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Old Nov 8, 2006, 12:10 PM   #1
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what are the differences in the lenses?....i see that they only came out with 3 digital lenses...what if i use one of their other ones?....what's the difference? also, same question with the tamron.
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 12:20 PM   #2
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not sure what you mean by different brands of Canon lenses. Do you mean lens line?

For instance Canon's current lineup of lenses consist of 'EF' or 'EF-S'. EF lenses are designed for use on any current Canon SLR or DSLR camera. An EF lens works on all the digital SLRs in canon's lineup plus all theirstill-produced flim bodies

EF-S lenses are designed specifically for APS-C sized sensors. These lenses have smaller elements and only work properly on the APS-C sized sensors in the Canon DSLR lineup (300D, 350D, 400D, 20D, 30D). They do NOT work properly on the 5D, 10D or any of the 1-series bodies which have larger sensors. Basically the EF-S lenses create a smaller image circle to take advantage of the smaller APS-C sensor. So, you'll have vignetting if you tried to use these lenses on one of the cameras with a larger sensor.

Third party manufacturers have done a similar thing - started a line of lenses that are designed for APS-C sensor cameras. The benefit, in theory, is that you can use lens elements with smaller diameter since you don't need as large of an image circle. So, the resulting lens is smaller, lighter and in theory (but not always practice) less expensive than a full-frame counterpart lens.


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Old Nov 8, 2006, 1:31 PM   #3
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thanks for the response...and yes i meant difference in canon's lines. if i use and EF lens instead of a EF-S lens on a canon rebel xt, is their a disadvantage...is there a difference?...also if i use 28-80 tamron instead of their di line, what's the difference??? thanks, i hope i'm explaining my question right. ps. im looking into the canon 28-105 (the compact one, i think the second version they came out with) and the tamron 28-105, 28-80 or the kit canon lens 18-55. i want a good quality all around lens but don't want to spend too much.
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 1:46 PM   #4
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I'll do my best to add some confusion

I am going to assume you are asking about optical performance.
As JohnG said the EF/EF-s have more to do with the sensor size the lens can be used on, and have little to do with how the lens performs optically.

For optical performance there is the high end Canon "L" line (expensive) and plain consumer grade line.
There are also a few DO (Difractive Optics) designated lenses in the lineup, some people like them.

To match Canons "L" line Sigma has their "EX" line and Tamron has the SP XR.

To match Canons ef-S line for small sensored cameras Tamron has the xr-DIi series and Sigma has their DC serires.


To answer the question on using standard ef lenses on the rebel,
it causes no issues and since you are only using the center of its image circle (the Sweet Spot) can actually seem to improve a lenses performance :-)
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 2:18 PM   #5
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goddessily wrote:
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if i use and EF lens instead of a EF-S lens on a canon rebel xt, is their a disadvantage...is there a difference?
Big differences:
1. A digital (EF-s) lenses is usually smaller and lighter
2. A digital (EF-s) lens also is in general sharper (higher MTF) than an EF lens
(comparable to an L in MTF some time because of the better contrast)
3. Only negative is the EF-s won't fit on a full-frame
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 2:43 PM   #6
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NHL wrote:
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3. Only negative is the EF-s won't fit on a full-frame
I think you missed a negative. There is no EF-S lens with an 'L' designation. And, as any Canon user knows, only 'L' lenses are capable of producing quality photos.

OK - to the OP, I'm joking here.

But, there are a couple other differences, at least in the Canon line-up:

Build quality of an L lens tends to be higher - metal instead of plastic. This is the real benefit. Also, some L lenses are weather sealed (although not all are). Now, an argument can also be made: what good is a weather sealed lens if your camera body isn't sealed. Definitely valid.

In the end, you need to compare lenses on an individual basis. I disagree with global generalizations that say 'EF-S is always better' or 'EF is always better'. Every single lens purchase needs to be considered on it's own merits.

There are also other factors that don't show up on an MTF chart: QC issues with a lens, focus speed issues (this is a big one with me - not all 2.8 lenses focus at the same speed or with the same degree of accuracy) Not sure if pincusioning, barrel distortionand purple fringing and such show up on an MTF chart. But they are all factors to consider when buying a lens.

Bottom line is: in some cases you'll find an EF-S lens is the best solution but in other cases you'll find the older EF lenses are a better solution.
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 3:04 PM   #7
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thanks for all the info...but since i'm on a budget, i'm looking for a good overall lens for landscaping and taking pics of my son and parties and such. need decent wide angle and average zoom should be okay for now. looking into the canon 28-90 usm II and the 28-105 usm (not the II) or even the 18-55 efs...any input, please. what should i go for?
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 3:18 PM   #8
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goddessily wrote:
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i'm looking for a good overall lens for landscaping and taking pics of my son and parties and such.
Well, for landscape shots, you're usually stopping a lens down so QC shouldn't be a problem nor should focus speed. The only real question there is how wide do YOU like for your shots. That will drive whether 28mm is wide enough or 18mm is needed or even 10mm.

For 'pictures of your son' that really depends on the types of pictures you want to take and what your son will be doing in them. If you like portrait work, then typically you want shallow depth of field which will typically require wide apertures (85mm 1.8 or 1.2)or long focal lengths (my 100-400 has aperture of 5.6 but if you have enough room, a 400mm 5.6 lens creates some very nice subject isolation - but alas, my 28-135 at 5.6 does not so it's not a good portrait lens).

If you're talking about indoor shots where your son is playing, the choices are either a fast lens (think 50mm 1.8 )or a good flash.

If you're talking about outdoors - aperture may not be as important as reach.

The good flash is also a great solution for parties. There are some times when a 'fast lens' isn't a good option - when you have multiple people, not posing. Then the best option is a good external flash that you can bounce and diffuse (the on-board flash is really only good to about 10 feet and it doesn't provide a very wide coverage of light so it doesn't do well with large rooms and multiple people).

So, one possible suggestion is to stay with the kit lens and get a good external flash - the kit lens will be good for landscape shots and wide enough for indoor use. And the external flash allows you to do low light shots of your son and your party shots.

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Old Nov 8, 2006, 11:42 PM   #9
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okay so 18-55 or 28-90?
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 9:51 AM   #10
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EF-S 18-55 for sure!!!

1. Any EF-s is new in design (last few years or so)
2. An EF lens is at least made a decade ago or more for film camera (unless it has a mrkII... on it)
-> Beside a 28mm is not a wide angle on a cropped dSLR :idea:
(and definetely not even worth putting on a full-frame dSLR)
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