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Old Jun 10, 2007, 2:26 PM   #1
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OK, if I spring for the EOS 30D (about $1100 with no lens) and I want a good to great wide to zoom lens, what is the best option?

I get a bit confused by the difference in the mm measurements of dSLR versus film SLR. Eventually, I may get it, but for now, I want a wide angle (doesn't need to be "fish eye") to zoom (film equivalent of at least 200mm - more is better). This will enable me to shoot wild life from a distance (elk in northern Arizona to grizzilies at Yellowstone to hawks in flight) as well as wide scenic views (Grand Canyon to Alaska glaciers to Grand Tetons).

Recommendations? Does Steve do reviews? I didn't see specific lens reviews.

Thanks!!
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Old Jun 10, 2007, 2:55 PM   #2
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FatherJohn wrote:
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OK, if I spring for the EOS 30D (about $1100 with no lens) and I want a good to great wide to zoom lens, what is the best option?

I get a bit confused by the difference in the mm measurements of dSLR versus film SLR. Eventually, I may get it, but for now, I want a wide angle (doesn't need to be "fish eye") to zoom (film equivalent of at least 200mm - more is better). This will enable me to shoot wild life from a distance (elk in northern Arizona to grizzilies at Yellowstone to hawks in flight) as well as wide scenic views (Grand Canyon to Alaska glaciers to Grand Tetons).

Recommendations? Does Steve do reviews? I didn't see specific lens reviews.

Thanks!!
A 35mm camera creates an image on 35mm film that is 24mm x 36mm. The Canon 30D has a smaller image sensor, so a lens on the 30D will create a smaller image than it would in a 35mm SLR.A 35mm exposure is about 160% as large as the image sensor in the 30D. What has become known as the "crop factor" is used to refer to the amount of image in a 35mm exposure that is cropped off by the smaller image sensor, so the 30D has a 1.6 crop factor. That means that a 100mm lens on the 30D will have about the same angle of view as a 160mm lens on a 35mm SLR.

The kind of lens you describe is referred to as a "super zoom". As you can understand, a super zoom is a lens that tries to do a lot of things, and since it is a compromise, it doesn't necessarily do all of them well. But there is one that seems to have been the best effort thusfar. It is the Tamron AF18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical (IF).

Btw, that crop factor is only applicable to the focal length, not the aperture. As you can guess, an f/3.5-6.3 lens wouldn't necessarily be a good choice for indoor/low-light photos, but its range should serve you well for the subjects you indicated you'd like to shoot.

And, no, Steve doesn't test lenses, but others do. In addition to Popular Photography [PopPhoto.com], I use PhotoDo.com, SLRGear.comand PhotoZone.de routinely, and I'm sure other people can point you to some of their favorites.
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Old Jun 10, 2007, 5:58 PM   #3
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The only thing I'll add to Tcav's post is this:

250mm is awfully short for wildlife shots. You're not going to find a superzoom that's going to do well in that category. Think 400mm OR MORE.

So it's a matter of your expectations. If you want an occasional snapshot then stick with a superzoom. But if grizzlies, elk and hawks are going to be a significant subject matter you'll want 400mm minimum - 600mm would be a plus. But that's serious money. The least expensive option would probably be the Sigma 50-500 for around $1000. But it's a heavy lens. Lots of other to choose from but won't go into it unless you're interested in longer lenses (over $1000).
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Old Jun 10, 2007, 6:40 PM   #4
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Also remember that the "one lens to do everything" philosophy is somewhat counter-produtive in a SLR.

There are no "great wide to zoom" lenses. They just don't exist.

The whole point of the system is that they have interchangeable lenses. If you choose one lens to do everything the image quality is severely compromised. Even by simply allowing two lenses you can do ever so much better.

You also don't mention a budget, and without a budget it's almost impossible to make a recommendation.
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Old Jun 11, 2007, 12:36 PM   #5
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peripatetic wrote:
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There are no "great wide to zoom" lenses. They just don't exist.
Well actuaqlly there are depending on budget and critria....


S & T 28-300 are CRAP at any where near the long end..... especially in low light

But the 28-200's both are very aceptable.



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Old Jun 11, 2007, 3:56 PM   #6
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Hayward wrote:
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But the 28-200's both are very aceptable.

There is a difference between 'acceptable' and 'great'. But it does depend on what the OP is after. The lenses are no match for say a Canon 70-200 f4 in terms of image quality, sharpness, build quality, focus speed. By the same token, for some people 'acceptable' is enough and there's no sense paying for more quality than you care about.

But, I would still argue, you won't even get 'acceptable' hawk,bear, elk shots with only 200mm. Getting within30 yards of a bear in order to get a quality shot with a 200mm lens is not something I would try to do. And for bird in flight, 200mm is REALLY going to be very limiting. Heck, I use a 400mm lens and that's too short for many bird in flight shots.
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Old Jun 11, 2007, 5:07 PM   #7
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Actually the Canon 28-300 is not that bad, but it's not <$1000 either: :-)
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...3556/index.htm
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