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Old Jan 19, 2014, 5:27 PM   #1
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Default Canon 60D and an 17-55mm f2.8

I have an opportunity to buy a used 60D. The owner has several lenses also for sale. The primary lens used with this camera has been the 17-55mm f2.8. It is an expensive lens, but available at a very reasonable price. The full f2.8 is available through the entire zoom range (as I understand).

I've read many threads here about Canon lenses, but see nothing on this lens. Is see much about 18-55mm kit lens, and 18-135mm. There are others as well, but nothing on the 17-55.

Why? Is it an odd lens that nobody uses, and for good reason?

My primary uses: closeup of insects and flowers, and events.

Any comments or thoughts?

The owner also has an 85mm f1.8, which I can buy as well. This is a good candidate for the closeup -- better to be a macro, but that is not what is available, and a new 85mm Macro is lots of $$$.
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Old Jan 19, 2014, 7:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger53 View Post
I've read many threads here about Canon lenses, but see nothing on this lens. Is see much about 18-55mm kit lens, and 18-135mm. There are others as well, but nothing on the 17-55.

Why? Is it an odd lens that nobody uses, and for good reason?
The Canon 17-55/2.8 is a fine lens, and would work well for your event shooting. It's an APS-C equivalent to the 'Full Frame' Canon 24-70/2.8. It's very expensive, so not a lot of people have it, which is probably why it doesn't get discussed here very often.

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The owner also has an 85mm f1.8, which I can buy as well. This is a good candidate for the closeup -- better to be a macro, but that is not what is available, and a new 85mm Macro is lots of $$$.
The Canon 85/1.8 has a minimum focus distance of 2.8 feet, so "Macro" it is not. It may work ok for flowers, but you'd probably be lucky to even notice insects. There are third party macro lenses that might be a better fit for you and that won't put a dent in your budget.
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Old Jan 27, 2014, 1:40 PM   #3
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TC... thanks the the feedback. I was hoping for more responses.

Yes, the 17-55/2.8 is an expensive lens new. My opportunity to buy is a very good one, and I intend to act upon it.

I realize the 85mm may not work very well in closeup. Until I decided to up the cash for the Macro, I will probably use the 17-55, at 55 for some of the work. The 85mm will probably work for some event/show situations (e.g. front row to stage). For the price, it is worth to acquire and better understand how well it will work.

Thanks again for the feedback.
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Old Jan 27, 2014, 4:19 PM   #4
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The Canon 15-85 is the quintessential event lens when paired with a good flash, plus it focuses just as close as the 17-55/2.8 and closer than the 85/1.8.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 3:16 PM   #5
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I acted upon the offer afforded me, and now have the 60D, along with the 17-55mm, 2.8 lens, and 85mm, and an 18-200mm IS lens. Yes, it is used, and has about 4,000 shots. It looks new, not a scratch, or marking anywhere.

I am now trying to understand the camera. Initially, I was overwhelmed (I have a Panasonic FZ35, megazoom). This is my first DSLR camera. I've downloaded the User's Manual, and have read much of the first 150 pages, with camera beside. I have shot a few pics, but outside conditions are not very good here (cold, cloudy). My experiments have been limited to the 17-55mm lens, wide shots in P Mode, and other in Closeup Mode.

One of my interests is closeup work -- yea, I know I should have an 85mm Macro, but I need to start with what I have. I've been able to get some shots of detailed objects, with closeup Mode. I believe the camera disables the shutter button if one is too close. I don't see any warning. If I back off a bit, then it will fire. But, sometimes the flash pops up. I think there should be enough light. Is the popup a signal tlhat the shutter speed is too slow?

I've worked my way through the menu items. The menus change, depending upon what Mode has been selected. For example, I see more choices in P Mode, than in Closeup Mode.

I had trouble with auto focus. Before it would focus, I would have to push the AE button on the right side, below the four buttons (.. Drive ...ISO...). However, I found a choice in a menu that auto focus is either enabled or disabled. It was disabled, so I think I found why it was not focusing. I think the previous owner was big into all manual settings (e.g. focus, aperataure, shutter speed), so it may have been disabled.

One major question I do not find discussed in the camera manual, or the lens manual, concerns the distance setting at the top of the lens, near the camera attachment end. It seems to be starting at 1, ... moves up, with the far right setting as infinity. What is this setting, and how to I manage it? I think the same on all the lenses. The setting is changed by a ring action. The setting is easily moved (by accident) because I handle the camera with my left hand underneath, right hand on the shutter button.

There are some other questions, but maybe somebody familiar with the 60D has some answers to these questions that I cannot find in the manual.

Thanks.
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Old Mar 5, 2014, 4:23 PM   #6
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First, I suggest that you start off by resetting the camera to its default configuration. (See page 51 of the 60D Instruction Manual.) This will clear out any settings that might have been left over from the previous owner.

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... I believe the camera disables the shutter button if one is too close.
Not quite. When you press the shutter button halfway, the camera will attempt to focus. If it is successful, the AF Point in the viewfinder that is in focus will flash. If the camera can't focus, no matter how firmly you press the shutter button, the camera will not take the photo. So it's not just if you're too close, but if for any reason the camera can't focus, you can't take the picture.

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... sometimes the flash pops up. I think there should be enough light. Is the popup a signal tlhat the shutter speed is too slow?
You've been working in P (Program AE) mode. As a result, the camera makes some decisions for you. Regardless of the maximum aperture of the lens you're currently using, the camera will stick to some standard settings. If it thinks there's not enough light to use a fast enough shutter speed to prevent motion blur, or the aperture will be too large for an adequate depth of field, the built-in flash will pop up to save the day.

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... The menus change, depending upon what Mode has been selected. For example, I see more choices in P Mode, than in Closeup Mode.
True. See the Function Availability Table According to Shooting Modes on page 276.

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I had trouble with auto focus. Before it would focus, I would have to push the AE button on the right side, below the four buttons (.. Drive ...ISO...). However, I found a choice in a menu that auto focus is either enabled or disabled. It was disabled, so I think I found why it was not focusing. I think the previous owner was big into all manual settings (e.g. focus, aperataure, shutter speed), so it may have been disabled.
Yeah, that will happen. I suggest you do that reset thing I mentioned earlier.

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Originally Posted by roger53 View Post
One major question I do not find discussed in the camera manual, or the lens manual, concerns the distance setting at the top of the lens, near the camera attachment end. It seems to be starting at 1, ... moves up, with the far right setting as infinity. What is this setting, and how to I manage it? I think the same on all the lenses. The setting is changed by a ring action. The setting is easily moved (by accident) because I handle the camera with my left hand underneath, right hand on the shutter button.
That is the distance scale, and is set automatically as the camera autofocuses. I think you should probably select an AF Mode. (See page 75.) I suggest either AI Servo AF or AI Focus AF.
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Old Mar 6, 2014, 11:02 AM   #7
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TCav, ... thanks for the quick and helpful suggestions.

Yes, I believe you are right about the default setting process. The former user is an accomplished photographer (now has moved to bigger and better equipment, the reason this came available), so lots of settings may be left over.

Your explanations are useful. These help answer some of the questions. Initially, the camera was overwhelming and was confirming my reluctance to buy -- namely, I would be overmatched. I've not shot some pics, tried lots of things, and intend to try out lots more today and the next few days. At the moment, I don't have significant subject matter, but I want to do lots of experimenting so that when that time arrives, I will be better informed. Spring flowers are the first major event coming up, but not for another month.

I expect that I will be returning for some more questions. Thanks.
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 2:10 PM   #8
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You might want to give the Canon 60mm f2.8 macro a try. I have had one and it is an excellent lens for the money. KEH has a used model in excellent condition.

https://www.keh.com/208689/canon-60m...ensor-dslrs-52
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 9:29 PM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback. I apologize for not keeping the thread alive. My bad ...

Since my last post, I kept trying to shoot close shots with the 17-55mm, set at 55mm. My subjects were flowers, especially daffodils. Then came iris. But, after a few weeks, I became very discouraged. The focus on my Panasonic FZ35 was better.

My procedure with the Canon, at 55mm, was to frame the shot, and hope that the camera was give the OK (e.g. green light, beep) for taking the shot. If it did not and I was too close, I would back off, refocus, and hope the camera would give me the OK. If it didn't I would retreat another inch or so, and repeat, until the camera gave me the OK. In other words, the shot was taken when I was just inside the "accept" range.

The bokeh was outstanding, and I was very pleased. But, the sharpness of the image was just not quite there.

I sent a series of images to members of a local photography club, "What is wrong here?" The universal response: "You need a Macro lens if you wish to shoot these kinds of pictures." Many followed by saying, no lens is going to give good, sharp images, while just inside the "accept" distance.

The flower season was quickly passing, so I opted to buy the 60mm, f2.8 Canon macro lens you suggest.

It took a bit of practice, but soon I was getting outstanding images, just like I wanted! The advice I was given was on point.

Over the season, I shot many, many flowers, and some insects. It was a very bad season for butterflies, and a poor season for bees. My work schedule prevented me from shooting as much as I wanted, especially flowers. I will put together a few images that were shot with the 60mm Macro.

Thanks.
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Old Oct 15, 2014, 9:42 PM   #10
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