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Old Jul 28, 2005, 11:46 AM   #1
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I am looking at purchasing some lenses when i get my rebel xt, and i was wondering in the zoom field (say, a 70-200mm), will a 4-5f be sufficient? the main type of work i do does not require a huge zoom, so this will be mainly for leisure...how versatile is the 4-5f 70-200mm lenses?

also, is it worth getting the lenses with USM? how much faster of a focus is it than with a regular AF, non-USM lens? worth the extra $$$$? just curious. thanks so much.

-Jon Rowe
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Old Jul 29, 2005, 8:10 AM   #2
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A 70-200 zoom is very versatile compared to a single focal length lens like an 85mm 1.8, but what type subjects do you plan to shoot? If you plan to shoot indoors or in low light with no flash or eveningsports it may pay to go with a faster 85mm f1.8 lens that will allow you to shoot at higher shutter speeds. A 70-200 zoom with a maximum aperture of around f4-5 would be awfully slow for any type low light shooting.

The USM question depends on which "USM" you are talking about, because there are two types of USM motors. There is the ring USM motor, which is extremely nice. Focus is super fast and silent. Another feature of this motor is you never have to switch your lens from AF to MF to manually focus. The motor automitically disengages when you grab and turn the focusing ring.

The other type "USM" (I don't even consider it USM) is the micro USM motor, and Canon, for obvious reasons, does not shout "This is a micro USM lens!" in their ads. I see the term mentioned in one or two spots, but for the most part they seem toconsider the ring USM and micro USM to be the same, and that could not be further from the truth.The Micro USM motor isa way for them to use the USM name and make a little extra money on some of their less expensive lenses.Lenses with those motors are almost as slow as the plain micro motor (non USM) lenses with the exception they are a little more quiet, but not as quiet as the ring USM lenses. Also, with with exception of the 50mm f1.4,with a micro USM lens you have to turn the lens switch to manual focus in order to do so. For the most part the extra $$ charged for these type lenses is not worth it. Acouple of the more prominentlenses that use this type motor are the 75-300 with Image Stabilization, the 18-55 EFS USM.
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Old Jul 29, 2005, 11:04 AM   #3
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I'd suggest you buy the kit lens to start, or the EF-S 17-85 IS (if your budget can support it). Either of these will get you going and teach you to use your new camera.

I'd discourage you from buying more than one lensright away. When you get comfortable with all the settings and using the camera, you'll be ready to expand your lens set. This will take several months.

My first lens was an EF-S 17-85 IS. After four months, I bought the inexpensive ($70) EF 50 f/1.8 for indoor low light shooting. After about seven months I added the EF 70-200 f/4L and an inexpensive 1.4X teleconverter. The 70-200 produces incredibly sharp and saturated images. I chose it over the Sigma f/2.8because of physical size and weight, knowing thehigher f-stop (f/4 vs f/2.8) could be an issue in low light conditions. The Cano 70-200 family of lenses are excellent, but the f/2.8 ones are pretty pricey.

Judging from the tenor of your question, I sense you're pretty inexperienced in photography... it would be a mistake to buy a bunch of low end lenses that you'll later want to replace. A cheap lens will always be a cheap lens. You'll be better off in the long run taking your time and not rushing into buying lenses you won't be happy with. Good lenses hold their value, inexpensive ones don't.

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