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Old Aug 2, 2005, 3:06 PM   #1
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I'm about to purchase a Canon Digital Rebel XT, body only. I need to make a decision as to what lense to buy for it.I'm an amateur with cameras. But,I do take a lot of digital pictures and make slideshows with music, then burn it onto a dvd.I then watch it on tv, and love doing it all....I could use some expert opinions of what lense would be best for the XT.So, here's an idea of how I use my camera, and I hope it helps me get the right lense that you might suggest:1. I take many indoor shots inside theaters with only the existing stage light with no flash.2. I like to take "continuous mode" shots of my grandkids who move as fast as the speed of sound. Usually taken either outside on the lawn, or inside with the flash off most of the time. So again, "existing light" to contend with here....3. Inside the theater, if I'm unlucky to get seated somewhere in the rear, I'd like to be able to get good "zoom" shots, again, with the flash off, and only with existing stage light.4. As for a "zoom", I don't really do any zoom pictures, except when seated in the rear of the theater, where I can only hope for the best....I don't think my requirements are that difficult or strange to find a proper lense solution for.But, I do know that I'd probably want "Image Stabilization" since it would help with someslower shutter speeds. I would even consider purchasing two (2) lenses in a decent price range, if that would help me solve taking pictures with no flash, and in low existing light.... I'd appreciate any info before I make a mistake and purchase the wrong lense. Thanks
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 4:02 PM   #2
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You have some very tough requirements.
Theaters are notoriously dim.
Without a rather strong flash inside a theater, your option is only very fast lenses which with the exception of the EF 50mm F1.8 are not cheap.
Most fast prime lenses and fast long zooms are very expensive.

IS would only help if the actors stand still, it reduces your shaking, it does not fix subject movement

Also most theaters do explicitly forbid taking images inside them.

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Old Aug 2, 2005, 4:24 PM   #3
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mb an 85mm 1.8 would fit your bill pretty decently.. even then you are going to have to bump up the ISO i think..
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 9:35 PM   #4
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I agree with Hards80 on the 85mm 1.8, I have one that I use at gymnastic meets. Not as low light as your talking about in the theaters though. It is fairly inexpensive, I got mine off e-bay for $250, but I think I stole it, most are around $300 to $350. If you do get seated up close you might want to also have the 50mm 1.8, for the price of this lens everyone should have one in their bag. Outside of those your are probably looking at some very expensive primes to do any better.
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 2:27 AM   #5
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As your output is mostly very low resolution I think you'll be able to push your ISO settings right up to 1600 without any real problems.

A 640x480 TV image is the equivalent of a 2.1x1.6 inch print at 300dpi.

Also your output resolution is so low that I can see very little point in using expensive lenses.

My suggestion is to start with the 18-55mm kit lens or perhaps the Sigma 18-125mm, which are both of reasonable optical quality and very good value for money. When you're inside a theatre set your ISO to 1600 and see how you get on.

Before spending money on a fast expensive lens get hold of copy of NeatImage for noise reduction, which will work with any lens you happen to be using.

As to focal length - I wouldn't worry too much, you are going to be getting a 3500x2300 image from your camera, as you only need 640x480 that's a very substantial crop available for "digital zoom" on your PC.

Use your XT + kit lens for a few months while you get used to the camera and then decide what additional lenses you need. I expect you won't need anything more than the kit lens for your purposes.

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Old Aug 3, 2005, 3:11 PM   #6
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peripatetic wrote:
Use your XT + kit lens for a few months while you get used to the camera and then decide what additional lenses you need. I expect you won't need anything more than the kit lens for your purposes.

Hi, regarding the resolution your ´e undoubtably right - getting the actor´s - or children´s - movements you have, even with ISO 1600, to have a fast lens. I recommend to try out the (in)famous 1, 8 50 :idea:- and decide on further purchases after a couple of shootings.

Ciao, Wolfie
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