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Old Jun 18, 2006, 3:34 PM   #1
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Back in film days, I used Nikkor 24, 55 and 105. Now that I have gone Canon digital (rebel), I'm torn between switching lenses --one low range lens and one or more higher range -- or upgrading to a single walk around.

Question 1: Is exposing the sensor as much of a risk as people tell me?

Question 2: Is the Canon 17-85 IS worth the extra cost over the Sigma 17-70?

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Old Jun 18, 2006, 4:58 PM   #2
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perkinspete wrote:
Question 1: Is exposing the sensor as much of a risk as people tell me?

In short - NO - it's not a big risk as long as you're smart about it. Changing lenses on a beach or dusty environment is a risk, but as long as you do it quickly and intelligently it isn't a problem.

I guess I'm a bit old school - I don't believe in having / using just one lens - the whole point of an SLR camera is being able to use a lens that was designed to give you the best results for the shooting you want to do. Having said that, I still have a 'walk around' lens that is on my camera when I don't have a specific shooting task at hand (i.e. family parties or general lens when on vacation and walking around). But the problem is: the more features and focal range they try to throw in a single lens the more quality starts to degrade.

There are a lot of happy users of the 17-85. It's a very nice lens - upper end of the consumer grade lenses. The only thing I don't like about it is that it's designed specifically for the 1.6x crop factor cameras. So if you wanted to upgrade to a different sensor size Canon in 2-3 years, you'd have to sell the lens. But, it does cover a nice focal range. I have the 28-135 as my walk-around. Very nice lens but you trade the 17-27mm range which means you lose a good portion of the wide angle ability on a 1.6 crop factor camera. So, if you do a lot of wide angle work the 28-135 would not be a good choice.

Sorry I can't help you on the 17-70mm sigma.
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Old Jun 18, 2006, 5:53 PM   #3
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I agree with John in that your sensor is just fine if your changing your lens smartly and as quickly as posible. Every time I switch my lens I use a hand blower to the sensor, mirror and back of lens before I attach the lens. I am most always in a sheltered environment, i.e. in the truck/car, or in a room when changing lenses.

I have the 17 - 85 lens and find it an exceptional lens. Shooting f4.5/5.6, the pics are often soft focus but if you are able to shoot at f10+, the pics are very sharp. Case in point I had to shoot a team photo in an indoor pool and Ionly had the 17 - 85 to do this with. Iwas concerned with this as I knew I could not shoot it atf5.6 because I needed sharp facial details of the team members.I chose f12, put the camera on a tripod and shoot in RAW. The shutter was 1/10, ISO's at 3200 with flash and I took a series of photos. After the editing for the team photo was done, the pic turned out crystal clear. Soneedless to say I was very impressed with the end result and some of the parents thought it looked very professional.
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 8:37 AM   #4
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I have the Sigma 17-70mm Macro. While it isn't a true macro it will focus about 8 inches from the object. I shot my nieces college graduation with a lot of group and family shots. I have been very happy with the sharpness of the images. I also have a Canon 70-200 2.8 and use it a great deal so I do have a high standard to compare it too.

Best of luck!

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