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Old Dec 16, 2008, 2:49 PM   #11
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cleo wrote:
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I love the blur you got in the second picture. Would I be able to do that with the 70-200 you recommended?
Tough call. The problem is you'd need to be at 200mm which means further away from your subject. Outdoors - absolutely. The reason being outdoors, the background is further away from your subject. But indoors it's tougher.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"It's also worth pointing out your results will vary slightly from mine. I have a camera with a larger sensor - the 1dmkIII - which has a 1.3 crop sensor vs. 1.6 crop sensor in your camera. What this means is if you and I used the exact same lens on our cameras and looked at the same subject from the same distance the subject would be larger in your image than in mine. If one or both of us adjusted our distance such that the image appeared the same size in both cameras (i.e. you moved further away or I moved closer) the face would be the same size in both images but the background in my photos would be more blurred. Not a huge amount, but not negligible either. It's one of the benefits of larger sensor cameras.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"If you're after quality then I would advise against the 18-200. But realize the 85mm 1.8 I used in the second photo is designed for photos just like that - not for photos from 30 feet away. And on a 1.6 crop body it is very tight indoors. So it really is a rather specific lens. THat's the challenge with prime (non zoom) lenses.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"believe me if there was a single lens that did everything, everyone would own it. There isn't.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"For my indoor work i tend to use 2 lenses: 24-105L as my standard lens and 85mm 1.8 as my portrait. The 24-105 gets me enough reach for most indoor stuff. The 85 gives me the blur.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I will also suggest something else to make things even worse for you - unless you are taking photos with ample sunlight coming in you really should invest in an external flash. The built in flash really produces terrible results compared to an external diffused or bounced flash.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"a couple shots with the 85mm 1.8 and a flash when there just isn't enough ambient ligt for non flash use



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Old Dec 17, 2008, 6:19 PM   #12
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cleo
take your camera to a local store and test some lenses
try the
canon ef 70-300mm is usm f4-5.6
canon ef 85mm f/1.8 usm or the L series which is at f/1.2
canon ef 24-105mm f/4 L is usm
though im not an expert i am just giving you more choices
your budget and needs will decide whats right for you
good luck
merry christmas

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Old Dec 18, 2008, 12:44 AM   #13
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Oh my head hurts now. Hahaha I am trying so hard to understand this all! Thank you guys for your help. Thanks deterpawson for the suggestion. I think I will go to a store and see if that helps!

So, John, one more question: you said you use the 24-105 and the 85mm 1.8 for your indoor shots. What do you use for outdoor?
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Old Dec 18, 2008, 1:13 AM   #14
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Ok so it seems I am choosing between these so far:

1. Canon 70-200 f4L

2. 85mm 1.8

3. Canon ef 24-105mm f/4 LIS USM

How do I choose? Like I said most of my pics are of the kids. In the winter, that means mostly indoors! In the summer, we are outdoors alot in beautiful places.

Help.
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Old Dec 18, 2008, 3:48 AM   #15
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My two cents worth:

1. The 70-200 gives you good reach but may be not wide enough for some indoor needs. Remember your Rebel XT is a crop lens which means that the effective focal length of the 70mm end is 1.6 x 70mm.

2. 24-105 might give you a good compromise - wide enough at 24 for those indoor close shots and long enough for indoor at 105

3. 85 will be too limiting and will always force you to move in and out. And 85 for indoor might be too long, depending on how large your home is.
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Old Dec 18, 2008, 2:53 PM   #16
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Thanks a-beginner! That is helpful.

So I was looking into the 24-105 - why is this place so much cheaper than other sites? Is that a scary place to purchase from?

http://soniccameras.com/catalog/prod...oducts_id=2502


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Old Dec 18, 2008, 3:33 PM   #17
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cleo wrote:
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So I was looking into the 24-105 - why is this place so much cheaper than other sites? Is that a scary place to purchase from?
If it looks to good to be true....

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Sonic_Cameras

0.72 out of 10 customer rating should tell you a lot.

BHPhotovideo, adorama, buydig are probably the 3 most widly used and reputable online vendors. But I would always advise checking the above site for any vendor.
$960 from B&H appears to be the best deal out there from a legit vendor - at least according to prices in the price search engines.

But remember - that isn't going to give you that extreme shallow DOF you liked. We keep coming back to this. If you want extremely shallow DOF inside (where you can't get far enough away to use 200mm lenses) you need one of the prime lenses. Outside you can get shallow DOF using long lenses but inside you can't.

Again, the 24-105 is a fabulous lens - it's my walk-around. But you'll have more DOF (again back to the 2 shots I posted - one at f4 and one at f2). Also, if you like tight shots outdoors the 105 isn't long enough a lot of times.

So,

85mm 1.8 - great portrait lens but not for much else you are currently doing

24-105 - exceptionally sharp lens - can get good portraits but not extremely shallow DOF for portraits. And at 24mm on a 1.6 crop camera may be a bit tight for general purpose indoor shots so you may still have to switch back to kit lens for some of your indoor shooting needs.

70-200 f4: great outdoor lens. Can use 200mm f4 to get beautiful portraits and at 200mm you can get some tight shots from a little further away. Indoors you can get good shots but 70mm is VERY tight so you're not going to get a lot of full body shots indoors in your house. At the same time it's unlikely you'll have enough distance to get to 200mm which you need for that shallow DOF.

You've really got competing needs here. Needs that won't be met well by a single lens. Really you have to decide which is more important - more 'reach' so you can shoot your children from further away or extremely shallow DOF indoors. Unless you're willing to buy 2 lenses - like buying the 85mm 1.8 for your shallow dof portrait work and the 70-200 f4 for outdoor portrait and general purpose shooting. If you're willing to compromise both you get the 24-105.
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Old Dec 23, 2008, 1:46 AM   #18
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Ok I think I am finally getting somewhere. I think I have decided I am going to go with the 70-200 because really my zoom is lacking when I am outdoors. I was hoping to find one lens for all my needs but I don't think that is gonna happen!

So now I am wondering if I should also buy a better lens for my indoor at-home use than the 18-55 kit lens that I have. But I don't want to spend alot. If I were to get something like the Tamron 17-50 f2.8, would I notice better picture quality than my Canon kit lens?
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Old Dec 24, 2008, 12:28 AM   #19
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The Tamron 17-50 is just about the best of this sort of zoom even if you were going to spend double its $400 price.

Some have said the NEW Canon 18-55is kits lens is pretty darn good for around $150, not a fast lens, NO constant F2.8. The original Canon Kit lens your using leaves a lot to be desired.

Most of the reviews of the Tamron Campare it to the $1000 Canon 17-55IS as opposed to the pretty good sigma 17-50. As you buy lenses you have to weigh the benefits of the quality of apc size sensor only Crop lenses (which is a good thing) against the posabilty you may someday jump to full frame camera and would need new lenses.

You could always sell such lenses. Full Frame Bodies are still a $2000+ proposition (even on an older model) as far I know, used to be double, triple etc.

There are of course some serious lenses in narrower ranges or primes. The 17-40L is an $800.

I think The Tamron is a good choice.
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Old Dec 24, 2008, 2:21 AM   #20
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I have an XT with the Tamron 17-50 for a couple of years now. I bought the XT to take pictures of my kids which my P&Ses couldn't keep up. Having a constant f2.8 is nice if you don't want your DOF to change as you zoom in or out. In terms of picture quality, the Tamron seems nicer than the old kit lens. But it makes the camera feel heavier.

The better investment I found for my fast moving indoor kids was an external flash. The flash is wonderful at stopping motion. Getting my munchkins to stay still and pose under natural light has been a real challenge. I don't have that problem with Lego. :-)

50mm @ f2.8



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