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Old Jul 9, 2003, 4:57 PM   #1
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Default Please Help! Need a lense with little/no distortion

Hi all,

I just purchased a 10D and was wondering what is the best lense for photographing things "as I see them". I'm not up on the lingo, but I notice that when I take full length shots of my wife with a small digicam, the "center of the picture" seems bigger or more warped than the edges, which makes her stomach look bigger. Does that make sense? I want it to be equally porportioned, like what my eyes see. I generally take full length shots, so I'd appreciate all the help I can get.

I was thinking a 50mm prime, or perhaps a zoom lense at set at the highest zoom setting would eliminate distortion??

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jul 9, 2003, 10:49 PM   #2
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Well, the 50mm prime will act like a 80mm on the 10D. Not bad for a portrate lens, but not wide enough for many of things.

The 50mm 1.8 is a good lens (at least what little I've used it) and if you can spare the money the 1.4 is supposed to be very good. A zoom which started around 28 or so and went up past 80 should do a good job of covering all the bases for simple people/portrate pictures. But they (in theory) trade optical quality for the zooming flexability. I say "in theory" because some zooms are really quite good and rival some primes... other are not good and really do loose something to a prime lens.

Do you know what the focal length and fstop were set to on the "small digicam"? That would help.

Eric
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Old Jul 10, 2003, 8:58 AM   #3
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I have a Nikon Coolpix 3500. I notice the "fisheyeness" more when it's not zooming, but less at it's optimal zoom length which I think is around 103mm?? Lines seem straighter at that length. Does that help?

Also, I notice when I use the prime 50mm 1.8 on the 10D and take a picture of my wife, standing far enough away to just get her upper torso, everything execpt the focus point is alittle blurry, even when the background is only 6 inches behind her, kinda like a "portrait" feel. Is this normal? With the Coolpix, everything in the picture is focused. There no "depth" with those pictures, but everything is sharp. This is shooting indoors with flash for both.

I'm such a newbie.

Thanks again.
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Old Jul 10, 2003, 10:18 AM   #4
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Sifer- before owning these cameras did you have any SLR experience?

the DOF on an SLR is more critical and exacting then on a, excuse the term, point and shoot type.

it is easier to shoot with a digicam (and get a reasonable image) vs an SLR. but the control is greater in every sense on a SLR.

lots of optical physics happening in there.

also lets face it if you drop as much money or more on a lens then you did on your digicam you would expect slightly higher performance.

i own 2 lenses 24-70 f2.8 and a 70-200 f2.8 IS both USM types.
with these i can cover most of my current needs.

your going to start bracketing your shots and choosing the best.

remember higher f stops provide greater DOF. if your constantly shooting indoors at f3.5 your getting no DOF at all.

there is a lot more to slr shooting then most people realize.

here are 2 shots at different speeds and apetures and focal length look at the DOF differences.

note the foreground and background on both

http://www.pbase.com/image/18745392

http://www.pbase.com/image/18842176/large

check out the EXIF data
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Old Jul 10, 2003, 3:49 PM   #5
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Awesome. I totally get it now. Thank you!

Do you think it would make much difference if I used a 50mm 1.4 vs. 1.8 in terms of DOF?

Also, how much were those lenses you mentioned if I may ask? Are they canon? Does it make much difference as to the lense manufacturer? I have a Vivitar 19-35 f3.5-4.5 that I could swear isn't as sharp, but maybe it's just an old lense? Or is it a compatibility with these new DSLR's?

Thanks so much!
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Old Jul 10, 2003, 9:27 PM   #6
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no not really. we are talking less then a half stop.

yes they are canon

the 24-70 f2.8L USM $1234
the 70-200 f2.8L IS USM $1620

i have used sigma EX lenses and feel their quite good for the price

the 70-200 f2.8EX is about $800 or less
their 24-70 f2.8EX at $380 is also good. the caveat there is it reqs a 82mm filter. they're not cheap in that size.
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Old Jul 10, 2003, 10:20 PM   #7
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For someone on a budget, do you know if the 28-135 IS lense is a good alternative? I have read alot of good reviews on it. At 50mm, it seems this lense is "distortion" free as in the 50mm prime. Any thoughts or info on this?

Thanks as usual!
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Old Jul 10, 2003, 10:40 PM   #8
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so far from what i have seen it is one if their best selling lenses. i usually like to shoot wide on your camera with the mag factor i would want to have at least 17mm to satisfy my needs.

i think you would be reasonably satisfied twith that lens for the type of shooting you seem to want to do. where you will lose is in interior shooting where wide is the king. there the new 17-40L f4 usm will help you. the overlap is great so you don't have to swap lenses too often. and the price at ~$800 doesn't hurt as much.

http://www.usa.canon.com/html/eflenses/

don't forget that the IS on the 28-135 will have an effect on your battry drain. adjust accordingly as to how many batteries you might need.
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Old Jul 12, 2003, 12:59 AM   #9
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Just one comment. Before you jump and buy the 28-135 IS USM, consider the 28-105 USM (no IS) also. It gets good reviews (for a non L lens, just like the 28-135) but weights a lot less (13.1 oz vs 18.9). To me, weight is a big factor. It also is about half the price.

Here's a great website rating canon lenses:

http://www.cmpsolv.com/photozone/resultEOS.htm

Barthold
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Old Jul 12, 2003, 8:06 AM   #10
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while i respect surveys and use them in my choice they tend to be a bit subjective in view especially as we all talk amongst ourselves and then things we didn't see/hear before start showing up in the minds eye. i prefer some harder optical tech test data.

this site uses some cold hard hard MTF curves for lens performamce and bases the score on that.

i have seen people sell off zoom lenses to go to primes because they say zooms are too soft. the word soft is rather harsh. it is true that zooms do not resolve to a prime level, in most cases. but its better then juggling 5 lenses to do what one does well. when i shot olympus (way back then and all primes) and i was in the Darkroom i used a high mag grain focuser too get it just right

http://www.photodo.com/nav/prodindex.html (thank you NHL)

your choice of using/purchasing a lens with IS should be base on your needs especially at the outer zoom end and camera shake( your sensor mag factor adds to this). if you add a 1.4 extender, the camera shake, again is magnified that much more. i am more then happy with it in that at 200mm on my 70-200 f2.8(slightly beefy). i can still crop and get a more usable image at 200mm or greater. this is, of course, all dependent on you and how you shoot.

weight- weight is good. weight is bad. weight is good on a tripod or monopod because it will help in dampening movement(including vibration). weight is bad in that we have to carry it around in the bag. and hand holding can be less then fun. there is where IS helps. the long shot of the horses in the field is hand held at 1/250 f3.2 iso100. i'm not quite as steady as i used to be so again i'll take my IS now. also i shoot bicycle races. it will help there.

remember your camera body is almost half the weight of mine too. these days carrying this stuff arouns is my only form of exercise too. rather expensive hand weights.
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