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Old Oct 20, 2006, 6:59 AM   #1
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First post here. I have a lot of 35mm SLR experience, but the Rebel XT 350D body I just ordered is my first digital SLR. I work for a real estate company and occassionaly take some of the shots of the residential listings. Most are full house shots taken from about 50 feet, typical real estate magazine photos, but sometimes I'll need to get some closeup detail shots and maybe some portraits. Previously I was using a "prosumer" level 12x zoom camera. I don't need a true wide angle lens as I don't do the "glamour" interior shots. I have a very limited budget and I want my first lens to be the best "all round performer" possible. I'm thnking maybe one of the Sigma lenses, perhaps 70-200? Any recommendations?
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 7:26 AM   #2
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Hi FaciaBrut, and welcome to this section of the forums. I also have the Canon 350D and 4 lenses.

A quick question or two? Do you have the kit lens (18-55mm lens)?

Because if you need house shots, I'm not sure a 70-200mm lens will give you the wide angle you need, EVEN at 50 feet (that's about 15 metres) to capture the whole house or even a good impression of the house and it's surroundings. Because you said most are "full house shots taken at 50 feet".

Remember also that a Canon Rebel Xt / 350D will increase the focal length equivalent by 1.6x (that is 70mm will be around 112mm in 35mm equivalent and I'm not expert but I think that isn't going to get you more than a PART of the house at 50 feet).

The 70-200mm won't be useful for ANYTHING interior (apart from closeups of doors, door handles, etc!)

If you DO have the kit lens, I'd say then you could get away with getting the 70-200mm lens and using the kit lens when you need wider angle. It does depend on your budget and your needs. From what I know as low distortion as possible is important for real estate shots... not necessarily the most critically sharp photo. Because I think unless you're making huge poster size photos of the house, even the kit lens would give you more than enough sharpness to produce house shots for use in a magazine or other typical display (or the internet!)

If you do NOT have the kit lens and only have a 70-200mm lens, I'd say you would not have enough wide angle to do what you seem to want.

Remember a 12x prosumer camera (the one you had before) has MUCH more wide angle that you're going to get with a 70-200mm lens on a Canon Rebel XT / 350D. I have the 28-135mm Canon lens as my walk around lens. Maybe that's an option for you, because you asked for the best "all round performer" lens (what's "the best" depends on what your needs and criteria are...)

Many people are happy with their 28-135mm lenses...or you might try the 17-85mm Canon lens (similar, just wider). There are other options of zoom lenses from Sigma (e.g. 18-125mm or 18-200) or a new Tamrom coming out 18-250mm (but no reviews on that so far).

But maybe other people here can give more advice. Hope I don't sound too belittling, especially as you said you have a lot of 35mm SLR experience. I'm just trying to be helpful and giving you my 2 cents worth.

Paul
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 7:46 AM   #3
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You will not be able to take a shot of the whole house from 50ft away with a 70-200 lens. Get a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 Xr Di lens. Very sharp, fast, light, and compact. It will allow you to take tight interior photos as well.
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 7:47 AM   #4
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Thanks for the response and the info regarding the increase in focal length equivalent. Let me clarify... I don't have a lens yet (haven't even received the camera body yet!). And the photos will be printed no larger than 2 to 3.5 inches wide (5 - 9cm) in the real estate magazine at an approximate 4:3 aspect ratio. I won't be taking interior shots. For personal photos, I can't imagine ever needing to print anything larger than 8 x 10 in., most photos will be destined for website display only.

From what I'm reading in this forum, a Sigma 28-135mm or 28-125mm sounds like the best way to start. Now to start shopping!
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 8:26 AM   #5
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FaciaBrut,

Glad you appreciated the reply. Even on a 35mm camera (or full frame digital SLR) I am pretty sure70-200mm lens wouldn't be wide enough. Use your 35mm film lenses to give you at least a rough idea...

As I see AlpineMan agrees. The Tamron lens he suggests is good. It depends on you and your budget (and if you need a bit more zoom on the long end) as to what will work best for you.

I would suggest if possible that you borrow a couple of lenses and attach to your Canon 350D / Rebel XT (when you get it) to see the real focal length you need. (maybe a helpful friend or store can help you out with borrowing a lens (display lens) for a day)? That would be better than spending hundreds on a lens and it isn't wide (or long) enough for you.

If I lived in New Mexico I'd borrow you my lenses for a day... but I live a couple thousand miles away....

Let us know how you go.

Paul
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 9:36 AM   #6
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Alpineman... I'll get a wide angle lens next. I've got 3 kids in college so I need to carefully consider any trivial expenses... kids come first. So it doesn't matter if I wait up to a year to get an additional lens. Again, it seems like the first lens will be a 28-135mm or similar.
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 11:28 AM   #7
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You will not be able to take a shot of the whole house from 50ft away with a 70-200 lens. Get a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 Xr Di lens. Very sharp, fast, light, and compact. It will allow you to take tight interior photos as well.

absoutely true. but the only issue i have is with the CA this lens produces. Even at 50mm.

other wise a sharp lens, decently built and good carry on lens

Vj
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 7:56 AM   #8
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I wound up getting a Sigma 28-200mm. I think it will do as a first "all purpose" or "walk around" lens until I'm in a position to invest in better glass. I actually prefer to minimize removing or changing lenses as I live in a high altitude desert area which has constant winds blowing fine gritty sand into everything... especially camera equipment.

BTW, one misinformed reason I decided on getting a Canon body as my first DSLR was that my significant other had some older Canon lenses stashed away from her 35mm days and I wrongly assumed that these FD lenses would fit the newer mounts.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 8:47 AM   #9
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FaciaBrut wrote:
Quote:
BTW, one misinformed reason I decided on getting a Canon body as my first DSLR was that my significant other had some older Canon lenses stashed away from her 35mm days and I wrongly assumed that these FD lenses would fit the newer mounts.
They do make adapters so the FD lens will fit, but there are trade offs, no auto focus, and image quality suffers some too I believe. But with a tight budget, maybe could make use of some of them.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 9:17 AM   #10
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I did extensive online research into that and it's just not worth the time, money or effort. I'll probaby end up sticking the FDs out on eBay or Craig's List. Thanks.
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