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Old Sep 2, 2005, 4:26 PM   #1
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Hi everyone,

As I'm sure some of you will remember from my recent posts I have just purchased a Canon Rebel XT. I purchased it simply because I wanted better quality pictures and new toy to play with (I love gadgets!).

I've been reading around and seems the concensus is that buying a cheap lens only hurts you in the long run because you'll want to get something better later.

I know that personally, I love to always buy the latest and greatest for all technology gadgets (computers, mp3 players, phones, etc) but I'm just worried that if I purchase an expensive lens - A. it won't really get used all that often and B. I won't have the skill to use it to its full potential and I will have just wasted my money when a cheap lens could've provided me with the same results.

I only use P-mode for all my shots now, and I'm getting pretty good at controlling the ISO as desired and I've changed the AF points to center only but I've been too busy to learn anything more.

My only quarrel with the kit lens is that I find I can't get a big enough shot of things far away - at the zoo most animals were too far away to get decent shots and it sorta felt useless to have my camera haha. But on the other hand, I'm worried that if I get a camera that zooms to 300 then I'll be so shaky I can't take a picture anyway - which would lead to me to get an IS lens.

The other thing I was wondering is if a 50mm is half the zoom of 100, or if the crop factor comes into effect, it's 50%*1.6??

In which case, I would possibly be good enouhg just getting like a 50-200 lens or something? Any advice for my situation is really appreciated - I would just get an expensive lens but I'm no photographer and I don't know if it's worth it for me.

Thanks for input!

Doug
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Old Sep 2, 2005, 5:11 PM   #2
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I'm sure others will chime in, but here's my two cents.....

If money is not a problem, a good walk around lens -- with a good zoom range, not too heavy, and I believe, with an image stabilizer, is the Canon EF-S 17-85mm. With a x1.6 crop factor, it's works like a 27-135mm. It's quiet because of the USM. It is not L lens quality but more than good enough for the casual user.

If money is somewhat of a challenge (don't think it's applicable here), and you still want a decent quality but not necessarily the best zoom, then I think the Sigma 18-125mm f3.5-5.6 is a fair deal. I have one because I can't justify having the expensive ones. It does have a slight bit of distortion at the wide end, but it's correctable digitally with something like PTLens (donation-ware, I think). And as long as you don't blow up the prints to 18"x12" they're fine. I can't use the 17-85mm because of another reason: my 10D doesn't take EF-S lenses. This shouldn't be a problem for your Rebel XT.
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Old Sep 2, 2005, 5:14 PM   #3
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If optical quality isn't your first concern, then you might be very happy with a lens like the sigma 18-200, which for the amount of focal length coverage you get, gives pretty decent pictures and keeping your shutter speed above 1/200 isn't usually too hard in many lighting conditions, especially if you're willing to bump the ISO to 400 or even 800.

A little less range is the 28-135, which is quite good and of course the 17-85 is quite nice, but 85 may not be long enough to make you happy.
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Old Sep 2, 2005, 5:15 PM   #4
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I'm a student right now only working during the summer months so I don't want to go out and spend like $600 CDN on a lens, but if in the long run it will save me money then I can understand doing it.

I haven't made any prints yet so I'm totally unsure what to expect but I'd probably prefer a lens that I don't have to touch up every photo (every wide end photo?). And how would this distortion compare to photos I take with the kit lens at 18mm? If it's the same than I haven't noticed it yet
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Old Sep 2, 2005, 5:20 PM   #5
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All lens have some distortions, generally more so with the cheapie ones. The thing is how much you are willing to accept. And as I said, some of it is correctable digitally with cheap (or free) software. I have compared the distortions between the kit lens and the Sigma (when I was using a Rebel) and it is somewhat more noticeable with the Sigma lens.
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Old Sep 2, 2005, 9:32 PM   #6
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I'm going to go against the general gadget-heavy spend-your-money for performance club here (though I'm a card-carrying member), and suggest not spending any money on a bigger lens until you really practically feel a need for it.

HCB used a 50 mm for most of his work. You can learn a ton using the kit lens. If you're not up to leaning more, and if you're having second thoughts on spending the money, then don't.

It is a mistake, IMO, to think that somehow more equipment will get you better pictures. It's fun to use the equipment and all, but far far more is to be gained from good technique, composition, image editing tools (which are not cheats but a necessary part of the game these days), and simplytrying to get a good shot.

There are tons of ways of getting a decent telephoto lens, new, used, spend a lot, don't spend a lot. A new IS zoom looks interesting. Getting an older used lens off someone who decides up upgrade to that lens or another is another option, etc. When you're ready to do so, you can solve this problem. Until them, getting this new itemsounds likea solution looking for a problem, which is no solution.
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Old Sep 3, 2005, 8:03 AM   #7
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Doug_M wrote:
Quote:
I'm a student right now only working during the summer months so I don't want to go out and spend like $600 CDN on a lens, but if in the long run it will save me money then I can understand doing it.
A good telephoto lens does not have to be expensive - You'll find this lens to be relatively 'cheap' and very good at the same time, i.e. an excellent value:
(check its MTF againts others for a < $200 lens) - http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/len...mp;navigator=3

Beside it does close-up too and will compliment your kit lens very well while affording you the "reach" for away subjects so you can experiment: :idea:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=79
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Old Sep 3, 2005, 10:13 AM   #8
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Wow, that is actually just the lens I was looking at!

I was reading through various threads on here and it seemed highly recommened!so I was going to try and get it. But when I searched on ebay I didn't find any for sale outside of the UK (until I removed the word macro from my search). I'm going to read a few more reviews about this one but it seems like good value and everyone here recommends it (it is ideally what I want because 300mm can zoom a lot for far subjects).

I've heard sigma4less is really good and inexpensive - but I'm not entirely sure about their customer service. Would anyone recommend a good place to buy from - possibly in Canada?

Thanks,

Doug



Well, I've looked at alot of reviews now and apparently people are saying the quality is quite bad after the 200mm range? And I would prefer not to get a tripod so would I be better off just getting a lens thats only up to 200mm?

Maybe some sigma/tamron/canon that's in the 70-200mm range? I do like the macro switch though because I think macro shots are pretty interesting

NHL wrote:
Quote:
Doug_M wrote:
Quote:
I'm a student right now only working during the summer months so I don't want to go out and spend like $600 CDN on a lens, but if in the long run it will save me money then I can understand doing it.
A good telephoto lens does not have to be expensive - You'll find this lens to be relatively 'cheap' and very good at the same time, i.e. an excellent value:
(check its MTF againts others for a < $200 lens) - http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/len...mp;navigator=3
a
Beside it does close-up too and will compliment your kit lens very well while affording you the "reach" for away subjects so you can experiment: :idea:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=79
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Old Sep 3, 2005, 11:00 AM   #9
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Well, it's not like you're going to find a cheaper lens than the 70-300 because there's a shorter focal length. Also note that in order to use the 1:2 macro you need to extend the lens to 300 (and I've seen decent pictures with macro), so you might as well have that extra 100mm for the given price.

If you don't like to shop online, then I'd say Downtown Camera would be a decent place:

http://www.downtowncamera.ca/

Henry's currently has a 10% off all sigma lenses sale, but even with that the 70-300 APO is still cheaper at downtown ($340)

If you don't mind buying online then you can try canadacamera.com . Out of all my searching, this is the overall cheapest place in canada (and it's in ontario, too). They're selling the lens for $300

Unfortunately, when I was younger my father (a computer guy) put a huge scare in me when it came to people stealing your credit card number online so it'll take me a while to overcome it. But hopefully, you're better off than I am and place some trust in the digital security system...


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Old Sep 3, 2005, 11:14 AM   #10
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Oh! I was unaware that I had to extend it to 300mm to use the macro - in that case I guess it's really useful as a 2in1 then

I have no fears for buying online - it's just that shipping from sigma4less is about $30 USD. Even then - it's far cheaper to buy from them and wait patiently! And I guess there isn't really any advantage in getting it from Canadacamera.com




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