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Old Dec 14, 2004, 10:29 PM   #1
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I current use the Canon DRebel with the 18-55mm kit lens and the 55-200. I sometimes use the 50 1.8 but this is difficultu to use in studio with no zoom. My main lens is the 55-200, with enough space I can get both full body shots and head shots from the same physical cameralocation.

I am planning to get the Canon 20D (eventually) but am getting all the components I will use now. I have already picked up the 580EX so don't think I will really need fast 2.8 lens or IS, but would like to get into some "L-series quality".

I am thinking the 17-40 f4L or the 70-200 F4L. I thought about the new EF-S 17-85 IS (28-135 IS for digital)IS, but too expensive to have variable aperture andnot have L quality glass.

Would these be the lenses recommended for a 20D and will they be notiable improvements over my current lenses?


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Old Dec 15, 2004, 7:17 AM   #2
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The 17-40 f4L or the 70-200 F4L will be a noted improvement over the two zooms you have now.

Which is better depends on what you shoot, and a little on how. If you can deal with the size and weight of the 70-200.

Eric
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 8:22 AM   #3
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I have the 70-200 2.8 L, and yes I can tell quite a difference between it and the kit lens.

The advice I've gotten on this board elsewhere is:

Do you want the absolute best equipment? Are you a perfectionist? If you don't want to be limited by your equipment, then L glass is important. But, on the other hand, photographer > lighting > lens > camera. Unless you are good with composition, "seeing" the photographic image, and manipulating the camera itself, it doesn't matter what kind of glass is there. (Just see the posted pics by photosbyvito, he uses the kit lens for the Dig Reb, and his pics are wonderful).

But having the L glass is nice--I've scrapped my plans to sell it for a more portable lens.

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Old Dec 15, 2004, 10:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
I have the 70-200 2.8 L, and yes I can tell quite a difference between it and the kit len
I understand that the 2.8 L lenses are "built" better and focus fster / quiter, etc. but can you tell a noticable difference in the end result, the photo?

I would much rather get better photos by purchasing better lens rather than upgrading to the Canon 20D with my same old lens and basically getting the same results.


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Old Dec 15, 2004, 10:01 PM   #5
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The biggest optical difference between Canon's consumer line and "L" series is right up front at the widest apertures. At f4 the 70-200 f4 is SHARP at every focal length. "L" lenses don't change depth of field rules, no lens can, but in the plane of focus at their widest apertures, they are very sharp. My 100-400L IS f4.5-5.6 is sharp at 400mm and f5.6. The 75-300 lens (any version, including the "IS" model) is pathetic at 300mm and f5.6. The "L" series lenses are made for wide-open shooting. The consumer line of lenses is OK from 1 1/2 to 2 stops down from maximum aperture, but wide open are far from optimal. From f8-11 differences are less noticable.
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 10:15 PM   #6
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Here's an image I shot last weekend of a co-workers daughter at a high school football game. She was on the field with the band walking to their section. I was probably 15-20 yards away. I had my 10D with 100-400L mounted set to 400mm, 1/200 sec at f5.6, ISO 800. This is the full image, not a crop like I would have had to do with my 70-200 f4L. The extra reach to 400mm is a big deal if you plan to do things like shoot sports or kids in an auditorium.
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 10:35 PM   #7
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Do you print your pictures? How large? For web use, you probably won't see the difference between a "good" and "Great" lens because all those other things that perdendosi listed will matter more.

But if you were enlarging your pictures to something big... 13x19 or bigger, then having the sharpest pictures is necessary to look good after enlarging. And that is where the L-series glass comes in.

But to most people, L-series glass means big apertures and fast focusing. For many, that allows shutter speeds fast enough to get the shot and the fast AF means they have a chance to capture the moment (slow AF means no picture!)

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Old Dec 17, 2004, 11:54 AM   #8
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minutephotos.com wrote:
Quote:
I understand that the 2.8 L lenses are "built" better and focus fster / quiter, etc. but can you tell a noticable difference in the end result, the photo?

I would much rather get better photos by purchasing better lens rather than upgrading to the Canon 20D with my same old lens and basically getting the same results.


Yes, even my fairly untrained eye can tell a difference (when viewing the photos at, say, 50% or 100% magnification). There is considerably less vignetting (dark edges at the side of the frame), the image is sharper out of the camera, and, as eric said, it's a great lens "wide open."

I hear great things about the 20D, and I'm far from an expert to recommend whether you should upgrade the body. But I do know that you can use well-taken care of "L" glass for a long time on a variety of bodies.

(Man, just a few weeks ago I was sure I was going to sell my L lens).
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Old Dec 19, 2004, 8:58 PM   #9
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I would like to eventually pick up the canon i9900 13x19 printer but currently I do all my printing on an Olympus p440 8mp dye-sub printer. I am pretty happy with my Drebel for what I do. I wish it had spot metering and a bigger buffer, but those things are not stopping me from making money. I have started shooting at F8 quite a bit because I have a lot of light with ab800's and 580ex. I just wish I have the freedom to shoot at any aperture at any zoom and still get sharp photos. I just ordered a sto-fen omni bouce which decreases flash distance by 2.5 which means I will have to open aperture wider in some situations to get adequate exposure. Faster lenses with non variable apertures would be Great. Howver, I have recently started swithching off ISO 100 and venturing up to iso400....
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