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Old Feb 9, 2009, 5:58 PM   #1
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Hey gang! I'm considering stepping up into the world of dSLRs from an old Kodak Z730 point & shoot to a Canon XSi. I've already gone through the selection process that led me to that particular camera so now it's a matter of lens selection. I've already been given some great initial advice which has really helped me to hopefully ask the right questions now.

Assuming I go ahead with the XSi (it's not a done deal yet) then I'll be getting the 18-55mm f/3.5 - 5.6 IS kit lens as a starter for general photos, but I'd also like to see about getting a telephoto zoom lens specifically for wildlife with the occassional sports, moon, city, etc. shots.

I have a vague idea of what I want versus what I can afford (the two are rarely the same!) I'm undecided on budget, but anything much over $500 is immediately out of the question at this time for me.

Keep in mind I'm coming from the little old Kodak point & shoot with these very modest specs:

Lens
5.5–21.8 mm (35 mm equivalent: 33–132 mm)
Zoom
4X optical zoom
Aperture
f/2.8–5.6 (wide); f/4.8–9.5 (tele)

So... going from that to even the 75-300 Canon (I know it's "cheap") would be a big step up I expect and I hear the 70-300 is quite a bit better quality, though ups the price of course. I'm sure a fixed lens is generally sharper than a zoom, but if I'm only to have 2 lenses I want the most versatility I can get so zoom it is. IS would be very nice since most shots would be handheld. I do have a good tripod, but it's not always practical for on the go shots.

Anyway I guess my question is am I "waisting" my money on a max 300mm lens when I may just want to go to 500 or even 600 instead? Should I consider 300mm along with an extender or for only 2 lenses would a good extender be too much money? I really have no clue what they cost. I'm trying to gauge how a 70 or 75 to 300mm lens would "feel" in day to day use, but have nothing to compare really.

Advise away! And if this is more appropriate in another forum please let me know.

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Old Feb 10, 2009, 12:55 AM   #2
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You need to ask yourself what your shooting. From what i gather in the last paragragh. it looks like birds? Anyway budget is another factor. Canon 100-400L IS, a nice lens over $1000. For under that price you may look at the sigma 50-500 or the 150-500 OS. Both Lenses have a variable aperture, sigma tops out at 6.3 @ 500mm - Garman
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Old Feb 10, 2009, 5:25 AM   #3
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Don't whatever you do touch the Canon 75-300, it is the weakest of the 70/75-300mm zooms out there. If you are keeping the cost down go with the Tamron 70-300, still not a great option but better than the Canon.

The Canon 70-300 IS is the top of the bunch but as you say the price goes up quite a bit.

You are right when you get to shoot sports and wildlife then good glass is key which is never cheap.
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Old Feb 10, 2009, 6:06 PM   #4
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So what are people's thoughts about the Tamron 28-300mm (the newer "good" one) found here:
http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-28-300m...d_sim_dbs_p_37

I know you have to give up something when getting such a large focal range, but man the convenience would be staggering.

How would that Tamron compare to the Canon 70-300 found here:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...R&v=glance

They are the identical in price though the Tamron *looks* like the better deal with such a nice markdown, but I don't want that to be the deciding factor hehe.

Also I'm still wondering if getting a 1.4x teleconverter would make sense at some point, but that's an area I know even less about than the rest of these things!
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Old Feb 10, 2009, 6:56 PM   #5
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There is no comparison, the Canon wins hands down.

Any superzoom will suffer by the nature of it's vast zoom range. So either you have quality or you have a big range of focal length, I wouldn't choose the latter.

Basically until you get to about $1000 I don't think there is much better than that Canon if you want to cover the focal range. When you get to the Sigma 100-300mm f4 then you take another big leap in quality.
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Old Feb 10, 2009, 8:36 PM   #6
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Shadowplay wrote:
Quote:
Also I'm still wondering if getting a 1.4x teleconverter would make sense at some point, but that's an area I know even less about than the rest of these things!
Many TCs won't work at all on the lenses you're considering or you'll lose autofocus. There are 1 or 2 that might not communicate aperture back to the camera and thus the camera will try to focus but focus performance will be terrible. Also the resulting quality will be very bad. Unfortunately, TCs are designed for use on higher grade lenses. In general an f2.8 or f4 lens and thus not one of the ones you're considering.
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Old Feb 10, 2009, 9:14 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info, guys! Sounds like the short answer is that for the money I'm talking about here I should get the XSi, kit lens (as a starting point) and that 70-300 Canon lens (*not* the 75-300 as that seems to be crap in most people's eyes.)

Well now I know what I'm looking at and just need to see how finances really look here. :O
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