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Old Sep 16, 2009, 4:21 PM   #1
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Default 1st time buyer Canon 450D question on kit and lens

I m a first time buyer for digital. I ve looked around and been recommended CANON EOS 450D Kit, USB 2.0, EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6, EF 55-200mm F/4.5-5.6 USM which appears ideal.

I m not sure about the lens.

I was told the lens it would be better to get other lens. I m an amateur and need the lens that would be essentially used for mix of photojournalism (i.e. rapid shooting of events, close up portraits, and character shots in crowded settings (night/day)).

I thought of getting simply the body of Canon 450 one of the following

TAMRON AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical IF Macro for Canon (A18). I m not sure whether this is good choice of lens.

CANON EF-S 18-200mm IS, or EF 55-200mm F/4.5-5.6 USM

Ideally there is the SIGMA 100-300mm F/4.0 EX IF but that is costly and its size is not very practical for discreet shooting.

Is there anyone who could suggest a particular lens from these above or alternative?

Thanks

Karim
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 11:28 PM   #2
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The Tamron AF 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 lens would be my choice for a great all around lens. It's very sharp, great IS and good range from wide to tele.
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Old Sep 18, 2009, 9:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karim1973 View Post
I m a first time buyer for digital. I ve looked around and been recommended CANON EOS 450D Kit, USB 2.0, EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6, EF 55-200mm F/4.5-5.6 USM which appears ideal.
The XSi (EOS-450D) is usually sold either as a body only, or in a kit including the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens (at least in the U.S.).

I did not see you mention IS for that kit. The newer kit lens with IS is sharper than the non-IS version, and it doesn't add much to the price of a kit versus the body only price. For example, the XSi body only is selling for approx. $569.95 at reputable vendors like http://www.bphotovideo.com and you can get a kit including the XSi body and 18-55mm IS lens for approx. $626.95 (only $57 more than the body only price). So, I'd suggest getting that type of kit (as that lens is priced low enough in a kit, that you're really not going to do any better in a budget lens with it's focal range).

I'd probably look at the newer 55-250mm IS (versus the 55-200mm) in a light weight lens for the longer end (assuming you're going to be using one in good light, as these lenses are too dim for low light shooting without a flash). It tests quite well for this type of lens:

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...ct/1113/cat/11

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I was told the lens it would be better to get other lens. I m an amateur and need the lens that would be essentially used for mix of photojournalism (i.e. rapid shooting of events, close up portraits, and character shots in crowded settings (night/day)).
None of the lenses you've mentioned are really bright enough for low light events, unless you can use a flash and shoot within the flash range for it. So, you may want to consider adding an external flash to your kit (for example, a Canon 580EX II or 430EX II, depending on budget).

You may also want to give members more information on exactly what type of events you want to shoot at for better responses. You may find that you need significantly brighter lenses compared to the lenses you're looking at (i.e., zooms with f/2.8 available throughout their focal range, or even brighter primes, depending on lighting).
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Old Sep 19, 2009, 12:27 PM   #4
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I agree with JimC-

The current best lens combo is the Canon 18-55 mm IS lens coupled with the Canon 55-250 mm IS lens. That will give you the biggest bang for the buck.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 9:42 PM   #5
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While the 18-55 kit lens isn't exactly the greatest lens around, it is a very capable lens that should not be overlooked completely. I've managed to get great photos from it, as I've attached below, but usually only when lighting is abundant.



I'd suggest maybe getting a Canon 50mm f1.8 (*nifty fifty*) which is good and fast in low light. And it's very cheap at only $100. I love mine and highly recommend it, especially for a beginner.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old Sep 21, 2009, 2:44 PM   #6
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Thanks Calicajun, Sarah, Jim C and Jubu. Your advice is much appreciated. Thanks Jubu for the image gives me quite an idea.

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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
None of the lenses you've mentioned are really bright enough for low light events, unless you can use a flash and shoot within the flash range for it. So, you may want to consider adding an external flash to your kit (for example, a Canon 580EX II or 430EX II, depending on budget).

You may also want to give members more information on exactly what type of events you want to shoot at for better responses. You may find that you need significantly brighter lenses compared to the lenses you're looking at (i.e., zooms with f/2.8 available throughout their focal range, or even brighter primes, depending on lighting).
JIM C, thanks for your comments I ll most likely be taking the kit up, returnign to what you were asking its a mix of situations. I travel a bit and need it for work looking at events and individuals or persons that i interview, as well just private for pleasure.

Events can be quite diverse: fast paced such as demonstrations for instance where i need to take the image of the individual (close enough to convey the character, the feeling), and the mass , or sports, i.e. kickboxing matches where i can catch the instant at times, or character shots in an evening bar, such as the old man somewhat dishelved at the corner of the bar, or two women dancing very quickly in front of each other away from the spot light.

That sort of thing quite varied.

In these instances light is usually not a problem, however sometimes it does take place in darker surroundings (a bar with limited lightening, an alleyway with poor street lamps) and a flash is much too visible, obtrusive and certainly not very discrete. Would you recommend another set of brighter lens. The zoom is important, I need to be able to zoom in easily, and the picture need not be very bright (part of the charm of it) but i d like to have the choice.

Thanks again.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 1:54 PM   #7
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Events can be quite diverse: fast paced such as demonstrations for instance where i need to take the image of the individual (close enough to convey the character, the feeling), and the mass , or sports, i.e. kickboxing matches where i can catch the instant at times, or character shots in an evening bar, such as the old man somewhat dishelved at the corner of the bar, or two women dancing very quickly in front of each other away from the spot light.
You're probably going to need a flash for all of those conditions using a kit lens, unless you want blurry photos. Your shutter speeds are not going to be fast enough in most indoor lighting to freeze any subject movement if you are not using a flash. The only possible exception *might* be the old man at the corner of the bar, provided he stays absolutely motionless while you're taking the photo, your ISO speed is set to maximum (1600 in the case of the 450D), you don't zoom in very much (the kit lenses are brighter at their wider zoom settings), and you're carefully squeezing the shutter button to minimize blur from camera shake, as IS may not be able to handle it at the shutter speeds you're likely to get in typical bar lighting.

Quote:
In these instances light is usually not a problem...
Yes, it is. Lighting is a *huge* problem when trying to shoot non-stationary subjects indoors without a flash, especially using dim lenses that don't gather a lot of light (as in the kit lenses you'll find from any major camera manufacturer, as they're down to a widest available aperture of f/5.6 if you zoom in much).


Quote:
...however sometimes it does take place in darker surroundings (a bar with limited lightening, an alleyway with poor street lamps) and a flash is much too visible, obtrusive and certainly not very discrete. Would you recommend another set of brighter lens. The zoom is important, I need to be able to zoom in easily, and the picture need not be very bright (part of the charm of it) but i d like to have the choice.
Zoom lenses are not really bright enough for shooting moving subjects in those conditions at ISO 1600. The brightest zoom you'll find will have f/2.8 available throughout the focal range. For example, a Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM (which sells for approximately $1000), or Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 (which sells for approximately $1400).

You can find third party f/2.8 zooms for less from Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina. But, f/2.8 is probably not going to be bright enough for the desired results in low light, especially using a camera like the 450D that's limited to a maximum ISO speed of 1600.

I'd probably look at the newer T1i instead, and consider some brighter primes for it (f/2 or wider apertures). Note that a lens with f/2 available is twice as bright as a lens that only has f/2.8 available (which is the widest available aperture you'll fine with most high grade zooms ). f/2 is exactly 8 times as bright at f/5.6 (the widest available aperture you'll have with a kit lens when zoomed in much), allowing shutter speeds 8 times as fast for a given lighting and ISO speed compared to a zoom lens with a widest available aperture of f/5.6 when zoomed in much.

If you're on a tight budget, I'd probably look at a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC lens for starters. It's selling for around $439 now. That would be a good choice for existing light shooting without a flash in many conditions. For conditions you'll need longer lenses for, take a look at the Canon 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8; and 85mm f/1.8 USM.

But, you're still going to need a flash in some conditions to freeze action. So, I'd budget for an external flash (and you'll get far more diffused and even lighting when bouncing an external flash, as compared to using a camera's built in flash).
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Old Sep 24, 2009, 6:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I'd probably look at the newer T1i instead, and consider some brighter primes for it (f/2 or wider apertures). Note that a lens with f/2 available is twice as bright as a lens that only has f/2.8 available (which is the widest available aperture you'll fine with most high grade zooms ). f/2 is exactly 8 times as bright at f/5.6 (the widest available aperture you'll have with a kit lens when zoomed in much), allowing shutter speeds 8 times as fast for a given lighting and ISO speed compared to a zoom lens with a widest available aperture of f/5.6 when zoomed in much.
Thanks for your comment JimC. From what I m reading do you think given what i want to shoot it would be right to say that the newer T1 with Tamaron zoom, (AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)... Mainly from what you were saying above trying to see what would work whilst keeping that zoom.
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Old Sep 24, 2009, 6:42 PM   #9
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You may find that a lens starting out at 28mm isn't wide enough for some conditions (where you can only back up so far to fit what you want into the frame). Keep in mind that you'll have a narrower angle of view (more apparent magnification) for a given focal length lens on a dSLR model using an APS-C size sensor, as compared to using the same focal length lens on a 35mm camera.

To see how they compare with Canon dSLR models like the T1i, multiply the focal length by 1.6x. For example, a 28-75mm lens on a Canon model using an APS-C size sensor would give you the same angle of view that you'd get using a 45-120mm lens on a 35mm camera. That's one reason that most of the kit lenses start out around 18mm now.

So, you may want to get a lens starting out wider, even if you decide a lens like that Tamron is a good fit. But, you may find that f/2.8 isn't bright enough for some low light conditions if your subjects are not motionless. So, a brighter prime may be needed. Even with a brighter prime, you may need a flash to freeze action in many low conditions (like the bar you mentioned), even using ISO 3200. IOW, you'll find conditions that are very difficult to take photos in, unless you time your shots so that you're taking them when the subjects are still. But, a brighter lens can help.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 2:34 AM   #10
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Here is a review on the Canon 55-250mm EFS IS lens: http://www.popphoto.com/Reviews/Lens...-4-5.6-EF-S-IS

The review doesn't look too bad especially on how little you paid for it.
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