estate broker and now work in the marketing department of a large New Mexico real estate company. I intend to post some shots here of some regional New Mexican homes. Very different from what you find in NH!"

I started in '85 appraising 1-FAM D and residential land. Kept taking courses through the Appraisal Institute and later IAAO. Transitioned into primarily commercial & industrial with a fair amount of assignments in litigation. Had quite a few forensic appraisal assignments before making to career switch to property tax assessing. Prior to becoming a certified assessor (vs. general certified appraiser) I was nearly full-time subcontracting to the City of Claremont's (NH) assessing office. Though extremely lucrative doing it that way (back then $50 @ hr. for day-to-day with $100 @ hr. for hearings) I could see where it would be a better deal for the city and me to take a full-time position as the chief assessor. Went that route until an honest interview with the local newspaper resulted in termination. 1st Amendment & wrongful termination followed and has consumed a good chunk of the past six years. We prevailed in a jury decision in Superior Court and now headed for NH Supreme Court (city appealed). That should be heard within the next 2-3 months.

I have an aunt and uncle as well as three cousins living in NM. My aunt has sent me photos over the last couple of years and I certainly agree with your comment on the differences. In fact, a couple of photos showed something called "goat weed" and I had never heard of it. I guess it is a common lawn invader???
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Steve
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 8:06 AM   #26
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I never got an appraiser's license, but for a few years was a contract broker for the VA and shot hundreds of their NM residential foreclosure properties and did "BPOs" or Broker Price Opinions (a pseudonym for an appraisal done by someone not licensed to do appraisals) for them. We had a Nikon D100 as our in house camera and it was such a pleasure to use.

Currently I mostly do quick and dirty Photoshop retouching of the hundreds of property photos taken by our staff each week, but I usually help out and take a few photos of my own to help us stay on the production schedule.

Yeah, "goatweed" or "goat heads" is an aggressive creeping weed that produces nasty little triangular barbs that stick to your shoes and get tracked indoors. So... as you're walking barefoot in the house you tend to step on them. Hurts like heck and the barbs make them difficult to remove. They are also known locally as "puncture weed" because they get stuck in your bicycle tires and drill their way through causing flat tires.


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