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Old Mar 20, 2005, 9:07 PM   #1
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For someone who is new to digital SLRs and wants the best possible image quality but is not sure of the type of photography he/she will be doing, which package (both add up to the same price) makes most sense for prints of up to 8x10?

Package #1:
Canon Digital Rebel XT (body only)
Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM
Canon EF 70-300mm DO IS USM
Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II

Package #2:
Canon Digital Rebel XT (body only)
Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM
Canon EF 75-300mm IS USM
Canon EF-S 10-22mm USM
Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II

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Old Mar 20, 2005, 9:42 PM   #2
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I am in a similar boat (about to buy my first dslr, but I have a good idea of what I am shooting). Let me ask you a question, do you need the 10-22mm right away? B/c if you get the 17-85mm lens (which is in either of your package possibilities) then why don't you hold off to see if that is wide enough. I think the 10-22mm lens is quite expensive. Also the EF 70-300mm DO IS USM lens got a mediocre rating primarily b/c it lacks sharpness, but the big deal about it is its small size. Here's a discussion in the forums on the lens:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=65

I had copy and pasted a review of this lens ( EF 70-300mm DO IS) although I don't remember where it was from (maybe fred miranda???) here it is:

This lens was added my to arsenal in the Fall of 2004, following an opportunity toThis lens was added my to arsenal in the Fall of 2004, following an opportunity to test one of the first lenses to become available. I immediately went out and bought one, and haven't regretted it for a moment, even though I already have the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. This lens' big advantage is its remarkably small size, due to the use of Canon's exclusive Diffractive Optics technology. For urban shooting, and hiking, this lens is one that I now find to be a must.

The Bottom Line
This is an appealing lens in many ways. It measures reasonably well, and though the price is a bit high it is appropriate for what you get. The low weight and small size are real plusses. Resolution appears high, but I have to admit that on-screen and in prints I see a certain "softness" to images produced by this lens that doesn't show up in lab measurements.

A bit of experimentation shows that it definitely isn't lack of resolution, but rather a softening of accutance as compared to non-DO lenses. I found that this can be easily compensated for by using a moderate amount of additional sharpening in post-processing. With my preferred sharpening program, Photokit Sharpener, by using Edge Sharpen 1 in addition to normal Input and Output sharpening I was able to get results that are very close to those produced by a non-DO lens. I would imagine though that users who do not take the time and effort to apply appropriate sharpening to files produced by this lens may find the results disappointing. Those that do will be rewarded by crisp images and the pleasure of using a very versatile lens.

If I didn't already own the superb Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS I'd be very tempted by the new DO, since I'll take the trade-off of 2 extra stops of aperture for the extra focal length any time. Nevertheless the 70 - 300mm f4.5-5.6 DO IS is a very appealing lens indeed.

Hope this helps, let me know.

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Old Mar 21, 2005, 12:03 AM   #3
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You have two outstanding options lined out there. There's only one lens I'd term a weak link of all the ones you've got listed, and that is the 75-300 IS. The 70-300 DO has the newest version of image stabilization, has true USM focusing and is smaller. I'd go with your set #1 to start. 17mm will be wide enough unless you like wide-angle photography better.

If so, I'd go with set #2, but if at all possible I would substitute the 70-200 f4L for the 75-300 IS. It's only about $150 more but has about $1,000 better image quality. Of course, you've not included things that will also increase costs considerably like extra batteries, which you will want with one "IS" lens, compact flash cards and maybe even the accessory battery pack.

It all adds up very quickly!
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Old Mar 21, 2005, 12:29 AM   #4
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FYI, the 50mm f1.4 is supposedly a much better lens.
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Old Mar 21, 2005, 12:46 PM   #5
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Optically it's a good lens. Mechanically it's OK. They take a micro USM mechanism and sort of make it work like a real ring USM lens. It isn't the best mechanically and certainly isn't worth 4x the cost of the 50mm lens. I can understand the original poster doing a little cost cutting on this lens and staying with the f1.8 version. Chances are it won't be used THAT much anyway with the other lenses being purchased.
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Old Mar 21, 2005, 2:11 PM   #6
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agiaccio

I have a 20D and it just so happens I have exactly the 3 lenses in your package #1.

All-in-all I've been very happy with them, though I must say I've not used the DO all that much. If I'd got the 10-22 I would have used it more than the DO.

Anyway #1 still allows you to get it at a later time, which is what I'll be doing and the 17mm end of the 17-85 is good enough as a standard 28mm equivalent wide-angle - it will certainly keep you going until you decide that you really want the 10-22 after all.

For some samples with all those lenses see:

http://vanderwooks.blogspot.com
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