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Old Dec 3, 2005, 1:10 PM   #11
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I actually live in Saratoga and only use the house at the Cape in the spring and fall.

I do not expect to use the camera while trying to fish. Given the value of the camera and lens and the environment in which I will be using it (salt water), it will stay in a high quality water tight, impact resistant case unless I want to take a picture.

What do you think of the lens that comes standard with the Canon Rebel Xt 350D and what do you think of the camera itself. It sounds like I could use the lens that comes with it for close shots in the boat and change the lens to the other when I need to reach out.

Do you think the lens can handle pictures of fish on the flats. If I can see the fish fairly well, what are the chances that the camera will be able to record them?
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Old Dec 4, 2005, 11:12 PM   #12
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The lens that comes with the 20D (17-85) is thought well of. I've never used it but many like it. I assume that is the same lens that comes with the DRebel. That is a great focal length for boat shots, it would do very well.

I don't know too much about the XT. I researched the DRebel (the model before it) and I wouldn't have purchased it. It lacked some features (exposure compensation being the big one) and it had only one command wheel. This, to me, made the camera's interface too hard to use in the fast paced environment of photographing wild animals. Someone told me they added minimal (1 stop at a time) exposure comp to the XT. I would check Steve's review to make sure... without that, you'll have a really hard time adjusting exposure to deal with the bright sun on the ocean. Personally, the 20D can do exposure comp by 1/3's of a stop, which is ideal for me.... I wouldn't find 1 stop adjustments acceptable, but it is certainly better than nothing.

Picture/Image wise, the DRebel XT is a great camera. It can turn out some really stunning images, its very responsive... a good camera for the price.

Just remember that when changing lenses you're opening the inside of the camera to the elements (water spray, dust....) And instead of film (which gets changed every picture) it is a very expensive sensor in there. If you do it carefully you won't have a problem. But I thought I should mention it.

I just though of another way you can think about it. The Human eye sees around the equivalent to a 50mm lens. Therefor a 400mm lens is equivalent to 8x binoculars. With the sensor crop taken into account ((1.6 x 400) / 50) = 12.8x binoculars. So if you have a pair of binoculars around the house, try them and and compare what how the camera will be to them.

The camera should be able to AF on your subjects well and get the picture. Will they be big enough in the picture for you? Hard to tell without actually be there. I think it will be, but I can't honestly say for sure.

Eric
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Old Dec 5, 2005, 4:28 PM   #13
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The XT has 1/3 stop exposure compensation.
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 10:24 AM   #14
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Apropos (sp?) to your last message, my friend who is a fishing guide/photographer argued against the EF100-400 4.5-5.6 L IS U. He made the following points:

1. It is not suited to the common closer picture situation in a boat. I would need to switch lenses. He noted your issue in that the less you are doing things like that the better. Also, it is time consuming and you may miss an opportunity based on having the wrong lens on when a situation arises. As it is, the camera will need to be kept properly closed in a case when not in use.

2. For the kind of picture I will be taking I do not need that powerful a telephoto lens.

3. It is quite large adding to the issuesof being a handy quick tool.

I tried the lens at a local shop and there is no doubt it is large. Space ina skiff is a precious commodity. More lenses means larger case.

As I have noted I am a real neophyte. I looked at the Canon site and there was a lens EF 28-35 3.5-5.6 IS USM. This seemed by the numbers to be a compromise. I was, however, struck by how much cheaper it was and wondered what I was giving up in addition to range were I to select this.

I want to emphasize how much I appreciate your generosity in responding to my messages. Money here is not my prime consideration. What do you think of the lens above. How significant is it over the lens that comes with the camera which is EF-S 18-55?

THanks
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 1:19 PM   #15
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I think what you really need to do is use some binoculars and see how much magnification they give you. Use them on cars or something big (in many cases your subjects are bigger than cars, I guess!) at the distance you normally are from your subject.

For example, lots of people have around 7x - 8x binocs. That is the same as a 350mm (7x) or 400mm (8x) lens... wait a sec, gotta take into account the sensor crop. A 218mm = 7x and 250mm = 8x. Look at what you can see (not the vield of view, which will be larger, but the size of the subject) and then decide if the subject suze is good enough. A 55mm lens on the DRebel is slightly less than 1.76x magnification. That really isn't that much. It would do a good job of on-boat pictures (because it goes all the way to 18mm) but it isn't very long.

The 28-135 IS will get you good wide shots (not as good as the 18-55, but still good) but the 135mm on the long end is much more useful. It is 4.32x magnification. Much better than less than 2x. It's small and light (to me) and it has IS, which is good for the boat. It isn't a very fast lens (not a small f-stop) but outdoors with lots of light this won't matter too much. It is also much cheaper than the 100-400. In fact, it's $404.95 after a small rebate right now.

Eric
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Old Dec 9, 2005, 2:25 PM   #16
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Do you really need that much telephoto? Remember, 400mm on the lens will translate to about 640mm on your digital camera. That's a heck of a lot of zoom. Maybe something a little shorter (less expensive) will do the trick.

The IS should give you a good 1, maybe 2 stop advantage, which means 2 f-stops down, two steps up on the shutter speed, or 2 steps up on the ISO will give you the same focus or blur as the IS. Personally, before I took a $1200 lens out on a boat, I'd try another tack. (pun intended).

Another idea is (depending on how much you really think you'll use such an expensive lens) is to just buy a superzoom prosumer camera like the Panasonic FZ30 for your boat trips. If you lose that to the elements, you've lost $500 instead of $2000 for the Canon and the IS lens.
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Old Dec 9, 2005, 6:48 PM   #17
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I am now looking at the EF24-105mm f/4l IS USM

It addresses the issue you raised in terms of not needing so much zoom. I need the flexibility of shooting someone in the boat as well as stuff on the water.

Granted, it is an expensive lens but I do not expect to be using it under adverse conditions when spray would be a danger. I also have a cheaper point and shoot for quick close stuff.

What do you think of the lens?
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Old Dec 9, 2005, 7:48 PM   #18
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I wouldn't know, I never had that much money How can you argue w/ L series lenses? You're still looking at $1300 bucks. Maybe someone could recommend similar lens from Sigma, Tokina, or Tamron. Good luck.
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Old Dec 10, 2005, 2:28 PM   #19
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After considerable research and feed back I am now looking at the EF24-105mm f/4l IS USM.

What do you think of this choice?

Also, what do you recommend for a polaroid filter for this camera?

Thanks
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