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Old Jun 13, 2005, 2:40 AM   #1
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Hi everyone. I've decided its time totrade my camera(Panasonic FZ20) for the 350D. I live in South Africa and will pay about half the price if I buy from a country like USA or Dubai. What I'm keen to do is buythe cameraandkit at once as I'll be getting it through someonewho is going there. My question is, what basic kit should I go for. My main interest is landscape and nature photography, but I would still like the flexibilty to doother types. This is what I think I need:

- Obviously the body
-A lense with a max range of no less then 300mm, preferably 400mm(Not taking into accuont the crop factor). This can be Canon or3rdparty. Please advise.
- A wide angle lense(Also Canon or 3rd party).
-Probably a 2GB CF Card
- Tele Convertor?

Please suggest anything else as well as make recommendations on the above 2 lenses. Thanks very much.
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 3:32 AM   #2
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Just doing the same step and spent a fair bit of time last week looking for options.

The lenses kit I will go for is as follows (a mix of what I WANT and what I CAN:G!):

- the 18-55 of the kit (mostly to get the camera in hand and for dust protection!)

- The EF 17-85mm f4-5,6 IS USM as multi-purpose lens

- SIGMA 70-300mm f4-5,6 APO MACRO



This correspond to my needsbut there are more available options :?... e.g.

- The 18-55 of the kit (same)

- 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM

- SIGMA 100-300mm f4 APO



Look also elsewhere on this forum, there are other advices
available.

UPDATE:

Guys, just got the 350D this morning ... the lenses are still to come, but I could not resist shooting pictures in the park next door during my lunch break !! Was great fun, even with the 18-55mm of the kit!

Let me share with a little flower!
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 9:09 PM   #3
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Since you are getting everything for half price, I suggest:

350D aka Rebel XT

Battery grip and second battery

Canon 17-85mm IS

Canon 100-400 LIS

If you need extreme wide angle, Canon 10-22mm

If you still have money left, get a good flash unit and tripod.
Happy shooting.

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Old Jun 13, 2005, 10:30 PM   #4
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If you're planning to buy a long tele or tele zoom, make sure and buy the battery pack with the vertical release for steadier handholding. You'll want it the first time you tilt the camera sideways to take a vertical picture.

My next suggestion can be boiled down into two words- IMAGE STABILIZATION. When you start zooming out to 300-400mm the viewfinder starts jumping all over the place on you, meaning you need to maintain higher shutter speeds to keep image shake down unless you buy a lens with image stabilization. I am still absolutely amased how good the image stabilization works on the 100-400L. Zoom it to 400mm and focus down close to the minimum focus distance and you can completely wipe out the background or create beautiful out of focus colors like these two images:

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=3361112

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=3361118

I can handhold this lens with either my 10D or Digital Rebel (both with the battery packs attached) and can shoot as low as 1/50 sec and get very sharp results at or near the 400mm end, like here:

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=2974529

The 100-400 L even has an IS mode 2 which allows you to pan from side to side and still have some assistance via image stabilization if you're shooting something like a plane show or race.

I have a three lens outfit that I use for most everything. A 17-40L that I use for the vast majority of what I do, an 85mm f1.8 that I use on a second body when shooting an event like a wedding, and the 100-400L. I bought a nice 70-210 f3.5-4.5 USM Canon for when I want to travel light, and I do also own a 50mm f1.8 but I don't even count it as a part of my outfit, because it just flat does not get used.
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Old Jun 15, 2005, 9:15 AM   #5
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wburychka wrote:
Quote:
Since you are getting everything for half price, I suggest:

350D aka Rebel XT

Battery grip and second battery

Canon 17-85mm IS

Canon 100-400 LIS

If you need extreme wide angle, Canon 10-22mm

If you still have money left, get a good flash unit and tripod.
Happy shooting.
Those lenses would be my suggestion too.

I bought my 20D in SA, and wouldn't buy any extra lenses there because of the enormous difference in price to the UK. Actually it was quite good discipline because I had to spend 4 months using the 18-55 kit while I learned how to use the camera and got a chance to think about what lenses I really wanted before I returned to London.

You might also want to consider a fast "normal" prime. Now the light in the UK is much worse than in SA, probably an average of 2-3 stops worse on any given day. I have found that in the UK my 17-85 simply wasn't adequate for indoor work without a flash. I've had my EF 28mm f1.8 USM (*1.6=45mm) for about 2 months and have hardly taken it off my camera since I got it - I use it indoors and out and only switch for the zooms when I need to - which isn't that often really. I'm not sure how much I'll use it in SA, but it's worth thinking about or possibly the Sigma 30mm f1.4 EX HSM if it has been released when you make your purchase. It's definitely become my default snapshot lens.

I only mention it because I know it's almost impossible to get hold of primes in SA - though some shops say they will import if you put in a special order.
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Old Jun 15, 2005, 10:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips and advice guys, I'm finding the biggtest problem is knowing how much I'm going to be able to buy. I'll only have about 2000USD tospend(Converting from our rands to dollars, don't know how much UAE currency I'll have). Anyway, fromwhat I see on the net, I wont be able to afford the camera and theCanon 100-400 LIS although I really wish I could.

From what I think I can afford this is what I'll probably get:
- EF-S 17-85 IS
- 70 - 300 DO IS
and the camera(uncle recommended the lenses, still not to sure if I can afford them though, any idea of the prices in Dubai).

To give you an idea of the prices of lenses in SA, the EF-S 14-85 IS costs roughly 1100USD

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Old Jun 15, 2005, 11:32 AM   #7
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John, I am a big fan of the DO, but it isn't the greatest wildlife lens IMO.

Have you considered the Sigma 100-300 f4? It's a a fine lens for wildlife - especially if you add the 1.4xTC which will make it a 140-420 f5.6 so you will still get AF on the XT. The lens plus TC is still a bit cheaper than the DO.

It also requires a lot less work in PS than the DO to get best results. The DO's unique selling point is its optical quality for its size & weight - it attracts very little attention compared to big expensive-looking lenses, which is of course a consideration in SA.

Something to think about anyway.

As to SA prices that sounds about right to me - approximately twice what they cost in the UK, and more than twice what they cost in the US - quite outrageous!

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