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Old Apr 4, 2009, 4:56 AM   #11
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skmdcam wrote:
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i'm heck bent on the 40D, i liked it better than the 450 at the store yesterday, felt more solid and i dont want to be camera hunting for at least 7-8 years. i'd rather buid on the lens system. i really hope thats notabad decisionin any way...
The 40D has better build quality, viewfinder and more, and some users may prefer it's ergonomics. That's a good choice in a body. I'd try them out in a store to see what you're more comfortable with.

As for the differences in lens quality (both optical and build quality) between manufacturers, you really need to take each lens on a case by case basis. Tamron's SP Series lenses are their better quality lenses, Sigma's EX series lenses are their better quality lenses. Canon's L series lenses have the best build quality. But, some of the lenses from these manufacturers that are not their highest grade are still good.

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Old Apr 4, 2009, 7:41 AM   #12
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As Jim has said above, you should judge lenses on a case by case basis. There are great and attractively priced Tamron, Sigma and Tokina lenses and there are Canon lenses you should avoid :-), but as a rule you usually get what you pay for, although there are a few exceptions. Trying to answer your questions:
1. there are quite a few good lens reviews site you can check out and compare lenses in question. Just take everything they say with a pinch of salt, some sites/authors are a bit biased. To save money in a long run it's better to buy the best you can afford - this saves you the headache of selling/trading/loosing money and buying again later.
TBH, I only have 1 third party lens - a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. It's a good lens, but I'm not completely happy with it. It's been sent for adjustments/calibration twice, but the AF is still a bit hit and miss and the lens sharpness is not what I expected and what should be according to the reviews and the tech spec. - guess, I wasn't lucky with my particular lens, it's still under warranty though.
2. Any lens with Canon EF or EF-S mount can be used with 40D, sometimes the lenses are advertised as Canon AF lenses, which usually means EF mount.

3. building a lens collection is a very personal thing - what suits a landscape photographer won't make a sports shooter happy. If your main subject is portrait/candid photography something in the 17/28 - 85/105/135 mm range will work for you. I used an older and often overlooked 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM II lens for candids for 2.5 years. Good build quality, fast and accurate USM AF and a decent closeup (but not true macro) performance. The lens is not the sharpest around, but for portraits you don't really need the sharpest lens :-). This lens is a good walk-around lens as well, but not wide enough for landscape shooting on an APS-C sensor DSLR. Big plus - this lens can be bought new for around US$200. I use my 70-200 f/4 in 70-135mm range for portraits quite a lot, as well as daylight sport and everything else lens. The majority of portraits are taken with prime lenses though, because the faster aperture gives you better control of dof, so my 50, 60 and 85mm lenses come to play. Want to add a 28, 30 or 35mm lens as well.
For your lens transition I would suggest getting a walk-around lens first. 17-85 USM IS, 28-105 USM II f/3.5-4.5, 28-135 USM IS or Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4, or 24-60 f/2.8 first.
Then add a fast prime lens in the 50-85mm range for portraits, then a flash Canon 430ex is great, but Sigma flash guns are also good (haven't used them though myself). Then an ultra wide landscape lens (10-20, 10-22, 12-24 or 10-24 from Sigma, Canon, Tamron or Tokina), or a telephoto in 70-200, 70-300, 100-400 mm range for wildlife - it depends on what is more important to you - wide angle for landscapes or reach for wildlife.

4. if i get a macro lens say 50mm or 70mm, and since it serves as a good portrait lens too, whywould u suggest a 17-85 or 28-135 (which are essentially portrait distances, right?)? - they serve different purposes. A macro lens will give you great results, but you will be severely limited by its fixed focal length. 17-85 or 28-135 gives you a great versatility in what you can shoot with it, although the image quality won't be as good as what a prime lens can give you. It will be more than good enough though. My small travel kit is a 40D with 17-85 + 60mm macro + either 85/1.8 or 430ex flash in a small bag. For an even smaller and lighter kit it's an old 350D with 50mm/1.8 and a spare battery even without a bag :-) - only about 0.5kg.

5. I'm not an expert and someone else will have to chime in, but 200mm is not long enough for true wildlife shooting. You will need at least 300-400mm lens for wildlife. However, a 70-200/300 is a very useful range for outdoor candids, parks, zoos etc. It will be a bit too long for indoor use, but it also work if you have enough room to back up and works for head/head and shoulder portraits, concerts and perfomances (with high ISO) relatively well. Works very good if you can use flash.

Hope this helps a little.
cheers,
Alex
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Old Apr 4, 2009, 11:27 AM   #13
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Algold & Jim C. are right in what they say. So, if you are "heck bent" on the 40D then start with that and work on your lenses afterwards. As is everyone's priorities are a bit different then we tend to focus on one aspect or another. In my case I wanted a camera with at least 5fps for nature, primarily birds and animals. they tend to move fast at times and birds tend to do a lot of flying so, for me, the need for a faster continuous shooting mode. I opted for the 20D. But, at that time along with the 20D, I bought my canon 100-400mm L IS, sigma 150mm macro, & the canon 28-135mm IS (for family picks and stuff. As i found the 400mm range was too short for a lot of what I was doing, I got my 500mm and have never regretted spending the $$$$. Then I found i needed a bigger and faster buffer so, I decided on the 30D and kind of regretted that a month later, as the 40D came out. Sold my 20D and bought the 40D. My 500mm and 40D are "married" and very rarely get separated. My 30D holds my 100-400mm and they swap with the 150mm and 28-135mm. In my case, I pretty much had decent to excellent glass before a better camera. The cameras have decreased in value significantly where as the lenses still hold most if not all their value. that's what i was talking about in earlier posts. For a all around general purpose lens, i like the 28-135mm IS as it covers a 36mm to 216mm equivalent to 35mm (full frame) camera. The 28mm end is a bit long at times for indoor family events but, that isn't my major need and work around that. As for the nature photography end of things, yeah, the 70-200mm is a bit short for birds and small animals unless you live in Florida where I hear you can almost walk up to any bird, ask it to pose, and click away. I don't know as I've never shot in florida. As for 70-200mm lenses the canon f/4 L IS is about $1100, non IS L$600, The Sigma f/2.8 EX no IS about $730 and the Tamron f/2.8 no IS about $640. Sigma makes a 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 with macro for $339. Not sure how good/bad it is. Remember for macro, you can get a set of extension tubes and use them with any lens. You can get 1:1 macro using a lens with a focal length as long as the extension tubes. So 17-70mm, 70-200mm can be as cheap as $900 - $1000 and with the 40D at about $850 you have a nice camera and lenses for about $1800. A bit over budget but you will cover all focal lenths from 17mm to 200mm. and throw in a set of extension tubes apprroz. $100 and you cover your macro end too. Hope i didn't confuse you more! :roll:

dennis
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Old Apr 7, 2009, 10:41 AM   #14
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thanks everyone for literally holding my hand through the buying process.

i saw this at adorama- and then wondered if its a better bet than the 40d or 450d

http://www.adorama.com/ICA30D.html

i am closer to the 40d but at the price of a 450. that gives me more breathing space to buy lenses no?

also from what i understand with all ur really really valuable inputs is that i definitely need a 17-85 or 28-105/135 lens, then i can get a macro 50mm to 100mm among all those brands available. that should help me get used to the camera while i take macro shots and some everyday snaps and learn in the meantime right?

btw- what is the difference etween a 50mm and 100mm macro? is the magnification different or the distance i have to stand from my subject?
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Old Apr 7, 2009, 11:23 AM   #15
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Gee, I didn't know the 30D was being sold new. The 30D is the predecessor to the 40D. Major differences between the two are: 40d has liveview, a 3 inch screen, 10.1 megapixels digic 3 processing and shoots 6.5 fps with larger and faster frame buffer.. While the 30D has 8.2 megapixels, a 2.5 inch screen and shoots 5 fps with digic 2 processing which means a bit slower and smaller frame buffer.. Also, the 40D has a built in sensor clean and the 30D does not.

The differences between a 50mm and 100mm macro is the distance from the subject. Also, the Canon 50mm macro is not a 1:1 it needs an extension tube or an adapter to make it 1:1. The longer the macro the further away from the subject you can be for the equivalent magnification. It helps with timid little critters. But, it is not always necessary. Just remember, to get started in macro, you don't need a dedicated macro lens. You can use extension tubes (they don't degrade the image) and can still get 1:1 depending on the length of the lens and the extension tubes you use. Extension tubes about $120 for kenko or dedicated macro for $400+ Saves a bit of $$$ and when you're ready for a dedicated macro, you can use the extension tubes with that or any other lens.

hope this helps.

dennis
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Old Apr 8, 2009, 12:17 AM   #16
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ok, i think live view is necessary for me, or it would be too much of a jump from the p&s and make it so much more difficult.

reg macro, i was also reading an article yesterday

http://digital-photography-school.co...-for-your-dslr

and what u say makes sense. so i might actually settle for 450 after all with a 28-135 canon usm lens. pls suggest the best option now that i have $400 at my disposal. (i'm sure there are great cameras yet to come in a year or two that would definitely be affordable and offer more, right?). in such a case i should i also buya 50mm 1.8 since this focal lenght is covered?


does that sound ok, or am i still missing something?

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Old Apr 8, 2009, 2:46 AM   #17
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the Eos XSi (450D) is probably a good choice. Why is live view so important to you? You won't have autofocus using live view so, it won't be like using a p&s camera. I use it for photographing subjects that are statioary (owls) when the camera is on a tripod. It locks up the mirror for a less vibration from mirror slap.

I have the 28-135mm IS and like it but, as mentioned, only use it for family or more general photography. It isn't the best made lens but, it does okay for me in those situations where I need a short lens.

As for macro, remember your p&S camera probably has a macro mode and because of the extremely short focal length of the lens probably will take fairly sharp photos (the article you linked says that too). depending on wha kind of macro you do, you might want to invest n a decent external flash as you will need small aperatures (f/11 to f/16) for more depth of field and will need slow shutter speeds without a flash.

The 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 are nice lenses. Personally, because of the type work i do, I wouldn't get one as the 28-135mm will do just fine for me. There are a lot of people here that really like the 50mm and feel it is better than usng a zoom in that focal length.

About every 18mos. to 2 yrs. new cameras usually arrive and have more and better features and the prices haven't really changed much from their predecessors when they were introduced.

As for the $400 at your disposal, you can give it to me!! :lol::lol::lol: but, seriously, you might want to think about an external flash such as a canon 430EX that supports ettl2 and costs about $270. Also, sigma and others make some really nice flashes for rasonable $$$.

I feel you should know exactly the type of photography you want/need to do and buy accordingly within your budget. Save $$$ as time goes on and add lenses or a camera according to your needs at that time.

oh, wow!! my beddy-by time is long overdue!! good night or good morning where ever you are.

dennis
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Old Apr 12, 2009, 6:52 AM   #18
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gee, sorry if i'm coming across like really slow here....but i'm really confused with all the focal lenghts.

so i'm gonna start another thread with only the lens as topic of discussion. thanks everyone for your time and efforts.
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Old May 16, 2009, 12:52 AM   #19
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Hi, just went ahead and got my canon 40d yesterday, (dint sleep much last night thought id keep everyone posted, and thanks so much for helping me.
also got a sigma 17-70 with it.
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Old May 16, 2009, 1:17 AM   #20
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I'm sure you wil have a lot of fun!!!

dennis
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