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Old Aug 30, 2006, 9:52 AM   #1
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Hi Everyone,

Well this has been a hard debate for myself and thought I'd get the opinions of everyone here on what would be the best choice.

I'm still new to photography (not so new that I don't know what ISO/Tv,Av, etc.) and have just purchased a little over a month ago, a Rebel XT. I went through quite a few lenses to arrive at my current one, the 28-135 IS lens. The lens has been good to most extents but I've been wanting a bit more "wow" out of it (always seems a little soft, a constant f/4 is quite nice compared to the 5.6 at 135). On the camera side, I enjoy the Rebel XT but there are a lot of annoyances that tend to bug me (small ones). Some of these are the build construction (knew going into it), small LCD, spot metering, larger buffer, higher ISO. I've been going through headaches of financial plots of what buying choice would be wiser and what option would I achieve better/more by. The lens holds its value, the body doesn't; the speculation of the 40D in the Spring makes me wonder why go this one. Then again, I feel I may get more for my money on the camera then the lens. Going back to the lens, I'll still have similar picture quality on the 30D if I kept the 28-135mm and the point of a camera is to produce beautiful pictures so is the 30D defeating the purpose? Or is the "L" lens not so dramatically different that it'll justify the 30D?



Cost wise though is that it's cheaper for me to upgrade to the 30D:

- $140 30D

- $360 24-105L Lens

These amounts are what I have to pay extra from what I've paid now (I just received 420.00 free from Amazon )

I truly appreciate any help those here can give and thank you!

Cheers,

Garrett
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 12:17 PM   #2
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Garrett,

Give some examples of the types of photos you feel the 28-135 let you down on. The reason is there are a lot of factors that go into the quality of the end result - most of which are attributed to the photographer - both behind the camera and in post processing. Despite what some people might lead you to believe - there is no magical lens that makes every photo great. So, it is entirely possible there is something you could do differently to get better results.

My honest opinion is: you have an extremely capable camera and lens there under many conditions. The only reason I would suggest replacing either after a single month is that either is not capable of supporting the requirements for your given choice of photography. For instance, the 28-135 is a poor wildlife lens - it's just too short. It's a poor low light action lens because it's only f5.6. The XT isn't an ideal sports or wildlife camera because of the burst rate and focus (but still good - just not ideal).

So, be specific about the conditions where the combo is letting you down and post some examples. It may be the equipment could be improved but it may also be something about the human process that could be improved which would save you a lot of $$$$.
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 12:43 PM   #3
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Hi John,



Thanks for your thoughts and opinion on the matter! For a little more background info, I owned a Fuji S7000 before the Rebel and used that for about 2 years shooting primarily portraits and some wildlife. What I longed for was the power of continuous shooting and low-light shooting for sports, landscapes, and wildlife. Moving over to the Rebel was wonderfull but I'm also the kind of guy who likes to pack light and prefers not switching out lenses (which rules out the 70-200L for sports...). I did get a little annoyed when I was at the American Le Mans and the buffer of my camera was fillingso fast and hence one of the reasons I'm thinking of the 30D.



Shooting the past month of about 4500 photos, I've had to practice a lot on improving techniques and photo settings and I do admit that I, the photographer, am the reason for a good portion of the pictures I take are trashed. I'll use this photo as an example:



http://www.gonuudle.com/uploads/IMG_1604.JPG

This shot IMHO is a bit too soft and was recommended to increase the cam sharpening but to me the flower is not as distinct as I would have hoped.



http://www.gonuudle.com/uploads/IMG_1705.JPG

On the second shot, an early shot, the ISO could have been higher and a tad higher shutter but after only owning two lenses, I'm not sure if this is good or below par.



Thanks again John for your input and everyone here.

~Garrett
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 2:06 PM   #4
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Good Gosh, those are pretty good shots. The flower is a little soft at full view but very good. Could it be "sharper" yes but you could do that with a little Photoshop magic or camera setting. When you look at the stems there is a lot of detail! Focal point may be the issue orthe Fstop setting. Also As I understand it canon sensors are soft, and I do believe Steve has mentioned it in his reviews.



One of the reasons I purchased the 20D was its burst rate and buffer. That may help with sports but a true sports camera is Canon's EOS 1D Mark II N.




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Old Aug 30, 2006, 7:53 PM   #5
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Well, I'll address the racing shot since I'm not much of a macro person:

As you said, more could have been done with exposure - but since you were at ISO 100, f5.6 and 1/800 you're not at the limits of the camera by any stretch. Where this shot suffers, IMO is it's too far away. The image itself is fairly sharp but you're not going to get sharper results because you're probably at infinite focus - you're taking a shot beyond the reach of the lens. That combined with the underexposure of the horses / riders is what's at issue here. So, neither a new camera nor the proposed lens (which is even shorter) would improve on this shot. Again, you have plenty of ISO left to have gotten a better exposure but you need to be much closer if you want detail of the horses / jockeys. If the shot is uncropped, I'd say you needed at least 300mm rather than 135 and really 400mm would have been best.
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Old Aug 31, 2006, 12:56 AM   #6
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CTrack and John,



Thanks for both of your input on the pictures and I again appreciate it. On the macro shot of the bee, I have tried adding a hint of sharpness via Photoshop and achieved the results I was hoping for . There's still a lot for me to learn as you noticed and I'm hoping some more practice will help remedy the clearity issue I kept seeing.

On the horses, thanks John! I know you do a lot of sports shooting here and I can agree that having a 3-400mm lens would have been much more helpful. I'm starting to question the logic on choosing the 24-105L since I could truly use as much focal range as I can get and I am curious on how well this shot could have been if I were closer . I'm going to have to rethink my situation and also try to figure out if I should even bother with any upgrades at this moment.



Again my thanks to everyone and this has really helped me out! My head is feeling a bit lighter and clearer now.



Cheers,



Garrett
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Old Aug 31, 2006, 7:28 AM   #7
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Garrett,

First, the price you gave for the 24 - 105 L seems almost a $1000.00 too low. If you can get this lens legally for $360.00, I'd do it. The price you quoted seems to be more in line with the 28 - 105 non L lens that's about the same quality as the 28 - 135 lens.

Both of yourphotos have the same problem, taken too far away without enough zoom to make up for the distance.Based on the two example shown, you seem to be more of a daylight shooter so you could go with a longer zoom that has decent marco capablities. I'd spend a little more time perfecting my technique and decide onmy next purchase after that. The flower shot would be greatly improved if yougot close enough to isolate the flower with the bee on it. That alone would make a much more powerful photograph. I see no problem with the sharpness of the lens. I have ithis lensmyself and it's one of the sharpest non-L zoom lenses available in the Canon line-up.

As John said play around with the iso to bring out shadow detail (careful about blowing the high lights) I think you'll be surprised.

Keep shooting,

Bill
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Old Aug 31, 2006, 11:18 AM   #8
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Hi Bill,



I see where you're at in terms of focal length and I appreciate using the flower picture for an example. Regarding the price: It's a long story but as I mentioned, I was happily suprised to find that the IS lens I have now is considered "Free" (so far... I'll know for sure in one more month to play it safe) by an automated error on that being the third copy I went through. Because of that, I basically got ~400.00 (eBayed) from them and I'm tacking that on to the total that I originally paid for the IS lens so in reality, I'm only paying ~360.00 more for the lens, ~140 for the 30D. I also had an offer for a used mint lens (24-105L) for 975 shipped...



Thanks again Bill and I'll probably be spending the next few weeks having some fun practicing my technique (hopefully get a few shots )


Garrett
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Old Sep 3, 2006, 10:27 PM   #9
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My thoughts on the horse picture:

Assuming you were at the highest focal distance that the lens offered there are still some things you might have done to improve the quality of the photo.

IMHO the picture was taken with the wrong aperature setting. The foreground and background were slightly blurred... but for what creative reason?

I think you could have increased the depth of field to have a fully clear shot or decreased the depth of field to emphasize the horses and further blur the background. I'm having trouble appreciating the middle ground where neither is creatively accomplished.

Again, just one guys opinion.
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